Atlantic Conference for Administrative Professionals – Agenda – Spark Conferences

Atlantic Conference for Administrative Professionals – Agenda


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Pre-Conference Optional Workshops – Sunday, April 23, 2017

Susan MacLeod and Diane Wooden use a hands-on approach to teach participants:

  • Simple visuals
  • The factors necessary for conflict resolution and
  • A four-step method for drawing out your thinking about a conflict

Drawing the key elements of a conflict with simple icons helps people move a conflict from subjective thinking to objective thinking, to see what’s pertinent to the conflict and what’s not, and get clarity on next steps – to let go, or pursue.


Susan Macleod
Strategic Communication through Graphic Facilitation
Speaker on Using Visuals
MacLeod Allen Creative Services


Diane Wooden
Human Resources Professional and Sparks Fly Nova Scotia Coordinator
Diane Wooden Consulting

We’ve all been hurt by someone – whether by family, friends, a boss, or co-workers. We may shrug off minor events, but sometimes the hurt runs deep and lasts a long time. Studies show that holding onto anger, pain, and resentment can lead to health problems, yet it doesn’t have to be that way.

Researchers at Stanford University have found that a simple act of forgiveness can make you healthier and happier – and possibly live longer. In other words, forgiveness is a powerful practice for personal and professional development.

In this experiential workshop, participants will:

  • Understand the physiological, emotional and psychological impacts of holding onto hurt, anger, and grudges.
  • Be introduced to the forgiveness process via the Ladder of ForgivenessTM
  • Experience the freedom of letting go of old grievances using a 3-step process

Gina Brown
Brainstorm Communications

Note: If you are unable to attend the full conference, you have the option to just attend the pre-conference workshop(s).

Pre-Conference Get-Together – Sunday, April 23, 2017

Conference Day – Monday, April 24, 2017

Pick-up your badge and enjoy a healthy breakfast.

Enjoy a light Zumba exercise to get your morning energy up.


Scott Bosse
Eye Clinic Admin Supervisor/CVS Program Administrator,  IWK Health Centre
Cast Member, Big Brother Canada Season 2
Regular Segment Contributor, CTV & Global Morning Shows
Contributor, The Coast & The Metro
Event Producer for many organizations and charities
Emcee, Speaker, Workshop Facilitator on Building Your Vision for Success

Grounded in science, we explore gratitude as a practical tool to leading a flourishing life. Of the possible 24 character strengths, the single character trait that best predicts well-being is gratitude.

In this session, you will experience and learn:

  • The benefits of gratitude and a grateful frame of mind
  • The connection between gratitude and service excellence
  • One of the biggest obstacles to living a grateful life
  • Two simple gratitude habits for a more flourishing life, and follow-up resources to help you maintain these habits

Steve Foran
A Grateful CEO, Culture Change Expert, Speaker, Author
Gratitude at Work

Concurrent Sessions: Business Enhancement Skills (2A, 2B, 3A and 3B)

Minutes represent the formal and agreed upon memory of discussion and decisions made during meetings. They are a record that will be used to remind audiences, such as meeting participants and/or members of the public, about how a particular decision was made or about the status of proceedings.

It is crucial that minutes be recorded accurately and that they generate confidence among audiences. This discussion will focus on how background preparation and the use of templates can aid minute takers in achieving both: an accurate record of discussion as well as ensuring confidence in the process.


Clare O’Connor
Communications Professional, Business Coach, Instructor/Trainer, Professional Writer, Speaker
Full Picture Public Affairs Inc.

Susan MacLeod uses a hands-on approach to teaching participants how to use colour, bullets, simple icons, and organizational approaches to any material when flip-charting a group’s discussion.


Susan Macleod
Strategic Communication through Graphic Facilitation
Speaker on Using Visuals
MacLeod Allen Creative Services

Network with your colleagues, enjoy the beverages and snacks.

The back of an envelope. It’s where hit songs, epic speeches, and corporate innovations start. And it shows the power and importance of capturing the essence of the moment. You’re called upon daily to take notes from meetings, phone calls, and emails – and translate them into practical, relevant material.

Rather than a tutorial on shorthand or handwriting techniques, this session will build your ability to:

  • Tune your skills to identify and obtain key information
  • Capture content efficiently and accurately
  • Organize and flesh-out your notes in real-time
  • Convert and re-package content into reliable briefing notes, memos, minutes and more

This session is suitable for anyone wanting to improve their writing and organizational skills.


Nancy Dorey
Coach and Idea Builder, Facilitator, Strategist

Whether staring at a computer screen or sending and receiving email on the go, the composition of that email and the words we choose matter.

This presentation will focus on how to structure an email used for business purposes and how to ensure the words we write have impact. Given how pervasive email has become, this presentation will also identify an effective way to think about email before using it as a business communication tool.


Clare O’Connor
Communications Professional, Business Coach, Instructor/Trainer, Professional Writer, Speaker
Full Picture Public Affairs Inc.

Concurrent Sessions: Leadership Development Skills (4A and 4B)

This engaging session will have you thinking about what success in your role means to you. It will help you frame your thinking around success in the workplace by asking three questions:

  1. Who do we serve?
  2. What service do we provide?
  3. How do we measure the satisfaction?

Scott Bosse
Eye Clinic Admin Supervisor/CVS Program Administrator,  IWK Health Centre
Cast Member, Big Brother Canada Season 2
Regular Segment Contributor, CTV & Global Morning Shows
Contributor, The Coast & The Metro
Event Producer, for Many Organizations including Charity Events
Emcee, Speaker, Workshop Facilitator (Building Your Vision for Success)

Administration forms the backbone of any organization and thus provides the opportunity for employees therein to develop and hone their leadership and power skills wherever they work in administration. In every organization there are “go to people” when something needs to get done. This reputation creates a power base for these individuals and provides career impetus.

Strong Leaders are skillful communicators and decision makers. What has helped propel leaders into their roles is success in multiple and varied positions and their ability to set and deliver on commitments with those they interface with, including those that do not report to them. This is a fundamental building block. “Do what you said you would do by when you said you would do it”.

This presentation will also outline how people in administrative roles can take calculated risks in advancing their careers and to become a truly valued employee. You must leave comfort zones behind. Reach out and be bold.

The presentation will be peppered with stories that the presenter has seen in an administrative career in Canada, the U.S. and in Europe. The fundamentals of success are the same everywhere. And leaders can come from anywhere.

Andy Cutten

Andy Cutten
Halifax Global Inc

Enjoy a nice lunch with your colleagues.

Concurrent Sessions: Communication and Interpersonal Skills (5A and 5B)

If you are an administrative professional who has been asked to maintain your organization’s social media channels, then this session is for you!

We’ve all used social media. But how do you make the most out of it? This question is especially important when you are asked to keep an eye on the social media channels of an organization.

  • Do you know how to properly post on each channel?
  • Do you know how to respond to inquiries and comments?
  • Do you know how to increase engagement and the number of followers?
  • Have you ever posted an ad?

Attend this session to get the answers to your questions about social media.


Bex Saunders
Social Media Consultant
BritChick Social Media

Tweet at: @BritChickSocial

There are a lot of moving parts when interacting with bosses, colleagues and direct reports. Given the pace and scope of business today, it doesn’t take much to get the machine gummed up. Miscommunication or poor communication is often at the root.

This session outlines practical ways to get and keep things moving, and effectively communicate when:

  • Developing relationships with new teams and leaders
  • Working within stressful timelines and situations
  • Dealing with ‘difficult’ personalities
  • Turning things around when they’ve gone poorly
  • Building your influence and standing with colleagues

This topic will prove useful for both experienced professionals and those starting in their career who are interested in leadership and change management.


Nancy Dorey
Coach and Idea Builder, Facilitator, Strategist

Last networking break of the day.

Closing Keynote Sessions

Disengagement in the workplace is at epidemic proportions, with Gallup reporting up to 70% of employees in the US identifying some level of disengagement. In Canada, mental health problems like stress are estimated to cost employers about $20 billion annually and account for over three-quarters of short-term disability claims.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Sheila Kelly will inspire you. Using practical tools, simple practices and common-sense wisdom, she will help you:

• Understand the web of disengagement
• Develop inner courage and genuine confidence to be authentically powerful
• Experience the freedom of letting go of self-limiting beliefs, grudges, and grievances
• Rise above the drama and chaos of ego-driven workplaces
• Embody cherished values


Sheila Kelly
Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, True PurposeTM Coach
Director, The Big Yes Centre for Enlightened Leadership

Tweet at: @aegiscoach

Studies show that using humour in the workplace creates increased productivity and communication among employees. And who better to bring this truism to life than Kate Davis, five-time nominee for the Canadian Comedy Awards, and star of many television comedy specials. Kate has the unique ability to find humour in any situation. In this session she will offer her creative solutions to defuse frustrations in both the workplace and at home.


Kate Davis
Speaker, Comedian, Writer

Tweet at: @katedaviscomic

End of Conference Reception

Network, enjoy a beverage and celebrate the beginning of the Administrative Professionals’ Week with your conference colleagues.

Follow the conference on Facebook.
We will be posting frequently to keep you updated about the conference.

The 2017 conference has been approved for up to 10.5 education points by IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals), a registered not-for-profit professional association for administrative professionals. IAAP strives to ensure individuals working in office and administrative professions have the opportunity to connect, learn, lead, and excel.

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