Director of Strategic Markets, ATB
Q Rasi is the Director of Strategic Markets with ATB Financial and his team supports program
development for Manufacturing, Franchising, Cannabis, Partner Referral programs and
Prior to his work at ATB, Q was a post doctoral fellow at the faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the
University of Alberta and Cofounder of TVCOM Inc. - a technology company that worked with
Hollywood Studios and Fashion labels in NY. Aside from his current engagements at ATB, Q is also
a lecturer at the MacEwan University and an avid learner of blockchain-related innovations.
Chief Catalyst at Shift Selling, Inc.
Twice chosen as Canada’s #1 B2B Sales Expert (#15 in the world) by LinkedIn, Craig Elias is an award-
winning entrepreneur, educator, author and a highly sought-after business advisor.
Craig’s first business went from initial launch to being funded by a Tier 1 US-based Venture Capitalist in
less than 12 months and was twice named by Dow Jones as one of the 50 most promising companies in
The recent recipient of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics bi-annual Gold Award of
Excellence in Entrepreneurship, Craig is LinkedIn user 3,956 of over 700 million users. He has been a National Growth Advisor for Goldman Sachs’ and Babson College’s 10,000 Small Business Program in Boston, is on the advisory board for Nudge.ai (an artificial intelligence company started by a founder of Eloqua, which was sold to Oracle for $957 Million US) in Toronto, is a mentor for the GrowthX Academy in San Francisco, is on an advisory board for South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin Texas and is currently the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Bow Valley College in downtown Calgary.
In the last 15 years Craig has helped thousands of startups and small companies over coffee meetings
where he’s shared his sales secrets in exchange for his favourite coffee – a tall flat white.
Business Development Manager, Futurpreneur Canada
Tiffany Matson is a Business Development Manager for Futurpreneur Canada, where she helps entrepreneurs turn their dreams into reality by aligning them with free resources, financing and mentorship. She lives and breathes the side hustle! Tiffany is passionate about fostering connections between women pursuing business endeavours and facilitates a small group of women in business who want to share their entrepreneurial challenges and accomplishments with each other. She aspires to share her story of persistence and transformation and hopes to encourage others in their pursuit of finding their authentic self.
Senior Manager, Community Partnerships ATB
Kim Smith joined ATB Financial as Senior Manager, Community Partnerships for Business & Agriculture
in 2017. Prior to ATB, Kim was the moderator and host of a monthly panel event at Postmedia, where she regularly interviewed some of the most innovative and insightful entrepreneurs in and around Calgary and shared their inspiring stories of struggle, achievement and success in business. She is thrilled to be able to bring those insights and experiences into her role with ATB to continue supporting entrepreneurs across the province.
Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Olds College
Karla Petersen currently works for Olds College in the Center for Innovation (OCCI) and Co-Chairs the Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network (CARIN). In this role, Karla works with startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) to help them get their idea or business to the next level. Her knowledge of the innovation eco-system helps startups and SMEs
navigate funding, R&D, and incubators and accelerators. Karla recently finished her MBA and is
looking forward to the free time that will bring.
Owner, Tool Shed Brewing Company
Graham Sherman and his business partner, Jeff Orr, are two “high-level geeks” who met in Afghanistan in 2007. At that time they were working on contracts for the Canadian and US government and military, installing encrypted, tactical communication networks.
By day, they rolled around the war zone in armoured vehicles, geeking out in the world of satellite
communications. By night, they aimed their obsessive, high-level geekery at mastering coffee, competitive BBQ, controlling their respective homes back in Calgary with their iPhones….and finally, with mastering the craft of brewing artisan beer.
Now, only four years after the very first batch brewed in Graham’s backyard, Tool Shed Brewing Company has a new 15,000 square foot home in Calgary with beers being sold in over 1000 locations across Western Canada, and has been nominated as Canadian Entrepreneur of the year. The team were also named as co-winners of the “40 Under 40” recognition from Avenue Magazine.
Graham and Jeff’s meteoric rise in the beer industry is due to a level of authentic, infectious passion rarely witnessed in any industry combined with an incredibly unique approach to the social media world we live in.
The moment you hear their story you understand that simply drinking a Tool Shed beer represents an appreciation of the grassroots struggle of quitting your job and going after yourdreams AT ALL COSTS!
Founder & CEO, Social School
Kelly is an athlete turned journalist turned digital marketing diehard. After founding two marketing agencies, one focused on public relations and the other on content marketing, she shifted to education. In her current role as founder and CEO of Social School, a leading digital skills training provider for thousands of individuals and organizations worldwide, Kelly and her team passionately teach businesses how to build their online community, further their reach and grow their bottom line.
PRESIDENT, COMMERCIAL VENTURES
Elizabeth is the President of Commercial Ventures, founded in 1996, by the late Pam Ryan, as a Business Brokerage. Today the company focuses on serving business owners as they plan to transition out of the business.
Motivated from her own experiences Elizabeth is driven to educate entrepreneurs on Exit Planning, the process of selling the business to a third party and how to maximize value in the years leading up to a sale.
Team Lead, Business Facilitators at Business Link
Yoyin is a Startup Strategist who loves listening to creative entrepreneurial ideas and is passionate about
helping bring those ideas to life. She never wants any entrepreneur to feel alone in their journey to
business success. With over 15 years’ experience in business development, management consulting and
business planning, she brings diverse and invaluable experience to clients and partners in the
Relationship Manager, Business & Agriculture
Joy started with ATB Financial in Olds as a Relationship Manager with Business & Agriculture in 2017. Prior to ATB, she worked for another financial institution in a variety of roles. With over a decade of experience in personal and business lending, working with business owners and farmers has become her passion. Over the past 12 years Joy has focused on volunteering and fundraising in the Olds Community. She is excited to see what the future of banking means for her customers as they grow forward into a more digital era.
General Manager, Community Futures Central Alberta
Kelly Kierluk joined Community Futures Central Alberta in 2009 and was appointed by the Board of Directors to the position of General Manager in 2018. She has over 25 years of education and experience in financial services and small business development and lending.
With extensive knowledge in small business analysis, including examination of operating cycles, profit levels, cash flow projections and budgeting, Kelly enjoys counselling small business owners at their startup or expansion phase to help them build successful businesses and reduce risk.
Kelly’s spouse has owned and operated a successful small business in Central Alberta since 1996, and
she is keenly aware of the skills, characteristics and sacrifices required of entrepreneurs.
Kelly has contributed to the success of Community Futures in Central Alberta for 10 years by and
managing special projects, as well as assisting entrepreneurs with advisory services, training and