2014 Conference Presentations

Here are the presentations from the 2014 Growing the North Conference which were made available to us by their respective speakers.

Dick Brown, President and CEO, Ferus Natural Gas Fuels

Brenda Frank, Director of Alliances, Farm Credit Canada

Peter Howard, President and CEO, Canadian Energy Research Institute

Dr. Michael Tretheway, Chief Economist and Chief Strategy Officer, InterVISTAS Consulting

Conference keeps growing

By Elizabeth McSheffrey, Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune

Thursday, February 20, 2014 6:06:06 MST PM


In all of its five years, never has the Growing the North conference ended with such a bang.

The two-day series wrapped up on Thursday with a gripping address from retired Canadian astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield.

Audience members were over the moon with the national icon’s speech and closed the conference with a standing ovation.

“We’re really pleased with the speakers,” said Walter Paszkowski, economic development manager for the County of Grande Prairie.

“(Hadfield) is so human and yet so above and beyond in so many ways.”

Paszkowski, who has organized the conference for the last five years, said this year’s edition turned out a record attendance of more than 500 people.

Never before has Growing the North had such a diverse audience of participants and a star-studded lineup of speakers and guests.

Highlights from the event included not only Hadfield, but other big names such as Premier Alison Redford, technology guru Marc Saltzman and National Research Council of Canada president John McDougall.

The conference included a wide variety of 20 industry, business and motivational speakers, each with a unique message to take home about innovation and growth in the North.

“It’s a tremendous learning opportunity that comes to our area,” Paszkowski explained. “They all delivered in a wonderful way and so this conference is probably one of the best in the province.”

The economic development manager recently announced his retirement from both the county and the conference organizing committee, but said he couldn’t have asked for a better send-off.

It may be tough to top this year’s all-star cast, but Paszkowski is confident the conference legacy has been left in more than capable hands.

“I’ve been here for five years and of course it’s grown quite nicely and it’s been a great experience,” he explained. “There are a lot of good people here… It’s something that this area deserves.”

Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce CEO Dan Pearcy has worked with Paszkowski on Growing the North since it started and said plans for the next conference will proceed with full steam ahead.

The conference has developed so much already, he explained, there is no reason it will not continue to grow and expand.

“It’s been great, we’re now seeing pretty much every sector involved here both sitting in the seats and presenting on the stage,” he said.

“(Paszkowski) has a lot of contacts, but he’s not far away when the phone rings. We’ll be able to bring him back to give us a hand with any issues that we might have, but I think it’s in pretty competent hands.”

Still, the CEO said Growing the North is Paszkowski’s “brainchild,” and his touch will be sorely missed by organizers and audience members alike.

The former politician not only had a lot of connections, but a fabulous manner and overall work ethic.

“It’s been a great pleasure working with him,” said Pearcy. “He’s the one who has brought this to light.”

Conference Organizers Unveil Speaker Schedule for the 2014 Growing the North Conference

The full speaker lineup for the 5th Annual Growing the North Conferences boasting of politicians and professionals from a variety of different industries has been finalized.

“As we do every year, our committee has worked hard to secure a top quality lineup of speakers which will cover a wide range of topics,” says Walter Paszkowski, Growing the North Committee Member. “We look forward to hearing the many opinions, and taking in and sharing the expert information presented to us.”

The lineup of speakers includes Premier Alison Redford who will speak on the current economic state of the Province; and Member of Parliament Chris Warkentin who will speak about fostering opportunities for Canada’s First Nations and Canada’s North. The famous Chris Hadfield will be sharing his many experiences as an astronaut and former longtime Commander of the International Space Station. A panel of energy industry speakers will address Liquefied Natural Gas, Pipeline Development, and Future Developments in the Energy Industry; and the agriculture panel will discuss Global Business Trends in Agriculture. Forestry industry speakers will present on the Mountain Pine Beetle, climate shifts, Forest Genetics, as well as wood construction trends and opportunities.

Other topics to be covered include the future state of the bee industry; the top ten technologies worth getting excited about; developments in air transportation; tourism and community branding; and improving your business’ results. The full conference schedule is available online at www.growingthenorth.com.

The schedule also includes multiple opportunities over the conference to network, including the Taste of the Peace, which will kick off the Growing the North Conference at 6:00p.m. on Tuesday, February 18th, and the Delegates Networking Event, which will begin at 4:30p.m. on Wednesday, February 19th.

The 2014 Growing the North Conference takes place February 19 and 20th at the Entrec Centre at Evergreen Park, with the add on event Taste of the Peace, taking place the evening of February 18th. Registration for the conference is $195 plus GST. Register online at www.growingthenorth.com, or by contacting the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce at 780-532-5340.

Premier Alison Redford Keynote Lunch Speaker at 2014 Growing the North Conference

The Growing the North Conference Committee is pleased to announce Premier Alison Redford will be addressing conference registrants at the 2014 Growing the North Conference lunch on February 19th.

“The goal of the conference is to attract knowledgeable, informative speakers who can address relevant issues affecting the businesses and residents of northern Alberta,” says Walter Paszkowski, former County of Grande Prairie Economic Development Manager. “We are honoured to have Premier Redford in the Grande Prairie region for our fifth annual event.”

This will be the second time the Conference will host the Premier. In 2013, Premier Redford spoke to a group of approximately 500 at the Growing the North Conference banquet. This year the Premier will be the keynote lunch speaker on Day One of the conference. During her address, the Premier will be discussing topics including education, health care, the financial state of the province, and issues related to the future economic development of northern Alberta.

“Every year, northern Alberta continues to experience an unprecedented rate of growth that brings with it both enormous opportunity and a unique set of challenges. Growing the North is an important conference and I’m excited to be part of it — it gives local leaders a chance to exchange ideas and work together to build a better Alberta,” says Premier Alison Redford.

Premier Redford will be joined by a group of speakers including Chris Hadfield, Former Commander of the International Space Station; John McDougall, President of the National Research Council Canada; and Roger Brooks, Community Branding Expert.

Registrations for the conference are available at a rate of $195, and can be purchased online or by contacting the Grande Prairie Chamber office at 780-532-5340.

For information on sponsorship opportunities please contact Amanda Frayn at the Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce at 780-532-5340 or email membership@gpchamber.com.

Growing the North Conference Recognizes Importance of Energy Industry to Economic Development of the Region

With less than two weeks left to secure your conference registration at the special early bird price of $175, The Growing the North Conference Committee is pleased to announce that three industry leaders from the energy sector will be participating in a panel discussion at the upcoming Conference.

“Being located in a multi-resource rich region allows our economic success to be built on the strength of many industries,” says Dan Pearcy, Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce CEO. “The energy industry in particular plays a very important role in the prosperity of our region and the province as a whole. We look forward to the information that will be shared by three industry leaders on the many different aspects of the energy industry, and its impact on our region’s future economic development initiatives.”

The participants in the panel discussion on the energy industry are as follows:
• Matt Most, VP, Natural Gas Economy, Encana – will speak about new growth opportunities for Canadian natural gas sales through Liquefied Natural Gas.
• Mick Dilger, CEO, Pembina – who recently announced a $2 billion pipeline project in northern Alberta will speak about the future needs and importance of pipelines.
• Steve Haysom, Senior VP, Seven Generations – will speak about the development of what is one of the largest and richest oil liquid petroleum fields in North America.

“The County of Grande Prairie alone is home to over 3,300 oil and gas wells; 9,000 kms of pipelines; three major processing plants; and many mid-sized plants. Furthermore, our close proximity to the Duvernay and Montney shale formations; and the multitude of other developments throughout the Peace account for the energy industry’s instrumental impact on the entire region,” says Walter Paszkowski, County of Grande Prairie Economic Development Manager.

The energy speakers at the 2014 Growing the North Conference will be joined by Colonel Chris Hadfield and many more presenters from other industries speaking about research technologies; planning and community branding; transportation; agriculture; forestry; and more.

Register by December 31, 2013 to get the early bird price of $175+GST. The registration fee from January 1, 2014 and onwards is $195+GST. Register online or by contacting the Grande Prairie Chamber office at 780-532-5340.

Growing the North Conference Announces Speakers for 5th Annual Event

The 5th annual Growing the North Economic Development Conference is back with another impressive lineup of expert speakers in the areas of Community Branding, Business Solutions, Energy, Agriculture, Transportation, Forestry, and Research and Development currently scheduled on February 19-20, 2014.

A few of the 2014 Scheduled speakers include:
• John McDougall, President of the National Research Council Canada – Ottawa, Ontario
• Roger Brooks, Destination Development and Community Branding Expert – Seattle, Washington
• Shawn Shewchuk, Author, Change Your Mind, Change Your Results – Calgary, Alberta

“We take a lot of pride in the quality of speakers we have been able to bring to the region over the past four years, and the relationships that our local businesses are able to form as a result of this conference,” says organizing partner Dan Pearcy, CEO of the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce. “We believe this year’s lineup of speakers will be every bit as interesting and informative as the previous years.”

Also announced earlier this year was speaker Chris Hadfield, Astronaut and Former Commander of the International Space Station. A full list of speakers confirmed to date is available at www.growingthenorth.com. Further speakers, including expert panels in a variety of industries will be announced as they are confirmed in the coming weeks.

“We look forward to the information and insight that these particular speakers will bring to the community and business development aspect of the conference,” says organizing partner Walter Paszkowski, Economic Development Manager for the County of Grande Prairie. “There is no other venue I am aware of where northern business people are able to hear and take part in meaningful discussions with so many experts in various industries without having to travel a great distance to do so.”

Registrations for the 2014 conference are open at www.growingthenorth.com at the early bird price of $175 plus GST until December 31, 2013. The registration fee from January 1, 2014 and onwards is $195 plus GST. For further information please contact the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce at 780-532-5340.

Chris Hadfield Confirmed as First Keynote Speaker for 2014 Growing the North Conference
The fifth annual Growing the North Conference will be returning to Evergreen Park ENTREC Centre on February 19 and 20, 2014 with yet another impressive lineup of speakers including astronaut and former commander of the International Space Station Chris Hadfield. An autograph and book signing session with Hadfield has also been scheduled following his presentation at the conference.

“We’re really looking forward to Colonel Chris Hadfield sharing his many experiences as former longtime Commander of the International Space Station with us. We’re also delighted to announce that Col. Hadfield will be speaking to a group of school children while he is here for the Conference,” says Walter Paszkowski, County Economic Development Officer.

The rest of the speaker lineup consisting of experts in the areas of Energy, Transportation, Agriculture, Forestry, Community Branding, Business Solutions, and Research and Development will be announced in the near future.

“This conference provides a unique opportunity for the business community to come together to hear and meet experts in their fields and of such high quality and world business experience; and discuss economic development issues and opportunities relevant to our region all right here at home in the Peace Country,” says Dan Pearcy, Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce CEO.

“We’re confident that tickets to the conference will sell quickly, so we encourage everyone to get in on the early registration special,” says Paszkowski.

Tickets are available for purchase at the early bird price of $175 plus GST until December 31, 2013. The registration fee from January 1, 2013 and onwards is $195 GST.

The County of Grande Prairie, City of Grande Prairie, Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce, Farm Credit Canada, Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region, and Grande Prairie Regional College Centre for Research & Innovation partner to host the conference each year – one of the largest economic development conferences hosted in the Province.

Last year, Growing the North Conference attracted nearly 500 attendees from all over Alberta, Northern British Columbia, and the Northwest Territories.

The conference will open with the Taste of the Peace on the evening of February 18, hosted by Farm Credit Canada and Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region.


For a fillable registration form, which can be emailed to info@gpchamber.com, please click the image below:

For a printable registration form, which can be mailed, faxed, or dropped off at the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce, please click the image below:

Confirmed Speakers for 2014:

Roger Brooks
President & CEO
Roger Brooks International

Dick Brown
President & CEO
Ferus Natural Gas Fuels

Pat Carlson
Seven Generations Energy Ltd.

Mick Dilger
Pipeline Corporation

Brenda Frank
Director of Alliances
Farm Credit Canada

Brian Grant
Grande Prairie Airport

Col. Chris Hadfield

Former Commander of the International Space Station

Dr. Shelley Hoover
Apiculture Research Scientist
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

Peter Howard
President and CEO
Canadian Energy Research Institute

Shafraaz Kaba
Architect and Partner at Manasc Isaac Architects
Wood Construction Trends and Opportunities

Victor Lieffers
President & Chair, Dep. Renewable Resources
University of Alberta

John McDougall
National Research Council of Canada

Hon. Alison Redford, Q.C.
Premier of Alberta
MLA for Calgary-Elbow

Marc Saltzman
Marc Saltzman EnterTech Services, Inc.
Top Ten Technologies Worth Getting Excited About

Shawn Shewchuk
Change Your Mind, Change Your Results

Dr. Michael Tretheway
Chief Economist and Chief Strategy Officer
InterVISTAS Consulting Inc.

Chris Warkentin
Member of Parliament
Peace River

Doug Weinbender
West Region Manager, Canada
Crop Production Services

Patricia Wolf Veiga
Diagnostic Technician
National Bee Diagnostic Research Centre

And follow us on facebook and twitter #GTN2014


Sponsorship Opportunities!


iPad Networking Challenge

Bring plenty of business cards for the iPad Networking Challenge sponsored by the Town of Sexsmith; Aquatera Utilities Inc.; OPUS Stewart Wer Ltd.; County of Northern Lights; AB Tourism Parks & Recreation; and CanWest Disability & Case Management. Meet and get to know your fellow delegates and enter to win one of six iPads!

Location: ENTREC Centre, Evergreen Park,
Grande Prairie, AB

For more information including directions, please visit www.evergreenpark.ca


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