AGENDA for Employer Forum

Immigrant Stories: The Journey to Central Alberta, Successes and Challenges

Keynote Speaker: Tina Varughese

Communicate with the Cross-Cultural Advantage

Described as a “dynamic, engaging, knowledgeable and humorous speaker,” Tina is often rated as “the best speaker of the conference”. Her interactive approach is insightful and her delivery is highly entertaining. She breaks down barriers to create a comfortable and fun space where people ask questions they might otherwise be afraid to ask.

Panel Discussion: Build and Strengthen your High Performance Workforce

  • Moderator: Reg Warkentin
    Policy and Advocacy Manager at Red Deer Chamber of Commerce
  • Panel Member: Kristy Svoboda
    Director, Human Resources, City of Red Deer
  • Panel Member: Robecca Chahine
    Chief Executive Office, Vantage Community Services
  • Panel Member: Shammi Jassal
    Store Manager, Main Street Hardware, Blackfalds, Alberta
  • Panel Member: Cathy Oullette
    HR Manager, Johns Manville, Innisfail, AB

Breakout Sessions:

  • Organization as Ecosystem: Attracting and Retaining an Immigrant Workforce

    Zakeana Reid
    Senior Director Western Canada, Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion

  • Immigration 101: Central Alberta 2018

    Karen Howley
    Immigration Lawyer, Chapman Riebeek LLP, Red Deer AB

  • Valentine Skeels
    Local Immigrant Partnership Immigrant Advisory Council Member, Red Deer
  • The Business Case for a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

    Mario G. Patenaude
    Vice President, People Performance Advisory, Collins Barrow, Red Deer

Networking throughout the morning!

Cost: $50 per ticket

Please register here:

How we can help you!

This website features interactive tools and resources for Central Alberta employers looking to diversify their workforce. We offer professional development workshops and a web tool focused on what employers need to hire and retain immigrant employees.

Many Central Alberta employers are taking advantage of our new immigrant workforce demographic. We have interviewed these employers to learn from their experiences and to create practical resources that speak to Alberta businesses’ needs.

With Alberta Global Talent, you can find out from successful Alberta businesses how to: prepare for, attract, interview, hire, onboard, and retain qualified immigrant employees to address the growth in your business.

Do you have any questions or would like to receive further information?

Brian EnnisPlease contact our Program Coordinator Brian Ennis at
or at 403.346.8818 ext. 241.
You can also use our contact form.

Latest Articles

Put people first and your business will flourish – Lessons from one of the masters!

Let me tell you about one of the Central Alberta employers we provided with an award this year. His name is Thierry Pregliasco and he owns three McDonalds restaurants in Olds and Innisfail. He started off as a business owner in France, very focused on the productivity piece of generating revenue, but during his experience running a restaurant in Guadaloupe began forming his “people first” philosophy as foundational to his business model. At his restaurants in Central Alberta, Thierry is very much loved by his staff. He knows all 80+ of them by name and takes the time to find out tidbits of their lives and interests which he then acts upon. When I first met him outside one of his restaurants, he was giving toys his children had grown out of to one of his employees, and returning a dish from a staff member who had sent home an ethnic delicacy to Thierry’s family.


G & G Plumbing and Heating was one of the recipients of the AGT Champion Employer for 2016. Central Alberta Immigrant Women’s Association submitted the nomination. Here are a few words from the nomination: “G&G has created a workplace where employees feel valued based on the work they do, not their country of origin. They have hired several of CAIWA’s clients, and are all proud of their work, their company and their achievements at G&G. Working in the trades requires constant training, skill updating and awareness of industry development. All employees are involved in this process; exclusion is non-existent.” Congratulations G&G on the important work you do to value and welcome newcomers to your workforce!

Johns Manville Innisfail was highlighted in their July, 2016 International Newsletter. Cathy Oullette, HR Manager, Insulation Systems was quoted in that article “ This award is a direct result

Check out our Employer Webtool

  • Discover your personal and company talent profiles!
  • 50 Downloadable checklists and resources
  • 35 tutorials and videos
  • Quick answers to typical employer questions
  • Discussion board
  • Check your knowledge to get your customized resource list!

Training & Workshops

  • Intercultural training certificate program for your employees: 3 workshops a 3 hours each.
  • Workshops for employer with over 24 hours of curriculum and 4 distinct subjects on attracting, finding, integrating and retaining talent
  • Monthly lunch & learns with topics from our workshop module
  • Webinars interactive sessions covering key themes of our work shop. Coming soon!