Views from The Edge


“If you’re not standing on the edge, you’re taking up too much room!”

A curated collection of highly relevant, high value, high energy presentations on matters at the forefront of our industry. Thought Leaders and Change Agents will discuss brand, caring, collaboration, ethics and responsibility, the role of beauty in our work, and more.

ATTEND FOR FREE – use the code COMPVIEWS when you register online
Register Now

Hosted By


Bill Black

Mover, Shaker and Champion of Change
President & CEO, BRXTON Construction LLP

Bill Black is President and CEO of Brxton Construction – one of North America’s largest Masonry Contractors. With 90 years of history in one of the truly classic trades Brxton has unparalleled experience in a broad range of projects and has earned a name for itself as one of the most reliable contractors in its field.

Bill is also the founder of Mindnetworkx Inc. where he applies his varied background, talents and experience in a variety of services. A highly adaptable individual, as evidenced by his varied career, Bill always brings a fresh perspective to the challenges and opportunities that he is involved with.

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland Bill began his career as a Quantity Surveyor before moving to Canada in 1991. He started consulting with Helyar and Associates then Skyline Roofing before joining Smed just prior to their acquisition by Haworth. Over the next 12 years Bill’s role grew and his industry involvement gathered continuous momentum during his travels across North America working on projects and business development activities with numerous blue chip companies, industry influencers and stakeholders.

In Nov 2012 Bill returned to Skyline as Director of Business Development, Marketing and Communications. He also led the overhauling of estimating practices and standards before joining the senior leadership team as Executive Vice President of Commercial going on to participate in a complete restructuring and turnaround of the business allowing it to be sold in July 2015.

Bill is a LEED AP, a frequent keynote speaker at many industry events, a constant champion of change and an outspoken advocate for a better construction industry.

Bill is also a founding member of the Mindshift consortium and co-authored “The Commercial Real Estate Revolution”. Mindshift won the Corenet Global Innovators Award in 2009 and received the Calgary Construction Association Person of the Year Award for 2014 in recognition of his industry work.


Markku Allison

Award Winning Designer and Planning Pioneer
Director, Engagement and Strategy, CHANDOS Construction

Markku is a sought-after public speaker, an early proponent of the green/lean/ipd+bim movement and a pioneer in the field of design work planning.

Markku has over 25 years experience both as an award-winning designer and as a thought-leader on transformative issues in the design and construction industry. During his time with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Markku was instrumental in developing AIA’s “Integrated Project Delivery: A Guide,” the AIA “50to50” (50 strategies to 50% carbon reduction), as well as a range of other influential industry resources and white papers.

Wednesday, November 9th | 1pm to 3pm | 20 Minute Presentations


Jacqualine McFarland

Dedicated Designer and Industry Advocate
Senior Associate, Sizeland Evans Interior Design Inc.

The Function of Beauty | Jacqualine will demonstrate that beauty is an essential ingredient in our built environment for inspiring humanity to be just, compassionate, and creative.

It is a presentation of my journey to understand / discover:

  • The history of beauty (from Plato-present day)
  • What is beauty? Is it even important? Can it be achieved?
  • Recent research correlating our experiences of beauty with increased compassion.
Jacqualine (Jacqui) McFarland brings over 25 years’ experience in Interior Design, including roles of Principal, Senior Designer, Manager, and for nearly 18 years, full-time instructor and Department Chair with the Department of Interior Design at Mount Royal University—where she presently serves as Contract Professor.

She has received countless honours and awards, and has served on many boards related to the interior design industry. She currently sits on the Council for Interior Design Accreditation Standards Committee, shaping interior design curriculum for our future practitioners.

For the past 8 years she has been directly involved with numerous significant projects— both commercial and residential—and is currently working on a 220,000 square foot suburban campus project with her colleagues at Sizeland Evans Interior Design.


Renée Cheng

Righteous Researcher and Influential Educator
Professor & Associate Dean of Research, School of Architecture, University of Minnesota

Uber-izing Our Industry: Cracks, Gaps and Opportunities | Enhancing learning and practice through collaboration between the academy and the profession

Renée Cheng is a graduate of Harvard’s GSD and Harvard College. A registered architect, her professional experience includes work for Pei, Cobb, Freed and Partners and Richard Meier and Partners before founding Cheng-Olson Design. She taught at the University of Michigan and the University of Arizona before joining the faculty at the University of Minnesota. She has been recognized for teaching excellence with numerous teaching awards and appears on national lists of influential educators.

Her research involves documenting case studies of buildings that integrate design with emerging technologies. Her current work in Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is published by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and new research on collaborative projects by the General Services Administration (GSA) has just begun. Previously, she tracked large-scale projects by Frank Gehry and Associates as well as smaller scale CAD-CAM work done by firms such as SHoP Architects, A.R.O. and Tripyramid, focusing on how innovative technology drives change in both design and construction processes. She has widely published on these topics including editing a new chapter on Computing Technology for Architectural Graphic Standards.

Professor Cheng has also written on the topic of architectural education in the context of emerging practices and technology. These writings have appeared in the 2015 GSA report on Integrated High Performing Buildings2006-2012 AIA Report on Integrated Practice and the Education Summit at ACADIA in 2004. A recent publication published by Yale is entitled “Facing the Fact of BIM”.

In numerous roles, she has served the ACSA and AIA as an advisor on how Integrated Practice affects the future of architectural curricular and professional practice.


Tom Tittemore

Strategist and Creator
Principal, Marshall Tittemore Architects

From Craft to Fabrication | The origin and transformation of craft: are we losing something?

Key aspects of the presentation will be:

  • The origin and transformation of craft
  • How tactility has succumbed to virtual reality
As Principal, Tom offers MTa clients from across Alberta strategic thinking within a professional, creative framework on medium and large scale projects primarily within the firm’s Wellness and Learning Studios.

Working closely with MTa Principals Bill Marshall, Claudia Schaaf and Mike Woodland, Tom will promotes quality-based and iterative design processes directed towards successful project outcomes.

As co-founding principal of MTa, Tom devotes his leadership to the firm’s broad range of institutional and cultural project types. His involvement in these projects guides the interaction between stakeholders, community and consultant team members in defining the best strategy and sustainable solutions for design direction.

Through his past affiliations as an Alberta Association of Architects Council Member, Past Co-Chair of the Consulting Architects of Alberta, Member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and Past Chair of the Calgary Public Art Board, Tom brings a rarefied level of ‘connectivity’ in the regional design / construction industry, coupled with a solid understanding of proven management and governance protocols.

Tom is well-versed in the numerous forms of project delivery / procurement (P3, Design Build, Construction Management, Design/Bid/Build) that are best-suited  to each project’s specific programmatic, design, budgetary, schedule and operational parameters.

Over the past 10+ years, Tom has been a Province-wide leader and Executive Principal- in-Charge of numerous collaborative relationships with national and international- renowned architects and urban planners. In addition to MTa’s independent award- winning project work, his collaborative approach has been a strategic initiative of the firm’s overall business objectives: combining a respected local presence with a global perspective and bringing leading edge, specific expertise to Alberta’s design and construction markets.


Chas Waitt

Carpenter of Collaboration
Site Superintendent, CHANDOS Construction

Collaboration: The View from the Field | Timing is shorter, designs are complex, construction techniques are evolving, work force is changing: the value of collaboration on today’s construction sites

Throughout his career Chas has been involved in a variety of construction projects. As a Journeyman Carpenter, he has a keen eye for detail as well as a passion to complete a project to the highest standard. With experience ranging from retail stores to warehouses to apartments and car dealerships, Chas demonstrates extreme persistence when completing a project. When not at work, Chas makes the most of each opportunity to spend time with his family.


Ola Malik

Ethical Activator
Lawyer, City of Calgary

On the responsibilities and ethics that surround our role in protecting the public as we renovate or construct buildings in our communities.

Ola Malik, M.A. (Bruges), LL.B. (Lond), LL.M. (Dal), has been practicing as a municipal prosecutor with the City of Calgary’s law department since 2008, prior to which he was in private practice. He has conducted nearly every Building Code prosecution and he continues to shape The City’s enforcement response to negligent construction practices.  Ola regularly conducts prosecutions involving a wide range of Charter issues, publishes frequently on legal developments of interest, and is often asked to speak about developments in the field of municipal prosecutions, the law of public protest, and regulatory prosecutions. Several of his cases have gained national attention.  Ola is heavily involved with various professional organizations, including the Canadian Bar Association, and is a strong promoter of initiatives which promote access to legal services.

Thursday, November 10th | 1pm to 3pm | 20 Minute Presentations


David Irvine

Authenticity Advocate and Engagement Enthusiast
Speaker, Leadership Consultant, Author, Irvine & Associates Inc. 

Caring Is Everything: Getting to The Heart of Humanity, Leadership, and Life | A highly personal message with a deep sense of meaning that applies to all of us.

Key aspects of the presentation will be:

  • What gives life meaning?
  • How do we make a lasting difference?
  • What do you care about?
  • Why care about caring?

David Irvine: The Leader’s Navigator

David Irvine is sought after internationally as a speaker, author, and trusted leadership advisor. His work has contributed to the building of accountable, vital and engaged organizations across North America. As one of Canada’s most respected voices on leadership and organizational culture, David has dedicated his life to helping build organizations that attract, retain, and unleash success – by leading The Authentic Way.™

David has advanced degrees in human development, science and social work. With more than thirty years of experience as a workshop facilitator, family counsellor, professional speaker, and adviser to executives, David has developed a unique, personal and practical approach to transforming leaders. Every year, thousands of people attend David’s inspiring and thought-provoking programs on authentic leadership, accountability, embracing change, and cultural alignment.

David is the best-selling author of five books, with over three hundred thousand copies sold worldwide. He consults with and presents to a wide range of corporations, professional associations, government, education and health care organizations.

David has taught courses at three universities and the Banff School of Management. NBC’s Today Show and numerous national radio and newspaper publications have interviewed David.

On a personal note, David is a formerly nationally ranked distance runner and was a Canadian who trained with the US Olympic team. David lives with his wife and family in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Cochrane, Alberta, Canada.

To learn more about David Irvine, visit his website:

Follow him on Twitter: davidjirvine



Robyn Bews

Millenial Myth Buster and Workplace Warrior
Executive Director, WORKShift Canada

Karen Bayerle

Workplace Strategist

Debunking myths about millennials

Robyn is the creator, curator and chief strategist of WORKshift, a national organization dedicated to transforming workplaces in Canada.

WORKshift is a social enterprise dedicated workplace transformation.

WORKshift and its team of Founders and partners is dedicated to promoting, educating and accelerating the adoption of flexible work programs that allow companies across Canada to finally accept and embrace our changed world.

Karen Bayerle has over 25 years in Corporate Real Estate with a passion for creating workplace solutions that enable people to work where and when they are most productive. She has been quoted as saying; “Trust me, immersing yourself in a process like this means you come out of it with an even keener sense of how we can develop the stuff that makes for a best workplace: professional and personal growth opportunities, a sense of community, recognition, and having fun every day.”

Karen was architect and driving force behind the successful implementation and adoption of flexible work within 2 large Canadian corporations (telecommunications and the financial industry).  Her knowledge and lessons learned through transforming the workplace, was a valued asset in participating with WORKshift in the creation of the Playbook.

She has delivered numerous large real estate builds that have incorporated workplace strategies in the design and project execution and experienced first hand the positive impact on organizations employee engagement.


Dennis Cuku

Owner, InterChange

Working diligently to abolish status quo and the complacent norm

As a visionary entrepreneur, Dennis operates on the manifesto that Normal is Broken – believing strongly that capitalism need not come at the expense of human values, environmental sustainability or personal happiness.  He has founded several startups including Oil Country Engineering and the Mosaic Family of Companies and more recently experimented with the collective model with InterChange and Thrive Wellness Collective.

Dennis’ most recognized project, The Mosaic Centre for Conscious Community and Commerce, was completed in February 2015 and is the crown jewel of sustainable building in Alberta, becoming the first Net Zero energy commercial office building in Alberta — an example of Alberta’s oil and gas abundance igniting innovative, sustainable projects.  With this project he helped steward the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) movement in Alberta — a contract model that is gaining momentum in a marketplace desperately seeking a Better Way.

Mosaic’s corporate culture was developed around the belief that employees cannot and should not be regarded as tools for making profit, but rather as people — each with unique gifts and talents, all looking to find what they do best and for meaning.  For Dennis, work is a place we can bring our whole selves … a place to self-realize and make a meaningful contribution. Dennis is an engineer with expertise in change management and walking the talk. His true passion lies in the arena of sustainability – both in the form of the build environment and behavior change – working diligently to change the way we see the world. He endeavors daily to expedite the abolishment of status quo and to help transition the world to outer peace, through inner peace.


Alyssa LeFaivre

Branding Brainiac & Conscious Connector
DIRTTbag, DIRTT Environmental Solutions

Developing Your Personal Brand Strategy: Stay Focused on the Sheep
On establishing your values-based personal brand, and why conscious brand development matters for your life and career.

Key aspects of the presentation will be:

  • What personal brand is, or more importantly, what it is not.
  • Why it matters to develop a values-based personal brand and reputation.
  • How to be ambitious and purposeful in career development and networking, while still remaining authentic, open and generous.
Alyssa believes in the power of community and finding opportunity outside of her comfort zone. She is a proud DIRTTbag at DIRTT Environmental Solutions and strives to be a conscious connector of people who are pursuing their purpose with passion, authenticity and gratitude. Seven years of experience in Business Development & Public Relations has made her a potent communicator. In recent years, leadership has become a focus in her career and volunteer work. An unapologetic book hoarder, Alyssa continuously adds to her collection in hopes of building an enviable Beauty and the Beast library.


Tom Hodson

Global CEO and Business Author
President & CEO, Tiger Calcium Corporation

A strong message about how to rally your team in these uncertain times.

Like you, global CEO and business author Tom Hodson has seen the word leadership defined in countless ways over the years. Is it a gift or can it be learned? Is it reserved for those few at the top or does it run through all levels of an organization? What is it really all about?

With over three decades of in the trenches business experience, and having travelled to 45+ countries building businesses as a chief executive he was first classically trained for 15+ years in brand marketing and stealth operations by the blue chip consumer packaged goods company Procter & Gamble. He then created management consultancy Optime International from scratch with two other switched on guys then partnered with clients Pepsi, Cadbury, Molson and General Motors to help them in their pursuit to become great customer centric companies.  Free beer and chocolate bars, it was a good gig.
After this decadent experience Tom worked with a bunch of other bright and talented people to transform student learning, teaching and education in classrooms around the world. They disrupted the traditional classroom, turning it upside down much to the delight of teachers and students.  As the President of SMART Technologies he and his team pioneered the use of interactive whiteboards (SMART Boards) as a disruptive technology replacing black boards in classrooms globally. He personally travelled the world championing the use of SMART boards as a transformative technology for classroom education. He has spent time with children, teachers, parents, and top government officials in over 40 countries (it was cool), his exposure to so many countries and cultures at a deep level has made him a global thinker and a global citizen, with significant thought leadership on how to build and grow companies domestically and globally.  During his tenure at SMART it grew from a medium sized $150 million company to a global powerhouse with an enterprise value of $2 billion +.

Tom’s last assignment and current assignment have been a turn around and a growth play in that order. As the CEO of the Skyline Group a Calgary based commercial construction company he and another ‘great team’ brought Skyline from deep financial losses to business renewal and a successful sale of the company. He is presently the CEO of Tiger Calcium Corporation, a large Alberta based specialty chemical mining and manufacturing company where he is less than a year in and is changing the order of things to get to growth-  results are improving dramatically.  The future looks bright.
He is an author. Co-authored a book titled ‘Winning with Today’s Customer’. Sold lots. Companies bought it for their people. He is educated. Holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. A top school, he doesn’t know how he got in. He serves his community. Cancer is a cause he is passionate about- he has just been appointed Chairman of the Board for the Alberta Cancer Foundation. He also believes in Calgary. He is on the Board of Directors for Calgary Economic Development. Married to a singer (for 32 years) and they have lots of kids (4 – they are kind of adults).