Marc Saltzman, Technology Specialist

Marc Saltzman has reported on the high-tech industry since 1996 as a freelance journalist, author, lecturer, consultant, and radio and TV personality.

His specialties lie in consumer electronics, computers, Internet trends, small-to-midsized business technology and interactive entertainment.

Marc writes and hosts “Gear Guide,” a technology-focused video that runs nationally across Canada at Cineplex Entertainment movie theaters, IMAX theatres and various sister chains; is a frequent guest on CTV’s Canada AM morning show, CHCH, Global TV, CityTV and CP24; along with his weekly syndicated columns with Gannett, Marc currently contributes to more than 40 prominent publications and has published 16 books and Marc also writes and hosts three radio shows, branded as “Tech Talk”.

Marc Saltzman

Sidneyeve Matrix, Associate Professor and Queen’s National Scholar

Sidneyeve Matrix teaches mass communications and digital culture trends in the faculty of Arts and Science and for the Queen’s School of Business executive Education Program. Sidneyeve has several teaching awards and nominations, and is an Educator in Residence at the Centre for Teaching and Learning. An educational researcher, she has published in EDUCAUSE Review, eLearning Papers, Issues and Trends in Educational Technology, and The Journal of Pedagogic Development. Her educational technology initiatives and research have been featured in University Affairs Magazine, Macleans Magazine, Yahoo!, MSN.ca, Canada.com, The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail. This summer Sidneyeve is working with 700 awesome Queen’s Students in her online courses in digital media culture and commerce.

Sidneyeve Matrix

Michael Furdyk, Co-founder; Director of Technology, TakingITGlobal

Michael Furdyk is the Co-founder of TakingITGlobal (www.tigweb.org), which provides innovative global education programs that empower youth to understand and act on the world’s greatest challenges. TIG was awarded the 2013 Intercultural Innovation Award by BMW and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.

In the past, he turned his interest in technology into several successful online companies, including MyDesktop.com, which sold to Internet.com in 1999. In 2008, he was named by Contribute Magazine as one of 10 Tech Revolutionaries Redefining the Power and Face of Philanthropy.

Michael has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, presented at TED, and was named one of Teen People’s “Twenty Teens that will Change the World”. Over the last decade, he has keynoted over 100 events across sectors, sharing his social media expertise and insights on youth engagement and educational reform to audiences in over 30 countries. He sits on several non-profit boards, and recently completed his Master of Design (MDes) in Inclusive Design at OCAD University.

Michael Furdyk

Tanmay Bakshi, iOS & Mac App Developer, Cognitive Developer, Programmer, Algorithm-ist, YouTuber

Tanmay Bakshi, 13 years old, is a Software Developer, Author, Keynote Speaker, Algorithm-ist, Honorary IBM Cloud Advisor, IBM Champion for Cloud and YouTuber. He lives just outside of Toronto, in Brampton, Canada.

Programming since the age of 5, he had his first iOS app, tTables, accepted when he was 9 years old. Since then, he has created apps, such as the youth-focused “I Can, We Can!” app, and tID Vault, along with tGuess, a number guessing game for Apple Watch and iPhone, just to name a few.

His YouTube series “Tanmay Teaches: Watson” made him the youngest IBM Watson developer.

He has created algorithms, ranging from a recursive Tower of Hanoi algorithm, which helps to solve the Tower of Hanoi problem, to AskTanmay, his most recent creation, which is the world’s first web-based NLQA (Natural Language Question Answering) System to be powered by IBM Watson. In fact, it’s open source, so that other developers can learn from it, and build their own QA systems off of it.

To add to his credentials, IBM crafted a special Summer Training Program for Tanmay at their Biggest Software Lab in Canada, and at the Bluemix Garage in Downtown Toronto, and is currently working with his mentors from IBM, to create IoT-enabled devices.

Tanmay Bakshi


(Connectivity, Collaboration & Community)

Willa Black, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs – Cisco Canada

Willa Black is responsible for strategies to drive Cisco’s brand relevance and transformational impact. She leads CSR programming with a focus on Education and Healthcare, building strategic partnerships and reinforcing the company’s commitment to social innovation working with governments, non-governmental organizations, and communities across Canada.

In 2014, Black led the development and launch of Connected North, a ground-breaking virtual program showcasing innovations in the field of learning with the aim to reduce Aboriginal drop-out rates. The program connects students and classrooms in under-served, remote Aboriginal communities with students in Canada’s south via Cisco Telepresence Technology driving cultural exchange and mentoring. Connected North also provides real time Experts-on-Demand in the classroom, virtual fieldtrips and teacher training and support via high definition video. After the success of the pilot in Aqsarniit Middle School in Iqaluit, Connected North is now scaling across Nunavut, the NWT, the Yukon, Saskatchewan and Ontario. Black also led the virtual program delivery of Youth Tele-Psychiatry services now operating in ten communities across Nunavut, in partnership with the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children and the RBC Foundation.

Willa Black

Jan Courtin, National Director of Student Programs, The Learning Partnership

As National Director of Student Programs at The Learning Partnership, Jan oversees all Kindergarten to Grade 12 student programs offered throughout Canada. The Learning Partnership is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting and advancing public education.

Since joining TLP on June 1, 2015 Jan and her team have created Dragons’ Nest, an entrepreneurial program for secondary school students, and Coding Quest, a coding program for grade 4 to 6 students. Another exciting new program, Global Solutions offers secondary school students the chance to solve world problems that as yet have no solution.

Fully committed to public education, Jan has a strong educational leadership background and an innovative and creative mindset. As Superintendent of Education with the Peel District School Board from 2010 to 2015, Jan was responsible for twenty-one schools in Brampton: 3 secondary and 18 elementary. As co-chair of the 21st Century Committee for the Peel District School Board, Jan shaped rich professional development for Peel Board teachers, to reflect 21st Century Teaching and Learning and enhance global awareness.

Jan Courtin

Sandra Saric, Vice President, Talent Innovation, Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)

Sandra Saric is Vice President, Talent Innovation at the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) where she leads initiatives that promote diversity, inclusion, and collaboration with industry, government and education on strategies and actions that leverage talent and build education, skills and career pathways for youth, global talent, women, and diverse groups in Canada’s digital economy. In this capacity, in 2015, Sandra received a WCT Leadership Excellence Award for Diversity and frequently speaks on topics that address talent inclusiveness, STEM education and the digital labour market. At ICTC, she has also been instrumental in launching a new Canadian Cyber Security Youth and Education initiative – CyberTitan – to prepare youth with cyber security skills as part of ICTC’s national Focus on IT (FIT) program for secondary schools.

Sandra Saric

Christina Legris, Registered Architect, Associate and Leader, Number TEN Architectural Group

Christina Legris is a Registered Architect, Associate and Leader of Number TEN Architectural Group’s award-winning Education and Recreation Studio. Christina brings to the panel over 13 years of experience working with private and public school clients in both Canada and the US, leading designs for innovative education facilities that respond to the unique needs of the 21st century student. Passionate about enhancing the student and community experience through the design of innovative education projects, Christina’s work is helping shape the way curriculum is delivered in Western Canada’s evolving education landscape. Her interest and knowledge of 21st century learning environments is currently focused on the design of the new École Sage Creek School for Louis Riel School Division in Winnipeg.

Christina Legris

Moderated by:

Denise Woods-Goldstein, Director Skills Development, CompTIA

Denise Woods-Goldstein is the Director of Skills Development with Canada wide responsibilites. Denise brings over 25 years of experience and has been with CompTIA for over 14 years. Creativity can account for her success in uncovering new and enthusiastic ways to approach the certification marketplace. Denise is considered a pioneer in the computer education market, bringing years of innovative “go to market” expertise to the Information Technology industry.
She has been working with the secondary and post secondary education sector, to promote strategic IT industry skills development and to help build a foundation of certified technicians to assist in addressing pending skill shortages. Denise is an avid golfer and hockey player, she sits on numerous advisory boards for the IT Sector and hosts the Women of IT Golf Classic.

Denise Woods

The Kids are Alright

Pembina Trails School Division students

The student panel will discuss their personal journey through middle, senior years and post-secondary school and the impact technology has had on their learning.

Moderated by:

David Wall, Educational Technology Consultant, Program Department, Pembina Trails School Division

David Wall is an Educational Technology Consultant at Pembina Trails School Division. Educational Technology is the application and ethical practice of extending learning and improving performance and achievement through the creative infusion of technologies, appropriate to the individual learning goal. He supports 33 schools in the implementation, usage and innovation of technology for effective teaching. He has lead initiatives such as: Student Code Camps, Ed Camps, Makerjams, Coding Quest and the implementation of Coding to K-8 students. He is currently involved in bringing network broadcasting to our middle and senior years schools and provides social media awareness presentations to parent advisory councils. David is continuing to champion student voice and self-directed learning to increase responsible use of technology that creates an infinite capacity to demonstrate creativity, communication, media literacy and fluency.

David Wall

Digital Technology for Indigenous Empowerment

Randy Herrmann, P.Eng., Director, University of Manitoba Faculty of Engineering’s Access Program (ENGAP)

Randy Herrmann graduated from the University of Manitoba with a degree in Geological Engineering in 1988. After graduation, Randy worked for seven years with a consulting engineering firm in Peterborough, Ontario. Committed to raising the profile of professional engineering among Indigenous people, Randy was hired as the Director of the Faculty of Engineering’s Access Program (ENGAP) in 1998.

For the past 30 years ENGAP has provided a pathway for Indigenous peoples to access engineering education. But unlike many programs of this type, it is not focused solely on “access”. The real achievement is to ensure that those admitted are given the tools and support to successfully complete the program. Put very simply, Randy and his staff have taken the ENGAP program and made it the most successful access program for Indigenous peoples who want to pursue an engineering career. Last year the program celebrated its 30th anniversary and over 100 graduates.

Randy Herrmann

Ken Sanderson, Executive Director, Broadband Communications North Inc.

Ken Sanderson is currently Executive Director of Broadband Communications North Inc. an Internet Service Provider with a network covering over 1000 sq km. Ken is also the Chair of Canadian Aboriginal Human Resource Management Association Inc and a Council member with Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc.
Ken comes with over 15 years of professional experience in consulting, research and analysis, public speaking, group facilitation and organizational development.
Ken’s past experience includes:
Management Consultant in the private and public sectors; first President (then called coordinator) of the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce; Aboriginal Economic Development lead and later, Director of IT with 10 direct reports in the Manitoba Government. Over the years, Ken has delivered presentations to dozens of conferences and events with crowds up to 1,000 people and has facilitated discussions, workshops and planning sessions with groups from private sector, public sector, and non-profit sector.
In 2014, Ken obtained his certification as a Certified Service Manager focused on service delivery transformation and organizational development around client focus.

Ken Sanderson

Howard Burston, Director of Operations, MFNERC

Howard Burston has been an Educational Technology leader for 23 years. He has been a teacher, administrator and educational technology lead for the past 17 years. Mr. Burston sits on the Advisory Boards for Manitoba Education Research and Learning Information Networks (MERLIN) and Information and Communication Technologies Association of Manitoba (ICTAM).
As a staff member of the MFNERC, Mr. Burston provided the development of the Manitoba First Nations education data system and the Wapaskwa Virtual Collegiate. He has provided overall vision for educational technology programs provided by the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre.

Howard Burston

Moderated by:

Kimberley Puhach, Director of Human Resources, Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology

Kimberley Puhach is a strategic leader with over 20 years’ experience. She spent the greater part of her career in business and has developed expertise in the areas of organizational development, human resources, management, sales and marketing. Prior to recently joining the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology as the Director of Human Resources, Ms. Puhach was a Consultant with Higgins Executive Search/Leaders & Co. Previously she spent several years in a strategic advisory role for the Manitoba Government in a portfolio on skills training and development, engaging with the private sector, education, labour and community agencies/organizations to support Manitoba’s labour market development.
Kimberley is proud of her First Nations heritage and is a member of the Sandy Bay Ojibway Nation with roots in Peguis First Nation.

Kimberley Puhach


Balmoral Hall Debate Team; For the Sake of Argument

At Balmoral Hall, students focus on the development of their speaking, listening, and analytic skills, exhibiting the qualities of critical thinkers and confident presenters.

Within the debate and public speaking curriculum, they are assigned presentations such as persuasive speeches and/or interpretive readings. They also research specific resolutions related to the world they live in, preparing arguments to debate those resolutions. The focus of these classes is to provide students with opportunities to develop their communication skills.

Further, students have the option to participate in competitions locally, nationally, and internationally.

With Gray Academy, Balmoral Hall School will co-host an International Independent Schools Public Speaking Competition in October 2017.

Balmoral Hall Debate Team


Moderated by:

Rhonda Honke, Innovation and Growth Strategist, inVision Edge

Rhonda has a passion for helping individuals and companies reach their full potential. She started her career in the mid 90s in the field of training and development and grew to hold executive roles in functional areas including human resources, information technology and customer service. She is a certified teacher in the province of Manitoba, has worked as a sessional instructor at both Red River College and the University of Manitoba, and now applies her passion and experience to help others innovate and grow as a member of the team at inVision Edge.

Rhonda Honke