About the Conference

Learn locally from the best!

Managing people and modern workplaces need not be a challenge. Experience an incredible day of inspiration, tools and networking at the second annual HRPA Eastern Conference 2019: Emerging Workplace Trends. Sessions include employment law, talent management, leadership and performance management. Be motivated by dynamic keynotes from world-class speaker Gary Gzik and Unstoppable Tracy. This one-day conference will be held September 26, 2019 in Kingston at the Ambassador Hotel and Conference Centre. Meet peers and colleagues at the East Side Social networking night September 25, hosted by HRPA chapters Cornwall, Brockville, Quinte, Kingston and Peterborough.

Embrace your HR opportunity and see you in Kingston!

Watch last year's recap video >>

September 25 - Join us at our East-Side Social!


Who needs the Six when you're a VIP in Limestone City? Eastern Conference attendees are invited to the 2nd annual East Side Social from 6-8 p.m. on September 25 (the night before the conference). Snack on some appetizers and make connections with your HR neighbours in the thriving local community!

This is a complimentary event. To reserve your spot, select "AND Networking" option when registering. 

Keynote Speakers


Session Speakers

Anne-Catherine Verreault
Matt Richardson
Robert W. Turner
​Colin Youngman
Louise Dandonneau



Date and Time

Starts:09/26/2019 8:30 AM

Ends:09/26/2019 5:00 PM

Event Type: Conference

7 CPD Hours


Ambassador Hotel & Conference Centre


HRPA Members: $250 + Taxes

Non-Members: $350+ Taxes

Student Members: $100 + Taxes

Go Anywhere with a $1000 Travel Voucher!

How far can you get with $1000? One lucky Eastern Conference delegate will have the chance to find out! Attendees will be entered to win a $1000 CAD travel voucher from itravel2000.com, redeemable for flights, hotels and more – with no blackout dates!

Conference Sponsors

About the Conference

Learn locally from the best!

Managing people and modern workplaces need not be a challenge. Experience an incredible day of inspiration, tools and networking at the second annual HRPA Eastern Conference 2019: Emerging Workplace Trends. Sessions include employment law, talent management, leadership and performance management. Be motivated by dynamic keynotes from world-class speaker Gary Gzik and Unstoppable Tracy. This one-day conference will be held September 26, 2019 in Kingston at the Ambassador Hotel and Conference Centre. Meet peers and colleagues at the East Side Social networking night September 25, hosted by HRPA chapters Cornwall, Brockville, Quinte, Kingston and Peterborough.

Embrace your HR opportunity and see you in Kingston!

Watch last year's recap video >>

September 25 - Join us at our East-Side Social!


Who needs the Six when you're a VIP in Limestone City? Eastern Conference attendees are invited to the 2nd annual East Side Social from 6-8 p.m. on September 25 (the night before the conference). Snack on some appetizers and make connections with your HR neighbours in the thriving local community!

This is a complimentary event. To reserve your spot, select "AND Networking" option when registering. 

Keynote Speakers


Session Speakers

Anne-Catherine Verreault
Matt Richardson
Robert W. Turner
​Colin Youngman
Louise Dandonneau

Did You Know?











Conference Sessions



Morning Keynote: Team Human

We spend the majority of our waking lives at work. Work is a necessity for all but a select few. It allows us to put food on the table, a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs. However, many of us are unwilling participants in the War on Work. We live for the weekends and holidays. We count down the days until retirement. And as we tick the days of our lives off, we forget what work could mean – that it doesn't have to be something to fight against. We need work for more than just a paycheck at the end of the week. Work can (and should) provide us with so much more – belonging, appreciation, achievement, growth.

In this workshop, we dare teams and companies to join Team Human and create strong cultures by working from the inside out – helping all their people contribute each day to the culture through their choices. We teach participants how to change culture from a noun to a verb – treating it not as something you have, but something each person does.

Speaker: ​Gary Gzik

Morning Breakout:

High Potential Traits and Alignment with Leadership Pipeline

This session will explore the effect of personality traits on leadership, with an introduction to the High Potential Trait Indicator (HPTI) as a measure.  We will examine recent data for North American leaders' traits, relative to their impact on business, and how these insights can be used practically in business to develop your leadership pipeline.  

We will explore:

  • What is potential and how do we measure it at work?
  • Why is personality such an important measure of potential?
  • How do specific personality traits predict potential at work?
  • How do we leverage personality traits for high potential identification and succession planning?
  • Keys to developing leadership capability

Speaker:​Lisa Klaehn

Employee Benefits: A tool in your HR Toolkit

In this session you will learn the elements of a benefits plan, how they are priced today and at the annual renewal, and emerging trends in employee benefits to evolve you plans into the future.

Speaker:​Bryce Parisotto

Performance Management for Small to Medium Enterprises


Whether you are in a small or medium-sized organization, performance management is vital to the growth of both employees and the company. Optimal performance will benefit the organization in many ways: reduced turnover costs, increased productivity, better legal compliance and stronger employee engagement.

Performance management consists of two main elements – goal setting and performance review. This session will focus mainly on setting performance objectives and finding new ways of managing performance.

  • Goals of Performance Management
  • Performance Management Process (SMART)
  • Performance Management versus Performance Appraisal
  • Performance Appraisals • Connecting Performance Management and Appraisals
  • Performance Management and Compensation Link 

Speaker: Anne-Catherine Verreault

Social Media Investigations 101 for HR Professionals

As HR Professionals you have the opportunity to avoid hiring an applicant that could compromise your organization's brand, leak sensitive information, speak unfavorably online, create a toxic work culture (bullying), or even put employees at personal risk of violence. A professional social media and web background investigation could be the difference between a successful or regrettable hiring decision.

Learning Objectives:

  • Creating The Investigative Framework and Strategy
  • Advanced Social Media Search and Investigative Tips and Strategies
  • Google "Voodoo" and Search Operators
  • Protecting Your "Brand"
  • Key Sources of Information
  • Tools and Resources

Speaker: Matt Richardson

Afternoon Super Session: Conflict First Aid: What Concretely Helps, How to Stay Out of the Middle

Conflict, complaints and disruption are sometimes ugly, powerful and costly stressors in today's workplaces. What really helps with the costs and to better support those affected? What can make the difference when it's not well handled, escalates, and gets ugly?


This fast moving and resource-filled talk delivers simple, powerful new skills that illuminate what's needed for effective Conflict First Aid™.


Learning Outcomes:


  • Explain how those affected - especially leaders in teams, HR and Unions - can ensure any next step in Conflict First Aid™ is appropriate.
  • Describe where options like workplace mediation, coaching and restoration fit.
  • List the first steps in Conflict First Aid that best support and can sustain a lasting resolution. 
  • Outline the key to offering support and yet stay out of the middle.
  • Sustain accountability, ethics and the need for HR, management and teams to address problem solving effectively.
  • Use resources to illuminate the skills, including conflict "mapping" questions.


Speaker:Joan McLeod

Afternoon Breakout 1:

Succession Planning: Growing your Talent

A recent Deloitte study (2018) states "While 86 percent of leaders believe leadership succession planning is an "urgent" or "important" priority, only 14 percent believe they do it well."  Attend this breakout session and get it right!

Learning Objectives:

  • starting from first principles, what makes an organization effective
  • delving into where succession planning fits within an integrated talent management process
  • understanding how to evaluate both the "what" and the "how" within the succession planning process
  • reviewing the 3 steps to a successful succession planning process
  • understanding HR's role in concert with Line Management's role in the process
  • realizing that you've got the process done - now what?

Speaker: ​​Robert W. Turner

The Invisible Disability: The Challenges of Accommodating Psychological Disabilities

Mental health issues are among the most difficult to identify and address in the workplace. The disability is often "invisible" and the effect of an illness will be different for each employee. Subjective assumptions and stereotypes remain and accessing, understanding and managing medical information presents unique challenges.  Discipling employee misconduct while satisfying the duty to accommodate is often a struggle for employers.  

Learning Objectives:

  • Get a primer on the employer's duty to accommodate psychological disabilities
  • Identify what medical information an employer is entitled to and when an independent medical examination may be appropriate
  • Learn how to effectively address employee behaviour where mental illness is a factor
  • Explore the latest caselaw to identify what employers are doing right and where they are getting it wrong 

Speaker: Colin Youngman

The Human Side of Cyber Security

You cannot read or watch the news without breaking news about breaches, hacking or other great computer based event. While the news talks about the computer and how an organization may have been hacked the Human linkage is not always front and center. Join Louise Dandonneau as she provides her insights in to the Human Side of Cyber Security and how an organization's human resources team play a more in-depth role in Cyber Security than many think.

Learning Objectives:

  • What is Cyber?
  • Why is it important
  • What does the impact of a cyber-event look like?
  • What can you do?
  • How to stay informed and next steps 

Speaker: Louise Dandonneau

Afternoon Breakout 2:

Ethical Leadership: What’s the Big Deal Anyway?

Leadership is arguably one of the most researched and published topics of the last century. However, amidst increasing world social and economic uncertainty, access to information, scandals, and focus on concentration of wealth and power, the angle through which leadership is explored has evolved. Today's organizations and their leaders bear an increasingly broad level of accountability for the health of our organizations, our communities, and society. As the evolution of work continues to accelerate, fuelled by technology, the advent of social media, and the coming of age of millennials, the concept of Ethical Leadership has re-emerged as a key interest for researchers and companies alike.

In this interactive session, the speaker will draw on a psychological perspective and empirical research results to help demystify what Ethical Leadership truly means, why it is so important, and why it is never as easy to apply from the driver's seat as to onlookers.

Participants will gain:

  1. Increased clarity on how Ethical Leadership is defined and the conditions that have led to its popularity today.
  2. Awareness of the various constructs related to Ethical Leadership and the variables that mitigate its demonstration, as well as its link to positive organizational and social outcomes.
  3. Exposure to methods for identifying and cultivating Ethical Leadership. 

Speaker: Cheddi Suddith

Employment Law 101 - Updates

In 2018, many employers made significant revisions to their workplace policies and procedures based on Bill 148's sweeping changes to Ontario's workplace laws.  As a result of the election of a new government in June 2018 and the legislative reform that followed, many revised policies and procedures are no longer in-step with Ontario's statutory scheme. This session will provide participants with a broad overview of the key legislative amendments over the past year, as well as developing case law on central employment issues.

Relevant to the increasing emphasis on issues of workplace harassment, participants will also learn about the legislative requirements as well as best practices when conducting a workplace investigation.

 Learning Outcomes:

 In this session the participant will:

  •  Gain an understanding of recent updates to Ontario's workplace laws, including the Employment Standards Act, 2000, the Labour Relations Act, 1995, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
  • Learn which changes made by Bill 148 were amended or repealed by Bill 47;
  • Learn about additional changes to the statutory scheme made by Bill 66;
  • Hear about the latest court and arbitration decisions on key workplace issues, such as contracts, discipline and termination, harassment, and employee entitlements; and
  • Learn how to approach employee complaints of workplace harassment and gain insight on the investigation process from an experience workplace investigator

Speaker: Cristy Nurse

Effectively Managing Challenging Employees:Getting the Most out of Performance Management and Progressive Discipline

Each day you spend 80% of your time, managing 20% of your workforce. This could range from dealing with an underperformer, to an employee who has attended work with recreational drugs, to an employee who is chronically late and/or absent from work. Attend this session to better understand the principles of performance management and progressive discipline, when to employ which, and how to optimize the process and outcome.  Although the goal is always to correct the issue, this session will also assist in identifying when it is time to part way, including considering a termination for cause and/or not for cause.

Learning Outcomes:

  • learn the difference between performance management and employee discipline
  • understand when to performance manage and when to use your employee discipline process
  • common mistakes and pitfalls in process(es) of performance management and employee discipline
  • how to properly document the file so more legally defensible
  • understand when to terminate for cause or not for cause

Speaker: Krista Siedlak

Closing Keynote: Activate Change Capable

Crack the "Limitless Secret" and "Unstoppable You" with insights to overcome barriers, uncertainty and fear and become the super hero you and your teams always knew they could be when in the face of change.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Find out how to turn "No" into accepted counter-offers with resistant players
  • Discover how to exceed uncertainties with deep capable belief and embrace possibilities when you don't know how to activate change
  • Learn how to earn independence by sorting out the right lifelines fostering capability
  • Understand that what you focus on grows in activating capability

Speaker: Unstoppable Tracy

Speaker bio(s)


garyKeynote Gary Gzik [back to top]​


Gary Gzik is an international presenter, trainer, consultant, author, and all-around enthusiastic guy who has been inspiring people and organizations for over 30 years. As CEO of BizXcel Inc., Gary has worked with hundreds of organizations and over 10,000 individuals through his training and consulting work in the areas of: leadership development, team building, personal development, conflict resolution, train the trainer models, effective communication skills, strategic planning and customer service improvement. He believes that every person and organization has the ability to be exceptional. This philosophy has gained him a solid reputation for producing great results. He awakens thoughts that motivate people to change the way they look at their lives and the way they do their work.

Speaker Lisa Klaehn, Senior Consultant [back to top]​


Coming from a background of adult and health education into human resources services, Lisa has held the position of Senior Consultant with Thomas North America since 2002. She draws from experience of using Thomas’ Personal Profile Analysis as a client before joining the company and is effective at discerning issues within organizations to propose appropriate assessment solutions for their talent management and business concerns. She forges strong and long-lasting relationships with her clients in their businesses, with a view to support them to achieve their business and professional goals through application of the suite of Thomas assessments. She regularly facilitates PPA Certification Training, and develops and delivers customized workshops for leaders, teams, and sales. Her reputation is that of “trusted advisor” and she consistently receives high ratings of client satisfaction.


Bryce Parisotto, Employee Benefits Consultant [back to top]​

Bryce Parisotto

Bryce began his career in employee benefits 1997 with London Life after graduating from University of Ottawa. London Life was purchased by Great-Wert Life shortly thereafter where he worked as employee benefits specialist helping educate insurance advisors on employee benefits so that they could offer this service to their clients. In this role Bryce gained an indepth knowledge of the product features and pricing options of employee benefits plans. He was transferred to Kingston in 1999 where he managed the Kingston Group Insurance office until 2007.
In 2007, Bryce left Great-West Life to become a benefits consultant, first with a local financial planning firm, then went out on his own and started Benefits Consulting Plus in 2010. Benefits Consulting Plus specializes in helping businesses design and implement employee benefits plans. As an independent firm, they analyze proposals from all group insurers so that their clients are getting the right plan, plan design and funding option for their clients.



Speaker Anne-Catherine Verreault [back to top]​

A member of Solertia’s team since 2012, Anne-Catherine Verreault is Human Resources professional passionate for the field. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management and a Technical diploma in Accounting and Management. She is also a certified trainer, and recognized for her excellent teaching talents.

Anne-Catherine possesses a vast experience as a Generalist, and offers her innovative expertise on the workplace environment, conflict resolution, and harassment. Her other interests include pay equity, and she remains committed to ensuring her clients’ compliance as she guides them through their strategic reflection, and seeks to reduce their legal and financial risks. Anne-Catherine is a meticulous and effective business partner, an exceptional collaborator, and deeply appreciated by clients and colleagues alike.


Speaker Matt Richardson [back to top]​

Matt Richardson is an expert on Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) and social media and internet investigations. Upon completing the Ontario Police College program for OSINT Matt began teaching the art of online investigations as well as cutting edge internet safety seminars. His background working in politics and the provincial and federal civil service and OSINT credential lead to him providing elected officials and staff with skills to conduct effective background investigations on job applicants and perform “digital threat assessments”. Matt is currently an OSINT Trainer and Advisor for Special Projects for Echosec Systems, and in 2019 founded the “Digital Empowerment Project” (Canada) in partnership with a retired Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) investigator for the Ohio State ICAC Task Force. PAST AND PRESENT CLIENTS (NOT LIMITED TO) Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Internet Communications Technology Council (ICTC) Queen’s University - Dept. of Sociology and Criminology CFB Trenton Military Family Resource Centre Hastings Prince Edward District School Board Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board Loyalist College HIGHLIGHTS Queen’s University - Dept. of Sociology and Criminology Designing and delivering lectures on geo-spacial intelligence, social media and Darknet searches for criminal investigations and academic research for the Ph.d programs. Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Delivered seminars on Open Source Intelligence and Social Media investigations for teams of Street Crime Officers and Detectives. Information Communications Technology Council (ICTC): Delivered webinars and seminars and designed resource materials for the ICTC and their “Digital Dash” project and “Cyber Titan” program. Hastings Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) Designing a suite of custom online safety and digital well-being resources and online learning modules for teachers that align with provincial curriculum requirements.


Speaker Joan McLeod, FOUNDER, CEO [back to top]​

Joan A. McLeod, M.A. is co-founder of Conflict Navigator, Inc. and creator of Conflict First Aid™: the training and support that fills the "third side" of the physical and mental health ‘triangle’. Conflict First Aid is like Standard First Aid, but for conflict!

After 25 years of professional practice, leadership and research, Joan has "been there" and brings both the respect and a sense of humour to prove it. With interactive delivery she's endeared herself to front-line, professional and executive audiences. Years of work wearing a hard-hat and coveralls or in executive boardrooms have ensured her unique understanding of how to support problem solving for audiences and teams of either a challenging few or tens of thousands.

Joan holds a Masters Degree in Conflict Analysis and Management, and extensive certification in coaching, facilitation, mediation, system design, project management, program evaluation and intervention.

She lives near the water in a heritage limestone with husband, Bruce, sons Brodie and Torin, and a husky-malamute, Sangha, in Kingston, Ontario.


Speaker Robert W. Turner [back to top]​

Robert’s career has taken him to both sides of the table as Governance/Talent Management consultant and a seasoned Human Resources executive. He brings forward a multi-industry and multi-geographic (Canadian, North American and Global) perspective. As a consultant, having held Partner level responsibility with Mercer Canada, Robert has worked with a range of clients: CEOs and their CHROs and/or Board Chairs and their Committees in both public and private companies – large organizations and start-ups. This leveraged the work done as an HR executive where he held a mix of interim and permanent positions at Arthur J. Gallagher Canada, Alberta Heath Sciences, Symcor, Descartes Systems, Canadian Tire, PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble. At WMC, his core practice is governance oversight and developing customized people management approaches to help leaders deliver their business strategies and manage change. These approaches and programs include performance management, succession planning, executive coaching, employee engagement, training / development and total compensation / rewards programs.

Born in the Gaspe, Quebec; Robert was raised in Toronto and has worked in Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton. He earned his BSc at the University of Toronto, his MBA at The Ivey Business School, his co-active coaching at CTI and his ICD.D certification at Rotman. Robert sits on the Advisory Board of two start-up organizations and sits on the Executive Committee and Chairs the Finance and Human Resources Committee on the Board of Collingwood General and Marine Hospital. He also enjoys downhill skiing at the TSC, road biking with the Collingwood Cycling Club and golf through Clublink.


Speaker Colin Youngman, Lawyer [back to top]​

Colin Youngman is a labour and employment lawyer in Hicks Morley’s Kingston office. He advises and represents both unionized and non-unionized employers throughout Eastern Ontario. He is regularly engaged in wrongful dismissal litigation, occupational health and safety matters, labour arbitration cases, Ontario Labour Relations Board proceedings and human rights proceedings. Colin also advises clients with respect to information and privacy matters including data breach response. Colin emphasizes proactive and creative solutions to workplace issues and disputes. Prior to entering law school, Colin worked as a Social Worker at the Frontenac Children’s Aid Society in Kingston. Colin is an active member of the Pittsburgh Community Benefit Fund Board of Directors and is also a member of the Pladec Day Care Centre Board.


Speaker Louise Dandonneau [back to top]​



Louise Dandonneau

Louise has spent over 20 years of her career in the Financial Services Industry, focused on incident response and process innovation and applying these methodologies to Cyber. Passionate about good cyber metrics, evolving testing capabilities and influencing processes she collaborates frequently and often within the industry.


Speaker Cheddi Suddith [back to top]​



Cheddi Suddith is a Regional Leader and Senior Organizational Psychology Consultant at SPB. For nearly 20 years, he has led multiple mandates geared toward identifying leadership potential at all levels within organizations, helping them recognize and define the criteria for their success and matching talents in order to achieve business goals and continue to grow and evolve through their people. He is a regular facilitator of workshops and seminars on a variety of topics related to leadership and individual, as well as team performance at work.


Speaker Cristy Nurse,  [back to top]​



Cristy Nurse grew up on her family’s dairy farm in Georgetown, Ontario. When urban pressures prompted a relocation to Prince Edward County, Cristy followed the family east. After completing her articles with Templeman’s Belleville office, Cristy joined the firm’s Labour and Employment Group on her Call to the Bar in 2018.

Cristy holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph where she was awarded Academic All-Canadian status, a distinction recognizing varsity athletes who maintain Dean’s List standing, and received the Marion McKenzie prize as the top student in Canadian history.

Cristy subsequently attended the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, graduating cum laude in 2013. While in Ottawa, she completed placements with the Department of Justice and the Adjudication Board of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as well as an internship in the office of the Honourable Michael Chong, Member of Parliament for Wellington-Halton Hills.

A member of Guelph’s OUA-Championship basketball team, Cristy went on to become an Olympian and six-time world medallist in the sport of rowing. Both during and after completing her law degree, Cristy trained and competed with Canada’s national team and is a former Rowing Canada athlete of the year

Krista Siedlak, Partner [back to top]​



Krista Siedlak is a lawyer and HR Advisor with the firm Turnpenney Milne LLP. Krista provides strategic and practical advice on all aspects of human resource law. She works extensively in the field of workplace respect and harassment, ranging from training managers and employees, to conducting workplace audits and investigations, to resolving complaints. Krista speaks and writes frequently, including at the Human Resource Professionals Association and Osgoode Professional Development Program.



Keynote Unstoppable Tracy [back to top]​



You are going to be blown away …not only is she a powerhouse from inspiration and motivational standpoint after 27 million views the last 2 weeks but this woman is also a powerhouse in business. TV Show host Unstoppable Tracy is a #1 international mega success TEDx speaker who spoke in 40+ countries. She has shared the stage and events with Dr Phil, Jane Fonda, Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson, John Travolta and dozens more A listers! Her mind-blowing story always gets standing ovations pushing audiences out of their limitation zones to taking action.

She has been in magazines such as in OPRAH’s “O” and Chatelaine and on covers like Thrive and in Business Booster Today as well as seen on NBC, CBC, ABC and globally around the world … As 2018's #1 Female Global Transformational John Maxwell Leader … she has represented companies such as Air Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Uber in times of crisis …where Tracy became a major disrupt-or, resulting in out-performing the stock market.

She has climbed the Himalaya Mountains and captained tall ships in the Eastern Atlantic and a decorated world cup athlete in a male dominated sport of sailing who has lived as a Premier Awarded Humanitarian in developing countries such as Uganda, Nepal, Mexico and Jamaica to name only a few!!!

Tracy is both a Best-Selling Author on Amazon and with her Publisher of the book ‘Unstoppable YOU; Delivering the Limitless Secret’ Grab your Free Download in the comments. To top it all off... if she is not incredible enough in Business, as a Humanitarian, as a world Cup Sailor and a mountain climber … she was also born a 4 way amputee with no hands and no legs, no problem.

Her mantra: If I Can Do It You Can Do It! No Excuses! #UnstoppableTracy

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