Adam Growe portrait

Adam Growe

Your sense of humour & localizing Red Cross Strategies
The Adam Growe Quiz Show, Survival 2020 Edition

Adam Growe is a professional comedian, (host of Cash Cab), who has been entertaining and inspiring audiences for over 30 years. Adam is also a certified Canadian Red Cross First Aid Instructor.

Andrew MacPherson portrait

Dr. Andrew MacPherson

Volunteer and lead of the Resuscitation Council for Science Advisory Council, Canadian Red Cross Medical Director

First Aid Guidelines Release
2020 First Aid Guidelines and Protocols for Canadians, Post Conference Session

Dr. MacPherson is Emergency, Trauma & EMS Physician, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of British Columbia. He is the Vice Chair of the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Medical Advisory Committee, volunteer and lead of the Resuscitation Council for Science Advisory Council, and Canadian Red Cross Medical Director. He brings his passion, enormous clinical knowledge, humanitarian nature, and humour to all the numerous roles he plays with Red Cross and other worthwhile organizations. Dr MacPherson is also a recipient of the Order of Red Cross for his enormous volunteer contribution to the Canadian Red Cross and the Red Cross movement as a whole.

Don Marentette portrait

Don Marentette

First Aid Guidelines Release
2020 First Aid Guidelines and Protocols for Canadians, Post Conference Session

Don is the National Director of First Aid Programs with the Canadian Red Cross. He is an Emergency Medical Technician Master Instructor Trainer with 20 years’ experience teaching safety programming. Don has been with Red Cross since 2008 and has contributed to multiple training curriculums from community based Paramedics to Advanced First Aid programs. With over 25 years’ experience in emergency services in both military and civilian settings serving as a Fire Service Instructor, Paramedic, CBRN Technician, Advanced Peer Debriefer CISM, Don has devoted much of his adult life to creating safer environments both domestically and internationally. Don has a BSc from University of Windsor, holds a certificate of Adult Education, and is a graduate of NAIT’s Advanced Care Paramedic program and Canadian Armed Forces Fire Academy.

Portrait of Elke Weyenbergh

Elke Weyenbergh

Consulting, Interpreting And Using First Aid Research Evidence

Elke Weyenbergh is the Focal Point First Aid at the international department of the Belgium Red Cross. As a Focal Point, Elke aims to build expertise in the field of first aid, to share the BRC expertise in first aid nationally and internationally, and to assure the quality of all BRC first aid related projects in eastern and southern Africa.

She therefore combines her scientific background as a pharmacist, with the pedagogical knowledge and skills from her teaching degree and almost 10 years of experience as a youth Red Cross volunteer and youth first aid trainer, both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Frank Pia-Francesco portrait

Dr. Frank Pia-Francesco

Structured Scanning for Lifeguards

Dr. Frank Pia-Francesco “Frank” Pia, a school psychologist, has a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies focusing on psychology, human factors and public health and has 21 years’ experience as a lifeguard, and chief lifeguard at Orchard Beach, Bronx, NY. He conducted the original research on the Instinctive Drowning Response, developed drowning person vs distressed swimmer categorical classification, and formulated the RID Factor for analyzing the causes of swimming related drowning fatalities. A former member of the American Red Cross Advisory Council (SAC), he authored and published peer reviewed articles, served as a technical advisor, instructor, and instructor trainer for the American Red Cross’ lifeguard and lifeguard manager programs, was a member of the U.S. Lifeguard Standards Coalition, and the CDC’s Model Aquatic Health Code bather’s supervision subcommittee, and awarded the American Red Cross’ SAC emeritus lifetime achievement award.

Portrait of Dr. Jorien Laermans

Dr. Jorien Laermans

Consulting, Interpreting And Using First Aid Research Evidence

Dr. Jorien Laermans is one of the 3 Field Coordinators of Cochrane First Aid, a Cochrane thematic Field that advocates and promotes the use of high-quality research evidence on first aid. Jorien is also a methodological expert at the Centre for Evidence-Based Practice (CEBaP) of the Belgian Red Cross. At CEBaP, Jorien and her colleagues offer scientific support to the humanitarian aid and blood supply services of the Belgian Red Cross, by developing systematic reviews and evidence-based guidelines, as well as performing primary field research. Jorien holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the Catholic University of Leuven (Leuven, Belgium).

Jeffrey Pellegrino portrait

Dr. Jeffrey Pellegrino

Resilience Tools For Your Community
Disco-ing your CPR Education

In a small (but culturally diverse) city in middle America (at least demographically) lies a la-bor-a-tory in which a young(-ish) scientist toiling to change the brains of the most difficult mammal to train, the Homo sapien. Using the "dark" Art of Changing the Brain – and standing on the shoulders (figuratively) of Drs. Zull and Kolb – Dr. P. connects people's medulla oblongata to stimuli around them. Then through the use of questions, pushes that stimuli till it comes back out … (menacing) ha ha ha. The Survival Behaviors Lab at Aultman College, in Ohio founded by Dr. Pellegrino, works in each domain of first aid learning with individual learners and entire learning organizations. When not playing with minds, Jeffrey's alter egos are with his family and serving as a firefighter/EMS in his city.

Jill Hunt portrait

Jill Hunt

Psychological First Aid (PFA) - Think Pair And Share Examining The Challenges And Successes Of The Past 3 Years

Jill Hunt became a member of the Canadian Red Cross Injury Prevention team of facilitators in 1999 and since then, she has become passionate about the many facets of education and training available in the industry. From Core First Aid, CPR & AED to Youth programming, Respect Education programs, Professional Responder training and Psychological First Aid, Jill has gone from “participant” to “Instructor Trainer” in each. Jill’s dedication to injury prevention eventually led her to furthering her education and community service by becoming a Primary Care Paramedic and working on road ambulance for nearly 8 years. Throughout this time, Jill continued to provide first aid & CPR training, which eventually brought her back to her passion in education, making the next logical step along her journey to become a Training Partner. In 2011, First Aid Vitals was born, and in 2017, it became the designated Training Partner for the Canadian Red Cross Service Centre in St. John’s Newfoundland. While not in the classroom, Jill’s interests include outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and camping, especially with her husband of 13 years and their 10-year-old daughter.

Joanna Muise portrait

Joanna Muise

Program Design and Educational specialist, Canadian Red Cross
2020 First Aid Guidelines and Protocols for Canadians, Post Conference Session

Joanna Muise is Program Design and Educational specialist with the Canadian Red Cross. She has been engaged with Prevention & Safety education for more than fifteen years (as an educator, developer and researcher) and is driven by a desire to ensure that all learners feel empowered to act when presented with an emergency situation. Engaged domestically and internationally as an educational specialist, Joanna believes that successful first aid education considers how we engage and motivate learners, in addition to the traditional focus on clinical interventions. She is currently pursuing a MPEd in Educational Leadership.

Portrait of Jody Carrington

Dr. Jody Carrington

Leading Greatness

Over the past 15 years, Dr. Jody Carrington has assessed, treated, educated and empowered some of our most vulnerable and precious souls on the planet. She is a child psychologist by trade, but Jody rarely treats kids. The answer lies, she believes, in the people who hold them. Especially when kids have experienced trauma, that’s when they need big people the most. Some of her favourites include educators, parents, first responders, and foster parents. Jody has shifted the way they think and feel about the holy work that they do.

Before Jody started her own practice and speaking across the country, she worked at the Alberta Children’s Hospital on the inpatient and day treatment units where she held families with some of the difficult stories. They taught her the most important lesson: we are wired to do hard things. We can handle those hard things so much easier when we remember this: we are wired for connection.

This all started when Jody received her Bachelor of Arts with Distinction from the University of Alberta. She completed a year-long internship with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police during that time, and worked along side families struggling with chronic illness at the Ronald McDonald House. She received her Master’s degree in Psychology at the University of Regina and completed her PhD there as well, before completing her residency in Nova Scotia.

John Napier portrait

John Napier


John’s superpower is to lead, and lead by example. With over 25 years of experience with the Red Cross, primarily in Aquatics, John has enjoyed building and training many strong teams and believes that it is the challenges that confront us that provide us with the greatest growth. He is a Psychological First Aid Master Instructor Trainer, a Lifeguard Instructor and Aquatic Program Course Conductor. Constantly seeking connection and a willingness to collaborate John has partnered with a dynamic and dedicated team of individuals with extensive experience building and maintaining real human connection in the workplace and communities. Their focus is about sharing a vision for more resilient and healthy relationships. Together we are stronger, and we recognize that our life story is fluid. John’s newest collaboration as FluidStory with Wendi Napier and Diane Story supports this vision for a healthier future.

Portrait of Jonathan L. Epstein

Jonathan L. Epstein

Cultural Awareness, Competency and Humility - Program and Classroom Considerations and Disparities in Pediatric CPR

Jonathan is currently the Director of EMS Product Management for the Public Safety Group, a division of Jones & Bartlett Learning where he also directs the Emergency Care Safety Institute (ECSI). He is responsible for the strategic direction of emergency medical services (EMS) programs focusing on initial provider education and continuing education programs as well as ECSI first aid and CPR offerings. Previously, Jonathan served as the Senior Director for Science, Industry, and Government Relations at the American Red Cross.

As an Emeritus Member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, Jonathan was the recipient of the Clara Barton Award for Volunteer Service. Jonathan is an active ILCOR First Aid Taskforce member and ILCOR Domain lead for Emergency Care. He is an author of the International Consensus on Science with Treatment Recommendations for First Aid and an author of the American Heart Association and American Red Cross First Aid Guidelines.

A nationally registered paramedic, Jonathan received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a focus on healthcare policy from Tufts University, and his Master of Emergency Medical Services from the Graduate School of Hahnemann University (now Drexel University).

Dr. Joseph Rossano portrait

Dr. Joseph Rossano

Cultural Awareness, Competency and Humility - Program and Classroom Considerations and Disparities in Pediatric CPR

Dr. Rossano is the Chief of Cardiology and Co-Director of the Cardiac Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and holds the Jennifer Terker Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cardiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He attended medical school at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital for his pediatric residency. He moved to Houston for pediatric cardiology fellowship training and there underwent additional fellowship training in cardiac intensive care and heart failure / transplantation. While on the faculty of Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s hospital he obtained a Master of Science degree in clinical research. He has clinical and research interests in resuscitation and serves on the Scientific Advisory Council of the American Red Cross.

Portrait of Justin Sempsrott

Justin Sempsrott

CPR and Drowning Prevention in the Era of COVID-19

Justin started as an ocean lifeguard in 1996. While in medical school at the University of South Florida, he co-founded Lifeguards Without Borders and continues to serve as their executive director. He is the Medical Director of Starfish Aquatics Institute, Innovative Attraction Management, and the International Surf Lifesaving Association. He currently works as an EMS, Flight, and Emergency Medicine and serves on the board of directors of the Safer 3 foundation. He has authored several textbook chapters and lectures nationally and internationally on drowning resuscitation. He was recently voted the 2015 National Drowning Prevention Alliance’s Lifesaver of the Year and was the 2015 recipient of the National Water Safety Congress Presidents Award.

Portrait of Kristopher Tharris

Kristopher Tharris

Gazing Back to Look Forward: Storytelling in Education

Kristopher Tharris has been developing his practice as an educator for the past 15 years in a variety of capacities, currently studying educational leadership at The University of Western Ontario as a doctoral candidate. He is an innovative thinker who thrives at creating an engaging environment, bringing people together to find a common solution. Kristopher excels at placing the learner at the centre of the learning experience. He takes complex concepts and constructs clean visual models, believing that visual appeal and organization of materials leads to creating understanding and high-quality communication. He specializes in using technology as a tool to enhance learning, ensuring it is relevant and supported by theory and practice. Having lived in four countries, Kristopher also brings a unique and layered perspective to his work. He has worked in North and South America, Europe, and Africa in addition to being fluent in both French and English.

Lesley-Anne Morley portrait

Lesley-Anne Morley

Fostering Partnerships with Indigenous Communities through Meaningful Engagement

Lesley-Anne started her career in aquatics 25 years ago when she became a volunteer swimming instructor with the City of Edmonton which led to a paid position lasting 13 years as an instructor, lifeguard, coach and trainer for both Canadian Red Cross and Lifesaving Society leadership programs. In 2009, she became a Master Instructor Trainer with the Canadian Red Cross, a position she held for six years. Since joining the Red Cross family as staff in 2011, she has held a number of roles including Summer Water Safety Specialist, Water Safety Program Representative, Program Support Representative and Indigenous Swimming & Water Safety (ISWSP) Coordinator. Since February 2019 she has been in the role of Indigenous Community Outreach Coordinator while still overseeing the ISWSP. She also does work as an Instructor Trainer for Water Safety, Lifeguarding and First Aid programs.

Leslie White portrait

Leslie White

What's in a Name?

Leslie calls home Torbay, Newfoundland & Labrador where she lives with her husband, 2 kids, 2 dogs and 2 cats. Leslie is presently employed as a Recreation Facilities Supervisor with the City of St. John’s, Department of Community Services. Leslie has been in the aquatics field for the past 25 years. Leslie is a Master Instructor Trainer with the Canadian Red Cross in Water Safety, an Instructor Trainer in First Aid & Lifeguarding, a former Branch Trainer with the Lifesaving Society NL and a member of many committees and working teams in the industry. Leslie’s experience in the Aquatics field has allowed her to travel to all 10 provinces as well as all over Newfoundland & even on a movie set!

Letecia Rose portrait

Letecia Rose

Strategies For Improving Work Culture Using an Equity Mindset

Letecia Rose is an award-winning facilitator and community engagement specialist passionate about creating equitable spaces. Working in the area of diversity, social justice and community engagement for the past ten years, Letecia has trained thousands of stakeholders and organizations across Ontario and has created spaces for individuals to have courageous conversations about issues of diversity, inclusion and belonging (DIB). Letecia is a recognized city-builder working along groups like Civic Action as a Fellow and has received the United Way Innovation and Creativity award and a Vital People award from Toronto Community Foundation.

Markus Brunner portrait

Markus Brunner

Building Safer Communities - Creative Innovative Approaches to Prevent Drownings

Markus Brunner brings close to 35 years of experience in the pool industry. As President of Forest City Pool & Patio Inc. in London, ON, he has developed a broad knowledge of construction, installation and renovation techniques all within the scope of code and legislative compliance. Mr. Brunner serves as the Pool & Hot Tub Council of Canada representative on the Canadian Drowning Prevention Coalition's steering committee. He is also a stakeholder on the Coalition's technical working group focusing on drownings among children 1 to 4 years of age.

Michael Pretty portrait

Michael Pretty

Psychological First Aid (PFA) - Think Pair And Share Examining The Challenges And Successes Of The Past 3 Years

Michael Pretty has been a Facilitator and Instructor for 30 years, including 27 years with the CRC. He is a veteran of the Canadian Army Regular Force and retired at the age of 50 with 33 years of service and several operational tours. Michael became involved in PFA at a very personal level with decades of suffering from PDSI (PTSD). He has thoroughly embraced the PFA program after participating in several Mental Health courses and secessions, he is highly passionate about ensuring the PFA program is made available to whomever needs it. He is an avid amateur military historian and is the Chair of his community's Heritage Committee and runs his own charity, which centres on ensuring what veterans from NL accomplished is remembered. Michael was a CRC MIT for 8 years and is currently an IT in most CRC FA programs. He is a Training Partner and an IDC in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

Michelle Hebein portrait

Michelle Hebein

Building Safer Communities - Creative Innovative Approaches to Prevent Drownings

Michelle Hebein brings over 30 years of experience in the aquatics and recreation industry and more than 10 years coordinating volunteers. She is a Canadian Red Cross Swim Master Instructor Trainer and a member of the team of volunteers who develop and maintain the Red Cross Swim Instructor Development Program. Ms. Hebein is the leader of the Canadian Drowning Prevention Coalition's technical working group focusing on drownings from unintentional water entries, and is a stakeholder on the Coalition's steering committee.

Michael Nemeth portrait

Michael Nemeth

Volunteer – Implementation and Clinical specialist for the International Red Cross First Aid Guidelines

2020 First Aid Guidelines and Protocols for Canadians, Post Conference Session

Michael Nemeth is a long-time volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross as has played a role as Implementation and Clinical Specialist with the International Guidelines. Michael currently is the Program Manager for the Firefighter Prehospital Care Program at the Sunnybrook Centre for Prehospital Medicine and the Toronto Fire Services Designated Officer Program which have led him to being seconded to a leadership role for the City of Toronto COVID-19 Response. Michael currently holds the rank of Acting District Chief of the Special Operations Section of Training and Technical Operations / Toronto Fire Services and Advisor to the Deputy Chief of Operations. Michael also brings with him over 35 years’ experience as a paramedic, educator, leader and advocate within Prehospital care.

Paul Snobelen portrait

Paul Snobelen

Pandora's Box: What Lifeguards And Lay Responders Have Taught Us

Paul Snobelen is a Community Resuscitation Programs specialist with Peel Regional Paramedic Services located in Ontario, Canada. Paul is responsible for increasing the propensity of lay responder action and local implementation of pre-hospital programs supporting the chain of survival. He has developed and implemented a Region wide community based Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) program, Lay Responder Support Program (LRSP). He is the project lead for "AED on the fly" (AED Drone) and implemented the Volunteer Community AED Responder Program. He is certified as a Crisis and Trauma Responder and author of “Helping Those Who Help: A Lay Responder Support Model” and co-author of “Please. Don’t. Die.” He is participating in the development of a scientific statement for the lay responder experience, and continues to advocate for supporting those who Act to Save a Life. Paul is a Red Cross Instructor trainer for first aid programs, and a psychological first aid instructor.

Rita V. Burke portrait

Dr. Rita V. Burke

Resilience Tools For Your Community

Rita V. Burke, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. She has over 60 peer-reviewed publications, over 50 abstracts at local, state and national conferences and book chapters. She is the former co-chair of the Research Committee for the Pediatric Trauma Society, co- chair of the Disaster and Emergency Response sub-committee of the American Public Health Association, and the current co- chair for the Los Angeles Children in Disaster Working Group. She is a member of the American Public Health Association, Society for Epidemiologic Research, the American College of Epidemiology, and the Resuscitation sub-council for the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council. She is the Associate Editor for the peer-reviewed journal Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness and co-author of Landesman’s Public Health Management of Disasters. She is the Principal Investigator to examine the gaps in preparedness for families with children with access and functional needs as well as another grant that examines the role of faith-based organizations in disaster preparedness. Dr. Burke received her MPH and PhD in epidemiology from the University of California, Los Angeles where she also received several competitive grants and fellowships while earning her doctorate.

Portrait of Shelley Dalke

Shelley Dalke

Shelley Dalke is the Director, Swimming and Water Safety Programs for the Canadian Red Cross. Shelley has worked in the aquatic industry for over 30 years. Among her most notable accomplishments within the Red Cross are her leadership roles in the creation of the Red Cross Swim program (launched 2005; revised 2010) and the redesign of the Instructor Development Program in 2015. In 2009, she took the leadership role with the unintentional water related fatality research team and has supported the publication of reports from the Ten-Year Study on Drownings in Canada – a comprehensive series of five reports examining drowning trends from 1991-2000 through to our most recent: The Flotation Report, Lifejackets/Personal Flotation Devices and Boating in Canada: 20 years of Research. In 2011, Shelley represented Red Cross on the Public Health Agency of Canada Active and Safe Initiative in the role of co-project sponsor on a joint initiative with the Lifesaving Society titled, The Open Water Wisdom Campaign which saw the distribution of 16,000 PFDs to communities across Canada as well as provided water safety messages and activities for these communities.

Shelley supports our team of staff and volunteers who represents the Red Cross on Canadian Drowning Prevention Coalition, working towards establishing and implementing a multi-sectoral and multi-year plan to reduce drowning in Canada that is consistent with the WHO Global Report on Drowning.

Tyrone Power portrait

Tyrone Power

Psychological First Aid (PFA) - Think Pair And Share Examining The Challenges And Successes Of The Past 3 Years

Tyrone Power is an educator with experience as both a classroom teacher and an administrator and holds a Masters of Education in Information Technology, a Masters of Education in Leadership and a Bachelor of Education. He has extensive experience working with Indigenous Peoples across Canada through his work as an Indigenous Education Programs Specialist, and Professional Learning Specialist. He is the owner and operator of Baccalieu Trail Safety Services, a First Aid and People Savers Instructor, and a Restorative Justice facilitator and has experience in conflict mediation and resolution training, First Aid for Mental Health Training, and ASIST (Suicide Intervention Training). Volunteering is important to Tyrone and he is active right across his home province of Newfoundland and Labrador.


Conference Planning Committee


Bef Glass portrait

Bev Glass

Volunteer Engagement

Bev is a full-time Health and Safety Specialist for the City of Red Deer. Bev is a long-time volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross with experiences in a variety of programs such as Water Safety, Disaster Management and First Aid Programs. Volunteering for the Canadian Red Cross is a passion, as is facilitating leadership, working and meeting with so many fabulous people across the Country. When not working or volunteering, Bev spends time in the warm weather outdoors and with family and friends and spoiling a nephew and niece.

Coming soon portrait

Cindy Driscoll

Speaker Engagement and Scheduling

Cindy has been in aquatics for over 30 years. She started her career in aquatics when she had two young children realizing that she could help support her family, teach swimming lessons and have fun all at the same time. For the past 5 years, she has been employed with the City of Edmonton as an Aquatic Program Coordinator. She has been involved in aquatics in three provinces - Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Cindy is passionate about educating people of all ages to be safe in, on and around water.

Dominique MacDonald portrait

Dominique MacDonald

Conference Committee Volunteer and MC

Dominique started off as a swimming instructor and has become an Aquatic’s industry leader, as a Canadian Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety Ambassador, Master Water Safety Instructor, Lifeguard and First Aid Instructor and the current President of the Alberta Association of Aquatic Professionals. She holds many senior leadership certifications and some of her favorite badges earned over the years include EMT-A, Crowsnest Pass EMS, Ice Rescue Specialist and her favourite... the Canadian Red Cross Survival badge.

Dominique cultivates teams and committees that develop and carry out innovative & sought-after programs, staff training and special events. As the Manager of Corporate Brand and Services with Your Better Life Coaching and Recreation Excellence, she hopes to share her passion and innovation with you.

Portrait of Erin Wilson

Erin Wilson

Social Events / Speaker Training and MC

Estevan's been a brave community to let me take so many risks. Some have worked and some we don't talk about... I started out as a reluctant speed swimmer who grew to love the water regardless of the body type I inherited from my dad. I hung around the pool all through the 80s admiring the lifeguards and couldn't wait until it was finally my turn. Achieving my aquatic qualification in the 90s and going to SIAST for Recreation & Leisure, I was hired into the aquatic industry and have never looked back.

Portrait of Johanna (Vicky) Logan

Johanna (Vicky) Logan

Keynote Speaker Engagement and Scheduling

Born and raised in Ontario, Victoria’s love for recreation and the outdoors has taken her on a journey across Canada. First stop, Laurentian University, where she completed a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, specializing in Outdoor Adventure Leadership. So sporty and outdoorsy!! Next stop! Go to BC and try to be a ski bum... who knew ski bums actually do work at ski hills? So on she went, working at a few hills and loving the fresh air! And then... a stroke of luck turned her into a hurtin’ Albertan. Currently Vicki is the Aquatics Manager at the University of Calgary. Victoria is a Red Cross First Aid Instructor, Lifeguard Instructor Trainer, and Master Water Safety Instructor. She must really like the Red Cross! On top of loving the travel, she’s an avid climber, runner, yogi and will never say no to a walk on the beach.

Kevin Paes portrait

Kevin Paes

Conference Planning Staff Committee Chair and MC

The Ultimate Survivor 2020

I was an exceptionally persistent child. When I look back at the torture I must have put my poor Dad through. Like the time my Grade 2 class went to swimming lessons. I was hooked! I came home every day and asked if I could get more lessons, and when I got a “maybe Kevin, we will see” I started asking in the mornings and after school. Really, I knew no limits when I was on a mission and my Dad gave in after finding several notes in his jean pockets explaining how awesome swimming lessons were. It was that persistence and my Dad finally giving in that started me on the path I’m on today (thanks Dad!). After 31 years in Aquatics, here I am today, working for an amazing organization, a piece of the puzzle that helps save lives through the work we do. I’ve been lucky enough to run facilities, be part of the design of Red Cross Swim and I’ve had the opportunity to travel around the world to share our success and train others. Most of all, I’ve worked with amazing people who have taught me incredible lessons that help guide what I do. And the icing on the cake: We help kids, adults and families make wise choices when they are in, on and around water. How cool is that?

Portrait of Lyle Karasiuk

Lyle Karasiuk

Social Media and MC

Lyle is the Director of Public Affairs and Support Services for Parkland Ambulance Care Ltd. in Prince Albert, SK, where he also resides. He first became involved with the Canadian Red Cross as a special events volunteer, and went on to become a First Aid Instructor. Lyle is currently a Master Instructor Trainer for the First Aid Program, a member of the Provincial Advisory Committee for Saskatchewan, and a Red Cross Training Partner. He assists with numerous volunteer projects and was part of the provincial media team for the Canadian Red Cross during the 2015 Saskatchewan fire response.

Lyle gives his time to many organizations and committees, and is a member of the Membership Services Committee of the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada, as well as a Chair of the Paramedic Week Committee. He was awarded Prince Albert’s 2014 Citizen of the Year honour for his efforts and commitment to the community. Lyle has also received the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal, the Governor General of Canada Emergency Medical Services Medal, and two Queen’s Jubilee Medals.

Portrait of Shauna JacksonCrabb

Shauna JacksonCrabb

Speaker Engagement and Scheduling

Who am I? I have impersonated Gwen Stefani, I have taught English in Japan and when I met the love of my life we made up a fabulous last name that very few people spell correctly, even if they’ve known me for years. I spent most of my youth at the YMCA–-not because I don’t have parents, but because it’s an amazing place to hang out. I have been in the water so many times and for so many hours I qualify for mermaid status. My love of swimming started when I had an amazing Red Cross swimming instructor teach me how to blow bubbles through my nose and I love it because the water is my second home.

Portrait of Sunni Belle

Sunni Belle

Speaker Training

Sunni Belle became an aquatics enthusiast at six months of age when her father introduced her to swimming in Lethbridge, Alberta. From her very first submersion in the water, she came up with a giant smile on her face and has never looked back. Sunni began instructing swimming lessons in 1997 for the City of Red Deer, where she embraced her aquatics career becoming a Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Trainer and Red Cross First Aid Instructor. She had many different roles with the City of Red Deer ranging from a slide attendant to supervisory positions. In 2009, Sunni decided to go back home to Lethbridge where she is now Assistant General Manager for Recreation Excellence. Sunni is still an active Red Cross Water Safety Instructor, Instructor Trainer, First Aid Instructor and Assistant Lifeguard Instructor. She continues to share her knowledge and passion with the community through work and volunteer opportunities.


  • Don Marentette - Conference Chair
  • Shelley Dalke - Conference Chair
  • Carolyn Tees - Marketing
  • Nita Sigh-Quigley - Communications
  • Maureen O’Neil - Conference Evaluation and Marketing
  • Joan Savoie - Volunteer Engagement
  • Cody Flomen - Key Note Speaker Engagement and Scheduling
  • Azza Taha - Sponsorship
  • Angela Hart - Sponsorship
  • Emily Chan, Marina Botter, Emily Burke, Alex Davey, Henry Stevenson, Rafi Chaudhury - Digital and Creative Solutions