About Us

About the Business Forum

Going into its 17th year, the Business Forum provides an exclusive opportunity to engage with a remarkable group of business leaders and speakers on topics that are current and international in scope. Established in 2003 by a committee of dedicated and influential individuals with a passion for Canadian sport, this event is now one of the premier business forums in Canada.  It is a unique weekend for key influencers to build relationships and exchange ideas in conjunction with the Lake Louise Alpine Ski World Cup hosting the first men’s World  Cup downhill and super-G races of the season. This is the only World Cup outside of Europe to join the ranks of the famous Club 5 Ski Classics.


To invite and host business leaders who are offered the opportunity to engage in thought provoking and frank discussions on a carefully chosen topic both important and timely to current events.

The Business Forum provides a stage for business and relationship development and through this avenue Alpine Canada (ACA) is the direct benefactor. The Business Forum drives an awareness of Alpine Canada (ACA).

The Benefit

Alpine Canada is the governing body for alpine ski racing in Canada.  With the support of valued corporate partners along with the Government of Canada, Own The Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic world championship and World Cup medallists to stimulate visibility, inspiration and growth in the ski community.    Please visit www.alpinecanada.org for further information.

Chairman & Moderator:

Perry Spitznagel
Chairman, Bennett Jones LLP

Perry Spitznagel is Vice-Chairman of Bennett Jones, a former longstanding Managing Partner of the Calgary office and a senior corporate lawyer with extensive national and cross-border experience in a broad range of matters. Perry has acted for clients in some of the largest transactions in Canada, including many of Canada’s and North America’s largest national and cross-border financings and mergers.

He has been recognized by Financial Post Magazine as one of the 25 most influential people in corporate Canada. He is also recognized by Chambers Global, the Legal Media Group, Best Lawyers in Canada, the IFLR 1000 and The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a leading lawyer in his areas of expertise.

Perry is a director of public and private companies, a past member of the Alberta Securities Commission Advisory Committee and a past Co-Chair of the Pipestone Securities Law Conference. He is also a past director of Alpine Canada, the governing body for alpine ski racing in Canada, and is the current Chair of WinSport, which manages the legacy assets and programs of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Samara Centre for Democracy, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening Canada’s democracy. A former international ski racer, Perry remains active in skiing.

Perry is a graduate of McGill University, BA (Economics), 1979, with great distinction, and Osgoode Hall Law School, LLB, 1982.

He is a frequent speaker and has chaired national and international conferences on a variety of topics. Perry speaks French and German.


John Cassels
President, Birkdale Energy Ltd.

John has spent the last 33 years in the Canadian oil and gas sector serving as a senior officer and director with nine publicly traded junior oil and gas companies with particular emphasis on finance and the public markets.

John was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bishop’s University in Quebec and moved to Calgary in 1972 where he became a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young (then Clarkson Gordon).

As a volunteer in ski racing, John served on the board of the Alberta Alpine Ski Association from 1984 to 1990, volunteered at the 1988 Calgary OWG at the alpine venue at Nakiska and became Chairman of the Lake Louise World Cup ROC in 1994. In 2011, he was appointed  Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Winterstart Events Ltd., the company responsible for the FIS Audi Alpine World Cup at Lake Louise.

Tim Gillespie, CFA
Executive Vice-President, ATB Corporate Financial Services

Tim Gillespie is the EVP of ATB Corporate Financial Services and is responsible for the strategy, direction and leadership of ATB’s market presence in the commercial and corporate markets. Under his leadership, the team of industry and financial services experts are focused on a relationship centric model that is transforming how mid- and senior-market businesses operating throughout the province, are being served.

Tim is an experienced banker with more than 30 years of financial services experience. Tim began his career with another major Canadian financial institution as well as a Denmark-based organization where he specialized in lending with a specific emphasis on technology.

Outside of work, Tim is very active within Calgary’s business, industry and community groups current board involvement includes the HomeSpace Society, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Meals on Wheels. He is also Co-Chair of Canada’s Great Kitchen Party.

Tim is a graduate of University of Calgary and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder.

Wayne Henuset
President, Paradise Spirits Inc.

Wayne Henuset epitomizes the entrepreneurial spirit that permeates Alberta’s strong economy.

Mr. Henuset is an astute investor and powerful business entrepreneur, he has been in the beverage alcohol industry for the past 25 years and has built Willow Park Wines & Spirits to become one of the most successful private retail liquor stores in North America.  Today, Mr. Henuset is building a world class spirit production company for global distribution.

For more than three decades Mr. Henuset’s focus was in the oil and gas industry when his entrepreneurial spirit saw him diversify his business endeavors. In 1985 Mr. Henuset established Conquest Developments, a land development company building commercial and residential projects both in Florida and Alberta. In 1994, he opened Willow Park Wines & Spirits, which has become the largest privately owned retail liquor store in Canada, garnering world attention. In 1998, Mr. Henuset opened Kelowna Chrysler Dodge Jeep car dealership in Kelowna, BC followed up by Saturn of Kelowna in 2002 and Kelowna BMW in 2005.

In 2005, Mr. Henuset co-founded Energy Alberta Corp. to spearhead the building of safe and responsible civilian nuclear energy facilities in Alberta.  Mr. Henuset was instrumental in establishing nuclear energy as a viable energy source in fossil-rich Alberta and later forming a partnership with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited.

In 2008, Mr. Henuset founded Paradise Petroleums Inc., a junior oil and gas company based out of his hometown in Virden, Manitoba.

Wayne Henuset is also extremely passionate about his philanthropic endeavors. In 2001, he established the Vintage Fund, an endowment fund operated by the Calgary Foundation. The Vintage Fund was created to support local charities. Wayne Henuset previously sat on the board of directors for Calgary Health Trust, Junior Achievement and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and was the founding member of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Calgary a new concentration at the Haskayne School of Business.

Marc Joiner
Partner, Deloitte

A partner and 26-year veteran of Deloitte, Marc is the managing partner of the prairies private company practice. He is a partner focused on relationships providing value-added services to his clients to solve problems or leverage opportunities. Marc has become a trusted advisor to Alberta’s senior executives and owners with his deep industry experience, ability and willingness to connect people in the business community and his no-nonsense, straight-talk approach to addressing problems.

Marc has extensive experience coaching chief financial officers (CFOs) and their finance teams on improving their effectiveness and efficiency resulting in more strategic and enhanced value to the rest of their organizations. Marc leads our Alberta CFO Program focusing on helping large Alberta public and private company CFOs build relationships among themselves.

Marc has always operated within the audit practice bringing his technical skills complemented by a passion for business and relationships to deliver value to clients and create positive client experiences.

Marc is married to Lesley with four children. He is an avid skier, downhill and backcountry, and road cyclist. Marc has always been a very active volunteer and currently co-chairs the United Way Calgary and Area Major Donor campaign.

Bob Thompson
President and CEO, Brownstone Asset Management

Bob Thompson is vice-chairman of the Calgary Stampede’s board of directors. He has been a volunteer with the organization since 1987 and has been on the board since 1998. As a Stampede director, he has participated extensively in developments and strategy associated with Stampede expansion.

Bob Thompson founded Brownstone Asset Management and serves as President and Chief Executive Officer. Bob directs corporate strategy and governance, and is a lead portfolio manager with the firm. Prior to forming the company, Bob spent twenty years in the energy and investment management business.

Bob is a member of the Financial Sector Advisory Board for the Calgary Economic Development Authority.

Bob earned a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) degree from Arizona State University in 1982, a Masters of Business Administration from European University, Geneva Switzerland in 1989, and the Canadian Investment Manager designation in 1997.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.