Calder Schweitzer is a third year student at the University of Guelph, studying Wildlife Biology and Conservation as a 2015 McCall MacBain Loran Scholar. He is also the co-founder of The Bard’s College, a non-profit start-up based in Guelph that aims to use Dungeons and Dragons and similar tabletop roleplaying games as a vessel to help high school students practice teamwork and social skills. Calder started playing Dungeons and Dragons in the fall of 2016, and now is a player in one campaign and a Dungeon Master in another, playing through an original story in both cases. Calder believes that playing Dungeons and Dragons has helped him to build strong friendships, develop his social skills in negotiation and conversation, and approach problems with many perspectives in mind. He hopes to pass along his enthusiasm for RPGs to others, so that they may reap the benefits of playing them just as he has.
Gordon was educated in the United Kingdom and states that his most valuable learnings have come from his own life experiences. A seasoned public speaker; his presentations to the business, health-care and community group sectors help bring awareness and empowerment on the importance of utilizing our own life stories to benefit others through contribution.
By sharing his own personal story of loss, Gordon shows how his life turned 360° and a completely new
vocation path was brought to fruition from the embers in both a meaningful, purposeful way. Through the use of storytelling he gives his audience the opportunity to self-reflect and to catch the pivotal turning-point moments in their own lives. To not only catch those “turning points” but to honour them as gifts, the guiding lights to the future foundations that they are building.
Gordon’s story fosters motivation and vision to continue building on our life foundations brick by brick... Life experience after life experience, until that particular idea is formed into creation. Bringing home the reality that we can learn from everything in life, and that it’s not only the good things in life that shapes us but sometimes, even more so, it can be the bad things that transforms us.
John Lam started his first business as an undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo. Since then, John has started a second business as a master’s student in the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology program at the University of Waterloo, travelled to Silicon
Valley’s top startup spaces, and taught entrepreneurship at Wilfrid Laurier University.
John works as the Business Incubator Services Manager (hence his moniker John Lam the B.I.S. Man.) at the University of Guelph’s Centre for Business and Student Enterprise (CBaSE) where he helps startups start up. Drawing from knowledge and experience in starting his own businesses, studying business and entrepreneurship, and coaching other startups, John brings a unique perspective of what entrepreneurship can teach us, whether we are looking to start a business or not.
Regardless of what your goals are or how you define success, John believes that behaviour common of successful entrepreneurs can help us obtain the level of achievement that we strive towards. In his talk, John aims to reveal how successful entrepreneurs created their reality brick by brick, and how those lessons can be applied to personal or non-business-related goals.
Melanie Lang is the Executive Director of The Centre for Business and Student Enterprise (CBaSE), the University of Guelph’s innovation and entrepreneurship centre. Ms. Lang works with other academic units and industry partners to amplify the experiential learning opportunities for students. Entrepreneurial initiatives include an undergraduate business consulting training program, an incubator program for youth-led startups (The Hub), workshops and speaker series.
Through her role as ED, she takes students out of the classroom and in to the community to investigate and propose innovative and sustainable solutions to economic, social and environmental problems across all sectors of society. This in turn, empowers a new generation of business leaders committed to community engagement and a sustainable future. The students are then instilled with a sense of social responsibility and leadership; two character- building values that CBaSE believes develop communities.
Melanie has always been very involved in local community; in fact she received the Deputy Prime Minister’s Award at age 15 for her efforts in developing a youth-engagement program in her small community. Within the Guelph area, she has served on many boards and committees, including: Guelph Chamber of Commerce Executive Board; Center Wellington Community Foundation; Guelph Wellington Business Enterprise Centre; IMPACT! The Co-operators Youth Program for Sustainability Leadership; 4H Ontario Board; and Centre Wellington Co-operative Preschool. Melanie was named one of the City’s ‘Top 40 Under 40’ in 2012 for her role as an educator and community developer and was recognized as a 2015 and 2016 YMCA-YWCAWoman of Distinction nominee for Education and Training and Business and Entrepreneurship.
This innovative and entrepreneurial approach to curriculum development along with the ability to seek outside the box for solutions has paved the road for creating a strong and active presence in the local community. The success of CBaSE, in large part, is attributed to the progressive culture of Guelph and the receptiveness of the community. Melanie’s vision, passion and initiative have helped enhance innovation and entrepreneurial learning opportunities for students, while contributing to the healthy growth and development of businesses and organizations in the surrounding community.
Nolan Wadsworth is a Third Year International Development Student at the University of Guelph, and the co-founder of The Bard’s College. He is an avid writer, traveller and dungeon master. Nolan has been fascinated with the powers of collaborative storytelling ever since he discovered roleplaying games. For him, sitting around a table with friends in a far-off realm of Beholders and Wizards, provides every person with an opportunity to examine themselves through the threads of the stories they weave together.
Paul Lupinacci has keen interest in sustainability and energy efficiency. He earned a Bachelors of Applied Science (BASc) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business (York University) and is a licensed Professional Engineer.
While Paul started his career in manufacturing engineering and industrial automation, he has spent the past 25 years in the software business.
In 1992, Paul helped start Changepoint Corporation and was part of a management team that grew the company into a global enterprise software company with 185 staff and annual revenues of over $30 million, before it was acquired by Compuware Corporation in 2004. In 2006 Paul became COO of MedShare, helping to transform the company from a services firm to a software product company in the home healthcare market. Paul was also a partner at investment firm Hewick Research Inc, where he advised companies in a wide range of markets including human capital management, identity management and clean-tech and has served on the board of the Golden Horseshoe Venture Forum. He currently works as the Vice President of Development & Operation for Viziya Corp.