2023 Conference Speaker Bios

Keynote Speaker: Sébastien Sasseville

Topic: From Mount Everest to the Sahara:
Thriving in Change to Win the Long Game

Sébastien Sasseville empowers leaders to lead with purpose and inspires organizations to embrace change, remain engaged, and win at the long game. An endurance athlete, his extraordinary accomplishments — which include summiting Mount Everest and completing the mythical Sahara race and the toughest ultra-cycling event in the world — are made even more impressive by the fact that he lives with type 1 diabetes. Having held diverse sales roles in several Fortune 500 companies, Sasseville marries his business experience with his extensive inspirational achievements to deliver dynamic messaging on change management, leadership, teamwork, resilience, purpose, and motivation.

Through tackling the world’s toughest challenges and continuously setting new goals, Sasseville made a powerful discovery — what we think is possible can always expand. It starts by setting an impossible goal, taking that courageous first step, and then focusing on that “impossible” goal one step at a time.

Supported by powerful imagery, awe-inspiring stories, and unique accomplishments, Sasseville’s keynotes emphasize the importance of agility when it comes to change and transformation. When we face a challenge, he says, we must accept that we don’t have all the answers at first. But by taking a first step and allowing the experience to unfold, we can often find the answers in the journey. His keynotes also illustrate the importance of putting the mission first when leading a team, as when the mission is more important than individual success, he says, this is how we build an army.

Fully bilingual, Sasseville has been featured in several media outlets including CBC, TSN, The Huffington Post, CTV, Global TV, Radio-Canada, and countless newspapers. He has also spoken to hundreds of audiences across North America helping them to create enthusiasm about business transformation, build resilience, and evolve to win. Past clients have included RBC, Pfizer, Sobeys, Bell, SAP, L’Oréal, KPMG, and Hewitt.

Sébastien Sasseville Website

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John G. Smith:
Vice President – Editorial at Newcom Media Inc.

Master of Ceremonies

John G. Smith is an award-winning communicator with more than 30 years of experience in publishing and corporate environments. The widely recognized commentator on issues that affect Canada’s trucking industry also serves as Vice-President – Editorial at Newcom Media, Canada’s leading B2B publisher and trade show producer. In addition to his role as editorial director of the trucking group, he oversees editorial practices and procedures for publications and websites serving the financial services, insurance, and dental sectors.   

Truck News – Today’s Trucking

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Steve Lawn:
Board Chairman, Private Motor Truck Council of Canada

Topic: Transportation Industry Update – The Changing Face of Transportation

Steve started his career as a Red Seal Endorsed Automotive and Truck Coach Technician in 1988 he has held Fleet Management Roles for the past 30 years at Canada Post Corporation, Superior Propane and Parkland Corporation.

In his current role he manages a team of 13 based across Canada that covers Driver Training, Fleet Maintenance Management, Fleet Procurement and Regulatory Compliance.

Steve has been involved with the PMTC for many years as a member and regular attendee of the annual conference and joined the PMTC board in 2013 and Executive Committee in 2017.

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two grown children, travelling, riding his motorcycle, watching the Jays, Raptors and Leaf’s play.

PMTC Website

Parkland Corporation Website

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Dirk Kupar:
President, TruckRight

Topic: Is It Time To Cull The Herd In Trucking? Setting Priorities in a Tough Economy

Dirk Kupar is Cofounder and President of TruckRight, KAT Media, and Kupar Professional Services. He’s been in the transportation industry for almost 40 years, including 12 years as a multi-truck owner operator,  and over 25 years at the helm of an international truck driver leasing business. 

Truck Right Website

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Phil Speed:
SVP Business Development and Learning Strategy – The Learning Network

Topic: The Gamification of Training

Phil is a senior leader with The Learning Network (TLN) responsible for their business growth in North America.  Over his 23 years in the learning space, he’s amassed a wealth of custom digital learning experience from consulting and learning strategy to business leadership.  From his days forming the eLearning business unit at IBM, Phil moved to leadership roles with small digital learning and performance improvement companies where they enjoyed incredible growth.  He the became VP and General Manager of a large Audit and Certification company’s Training Academy where he was responsible for their North American sector.  Over his career, he has worked with organizations such as Purolator, Citi, Mercedes Benz, BMO, Canpar, Deloitte, Rogers, Wayfair, Sony, Telus, TD, McDonald’s, Limited Brands, Yum! Brands and many others.  His most recent accomplishments in the custom learning solution space saw his previous organization grow from 40+ staff to over 750+ and his current company is a collection of 6 companies that Phil was a key part of their integration to form a single, market leading entity in TLN.

The Learning Network Website

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Craig Faucette:
Director – Policy and Programs, Trucking HR Canada

Panelist : Mental Health Panel: Requirements, Responsibilities, Resources and Innovation

Craig Faucette is the Director, Policy and Programs for Trucking HR Canada, a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to addressing the human resources challenges and opportunities in the trucking and logistics sector.  Craig has spent his career in the charitable and non-profit where he has developed expertise in non-profit management, program development and management, and business development.    

As part of the Trucking HR Canada team, Craig oversees THRC’s projects and programs that aim to ensure employers have the skilled workforce needed to meet their business needs today and into the future.  He works with industry stakeholders to promote best HR practices within the trucking industry.

Trucking HR Canada Website

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Kathy Martin:
Mental Health and Wellness Specialist, IHSA

Panelist : Mental Health Panel: Requirements, Responsibilities, Resources and Innovation

Kathy Martin is IHSA’s Workplace Mental Health and Wellness Specialist, working with the Research, Stakeholder and Public Relations team.  She brings a wealth of experience spanning over 30 years in the field of workplace mental health and addictions, consulting organizations across Canada in various capacities and roles, including TD bank, University Health Network, Peel Police and others.

Kathy sat as a technical committee building the first ever standard for psychological health and safety over a decade ago.  Her passion for ensuring workplaces are managing trauma, lead her to become involved with the first responder community in various capacities and was the co-chair in the development of the Psychological Health and Safety Standard for paramedic organizations.  She is currently remains actively involved with CSA as well as currently leading a system wide project for the Ministry of Labour’s prevention office targeted at reducing Opioid- related harms in the workplace. 

IHSA Website

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