Michael (Mike) Akpata

Michael (Mike) Akpata

Senior Enterprise Account Manager, AtHoc Product Suite


Michael Akpata joined BlackBerry on March 4th, 2019 as the Senior Enterprise Account Manager AtHoc. He is now the North American Lead for Policing, Public Safety, and Investigations for BlackBerry AtHoc. Mike worked for IBM Canada as the Team Lead Public Safety, Investigations, & Counter Fraud i2 National Sales and the SME for Canadian Law enforcement for 3 years. Mike served 20+ years with the Windsor Police Service in Windsor Ontario, Canada. Then Senior Constable Akpata was assigned to the Financial Crimes and Arson Unit where he served as both an Arson and Fraud investigator. Mike has had a diverse career with the Windsor Police Service as well as serving in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Ron Andrews

Ron Andrews

Business Continuity Management, Corporate Services

Manitoba Infrastructure

  • Risk, Business Continuity and Incident Management expertise since 2006
  • Principal of Continuity Craft – customized Business Continuity Management solutions
  • Previous Government of Manitoba Business Continuity Management Lead
  • Risk and Continuity executive and management advisor
  • Author in professional journals
  • Universities of Manitoba and Winnipeg Instructor
  • Conference Organizer and Plenary Speaker
  • Education BA, BSW, CIM, HRM, MPA, MBA, ABCP, MBCI
  • Memberships DRIE Central, DRI, BCI, RIMS, ASIS
Dr. Peter Berry

Dr. Peter Berry

Senior Policy Analyst and Science Advisor to the Director, Climate Change and Innovation Bureau

Health Canada

Since arriving at Health Canada in 1999, Dr. Peter Berry has conducted research in several areas related to climate change including health risks to Canadians, adaptive capacity, health system resilience, health vulnerability assessment and communicating climate change risks to the public. He is currently a Senior Policy Analyst and Science Advisor to the Director at the Climate Change and Innovation Bureau at Health Canada and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change at the University of Waterloo. Peter is currently an editor and author for the next national assessment Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action being led by Health Canada, to be released in 2021. Among other scientific reports, he contributed to the recently released Global Commission on Adaptation Background Paper: Health System Adaptation to Climate Variability and Change. He is currently developing an online course with colleagues at the University of Waterloo for health sector decision makers on building climate resilient health systems.

Mike Flannigan

Mike Flannigan

Principal Investigator, NSERC Canada Wildfire Strategic Network, Professor of Wildland Fire

University of Alberta

Mike Flannigan is a Professor of Wildland Fire with the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta and the Scientific Director of the Canadian Partnership for Wildland Fire Science (a partnership with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, BC Wildfire Service, Natural Resources Canada, Parks Canada, Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency and the University of Alberta). Dr. Flannigan’s primary research interests include fire and weather/climate interactions including the potential impact of climatic change, lightning-ignited forest fires and landscape fire modelling. Recent efforts have included Machine Learning to address various aspect of the fire environment. He has been studying wildland fire for over 40 years and has published over 200 papers.

Stanley Kephart

Stanley Kephart

Kephart Consulting LLC, Phoenix, AZ

Retired Police Chief Stan Kephart is a diversified law enforcement leader having held Federal, State and Tribal law enforcement commissions. During Stan’s thirty-nine plus years in professional law enforcement, he held several diverse positions such as Police Officer, 1984 Olympic Games Security Administrator, Undersheriff, Chief Probation Officer, Public Safety Director, and Chief of Police. Early on in Stan’s career, he established expertise in Crowd Management and Crowd Control as a member of California’s second largest Mobile Tactical Operations Team, the San Jose Tac Team, where Stan was a pepper fogger specialist. San Jose Tac was deployed successfully to protests and riots at San Francisco State, Stanford University, and Peoples Park in Berkeley, CA, all protests that evolved into riots. From then until now, Stan has been an expert witness for a variety of large public assemblages and is a T.V. commentator on protests and riots.

Paul Kovacs

Paul Kovacs

President and Founder

Institute for Catastrophic Loss

Paul Kovacs is founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR), Canada’s leading disaster research institute.

ICLR was established by the insurance industry in 1997 as an independent, not-for-profit research institute to develop and champion evidence-based disaster safety solutions that can be implemented by homeowners, businesses and governments. ICLR is an international centre of excellence for integrated research on disaster risk and a member of the Global Alliance of Disaster Research Institutes.

Paul is Canada’s leading authority on insurance and climate extremes. He was a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for more than twenty years, the world’s leading forum for the study of climate issues. Paul was part of the team that won the Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change.”

For more than forty years Paul has been a popular commentator on insurance, disaster safety and economic policy. He has written more than 200 publications and articles setting out advice to reduce the risk of loss from earthquakes, urban flooding, wildfire, severe wind and hail. Paul was President of Pacicc for 15 years, the program that protects insurance consumers from financial loss if an insurer fails. He authored emerging issues reports for the Insurance Institute of Canada addressing cyber risk, automated vehicles, the sharing economy, climate risks and AI/big data.

Paul is a passionate champion for insurance and resilience to extreme events. He has worked in private industry, the public sector and academia. Paul is Chair of Ontario’s Advisory Panel on Climate Change, a member of the Board for the Global Alliance of Disaster Research Institutes and Chair of the North American Alliance of Hazard and Disaster Research Institutes. He is a proud husband and father, with a growing collection of bow ties.

Roderick J. MacRae

Associate Professor

York University

Rod MacRae, PhD, is a food policy analyst with 35 years of experience examining the transition to a sustainable and health-promoting food system for Canada.

Following doctoral studies at McGill University, he coordinated the Toronto Food Policy Council for 10 years, helping to establish it as one of North America’s leading municipal food policy agencies.  He then worked for 10 years as a consultant to governments, businesses and NGOs on projects to advance sustainable food systems in Canada.

He’s currently an associate professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University and continues to consult on food system matters and contributes regularly to media coverage of food issues. With more than 150 publications, his analysis is frequently used to design policies, programmes and NGO and business strategies. His approach to food system change is widely applied in many organizations that employ the 100 graduate students whose degrees have been completed under his supervision.  MacRae’s current research focus is the design and implementation of a national joined up food policy for Canada (http://foodpolicyforcanada.info.yorku.ca).

Dr. Howard Njoo

Deputy Chief Public Health Officer

Public Health Agency of Canada

Dr. Howard Njoo is the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer and Interim Vice-President of the Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Branch at the Public Health Agency of Canada. He directly supports the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) in providing public health advice, speaking to Canadians and representing the Agency in a variety of domestic and international fora. In addition, Dr. Njoo is the federal Co-Chair of the Communicable and Infectious Diseases Steering Committee reporting to the Public Health Network Council in Canada.

Dr. Njoo has worked at all three levels of the federal system of government in Canada as a public health physician and medical epidemiologist, as well as continuing to practice as a front line clinician in infectious diseases for close to thirty years. Prior to joining the federal government, Dr. Njoo was the Associate Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto Department of Public Health and also worked at the Ministry of Health for the province of Ontario. Since joining the Federal Government in 1996, Dr. Njoo has held a variety of positions in the areas of both infectious and chronic diseases as well as emergency preparedness and response.

Dr. Njoo was involved at the senior management level for the Government of Canada’s response to the SARS (2003) and H1N1 (2009) outbreaks and has extensive international experience, including deployments to Haiti in 2010 post earthquake and Guinea in 2015 for the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak, and being a team member of international missions such as the Joint External Monitoring Mission for the National TB Program in Nepal.

Dr. Njoo is the current Designated International Health Regulations State Party Expert for Canada to the World Health Organization and was the technical lead on the Canadian delegation for the revision of the International Health Regulations (IHR) in 2004-2005. Dr. Njoo has also participated as a team member and lead in multiple IHR Joint External Evaluations, including those for the Federated States of Micronesia, Grenada, and Germany.

Dr. Njoo earned his medical degree and a Master’s in Health Science, specializing in community health and epidemiology, from the University of Toronto, and subsequently completed a fellowship and certification with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in community medicine.

Dr. Njoo is also a consultant physician at the Ottawa Hospital Tuberculosis Clinic and has an adjunct appointment at the University of Ottawa in the School of Epidemiology and Public Health.

Des O’Callaghan

Des O’Callaghan


Business Continuity Institute

Des O’Callaghan is a well-known Business Continuity Management professional, dividing his time between education and supporting industry associations and events. He retired from full-time work in 2010 after devoting 21 years to leading BCM programs in several financial institutions. Since then he has been a consultant, teacher and board member for the Business Continuity Institute (BCI). He holds the highest level of professional certification as a Fellow of the Institute (Canada’s first FBCI). He has been recognized for his many contributions to the profession, receiving the 2009 National Award of Excellence for Business Continuity from the CCEP and a Global Achievement Award from the BCI in 2015.

LCol Barry Pitcher

LCol Barry Pitcher

Commanding Officer, Canadian Forces Reserve Unit

Princess Louise Fusiliers

LCol Barry Pitcher is a Commanding Officer of a reservist unit based in Halifax, NS. He has recently retired at the rank of Inspector with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after a long and rewarding career. His previous experience as a police tactical and critical incident commander easily transcended to the military environment when COVID-19 hit in early 2020. As a reservist officer, LCol Barry Pitcher was called upon to take on the role of operations advisor for the Land Component Command under Joint Task Force Atlantic. He shares a number of key emergency planning tips and highlights the importance that our reservists bring to all Canadians in times of need.

Robert Pitcher

Robert Pitcher

Manager, Cyber Partnerships

CI Cyber Partnerships

Mr. Robert Pitcher is currently the manager of Cyber Partnerships unit within the Critical Infrastructure Directorate of Public Safety Canada. Current responsibilities include Industrial Control Systems security and awareness programs, international engagement, the Insider Risk program, cyber security simulations and exercises, and general engagement on issues related to cyber security with Canada’s critical infrastructure. Working within the operational, policy, and strategic levels, he has over 19 years of combined IT, OT, and security experience that is divided between the private and public sector.

Jack Rozdilsky

Jack Rozdilsky

Associate Professor, Disaster and Emergency Management

York University

Jack L. Rozdilsky, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director for the Disaster and Emergency Management Program at York University in Toronto, Canada. He engages in research, teaching, and other activities related to emergency management. He has research interest in disaster preparedness with respect to public emergency alert systems. Dr. Rozdilsky also is currently a co-investigator on a Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Rapid Research project sponsored by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. Previously he was a university professor of emergency management in the United States and he has practiced in the field of emergency management with work on hazard mitigation planning projects. He can be contacted at rozdilsk@yorku.ca

Magda Sulzycki

Supervisor, Grid Emergency Management

Toronto Hydro

Magda Sulzycki is the Supervisor of Grid Emergency Management at Toronto Hydro, where she oversees the Disaster Preparedness Management Program. She holds over ten years of experience working in public safety and emergency and business continuity management in both the public and private sectors. Since 2015, Magda has participated in EOC-coordinated response to dozens of large-scale planned events and emergencies. Through this, she developed a keen interest in optimizing emergency and continuity management processes. Magda holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ottawa, a Masters in Disaster and Emergency Management from York University, and a Diploma in Business Administration (specialization in Risk Management) from McMaster University. She is a Certified Emergency Manager and an Associate Business Continuity Professional.

Fiona Warren

Fiona Warren

Knowledge Assessment Manager, Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations Division

Natural Resources Canada

Fiona Warren is the Knowledge Assessment Manager with the Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Division at Natural Resources Canada. She leads Canada’s national climate change assessment process, ‘Canada in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action’. Fiona has extensive experience working on science assessments as a science editor, lead author and project coordinator (2004, 2008 and 2016). She also led the development of the 2014 assessment entitled Canada in a Changing Climate: Sector Perspectives on Impacts and Adaptation. She was a contributing author of the North America chapter in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and has been an expert reviewer of several reports and papers on climate change issues. She holds a Master of Science in Geography from McMaster University and a Bachelor of Science (honours) in Environmental Science from Queen’s University.