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About our Speakers

On October 4, 2018, Mount Saint Vincent University will be hosting the TEDxMSVU "Aging Well" event.

You can scroll down to find a biography on each speaker.

Marjorie Willison

Marjorie tedxmsvu 2018 speakerMarjorie is herself launched in the aging process and has first-hand experience of its joys, challenges, and opportunities.

She is transitioning from gardening guru to fighting ageist attitudes, debunking myths, and celebrating the many contributions of older adults to our communities, our society, and our economy.

Her background in occupational therapy and public health forms a strong foundation to inform and encourage a better quality of life regardless of age, income, or ability.

Marjorie’s sensitivity and humour shine through from her experience in adult education and community development.

Alfred Burgesson

Alfred tedxmsvu 2018 speakerAlfred Burgesson is a young catalyst interested and active in a space of innovation that brings people together to build greater connection, and share knowledge.

Alfred participated in the 2018 Active Citizens Youth Innovation Summit - hosted by the UN and the British Council, on Parliament Hill. He is active in city building through projects and initiatives with youth.

Alfred hopes to live, work and play in creative environments that challenge him to think differently and to innovate.

Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy

Keri-Leigh Cassidy MSVU TEDx SpeakerDr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy is a Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Academic Director of Geriatric Psychiatry Program. She is the founder of a national brain health promotion non-profit, the “Fountain of Health Initiative for Optimal Aging”

She is a national leader in late life psychotherapy, the author of a manualized Enhanced CBT Group Therapy program, and lecturer on Late Life Psychotherapies for the CAGP National Review Courses and Updates. Dr. Cassidy was the 2016 recipient of the CAGP’s Outstanding Contributions in Geriatric Psychiatry Award.

Glen Hougan

Glen Hougan MSVU TEDx Speaker

Glen Hougan is a designer whose background is in the area of user experience, product development, and design thinking. 

He is the principal of Wellspan Research and Design, a design consultancy that focuses on healthcare issues; and is involved with Bluezone Design, a design studio focusing on designing for an aging population.  He is also an Associate Professor in design at NSCAD (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design) University. His current research is focused on the issues of  designing for dignity and ageism in design. His work in these areas has been covered in everything from the Wall Street Journal to the New York Times.

Simon d'Entremont, Deputy Minister

Nova Scotia Department of Seniors

Simon d'Entremont

Prior to this appointment, Simon was the Deputy Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. Previous to that, Simon worked for the Federal Government for 17 years. He was the Regional Director General, Atlantic for Health Canada; the Regional Director, Policy and Communications, for Industry Canada, Atlantic Region; and the Manager of the Canada-Nova Scotia Infrastructure Program with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). His first position with the federal government was with ACOA as the Account Manager responsible for Southwest Nova Scotia, and located in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Simon began his career as a stockbroker with the investment firm, Scotia MacLeod Inc.

He holds a Bachelor of Education from l'Université Ste-Anne and a Bachelor of Business Administration (Finance), from Acadia University.

He has previously been on the board of directors of Nova Scotia Business Inc.; Innovacorp; Trade Centre Limited; Nova Scotia Tourism Agency; Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia; and Waterfront Development Corporation Ltd.

Simon is married with two children. His hobbies include playing guitar, astronomy, and wildlife photography.

Danny Graham

Danny GrahamDanny Graham co-founded and leads a personal development retreat at Windhorse Farm in Nova Scotia, Canada. He is the CEO of Engage Nova Scotia, an NGO inviting members of society to consider what success looks like for them, and to be more collaborative, inclusive and adaptive to change. He is best known as the former Leader of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party. 

He was a Chief Negotiator in Aboriginal rights negotiations for 10 years. He spearheaded the development of start-up social innovations, including the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program, Envision Halifax and Engage Nova Scotia. He has also worked to advance justice reforms that better reflect the needs of communities, victims and offenders in Africa, Europe, Asia and North America.

Dr. Amélie Lemieux

Amelie LemieuxAmélie Lemieux is an Assistant Professor of Literacies at Mount Saint Vincent University where she researches digital literacy practices in plural settings. A Lieutenant-Governor's Medal Recipient (Quebec) for academic excellence and community engagement, Dr. Lemieux has received federal funding to investigate digital literacy practices and meaning-making processes.

Partnering with UQAM's Research Group on Aging, she recently translated a book on cognition and aging (2017), one of the first of its kind to bring post-Piagetian theory to Francophone research initiatives. She can be reached by email:, and on Twitter: @ame_lemieux

Linda Carvery

Linda Carvery tedxmsvu speaker 2018Linda Carvery is Founding President of the award-winning Nova Scotia Mass Choir. She embarked on a solo career in 2000 and has received numerous recognitions for her musical accomplishments. Aside from her musical endeavours, Linda recently served as the Citizenship Judge for the Atlantic Region. She is currently on the Board of Directors of Northwood and engaged in her family, her church and her community in many different ways. She is open to new possibilities and opportunities including training to be a patient simulator and working as a background actress. 

Linda received a Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Saint Mary’s University for her contributions to the music community and her concern for the well-being of others.

Gordon Michael

Gordon Michael tedxmsvu speaker 2018Gordon Michael has been involved in the area of Lifelong Learning at the local, provincial, national and international levels. In many of the positions he has held, he has provided leadership in program development for a range of mature learners. In addition, he has provided many professional development opportunities linking Lifelong Learning to social and economic development, for senior level administrators within government, business, community and not for profit organizations.  He presently is with the College of Continuing Education for Dalhousie University involved in Business and Community Engagement.

Catherine Martin

Catherine Martin speaking at tedxmsvu 2018Catherine Martin, is a member of the Millbrook First Nation, Truro, NS.  She is an independent international award winning film producer and director, a writer, facilitator, communications consultant, community activist, teacher, drummer, and the first Mi’kmaw filmmaker from the Atlantic region. She is a past Chair of APTN and served on the board for the first five years of its inception. She has contributed to policy and institutional change to make cultural and arts more accessible to First Nations artists.Her contributions to film, television and digital media in Atlantic Canada were recognized this March with a WAVE Award from Women in Film and Television Atlantic. 

Catherine has contributed to the development of many programs to advance the education of Mi’kmaq and Aboriginal women and youth in the Atlantic Region and across the country, including the Certificate in Community Health at Dalhousie for women in Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Innu, and Inuit communities, the Indigenous Black and Mi’kmaq Law Program also at Dalhousie, and the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership program at the Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University. Catherine was the 14th Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University.

John Hamblin

John Hamblin tedxmsvu 2018From 2000 to 2013 John Hamblin was the CIO of Clarke Inc., and then the President and CEO of Clarke IT Solutions a company which provided IT and Consulting Services to a wide variety of companies in the logistics and property development industries.

John became involved in supporting the Startup Community and this area became his main interest upon “retirement”. This interest has evolved into not only assisting startups and entrepreneurs in Nova Scotia but also promoting “Seniorpreneurship” and the tremendous value mature workers can provide throughout the country.

Over the last few years, John has become a strong advocate for building the best possible startup environment in the Atlantic region. He has both invested in and advised several startups and continues to work as a mentor with the Dalhousie University lean startup program, the Saint Mary’s University Masters in Technology, Entrepreneurship and Innovation program, Volta Labs, Propel ITC and Futurpreneur.

In 2014 John founded Startup Canada’s Halifax Community as part of the Startup Canada organization. He and his committee members are now working to enhance the Nova Scotia startup eco system and to support entrepreneurs in the region. In recognition of his efforts to support and grow the startup community, John was awarded the 2015 Atlantic Canada Senior Entrepreneur of the Year Award. John recently founded the Halifax chapter of Aging2.0 a Silicon Valley based organization geared to the application of technology to assist seniors in all aspects of their life.