Join us to hear presentations and discussions from our expert line-up of speakers!

Marty Carpenter
Canada Beef Inc.
Executive Director, North American Market Development
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada the "heart of Canadian beef country" sharing the passion for food has been a lifelong pursuit. Formally cultivated with 2 years of culinary study at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) followed a formal European style apprenticeship enjoying 8 years of working my way up the culinary ladder as Chef with Imperial Oil and at Fairmont Hotels and other venues including as Culinary lead at the Canmore Nordic Center during the 88 Winter Olympics. Marty successfully achieved his CCC - Certified Chefs de Cuisine designation in 1991.

Marty transitioned his career and has dedicated his talents within Canada's beef industry for the last 19 years showcasing the high quality beef produced by our beef industry through work with the Alberta Beef Producers, Beef Information Centre and now with Canada Beef as Executive Director of Market Development, North America. I now lead a team of 8 beef professionals in delivering both technical and marketing services in the North American marketplace.

Dr. David Chalack
Board Chairman
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Master of Ceremonies

A veterinarian active in Canada's cattle industry with extensive international experience, Dr.Chalack currently holds the position of International Sales Manager with Alta Genetics Inc., based in Balzac, Alberta, and is owner/partner and President of Rocky Mountain Holsteins Ltd.

Dr. Chalack serves as the Chairman of the Board of Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), is a board member of Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), and Chairs the Ministerial Advisory Board of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Corporate Directors, and has recently been appointed to the board of the Canadian Dairy Network (CDN). Dr. Chalack is on the board of the Alberta Economic Development Authority and a member of the Dean's Advisory Council for the new University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. He is a board member of the Alberta Ingenuity Centre for Livestock Gentec and is an official judge with Holstein Canada.

Dr. David Chalack is a widely respected expert in the meat and livestock industry. He is a past Chairman of the Board for the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, past Director for Horse Racing Alberta and past Director for the Calgary Zoological Society. He was also a former Director of the Canadian Livestock Genetic Exporters Association and is an official judge with Holstein Canada.

In addition to his 25 years with Alta Genetics Inc., Dr. Chalack practiced veterinary medicine as a partner at Moore & Co.Veterinary Clinic, with a focus on large animal medicine, bovine health, and reproduction management. Dr. Chalack has adopted the One Health Initiative in his work, which is a worldwide strategy for collaboration in advancing the health of humans, animals, and the environment to encourage sustainability. Dr. Chalack holds a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Saskatchewan and attended the University of Alberta's Faculty of Agriculture. As recognition for many years spent advancing Canadian agriculture domestically and internationally, Dr. Chalack was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2011.

Steve Dittmer
Executive Vice President
Agribusiness Freedom Foundation

Presentation - Relationships Between Friends: Nothing's Easy Anymore

The rising importance of trade, globally-based activism and interdependent economies increase the challenges and opportunities and raises the stakes for U.S. and Canadian cattlemen.

For nearly ten years, Agribusiness Freedom Foundation's Steve Dittmer has been delivering facts, reasoned analysis and bold opinions regarding beef industry economics and politics through the e-mail newsletter, AFF Sentinel. He also does presentations, a blog ( and Facebook. Where trade associations are diplomatic, AFF's mission: be blunt about ignored facts, distortions, emotion-driven illogic and the hidden agendas of demagogues attempting to "reform" agriculture. The AFF favors free market solutions -- preserving all the possible options, innovations and coordination between industry sectors.

For 28 years, Dittmer wrote "Ruminatin,'" his editorial column for CALF News Cattle Feeder magazine. Steve and his wife, Debbie, co-published CALF for over 20 years.

He now writes a column, "Policy Perspectives," for Drover's Journal/CattleNetwork.

They have one son, Chris, an executive, Don Cherry-wannabe and ice hockey goalie who once attended the Rick Heinz goalie camp in Toronto.

AFF has been most active recently in the mCOOL issue, defending U.S. beef checkoff system, the proposed GIPSA Rule, lean finely textured beef, border issues with BSE, exports and free trade and government regulations.

Glen Hodgson
Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist
The Conference Board of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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Presentation - Things are looking up!
After five painful years of recovery, the Global and U.S. economy are finally performing at a higher level.

Glen Hodgson brings 32 years of experience and a specialization in international economics and finance to the position of Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist of The Conference Board of Canada.

Mr. Hodgson is responsible for overseeing the Board's macro-economic outlook products, tourism, custom economic research, and is the Board's chief spokesperson on economic issues.

He has published over 225 articles and briefings. He has written extensively on Canadian tax reform and fiscal policy. He was editor and a contributing author to the book Crisis and Intervention: Lessons from the Financial Meltdown and Recession, published in November 2010. His next book is Power Play: The Economics of Pro Sports, co-authored with Mario Lefebvre and slated for release in the spring of 2014.

Mr. Hodgson is leading several high-profile research initiatives at the Conference Board: the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care (CAHSC), the Global Commerce Centre (GCC), the new Centre on Tax Analysis, Fiscal Incentives, and Competitiveness (TAFIC), and has guided the formation of L'Institut du Qu├ębec, in partnership with HEC.

Glen joined the Board in September 2004, after 10 years at Export Development Canada (EDC). He also spent a decade with the federal Department of Finance, and served at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D.C. during the 1980s as Advisor to the Executive Director for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean.

Mr. Hodgson has a B.A. (Honours) in Economics from the University of Manitoba, a M.A. in Economics from McGill University, and pursued Ph.D. studies at McGill. He is the current president of the Ottawa Economics Association.

Darrell Jones
President, Corporate Services
Overwaitea Food Group
Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Presentation - Ethnic Marketing in Western Canadian Grocery Stores
During the session, OFG President, Darrell Jones will speak to the group about the customized stores and offerings the company has developed to meet the unique needs of the Asian customers. Specifically, Darrell will talk about the product selection developed for the company's "international" stores.

Darrell Jones embarked on his 37 year career in the food business in Cranbrook, British Columbia at the local Overwaitea Foods store where he bagged groceries after school. Darrell joined teams in 23 different Overwaitea Food Group stores and communities as he moved progressively through a series of senior operating roles. For the past 11 years, Darrell has been a key member of the Overwaitea Food Group Senior Management Team, and company President since 2012. He enthusiastically leads an increasingly diverse company known for innovation and industry leadership.

Tom Lynch-Staunton
Director Industry Relations, Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science
Livestock Gentec-University of Alberta, Delta Genomics Centre
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Presentation - The Rancher's Dilemma-Production efficiency or carcass quality?
How much can a cow/carcass producer affect carcass quality on the ranch? What effects can a rancher have on the whole industry? Tom will talk about what ranchers can do from a producer's and a research perspective in terms of satisfying consumer preferences.

Tom currently works as the Director of Industry Relations at Livestock Gentec in the University of Alberta as well as Delta Genomics Centre, a UofA "spin-out" non-profit DNA service lab. He has strong practical and lifetime experience in the livestock industry. Before joining Livestock Gentec, he co-managed the family owned Antelope Butte Ranch (est.1885), a mixed 1000 head cow/calf crossbred seedstock operation, with his brother in Southern Alberta. Tom received a bachelor's degree in Marketing and International Business from Simon Fraser University, and completed a Spanish diploma in Mexico. Currently, Tom's role at the university is to work closely with the executive team in strategic development of the genomics research program, communicating research, and coordinating projects with cattle and other livestock producers. Tom is also now pursing a part-time MBA at the UofA, as he continues working. Tom continues to be very much engaged with the beef industry and most recently has been involved with the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, being led by the Canadian Cattleman's Association.

John Masswohl
Director of Government and International Relations
Canadian Cattlemen's Association
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Presentation - International Cattle and Beef Trade Issues and Negotiations
John will provide an overview of how the CCA works internationally to help Canada's beef producers.

Based in our Ottawa office, as a government and international relations liaison, John spends the majority of his time as the voice for the Canadian beef industry to Canadian and U.S. governments as well as maintaining international relations around the world. John joined the CCA after previously working closely with the Canadian beef industry as Agriculture and Trade Counsellor with the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Follow John on Twitter @JohnMasswohl

Dave Solverson
Camrose, Albertaa

Opening and Closing Comments

Dave Solverson was acclaimed as President of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) on March 7, 2014 at the CCA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Ottawa, ON.

Solverson, a native of Camrose, AB, replaced Martin Unrau, who moved to the position of CCA Past President. One of Solverson's top goals - obtaining a free trade agreement with Korea - was fulfilled on his fourth day on the job as CCA President. Solverson accompanied Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Seoul, Korea for the March 11 announcement that Canada and the Republic of Korea had reached a FTA.

Solverson's other priorities include pursuing a FTA with Japan, and ensuring the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union is implemented in a manner that enables Canada's beef cattle producers to derive the very significant benefits that have been negotiated.

The CCA will also continue its work to successfully resolve U.S. mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). Achieving a favourable resolution of COOL is a top priority, he said.

"The CCA has achieved significant progress on a number of key files over the past few years and I am determined to keep that momentum going," Solverson said.

Solverson runs Woodwind Ranch, a 5,000 acre cow-calf to finish operation along with his brother Ken. He brings a wide range of experience to his role. He has sat on both CCA and Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) Board of Directors and served as ABP's Finance Chair and Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance representative. He has served as chair of the CCA Animal Care and Foreign Trade Committees. He was acclaimed as CCA Vice President in March 2012.

Brad VanAuken
Partner, Chief Brand Strategist
The Blake Project
Honeoye Falls, New York, United States

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Presentation - Branding Beef from A to Z
Brad will present a variety of ways to create brand-loyal customers using many different brand examples. He will then focus on how to achieve this in the beef industry given its unique threats and opportunities.

Brad VanAuken, president and founder of BrandForward, Inc. and partner and chief brand strategist for The Blake Project, has crafted strategy for more than 150 brands throughout the world. Previously, Brad was the vice president of marketing for Element K, a leading e-learning company and director of brand management and marketing for Hallmark Cards, Inc. During his tenure as Hallmark's chief brand advocate, Hallmark rose to 4th in the EquiTrend national quality brand ranking and Hallmark received the Brand Management of the Year award. Recognized as one of the world's leading experts on brand management and marketing, Brad is a much sought after speaker and writer. He has been interviewed by ADWEEK, CNN, Entrepreneur magazine, Fox News, Investor's Business Daily and The Bloomberg Money Show and has been a guest lecturer at many universities including Stanford University, Northwestern University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Rochester and University of Kansas. He wrote the best-selling brand book Brand Aid. His blog,, is read by tens of thousands of marketers throughout the world. In 2009, Invesp identified him as one of the top 100 marketers. Brad has a BS degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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