GAME CHANGERS- The Social Bottom Line

General Admission Tickets are available through the deCoste Centre box office $38

Floor table tickets are available through the Chamber office at $200 for a table for 5 people.


Mark Brand 2

Mark Brand 

Mark Brand is one of North America’s foremost social entrepreneurs. With eleven businesses under his belt, he is an example of a new form of leadership that encompasses good in every step. Determined to breathe new life into our struggling and disjointed communities through his work in social impact business, Brand shares his message on the importance of sustainable business models that make a difference, while also creating successful bottom lines. 

Five years ago, Brand realized his dream of becoming the owner of Save On Meats, a Vancouver butcher shop and diner that has provided food security and access since 1957. In 2013, he created The Token Program, an alternate currency to feed those in need without a cash exchange. Since then, almost 100,000 tokens have been redeemed, filling 100,000 empty stomachs, and creating interactions between those who have, and those in need. 

In addition, more than one million meals have left Save On’s doors to feed those who struggle, in partnership with his charity A Better Life Foundation. ABLF works with community agencies, marginalized individuals and governments to create tangible waves of change. 

Brand is a graduate of THNK School of Leadership, an adjunct lecturer at Stanford University, a staunch supporter of B Corp and an advisor to corporations and individuals working to make real change. It is through his philanthropic efforts, systems design, and love for his community that he has found a unique balance in business and purpose.


Tareq Hadhad 2

Tareq Hadhad

Since he founded Peace by Chocolate, Tareq Hadhad has done over 100 interviews with different news teams, and organizations. He has even been featured as a TedX speaker at Dalhousie University. His family’s story is a compelling one to hear, if you are willing to listen.

“In Syria, it was my father’s passion to make chocolates. He was an excellent chocolatier, and he established a factory in Damascus for 20 years”.

For more than 20 years they shipped their specialty treats all over the Middle East to countries like Yemen, Jordan and Lebanon. Like much of their homeland, the Hadhad chocolate factory was destroyed in a bombing that forced the family to leave everything behind and flee to Lebanon.

For three years they found their home in a refugee camp with little opportunity or hope. Their lives had been forever altered and they dreamed of returning to the lives they loved.”

When the family was invited into Canada and became full Canadian citizens their dreams came true. With the support of their new community in Antigonish and the people of Nova Scotia they have rebuilt their chocolate company and are once again doing the work they love.


Barb Stegemann 2

Barbara Stegemann

Barbara Stegemann’s entrepreneurial vision was formed after her best friend—a soldier—was severely wounded in Afghanistan. Understanding that supporting Afghanistan’s economy was key to building stability for its people, Stegemann created The 7 Virtues Beauty, a company that sources organic oils from countries experiencing turmoil (such as Afghanistan, Haiti the Middle East and Rwanda). Despite addressing complex global matters in her talks, Stegemann uses humour to explain how individuals can use business for good and effect change, both at home and worlds away.

Stegemann became known to millions of Canadians when she became the first woman from Atlantic Canada to land a venture-capital deal on the CBC TV show Dragons’ Den for The 7 Virtues Beauty. She went on to become the “Top Game Changer” in the history of the show for creating her social enterprise.

Since then, Stegemann has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada; won the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the emerging Entrepreneur category for Atlantic Canada”; was ranked as one of Profit Guide magazine’s “Top 30 Cool and Fabulous Canadian Entrepreneurs”; received the “Women Innovators Award” from the US State Department at the APEC Women and the Economy Summit; and was also made the first female Honorary Colonel in the history of 14 Wing Greenwood base, Royal Canadian Air Force. In addition, her fragrance collection won Chatelaine’s “Beauty 100 Award”.

As a keynote speaker, Stegemann has opened for Erin Brockovich, and is often invited to moderate panels and attend events as a delegate with world leaders such as Bill Clinton.

She is the author of the bestselling book, The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen, and the writer (and subject) behind the feature-length documentary Perfume Wars, directed by Michael Melski. The film tells Barb’s entrepreneurial story, and has garnered many awards to date, including being named Best Feature Documentary, Atlantic Film Festival; Cineplex Audience Choice, Victoria Film Festival; and Best Humanitarian Film, Sedona Film Festival, Arizona.

A newsmaker, Stegemann has been featured in major media around the world including in the The Wall Street Journal Magazine, The London Sunday Times, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Tattler, and on CBC, CNN, Bloomberg, and more.

7 Virtues fragrances are phthalate free and vegan and are available at the Hudson’s Bay stores across Canada and in the USA at Lord & Taylor.