Keynote: Aaryn Flynn, former general manager of BioWare

Aaryn Flynn spent 17 years at BioWare, a world-renowned computer game developer based out of Edmonton. After joining as a computer programmer, he went on to lead technical teams and eventually manage the studio as the General Manager in 2009. He eventually expanded his responsibilities to include BioWare’s teams in Montreal and Austin, Texas. He has helped contribute to award-winning games like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, the Mass Effect Trilogy, and Dragon Age: Inquisition, which was heralded as 2014’s Game of the Year by hundreds of industry publications.

The global computer games industry now generates more than $100B annually in revenue and is the most dynamic in all of entertainment. No industry evolves, or gets disrupted, faster or more frequently. Over his career, Aaryn has learned how to keep up by embracing innovation that allows organizations to lead, while staying true to the organization’s core values.

Aaryn has undergraduate degrees in Computing Science and Genetics from the University of Alberta, and MBAs from Cornell University and Queen’s University.

Mini-Talk Speaker: Adam Crutchfield, PwC

Adam Crutchfield, P.Eng, is a Consulting Partner for PwC Canada, based out of the Calgary office, specializing in Operational Excellence in Energy and Utilities operations.

PwC Canada helps organizations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. Our partners and staff across the country are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax, consulting and deals services. PwC Canada is part of the global PwC network of firms where each member firm is a separate legal entity. This gives the organizations and individuals we work with access to more than 180,000 people in over 150 countries.

Adam has multi-industry experience managing deal integrations and providing performance improvement, business integration, and cost optimization solutions tailored to the unique needs of my clients. Adam has also been involved in providing operations and supply chain management support, with a focus on sustainable operations improvement.

His experience also includes managing projects in industrial, utility and heavy municipal construction environments across Canada, the United States and Northern Europe, and working in the Oil & Gas and Utility industries in Western Canada.

Specialties: management consulting, performance improvement, operations excellence, business integration, cost optimization, operations and supply chain management, sustainable operations improvement, lean manufacturing, project management, and oil & gas operations.

Mini-Talk Speaker: Dr. James (Jay) Cross, UCalgary


Dr. Jay Cross is scientist and innovator. He is a professor of molecular genetics in both the schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary. He has published over 120 research articles and book chapters and is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of animal reproductive and developmental genetics and, in recognition of this, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He has always worked across disciplines in different roles. He was the founding director of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute for Child and Maternal Health and the Clara Christie Center for Mouse Genomics, before becoming the founding Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education in the new school of veterinary medicine established in 2006 in Calgary. Dr. Cross is also a 4th generation rancher in Southern Alberta, and uses modern tools including genomics to increase the accuracy of genetic selection, bridging science and industry. In fall 2016, Dr Cross was appointed Director of a new collaborative, inter-disciplinary program focused on complex challenges, called the College of Discovery, Creativity and Innovation.

Mini-Talk Speaker: Alice Reimer, Creative Destruction Lab & A100

Alice Reimer is a successful tech entrepreneur and dedicated community mentor and leader. She co-founded Calgary-based Evoco, leading the innovative software firm from initial concept through to a 2012 acquisition. Evoco’s technology became the standard construction management system for global retailers including Home Depot, Walmart and Luxottica. Most recently, Alice was the CEO of Chaordix, a pioneering software leader in the crowdsourcing and open innovation space, with global clients including LEGO, Procter & Gamble, KPMG and IBM.


Master of Ceremonies: Dr. Derek Hassay

DH Headshot 2014 (002)Dr. Hassay has a BBA (University of New Brunswick Fredericton), MBA (McMaster University), and a Ph.D. (University of Manitoba) and has been teaching at the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary since 2000. Derek’s teaching and research interests exist at the intersection of Marketing and Entrepreneurship with an emphasis on the practical application of theory and most importantly has lead to the development of Entrepreneurial Thinking at UCalgary.

His work in this area lead to the development of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Haskayne School of Business (HSB) and more recently the University of Calgary’s Hunter Hub. To date, thousands of students at the business school and across campus as well as members of the community have received training in the art, science and practice of Entrepreneurial Thinking. As the RBC Teaching Professor of Entrepreneurial Thinking, Dr. Hassay designs and delivers a variety of instructional, research and community engagement initiatives related to this exciting area of economic, social and cultural development.

Dr. Hassay has been a tireless advocate for the development and growth of sustainable entrepreneurial firms and non-profit organizations for over 20 years and has received numerous provincial, national and international awards for his efforts; including the Queen’s Silver Jubilee medal. While his University and Executive Education teaching position keeps him very busy, Derek is also very busy with board membership, advisory and guest speaking commitments for a number of U.S. and Canadian organizations.

Finally, Derek is particularly proud of Selling Smiles 101 an experiential learning project he created that simultaneously teaches sales and sales management skills while raising money for children’s charities. This program that unites Dr. Hassay’s passion for teaching and charity work raised over $250,000 and supported the wishes of more than 15 children for the Alberta / NWT Chapter of Children’s Wish Foundation, in just 7 short years. The Selling Smiles program has received a variety of awards for its innovative approach to experiential learning and has now been adopted by a number of US universities.