Introducing Craig Gauthier


His Twitter profile says nothing ordinary, which is probably the best way to describe our next speaker. Craig Gauthier, a self-professed creative geek, wears many hats as an entrepreneur, investor, filmmaker, author and speaker.

Before his sixth birthday, Craig was diagnosed with having severe asthma after a handful of terrifying near-death experiences. I was allergic to everything. There were many sleepless nights just trying to breathe. Craig credits his childhood health problems with his diversity and internal drive. You don’t really know what you’re capable of until you face adversity. Overcoming adversity builds confidence. Confidence helps you believe in yourself. When you believe in yourself – you never give up.

Craig’s journey has been anything but linear. I was a film major in University. But, I didn’t want to be a starving artist. I had an affinity for numbers and statistics. So, the latter won out and I began trading futures and derivatives at the age of 19. This triggered a series of unconventional business ventures that included gumball machines, brokering tickets, repairing personal computers and handicapping thoroughbreds to help fund his trading business and University education.

After becoming a certified Enterprise Network Architect, Craig entered the dot com era with his first tech start-up EworldIT. After a few lean, but profitable years Craig decided to exit just as the Internet bubble burst in 2000.

Shortly after, Craig found his passion for leadership and teaching when he accepted a position as a professor in the School of Advanced Technology at Algonquin College. During his five-year tenure, Craig won multiple awards for teaching and program development including the Most Outstanding Teacher award nominated by his students and peers.

Recognizing the positive impact of sharing knowledge and a desire to grow and expand internationally, Craig started Strategy Line – a company focused on helping businesses grow through leadership, engagement and marketing.

This past decade Craig has traveled over a million miles speaking and consulting for various organizations. His client roster has included some of the biggest global brands – National Hockey League (NHL), New Balance, Coke, Lexus-Toyota, Nautica, Cisco, Texas State University, Microsoft, Google, and Disney-ABC Television Group.

His philanthropic endeavours have included work with Clinton Global Initiative, Wayne Gretzky Foundation, Rogers House, Virgin Unite and the Sears Great Canadian Run.

Craig’s next venture will have him embarking on a 150-day cross Canada tour producing a daily video series called Show Me Canada as part of Canada’s 150th birthday celebration in 2017.

When Craig isn’t travelling you’ll find him coaching hockey in Canada’s capital, where he lives with his wife and two kids.

You can interact with Craig directly on twitter @gochay or keep up to date with his latest ventures at

Craig is one of seven TEDxKanata speakers. To hear him and the rest take on our 2016 theme, Breaking Barriers, apply by February 29th to join our audience.

Introducing Doug Smith


Doug Smith is passionate about performance, recovery and the process required for successful change. His best selling story is captivating and his literary work is making a positive difference in the world.

At 18 years old, Doug was drafted 2nd overall into the NHL to play for the Los Angeles Kings as their youngest player ever. The next 11 years were defined by hockey successes, hockey failures, his lack of awareness and the culture of a collision sport. His career ended suddenly at 29 years old when he shattered his spine in professional game #607.

Despite paralysis from the chest down, Doug learned how to walk again, skate again and successfully transitioned into the corporate world holding the position of Director of Business Development for a National Internet Service Provider and then managing Canadian sales for a multinational software company. He accomplished this by developing and using a system to raise his level of awareness.

For over 2 decades, Doug has worked to identify, organize and document the 3 priorities and 8 behaviours he has used to thrive through transition and continuously drive high performance. His simple but awakening process has been used to help thousands of people find a happier, healthier, more prosperous life.

In his presentation and in his latest book, The Trauma Code Unlocking your Performance, Doug unveils his simple yet repeatable model for continuous improvement. It is a model that he has used himself and a model he strives to share with others. Today this core work goes beyond the individual to help teams, organizations and society as a whole.

Learn more about Doug at or follow him on Twitter @DougSmithNHL

Apply by February 29th to be part of our 250-member audience and hear more from Doug about breaking barriers in his life and how you can too!

Introducing Kathy Kortes-Miller


Kathy Kortes-MillerDr. Kathy Kortes-Miller says researching dying and palliative care helps her live each day to the fullest. As a lecturer at Lakehead University for over 15 years, she has taught a variety of subjects including gerontology, social work, grief and loss.

In her work as the Palliative Care Division Lead at the Centre for Education and Research on Aging and Health at Lakehead University, Kathy works hard to ensure future healthcare providers will be better prepared to support those who are dying and their families. She received Ontario Research Councils Early Researcher award in 2012.

She uses her experiences as a palliative care social worker and a cancer survivor to ask hard questions and try to change the ways we talk and think about dying and death. Kathy is working with Pallium Canada (located in Ottawa) to mobilize Palliative Care as a public health issue, and adopt a Compassionate Communities paradigm.

Kathy has also been the author and co-author of numerous scholarly publications and is currently a research fellow with Technology Evaluation in the Elderly Network (TVN). She is studying how simulation impacts the palliative care education of healthcare providers in long term care.

In March 2015, Kathy and colleagues published results of their research:Dying with Carolyn: Using Simulation to Improve Communication Skills of Unregulated Care Providers Working in Long-Term Care in the Journal of Applied Gerontology.

Kathy brings her professional and personal experience to Hospice Northwest as the past Chair of the Board of Directors. She also facilities workshops on palliative care and promotes community engagement through Die-alogues.

Tweet with Kathy @Kathykm.

Dying to hear how Kathy is Breaking Barriers? Apply by February 29 to listen to all of our speakers on March 31.

Introducing Sheema Khan


Sheema_KhanSelf proclaimed ‘Canadian hockey mom’ Sheema Khan emigrated from India to Montreal at three years of age. Sheema enjoyed immersing herself in Quebecois culture and cheering for the Montreal Canadiens.

She earned her Masters in Physics and a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Harvard University. She also completed post-doctoral research at MIT and McGill. She is trilingual in English, French and Urdu.

Sheema took on the science field as a research and development scientist and as an inventor of various drug delivery technologies. She is currently a patent agent for Shapiro Cohen LLP, an Ottawa-based intellectual property firm offering legal counsel.

Since 2002, Sheema has also offered commentary and insight into culture and religion in the Canadian landscape as a monthly columnist for the Globe and Mail. In 2009, a compilation of her columns was published in the book Of Hockey and Hijab: Reflections of a Canadian Muslim Woman.

In 2012, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to Canada. In 2013, the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation celebrated Sheema’s columns on the intersection of culture, gender and religion in the contemporary landscapes. As the foundation’s keynote speaker, she challenged all Canadians to adopt inclusive practices.

Though she’s hung up her hockey skates, Sheema is often found on a soccer field both as a participant and as a coach.

Interested in Sheem’s take on our 2016 theme “Breaking Barriers”? Apply here by February 29th to be one of 250 audience members at our March 31st TEDxKanata event.

Introducing Alex Munter


Alex Munter has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Childrens Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) since 2011, but hes been an activist for public policy issues since elected as a municipal councillor at 23 years old.
Before joining CHEO Alex led Ottawa and Ontario to stronger public, mental and childrens health programs. As a city and regional councillor in Ottawa Alex played an integral role in the citys 2001 smoke-free regulations while working on other public health initiatives. He later worked at Youth Services Bureau, one of the provinces largest youth mental health agencies, as the executive director. He led the organization in its innovative clinic for street-youth.
He went on to the Champlain Local Health Integration Network as Chief Executive Officer and worked to improve networks and programs that help the elderly stay independent while having proper healthcare.
Alexs leadership and public health experience have helped him invigorate CHEO as he spearheads the hospital to a new future and vision after completing its most in-depth strategic review.
Alex is a Certified Health Executive from the Canadian College of Health leaders and taught at the University of Ottawa and Concordia University. The Ottawa and greater Canadian community recognize the importance of Alexs work. Hes received awards from various organizations including United Way/Centreaide Ottawa and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. In 2012 Alex was the recipient of the Ontario Francophonie Award and the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Keep up with Alex at @AlexMunterCHEO or visit
Interested in Alex’s take on our 2016 theme “Breaking Barriers”? Apply here by February 29th to be one of 250 audience members at our March 31st TEDxKanata event.

Introducing Bruce Linton

Bruce Linton plays double duty as CEO of telecommunications software company Martello Technologies and CEO and co-founder of Canopy Growth, a medical marijuana provider. 
Under Bruce’s helm, Martello was named Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Company 2015 after achieving three-year revenue growth of over 600 per cent. While headquartered in Ottawa, Martello has staff in Canada, the United States and France. Martello is partnered with Ottawa-based Mitel Networks, providing software-as-a-service (SaaS) that manages the performance of Mitel solutions.

Founded in Ontario and cultivated on Canadian soil, Canopy Growth owns and operates three sites, including Tweed Marijuana, which sits on 1 Hershey Drive in Smiths Falls, Ontario – previously known as the first Hershey factory outside of Pennsylvania. Licensed under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, Canopy has reached a $300 million market cap since its creation a few years ago.

A businessman leading two different companies, Bruce has a diverse history in Canadian business and the local hi-tech community. He started his career with Newbridge Networks Corporation before accepting positions as General Manager and Re-Founder of and President and Co-Founder of webHancer Corp.

Bruce’s work has impacted worldwide markets as he’s engaged with the World Bank and the Asia Development Bank. Among many countries, his work has focused on India, Peru and Columbia. Bruce was an establishing team member of CrossKeys Systems Corporation, leading the team as well as Clearford successfully into the Chinese Market.

He’s received international acclaim for his work, and in 2009 Clearford received an award from the Canadian-Chinese Business Council.

Learn more about Bruces successful corporations at and
Interested in Bruces take on our 2016 theme “Breaking Barriers”? Apply here by February 29th to be one of 250 audience members at our March 31st TEDxKanata event.

Introducing John Fleischauer


John Fleischauer — @bigtalljohn — is a professional speaker and a senior member of Halogen Software’s talent acquisition team. As the world’s only “Recruitment & Talent Branding Magician”, he is an expert at using LinkedIn as a professional resource, and an evangelist of social tools and talent branding as a way of achieving tangible and positive outcomes.

Ask his mom or any of his colleagues. John eats enthusiasm sandwiches for lunch, and is always happy to share his thoughts on today’s recruitment trends and challenges. John holds a BSc in Biomedical Toxicology from the University of Guelph, and he has never lost a nail hammering contest.

Leading the Charge: Presenting Janice McDonald


She is a serial entrepreneur, a role model, and a constant innovator. Her name is Janice McDonald, and she is a change agent in today’s business landscape.

You likely don’t even know it, but chances are you have bought or heard of a product from one of her companies. For me, it was a onesie for my daughter that read ‘iRock’ from McDonald’s company, iStyle Originals. How cute, I thought – a play on words adopting the Apple culture.

But it’s more than cute – it reflects McDonald’s ability to identify trends, and develop unique products with a broad appeal. It’s a testament to her entrepreneurial roots and successes.

It’s also not surprising that WXN recognized McDonald as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2013 and 2014. Or that she was awarded a World of Difference 100 Award in Washington from The International Alliance for Women and a National Leadership Award in 2011 from Canadian Women in Communications.

On March 26th, McDonald will be at TEDxKanata. You’ll want to hear what she has to say.

This blog post was written by TEDxKanata’s Director of Public Relations, Jennifer Stewart.

Introducing Jason Flick


Jason Flick, President and Co-Founder of Flick Software and You.i TV, always knew he was destined to be an entrepreneur. Prior to venturing out on his own, he worked at five different companies where he was inspired and mentored by each organization’s leaders. Jason founded his first company, Flick Software, in 2000. Flick Software is a service-based mobile solutions and product company that creates industrial technology for clients including Intel and Rogers Wireless – but Jason didn’t stop there.

With Flick Software still going strong, Jason started You.i Labs in 2006. His goal? To build a new team and new technology to tackle an enormous opportunity: the disruption the iPhone would create in the technology market. You.i Labs has evolved since then under Jason’s leadership into You.i TV, gaining clients and acclaim along the way.

You.i TV’s product, You.i Engine, powers some of today’s most beautiful TV and streaming video applications. Clients including Rogers, Corus Entertainment, Sony Crackle and many others chose You.i TV to help them deliver outstanding user experiences on all platforms, from iOS to Roku to consoles and set-top boxes. Jason leads the company as co-founder and CEO, and has seen You.i TV through enormous growth – the company is on track to surpass 150 employees this year.

Introducing Mark Rigley


Mark is a seasoned leader of product teams, with experience in consumer electronics, automotive, and product design. His work has won international awards, including Best in Show in Automotive at CES 2012. He is a frequent presenter at technical and design conferences in Europe and North America.

He is fascinated both by emerging technologies and by the design challenges that these new technologies pose. His role as Playground Director at Fuel Industries in Ottawa gives him plenty of opportunity to stay ahead of the curve technologically, while staying grounded in human centered design principals.