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Power UP NORTH 2023 is all about being Future Focused!

This year's themes are centered around the Future of Tourism, how to Future Proof your Business Finances, and The Future Face of Employment.

We are proud to welcome a wide range of engaging speakers and instructors to share their insights and knowledge to help you get energized at this year's conference.


Author of the book “Your Town: An Amazing Destination - The 25 Immutable Rules of Successful Tourism” and founding member of the award-winning.

Destination Development Association, Roger has assisted more than 2,500 communities around the world with their branding, tourism, downtown development, and marketing efforts.


Over the past forty years he has become one of North America’s most recognized

and frequently quoted experts in the fields of placemaking and destination development. Roger combines his dynamic approach with humor, fascinating stories and real-life examples that inspire and ignite the audiences he speaks to. His expertise and intensive work with communities has helped transform them into successful destinations where people love to spend their time, open businesses, and enjoy living.


Well-known for his practical approach using steps, rules, and ingredients to transform ordinary “places” into successful, vibrant, healthy “destinations,” Roger has earned a top spot as one of the world’s most popular keynote speakers in the industry.


With his energetic presentations, Roger will change your life and the way you look at tourism, downtowns, and community-based branding. And best of all, you will leave with innovative ideas you can use today to make a difference tomorrow. You will feel empowered and excited with your ability to make something happen once you get back home.


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Taunya Woods Richardson - Nail The Numbers

The creator of the Cashflow Canvas™, Taunya Woods Richardson, is a nationally recognized expert on small business, budgets, and founder finance; who just also happens to be the founder and CEO of Nail The Numbers, Canada’s go-to financial training agency for entrepreneurs.  

Her 30+ years immersed in entrepreneurship has afforded her the opportunity to collaborate with countless banks, credit unions, developmental lenders, and small business champions towards strengthening the minds and bottom lines of Canadian Founders.


Ian Hill - Social Innovator/Business Leader

Humanitarian, Business Leader, Award Winning Social Innovator, Professional Development Pioneer, and World Record Breaker; these are some of the words often used when referring to Ian Hill. Whether running a multi-million-dollar business operation with over 1000 employees or spearheading first-of-their-kind life-changing community projects, Ian Hill is recognized for being a catalyst for positive change throughout the world.

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Jason Garner - BDC

Jason was born and raised in northern Alberta and has spent his entire life in the region.
He has spent the last 25 years of his career working in and for companies that support the Oil & Gas industry.

Although he enjoyed a successful career in Oil & Gas, he always knew that there was something more he wanted to do with his experience.

Jason's passion lies in helping entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed using his extensive knowledge of industry to guide and advice.

He believes that everyone deserves a chance to succeed and is committed to helping others achieve their goals.

When not working Jason enjoys spending time with his two teenage daughters coaching their activities and relaxing at the lake.

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Lise Danyluk - Digital Service Squad

Lise excels at  helping small businesses adopt new technologies and digital marketing strategies so they can increase efficiency and improve their bottom line. She works on a freelance basis and through the Digital Service Squad, a government funded program that offers free digital marketing support to Lakeland area small business owners.


Lise lives with her family in the rural Bonnyville area and enjoys visiting the area’s many lakes in her spare time.

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Sara Hurtubise - Lakeland HR Solutions

Sara Hurtubise is the Director of Lakeland HR Solutions based out of Bonnyville, AB since 2017. Sara is a Certified Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) with a Bachelor of Commerce with a Human Resources Management Major and Minor in Business Law. Sara specializes in employee relations, workplace communication, conflict resolution, policy development and implementation.


Utilizing her education and over 15 years professional HR experience, Sara guides learners through a collaborative approach in development of their leadership skills and human resources competency.


Mackenzie Brown - Indigenous Tourism Alberta

Mackenzie Brown (She/Her) is a First Nations Cree Woman from the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation and currently resides in Mohkinstsis, Calgary. Brown has a background as a performer, drummer, tourism entrepreneur, philanthropist and advocate for at-risk youth in the Edmonton area in addition to her past roles in Indigenous Tourism Development with both the Government of Alberta and Edmonton Tourism.
Brown is well known across Alberta for performing with her mom as “Warrior Women.” Together they drum and teach around Alberta for the Northern Alberta Teachers Conference, the annual Jasper Dark Skies Festival, Youth Dream Catchers Conference, Canada Day, Aboriginal Day festivities and more.
In addition to drumming, Brown is also an avid acrylic artist and traditional First Nations crafts artisan. Her art has been featured in the Pump House Gallery, the Edson Gallery Museum, the Gray Gallery Grant MacEwan, recognized for the Alberta Indian Arts and Crafts Award of 2017, featured for the Alberta Business Competition 2017 and sold to people travelling worldwide at Jasper Park Lodge.
Brown has also been awarded the 2019 Esquao Award for Children’s Future, the 2019 Indigenous Woman of the year award from the Alberta Assembly of First Nations, the Top 30 under 30 from the Alberta Corporation for Global Cooperation 2020 and the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award from Grant MacEwan University.

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Chris Down - Travel Alberta

Chris is a graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University's (formerly Ryerson University) Urban and Regional Planning program and a Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners  (CIP) and the Alberta Professional Planners Institute. He is a past member of CIP's Indigenous Peoples Planning Committee, supporting the advancement of Indigenous Peoples' participation in community development.


Chris has been working in local/regional policy and legislation regarding responsibilities affecting land use and land use assessments, and development for the past 20 years. 


Chris lives in Edmonton and, in his spare time, can be found walking and biking in Edmonton's river valley, hiking and skiing, exploring the great outdoors.

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Carol Webster - Business Link

With over 30 years experience as a small business owner, Carol has developed a deep understanding of small business management and operations.  She has a passion for uncovering valuable insights and guiding businesses towards success.  Equipped with the tools and support of Business Link, Carol is dedicated to helping small businesses unlock growth opportunities, optimize marketing strategies, and make data-driven decisions to achieve sustainable success in a rapidly evolving marketplace.

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Brian Thorne - Portage College

A retired Senior Banking Executive engaged in his retirement career as an Instructor at Portage College. With 23 years' experience in the financial services industry leading retail, small business, and commercial banking, wealth management, marketing, finance, operations and strategic planning portfolios. Currently teaching in both the Business Diploma, Degree programs, and an active Corporate Trainer with local companies in the Lakeland area.

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Marie-Laure Polydore - Futurpreneur

Marie-Laure is a Business Development professional with Futurpreneur’s Alberta Team. She believes in the power of a small business in contributing in the development of a community.

She has a passion for entrepreneurship, the environment and is a catalyst for change. Marie-Laure has developed and refined her considerable skill set and experience through various industries including clothing, telecommunications, manufacturing, paper industries and in the non-for-profit sectors. Fluently bilingual, she has given herself the mission to support and assist as many entrepreneurs as possible, and she feels she is well positioned to do so with Futurpreneur Canada!

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Marianne Janke - Destination Management Organization (DMO)

Marianne Janke grew up in the Wetaskiwin area and spent thirteen years managing the local cable television company. In 1996, she was involved in the launch of Bell Expressvu Satellite systems until moving to Bonnyville where, from 2003 to 2005, she was employed as the Business & Facility Manager for the Cold Lake Ag. Society.

In 2005, Marianne moved to St. Paul and started working for the Iron Horse Trail and took over the management of Alberta’s Lakeland DMO in 2008. To date, she continues to work for both organizations and thoroughly enjoys her job, marveling at the changes and growth in the region over the past fifteen plus years. She is looking forward to the next stage as the Lakeland develops into the next tourism destination for Alberta.

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 Jason Desaulniers - BP Group Solutions

Jason has been working in the financial services industry since 1996. He has held positions in the areas of investment and insurance planning with major banks, insurance companies, and credit unions across Western Canada. Jason is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) , Canadian Investment Manager (CIM), and Certified Health Insurance Specialist (CHS). Jason believes strongly in lifelong learning, and as such completes professional course work each year. Jason has presented on financial planning and risk management strategies to numerous groups across Western Canada. These have included RBC Dominion Securities, BMO Nesbitt Burns, Daystar Financial, Desjardins Financial Security, and both the College of Alberta Denturists, as well as the Denturist Association of Alberta.

Please Note:  Speakers may change without notice.


Michael Kerr

The Workplace Energizer

Topic: The Future Face of Employment

Why choose between humour and relevant, practical content when you can have both? Michael Kerr is one of North America’s leading authorities on fostering innovative and inspiring workplace cultures. His presentations — known for their practical and inspiring ideas that audiences can put to work immediately — are delivered in a truly unforgettable manner through his memorable brand of clean, high-energy humour.


A former government manager and business owner for more than 20 years, Kerr has traveled the world researching, writing, and speaking about inspiring workplace cultures, leaders, and businesses that leverage their humour advantage to drive outrageous results. He is a Canadian Hall of Fame speaker whose ideas on building great workplaces have been featured in hundreds of publications worldwide.


Kerr is the bestselling author of eight books, including The Jerk Free Workplace: How You Can Take the Lead to Create a Happier, More Inspiring Workplace; The Humour Advantage: Why Some Businesses are Laughing all the Way to the Bank; and Hire, Inspire, and Fuel Their Fire: How to Recruit, Onboard, and Train New Employees to Love Your Culture Out Loud. His Inspiring Workplaces blog has been recognized as one of the top 25 workplace blogs in the world.

Taunya Woods
Ian Hill
BDC Jason
Lisa DSS
Lakelad HR Sara
Indigenous Tourism Alberta
Michael Kerr
Travel Aberta
Portage College
Marianne Janke
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