Starting Point Conference
Master Class Instructors
Erin Casey is a writer, editor, and communication professional. Erin’s mission is to spread the gospel of clear communication so we can all connect with the people, services, products, and information we need. She specializes in education, business, health, research, and social justice topics, and in making complex information accessible. You might also recognize Erin as the Period Lady — her Dignity. Period. campaign has raised awareness about period poverty and collected 120,000+ menstrual hygiene items across Nova Scotia since September 2018.
Sarah Jamer BComm’16 holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University as well as a diploma in Business Administration from the Nova Scotia Community College. She has a diverse background in sales, marketing and entrepreneurship that brings a unique perspective when working with artists. In 2015, Sarah met Laura Simpson, Founder of The Syrup Factory and started dipping her toes into the music industry in Nova Scotia. Sarah became a Co-Owner of The Syrup Factory in April 2018. She manages the day-to-day of The Syrup Factory and leads strategy to help artists better connect with their audiences.
A believer in entrepreneurship, Sarah supports artists in developing their entrepreneurial side while maintaining their artistic integrity to maximize revenue potential. She does this by focusing on project based work designed to give artists the support they need through special projects and career changing moments.
Caleb brings a passion for people to his role as President of Bowers Construction. He offers years of experience as a residential Project Manager for the high-end homes sector in HRM, and a background and education in business. Along with his diverse knowledge of innovative building practices comes a keen eye for what’s new and what’s next. Caleb can’t wait to hand you the keys to what you’ve always deserved.
Micah Brown is a noted retired professional athlete, entrepreneur and motivational speaker. He has enjoyed a successful 12 year career in multiple countries. He has an insatiable curiosity for the world around him and an unrelenting focus on making positive social impact through his business ventures and supporting exceptional organizations that tackle important social issues.
His experiences and applied research conditioned him to think differently in other realms such as lifestyle management, philosophy and societal principles. It was this mind-set which led him to be where he is today.
During his travels he earned his BSc in Business Marketing and Management, BA in Psychology and Sociology, and his MA in North American Studies.
Ultimately, Micah’s extensive experiences led to the idea and creation of BATLX. A football-specific training and development company. The Halifax Harbour Hawks Football Club was conceived as a direct result of opportunity and necessity derived from the foundation of BATLX.
Kayla is an award winning Canadian blogger, columnist, and TV personality. Trained as a teacher, Kayla loves to inspire confidence in everything she does. As a full time blogger she’s worked with big and small brands alike. As a writer Kayla has contributed to Huffington Post, Fashion Magazine, Flare Magazine, and Profile Halifax to name a few. As a multi-faceted creative, Kayla loves documenting her adventures in food, fashion, beauty and travel with an ever informative lens. Kayla is also proud of her work as a seasoned guest expert for CTV, Global, and CBC. With a commitment to authentic growth she’s traveled from province to province sharing her extensive knowledge for social media, and online marketing. For her continued work and commitment for inspiring confidence, positivity, and kindness, Kayla was chosen as one of Huffington Post’s Top 50 Canadians, and she’s been extremely humbled by her numerous awards from The Coast Reader Choice Awards for “Best Blogger” right here in Halifax Nova Scotia.
Stephanie is the Founder and Chief Growth Officer of Blue Door Group. After more than two decades of leading organizations, Stephanie began her passion project, now known as Blue Door Group, with a vision of helping business owners connect their entrepreneurial passion to profit to allow them to scale successfully. Stephanie brings extensive expertise in the development of corporate cultures that generate growth, employee retention and customer service in organizations. Her experience in coaching and mentoring business professionals has empowered her to focus on building organizations that are profitable while being people-centered and making a difference in their communities.
She is a professionally trained facilitator with years of experience in workshop architecture as well as execution for groups large and small and for a wide variety of audience profiles. From train-the-trainer sessions to keynotes, Stephanie is an energetic and engaging speaker focused on creating mindset change as well as providing inspiration. Over the past two decades she has shared passionate messages with thousands in Canada and the US.
Her passion for community development through the years has extended out of the corporate boardroom into many community and volunteering initiatives, including Dreams Take Flight, Bluenose Marathon, Mental Health Foundation, Maskwa Aquatic Club, Family SOS, QueenPins, Habitat for Humanity and Community Foundation of Nova Scotia.
Jennifer is the Principle Consultant, and Director of Learning & Development at Blue Door Group. An award-winning educator, strategist, and leadership mentor, Jennifer is dedicated to increasing economic opportunities in Atlantic Canada through transforming businesses into dynamic, innovative Learning Organizations. Jennifer’s unique combination of business development, entrepreneurial, and teaching and learning experiences help her clients implement meaningful, lasting growth strategies that impact all levels of business.
Jennifer is passionate about local, an advocate for youth, and an active member of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. She believes in teaching business leaders how to make their business work for them, instead of working for their business. An energetic and engaging speaker, Jennifer will inspire you to start embracing growth through learning from failure. Get ready to fall in love with your business all over again.
A graduate of St. Mary’s, Acadia, and St. FX Universities, Jennifer resides in Fall River, Nova Scotia with her husband, three daughters, and beloved rescue pup Axel.
Woman, Athlete, Coach, Entrepreneur, Model & Activist
In 2014, Keisha created ATHLETICYOGIS™, a movement-based program designed for elite and professional athletes to enhance lifetime performance. Working with many of North Americas’ top athletic organizations, she carved a niche career for herself out of her passion for sport and yoga. As her business grew, she began to observe a demand for corporate workplace wellness programs and in 2016 she launched ‘The Corporate Body’. Keisha is excited to share her experience with the trials and tribulations of building and launching a business.
Deeksha is an entrepreneur and a recent Saint Mary’s graduate. Her entrepreneurial journey started in Fall of 2017, when Deeksha and her family decided to take over The Fireside restaurant and Tom’s Little Havana – two locations that had been part of the Halifax restaurant industry for about two-decades. Realizing the need for an authentic Indian restaurant in Halifax, they decided to turn Fireside into a fine-dining Indian restaurant. The restaurant was later named Rasa: Flavours of India, which aptly described the mission and values of the brand. Since opening its doors in May 2018, Rasa has been the sole establishment in Halifax that provides an authentic Indian fine-dining experience to their customers in terms of both food and quality, as experienced in India. In September 2019, Rasa was expanded to replace the former Tom’s Little Havana and include a sister lounge, SURA. Both Rasa and Sura have been regarded as welcoming and much needed additions to Halifax’s increasingly diverse food and drinks industry.
Deeksha formerly held the position of Chairperson for the Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association Board of Directors, 2017-2018. As a director, she represented the student body on the University Academic Senate for two consecutive years, Chaired the SMUSA Elections Committee for one year and served as a Student Governor on the Saint Mary’s University Board of Governors for one year. In addition to her work with SMUSA, Deeksha spent her first two years at Saint Mary’s actively volunteering with Enactus, as a Project Manager and Presenter. Having gained so much from the support of university and the Halifax community as a whole, Deeksha is passionate about giving back and hopes to introduce a social enterprise component to her business in future.