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Out and About with Speakers’ Spotlight

Out and About with Speakers’ Spotlight

As supportive partners in our business community, Speakers’ Spotlight takes great pride in lending our special expertise and “talent” to meeting industry events:

In January, the Canadian Society of Association Executives, Trillium Chapter hosted their third Annual Winter Summit, called Innovation at The Falls, in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Speakers’ Spotlight was fortunate to sponsor the opening session, and helped to select SmartLeese Creative’s “Improv to Innovate” presentation, featuring Lindsay Leese and Lee Smart. As always, Improv to Innovate was invigorating and interactive and set the stage to open audience minds for their next two days of learning, proving effective tools and processes for quality idea generation.

In February, the Meeting Professionals International BC Chapter’s Education Conference featured organizational development expert Dr. John Izzo and entrepreneur and social activist Mark Brand.  The following are just some of the comments they inspired from audience members:

  • “Both John Izzo and Mark Brand were inspirational speakers, great way to wrap up the conference.”
  • “Great presentation by John and Mark. John discussed about CSR and Mark was a great example of it. Definitely would like to see John again at relevant MPI meetings. Well done!”
  • “Loved both speakers thanks so much.”
  • “Mark Brand was great!!! Great ideas and inspiration.”
  • “Motivational and funny!”
  • “Outstanding presentation! Huge impact.”
  • “The best talk given by John Izzo! It was one of the most inspiring and interesting talk I’d ever listened to. This was my favorite session!”
  • “Totally impressed with John. It’s not very often that I buy a book!….I also enjoyed Mark’s presentation and being a Vancouverite made it all the more enjoyable. Job well done by all the MPI members and thank you.”
  • “Wow! Loved this session! Very valuable information from Dr. John Izzo and Mark Brand.”

March began with the Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners’ 2013 annual conference WIRED, which stands for Where Independents Reconnect, Energize and Discover, in Fredericton, New Brunswick. For this audience of owner and operators, Speakers’ Spotlight invited to share a little of our own story. Recently, we set-out to redefine our brand in the marketplace and support it with a new responsive and content-rich website, a refined roster of the best speakers in the business, and a re-energized and equipped staff, all focused on developing deeper relationships and being valued as “Trusted Advisors” to our clients. We called upon Heath Slawner to help us in this pursuit and our story and his expertise with attendees.

Heath Slawner
Heath Slawner talks about becoming a “Trusted Advisor.”


Also in March, the Meetings Professionals International’s Toronto Chapter called upon the incomparable emcee James Cunningham to help the best in the “biz” mark their special night at their Annual Awards Gala. Congratulations to the following award winners:

  • Rachel Stark, Ryerson University:  Norm Neill Student of the Year Award
  • Shannan Scott, Meridican Incentive Consultants: New Member of the Year Award
  • Adam Bussell, CMP, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto: 2012 Literary Award
  • Danyelle MacCulloch, Tourism Toronto and Darryl Neilson, Toronto Congress Centre: Outstanding Volunteer(s)of the Year
  • Geoff Mak, CEM, CMP, Direct Energy Centre & Allstream Centre, at Toronto’s Exhibition Place: Supplier Member of the Year
  • Christine Gruber, BA, CMP, Ontario Real Estate Association: Planner Member of the Year
  • Leslie Wright, vice-president, Fletcher Wright Associates Inc.: Winner of the President’s Award, presented for outstanding contribution to the meetings industry and to MPI Toronto Chapter. A member of MPI for 25 years, Wright has served as the MPI Toronto Chapter’s executive director since 1992.

And coming up in April is an ingenious pairing in Calgary. Speakers’ Spotlight has joined forces with MPI, Calgary Chapter, to celebrate National Meetings Industry Day with a speaker showcase. April 18 will see Jim Knight, a top service and culture expert who hails from the Hard Rock Cafe; Dan Pontefract, head of learning and collaboration at Telus and author of Flat Army; Zahra Al-Harazi, Chatelaine’s Top Entrepreneur of the Year; and Ron Tite, creative thinking and innovation expert, all taking to the stage to impart audiences with messages they speak passionately about.

By Kelly MacDonald, Partner and Senior Vice-President