Thanks to CPHR for all the support!

We are pleased to announce that CPHR has approved 6.5 hours of continuing professional development hours for those with the CPHR designation.  Over 50 CPHR professionals attended the Real Leader Conference October 16, 2018.  


Calgary, AB - May 29, 2019 conference was a great success!

at the Telus Convention Centre


2019 was more than a Conference!

2019 Real Leader Conference was a great success!

What people said about the first Real Leader Conference in October of 2018

"Thank you for an absolutely outstanding event and experience.  Well Done! It is the best Leadership forum I have attended ever and I have attended many." - J.E.

"Certainly an incredible day and a privilege to be a part of it; can't wait for the next one in 2019!" - L.R.

"I really enjoyed it and took away a lot of very valuable lessons and insights. I thought you did a great job matching the speaker with energy level of attendees at various points throughout the day. I also really like the interactivity you built into the day." - M.B.

"I really got alot out of this event, thank you." - J.G.

"Such an amazing day. One of the best conferences I've attended. I walked away so motivated and have told everyone who will listen. Awesome job, thank you!" - H.R.

"Excellent event and lots of really pertinent learning., Thanks to you and your team for an outstanding day." - J.G.

"Congratulations on a great event. Fantastic lineup of speakers, terrific organization, and lots to walk away with. Nothing like spending time with a group of leaders to feel more inspired about one's own leadership potential. Great stuff!" - C.H.

Keynote Speaker - DREW DUDLEY

Resilience in Leadership

Drew Dudley has spoken to over 250,000 people on 5 continents, been featured on The Huffington Post, Radio America,, and, where his TED talk was voted “one of the 15 most inspirational TED talks of all time”. TIME recently named the talk one of their “seven speeches that will make you a better leader.” 

His book, This is Day One, is a Wall Street Journal bestseller that turns the inspiration of his talks into a practical, how-to guide for developing a leadership action plan.

Drew melds self-care insights from all over the world with his own story to present six strategies for embedding self-care and building self-respect into your personal leadership philosophy. A presentation that acknowledges the dark parts of life and work with humor and compassion, this practical exploration of self-awareness, forgiveness, resilience and healing will remind you that we cannot lead others until we can lead ourselves.

You will leave the session inspired, with actionable practices that you can put into use right away.

Over the past eight years these strategies helped him achieve and maintain sobriety, lose 100 pounds, manage his mental health, and most recently, process a profound personal tragedy.  



Performance and Resilience

Dr. Karen MacNeill, Ph.D, R. Psyc

Dr. Karen MacNeill has the unique experience of having both competed and consulted on the World Stage. She is a performance psychologist with over 18 years of experience, having worked with athletes competing at the last 4 Olympic Winter Games, and competed herself at the international level for over a decade. Most recently, she was the Lead Mental Performance Consultant for the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea. Karen thrives on having a broad scope of practice, focusing on building mental fitness and resilience.  She is a psychologist at Copeman Healthcare Centre and has fulfilled contracts with COC, Compete to Create (a mindset and culture Accelerant Company founded by Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and Dr. Michael Gervais), and multiple fortune 500 companies to name a few. 

Karen is a partner and Chief Product Officer with Headversity, a innovative digital health company offering solutions through on-site and online training programs that help people build mental resilience and thrive.

Karen is also a sought-after presenter and speaker having delivered multiple presentations to CEO forum, leadership conferences and corporate events. She has been invited as a keynote speaker to industry leading conferences, organizational retreats and presented to aspiring leaders at the Young Women of Influence event in Calgary.

Karen’s career achievements and volunteer efforts have been publicly recognized as she was a recipient of the Avenue Top 40 under 40 Award and was a finalist for the 2018 Women of Inspiration Award. Her passion and drive for helping others be their best also translates into her life as a mother, wife, and outdoor enthusiast.


keynote speaker - kathi irvine

Risk and Resilience

Kathi Irvine is a founding partner of the Watershed Organizational Development Group, a boutique organizational and leadership change consulting firm based in the Canadian Rockies. Kathi has had more than 20 years experience in leadership and organizational development, both at RBC Financial and as an independent consultant working across all sectors. Kathi is a faculty member of the Banff Centre, and taught for years at Langara College in Vancouver, and she has dedicated interest in the processes and complexities of organizational change strategy. Kathi’s years of experience have helped her see the clear role that risk intelligence plays in business success. 


keynote speaker - geoff powter

Risk and Resilience

Geoff Powter is a founding partner of the Watershed Organizational Development Group, a boutique organizational and leadership change consulting firm based in the Canadian Rockies. Geoff has been helping organizations develop their people and strategy for more than 30 years, and brings a unique set of skills and interests to his work. Geoff has spent a lifetime in the great mountains of the world, and has blended his training as a clinical psychologist with his love of adventure, building a deep interest in the role of risk in leadership. Geoff has been researching, speaking and writing about the adventurous life for decades. He has won 14 National Magazine Awards, and has written three books, including 2018’s Inner Ranges: An Anthology of Mountain Thoughts and Mountain People. Geoff is a faculty member at The Banff Centre, and in the department of Executive Education at the University of Alberta.


keynote speaker - Dr. Catherine Carr, M.Ed., D.Prof.

Are you Resilient? Resilience @ Work

Dr. Catherine Carr is a Professional Certified Coach (ICF), Master Corporate Executive Coach (ACEC), and Registered Clinical Counsellor with Carr Kline & Associates.

As a practising executive and team coach, facilitator and psychotherapist for more than 25 years, Catherine has run a full and vibrant executive and team coaching practice in Victoria for 25+ years, supporting local and international clients.

Catherine is most known for her leadership in the field of team coaching. Amidst her accomplishments, she won the Goulding Award for most outstanding professional doctorate for her research on team effectiveness and team coaching. Catherine helped launch a successful BC government wide team coaching program. She is faculty for the first North American International Systemic Team Coaching Diploma Programme. 

Catherine co-authored numerous publications including 50 Tips for Terrific Teams! and High Performance Team Coaching and a 2019 review of new team coaching research in the soon to be released Handbook of Team Coaching.

Catherine’s latest endeavor is leading Resilience @ Work, a new to Canada systemic framework and toolkit that goes beyond high performance to include wellbeing and individual and workplace performance. Our resilience, or capacity to bounce back and even thrive in pressured times, is critical personally, in workplaces and in the world today. Catherine wants to see us resilience included as a key workplace competency.

Catherine brings her skill as a Certified Marshall Goldsmith Coach, Designing Your Life Coach, and Conflict Dynamics Specialist.  Catherine is grateful to do work that supports people to be well, live well and to meaningfully contribute around them and to our world. She enjoys giving back to worthwhile causes; she coaches for Ted Talks and with environmental leaders.


keynote speaker - david witt

Put Your Own Oxygen Mask on First


David Witt is a Program Director for The Ken Blanchard Companies®. An accomplished writer, keynote speaker, and online host, David serves as the executive editor of Blanchard’s monthly client newsletter, lead columnist and moderator of the company’s blogs, and host of the company’s monthly webinar programming. Through these three roles, David reaches more than 15,000 people each month, bringing to readers and listeners forecasts, perspectives, and insights on organizational life and workplace issues. 

He is an award-winning researcher focusing on trends and implications in the learning and development industry; the founding member of the company’s Employee Work Passion research team; and a coauthor of a wide variety of articles on the topics of employee engagement, well-being, and motivation. David’s work has been published in academic journals such as Human Resource Development Review and the Journal of Business Administration Research. He is also a regular contributor to industry trade journals, including Chief Learning Officer, Talent Management, US Business Review, Training Magazine, and Manufacturing Today. In 2011, he was named a corecipient of the Cutting Edge Award by the Academy of Human Resource Development. 

David is a coauthor of several white papers for The Ken Blanchard Companies on the topics of employee engagement, performance management, and the bottom-line impact of leadership in organizations. Titles include Employee Passion: The New Rules of Engagement and The High Cost of Doing Nothing: Quantifying the Impact of Leadership on the Bottom Line.

With more than 20 years of experience in the leadership development arena, David combines a research-based background with an engaging presentation style to create innovative and thought-provoking sessions about new ways to improve performance and productivity in today’s organizations and government agencies. 

Partial list of groups and associations David has spoken to:

American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries (ASLCS)


International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC)

ISA – The Association of Learning Providers

K-Tube Corporation


St. James Parish Hospital

Training Industry

University of Alaska Anchorage – Professional and Continuing Education (PACE)

YMCA of San Diego County


Leadership & Resilience

Dr. Steven Hymovitch, DDS, MBA


Author of: The No-BS Blueprint for Success-The Dentist Who Gets It

Eileen Dooley, BA, ACC


Principal, Leadership Practice at Odgers Berndtson

Mike De Boer


Founder and CEO at LevellingUp

Marc Binkley

Director of Digital & Marketing Strategy at Anstice Communications

Director of Digital and Marketing Strategy at Anstice Communications

Jo-Ann Pawliw


Managing Stress and Building Resilience - Heart Math


Jim Finnigan


General Manager,  HR Operational Services, Suncor Energy

Brandi Yarish, MBA, CPHR


Vice President, People and Culture & CHRO at ENMAX 

Neil Jackson


Senior Vice President at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies



Craig Hess,  Director Global Corporate Development SAIT

Shannon Bowen-Smed


CEO, Bowen

Keynote Sponsor


Conference Sponsors






Academic Partners

Royal Roads University

Royal Roads University

SAIT School of Business


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Real Leader Development

Steve Brierley (403) 472-2085