Meet The Speakers

(sorted in alphabetical order)

Brad Andres, Director – Emergency Management Services, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry


Brad Andres joined the Alberta government in 2005 to work in the Emergency Management field. 


As an emergency manager in the provincial government, he has been involved in the Province’s work on many different events (the 2011 Slave Lake Wildfire, 2013 South Alberta Floods, 2016 Wood Buffalo Wildfire).    


Brad is currently the Director of the Emergency Management Section on the agriculture side of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.  He works closely with the teams from animal health, crop health and food safety branches to ensure that the department has plans in place and is ready to respond to outbreaks in those areas. 

Valerie Bohaychuk, PhD, Acting Executive Director, Food Safety Branch, Agriculture and Forestry, Government of Alberta


Dr. Valerie Bohaychuk began her career with the Government of Alberta in 1988, after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree with a Specialization in Microbiology from the University of Alberta.  Valerie’s first position was as a laboratory technician conducting microbiological analyses of food products in the Food Microbiology Laboratory.  From 1991 to 2004, Valerie had the position of a Laboratory Scientist where she coordinated and conducted projects in collaboration with industry, universities and other government agencies, assisted clients in resolving food safety and quality issues, supported industry clients in the development of quality assurance and HACCP programs, and performed microbiological analyses.  During this period, Valerie returned to the University of Alberta to further her education and received a PhD in Food Science and Technology in 2004. 


From 2004 to 2008, Valerie held the position of Research Scientist where she led and coordinated surveillance and research projects in cooperation with other government, industry, university and international collaborators and authored or co-authored 13 peer-reviewed publications.  In 2008, Valerie moved into management and is currently the Director of the Agri-Food Assurance Section in the Food Safety Branch in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.  In this position, Valerie leads a large, diverse team comprised of management, scientific, technical, policy, outreach, administrative and quality assurance staff.  Recently, Valerie has had the opportunity to act as the Executive Director of the Food Safety Branch and to chair the Food Supply Chain Working Group, which was formed early in the COVID-19 pandemic to monitor and respond to potential food supply chain disruptions in Alberta.

Christoph Buchmann, Account Manager, Dematic


For more than a decade Christoph has worked in the supply chain industry at a global level, gaining exposure to supply chain and logistics operations across diverse markets. With a strong engineering background, Christoph combines his experience in both sales and project management to focus on developing automated system solutions in supply chain and order fulfillment operations for distribution centers. Christoph collaborates with end-users, 3PL companies, and consultants to develop solutions using a data driven agnostic approach with an operations focus that includes current state analysis, operations planning, and strategic/tactical planning. As a Dematic North America Account Manager Christoph supports the organization in providing engineering logistics solutions for warehousing and distribution operations across Canada.

James Cairns, Senior Vice-President, Rail Centric Supply Chain, Canadian National Railway 


James Cairns was appointed Senior Vice-President, Rail Centric Supply Chain in April 2019. He oversees the execution and expansion of CN’s bulk and merchandise carload businesses, leading the commercial teams and non-rail operations in his supply chains, and adapting all last-mile services for customers. 


In this role, Mr. Cairns is responsible for CN's grain, fertilizers, sulphur and coal businesses as well as for petroleum and chemicals, forest products, and metals and minerals. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Cairns was Vice-President, Petroleum and Chemicals since March 2010 and Assistant Vice-President of CN's domestic intermodal since 2006. 

Mr. Cairns joined CN in 1988 as a train order operator, before being promoted to rail traffic controller and then to team leader with CN's Customer Service Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He entered the Sales and Marketing world in 1997 as an Intermodal account manager in Toronto, and was promoted to director, Intermodal Sales in 1999. Mr. Cairns then successively held senior positions in Intermodal Wholesale, Petroleum & Plastics Marketing, and IMX operations.


Mr. Cairns holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from the University of Winnipeg and an MBA from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. 

Alex Dale, Global Solution Consultant, Dematic


Alex is involved in the commercialization of new solutions at Dematic. His 15+ years in the grocery industry, recently rolling out a national e-commerce program & developing a combined growth and Micro-Fulfillment strategy, enables him to serve as the “Voice of the Customer” constantly challenging Dematic to respond to the ever-changing market needs in order to create customer advocates. This ensures Dematic customers have a thorough understanding of the many ways Micro-Fulfillment can provide seamless online and in-store experiences for consumers. Alex is currently hosting sessions spanning North America and European audiences, sharing the benefits of Dematic’s ability to power the future of commerce. Alex’s consumer-driven mindset ensures he is hyper-focused on developing E-Commerce and Omni-Channel solutions that not only improve top-line Operational Metrics, but enhance the end Customer Experience as well.


Deryk Gillespie, VP Technology & Innovation, Trimac


Deryk was exposed to the world of transportation at an early age.


After completing his B.Comm at the University of Saskatchewan, Deryk spent 19 years at CP Rail, holding roles of increasing responsibility. His reputation as a change agent with a passion for operational excellence provided him the opportunity to lead the financial planning and analysis function during major transformational change within the company.


Recognizing the coming disruptions within the trucking and transportation industry, Deryk saw the unique opportunity to play a key role in guiding Trimac through this period. In the 4.5 years since his arrival, Deryk has already made significant strides to modernize the areas he has overseen, including fleet, capital planning, dispatch service centers, and IT.


Neeraj Gupta, Chief Strategy Officer,  Attabotics 

Neeraj is the Chief Strategy Officer at Attabotics. An angel investor & serial entrepreneur, he is an expert in Global Startup Ecosystem Building, Strategy, Product Management, Startup Investment, Intellectual Property Consulting, Innovation Management, Deep Technology (AI/ML/IoT), and Technology Commercialization. Neeraj is also the author of a book called ""Creating & safeguarding a strong Intellectual Property Portfolio."" He has mentored 100+ startups globally and also angel invested in a couple. Neeraj holds a Bachelor's Degree in Material Science from IIT (India), a Master's Degree in Mathematics from KTH (Sweden), and PGPX from UCLA Anderson School of Management (USA) in General Management.

David Kalinchuk, Economic Development Manager, Rocky View County


David Kalinchuk is the Economic Development Manager for Rocky View County. Surrounding the City of Calgary, Rocky View is widely regarded as the center of logistics and warehousing for Western Canada. In 2018, as a result of his work with large company investments, Dave was awarded Alberta’s Economic Developer of the Year. Dave has worked with many successful companies as they’ve expanded or moved into Rocky View. His responsibilities include investment attraction, site selector communications, marketing and corporate image development.


Prior to working for Rocky View, Dave was the Manager of Economic Development for the City of Prince Rupert in British Columbia. Dave also worked for the Virden-Wallace Community Development Corporation in his home town in Manitoba. Before moving to Alberta in 2001, Dave sat on the Province of Manitoba’s Rural Advisory Committee, the Science and Technology Advisory Committee, and was a councilor on the Premier’s Economic Innovation and Technology Council (EITC). In British Columbia, Dave was a member of the Province’s Offshore Oil and Gas Task Force.


In Dave’s extra time, he cooks exotic cuisine and is regarded as a culinary horticulturalist. Dave also paints and regularly travels overseas to deliver lectures at universities, business schools and international conferences throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Dave has written a book entitled Rich for the Right Reasons – Economic Development of the Individual and keeps busy promoting the book and speaking to groups large and small. Dave’s professional memberships include the International Economic Development Council in Washington D.C. (IEDC), Economic Developers Association of Alberta (EDA) and the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC). Dave is also a member of CoreNet (Corporate Real Estate Network), the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC), the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

Koleya Karringten, President / Founder, Canadian Blockchain Consortium  & CEOAbsolute Combustion International


A proud Albertan technology entrepreneur, advocate and leader, Koleya Karringten has a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities of product commercialization, ecosystem building and fostering inclusion in the technology industry. As the co-founder and CEO of Absolute Combustion, she has spent a decade successfully designing and developing ground-breaking cleantech solutions for multiple industry sectors, including aerospace and Oil & Gas. She is a driving force in Alberta’s blockchain technology industry as the CEO of Bitquest Corp., the Executive Director of the Alberta Blockchain Consortium (ABC), co-founder and board member of the Canadian Blockchain Association for Women (CBAW), and CEO of Civitas Events Corp. In her leadership role at the ABC, she has merged her passions for technology and social good to bring together blockchain companies, corporate leaders and government to build the province’s largest blockchain ecosystem organization. An influential public speaker, writer and community volunteer, Koleya strongly believes that uniting diverse voices behind a common goal is the path to creating a fairer, more sustainable and prosperous Alberta.

Tyler Martin, HSSE Manager - Maple Leaf Foods Inc. Edmonton Poultry

Tyler graduated from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology with a Diploma in Occupational Health and safety and has been a safety professional for last 12 years. The last 9 years Tyler has been serving as Maple Leaf Foods – Edmonton Poultry health and safety leader, developing a strong workplace culture while demonstrating the Maple Leaf Foods world class values. Tyler has an unwitting passion for safety with a focus on building collaborative teams and strong company culture. In his spare time Tyler enjoys spending time outdoors with his family camping, fishing and hunting.

James Moller, General Manager, Alberta & Manitoba Region, Retail, CrossIron Mills, Ivanhoe Cambridge 


After graduating from the University of Lethbridge with a Bachelor of Management degree, James started his career in shopping centre management in 1996. Over the past 25 years James has worked in a number of commercial real estate developments throughout Alberta and British Columbia. 


Prior to joining CrossIron Mills in 2009 as General Manager, he spent 4 years as General Manager at Coquitlam Centre and 6 years as General Manager at Mayfair Centre in Victoria. 


Currently James is lending his experience to the Ivanhoe Cambridge teams for all properties in Alberta and Manitoba including the Outlet Collection of Winnipeg and Outlet Collections at Edmonton International Airport.  

In his spare time, James is a guest lecturer and mentor for the Haskayne School of Business and for the past 12 years a director and President of the Balzac Business Community Association. James holds his Certified Shopping Center Manager, CSM, designation for the International Council of Shopping Centres.  


Adrian Munro, President, Highfield Investment Group Inc.


Adrian is President of Highfield Investment Group.  Highfield Investment Group is a diversified investment company that operates and manages assets in residential, commercial & industrial real estate developments, construction, property management, oil & gas, hospitality, farming operation, and thoroughbred racing & breeding operation.  


With a 4000-acre assembly of land currently under management, Highfield is one of the largest privately owned and independent land developers in Calgary.  Highfield’s portfolio includes High Plains Industrial Park a 1,100-acre master planned industrial park located in Rocky View County. High Plains is home to Sobeys, Lowe’s Canada, CHEP Canada, Home Depot Canada, Smucker Foods Canada, and Gordon Food Service as well numerous corporate customers who are slated to develop their new facilities. High Plains has close to 5 Million sq. ft. under roof since it’s inception in 2012.


Since 2004, Mr. Munro has led Highfield’s operations including the oversite of joint ventures, partnerships, and the land portfolio.  Mr. Munro’s proven ability to see and create value in a variety of market sectors has been vital to Highfield’s sustained success as a leading investment group.


Prior to his tenure with Highfield Investment Group, Mr. Munro held key roles with IBM in the United States, including Lead Financial Analyst for IBM’s Boeing contract, Financial Manager of Central Region Data Centers, and Commercial Contracts Manager. In these roles, he led teams of financial analysts and was responsible for a broad portfolio of commercial contracts. 

Alexis Pappas, Executive Director, Canadian Blockchain Association for Women & Director of Industry Digitization, Canadian Blockchain Consortium


Alexis Pappas is a writer and consultant with a background in varied fields including energy, bioscience, clean technology and digital innovations. A key focus of her writing and advocacy is on the economic and sociological implications of technological shifts, and the impact that our transforming world may have on underrepresented and disenfranchised groups. Passionate about diversity, Indigenous rights and Alberta’s economic potential, Alexis is the Executive Director of the Canadian Blockchain Association for Women and the Energy Director of the Alberta Blockchain Consortium.

Rick Pozniak, Director of Digital Solutions, Rexel


Rick Pozniak is a business transformation specialist who’s passion for automating and improving processes includes everything from the factory floor to marketing to transactional automation.  He has spent many years in the electrical and industrial automation space and is currently the Director of Digital Solutions for the world’s largest electrical distribution organization, Rexel.  Recently, Rick completed the Digital Leadership program at UBC and resides in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Hon. Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation, Government of Alberta


Doug Schweitzer is a lawyer, who was elected in the 2019 Alberta general election to represent the electoral district of Calgary-Elbow in the 30th Alberta Legislature. Doug Schweitzer was appointed Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation (formerly Economic Development, Trade and Tourism) on August 25, 2020.

Ken Sills, CTO and Co-founder 

Since developing the initial prototype of this hardware/software solution in 2015, Ken has been focused on building Preteckt's team of engineers, scientists, business developers, and sales professionals so that the transportation industry can benefit from efficient generation of high-precision repair plans.


Ken has over two decades of R&D experience creating solutions that couple hardware, software, and data science. His diverse background often provides an outsider's perspective on problems, allowing him to craft solutions that apply tool sets from many seemingly independent fields of research. Skills honed in Computational Astrophysics that provide a unique advantage in Machine Vision. Skills honed in Continuous Emission Tomography that allow for improved Data Visualization in the trucking industry. Teaching skills developed as a Professor of Physics that map directly onto the role of chief product evangelist.


Ken's work has been published in books and in peer-reviewed journals, and hardware and software that he has developed is deployed around the world.

Patrick Tammer - Director, Investments at Scale AI


Patrick Tammer is an Investment Director with Scale AI where he manages a pan-Canadian portfolio of investments across industries. Prior to joining Scale, Patrick worked for the Boston Consulting Group and the United Nations Development Program.