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
Principal, The CFO Centre

John is currently a Principal with The CFO Centre which is Canadaís leading provider of part time CFO services. The CFO Centre is a global organization with highly skilled individuals providing financial expertise and guidance to small and medium sized public and private corporations.

Prior to this position he spent 33 years in the Canadian and US 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 Bishopís 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 Race Chairman of the Lake Louise World Cup ROC in 1994.

John is now Chairman of the Board of Directors of Winterstart Events Ltd., the company responsible for the Audi FIS Ski 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 is President and CEO of Brownstone Asset Management, a Calgary based investment management firm he founded in 2003. At Brownstone Bob directs corporate strategy, governance, is a lead portfolio manager with the firm, and participates on the Brownstone Investment Committee. The firm conducts independent research and develops portfolios for investors across Canada, with investments spanning multiple sectors in both the Canadian and U.S. markets. Previously, Bob was Vice-President and Portfolio Manager at Bissett Investment Management for eight years, prior to the company’s sale to Franklin Templeton Inc.

Bob has held senior roles in project development and investor relations with a major publicly traded oil and gas corporation developing investments in Canada, the U.S. and worldwide. He is on the organizing Committee of the Lake Louise World Cup Business Forum, bringing executives worldwide together to share economic views each year at a summit held at Lake Louise Alberta.

Bob was President and Chairman of the Board of the Calgary Stampede over 2013 – 2014. He led the community through the “Hell or High Water” flood year. He has served on the Board of Directors since 1997 serving in a variety of capacities including participation on numerous strategic Board committees. Bob is extensively involved in the execution of the Calgary Stampede strategic plan which includes business development activities associated with a significant planned park expansion. Bob was instrumental in the acquisition of the 6000 acre OH ranch for the Calgary Stampede.

Bob currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Calgary Stampede Foundation. The organization has an independent Board of Directors consisting of successful community citizens, and works towards the advancement of youth programs at the Calgary Stampede.

Bob earned a Bachelor of Science 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. Bob earned the Institute of Corporate Director (ICD) designation in 2011, and received the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal for recognition of outstanding community service.