Everyone here has a story worth telling and an idea worth spreading. From CFL stand-outs to small business owners to singer/songwriters, we have a line-up befitting our first event and our theme of Rebel. We still have one or two outstanding invitations, so there is a little bit more to come as well. But below is who we have confirmed thus far:
Ken Dryfhout is the Acting Executive Director of The Dam, an organization working with youth and young moms in Mississauga since 1995. Ken’s job for the past 9 years has been to be a friend to the youth of his community. Over that time Ken has discovered what a truly rebellious act real friendship truly is! Ken has had the opportunity to speak to thousands of youth about being a True Rebel as well as maintaining a regular blog for youth at www.truerebel.ca. Ken lives in Mississauga with his amazing wife and their three incredible future rebels.
Ryan likes to be creative — try at best — and tell stories. For the 9-to-5, Ryan is the director of creative and communications at Me to We, a social enterprise that supports Free The Children. Ryan is also a writer that likes to break the rules and has been published widely, including in Adbusters, the National Post, Spacing magazine and works as a regular contributor with blogTO. When not traveling to Kenya, Ecuador or China with work, Ryan likes to play with Hank, his adorable Welsh Terrier that suffers from a slight attitude problem.
Former CFL Player, Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Orlando Bowen is a former member of the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats Football Clubs.He is also the Executive Director of the One Voice One Team, a non-profit youth leadership development organization that uses sport and community awareness to teach leadership and life skills to young people at.
He is the creator of the Get “S.W.O.L.E” Leadership Development program and was a finalist for the Canadian Football League’s Tom Pate Award, presented to the athlete that demonstrates outstanding commitment to his community and team. Orlando was the Education Legacy Chair on the City of Hamilton’s Commonwealth Games Bid Team and led a research team that resulted in the creation of one of Ontario’s sport academy institutions.
Orlando can be seen on the big screen as co-host of the TV fitness series, The Art of BuildingBodies, and formerly as an actor in TV shows such as Darcy’s Wild Life, Paramount Pictures, the Sum of All Fears and the hit ESPN series Playmakers. He attended Northern Illinois University (N.I.U.) on a full athletic scholarship and excelled as an athlete, captaining the football team in his senior year, at the same time obtaining a Bachelor of Science (Business Marketing) degree and a Master of Science (Management of Information Technology) degree.
Robert Buren clearly remembers the day that changed his life forever.
An avid mountain biker, he was out for his Sunday morning ride with a friend when he hit a jump in the forest that resulted in him flying over the handlebars and breaking his back in October of 2008. Paraplegic at the age of 37 with a young family, a successful career, and many goals yet to achieve, he had a decision to make… either accept the limitations that a wheelchair and society imposed on him, or find a new way to live life to the fullest without the use of his legs. He chose the latter. Three years post-accident he continues to prove that attitude is everything and anything is possible.
Designer and Illustrator Personal Website
Born in Bogota, Columbia, raised in Islamabad, Pakistan, having called the suburbs of Mississauga, Ontario home, Bushra Mahmood has travelled a fair bit in her short life. At the age of 13, Bushra started to run childrens arts and craft workshops for the C.N.E. During highschool, she put on punk and art shows in church basements and old mason halls. Bushra eventually found herself running an extremely successful and popular indie music festival for the next 5 years (RockThe Coliseum). She also ran her city’s only youth oriented arts and craft fair for 8 years (Underground Garage Sale). The experience of promotion in music and art inspired Bushra to consider the value of visual communication and design. This led her to pursue a degree in Illustration at Sheridan.
She is a proud graduating member of the class of 2012. This previous summer Bushra was hired as an intern at One Method, an award winning agency based out of Toronto. After two months she was hired as a designer and gained further experience in web, video and app design for high profile clients. This summer Bushra will be proud to call Austin, Texas her new home.
Founder, The Happiness Enhancement Group
Greg Evans earned a PhD studying the area of positive psychology—a relatively new field in psychology that focuses primarily on identifying and building what is right with people and societies, rather than simply diagnosing and treating what is wrong. Greg is currently the director of The Happiness Enhancement Group (HEG) which attempts to promote and increase happiness and human flourishing in individuals, couples, families, organizations, schools, and communities through the applied use of evidence-based positive psychology. He is the creator of The Applied Positive Psychology Program—A professional evidence-based certification course on the science, philosophy, and experience of happiness. Greg also works with organizations based on a large amount of information suggesting happiness (i.e., human flourishing or a state of maximum human functioning) is the primary precursor to success, rather than just the result—or what is known in academic and corporate circles as the happiness advantage.
Program Leader, Humanitarian Environmental Leadership Program
Creator and educator of HELP (Humanitarian Environmental Leadership Program), a unique, experiential, leadership program that engages senior secondary school students in transformative social justice outreach and environmental stewardship projects locally and internationally, Scott works tirelessly with youth in helping to shift their paradigms into becoming today’s agents of change for tomorrow’s brighter future.
Creative Director, The Student Life Network
Stephen Sills specializes in design and creative strategy within the youth marketing space.Prior to co-founding Student Life Network, Sills graduated from Sheridan Institute of Technology with a BA in Illustration Design. He was the Creative Director at the Sheridan Student Union Inc. for four years and led the team of TRAVIS magazine creating it’s Applied Arts award-winning reputation.
Stephen developed the first student union social networking website which lead to the concept for Student Life Network. He is a passionate keynote speaker at events such as COCA, Web Trends, Art Fusion and has worked with clients such as CTV, MTV, and KIA International.
Eve Loek is a Mississuaga secondary school Health and Physical Education Teacher and Coach. She represented Canada on the National Dragon Boat team for 8 years and competed at 4 World Championships. Eve is and has always been committed to athletics competing in rowing, running, cross country skiing and sprint canoe. In more recent years she has taken up outrigger, stand up paddle board and road biking. In 2009, after posting a personal best time in her 3rd half marathon, life as she knew it was put on hold. Eve’s story is about how she pressed the reset button to come back to life after a shocking diagnosis.
Jessica received her BSc in Biology from The University of Guelph before moving over into the IT sector for over 10 years, focusing on web development and web project management. Now she gets to combine her loves of science & tech while encouraging similar passions in students by helping to build CurioCity, an online program for Let’s Talk Science. In her spare time she supports social nerdism, dabbles in the latest web trends, takes & develops courses, and spends whatever’s left doing many other geeky hobbies.
Robert Brandstetter has been working with young people since he was a teenager. He has spent over 25 years teaching and coaching youth in various disciplines including music, athletics, Communications Tehnology and English. His latest passion is to teach Leadership and Peer Support classes which he calls, “Getting ready for life!” His current focus in schools is to promote student voice and encourages youth to get up on the stage and rock the microphone of life. Whether as a poet, dancer, public speaker or actor, he encourages young people to be the radical messengers of compassion and understanding. Robert’s greatest joy in life is time spent talking with his partner, and going on adventures with his children. In his spare time he makes anti-establishment videos, grows trees from seed and writes justice oriented spoken word.