Inspiring Innovation in your Organization

Monday, November 14, 2016
2:30 pm - 7:00 pm
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To be placed on a waitlist for this sold out conference please contact or call 705.445.2961 ext. 1774.

Inspiring Innovation in your Organization

Employers in South Georgian Bay will learn meaningful and practical ways to help make innovation happen in their businesses and non-profit organizations. This is an excellent opportunity to connect with Georgian College, local municipalities, resources and programs to move your organization forward. The fast-paced, jam-packed schedule includes three plenary sessions, a networking reception with hors d’oeuvres and local wine, a trade show and the opportunity to attend two breakout sessions.

  • Get tips for hiring and engaging the correct team to create a culture of innovation.
  • Learn about funding sources and supports to drive research, hiring and training to drive innovation.
  • Explore opportunities for innovation in your organization with service providers and other employers at the networking reception and trade show.


2:30 PM Registration (coffee service, Trade Show open)
3:00 PM Opening Remarks
3:10 PM Keynote: Balancing Growth and Innovation with Erin Young, CMO,
3:40 PM Transition Time
3:45 PM Breakout Sessions (Choose 1 of 2)
4:25 PM Transition Time
4:30 PM Breakout Sessions (Choose 1 of 2)
5:10 PM Transition Time
5:15 PM Keynote: Triggers and Barriers with Charles Plant,
5:45 PM Tying It All Together
6:15 PM Networking Reception & Trade Show
7:00 PM Fin

Plenary sessions

Balancing Growth and Innovation

Speaker: Erin Young, CMO,

New and small businesses tend to be agile and innovative -that is what makes them successful. As organizations grow, they often lose the spirit of innovation that made them successful in the first place. At, we have grown rapidly over the past 8 years and have successfully maintained our focus on innovation. I will share some of the lessons we have learned along the way.

Triggers and Barriers

Speaker: Charles Plant of

Ideas are a dime a dozen. What really matters is turning those ideas into reality. But standing between your idea and its implementation are people who fundamentally don’t like to change. If you want to inspire innovation, you need to have an in-depth understanding of human behaviour, of how and employees think the way they do. Understanding what triggers people to innovate and what barriers exist to thwart that innovation will enable you to create and drive a culture of innovation.

Tying It All Together

Moderator: Dan Brooks, Executive Director, Part Time Studies and Workforce Development, Georgian College

Speakers: Gary Crowell, Good Green Earth Company and Rhonda Bell-Allen, Georgian College

This session will tie together all the learning from today’s sessions. Innovative partners will provide examples of how Georgian College supports and serves local businesses.

Breakout sessions

Using Innovation to Hire the Correct Team

Presenter: Mike McCarthy, Managing Partner, Hire Quality Inc.

In this session you will learn how you can utilize innovation in your recruitment and hiring practices. Discover strategies, tools and local resources to attract and hire employees for innovation. Hear from local service providers about opportunities to hire fresh, creative team members to positively impact your organization.

Government Funding: Cash Flow Planning Options for Innovation & Accelerated Growth

Presenters: Alexandra (Alex) Barlow, Business Development Executive, Mentor Works Ltd. and Julie Hawken, Tracks

This presentation will focus on how government funding programs help small and mid-sized businesses tackle the barriers of financing in order to prosper and achieve growth. Whether it is to serve the need of working capital, expanding into new markets, software or hardware investment or to purchase other manufacturing equipment, there are new creative ways to approach financing to solve your innovation challenge.

The session will also provide information on funding sources available for employers through Employment Services, training subsidies, Canada Ontario Job Grant, and apprenticeship incentives. Additional hiring supports for employers will also be discussed.

Four Ways to Drive Sales Leads Using Marketing Automation

Presenter: Corey Shelson, Founder and Principal Consultant, 44 North Digital Marketing

In this interactive and tactical session we’ll reveal our in-house digital marketing strategy that we use to help our clients generate high quality sales leads and then teach you the steps that need to be taken to implement this strategy within your own business.

In this session you will learn:

  1. How to identify and target your ideal customers;
  2. How to find these individuals online and drive them to your website as cheaply as possible;
  3. How to engage these visitors and capture them as sales leads;
  4. How to automate & optimize the sales follow-up process in order to maximize the chances of converting the lead into a paying customer.

Upon completion of this session you will understand how to generate sales leads using your website and how to calculate some key performance metrics to measure your success.

Employee Engagement to Drive Innovation

Panelists: Brandon Houston, CEO, Switch Video; Brad Miller and Richard Wilson, Agnora; and Mark Bunker, Plant Manager, Autoliv (VOA Canada Inc.)

In this session you will learn how employers are embracing intrapreneurship in their organization. A panel of successful business owners will share how they have created an environment where employees feel vested in the organization and inspired to make a difference. Learn how to create a culture that supports creativity and innovative practices in your business. Discover how employee engagement and innovation can increase performance and profit.

Networking Reception and Trade Show

Local employers face a unique set of organizational challenges in this region, from hiring to retention to training. The networking reception and trade show gives employers a chance to explore opportunities with service providers and network with other organizational leaders while enjoying hors d’oeuvres and local wine.

Registration includes general admission to keynote presentations, breakout sessions, the trade show, refreshments and a networking reception with hors d’oeuvres and local wine.

Location: Georgian College John Di Poce South Georgian Bay Campus, 499 Raglan Street, Collingwood ON, L9Y3Z1

Parking is free on event day but limited. Carpooling and use of public transit are encouraged.

For more information please contact or call 705.445.2961 ext. 1774.

Event partners

County of Simcoe Economic Development Office with link

Town of Collingwood logo with link


Centre for Business and Economic Development: A Community Futures Development Corporation logo with link


South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Centre logo with link


Simcoe Muskoka Workforce Development Board Working Together logo with link


Career Solutions Employment Ontario Employment Services logo with link


Georgian logo