Aleem Nasser M.B.A. is the president and founder of The Art of Being Smart, an innovative company that uses well researched and proven methodologies to rapidly improve human performance. Aleem has helped top corporations revolutionize they way they function and teaches the fundamentals of high performance to university students around the world. He is an author, university lecturer, management consultant, and international speaker.
Devon Napope was born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan He is a member of One Arrow First Nation.
Born to a family filled with addictions, Devon is all too familiar with poverty, jails, violence, misery and pain.
Devon refused to allow his personal problems stop him. He realized that his success depended on his ability to “make it happen” and that “one choice can change the rest of your life”.
It was this attitude that he “checked” himself into treatment April.17.2017. Ever since, Devon has been free from drugs and alcohol.
Devon is now a member of STR8 UP and organization that works with individuals who are trying to leave the gang life. Since his involvement with STR8 UP Devon has spoken to many youth, adults and professionals, across the province of Saskatchewan. Devon has been quoted as saying" “We need to stop the cycle of hate and blame, and dividing people into good and bad. We need to take the time to build people back up”.
Devon is also the proud father of three amazing and exhausting children!
Dr. Hassaan Tohid MBBS, CCATP, CSOTP is a Neuroscientist, Motivational speaker, Clinician, Trainer, Certified Life Coach, and a Published Author. He has a career with three domains. An entrepreneur, an academic (neuroscientist, and a teacher), and a clinician (Addiction treatment). As an entrepreneur, he is the founder of California Institute of Behavioral Neurosciences and Psychology. Where he leads the organization as the CEO. He is a trainer, a coach, and a teacher. His training includes Public Speaking, Research Writing and Research Data Analysis, Business training and coaching, life coaching, and Sales. He is a Neuroscientist and delivered a TED talk previously at TEDx UCDavisSF. He has written over 45 scientific articles and 3 books.
Jodi Goebel has built a career as a problem-solver and strategist, leveraging her analytical skills and insatiable curiosity to develop and execute strategy in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. As an adventurer in both her personal and professional life, Jodi’s been involved in a diverse range of projects all over the world: from helping Malaysia’s national car company improve online customer service, and working with Great Britain’s biggest telecom to optimize sales through artificial intelligence, to helping to renew City Council’s strategic plan right here in Edmonton. At the end of the day she’s applying the same skill set: Jodi’s talent is helping people deeply understand a problem and leading them through a process to develop and execute a strategy for success.
Jodi is also an avid volunteer, with a particular passion for the power of good governance. She is an instructor with the Province’s Board Development Program, the past Co-Chair of Edmonton’s NextGen, and recently founded a new not-for-profit that provides practical guidance for young women in the workplace through an event series called What I Wish I Knew.
Jodi completed a Bachelor of Commerce Degree at the University of Alberta, majoring in Business Economics and Business Law. She currently works for the City of Edmonton as a Director of Business Strategy.
Dr. Junaid Jahangir is an Assistant Professor of Economics at MacEwan University. He has taught a wide variety of courses at the undergraduate level including Contemporary Canadian Economic Issues, Public Finance, Money and Banking, Labour Economics, Resource Economics, Quantitative Methods, apart from Microeconomic and Macroeconomic Theory. He is active in Edmonton interfaith circles through community presentations and has consistently published blogs and articles at Huffington Post, Edmonton Journal and Vue Weekly.
For over a decade, he has worked with Dr. Hussein Abdul Latif, a pediatric endocrinologist in Alabama to develop a renewed perspective of same-sex unions in Islamic law. His publications include a book chapter in the two-volume “Islam and homosexuality.” With Dr. Hussein Abdul Latif, he has co-authored papers that have appeared in the Journal of Homosexuality, Iran Namag, Theology and Sexuality and Oxford Islamic Studies Online. Their book "Islamic law and Muslim same-sex unions" was published in 2016 and was released in paperback in 2018.
Kelly Falardeau is a burn survivor since the age of two-years-old on 75% of her body and constantly struggled with her self-worth and confidence. She found a way to go from near-death to success; from the ugly scar-faced girl to the Top 10 Most Powerful and Influential Speaker, Fierce Woman of the Year, an International Best-Selling Author (5x), recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award. She has also travelled to Africa to help burn survivors recover from their tragic injuries and recently the documentary about her life story (Still Beautiful) launched on national TV.
An entrepreneur, student, researcher, and advocate for human rights, Kevin Zentner was the 2018 recipient of the Students’ Union Award for Perseverance for his wide-reaching community dedication. He is a committed volunteer, supporting sustainability initiatives such as the Social and Environmental Responsibility Committee and Sustain SU, and he develops literacy supports as a volunteer notetaker. Kevin is passionate about creating inclusive spaces where people of all abilities can learn, share, and be valued, and promotes the incorporation of these values as a board member for the University’s Committee on the Learning Environment and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. His research includes foci on human behavior and augmented reality, and he believes that technology is but one consideration for manufacturing a more able world.
Luron Morrison is all about family first and has a beautiful wife and daughter, namely Andrea and Sydney, respectively. He’s a serial entrepreneur who has mastered the art of multiple and passive sources of income. Over the past five years he has generated well over a million dollars from his various business ventures, from eCommerce, stocks trading and investing, bitcoin / cryptocurrency investments and working as an engineering / project management professional.
He’s a registered professional engineer in Canada, he holds a Master of Business Administration degree with specialization in entrepreneurship, and is currently employed by a Fortune 500 Company. Moreover, Luron is the founder and CEO of Morrison Empire Inc., his parent company that controls his businesses. Luron is also the owner and host of the popular podcast; “The Successful Immigrants’ Secrets”
Finally, Luron runs the website / blog luronmorrison.com which helps aspiring entrepreneurs by providing them with the tool and strategies to start, launch and grow their own successful online businesses and brands.
Born in Kitchener, Ontario, Mandy studied drama and theatre performance in Calgary before attending law school at the University of Alberta. There she met her (now) husband, and the love of his life, Smudge the cat (to whom she is deathly allergic).
Mandy is a local Crown prosecutor. She specializes in family protection: the prosecution of abuse of intimate partners, children, and animals. After years of sniffling her way through court appearances, Mandy gained an appreciation of the fact that pets are part of families, and there isn't much we won't do for them. She is acutely aware, however, that her allergies pale in comparison to the real suffering of victims whose pets are abused and used against them. Mandy believes that protecting families means protecting all members of a family: including the furry ones.
Moira Váně (Von-yay) was born and raised in Yellowknife, NWT. She had to travel south for schooling and attended high school in Quebec City and Montreal, and did an undergraduate degree at Simon Fraser in Criminology. She moved to Alberta permanently when she came to the U of A to attend law school. Moira was a prosecutor for both the provincial and federal governments for 14 years before going to work for Rachel Notley's NDP last year. She is currently running to be the NDP candidate for Strathcona-Sherwood Park. Moira's activism in life began as a young child with fundraising for charitable causes, though it got professional when she organized a student protest to increase post secondary student funding in the NWT. She figured out how to organize that first protest by searching the internet at a time before Google was even invented. She thinks it might have been a checklist from a geocities page ;)
Omar Farah is a 22 year old Somali-Canadian Poet, Engineer-in-training, community builder, and all around "homie". Although he is relatively new to the spoken word scene, Omar has managed to make a name for himself locally and abroad as the former Edmonton Slam Champion, winner of the Saskatchewan Festival of Words, and finalist in the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. He has performed across Canada and the United states from small local cafes to theatres. As well as a "veteran" of sorts having spoken at last year’s TEDxUAlberta conference. His style of rhythmic, complex at times, yet relatable poetry analyzes the world at large from the perspective of African diaspora and aims to transforms the biggest of critiques.
Rahma Mohamed was born and raised in Hargeisa, Somalia. Shortly before the civil war broke out; at the age of eight, her family immigrated to Canada. They arrived in Quebec where she attends her first formal school in French. The first few years were very difficult being only black Somali girl in her class. She endured years of bullying due to her inability to speak the language and just for being different. But in time she became fluent in both French and English and became the first to graduate from University in her family. After becoming a mother, she set out to self-publish children books to encourage youth to be proud of their unquietness by celebrating diversity. Noticing a lack of diversity in the market for Muslim Children books and recollecting her own struggles of growing up as an immigrant, she became determined to offer books centered on characters that are Muslim and with African roots. She released her first picture book title: Muhiima’s Quest in 2017 and her second book: Little brother for sale was released summer 2018. Rahma believes that children need to be able to identify themselves in the book they read to enhance their self-confidence as well as bolster their sense of pride. She promotes her message by visiting schools in Edmonton and Internationally via Skype. She hosts workshops to encourage children to write and share their stories. She is currently working on publishing more books as well as translating her current works to have them available to more children around the world.
Dr. W. Scott Persons IV is a paleontologist and researcher at the University of Alberta. He is a children’s book author and the cowriter and presenter of the University of Alberta’s widely successful paleontology online courses. Dr. Persons is also a science columnist for CBC Edmonton Radio/TV, and his work has been featured on the National Geographic and Discovery channels and in Smithsonian and Discover Magazine. He has over sixty formal scientific journal publications and has taken part in fossil-hunting expeditions throughout the badlands of the American West, the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, the canyons of Tanzania’s Olduvai Gorge, and the pampas of Argentina.
Sydney grew up in rural Northern Alberta with a strong connection to the natural world, she loves everything outdoors! She is the author of the "Heritage Barns of Flagstaff" coffee book series. When Sydney was nine-years-old, she had a severe injury which pushed her to dedicate a portion of her time to advocating for individuals with disabilities. She joined the Stollery Children's Hospital's Patient and Family Center Care Council as a patient-member in the Fall of 2017 and the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre (Northern Alberta) Society as a board member in Fall of 2018. She is also a shareholder and board member for Click&Push Accessibility Inc. Sydney is a Master's Student in the Rehabilitation Robotics Laboratory at the UofA and completed her BSc Honours in Physiology and Developmental Biology in 2018. Her research interests revolves around understanding scientifically preferred strategies of movement in individuals with disabilities.
Born in Kenya, Zaheen had a good childhood up until the age of 6, when she was made to skip grade 2 and enter a pilot project. At this point in her life, everything changed. She developed a severe speech impediment, and couldn’t even say her own name without stuttering.
At the age of 15 her parents sent her off to Edmonton, Alberta. She completed her education in Nutrition & Food Science, Environmental Health and Neuro Linguistic Programming. Zaheen didn’t want her speech impediment to stop her from pursuing what she wanted – her work experience in public health and her passion for sharing her story, has inspired her to use her voice even more.
Zaheen is also a recent breast cancer survivor.