Pinnacle Leadership Challenge Workshops

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2019-20 Workshops:

Talents, Teams, and Strengths: Unpacking your Gallup Clifton’s Strengths for Students

Presented by Andrea Davis (RSW), Student Services Manager, Gallup Certified Strengths Coach at the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University

Session dates (mandatory for all Pinnacle participants, must choose one session):

Wednesday, October 9 | 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Tuesday, October 29 | 4:00pm – 6:00pm

Location: Programming & Volunteer Room, 2nd floor of Wyckham House (Z204)

Andrea Davis is passionate about creating learning conversation opportunities between people. She is currently in a volunteer logistics role internal to the Students’ Association, helping to on-board new volunteers, build volunteer systems, and create opportunities for volunteer relationship building within the organization. In the 6 years and 10 months in her role as the Student Advocacy Coordinator at SAMRU, she coached individual students here at MRU to become their best self-advocates through a strengths-based, anti-oppressive focus. Andrea is a registered Social Worker with the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) and holds two degrees; one in Social Work, and the other, a Bachelor of General Studies with a minor in Communications from the University of Calgary, with post graduate professional development work in conflict resolution. Andrea also brings seven years of management experience in both banking and retail operations as well as a variety of experiences in human services; a complimentary blend of both for-profit and not-for profit sector experience.

In 2017, Andrea completed her certification requirements through Gallup, to become SAMRU’s own Gallup Certified Strengths Coach. Completion of her coaching certification further enhances her assistance of students in post-secondary with understanding their talents and strengths in thriving both academically and in the workplace. Gallup’s Clifton Strengths testing is used internationally across sectors and is an evidence-based instrument proven to be both valid and reliable in its results over time. For more information on how Clifton Strengths for Students is currently being used in post-secondary, visit Gallup’s website.

Personal Branding

Presented by KRIS HANS, ideas generator and social entrepreneur

Thursday, October 17 | 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Thursday, November 21 | 12:00pm – 2:00pm

Location: Programming & Volunteer Room, 2nd floor of Wyckham House (Z204)

Kris is an ideas generator capable of turning dreams into reality and truly a social entrepreneur. He continues to undertake diverse roles and responsibilities that bring his skills and experience to serve Calgary’s many communities — a testament to the value that he places on civic participation and social enterprise.

Currently, Kris is Co-Founder and Strategist at Market Grade, an interdisciplinary consultancy focused on marketing, design, innovation, and strategy. Kris teaches Business Management, Economics for Business, Entrepreneurial Thinking, Global Challenges, and Strategic Planning at the University of Calgary and Business Communications at Mount Royal University and taught Entrepreneurship and Marketing in the past. Also Kris served as the first-ever Entrepreneur in Residence at W21C in the O’Brien Institute of Public Health, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. Kris continues to work with students and start-up ventures to help grow their businesses and diversify the Alberta economy.

Personal branding is more important than ever whether you’re an academic, entrepreneur, leader, researcher, or looking to advance your career. Most people’s first instinct is to “Google” a person’s name, so taking control of your online digital footprint is absolutely critical.  Discover your personal brand vision to help you find your story and develop it into one that people can relate to and show the community who you are and what you have to offer. In the end the goal of this workshop is simple – together we hope to help you discover what’s important to you, and to present your voice to the world.

Leading Authentically

Presented by amber stallard, photographer at captured in amber photography

Wednesday, October 23 | 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Tuesday, November 5 | 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Location: Programming & Volunteer Room, 2nd floor of Wyckham House (Z204)

Amber Stallard is a lifestyle photographer living in Calgary. She currently owns her own business: Captured in Amber Photography. Amber specializes in capturing real connections and moments. From weddings to growing families, Amber aims to document life in a natural and authentic way. Before her journey into photography, Amber worked 12 years in the non-profit sector. Past roles include event management, volunteer management and program facilitation. Amber created and founded the Pinnacle Challenge as Student Initiatives Programmer working with SAMRU in 2016. She is extremely excited and happy to be back delivering a workshop on leading authentically. She firmly believes that being a great leader means understanding your authentic self and holding true to your vision.

She and her husband are currently raising two spirited children who keep them extremely busy most of the time. She loves singing show tunes in her car and having dance parties in her kitchen. You can follow her on Facebook at Captured in Amber Photography or on Instagram @capturedinamberphotography.

Values Lead Communication

Presented by Kelly Wood, Faculty Banff Centre’s Leadership Institute

Friday, November 1 | 11:00am – 12:30pm

Location: Programming & Volunteer Room, 2nd floor of Wyckham House (Z204)

Kelly Wood is a strengths- and solutions-based life coach and facilitator. She is faculty at Banff Centre’s Leadership Institute and coaches and facilitates with businesses, non profits and individuals through her own business. She designs experiences that challenge, inspire, create and explore with outcomes of empowerment, awareness, awakenings and forward movement.

Her super power is communication, working through conflict and helping clients look through a values-based perspective. You can find her at, or on Facebook at KellyWoodCoaching.

Present Your Idea Like a TED Speaker

Presented by Kurt Archer, Chair TEDxYYC & Co-Founder WordCampYYC

Wednesday, November 6 | 12:00pm – 2:00pm

Location: Programming & Volunteer Room, 2nd floor of Wyckham House (Z204)

Go beyond the elevator pitch and connect your idea directly to the audience you wish to reach. This workshop will reveal how to prepare and deliver a TED style talk to help you communicate your ideas and make an unforgettable impression. Note: Please complete a two minute pitch on an idea or topic (or bring a pitch you’re working on) to this workshop and test it out on an audience.

Kurt is the communications lead for Canada’s leading climate change think-tank, the Pembina Institute.  Previously he founded two global non-profit organizations, and coached youth across Canada, Latin America and South Asia. Based in Calgary, Kurt is the Artistic Director and curator for TEDxYYC. He sits on the AIESEC MRU board of Advisors and the Morpheus Theatre board as vice-chair. In addition, his side business, Archetype: Orange, focuses on empowering entrepreneurs to focus and grow their ideas. He has coached groups with Startup Calgary and Social Venture Partners: Fast Pitch.

Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership

Presented by Courtenay Smart, Peer Learning Coordinator & Tash Reynolds, Manager of Operations and Administration for Mount Royal University Residence Services

Wednesday, November 13 | 11:00am – 1:00pm

Location: Programming & Volunteer Room, 2nd floor of Wyckham House (Z204)

Tash Reynolds works as the Manager of Operations and Administration for Residence Services and teaches the ‘Being a Leader Course’ at MRU. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Global Studies and is currently completing her Master of Education in Post-Secondary Studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland. In her spare time, Tash owns and operates an online business called Peppermint + Pine and volunteers as mentor in the Harry G. Schafer Mentorship Program.  

Courtenay Smart is currently the Peer Learning Coordinator with Student Learning Services and has a passion for instruction and leadership. She holds a BSc in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Alberta, and more recently, completed her Master of Arts in Leadership through Royal Roads University. When not working with students, Courtenay can generally be found doing anything active – especially running, hiking or biking.

Sprouting Ideas: Turning Your Ideas Into Action

Presented by Ravi Thaker, Founder of Paddle Station & Kaylee Houdu, Business Coach

Friday, November 22 | 12:30pm – 2:30pm

Friday, November 29 | 10:00am – 12:00pm

Location: Programming & Volunteer Room, 2nd floor of Wyckham House (Z204)

Ravi Thaker is known as serial entrepreneur. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, he moved to Calgary ten years ago and is the founder of seven start-ups. He recently completed his MBA at the Haskayne School of Business in 2018 and founded Paddle Station this summer. Paddle Station allows you to book a kayak and/or a camp kit online, and retrieve it at your reservation time from the respective self-serve locker, hassle-free, at multiple locations in Calgary. Ravi hopes to one day to expand Paddle Station across the province and country. Also MRU alumni with diverse experience in entrepreneurial work, he has worked in for-profit and non-profit industries such as Scotiabank, Imperial Oil and the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank. His best advice for budding entrepreneurs is start with the core of your business and make it sustainable.

Kaylee Houdu is committed to what she calls her “3 C’s” of communication, collaboration, and creativity when using solution-focused coaching techniques to inspire her clients towards action. Navigating through professional turmoil herself during the Oil and Gas downturn through 2015-2017, this authenticity driven coach knows what it is like. Kaylee’s credentials include a life coaching certificate from Erickson Coaching International, a Bachelor of Commerce with a minor in Psychology from UBC’s Sauder School of Business, and 5+ years of corporate Human Resources and Recruitment experience. Throughout her career she has coached thousands of employees and leaders through change management, job amplification, and recruitment related strategies. Overcome career dissatisfaction and build a life you love with Kaylee Houde!


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