David Allison is a consumer behavior expert, an advisor to global brands, and a leading advocate for discarding demographic stereotypes. He founded the Valuegraphics Database to help organizations create exponentially better customer engagement. Before building Valuegraphics, he spent 20 years working at marketing firms, acting in senior roles at luxury brands, and launching his own marketing strategy company. Today, he works with organizations ranging from the United Nations to Wall Street hedge funds. His latest book was a bestseller within 24 hours of its release, and Inc. Magazine named it one of the 10 best leadership books of the year.
Tashia Batstone, MBA, FCPA, FCA, ICD.D
Tashia Batstone was appointed President and CEO of FP Canada™ in May 2021, and her leadership has led to the achievement of several key milestones for the organization. Some of her biggest priorities have included promoting financial well-being for all Canadians; improving access to financial planning services; and increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the profession.
Tashia has guided the development of FP Canada's three-year Strategic Plan. This strategy will allow FP Canada to lead the growth of the financial planning profession and meets its goals for IMAGINE 2030, a bold vision for a future where all Canadians enjoy financial well-being. A proponent of transparency in the public interest, Tashia has also been a vocal supporter of minimum standards for those who use the financial planner title. When Ontario’s Financial Professionals Title Protection Rule came into effect, she helped ensure that FP Canada was one of the first approved credentialing bodies.
Before joining FP Canada, Tashia held senior executive positions at the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Newfoundland and Labrador (where she was CEO). She has also served on the Advisory Board of the CPA Canada Martin Family Initiative, serves on the Board of Directors at the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), and has volunteered her expertise to other not-for-profits.
Dr. Vishaal Baulkaran
Dr. Vishaal Baulkaran is an Associate Professor of Finance at the Dhillon School of Business. He holds a Ph.D. from Wilfrid Laurier University as well as an MBA and BBA (with a major in Finance) from the University of New Brunswick. He is a CFA® charterholder.
Dr. Baulkaran has published his research leading finance publications, including (but not limited to) the Journal of Corporate Finance, Journal of Financial Research, Financial Review, International Review of Finance, and Journal of Real Estate Economics and Finance.
Dr. Baulkaran has presented his research at numerous finance conferences, including for the Financial Management Association, Financial Management Association Europe, Northern Finance Association, Eastern Finance Association, American Real Estate Society, and Midwest Finance Association. He also acts as a reviewer for several academic journals. He was awarded the Wilfrid Laurier University Gold Medal for Academic Excellence and the E.D. Maher Graduate Student Prize from the University of New Brunswick.
Ellen Bessner, LLP
Ellen Bessner is a commercial litigation Lawyer with over 25 years of experience at prominent Canadian law firms. She now practices with Babin Bessner Spry LLP. Her expertise is in representing securities dealers and advisors in regulatory matters (IIROC, MFDA, OSC, FSCO/FSRA and FP Canada), and employment law and commercial litigation disputes for clients across Canada.
Ellen is the author of the bestselling book Advisor at Risk, a Roadmap to Protecting Your Business, and the sequel, Communication Risk, How to Bridge the Client-Advisor Gap to Protect and Grow Your Business. She is an expert speaker and a regular contributor to national, business and industry press.
Ellen was appointed to the Ontario Securities Commission’s Expert Advisory committee. She co-authored a paper on risk profiling, which was commissioned by the OSC’s Investor Advisory Panel. She is also a panel member for enforcement proceedings for the Certified Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA).
Michael Carlson, CFP®
Mike Carlson is a CFP® professional with Norwegian, Scottish, and Indigenous ancestry. His Indigenous roots are in BC’s Interior (Interior Salish with family connections back to the Osoyoos Band and Nikola Bands). He’s a (w)holistic fee-for-service planner working in Toronto with a 50% Indigenous client base.
Mike's decolonizing efforts are reflected in his work with youth as a substitute math teacher at Wandering Spirit School, program director of the Toronto Indigenous Youth Council (TIYC), and Treasurer of Doctors for Doctors - a charity working to empower youth to become doctors in rural Nicaragua.
Mike also humbly serves as a member of the Indigenous Finance Collective (IFC), a group of self-identified Indigenous professionals working in the financial sector who want to give back to their communities and affect change through networking, financial education and policy advocacy.
Mike looks forward to talking to you about the responsibilities you carry regarding reconciliation with Canada's Indigenous peoples and how you can help the Indigenous Finance Collective in their work.
Tamara Center, LL.B.
Tamara Center is currently the Director, Professional Standards and Conduct at FP Canada™ Tamara is responsible for overseeing FP Canada Standards Council’s enforcement process, including complaint intake, investigation and prosecution of allegations of breaches of the Standards of Professional Responsibility. Prior to joining FP Canada in 2019, Tamara was Senior Litigation Counsel in the Enforcement Branch at the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) from 2009 to 2015 as well as a prosecutor at the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario) where she held the role of Professional Standards Counsel between 2016 and 2019. Prior to transitioning into professional governance and regulation, Tamara was a lawyer in private practice with Fogler, Rubinoff LLP for 10 years practicing commercial litigation. Tamara holds a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill.
Julia Chung, CFP®
Julia Chung, CFP, started her financial services career in 1997, working at multiple investment firms and credit unions. In 2011, she formed a fee-for-service, advice-only financial planning firm known as JYC Financial in partnership with an accounting firm. She eventually made the firm independent before merging practices with Sandi Martin of Spring Personal Finance, creating Spring Planning. Julia makes regular media contributions as a finance expert and has co-authored three ebooks, Women & Money, The Art of Delegation, and The Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide. A dedicated volunteer, Julia has sat on the boards of Family Enterprise Canada and the Financial Planning Association of Canada.
Dr. Carole A. Cohen
Dr. Carole Cohen is a geriatric psychiatrist. She is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. She is Clinical Director of the Community Psychiatric Services for the Elderly at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. This inter-professional team provides assessment and management of older adtuls with mental health and substance use problems (including dementia) in their place of residence (home, retirement home and long term care homes). She has been active in inter-agency collaborative care and planning in North Toronto for decades. She has been involved with planning related to Behavioural Supports Ontario locally and provincially since the inception of the program. Dr Cohen is a consultant to the Capacity Assessment Office of the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario. She teaches at the University of Toronto medical school and supervises psychiatry residents during their geriatrics rotation.
Philippe d’Astous is an associate professor in the department of finance at HEC Montréal, where his areas of expertise include household finance, financial institutions, and applied economics. He is also an award-winning researcher and Director at Financial Education Lab HEC Montréal. Phillipe’s research focuses on individual decision-making as it relates to debt, savings, and spending. He has varied experience in empirical research, with a focus on administrative and survey-based data at the individual level. Phillipe holds a PhD in risk management and insurance from Georgia State University.
Christopher Dewdney, CFP®
Christopher Dewdney, CFP, is a principal of Dewdney & Co., a boutique financial planning firm that specializes in serving high net worth individuals and businesses. He has nearly two decades of experience in the financial services sector and sits on the board of directors at FP Canada.
Over the course of his career, Christopher has served on numerous boards, and he currently sits on the Research Ethics Board at St. Michael’s Hospital. He is committed to promoting financial literacy, access to financial planning, and the value of inclusion, and he strongly believes that the financial services industry has the potential to fulfill the diverse needs of all Canadians.
Martin Dupras, Pl. Fin.
Martin is an independent financial planner and President of ConFor Financiers, a Montréal-based professional development organization providing financial planning services, training, and counselling to individuals and groups.
Martin was elected to FP Canada Board in 2017, named Vice-Chair in 2019 and Board Chair in June 2021. Martin is past Chair of the Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF) Board of Directors and serves as an independent committee member on numerous pension plans.
Martin’s primary area of expertise is retirement planning and related issues, including pension plans, taxation, investment and risk management. An actuary by training, Martin holds a master’s degree in taxation from Sherbrooke University, where he also teaches. He has contributed to La Cible, Solution IQPF, Finance et Investissement and the Projection Assumption Guidelines, published by FP Canada and IQPF.
Sponsorship Opportunity Available
Jesse Hirsh is a consultant focused on new media business models, big data, and the strategic use of social media. He is also a co-founder of the Academy of the Impossible, a peer-to-peer lifelong learning facility. A rural Ontario transplant and big believer in sustainability, Jesse runs an experimental farm that combines technology with agroecology. Jesse completed the McLuhan Program at the University of Toronto and a master's degree at Ryerson University focusing on algorithms and predictive analytics.
Jill Huls, CFP®
Jills Huls, CFP, is the leader of Thrive Wealth Management, a financial planning and wealth services company that stewards billions of dollars of assets under management. She is a relationship builder who excels at strengthening strategic partnerships, building teams, and acting as a mentor.
Jill serves on several national committees, including a committee to the Aviso Wealth Inc. Board and the Canadian Financial Planning Standards Council Technology Task Force. In addition, she serves as a shareholder and director for a private holding company involved in businesses operating across three industries. Jill’s degrees and designations include a Bachelor of Commerce in finance, an Executive MBA, Certified Financial Planner certification and IIROC licensing.
Dr. Pawan Jain, CFP®
Dr. Pawan Jain is an award-winning researcher and Assistant Professor at West Virginia University. He received one Ph.D. in Finance from The University of Memphis and another in Instructional Design and Technology from the University of Wyoming. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder and a Certified Financial Planner professional (CFP).
Dr Jain’s scholarly articles have been published in leading financial and real estate journals like the Journal of Corporate Finance, Journal of Financial Markets, Financial Management, and the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics (among others). His research has been featured in news stories and he’s performed media interviews about stock market regulations, Blockchain, and high-frequency trading.
Dr. Jain has been invited to present his research at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Reserve Bank of India, and National Stock Exchange of India.
Damienne Lebrun-Reid, LL.B.
Damienne Lebrun-Reid is the Executive Director and Head of the FP Canada Standards Council™. She is responsible for the development, maintenance, and enforcement of professional standards at FP Canada™. Her role entails leading FP Canada’s certification program and requirements for QAFP™ professionals and CFP® professionals and overseeing certification policies, certification examinations, and professional standards and competencies. She also leads the complaint and enforcement process.
Damienne began her career as a lawyer in private practice, gaining experience in civil fraud, securities litigation, health law, and corporate commercial litigation before transitioning into professional governance and regulation in 2009.
Damienne is the current Chair of the Review Committee Panel for the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA). She is a member of the Discipline and Fitness to Practice Hearing Panel Roster with the Ontario College of Teachers and is the past Chair of the Advocates’ Society Regulatory and Administrative Law Practice Group. Damienne was also recognized as one of Wealth Professional’s 2017 Women of Influence.
Patricia Lovett-Reid, CFP®
Patricia Lovett-Reid is a respected Canadian financial guru. As the former Chief Financial Commentator for CTV News, she has coached viewers on how to save money, stretch their incomes, and get the best bang for their bucks. Patricia provided weekday financial updates for CTV News Channel, CP24, and CTV Morning Live broadcasts, and she’s contributed her business analyses to stories on CTV National News. She hosted the Patricia Lovett-Reid Show on CTV News Channel and CTV, served as a weekly commentator on Canada AM, and acted as Senior Financial Commentator with CTV News in 2012. Prior to working at CTV, Patricia served as Senior Vice-President at TD Waterhouse Canada Inc.
Meghaan R. Lurtz
Meghaan R. Lurtz, Ph.D., is a writer and senior research associate with Kitces.com, a financial planning blog. She is also an educator, serving as a professor of practice at Kansas State University in their advanced financial planning track and as an adjunct assistant professor in the University of Maryland system for undergraduate financial planning coursework. She has been quoted in New York Magazine, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, and has presented for the BBC, CFPB and MDRT. She co-authored two chapters in the CFP Board's recent book, Financial Psychology, and her research has been published in journals devoted to financial planning and consumer affairs.
Alexandra Macqueen, CFP®
Alexandra Macqueen has been a CFP® certificant since 2007. Co-author of several well-known retirement planning books, she is best known as a writer on the everyday financial issues that impact Canadians, whether that is retiring on a low income, building your own pension plan if you don't have one, or navigating government benefits. Alexandra joined the FP Canada Institute as Director of Content Development in January 2022. In this role, she oversees the development of content for certificant education programs and FP Canada’s financial planning Body of Knowledge.
Riaz Meghji is a keynote speaker on the subject of human connection and the author of the book Every Conversation Counts: The 5 Habits of Human Connection That Build Extraordinary Relationships. An accomplished broadcaster, Riaz has 17 years of television hosting experience. He has hosted Citytv’s Breakfast Television, MTV Canada, TEDxVancouver, CTV News, and the Toronto International Film Festival, interviewing experts on topics ranging from current affairs to sports, entertainment, politics, and business. Off camera, Riaz dedicates himself to philanthropy and causes he cares about, including Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and Covenant House. He holds a degree in business from Simon Fraser University and studied leadership communication at Harvard Extension School and the Canadian Management Centre.
Linda is an economist, author, blogger, broadcaster and speaker. The Senior Fellow for Economics and Population Change at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, she is an expert in demographic and economic trends and how they are shaping our tomorrows. Linda was also a Senior Economist at CIBC, an economist for the Canadian federal government, and the on-air economist for Business News Network for over 10 years. Her latest book is Economorphics: The Trends Turning Today into Tomorrow and has been quoted as an expert in publications like the Wall Street Journal and Wired magazine.
Jackie Porter, CFP®
Jackie Porter is an award-winning CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®, best-selling author, and speaker. For over 25 years, she has helped thousands of clients grow their net worth, build fortresses around their finances, and keep more of their hard-earned cash in their pockets. Her focus is empowering women on their journeys towards financial independence. Jackie has been featured in The Star and on CBC, The Agenda with Steve Paikin, and BNN. She is also a regular contributor to Investment Executive, Wealth Professional, and The Globe and Mail. A leading money expert and powerful voice in the world of women’s financial empowerment, Jackie was named a Mackenzie Female Trailblazer of the year for 2019 and 2021.
Shannon Lee Simmons, CFP®
Shannon Lee Simmons has been a Certified Financial Planner® since 2010. She is an award-winning financial planner, Chartered Investment Manager, speaker, author, and the founder of the New School of Finance. Shannon has written two books, Worry-Free Money and Living Debt-Free, both of which are best sellers. She is frequently called upon by major Canadian media outlets to provide personal finance insights. Shannon writes for the Globe and Mail, is a money columnist for CBC Radio’s Metro Morning, and acts as a financial expert on the Marilyn Dennis Show.
Gayathri Shukla is the founder of Campfire Kinship, a social impact firm that creates story-based solutions for diverse individuals and teams. Having lived in three countries, she has a nuanced appreciation of the challenges that come with adapting to new cultures. Gayathri also has over 17 years of experience in technical and leadership positions in the energy sector. In her previous role, she led digital transformation and innovation programs in mining. She holds an electrical engineering degree from the University of Calgary and an Executive MBA from Queen’s University with a certification in social impact.
Gayathri is the author of the bestselling anthology Landed, Transformative Stories of Canadian Immigrant Women. As part of her work on the anthology, she led 37 women from 30 countries worldwide through the process of telling their heartfelt stories. She is the Fellow with Public Policy Forum, contributing to the research on advancing financial and economic inclusion for youth, and she has volunteered as Board Director at Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association.
Laura Tamblyn Watts
Laura Tamblyn Watts is an authority on financial matters affecting older adults. She is the President and CEO of CanAge, Canada’s national seniors’ advocacy organization, and served as Chief Public Policy Officer at the Canadian Association of Retired Persons. Currently, she teaches at the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto.
Laura is a member of the Investment Funds Institute of Canada’s (IFIC) Committee on Seniors and Vulnerable Investors, an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Elder Law section, and a representative on the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) Committee on Vulnerable Investors. She sits on numerous boards and is also a member of the CSA National Long-Term Care Standards Advisory and Technical committees and the Ontario Securities Commission’s Task Force on Seniors. Laura co-founded SeniorsFirst BC (a low-income seniors’ legal services centre) and is the author of The 3 AM Guide to Your Aging Parents, for release in 2024.