Elie Alkoury

Elie has been involved on the technical side of the window industry since 1983. Although he is the founder, President and CEO of CAN-BEST, he prefers to be known as the Director of Research and Testing Services of its laboratories. Elie has been actively serving on the CSA A440 Technical committee for more than 27 years. This committee oversees the development of the A440 family of window standards including the NAFS-11. In 1985, Elie established the CAN-BEST Testing Laboratory, one of four SCC and AAMA accredited laboratories operating in Canada. Elie obtained his Engineering Degree (Civil -Structural) in 1987 from McGill University in Montreal, and his Masters of Engineering Degree (Building Science) in 1981 from Concordia University, also in Montreal. Elie enjoys spending family time with his wife and four girls, and once-a-while he manages to find some time to practice his trade of watch-making, just to keep his fingers and patience in tip-top shape.  We're not sure as to when Elie anticipates retiring, his professional roots in the industry are way too deep to even think about it.

Matt Batcha, Fenetech

Matt Batcha has been with FeneTech for 14 years and is currently a member of FeneTech’s business development team focusing on the Window and Door industry. Prior to moving into business development, Matt served as the software development manager for nearly ten years. He holds a B.S. in computer science from Ohio Northern University.

Paul Breault, Industrial Automation & Robotics

Paul Breault helps companies become more efficient by improving productivity and optimizing their production costs. He is curious and passionate about the world of industrial automation and has over 20 years of experience in industrial automation processes, automation machines and robot installation, machining automation parts and robotics and maintenance. Paul says when he looks at an industrial production line, optimization solutions emerge automatically in his mind. He likes working with people, complex projects and problems for which solutions are not clear.

Eddie Calisto-Tavares, Options for Success Inc.

Eddie Calisto-Tavares, C.I.M., is president of Options for Success Inc., a performance management consulting and training company. Eddie is known for her expertise in human resource & performance management, sales and service excellence, team-building, project management, organizational development and career transition. With over 25 years of management and entrepreneurial experience, education and practical know-how, she understands the importance of life long learning. Eddie has achieved a Management and Administration Certificate from the University of Manitoba and a C.I.M designation. She is Past President of Woman Business Owners of Manitoba. Eddie is a Finalist in the Manitoba Woman Entrepreneur Awards 2008 and a finalist 2003 Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. She is also a recipient of the PRIME Award (Professional Recognition for Innovation and Management Excellence) 2009 by the Canadian Institute of Management and 2010 Diversity and Cultural Awareness Award by Human Resources Management Association of Manitoba. Eddie is known as a vibrant and passionate individual who believes that a passion moves all towards greatness.

Honourable Cliff Cullen, Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade

Cliff Cullen was elected as the MLA for Turtle Mountain in 2004 and re-elected in 2007. In 2011 and 2016, he was re-elected in the new constituency of Spruce Woods. Cullen earned a diploma in agriculture from the University of Manitoba and worked in the agricultural and environmental sectors, serving as president of the Manitoba Weed Supervisors Association and as provincial manager of the Association for a Clean Rural Environment. He and his wife Marilyn have three sons.

Neal Curry, Made Safe

Neal Curry is a manufacturing industry executive with over 40 years of successful leadership experience in small, medium and large companies, in both union and non-union environments. A long-serving member of the CME Manitoba board of directors, his safety credentials include positions as the Chair the CME Safety and Health Committee, Safety Services Manitoba board member, an provincial appointment to the Advisory Council for Workplace Safety and Health by the Minister of Labour, a position on the Manitoba Employers Council and his role on the Employers Task Force on Workplace Safety and Workers Compensation.   Neal is a passionate practitioner of effective safety programs that not only comply with accepted safety practices and legislation, but also develop a culture of safety. Neal began his career in the Ontario manufacturing industry with a number of frontline management roles. Since moving to Manitoba in 1988, Neal has held progressively senior management positions with Canada Wire and Cable, Westland Plastics and HERD North America. In addition to an MBA, Neal holds a diploma in Mechanical Engineering Technology and Bachelor of Arts (Economics) from York University.

Al Dueck, DUXTON Windows & Doors

Al Dueck, Owner and Founder of DUXTON Windows & Doors, has dedicated more than 25 years of his professional life to the window manufacturing industry. Graduating from the University of Manitoba with an MBA, Al has always been particularly passionate about product design and building envelopes. A large portion of his industry background involved leading edge glazing – technological advances offering greater energy efficiency, comfort, and durable warm edge configurations. Al is the founding president of Fenestration Manitoba and is also active within Fenestration Canada.

Aynsley Dueck, DUXTON Windows

Aynsley Dueck joined DUXTON Windows & Doors in 2012 as the second generation of the family business. Prior to joining the manufacturing industry, Aynsley graduated from the I.H. Asper School of Business as well as the Art Institute of Vancouver. In 2014, she completed her Yellow Belt in Lean Manufacturing, and is now working on her Green Belt.

Ralph Eschenwecker, Independent Contractor on Corporate Excellence

Ralph Eschenwecker is a Leadership Service Provider specializing in delivering Corporate Improvement in all areas of Manufacturing Businesses. Ralph has an extensive background as a corporate excellence professional with Operations, Business Process Redesign (Lean), Engineering, Supply Chain, Facilities and Quality Systems experience in diversified high-tech industrial sectors and the business acumen required to thrive in today’s global environment. Ralph is a Professional Engineer with an appreciation of data, process discipline and rational thinking. As a Leader, he has developed an appreciation of the power of team, inspired individuals, and a business aligned strategy driven by motivated people. Ralph believes the power of team is a given - it's a matter of crafting the right combination of skills and behavior and then facilitating the direction and guidance for amazing achievement. As a Colleague, Ralph values a team based, collaborative environment.

Carolyn Geddert, Faculty of Engineering, University of Manitoba

Carolyn Geddert was introduced to manufacturing in the window industry as an engineering student in 1986.  After a 15 year career in manufacturing, the techniques learned as a shop floor worker with excellent guidance from experienced supervisors back in 1986 continue to be relevant. Carolyn is particularly passionate about giving Engineering students this type of opportunity to work in a manufacturing environment, as she knows first hand the difference this can make to a student’s career.  Now as the Director of the University of Manitoba Faculty of Engineering Co-operative education and Industrial Internship Program (Co-op/IIP) she has seen the benefits that it can have for the companies that hire these students. The students are the first connection to the faculty which leads to many levels of opportunity to solve problems, complete continuous improvement initiatives, promote your company and serve a path for obtaining government funding from both provincial and federal government programs. Carolyn will be able to provide recent examples of how this connection to the university has taken Small enterprises to the next level or supported continued growth in more established firms.

Dave Goldsmith, Plygem

Dave has over 25 years of experience in fenestration design and manufacturing.  As a newer member of the CSA Technical Committee on Performance Standards for Windows, and through participation in FenBC, Fenestration Canada and CHBA Alberta, he has contributed to recent efforts to improve the NAFS and A440S1 standards and the way they are being adopted, interpreted and enforced in BC, Alberta and elsewhere.

Amber Gunderson, Chameleon Top Coatings Ltd.

Amber Gunderson with her husband Vince are the owners of Chameleon Topcoatings Ltd. Founded in 2008, Chameleon Topcoatings Ltd has come a long way from its beginnings in a 4000 sq ft. shop in Sturgeon County, Ab. When Chameleon Topcoatings Ltd first started out, their passion for a high quality, durable paint, applied professionally for the building industry drove them to do intense research. With over 26 years of experience in coatings eventually the owners , Vince and Amber quit their day jobs to turn hard work and inspiration into to a booming business. They now serve customers with paint and lamination all over western Canada and are thrilled to be a part of the home building and commercial industry.

David Harris, American Renolit Corp.

David Harris is the Product Manager for the Exterior Division of film sales at American Renolit Corp. He has been with Renolit for over 10 years and oversees activity for all the US and Canada in this market. David's current focus as Product Manager is the education of the industry and continued development & expansion of the lamination process on building and construction components. 

RENOLIT is an international leader in the manufacture of high-quality plastic films and related products for a large variety of technical applications.  The Exterior Division of American RENOLIT supplies films that provide both design and performance enhancement capabilities to numerous types of building material components, including but not limited to, windows & doors, trim, fencing and more. 

Before joining Renolit in 2006 David had over 20 years of experience selling industrial processing machinery working with a broad range of different markets and products. 

David graduated from Davenport University, a business school in Michigan. He has previous experienc in product management, sales, facilities & personnel management, marketing, product development, purchasing and inventory management. 

Martin Holladay, Green Building Advisor

Senior editor Martin Holladay has worked as a roofer, remodeler, builder, and plumbing wholesale counterperson. He built his first passive solar house in northern Vermont in 1974, and has lived off the grid since 1975. In 1980, Holladay bought his first photovoltaic module, which is still producing electricity after all these years. After the 1988 Armenian earthquake, Holladay spent 18 months in the mountains of northern Armenia, where he helped build medical clinics and housing (ask him about the time he sent back a truckload of concrete because it was 'no good' -- in a place where you waited weeks for a redimix truck to show up). In the 1990s, he worked for four years as a project manager for a nonprofit developer of low-income housing. In 1999, Holladay accepted a position as associate editor at the Journal of Light Construction, and became editor of Energy Design Update in 2002. Holladay joined the GreenBuildingAdvisor.com team as senior editor in November 2008 where his Musings of an Energy Nerd blog is among the most popular blogs.

Rhonda Honke

Rhonda has a passion for helping individuals and companies reach their full potential in her current role as an Innovation and Growth Strategist with inVision Edge. She started her career in 1995 in the field of training and development with a large Winnipeg manufacturing company. Her continued focus on linking people, skills, and results earned her opportunities to take on executive level responsibilities in the areas of human resources, information technology and customer service in the manufacturing and financial services industries. Rhonda holds a B. Comm. (Hons) in Marketing/Entrepreneurial Studies, a B. Ed., and is a CPHR.

Maria Jasminez, AquaSurTech OEM

Maria Jasminez joined AQUASURTECH OEM in 2015 as the Director of Customer Relations. Maria brings with her 20 years of window and door industry experience in various key roles with select Canadian companies.  Prior to joining the coatings industry Maria honed her manufacturing and operations skills, in her capacity, as VP of Operations for Mennie Canada Ltd. and prior to that; as Director of Human Resources for AluminArt Products Ltd.  As an active member of Fenestration Canada, Maria also volunteers her time as a member of the planning committee for the North America WinDoor Show each year.

Jenni Lubbers, Cardinal IG

With over 20 years in the manufacturing, transportation and environmental compliance fields, Jenni Lubbers combines her experience with her extensive safety and training knowledge to bring together a truly unique learning experience.  She is the Director of Safety for Cardinal IG and supports safety managers at over a dozen facilities across the country.  She is an OSHA certified trainer for the 10 and 30 hour general industry classes and a mentor to many safety professionals entering the field.  Jenni is a past president for the Northern Region Association of Safety Professionals as well as a current board member for OSHA’s Region 8 VPPPA board.

Ian Marshall, Canadian Manufacturers' & Exporters

Ian Marshall, Lean Champion, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, joined CME Manitoba Division in 2005 as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Initiative, a joint industry / government funded initiative aimed at helping Manitoba manufacturing companies improve productivity and achieve world best performance. In this role, Ian delivers the Lean Greenbelt and Blackbelt certification programs, assists public and private sector organizations on enterprise-wide Lean transformation and supports the five Manitoba Lean consortiums. Ian is a professional engineer and spent 12 years driving Lean initiatives in the automotive and aerospace divisions of Lucas Industries in the United Kingdom and across Europe. Moving to Winnipeg 20 years ago, Ian continued to champion lean manufacturing in the roles of Change Manager at Motor Coach Industries, Plant Manager at Monarch Industries and General Manager Imports at Palliser Furniture.

Dan McInnis, Sustainable Building Manitoba

Dan had a 32-year career in the public sector including as Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for Climate Change and Environmental Protection for The Province of Manitoba. Dan will be the moderator for this session utilizing his experience and sense of humor to provide a forum for an informative discussion. Dan is currently Executive Director of Sustainable Building Manitoba.

Aaron Mundt, AmesburyTruth

Aaron Mundt has been with AmesburyTruth for 23 years and is currently a Business Unit Manager for casement and awning products.  He is actively involved in product design, product life cycle management, and P&L decisions for the business.  He is also AAMA Fenestration Master certified.

Brant Olson, WTS Paradigm

Brant has 10 years experience helping window and door manufacturers in the US and Canada implement core business systems with WTS Paradigm. He brings an engineering background and mindset to the complexities of software implementation, and is a firm believer in measurable, success-driven projects. Brant will share thoughts on how to prepare your business to succeed with a large-scale software project, and get the most benefits out of these systems.

Marco Patermann, Global Architectural Products and Services LLC

Marco Patermann has over eighteen years of experience in the international plastics industry, particularly in fenestration and especially towards decorative laminate films and their application technology. His functional experience includes: Sales, marketing, market research, product development, new business and new market development, as well as technical advisory. Mr. Patermann is in his current role, as President of Global Architectural Products and Services LLC, responsible for the Sales and Marketing on the entire American continent of the extensive exterior laminates program of the brand skai by Konrad Hornschuch AG, Germany, as well as the profile wrapping and bending equipment of FUX from Austria.

Denis Perron, Adfast

Denis Perron has over 28 years of experience in the silicone and sealants industry. He is a part owner and Product Manager for all the Adfast silicone and sealant products. Denis is involved in the chemistry of the products, the R&D and the continuous improvement program. He has helped customers improve their production line while suggesting the best sealants for their applications. He also assists architects and engineers on specific construction projects.

Harry Schroeder, Manitoba Hydro

Harry Schroeder is an engineer at Manitoba Hydro focusing on building science and the practical implementation of energy efficiency in the building envelope. With almost 30 years experience in contracting, consulting, and project management, he is able to provide a unique perspective to the industry. He is committed to bridging the gap between research and practice through education and regular interaction with national committees as well as the local design and construction industry.

Serge Rondeau, 360 Innovations

Co-founder of 360 Innovations, Serge has over 20 years of experience in ERP implementation mainly in the windows and door industry. Over the years he has developed excellent skills and knowledge in this field, particularly in North America and Europe. Serge will share his experience and the benefit of an integrated solution for our market.

Stephen Segal, Polar Windows

Stephen Segal is the President of Polar Windows and is a versatile business leader with a unique range of executive experience in Manufacturing, Retail, Consumer Products, Distribution, B2B, Operations, Architecture, Construction, Engineering, Software and Information Technology. Stephen is known for his insight into the utilization of emerging software and app technologies not only to enhance manufacturing operations but to drive rapid sales growth and competitive advantage. He has spoken to many large audiences on these topics and is an engaging and energetic presenter focused on challenging traditional methods. Stephen was named as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2006.

Nicole Verkindt - Founder, OMX | “Dragon”, Next Gen Den| Panellist, CBC News, The Exchange

Nicole Verkindt is passionate about leveraging the talents of entrepreneurs. The founder of OMX (Offset Market Exchange) and the newest Dragon on CBC’s Next Gen Den, she believes in the role of entrepreneurs to grow the economy and help solve global issues. Speaking to the importance of disruptive thinking, technology, innovation, and women’s roles in business, Nicole stresses to audiences that the key to success lies in the ability to ignore being told “no” over and over again. Nicole launched OMX in 2012, when she was only 27 years old. The online platform is the only one in the world to manage obligations government contractors have to invest in local economies, a policy called “offsets”. The platform is a powerful online marketplace with users from the world’s top defence, aerospace, shipbuilding sectors, and tens of thousands of local suppliers around the world. The platform also generates data analytics to help governments understand economic impacts of procurement decisions. Prior to founding OMX, Nicole launched Tiburon (the Spanish word for “shark”) in 2008, an offshore manufacturing business in the Dominican Republic, which sold shelter components to government contractors during the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. It was also during this time that Haiti experienced their devastating earthquake. Nicole reacted by founding the non-profit organization GlassFrog, which provided aid to the torn nation. Nicole later integrated Tiburon into a family business, and became President and CEO of GMA. In 2011, she led the sale of both Tiburon and GMA to a Private Equity Firm. Nicole graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business with a specialization in International Political Science and Entrepreneurship. Upon graduation, she worked for Big Media Group out of Belgium, and was stationed on international projects consulting with governments and international industry looking to target foreign investment. This was her bridge between international politics and entrepreneurship. Nicole received a political appointment to the Board of the Canadian Crown Corporation, CCC (Canadian Commercial Corporation), which is the sister organization to BDC and EDC. The corporation does government-to-government contracting on behalf of Canadian businesses to foreign governments. She is also on the Board of the Peter Munk School of Global Affairs MGA Program Board. Additionally, she is the official technology columnist for Vanguard magazine, a magazine with a readership of over one million, and a regular panellist on CBC's The Exchange. She is an active member of the CSCA (Canadian Space Commerce Association), CADSI (Canadian Aerospace, Defence, Security Industry Association), Aerospace Industries Association Canada (AIAC) and Global Offset and Countertrade Association (GOCA).