Calgary 2016 Speakers
Dianne Templeton is a go-getter and an ambitious emerging leader. Currently in her third year of the Bachelor of Business Administration at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), she graduated as valedictorian of her Business Administration diploma. She is president of Enactus, one of the largest SAIT clubs, works at the SAIT Student's Association Student Support Centre, and volunteers as Team Lead for the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA).
When Dianne applied to SAIT she was worried she wouldn’t fit in. She had been out of school for eight years and English was her second language — she immigrated to Canada from the Philippines in 2008. But Dianne had big dreams. She discovered that SAIT’s extracurricular activities provided the direction to make her dreams come true.
As President of Enactus SAIT — an organization that helps the community through entrepreneurial action — Dianne helped generate $28,500 through various fundraising efforts and ran 7 projects. She was Vice President of the SAIT Students' Human Resources Society, Team Captain of the EDGE Case Competition Team and was member of the ‘88 Legacy Fund Committee. An advocate for mental health, she supervised at the SAITSA Student Support Centre.
Her work earned her the Laurence Decore Leadership Award, Dr. Gary Macpherson Leadership Award, D.C. Fleming SAIT’s Alive Award, Jason Lang scholarship, the ASCENT Alumni Award, a Gold and Silver Community Service Leadership Award from Enactus Canada and the SAITSA Silver and Entrepreneur Awards.
Her achievements in and out of the classroom helped start her human resources career with Investors Group in Calgary.
“Being a champion is not just about winning,” says six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes. Believing that actions off the track define us as much as those on it, Hughes inspires people toward success in all areas of their lives. Her candid, personal talks range from how she believes sports can change lives to her struggle with depression—fully embodying the idea that each of us can overcome challenges to become the champions we’re meant to be.
Hughes is the only Canadian to have won medals in both the Summer and the Winter Olympics: in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, she received two bronze medals in cycling; and over the course of three Winter Olympic Games, she received four medals—one gold, one silver, and two bronze—in speed skating. In addition, she served as the Canadian flag bearer for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games’ opening ceremony, and represented Canada with distinction at the London Summer Olympic Games in 2012, before retiring as an Olympian.
In 2014, Hughes yet again figured prominently in the eyes of Canadians as the national spokesperson for Bell Let’s Talk, a campaign designed to end the stigma of mental health issues. Undertaking “Clara’s Big Ride,” Hughes completed a 110-day national bicycle tour through every province and territory in Canada. As part of the ride, she covered more than 11,000km and visited 105 communities along the way.
Hughes is also the author of the bestselling and acclaimed memoir, Open Heart, Open Mind.
Over the course of her distinguished career, Hughes has won countless awards and accolades. She was named Female Athlete of the Year by Speed Skating Canada; she received the International Olympic Committee’s Sport and Community Trophy; she was honoured with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame; she was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame; and she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Hughes sits on the International Board of Directors for Right To Play, a global organization that uses the transformative power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity. She holds honorary doctorates from the University of Manitoba, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Alberta.
Mélissa Calixte is the Founder of Smile 2 Smile, a Toronto-based social business dedicated to sharing happiness with vulnerable children worldwide.
After pursuing her BA at Ryerson University’s School of Fashion, Mélissa gained extensive experience in luxury retail management, allowing her to cultivate a deep understanding of the luxury goods industry, from production to market.
In the midst of her career, a deep-rooted desire for socially impactful work led Mélissa to seek opportunities to leverage her existing skills in a meaningful way. With the creation of the signature Buddy toy, Smile 2 Smile was born, blending eye-catching design with global awareness.
In 2015, a year after launching S2S, Mélissa opened the Smile 2 Smile sewing studio in rural Haiti, where she hires and trains low-income women to make the company’s beautifully crafted products. Through her work, she has equipped a team of artisans with new technical skills, managerial acumen and financial independence, establishing core company values of empowerment, dignity and social innovation. Since the founding of Smile 2 Smile, Mélissa has created several partnerships with international NGOs, as well as health organizations such as PIH and SickKids, to distribute S2S products to vulnerable children globally.
Mélissa’s bold transition from luxury fashion to social entrepreneurship has led her to explore the topics of leadership, empowerment, fear and vulnerability.
Linh’s family arrived in Canada in 1980 as part of the mass exodus of boat people fleeing Vietnam. Her journey to Canada as a child opened her eyes to what is possible if one lives intently and fearlessly. She has traveled to over 40 countries; crafting a life of daring and wonder, filling it with extraordinary experiences that include: cooking at 24 Sussex Drive, meeting the Dalai Lama, completing an Ironman triathlon, winning a national writing contest and cycling across Spain.
In the past few years, Linh has been on an ambitious journey to represent Canada in some of the world's most extreme races. It started in 2011 when she won a writing contest through CBC, who then sponsored her to compete in the Antarctic Ice Marathon. She was a contributing writer to the CBC’s Live Right Now website for months leading up to the event and raised thousands of dollars for the Children’s Wish Foundation. In 2013, she completed the North Pole marathon. She then turned her focus to the 4Deserts, a series of 250 km self-supported, 7 day races through the hottest, driest and windiest deserts on earth. In November 2014, she became the 1st Canadian woman to complete the 4Deserts series and by doing so in one calendar year became the 8th woman in history to complete it as a Grand Slam.
Linh presents with a hilarious yet humble perspective along with a zest for life that will leave you feeling captivated and inspired.