Bi-Annual Conference Recap

On September 24 and 25, Saskatchewan Young Leaders (SYL) hosted its bi-annual conference at the Hilton Garden Inn, Saskatoon. The weather was fantastic, the company was great and the learnings were bar none. Let us explain!!!

Wednesday evening kicked off with Jean-Franҫois (JF) Carrey, Canada’s youngest man to successfully climb the peak of Mt. Everest. After 6 years of training and over $100K invested, his dream became his reality. His message spoke of perseverance and reminded us to enjoy the journey, not just the destination.

Entertainment for the evening was Saskatoon Soaps, an interactive improv show that allowed us to have a great laugh with our fellow young leaders. This was followed by some great networking.

Now onto our big day… Erin Robinson from VanCity Credit Union opened the morning with a discussion on Climbing the Corporate “Lattice”. She reminded us that our careers will not move straight up, but may move laterally, backwards and in unexpected directions. We learned about her success and how she has strategically looked for gaps in her experience and actively sought ways to close them. Congratulations to Erin for her dedication to the Credit Union System and for her successful career thus far.

“Fearless Conversations” was the topic of Rachelle Brockman’s session at the conference. Many of our SYL followers may recall her webinar “Leadership Communications” earlier this year. Her session at the conference reminded us of the importance of communicating and pushing past the “fear” that we feel when we need to have difficult conversations with those we spend our time with. Great strategies and learnings, some real takeaways for sure.

Our panel in the afternoon was full of amazing leadership within the credit union system and was brilliantly facilitated by Ian McArthur, Manager, Business Advisory & Core Services at SaskCentral. Innovation Credit Union’s CEO Dan Johnson spoke on Collaboration in the Credit Union System; Laurie Smith, Senior Human Capital Consultant with SaskCentral, led us through Successful Careers from an HR perspective and Rich Harries, VP of Branch Operations with Access Credit Union in Manitoba, spoke about Personal Development, Goal Setting and Taking Action. The session allowed groups, arranged in a branch like structure, to have meaningful discussions based on the information presented. There was a lot of laughter, words of wisdom and inspiring conversation around the room.

Last and certainly not least “Skidrow CEO” Joe Roberts, inspired us with a message of overcoming adversity, addiction and homelessness to being successful in life and in a career. He strongly believes there is more to people than is seen or understood and with his organization “The Push for Change” he is hoping to “inspire as many people as possible to create a positive impact on @RISK and homeless youth in Canada”. The young leaders in the room were graced with an emotional, impactful and inspiring message. Please check out more about Joe and his great cause at

A huge thank you to our many sponsors, without you this day would not have been possible. Please visit our conference page for a full listing.

Can’t wait until the next conference in 2016. See you there!

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