Instructor Bios

Mark Ansems, CPA, CA received his CA designation in 1996.  He provides project management and consulting services for organizations of various sizes in manufacturing, telecommunications, professional services and real estate industries.  Mark works directly with executive and key stakeholders on complex enterprise scale projects such as information systems selections and implementations, manufacturing plant consolidations, infrastructure builds, and product launches.

Hugh Avery, CPA, CA·IFA, CAMS is the Regional Manager of Financial Operations for the Atlantic Region with the Finance and Accounting Branch of Public Works and Government Services Canada. Prior to accepting this position in November Hugh was a Senior Forensic Accountant with the Forensic Accounting Management Group for 14 years. In addition to overseeing the forensic accounting engagements for the Atlantic Region of FAMG Hugh was seconded to the Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit of the RCMP in Halifax where he conducted forensic accounting engagements, participated in searches and technical interviews in support of investigative work, and assisted investigators by providing advice in the preparation of documents during the course of legal procedures. He has also testified before the courts as an expert in forensic accounting on several occasions. Hugh obtained his CA designation in 1998, his Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist designation in 2005 and received his IFA designation in 2010. In 2008 he received his graduate diploma in Investigative and Forensic Accounting from the University of Toronto.

Sara Ballantyne, CPA, CA is Manager of Taxation with Sobeys Inc. She focuses on corporate tax provisions and compliance, financial reporting for tax and tax planning for the national grocer’s parent company, Empire Company Limited. Prior to joining Sobeys in 2014, Sara was a Tax Manager at a Big Four firm. As a member of that firm's tax group for four years, she provided personal and corporate tax services to clients ranging from small owner managed companies to large public corporations.

Ward Blatch, CA, MCSA provides computer training, network support, and network evaluation to accounting firms, small businesses, and professional organizations in Canada and the United States. With over 20 years’ experience in public accounting and over 13 years in networking offices ranging in size, 3 to 80 users, he understands the frustrations and knows what is needed to make your computers and staff work effectively.

Bobby Boutilier, CPA, CA is Vice President of Tax for Armco Capital Group of Companies.  He is responsible for implementing and executing tax planning and compliance for a diverse group of privately held companies.  Prior to joining Armco, Bobby was Director of Tax Reporting and Compliance for a national grocery retailer with a focus on tax compliance and financial reporting for tax.  Bobby has also spent five years in the tax group of a Big Four firm, providing personal and corporate tax services to clients ranging from owner managed companies to large public corporations.  Bobby has presented numerous tax topics for CPANS and other groups.

Rob Bourgeois, CPA, CA is the Director of Financial Accounting with the NS Department of Finance and Treasury Board.  He is responsible for providing public sector financial accounting support to government departments and overseeing the preparation of the Province’s Consolidated Public Accounts.  He has presented numerous public sector topics to various groups within the Province.  He has been with the Province of Nova Scotia since January 2009 and has extensive experience in the interpretation and application of Public Sector Accounting Standards (PSAS).  Prior to joining the Province, Rob worked with KPMG in Halifax for 7 years.  He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from St. Mary's University and is a Chartered Professional Accountant.

David Cameron, CPA, CA is a Tax Partner with Collins Barrow Nova Scotia Inc.  He has almost twenty years of experience in public accounting, including almost fifteen years of experience as a full time tax practitioner.  He has also worked in industry for 2 ½ years, primarily in a lead role as Director of Taxation for a large privately held corporate group focused on real estate development and investments.  He has a broad range of experience managing Canadian corporate, personal, and trust taxation compliance and planning requirements for both privately held and publicly traded companies.

Jeff Christian, CPA, CA is a Wealth Advisor at Scotia McLeod. He currently provides investment management, financial, tax and estate planning solutions for high net worth households, owner managed businesses and other charitable organizations. In addition to presenting various topics at ICANS Jeff has been involved with the Atlantic School of Chartered Accountancy, the CICA Income Tax Practice Course and CPA Canada.

Alex Christianson, CPA, CA is a Senior Manager in the Assurance Group of PwC, working in the Halifax office and is also the Accounting Advisory Champion for the Atlantic region. Alex specializes in working with public companies and large private companies. As the Senior Manager on various publicly listed and privately owned companies, Alex takes a business-oriented approach to handling complex accounting and regulatory issues. In addition to providing audit and assurance services, he offers advice on implementing new accounting standards and assists with acquisitions and divestitures. Alex has extensive experience with both Canadian and US listed companies, having spent time working in San Jose, California working with emerging technology companies through equity and debt offerings on the NYSE and NASDAQ. 

Blair Cook CPA, CA CPA (Ill) MBA is a many-time corporate director, CFO, educator, innovator, thought leader, presenter, and curiosity generalist. As an academic-practitioner, he’s a perpetual learner who observes and experiments with various financial and management theories in real world context. He shares stories of his successes, failures, and lessons learned to all those who share a passion for further developing their own financial leadership qualities. His focus is on defining and developing a career path for financial professionals aspiring to the Office of the CFO and the Board of Directors. Blair has worked extensively with CPA Canada in recent years to design, develop, and launch the professional certification program.

Wayne Crawley, FCPA, FCA, is a business builder involved with several private companies including Venor Talent Group, Sports Entertainment Atlantic, Epix Engineering, Moore Executive Suites and others. Wayne had a 20 year career with Emera Inc. and successfully completed Business Development of over $1 billion in enterprise value. He has over 25 years of international experience in business development, strategy, operations, corporate effectiveness, audit and finance. Wayne has been active throughout his career serving the community and currently serves on the Board of the Halifax Convention Centre, Habitat for Humanity NS, Junior Achievement of Nova Scotia and is an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Canadian Military. He is also a member of the executive for Young Presidents Organization (YPO Gold Atlantic Chapter). Wayne was also recognized as Top 40 Under 40 in Canada in 2001.

Robert Dean, CPA, CA, CFP, TEP, is a Business Advisor with MNP in Dartmouth. Drawing on more than 20 years of experience, Robert assists with tax planning and compliance, compensation planning, succession, the purchase and sale of businesses and corporate reorganization. Since 2001, Robert has spoken and written about issues and industry trends related to tax strategies, business challenges and succession planning.  After earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Robert became a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (CA) in 1996. He earned the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation in 1999 and the Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP) designation in 2013 and holds an advanced certificate in family business advising from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

Christine Doucet, LLB is a partner with the Halifax law firm of McGinty Doucet Walker and practices primarily in the area of family law. She has a particular interest in the financial aspects of separation and divorce as they relate to the division of matrimonial property and determination of income for support purposes. Ms. Doucet is a trained collaborative family lawyer and president of the Association of Collaborative Family Law Professionals of Nova Scotia. She is a member of the executive committee of the Nova Scotia branch of the Canadian Bar Association.

Duncan Ferguson, CPA, CA is the Director, Taxation at Atlantic Corporation Limited based in Halifax, NS. He is responsible for coordinating and implementing tax planning and compliance for a diverse group of privately held companies. Prior to joining Atlantic Corporation Duncan was a Senior Manager in the Tax Group of Grant Thornton LLP in Halifax. Duncan has previously presented courses for CPANS, CPA Canada and ASCA dealing with various taxation topics.

Michael Frenette, PMP, I.S.P., CMC, MCITP is owner of Corvo Project Management, a training and consulting firm specializing in project management training (est. 2010), and a Principal in the Risk Management group of Sierra Systems, a Vancouver IT consulting where he was employed for 15 years. His areas of expertise include portfolio, program and project management, change management, requirements management, virtual teaming and enterprise project management. Mr. Frenette gained technical expertise in the early days of his career in Information Technology, later moving into management roles in the mid-eighties, working for companies engaged in utilities, oil and gas, manufacturing and IT & Management consulting. As a volunteer, he presided over the boards of the Canadian Information Processing Society of Nova Scotia (3 years), the Project Management Institute Nova Scotia Chapter (8 years) and PMI Global (9 years), with governance roles in the Technology Member Advisory Group,  Requirements Management Community of Practice and Social Media Advisory Group. He is currently a member of the Community Champion Advisory Group. Michael is a graduate of PMI’s Leadership Institute Masters Class and holds a diploma from NSCC’s IT program. He holds professional certifications from CIPS (I.S.P./ITCP), PMI (PMP), ScrumStudy (SMC, SDC & SCT) and Microsoft (MCITP.

Lisa Gallivan was appointed as a part-time member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in 2014. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, a Masters of Business Administration and Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University. She has been a member of the Nova Scotia Bar since being called in 1997. Ms. Gallivan has practiced at Stewart McKelvey in Halifax, Nova Scotia since completing law school in 1996. Her practice focuses on labour and employment law including employment contracts, human rights, collective bargaining, workplace investigations, occupational health and safety, grievance arbitration and wrongful dismissal litigation. She has appeared before various courts, administrative and professional regulatory bodies and commissions. Lisa is also a presenter, trainer and facilitator providing on-site training for employees and executives on all workplace matters including facilitation of executive meetings and retreats, policy development and strategic business planning.

Teresa Gannon, CPA, CA is a Tax Manager with Grant Thornton’s Halifax office and is responsible for the provision of corporate and personal tax services for a wide variety of the firm’s clients, with emphasis on owner manager businesses. Experience includes corporate and personal tax planning, estate and succession planning, reorganizations and trusts.

Maureen Gillis, CPA, CA, facilitates adult learning in topics related to leadership, success, and human behaviour. With formal training in adult learning, professional training in human resources management, and with a designation as a Chartered Professional Accountant, Maureen brings a multi-disciplinary perspective to her interactive workshops. Her teaching and facilitation work began early in her career. She has taught for various universities and facilitated professional development courses for members of professional organizations. With nearly three decades of leadership experience, she brings professional insight to her courses, offering a variety of approaches to accommodate the different needs of learners. During her career, Maureen has also been active in volunteer roles as a coach and with organizations such as the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants Public Sector Accounting Board, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia, Junior Achievement of Nova Scotia, the Financial Management Institute, the Chamber of Commerce, among others. She also served as a volunteer financial advisor for an NGO in Ghana, West Africa. Today, Maureen enjoys teaching and delivering courses to members of professional groups and associations on current topics of interest that support ongoing development and growth for leaders.

Sheila Gillis, FCPA, FCA is a Tax Partner with MGM & Associates, Sydney. She has presented training programs and courses on various taxation topics to staff as well as to clients and the business community. Sheila has presented the ICANS' Tax Update Course in Sydney since 1995.

Veronica Hunt, CPA, CA is an Audit Senior Manager with Grant Thornton’s Nova Scotia Business Unit with over 10 years of public practice experience. Veronica is responsible for leading the delivery of audit and advisory services with experience in a variety of clients and industries with a primary focus on audits of public companies and complex private organizations

Samantha Hurwitz, CPA, CMA, CHRL is Chief Encouragement Officer of both FliPskills Consulting and FliP University, and Co-Author of the book, Leadership is Half the Story: A Fresh Look at Followership, Leadership and Collaboration (University of Toronto Press-Rotman). As a speaker, trainer, coach, consultant and writer, Samantha works with organizations around the globe to fuel collaboration, enhance creativity, and develop today’s essential workplace capabilities: Followership, leadership, innovation & Partnership skills.  Samantha has over 25 years corporate and entrepreneurial experience including 9 years at the executive level: Controller of an organization with $6 billion in annual revenues, IT Executive with a $50 million project portfolio and Chair of a strategic talent management program.  She enjoys helping people have those “aha” and “ahhh” moments. Sam is known for being uniquely positive, practical and perceptive!

Chace Hynes, CPA, CA, CBV is a Manager at MNP LLP. Chace specializes in business valuation and providing transaction advisory support and financial modelling support on both buy-side and sell-side transactions. He has contributed to numerous valuation reports prepared for a variety of situations, including tax reorganizations, management buyouts, shareholder disputes, matrimonial disputes and strategic planning reasons. Chace joined WBLI Chartered Accountants, a predecessor firm to MNP, in 2011 after graduating from Dalhousie University, he became a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) in 2014 and a Chartered Business Valuator (CBV) in 2016.

Dan Jennings, CPA, CA, CBV, CF, Q.Arb is a Partner with BDO, based in Halifax, NS.  He leads the firm’s Atlantic Valuation/M&A practice for small and mid-market entrepreneurial businesses.  Dan has presented to various groups in the accounting, banking, legal and entrepreneurial sectors, and has provided expert witness testimony in the NS, NB and NL courts, private arbitrations and the federal Tax Court.

Samuel Kiragu, CPA (K), started his accounting career with KPMG Kenya before transferring to KPMG Cayman Islands where he was dealing with hedge funds audits. He also worked with UBS Funds Services Cayman focusing on accounting and hedge funds compliance. Until recently, he was working with Mitsubishi Funds Services, Halifax. Sam joined academic world a year ago. He teaches Accounting and Finance courses at Mount Saint Vincent University. He is also the head of financial services programs at Nova Scotia Community College (Waterfront Campus).He is helping in developing new financial services courses relating to hedge funds and Canadian Securities. Sam is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS).He has facilitated Anti-Money Laundering (AML) trainings to financial institutions in Canada, Cayman Islands and Kenya. He has teamed up with Thomson Reuters to roll out AML trainings. Samuel holds an MBA in Accounting from University of Liverpool (UK).

Kristina King, CPA, CA graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration with Honours from Acadia University before articling with KPMG in Calgary where she obtained her designation. Kristina has worked for KPMG in Calgary, Australia, and returned to Halifax in 2012 where she was a Senior Manager with KPMG’s audit practice. During her time in public accounting, her primary client base centered around the investment industry and not for profit sector. Kristina currently works for the Province of Nova Scotia. Kristina is also on the Finance Committee of the St. John Ambulance of Nova Scotia and marks the CFE as well as for the PEP program.

Lee-Anne Kovacs, CPA, CA is a Partner in the Assurance Group at PwC in Halifax.  Focusing on public company clients, Lee-Anne has spent the last 14 years working with companies in the real estate, retail, technology and entertainment and media industries, ranging from small start-ups to large multinational organizations.  Lee-Anne is proficient in IFRS, ASPE and US GAAP and leads audits under both Canadian and PCAOB auditing standards. Lee-Anne has helped her clients account for complex matters such as reverse takeovers, business combinations and share-based arrangements and has lead numerous Canadian and US offering memorandum and prospectus engagements.  Having worked in PwC's Toronto, London England and New York offices, Lee-Anne has a wide network to draw upon in order to bring her clients value. Lee-Anne also leads PwC's Atlantic Canada retail and real estate practices. 

Greg Leslie, CPA, CA, TEP
is a Partner in Collins Barrow’s Halifax tax practice. Greg is involved with succession and estate planning, corporate reorganizations, tax compliance, and the charities and not-for-profit sector. A graduate of Dalhousie University where he received a Bachelor of Commerce degree, Greg was admitted into the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia (ICANS) in 2004. He is a current member of CAFE Nova Scotia and past president of the Halifax Estate Planning Council. He is a member of the Society or Trust and Estate Practitioners and currently sits on the Board of STEP Atlantic. Greg has completed Part III of the CICA In-depth Tax course. He is a frequent lecturer and tutor for ICANS and CPA Canada and has presented on income tax matters to a variety of local and regional business organizations.

Greg MacDonald, P.Eng. is a Senior Manager in the SR&ED and Government Incentives practice at Grant Thornton, and for the past 12 years has been helping clients claim SR&ED tax credits in a range of industries such as engineering, manufacturing, fabrication, IT, biotechnology and others. In this capacity, he’s assisted clients prepare claims, compile and provide supporting information to CRA during reviews, as well as working through the appeals process. Additionally, he’s provided client training courses, assisted with developing SR&ED processes, and advised clients on the impacts other incentive programs have on SR&ED and best practices when accessing multiple programs. Prior to this, Greg spent 12 years in engineering and process/operations roles in manufacturing.

Sonny MacDougall, CPA, CA is a Partner with MGM & Associates and has over 25 years experience in tax as well as auditing and accounting focusing on a wide range of clients including the public and private sector clients.  Sonny has been an instructor with Cape Breton University for 7 years teaching personal and corporate tax to 3rd and 4th year students.  He has a broad range of experience in taxation managing the corporate, personal and trust taxation compliance and tax and estate planning for a large client basis.  Sonny is very active volunteering on both a professional level and a personal level in the community. 

Earl MacLeod, CPA, CA is a Partner with MNP LLP in Dartmouth. He has experience with a wide variety of clients dealing in business advisory and tax services including corporate reorganizations, estate and succession planning, international taxation, and personal, corporate and trust tax planning. Earl has authored numerous articles for business publications and has been involved as a speaker/presenter for CPANS PD courses, the Atlantic Provinces Tax Conference, STEP Atlantic, and other various organizations.

Doreen Malone, CPA, CA, CFP is a Sr. Private Banker with BMO Private Banking with a background in both the private and not for profit sectors. In her current role, she provides integrated and customized financial solutions to a portfolio of borrowing and non -borrowing Platinum Banking clients. She specializes in working with financially successful Canadian families to help them achieve their goals. Prior to joining BMO Private Banking, she was a Financial Planner with Assante Capital Management and the General Manager of Neptune Theatre for 11 years. Previous to that she was the Director of Finance & Operations for Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown and a Senior Manager at Grant Thornton. Doreen is a graduate of St. Mary’s University and of an Executive Leadership Course at Harvard University’s John Kennedy School of Government.

Craig Maloney, MBA, CPA, CA, CBV is a Partner at MNP LLP. Craig is heavily involved in servicing owner-managed businesses and professionals. He specializes in business valuation and providing strategic business advice and corporate finance advice on M&A transactions, and has developed a particular expertise in private company divestitures. He has industry and functional experience in leveraged buy-outs, capital raising, divestitures and acquisitions. Craig has also provided strategic advisory services and pricing analysis for various companies. Craig has unique past experience working with a private window and door manufacturing company in London, Ontario in both sales and materials management roles. Prior to joining MNP and its predecessor firm, WBLI, Craig worked for Deloitte & Touche Corporate Finance and also worked for Ernst & Young in both corporate finance and audit roles, both in Toronto, Ontario.

Ruth March, C.A., T.E.P. is a Director of Estate Planning with KPMG in Halifax.  She joined KMPG after graduating from Mount Allison University in 1983.  She is responsible for tax planning for a diverse clientele, with a particular understanding of the income tax issues relating to owner-managed businesses, estates and trusts. During 2000-2001 Ruth worked with Maritime Life as an Estate and Tax Planning consultant. She has been a tutorial leader of CICA (now CPA Canada) tax courses and a lecturer for the Canadian Tax Foundation. Ruth is currently the Chair of STEP Canada and a past governor of the Canadian Tax Foundation.  She has served as treasurer of Symphony Nova Scotia and the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia.

Arun Mathur, CPA, CA is Executive Director at UltimQuest Knowledge Inc. and partner with Gerald Duthie Chartered Professional Accountants’ Toronto office. He has extensive auditing and internal control evaluation experience in Corporations, the Public Sector and Not for Profit organizations. He delivered training at Clarkson Gordon’s (now EY’s) Toronto office and at many universities and colleges in Ontario. He delivers training to business owners on accounting and financial management. He delivers training on internal control, improving governance in not for profit, for profit and public sector organizations for CPA Ontario and provincial CPA institutes in BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador and Bermuda. He serves on the CMA Ontario’s Review Committee, which is now under CPA Ontario. Currently he serves on the HealthForce Ontario Marketing and Recruitment Agency Board and chairs its Finance and Audit Committee and Flato Markham Theatre board. More info at: www.ultimquest.com

Dr. Steve McEvoy is a leader of leaders. With a completed doctorate in Leadership and Organizational Development, Steve works with leaders in the business, government, and non-profit sector with a focus on their personal development. Steve specializes in helping leaders capture and clarify the vision and mission that they are currently leading and position themselves to effectively lead the entire organization in the direction of that vision. Steve also has a specific focus in helping leaders gain personal clarity concerning their unique design. From these discoveries, a plan of action is implemented to lead the entire organization into similar discoveries. The result of this process is a greater work environment resulting in greater efficiency and productivity in the entire corporation. Steve is a husband and father of two adult children. He is a teacher, trainer and coach with a passion for sports, health and his favorite hobby—firefighting. For more information about Dr. Steve and byDesign group go to:  www.bydesigngroup.ca.

Susan McIsaac, FCPA, FCA is a partner in a general practice firm in Amherst. She is a member of the Standards Committee of the AC Group of Independent Accounting firms, and a past member of the Practice Review Committee and is a member Practitioner’s Forum Committee of ICANS. Susan has instructed multiple PD offerings for ICANS for many years.

Shelagh Meagher cut her business teeth with the likes of IBM and Ogilvy and Mather in Canada and abroad, hit the C-Suite before she turned 33, and quit to become an award-winning landscape designer. She became a writer during a 7-year stay in Italy without a work permit, then found her way back into an executive role in Toronto after the headhunting industry had pronounced her ‘unemployable’. She’s now freelancing, writing, and entrepreneuring beside the ocean in LaHave, Nova Scotia. She is the author of Gumption: The Practical Woman’s Guide to Living an Adventuresome Life, creator of The Gumption Guides, and a frequent contributor to Huffington Post. A dedicated adventurer, she has balanced family and work with such exploits as flying small planes, riding horseback solo across the Mongolian steppes, singing with a rock band, and kayaking with 30-ton whales.

Steven Moore, CPA, CA is a Tax Partner with KPMG LLP; he provides a full range of taxation services to a wide variety of Canadian private and public clients in many industries. These services include Canadian personal and corporate compliance and planning, corporate reorganizations, etc. Steven has also been actively involved with the CICA In-Depth Tax Course from 1999 to 2007 and has been a lecturer for ICANS tax courses from 2006 to present.

Justin Melnyk, CPA, CA is a Financial Accountant with the NS Department of Finance and Treasury Board. He is accountable to provide expert accounting advice and consulting services on complex corporate accounting and financial issues to all organizations within the consolidated entity, as well as sound financial reporting which is compliant with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Since joining the Province in 2014, Justin has presented several Public Sector Accounting Standard (PSAS) updates and/or refreshers to other departmental management and has also been directly involved in any communications between the Province and the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) regarding new and upcoming standards. Prior to this, Justin worked with KPMG in Halifax for over 7 years; two of which were spent in Melbourne, Australia on secondment.

Kelly Nelson, FCPA, FCA retired in 2014 after 30 years with High Liner Foods, as their CFO. Mr. Nelson was a Member of the Management Committee that set the strategic direction for the company and practiced in the areas of regulatory administration, corporate governance, corporate secretary, risk management, financial reporting, manufacturing accounting, tax, information technology, pension administration, treasury, business development, human resources, and investor relations, as well a leading role in M&A including negotiations, valuations, financings, due diligence, and integration activities. He has also served on non-profit boards, acting in leadership roles. He currently sits on two private company boards. Kelly is a Member of the CICA and ICANS and was President of Council (2011/2012). Mr. Nelson holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honors) from Mount Allison University.

Jennifer Nicholson CPA, CA is a dynamic, versatile financial professional with over 20 years of leadership experience. Jen brings to the classroom a broad skill set and experience in all key facets of an organization including operations management, strategic planning, business development, finance, accounting, investor relations, human resources, and project management. Jen has a passion for making finance more attainable, whether it’s working to articulate strategy in a financial context or bringing clarity to financial communication. Jen’s career epitomizes the diverse experiences and roles that CPAs play in industry – from financial to operational leadership.

Richard Niedermayer, TEP is a partner in the Halifax office of Stewart McKelvey. His practice involves all aspects of tax and estate planning, estate administration, and corporate matters. His clients include owner-managed and family businesses, high net worth individuals and trust companies. Richard is a Past Chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s Nova Scotia and National Wills, Estates and Trusts Section and a Past Chair of the Atlantic Canada Branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and currently serves on STEP Canada’s Board of Directors. He is a member of the Canadian Tax Foundation and the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, and a former President of the Halifax Estate Planning Council. Richard is listed in Best Lawyers in Canada for Trusts and Estates and Corporate Law and in Lexpert for Estate and Personal Tax Planning/Estate Litigation. He holds a BV Distinguished peer reviewed rating from Martindale Hubbell and the TEP designation from STEP. Richard is a frequent writer and speaker on estate and tax topics.

Jamie O'Neill is an experienced organizational and business consultant and Partner of Uprise Consulting.  With over 20 years of business consulting and training experience, she is known as an energetic self-starter with excellent team development and leadership skills.  A graduate of the Business Administration Degree from Acadia University and Leadership Management Graduate Degree from Royal Roads University, Jamie has the unique ability to provide innovative and insightful solutions for leaders within organizations, connecting ideas and actions in order to deliver measurable results.  Outside the office, Jamie is an active recreational hockey player, a basketball coach for young girls and loves spending time with her two young children, Jordyn and Nate.

John Oakey, CPA, CA, TEP, CC qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2001 with a National firm in Kentville, Nova Scotia after completing a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Saint Mary’s University in 1997. He joined Collins Barrow tax group in 2001. Since then he has completed all three CICA in-depth tax courses; as well as, the CICA Advanced Tax Issues for the Owner-Managed business. He became Tax Partner in 2008 and is currently managing Collins Barrow’s Atlantic tax group (both Canadian and US). He has widespread knowledge and expertise in the area of corporate and personal income taxes specializing in the area of corporate reorganizations, estate planning, succession planning and US personal and estate tax. John has written and presented published papers for The Canadian Tax Foundation, The Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners, Real Estate Lawyers Association of Nova Scotia, and Collins Barrow quarterly newsletter. John has also taught various Income Tax courses for St Mary's University, CPA Canada, CPA Nova Scotia, and CPA Atlantic School of Chartered Accountants.

Massood Oroomchi has a Bachelors of Science degree in Economics and is a Fellow Chartered Accountant from England. With 35 years of experience, he specializes in design and implementation of internal control environments including COSO 2013, best practices for corporate governance, enterprise-wide risk assessment, and finance process optimization including accelerated close and spreadsheet controls. As a founding member of FinEx Group, he has developed a comprehensive top-down, risk-based Internal Control Program that could easily be customized to any size of firm whether publicly traded, private, pre-IPO, government or not-for-profit organizations. He provides customized on-site training in governance, risk and controls resulting in significant savings in employee training costs. Mr. Oroomchi is a past-member of the Board of Trustees of Canadian Financial Executives Research Foundation, a past- member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Executives International Canada and Past-Chairs of FEI Canada’s Audit and Finance, National Technical and Corporate Reporting Committees. He is also a past-member of the Accounting Standards Oversight Council of the CICA. 

Eileen Pease, M.Ed., CHRP, Certified Speaking Professional (CSP)  Eileen Pease works with people to develop their ability to enhance their full brain power at work so they can be fully engaged, measurably more productive, and happier.  As an expert on the brain at work, Eileen helps key people learn faster, remember longer, turn stress into opportunity, improve their relationships, and keep their brains in top condition.  Her book - Get More Power from Your Brain — shows readers how to tune-up their most powerful asset. Her website www.eileenpease.com provides support to her clients who want to get the most power from their precious brains.

Stephen Priddle, CPA, CA, CMA worked with KPMG for five years, then moved to industry and has worked for several companies, including public and private companies in the high technology sector. During this time, he has obtained a wide range of financial reporting, treasury management, merger & acquisition and other business experience. He is currently the Vice-President, Finance and Corporate Secretary of SureWx Inc. Stephen has extensive experience in teaching professional development and other courses for different provincial institutes and has taught at the University of Toronto and Carleton University, as well as in the CMA and CGA programs.

Tammy Robertson, MA in Physical and Health Education from the University of Western Ontario has over 25 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience. As a life and leadership coach, author and professional speaker, she inspires and challenges audiences to step into their true potential. Tammy believes that the essence of our challenge today is captured in one simple message, Get Your Heart in the Game™… Engagement is Emotional! She is also a Founder of RealTalk, a global community committed to improving communication and relationships one real talk at a time.

Isabelle St-Jean, is a Registered Social Worker, Professional Certified Coach with International Coach Federation accreditation, a Certified Retirement Coach, a Certified Professional Facilitator and the author of Living Forward Giving Back: A Practical Guide to Fulfilment in Midlife and Beyond. Since 2007, she has led seminars coast to coast and internationally for professional communities and has provided consulting and coaching to numerous individuals and executives helping them with their workplace challenges, career management or retirement transition.  She is the initiator and co-author of the award-winning anthology Einstein’s Business: Engaging Soul, Imagination and Excellence in the Workplace. Also a member of the BC Human Resources Management Association, Isabelle is a regular contributor to their magazine PeopleTalk.

Rebecca Saturley is the Regional Managing Partner - Halifax with Stewart McKelvey.  She practices management side labour and employment law and advises clients on a wide range of issues, including labour relations, union avoidance, health and safety and human rights.  Rebecca provides advice to a diverse group of clients ranging from large national companies to small non-profit organizations.  She appears frequently before administrative tribunals in Nova Scotia, including labour arbitrators and is also involved in civil litigation, appearing regularly before all levels of court in Nova Scotia and has appeared at the Supreme Court of Canada.  Rebecca routinely provides strategic labour and employment advice in corporate transactions.  She is a frequent speaker on issues within her area of expertise.  Rebecca received her B.A. from Memorial University of Newfoundland and her LL.B. from the University of New Brunswick.

Jeremy Scott, LLB is the Senior Director of Taxation and Head of Tax for Sobey Inc., and it’s publicly traded parent company – Empire Company Limited.  He is responsible for the oversight of all aspects of tax compliance and planning.  Prior to accepting this role, Jeremy was the Director of Commodity Tax for Sobey, dealing specifically with the Federal Goods and Services Tax (GST and HST), Provincial Sales Tax, Excise Tax, Tobacco Tax, Fuel Tax, and Gasoline Tax.  Prior to joining Sobeys Jeremy was a Senior Manager in the Tax Group of Grant Thornton LLP in Halifax.  He has written articles for tax publications and has presented at a number of commodity tax conferences, seminars and professional development workshops.

Darlene Shaw, CPA, CA, is a Tax Senior Manager with Collins Barrow Nova Scotia. Darlene has 10 years of experience providing Canadian and US tax and advisory services to domestic and international clients in a variety of industries. Darlene is a graduate of Mount St. Vincent University (B. Ba.) (2009), and a Chartered Accountant (2011).

Jeffrey Sherman, BComm., MBA, FCSI, FCPA, FCA (Ontario), is CFO of Atrium Mortgage Investment Corporation (TSX:AI) and a popular writer and speaker, who has had extensive experience as a corporate director and chief financial officer. His interests include corporate governance, risk management and internal control, corporate finance, restructuring and start-up enterprises. Jeffrey has lectured and conducted courses for many organizations including CPA bodies across Canada, and was an adjunct professor at York University. He has written many magazine articles as well as over 20 books, including Strategy and PlanningToolkit for Small & Medium Businesses, published by CPA Canada.

Mark Singer is the National Leader of Grant Thornton’s sales tax practice. Located in Halifax, Mark also serves our clients within Atlantic Canada and has been doing so for 20 years.  Services provided by Mark include the provision of legislative interpretation, tax planning, tax compliance, participation in audits of financial statements, preparation of Notices of Objection and various special assignments regarding a variety of Canadian Sales and Indirect taxes.   Mark has also served as an instructor at the CPA Canada’s GST/HST In-Residence course and authored various articles and papers on GST.

Stephanie Smith, CPA, CA is a Tax Manager in the tax group of WBLI LLP Chartered Professional Accountants in Dartmouth. Stephanie works primarily with owner managers and professionals. She has experience in a wide range of areas of taxation including personal and corporate tax planning, compliance for personal, corporate, and trusts, corporate reorganizations, and estate planning.

Amanda Stager, CPA, CA is a tax manager with Grant Thornton LLP in Halifax. She has over 6 years of tax experience, and has completed the CPA Canada In-depth Tax Program.  Her primary focus is on small to medium sized owner-managed companies, completing tax compliance and succession and estate planning work at both the corporate and personal levels. In line with this focus, she also has experience with reorganizations and trusts.

David Strong, CPA, CA is a Dalhousie University graduate, and has been in public practice for 20 years. David worked for the first 15 years of his career with a large firm and then moved on to start his own practice, which he has been growing over the last five years. David works with his wife, a chartered business valuator, two accounting technicians, and one golden doodle, Molly. David’s practice has a wide range of clients in many different industries; for whom the firm conducts audits, reviews, compilations, tax, business valuations and related services.

Christopher Sullivan, CPA, CA has spent most of his 20-year accounting career as a tax specialist with large international accounting firms where he served clients in a wide range of industries. In 2015 Chris founded a boutique tax practice focused on serving current and former business owners, estates and trusts, and other independent CPA practices. Chris has completed CPA Canada’s In-Depth Tax Course and CPA Canada’s Advanced Tax Issues for the Owner-Managed Business. Chris has also been a tutorial leader for CPA Canada’s In-Depth Tax Course and presented at Canadian Tax Foundation events including the Atlantic Provinces Tax Conference.

Jon Tattrie was recruited in 2012 by veteran Dynamic Learning teacher Barry Boyce to continue his work training professionals to write clearly and effectively. Jon has spoken about writing at the University of King’s College and Dalhousie University, as well as to students across the province via the Writers in the Schools program. He is the award-winning author of one novel and two non-fiction books and has won three Atlantic Journalism Awards (silver). He is a consultant for Pottersfield Press and an editor for the Canadian Encyclopedia. He writes for Reader’s Digest, Canadian Geographic, Saltscapes, the Chronicle Herald, Progress Magazine and many others. He also works as an online, radio and TV journalist for CBC. Jon is a former vice-president of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.

Lisa Tilley is a Partner with Uprise Consulting. She is a graduate of Dalhousie University and has more than thirty years of experience working within the areas of Training and Development, Management and Leadership Coaching, Strategic Planning, Succession Planning and Talent Management. As a former award winning national and international elite athlete and coach, Lisa has been able to combine that insight and experience to drive performance success within the business world. As a certified coach and graduate of the Executive Leadership Training program with the University of Notre Dame, she applies her varied experience in organizational and business strategy to develop the leaders we need to support organizations who value their people development and performance.

Chris Trenaman, CPA, CA is an assurance principal with Grant Thornton's Halifax office with over 11 years of public accounting experience. He is responsible for the provision of audit and advisory services for a wide variety of the firm's clients, with emphasis on not-for-profit organizations and pension plans.

Sarah Veinot, CPA, CA

Jane Veldhoven, CPO® (Certified Professional Organizer) and founder of Get Organized By Design was honored with the 2014 Professional Organizers in Canada Harold Taylor Award for dedication to her industry and is a true leader in Canada. For the past fifteen years she has been working with busy professionals to help them manage their time and tasks to achieve their goals. Jane has a great affinity with accountants and business owners alike and has a deep understanding for the challenges associated with a billable hour environment. She helps her clients spend more time on revenue generating activities by introducing concepts, systems and processes for maximum productivity. She also enjoys helping her clients get organized at home whether it’s decluttering their space, designing and building storage solutions, renovating their home or moving to a new home.

Bill Vienneau, FCPA, FCA, CBV, TEP, CF, CFF is a Partner with MNP LLP in their Dartmouth office. His practice focuses on personal taxation, corporate taxation, business succession planning, estate planning and business valuation services. He has lectured to professional groups in the accounting, legal, insurance and other business areas. He is the author of numerous articles and publications on taxation and business matters and has provided expert testimony in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Supreme Courts on valuation and taxation matters.

Mara Vizzutti B.Ed, MA, is a seasoned facilitator and a certified executive coach. Originally from western Canada, Mara has been working in the field of leadership development since 1996. For over 20 years, she has been facilitating high caliber trainings to audiences of senior executives, supervisors and front line employees in diverse industries. During the course of her career, she has completed numerous training programs including a Master’s degree in Organizational Development and Leadership. Prior to her facilitation career, Mara enjoyed a successful career in sales and management. Mara’s areas of expertise include: team building, leadership development, transformational coaching and effective communication systems. Mara works with organizations to improve engagement showing leaders how to communicate effectively and successfully develop their future leaders. She is committed to creating more collaborative, inspiring work environments where people feel engaged. Her goal is to transform the process of business communications and to facilitate collaboration and healthy relationships in the workplace.

Robert Wadden, CPA, CA is a Principal with the Assurance service line in the Grant Thornton Sydney office of the Nova Scotia business unit. His experience includes providing auditing, accounting, and taxation services to both privately held businesses and public sector entities. He specializes in providing accounting assistance and advice in such areas as Accounting Standards for Private Enterprises, Accounting Standards for Not For Profit Organizations, and Public Sector Accounting Standards.

Garrett Wasny, MA, CMC, CITP/FITP, is an award-winning professional development technologist and former Price Waterhouse management consultant. He's authored three books, 30+ e-books, 100+ published articles and delivered more than 1,000 seminars and webinars on Internet strategy to accounting organizations worldwide. Full disclosure: Garrett provides objective information and is not affiliated with any company or technology highlighted in the presentation

Scott Weatherby, CPA, CA is the Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary of Newfoundland Capital Corporation Limited (TSX: NCC.A, NCC.B) which operates Newcap Radio, one of Canada’s leading radio broadcasters with 95 licences across Canada, including the recent expansion into Toronto and Vancouver as well as the local radio stations Q104 and Mix 96.5. He has been with the Company for over 17 years and is responsible for public reporting, corporate finance, treasury, corporate taxation and investor relations. He is also a key member of the Company’s strategic M&A team having been involved in numerous business acquisitions, divestitures and a subsidiary's IPO. Prior to joining Newcap, Scott spent ten years with Grant Thornton LLP, having various auditing and advisory roles as well as spending three years in the Firm’s National Human Resource Department with professional development, teaching and course development responsibilities.

Bryan Whalen is a Tax Manager with Grant Thornton's Halifax office. He is a tax specialist as he completed the 3 year In-depth tax program. His responsibility is for the provision of corporate and personal tax services for a wide variety of the firm's clients, with emphasis on owner manager businesses. Experience includes corporate and personal tax planning, succession and estate planning, reorganizations, and trusts.