Canad Inns Destination Centre Polo Park 1405 St Matthews Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba


Every year, we have a new crop of knowledgeable speakers coming to offer their perspectives on a range of topics. Learn more about the speakers we have lined up for 2021:

We are pleased to introduce our entertainment for our gala evening:



Greg Bartlett has dedicated his professional career to rural emergency management with over 20 years of experience across Canada. Growing up in an agricultural community in Central Ontario, Greg began his professional career as a civilian firefighter at CFB Petawawa. His interest in emergency management led him to numerous roles across Canada including as the Wildfire Prevention Officer for the Province of Saskatchewan, Manitoba Provincial Chair for the Operation Lifesaver Program, Provincial Emergency Management Advisor for the Pan Am and ParaPan Games in Toronto and more. Greg’s passion for rural urban conflict led him to his current role with the Government of Manitoba as the Western Emergency Management Advisor where he supports communities responding to natural hazards and critical infrastructure incidences. His strong critical thinking skills, knowledge, and experience have been recognized across North America, including being one of two Canadians chosen as the Principle Special Expert with the Wildland and Rural Fire Protection Committee within the National Fire Protection Association. Furthermore, Greg has volunteered as a member of the Rural Policy Learning Commons with Brandon University and has shared his expertise in rural emergency management at both academic and professional conferences internationally. In his spare time, Greg enjoys watching professional lacrosse and grilling exotic meats.


Robert Belton is the Supervisor of Recovery and Assessments at Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization (EMO). In this role he helps administer Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) programs in both the private and public sectors. Robert comes to Manitoba EMO after five years at Manitoba Infrastructure’s Water Management, Planning and Standards section where he was involved with flood risk mapping and development review. Robert has a Bachelor’s of Environmental Design (Landscape + Urbanism) from the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Architecture.



Danny Blair is a Co-Director of the Prairie Climate Centre at the University of Winnipeg. He is also a Professor in the Department of Geography, where he has been teaching courses related to climate and weather since 1987. At the Prairie Climate Centre he leads the team that provides users of the online Climate Atlas of Canada with high quality data and visualizations of climate model projections for all parts of Canada. His main research interest is climate change in Canada, and especially the Prairie Provinces. He also has interest in climate variability, natural hazards, and data visualization. He received his PhD from the University of Manitoba, and his MSc and BSc degrees from the University of Regina.


Johanu Botha holds a PhD in emergency management and has served in the Canadian Armed Forces as an infantry and intelligence officer. His background includes assessing effective coordination across all levels of government and the military during disaster response, commanding troops in domestic deployments during natural disasters, and leading risk reduction efforts across government operations. Johanu took the lead of Manitoba Emergency Management in 2019 to bring a strategic, whole-of-government lens to preparedness with a focus on mitigation efforts that reduce disaster impacts over the long term. Recent Emergency Measures Organization initiatives led by Johanu include a revamped Disaster Financial Assistance program and new information products to ensure situational awareness across government. Johanu represents provincial emergency management at the Deputy Minister Committee on the COVID-19 response.



Anne Burns began her municipal career working for the City of Kitchener for over 14 years. She obtained her AMCT and Tax Collector Certification from Seneca College. She moved to Manitoba in 2004 and has graduated from the University of Manitoba’s Certificate of Manitoba Municipal Administration program. Anne has vast experience in all aspects of municipal government. She has been CAO for 12 years and with the RM of La Broquerie for 5 years. She has a strong appreciation for workplace health and safety and emergency management. Anne has been involved in many water event emergencies: the 2011 flood in the RM of Cartier, and three flooding emergencies in the RM of La Broquerie. Anne strongly supports emergency management and has deep respect and admiration for the position of Municipal Emergency Coordinator.


Starting her career in the Northwest Territories, Cynthia Carr brings more than 25 years as an epidemiologist, community engagement facilitator, health policy specialist, evaluator, business case development expert and strategic planner. After working for NWT and Manitoba governments, she started EPI Research Inc. which has now been in business for 21 years.
EPI Research Inc. focuses on working with clients across the continuum of health and services with a focus on northern, remote and rural communities. EPI Research Inc. is one of the only consulting companies that routinely works within First Nations communities to work with leadership to guide community driven solutions to health and social inequities. EPI Research Inc. is also leading the implementation and monitoring of an HIV Resource Centre in Kieni, Kenya which is certainly a challenge during a pandemic. Cynthia is completing the Institute of Corporate Directors-Rotman Directors Education Program (ICD.D designation) and serves on three boards. She is also a proud mother to two young adult children.



Travis Cryan has 22 years of experience in Emergency Service. A majority of that experience was as a Paramedic working in multiple environments ranging from urban to austere. He has also participated in the planning, response, and recovery for several major events and disasters. Travis has served as the Disaster Education Coordinator, Assistant Regional Coordinator, and Program Manager/Regional Coordinator for the Metrolina Healthcare Preparedness Coalition (MHPC). During his time with the MHPC he developed plans, streamlined processes, built lasting partnerships, and strategically grew the organization. Travis has also coordinated enterprise level emergency management for Duke Energy and served as an Adjunct Faculty member for the Public Safety Department of Central Piedmont Community College. Currently, Travis works in Washington, DC for the District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency as the Training and Exercise Program Manager. Travis is a Certified Emergency Manager through IAEM and serves as a Vice Chair of the Government Affairs Committee. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Emergency and Disaster Management from American Military University, and a Master of Science in Management and Leadership from Western Governors University.


Sheri Fink is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital (Crown, 2013) about choices made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She is also an executive producer of the Netflix documentary television series Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak (2020). She is a correspondent at the New York Times, where her and her colleagues’ stories on the West Africa Ebola crisis were recognized with the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting, the George Polk Award for health reporting, and the Overseas Press Club Hal Boyle Award. Her story “The Deadly Choices at Memorial,” co-published by ProPublica and the New York Times Magazine, received a 2010 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting and a National Magazine Award for reporting. Her first book, War Hospital: A True Story of Surgery and Survival (PublicAffairs), is about medical professionals under siege during the genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Sheri Fink- Official author photo - Credit Jen Dessinger


Lisa Gilmour is currently the Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Winnipeg. Through the City’s Office of Emergency Management, she leads a team of emergency management superheroes in ICS vests that keep the city safe through planning, preparing, and responding to all types of hazards big and small from their headquarters in an EOC deep underground in the centre of the City.
In preparation for this awesome work, Lisa got a B.Sc. in Applied Disaster and Emergency Studies from Brandon University and a B.A. in Political Studies from University of Manitoba, and held emergency management and business continuity positions at Manitoba Health and Bell MTS.


Robert Glover began his career with the Metropolitan Police Department as a recruit in 1994. His first assignment upon graduating was as a patrol officer in the First District. Four years later, he was promoted to Sergeant and in the Fifth District.
In 2016, Robert Glover was named Captain of the Special Events Branch. He was promoted to Inspector in 2020, maintaining his supervisory position in the Special Events Branch, where he oversaw oversees Presidential Inauguration planning; First Amendment demonstrations, activities and protests; traffic safety; and MPD Motors.
Commander Glover graduated from Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA, in 1993 with a BS in Administration of Justice. He has numerous certifications and trainings, from notable agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the US Secret Service; The Anti-Defamation League and the Department of Homeland Security.



Colleen is a graduate of both the Certified Manitoba Municipal Administrators and the Advanced Certificate Course. She has retired as an employee CAO, a role which she held for over twenty years and has been in the municipal field for over thirty years. She then started her Municipal Consulting Business, Kacel Resources Inc. and is presently a contract CAO for the RM of Whitemouth and also travels to municipalities as a Consultant.
After graduating high school, Mrs. Johnson continued her studies and graduated from the Royal Roads University in British Columbia and the University of Manitoba. In addition, she has ben sent overseas to the Philippines to coach government fundamentals to three of their provinces. Mrs. Johnson is known for her attention to detail and client relations. She has presented for local committees, councils, and to provincial and federal agencies.


Laura King is NFPA’s public-education representative for Canada, national communications advisor for FireSmart Canada, and editor of the IAWF’s Wildfire Magazine. Laura was an instructor for the emergency management program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, focusing on communication and public engagement. Laura was editor of Fire Fighting in Canada and Canadian Firefighter magazines for 10 years before moving to NFPA in 2017, and was a reporter and editor for more than 20 years for newspapers and other publications across Canada and the United States, covering business, legal matters, politics, municipal affairs, and sports. Laura has an honours degree in journalism, political science and public administration from Carleton University; she has worked with fire departments, emergency managers, municipalities and chief-officer groups across Canada to educate them about NFPA, community risk reduction, communication and social media. Laura is a certified NFPA 1035 fire and life-safety educator and a certified Road to Mental Readiness instructor, and holds several other certifications. Laura lives in Ontario, is from Cape Breton, and can’t wait to travel again to all parts of Canada!



Lee is an experienced Business Continuity Planner who creates plans and programs for governments and business’ around the country. He successfully applies his knowledge of business operations and needs to develop effective business continuity management plans, procedures, and guides. Leland brings with him experience in private sector businesses and non-profit organizations. He has worked with diverse organizations and understands the challenges faced by small, medium, and large businesses. Leland has 10 years corporate management experience and three years’ experience in the insurance sector in addition to years of experience in non-profit and small business management. Leland has worked on business continuity projects for diverse clients ranging from small businesses to multi-national corporations. He works as a consultant with Napier Emergency Consulting preparing Business Continuity Plans and Programs for clients.


Patricia Martel is an experienced emergency management practitioner with a passion for enhancing the emergency management profession through the development and implementation of best practices. She has significant experience reviewing emergency management programs and providing recommendations that move them towards a more effective, proactive approach. She has extensive experience in developing plans and procedures including emergency response plans and hazard specific plans. Patricia has served in a range of positions in multiple Emergency Operation Centres for many emergencies. She is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) through the International Association of Emergency Managers. Patricia completed a PhD focused on effective operational emergency planning for vulnerable populations with a case study on schools. Her research focused on the social science aspects of emergency management and complemented her strong background in the natural sciences. This included research on natural hazards with a focus on severe weather.



Chief Monias was born and raised in Cross Lake and left to further his education in Winnipeg. He has completed both a Bachelor and Master’s degree. David Monias has extensive knowledge and experience in governance, executive management and social services and development. As a new Chief for Pimicikamak, he did not expect to be dealing with a pandemic situation as well as dealing with country wide shutdowns. He adapted and focussed on the health and safety of the people. David has gained his extensive skill and knowledge from his former positions of Executive Director for Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak and Awasis Agency of Northern Manitoba.


Shelley was employed with Manitoba EMO for 32 years, retiring in 2017. Her career has been spent working with Manitoba communities offering emergency management training, education and planning. During the span of her career she has worked internationally leading federally funded international training contracts in the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Hungary and Asia educating government and municipal officials on how to build emergency programs.

Shelley’s extensive knowledge of emergency management has been gained through work with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), NATO, and Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) and years managing emergencies. She was Manitoba’s representative on the Canadian Emergency Management College’s training committee for 17 years, developing educational programs used across Canada.



Pat brings wealth of experience to the North American Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response (NACTATR) as a 5 year National Trainer in Traumatic Event Systems (TES), and Violence Risk Threat Assessment (VTRA). Pat has been the keynote speaker for many organizations across Canada, speaking to the ways and importance of creating reasonable meaning in the challenges a pandemic brings to the human experience. He is a contributor and co- author of the nationally distributed Guidelines for Re-Entry into the School Setting and Rising to the Challenge: Staying Connected to our Students.
Pat is currently working in collaboration with Dr. William Pollack, Harvard Medical School and Senior Advisor to NACTATR, in threat assessment research. He also recently co-presented with Dr. Marleen Wong from the University of Southern California, integrating her pioneering work in Psychological First Aid with the Trauma Event Systems (TES) model.


Erin Robbins is the Manager of Mitigation at Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization (EMO). This new role at Manitoba EMO will help to move Manitoba to a more proactive mode of action on disasters, reduce future disaster impacts to municipalities, reduce the financial burden of disasters and increase Manitoba’s resilience. Erin is passionate about examining programs with the needs of users in mind and innovation in government. Erin has been with Manitoba EMO in a variety of roles since 2018 and has been with the Manitoba government for 17 years. Erin has a master’s degree in political science from Carleton University and a bachelor’s degree (honours) from the University of Manitoba.



Shirley Robinson is an Executive Councillor Member for Pimicikamak Cree Nation. She has served as a Councillor for 14 years and Vice-Chief for one term which makes her the longest serving female Councillor in the history of Pimicikamak. She is a graduate in Social Development Management and Community Health Management; as well she has her Certificate from the University of Manitoba in Counselling.
Shirley is passionate about helping her Nation and its citizens she serves. During this past year’s COVID outbreak, she worked tirelessly in the front line with the Pandemic Team to help citizens of Pimicikamak as the pandemic ravaged through her Nation while continuing her work in educating and inspiring the citizens of her Nation.


As Manitoba’s Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, Brent Roussin has become one of the most prominent voices in Manitoba’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. In these ever changing and uncertain times, Manitobans have come to trust him as he leads us through this unprecedented public health crisis.

Roussin’s calm demeanour and straightforward answers in the province’s daily online briefings have been noted. He takes time to discuss the unique challenges COVID-19 poses for Manitoba’s Indigenous population and has held a specific news conference to discuss how northern First Nations communities can stay safe during the pandemic. A specialist in public health and preventive medicine, Roussin worked with the federal First Nations and Inuit Health Branch and was a medical officer of health for northern Manitoba before taking up his current position.



Steven Santelli is a Senior Dangerous Goods Officer for Canadian National Railway, based in Winnipeg, as well manages the Dangerous Goods Officers in the Western Provinces. Steven is mandated with three core responsibilities at CN; 1) outreach activities along CN’s corridor to teach communities and first responders how to safely and effectively respond to a train incident, 2) respond to rail incidents involving dangerous goods, and 3) ensure regulatory compliance of the movement of dangerous goods by rail. Steven started his haz-mat emergency response career in 2007 as a contractor in BC for all modes of transportation, and then accepted a job with CN in 2011 as a Dangerous Goods Officer.


Jay Shaw is the Assistant Chief of Emergency Management and Public Information with the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service. Jay has more than 22 years experience in emergency services and health care, serving as an operational firefighter and paramedic for the Department of National Defense and the City of Winnipeg. He has had a wide array of emergency response and health care experiences, working in hospital emergency rooms and rural Emergency Medical Services and is currently serving with many dedicated staff in the municipal fight against COVID-19. Jay holds an MA in Disaster and Emergency Management and has numerous diplomas and certificates related to healthcare, emergency services, and disaster management. Jay is an adjunct instructor at Dalhousie University’s Fire Service Leadership Program and is a recent graduate from Harvard University’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative studying Crisis Leadership. Family time at the lake is his sanctuary and one day he hopes to become a BBQ master and finally learn how to hit a driver.


Lanette Siragusa, provincial lead, health system integration, quality and chief nursing officer for Shared Health, during the provinces COVID-19 update briefing at the Manitoba Legislative building Monday afternoon.

200420 - Monday, April 20, 2020.


Prior to joining Shared Health, Lanette Siragusa was program director for surgery with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. Her past experience includes working in high-risk labour and delivery, community health, teaching and research. Lanette also has published several articles related to improvements in clinical practice and service delivery.

Lanette holds a graduate degree in nursing administration from – and is an adjunct professor in – the University of Manitoba’s College of Nursing in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. She is currently pursuing a professional doctorate degree in health and social sciences at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.


Geoff Smith is currently a Type 1 Incident Commander for the Province of Manitoba. Geoff has been instrumental in leading the Manitoba Wildfire Service Incident Management Team on some of Manitoba’s largest and most historic fires in the Province. While deployed to Australia, Geoff assumed the position of Plans Section Chief on the Eurobodalla Fire Complex out of Moruya, New South Wales.



Travis Smelski is a nationally certified Air Attack Officer with the Manitoba Wildfire Service. Travis has been deployed to other provinces and to the State of Minnesota to work with the respective organizations’ aerial attack resources including air tankers of all sizes and helicopters. During his deployment to assist Australia, Travis was an Air Attack Supervisor on the Green Wattle Creek and Morton Fires in New South Wales


Effectively navigating the complexities of a crisis is part of the daily routine for public safety communication professionals. Law enforcement agencies have a wealth of experience managing crises but have recently found themselves thrust into national spotlights for a series of high profile national incidents that have called for major reform across the industry. Community skepticism has provided opportunities for law enforcement leaders to bolster community bonds, leverage relationships to reduce crime and impact future generations to serve in this honorable profession but has also highlighted the necessity of having an effective communications staff.
As a member of the Metropolitan Police Department’s (Washington, DC) Executive Command Staff, Dustin Sternbeck heads the Office of Communications for the primary law enforcement agency in our nation’s capital. He has spent over 15 years providing leadership and expertise in all phases of communication, strategic engagement and outreach for public safety agencies. His team of sworn and civilian staff at MPD represent over 4,500 members, and routinely handle high profile events that have national implications. Maintaining a high performing and productive team is a top priority, and Dustin looks forward to sharing his experiences with you.


Become an MDMC featured speaker.

You have an opportunity to inform, enlighten and discuss disaster management as a presenter at the 2021 October conference.

Grow your network and share your experiences at this year’s MDMC.