Conference 2018 Program

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Jump to:  Keynotes   GLAM Plenary Panel   Can Museums Be Brave?    Inclusion 2025: Where Are We Now?

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Deborah L. Mack Dr. Deborah L. Mack is the Associate Director in the Office of Strategic Partnerships at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), Smithsonian Institution. She is responsible for overall planning, management and coordination of professional partnership programs and international activities. The Office of Strategic Partnerships (OSP) at the National Museum of African American History and Culture serves as an outward-facing division responsible for leveraging NMAAHC research, programmatic initiatives and other museum professional resources that benefit African American and African Diaspora museums and related cultural institutions. OSP fulfills its mandate in the following ways: 1) Establishes strategic alliances to promote capacity building, organizational sustainability, professional development and institutional best practices, 2) Cultivates relationships within the Smithsonian, nationally and internationally with museum service, research and member organizations that serve cohorts of institutions, and 3) Supports NMAAHC research and programmatic initiatives.


Stephen Abram

Stephen Abram, MLS, a strategy and direction planning consultant for libraries, the culture sector and the information industry, is principal of Lighthouse Consulting Inc. He is also executive director of the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries where he represents Ontario’s over 300 public library systems to all levels of government.  He is a library trend watcher, keynote speaker, innovator and author of Stephen’s Lighthouse blog – the top blog in the sector globally – as well as hundreds of articles and a number of books.  He teaches at the graduate level at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information.  He has held executive leadership positions in libraries and at Cengage Learning (Gale), SirsiDynix, Thomson Publishing, ProQuest and IHS.  He has been president of the Ontario Library Association, the Special Libraries Association and the Canadian Library Association.



GLAM Plenary Panel

Petal Furness, Moderator 
Petal Furness began her museum career at Grey Roots Museum & Archives in 2004. She led the passionate Heritage Interpretation team. In 2014, she became Manager. An Indigenous woman born in Vancouver and raised in foster care, Petal chose to pursue Native Studies post-secondary. She worked summers at Fort Langley NHS, portraying an 1858 fur trader's wife. Storytelling is her life's passion. Petal's 4 children ant 2 grandchildren are the light of her life. She is serving a term as President of the OMA. 
Christina Tessier
Christina Tessier was appointed to the position of President and CEO of Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation in June 2018. Prior to her
appointment, Christina served since 2014 as Director General of the Canada Science and Technology Museum where she led the fast-tracked renewal of the exhibition galleries and visitor experience elements for the Museum which reopened in November 2017. Prior to her role as Director General, Christina was Director of Operations at Ingenium’s Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Christina has worked in the cultural field for close to 18 years at various institutions, including the Portrait Gallery of Canada, Parks Canada, where her work focused on National Historic Sites, and at Ottawa’s Bytown Museum. Christina is an active member of hercommunity and currently sits on the Algonquin College Foundation Board. She has also served on a number of committees and juries
for the Canadian Museums Association, Ontario Museum Association, and the City of Ottawa. She was President of the Council of Heritage Organizations in Ottawa and the founding Chair of the Ottawa Museum Network.
Shelley Falconer
Ms. Falconer is the President and CEO of the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Her 25-year career includes national and international experience as a consultant, curator, educator and administrator. She has worked as a senior manager and consultant with a variety of important cultural/educational organizations including the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, University of Toronto, Centennial College, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Toronto District School Board, Department of Heritage, Government of Canada, Sotheby's London and Waddington Galleries, England. Ms. Falconer has directed and managed numerous award winning projects including exhibitions and installations for Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Canada House in London, England and the Canadian Embassy in Washington D.C. She has also authored and produced numerous exhibition texts and catalogues including the publication Stones, Bones and Stitches: Storytelling through Inuit Art. Her award winning Art2Life: the Canadian Century digital project won a prestigious United Nations World Summit award for best in e-content and creativity. Ms. Falconer was also awarded a York Region District School Board Applause Award for outstanding contributions to education and the community.
John Roberts 
John Roberts is the Chief Privacy Officer and Archivist of Ontario at the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services since September 2015. He has over twenty-five years of experience ranging from operational, policy and senior leadership roles to government information management and digital government initiatives, in both the New Zealand and Ontario public services. His extensive knowledge of information management and privacy protection has contributed to his numerous achievements, which include: successfully creating and leading the policy design and implementation of new public recordkeeping legislation in New Zealand; supporting major organisational change in the New Zealand public sector; and leading strategic engagement with New Zealand state sector agencies to support their involvement with the Government Chief Information Officer and Government Chief Privacy Officer. Since arriving in Ontario he has overseen the development of the OPS Recordkeeping, Access and Privacy Transformation Strategy, the Archives of Ontario’s successful Ontario 150 commemoration program, and been part of multi-ministry leadership on enterprise data integration work.
Vickery Bowles
Vickery Bowles is the City Librarian at Toronto Public Library (TPL), a 100 branch library system serving 2.8 million people. She believes passionately in the difference public libraries make in the lives of individuals, in communities and cities. Vickery has worked in a number of leadership positions, spearheading service development that support capacity building, civic engagement, economic development and social cohesion. She is currently working to advance TPL’s new strategic plan and its digital strategies that support new service models, digital literacy, the customer experience, e-learning, and innovation. Vickery is vice-chair of the Board of the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) based in Washington, D.C., a member of the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC), the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries (FOPL) and the Toronto Region Board of Trade Smart Cities Working Group.
Can Museums Be Brave?
Cheryl Blackman
Cheryl is Director, Museums and Heritage Services at the City of Toronto. Formerly Assistant Vice-President, Audience Development at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). Her responsibilities included ensuring a quality experience for the front of house, and diversity and inclusion for the museum. Cheryl was the main point of contact for more than 1300 volunteers, and she lead the ROM's Community Access Network (ROMCAN) which she created and has grown into more than 60 partnerships with organizations across the GTHA. Cheryl’s leadership and commitment to inclusion has grown this area into a highly successful part of the ROM where the Museum regularly achieves high satisfaction levels amongst visitors, and wins awards for innovation in all aspects of access and community building. Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), and a Master of Business Administration (MBA), and is a Fellow of Inclusion and Philanthropy from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). She is the Incoming Vice Chair at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery and an Officer of the Diversity committee at the American Alliance of Museums.
Henry Kim
An ancient history scholar and classical archaeologist by training, Henry Kim joined the Aga Khan Museum as Director and CEO from the University of Oxford where he taught, curated collections, and managed capital projects at the Ashmolean Museum from 1994 to 2012. Educated at Harvard and Oxford, he served as curator of Greek coins and university lecturer in Greek numismatics at Oxford. From 2004 to 2011, he was the Project Director for the Ashmolean Redevelopment Project, a £70 million redevelopment and transformation of the museum. He then became Director of the University Engagement Programme, a three-year project sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation aimed at expanding the use of the museum’s collections in teaching across the university.
Ross Laird 
Ross Laird, Ph.D. is an author, clinical consultant, educator, and scholar. His work focuses on the interconnected themes of mentorship, trauma, addictions, mental health, and creativity. Ross has worked with hundreds of organizations and thousands of individual clients and students, from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to corporate boardrooms and university classrooms across North America. Ross is interested in the spaces between things, in the unspoken, in the unexamined and unexpressed. In his consulting work he focuses on difficult and complex themes such as educational innovation, mental health, addictions, trauma, childhood development, conflict resolution, creativity, leadership, and technology. He has worked with large corporate clients governmental organizations, post-secondary educational institutions, professional organizations , independent schools, nonprofit organizations (such as the National September 11 Memorial and Museum), and many other groups.
Inclusion 2025: Where Are We Now?
Michael Bach
Michael Bach is internationally recognized as a thought leader and subject matter expert in the fields of diversity, inclusion and employment equity, bringing a vast knowledge of leading practices in a live setting to his work. He has deep experience in strategy development, stakeholder engagement, training and development, research, solution development and execution, employee engagement, data analytics, measurement and diversity scorecards, targeted recruiting strategies, marketing and communications, Employee Resource Groups, Diversity Councils, and diversity related legislation (Employment Equity Act, AODA, etc.) among other skills and experiences.
Previously, Michael was the National Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for KPMG in Canada, a role he created and held for seven years. Additionally, Michael completed a 2½ year secondment as the former Deputy Chief Diversity Officer for KPMG International. At KPMG Michael was responsible for the overarching diversity strategy for the firm’s operations in Canada, including the development and implementation of diversity related programs and initiatives. During his tenure, KPMG received several prestigious diversity related awards – including being named one of Canada’s Top Employers for Diversity and one of Canada’s Best Employers for New Canadians. KPMG is the only organization that has won both awards in all five years they have been awarded.