Bridging the Gap: Developing Your Hard & Soft Skills


What: SYL’s Annual Leadership Conference where the focus will be on bridging the gap between hard and soft skills. Through the utilization and showcasing of professional speakers and Credit Union leaders, this Retreat will look to feature a mix of both of these skillsets to help you in your leadership journey.

Where: The 2024 SYL Retreat will take place at Elk Ridge Resort – located North of Prince Albert, SK.

Information about Elk Ridge Resort can be found on their website.

When: The retreat will take place Tuesday, May 14th through Thursday, May 16th, 2024.

Tuesday and Thursday will be half days to allow for travel. Event scheduling will extend into Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

Who: Any current Saskatchewan Credit Union employee or Saskatchewan Credit Union affiliated employee (e.g. SaskCentral, CUDGC, etc.), aged 40 or under, who is looking to develop their hard and soft leadership skills, connect with like minded individuals, and learn from some amazing speakers.


Speaker Introduction – Jennifer Klatt

Meet Jennifer Klatt, a powerhouse with over 25 years of experience in both the public and private sectors. Her story comes from the courage to unequivocally say “YES” to the early call of leadership and the strength to continue to challenge the very essence of what it means to lead.

Jennifer’s groundbreaking achievement as the first woman to hold the position of Assistant Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure redefined what’s possible; not only for her, but for countless others who believed that they had no path upwards. Leading a massive team of 1,000+ individuals and being directly accountable for budgets exceeding $300 million, she demonstrated that glass ceilings are meant to be shattered.

But Jennifer’s journey didn’t stop there. She continued her impact from the C-suite, serving as an Executive-In-Residence at the prestigious Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, and as the CFO at SaskBuilds and most recently, at eHealth Saskatchewan. And don’t let her CPA designation fool you; Jennifer is far from ordinary. She has a unique ability to blend her executive background with coaching expertise and a substantial dash of humor to redefine the very essence of success.

Through her company, Intentional You Coaching and Consulting, Jennifer combines boundless compassion with no-BS honesty to help leaders authentically connect with themselves and the world around them. Her mantra, “Leadership is not about you, but it does start with you,” has transformed countless leaders to let go of control, create time, become more strategic and build authentic connections that fosters trust and harmony within themselves, their teams and their organizations.

Professional Qualifications:

  • Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF) (May 2019)
  • Public Sector Governance Certification (PSGov) through Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (October 2018)
  • Certified Executive Coach (CEC) through Royal Roads University (April 2015)
  • Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) (June 2001)

Jennifer Klatt is more than just a leader; she’s a catalyst for change, an inspiration for authentic leadership, and a spark for unleashing untapped potential. Join her workshops and embark on a fearless journey towards transformation, where your leadership potential knows no bounds.

Speaker Introduction – Dean Gagne

Dean Gagne is the Chief Disruption Officer of Innovation Federal Credit Union. Dean has been with Innovation since December of 2013, previously holding the positions of Chief Digital and Technology Officer, Chief Omni and Digital Officer, and Vice President, Alternate Channel Banking. Dean has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry.

 Prior to joining Innovation Credit Union, Dean’s work experience covered research, consulting, strategy, technology management, digital marketing, marketing, and advertising. Dean has worked on projects for Fortune 500 companies in Canada, the United States, England, Sweden, Germany, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Korea, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia, and India.

 Dean has previously held high-level research/consulting positions, as well as line management positions, for leading edge corporations and consulting firms. Aside from managing full time, Dean has taught marketing strategy, consumer behavior and marketing research for several universities throughout the world.

 Dean was educated (both undergraduate and graduate studies) at the University of Saskatchewan. His undergraduate studies were in Marketing and Finance (B.Comm. program) and his graduate studies focused on Strategic Thinking and Technology Management (M.Sc. program).


Dean, and his wife Katherine and their three daughters, live in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. All of Dean’s daughters attended the Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University. Dean was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada, and grew up on a farm just south of Medstead, Saskatchewan. Dean is Metis, which is one of Canada’s three distinct Aboriginal groups identified in the Canada Constitution.

Speaker Introduction – Darcy Griffith

Born and raised in small town Saskatchewan, Darcy is proud to say that he is a Credit Union Lifer (so far)! 

Prior to joining Conexus CU, Darcy previously worked at Credential Financial Strategies (Crossroads CU) and Affinity CU in various financial and administrative roles. He started at Conexus Venture Capital as their VC Coordinator and recently moved over to the marketing department in March. 

It was during his time at Conexus VC that Darcy was introduced and immersed into the tech startup world, sparking a new idea for presentation content for a wider audience. This unique ecosystem has lessons that can be drawn for young leaders in any career field. This would be Darcy’s first professional speaking gig, but he happens to know his away around a microphone/stage!

Darcy is an alumnus of the SYL Committee, having served from 2020-2022. Some of his proudest accomplishments from that time include the hosting a live red carpet for the 2022 SYL Awards and spearheading the first ever SYL 2SLGBTQ+ Pride Panel. In addition, he is also a proud recipient of the 2023 SYL Excellence Award for his credit union work.  

Darcy is passionate about building community and demonstrating that by showing up as your most authentic self, you can be the most effective leader possible from any role on the org chart. When not at work, you can see him out on the dodgeball court, trying not to fall while curling/cross-country skiing, travelling, searching for the next great outlet mall, and connecting with his family/friends.

Speaker Introduction – Fintan Ryan

Fintan is an executive coach, leadership developer and culture builder, with extensive experience in the credit union system. Having served as CEO in credit unions in Ireland and Canada for over thirty years, Fintan understands the significance of organizational culture firsthand through his work and understanding of how leaders can influence culture. Fintan holds an MBA through Munster University and completed a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching through Royal Roads University. Fintan is also proud to hold a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) designation through the ICF.

Fintan uses his coaching skills when acting as a facilitator for Strategy, Culture, and Team Building sessions. With groups, Fintan creates an environment where participants can challenge their assumptions and beliefs in a safe and fun environment.

Fintan is an associate with e-Leadership Academy, assisting with their e-Coach training.

He recently wrote a paper for Swoboda Research Centre New Reflections paper: Be Intentional About Culture … It Matters | Swoboda Research Centre ( You can see more at

Speaker Introduction – Crystal Mills

Crystal is a dynamic business and operations leader with over 25 years of experience in the financial services sector. Her infectious personality and unwavering passion for serving members has earned her recognition as a visionary and thought leader in the industry.  She is dedicated to fostering organizational growth and innovation, with a focus on member-centric strategies.

Before joining TCU Financial Group, Crystal held leadership roles at Conexus Credit Union, TD Canada Trust, and SaskPower. Throughout her career, she has spearheaded strategic initiatives aimed at enhancing member experiences and improving service delivery. Crystal’s innate ability to connect with people and understand their needs has been instrumental in shaping retail and wealth banking programs that prioritize member satisfaction.

Crystal holds an Executive Master of Business Administration (eMBA) from the Kenneth Levene Graduate School of Business at the University of Regina. As a life-long learner, she has received certification in Prosci change management, she holds the Destination Coaching Designation, and is currently completing the Project Management Professional Certification. Crystal is proficient in Agile Leadership methodologies, utilizing them to navigate teams through transformative changes with openness and empathy.

Outside of her professional endeavors, Crystal is deeply engaged in her community and serves as Vice Chair at SOFIA House. Despite spending some time in Alberta, Crystal’s heart belongs to Saskatchewan, where she continues to advocate for members’ interests and well-being. 

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have. I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end..” – Abraham Lincoln