4th Annual Workplace Wellness Conference

Returning with Resilience

Join us on May 4&5 2023


Sponsor NowRegister

This event is brought to you in part by:


Neil Thornton

President of the Thornton Group, Consultant, Business leader, and Author

Leading Change and Body Language

Speaker Bio

Since starting The Thornton Group, Neil has made a commitment to share the ideas, insights, and trends that he has learned in over two decades of consulting, business development, entrepreneurship, and coaching business leaders. He has been asked to work with business teams, associations, executives, public entities, academic institutions, and technology-innovation groups. He has worked with business owners, senior managers, and human resource leaders in the field of strategic execution, visioning, team training, coaching, and skills development. In his work, Neil can be found in the field, on job sites, shop floors, meeting areas, and board rooms. From boots to shoes and coveralls to suits, he communicates and connects from years of experience where it counts most — in the trenches of the real world of business. In return, he throws away the traditional management handbooks to help organizations get real results by turning ideas into action, holding them accountable and bringing them measurable results that dramatically improve performance. Neil is well known for his highly energetic, dynamic speaking style and in-depth knowledge on topics ranging from strategic execution, the new reality of business development, professional branding, verbal and non-verbal communications, speaking, and leadership development. He has a sincere and direct approach that hits straight to the heart of integrity and intention through a unique talent for understanding the psychology behind human behaviour. He pushes and drives for change by influencing every conversation he has with others and demanding honesty and authenticity in every interaction.

Whether he’s giving the keynote address at a conference, facilitating training projects, or working alongside a team, he stops at nothing to help organizations overcome uncertainty and drive change. He strengthens culture by engaging and transforming teams, creating highly effective corporate strategies, and developing clearly articulated vision statements that inspire. His new book ‘Presence, Impact and Influence’ can be found on Amazon.ca. Neil can be found by searching him on Google, connecting with him on LinkedIn, or by visiting thorntongroup.ca. A key trend Neil has observed is that what it takes for a business to succeed today has changed. Gone are the days of only competing on price and so-called service excellence. Everyone has great service today, that is a given. It is now your people who make the difference; and these same people are dealing with intelligent, web savvy customers who demand more and can broadcast their experience out to thousands of people in an instant.

Click here to visit The Thornton Group’s website

Michael Shoreman

Speaker Slam Winner, Author and guest columnist for The Toronto Sun, Recipient of 2022 Marg Starzynski Mental Health Leadership Award

Mental Health: Navigating Your Comfortable

Speaker Bio

Recently recognized by Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, the House of Commons and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Mike Shoreman is the first athlete with disabilities to cross all five Great Lakes. Through this national awareness campaign, Mike raised critical funding for mental health programs and services in schools and communities for national non-profit Jack.org, benefitting youth and children across Canada. In 2018, a rare neurological condition left Mike immobile with multiple disabilities. Mike, a professional coach with Paddle Canada, experienced a significant mental health breakdown. After receiving mental health treatment and spending a year in extensive physical rehabilitation, learning to walk, and facing hearing, vision and mobility challenges, he set out to achieve what medical professionals said was not possible. After sharing his gripping story in 2019 with a powerful performance on stage, winning North America’s largest inspirational speech competition, Mike became an overnight online viral sensation. The speech he delivered, detailing a mental health breakdown and recovery received an overwhelming response, racking up millions of online views on multiple platforms, inspiring and touching people from all corners of the world. In 2020, Mike wrote a personal essay detailing his own mental health journey as a guest columnist for the Toronto Sun for World Suicide Prevention Day. That article ran nationwide by Post Media, helping normalize conversations of mental health in Canada. Following an unsuccessful crossing attempt of Lake Ontario in 2021, Mike decided to set a greater challenge, sounding the alarm on the youth mental health crisis in Canada. He aimed his sights on crossing all five Great Lakes. In the summer of 2022, Mike and his support team conquered crossing Lakes Erie, Huron, Superior, Michigan, and Ontario, winning the support and admiration of Canadians, while his crossings were covered extensively by International media, and shared by members of parliament, mayors and Canadians from coast to coast. A feature length film, documenting the Canadian Mental Health crisis and Mike’s journey by Director Matthew Wagner (USA), will be released in August 2023. The recipient of the 2022 Marg Starzynski Mental Health Leadership Award presented by Mood Disorder Society of Canada, Mike is an accomplished writer, author, an ambassador to several international non-profit organizations, an entertaining and passionate speaker, and a butter tart connoisseur.

Click here to visit Michael Shoreman’s website

The Unstoppable Tracy Schmitt

2023 Empowered Women of the Year, Motivational Speaker, Author, 2020 Canada's Disability Hall of Famer

2023 Unstoppable You

Speaker Bio

Tracy is UNSTOPPABLE – and not just because she was cameoed in the movie RoboCop alongside Michael Keaton and Gary Oldman. You are going to be blown away…not only is she a powerhouse from an inspirational and motivational standpoint after over 100 million views, this woman is also a powerhouse in business. TV Show host Unstoppable Tracy is a #1 international mega success and multiple times TEDX speaker who spoke in 40+ countries. She has shared the stage at events with Dr Phil, Jane Fonda, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Douglas, Mel Gibson, John Travolta, and dozens more A-listers! And a movie star herself. Her mind-blowing story always gets standing ovations mesmerizing audiences out of their limitation zones into taking action. Oprah Magazine shared her story as a Quest for the Gold World Cup Sailor. She was the 1st to climb the Himalaya Mountains as a person of her stature, she has captained 110 foot tall ships in the Eastern Atlantic and is a decorated athlete in an able-bodied male-dominated sport. This past year Tracy was inducted into Canada’s Disability Hall of Fame for her work in developing countries such as Uganda, Nepal, Mexico, and more! She has been in magazines such as Chatelaine and on covers like Thrive and in Business Booster Today, as well as seen on ABC, BBC, CBC, NBC, and many more globally around the world … As #1 Transformational Leader Global Female winner by leadership guru John Maxwell selected out of 160 countries and 2021 Top Inspirational Leader awarded from International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) … Tracy doesn’t just talk about high performance in business…she lives it! As a Corporate Consultant who is laser-focused, hard-hitting business coach for your team, her skill set includes building teams that are outperforming the stock market in times of crisis. Taking athletics high performance to business high performance, she has represented companies such as Air Canada, National Corporations, and Uber during great change …where Tracy became a major disruption of normal. To top it all off… if she is not incredibly awarded enough in Business, as a Humanitarian, as a World Cup Sailor, and climber …did I mention she was born a 4-way amputee? Meaning with no hands and no legs. Success depends on perseverance. Unstoppable Tracy is an expert who disarms limiting beliefs and delivers the Lim[b]itless Secret to Unstoppable! Now she adds a Best Selling Author in Business & Self Help to her long list of amazing accomplishments. #1 Hot Deal & #1 Mover & Shaker Cup of Chicken Soup for the Soul endorsed her book ‘Unstoppable YOU; Exceed Uncertainty, Embrace Possibilities, Earn Independence’. With humor and motivation, you can crush your obstacles and soar to the top! No matter where you are in life, sometimes you just need to be inspired. You are a great leader pushing to drive your inner power. That’s never easy. And sometimes you will feel like you can’t do it anymore, any better, or any other way. Well, in ‘Unstoppable You’, Unstoppable Tracy helps you see that you can conquer your impossible by ensuring you [Un]stop the Story. With a laugh, Tracy helps you turn ordinary days into extraordinary today. Know more about her Lim[b]itless Secret and book her! Her mantra: “If I Can Do It, You Can Do! What’s Your Excuse?” Let her charge up your audience and become the hero of your organization for hiring Unstoppable Tracy.

Click here to visit Unstoppable Tracy’s website

Breakout Hosts:

David Sider

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) and Certified Canadian Counsellor

Mindfulness and Stress Management Strategies for 2023

Speaker Bio

David Sider is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) and Certificated Canadian Counsellor (CCC), with a total of 14 years experience in community mental health and addiction services in both Kingston and St. Catharines, Ontario. David works as an independent contractor for Brookside Psychologists in the Niagara Region, and has recently founded his own virtual practice, Compass Psychotherapy, providing service to individuals across Ontario. David attempts to provide a safe space when working with individuals of all ages.

Be seen. Be heard. Be authentically YOU!


Click here to visit David’s LinkedIn

Peter Young

Marketing and Fundraising Specialist, Employment Counsellor

The Benefits of Virtual reality to Workplace Wellness, Productivity, and Soft Skills Development

Speaker Bio

Peter has been the Marketing and Fundraising Specialist for META Employment Services since 2021. Prior to marketing, Peter worked as an Employment Counsellor for the Supported Employment program which supported individuals with disabilities in preparing for securing, and retaining gainful employment opportunities. He holds a degree in behavioural psychology and has over 5 years of experience supporting individuals through employment services.



Julie Langan

Executive Director for John Howard Society — Kingston

The Importance of Hiring People with Resilience

Speaker Bio

Julie Langan is a passionate social justice advocate, with over 15 years of experience supporting people from marginalized backgrounds and community development. She has worked in the addictions and mental health field as a crisis worker and in supportive housing rehabilitation. Along with her team, she has established the Bail Supervision Program in Lennox and Addington, Frontenac, and Leeds and Grenville Counties, developed a community residential program for people released from federal prison, and increased the service offerings of John Howard and Kingston and Districts Institutional programming. John Howard Kingston and District also offers a robust Employment Program, ReStart, specializing in supporting people with multiple barriers to employment. This year John Howard Kingston and District merged with Connect Youth Inc. and is working on a capital build and office space to offer youth, justice, and housing outreach services for Leeds and Grenville.


Click here to visit John Howard Society Kingston website

Kelly Stanhope


Aromatherapy as a Tool to Relieve Stress & Anxiety at Work

Speaker Bio

Kelly has learned through lived experience that it is so very important to connect the spirit with the body, mind, and emotions. She is a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist as well as a Registered Social Service Worker.  She is an active Professional Member of the Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists and the College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.  Kelly provides aromatherapy services to support her clients with the use of aromatics given to us from nature.  As a graduate of Healing Fragrances School of Aromatherapy, she has completed the intensive program and now supports clients towards their wellness goals with positive guided imagery and energy work.


Click here to visit Kelly’s Facebook

Theresa Bailey

Founder and CEO — Starfish Synergies Inc.

Wired to Connect: Transforming Team Culture

Speaker Bio

What helps people thrive? Theresa Bailey has asked that question for over two decades and knows the answer – connection. Whether fostering community across settings defined by work or geography, Theresa teaches organizations how to authentically connect, leading to improved quality of life, productivity, and a sense of meaning and purpose.

Theresa is the Founder of Starfish Synergies Inc., the exclusive Provider of PlayDoh Power Solutions Corporate Training, and a National Bestselling Author who resides in Madoc, ON.


Rebecca Rafuse

Registered Psychotherapist and Professor, specializing in Trauma and Neurodiversity

Neurodiverse Workplaces – A New Norm

Speaker Bio

Rebecca is a Registered Psychotherapist and founder of Limestone Psychotherapy. She brings with her a background in behavioural psychology, counselling psychology, mindfulness, and social/emotional learning. In recent years, she has focused on working with families after divorce, child and youth development, as well as teaching skills of empowerment, self-regulation, and wellness through use of evidence-based, strengths-based and trauma-informed approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectic Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness, Somatic Experiencing, and Solution-Based Therapy.

Rebecca specializes in empowering neurodivergent clients living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism, or Trauma to enhance their self-regulation, stress management, and mindfulness skills. She views mental and physical struggles from a whole person perspective and works to identify the underlying biological, social, and emotional causes. She understands that balance is an integral part of wellness and empowers individuals to heal themselves, while supporting them on their wellness journeys.

During sessions with Rebecca, she will introduce the nervous system functions associated with mental health struggles, provide psycho-education related to your presenting problem, and use mindfulness and somatic techniques to aid the client in becoming more in tune with themselves; how their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are connected, and understand a bit of the “why” things are happening. Developing helpful tools to regulate, soothe, and express yourself in healthy ways, ensures that when the client leaves the therapy space they can not only survive, but make it to a place of thriving.


Click here to visit Rebecca’s Linkedin


Tansy Hunt

Certified Yoga Instructor

Workplace Yoga

Speaker Bio

Growing up a competitive gymnast and athlete, Tansy says “it just made sense” to pursue a career in Fitness and Wellness. After completing her Yoga teacher training and Fitness and Health promotion, her career began and continues today — evolving, transitioning, and continuing to grow and learn her field.

Fast forward twenty something years and Tansy returned to school to become a massage therapist. Fitness and Wellness are truly her passion and she looks forward to encouraging and educating clients to be their best self and live their best life.



Don’t miss panel discussions with professionals from these organizations!

Retention Strategies that Promote Workplace Wellness



Current Challenges and the Future of Mental Wellness in the Workplace



Join Michael Shoreman for an onshore paddleboard lesson or Tansy Hunt for a lesson in workplace yoga. These interactivities will help you develop balance, reduce stress, and develop an appreciation for activities that support physical wellness!

Michael Shoreman – Certified Paddleboard Instructor
Tansy Hunt – Certified Yoga Instructor

Panel Discussion Guests

Retention Strategies for Workplace Wellness

Emily Smith, Job Developer for META Employment Services Durham region

Jackie Goddard, Employability And Essential Skills Facilitator – Durham College

Nancy Anthony, Job Developer/Employment Support Professional – Community Living Ajax, Pickering, and Whitby

Jason LeSage, Owner of Jason’s Moving

Sandie Sidsworth, Executive Director of Enrichment Centre for Mental Health

Current Challenges and the Future of Mental Wellness in the Workplace

Sandra Leslie, Executive Director of META Employment Services

Julie Langan, Executive Director of John Howard Society Kingston District

Rosanne Soso, Employment Services Representative for Serco

Amy Widdows, Director of Development and Capacity Building – ODEN

Beverly Beuremann-King, Founder – Work Smart Live Smart

Thank you to our generous sponsors for making a difference!





In-Kind Sponsors

"The speakers were amazing! What a great program!"

"Impressed with the presenters. Food was excellent. Excellent, central, accessible location"

"Great range of speaker within the mental health topic. Very engaging and informative thank you for an amazing day! Excellent content."

"The quality and quantity of resources at this event were fantastic. Learned quite a few new things and hope this will better our workforce. Thank you!"

"Thank you for the inspiration! All of the speakers were excellent and I found the information helpful, insightful, and very relevant. Very well organized and I also enjoyed the humour and laughter injected throughout the day."


Belleville Office

META Services