2015 ACGM Presenter Biographies

Joan Bard Miller – Planning for Expansion: Learn-to-Skate Partnership Strategies

Joan is the Learn to Skate Coordinator for Skate Canada. In this role she is responsible for coordinating, monitoring and providing advice to the design and delivery of partnered Learn to Skate programs in communities across Canada. Prior to joining Skate Canada in 2013, Joan established a career in built heritage working as a historical researcher and consultant. She was also active as a volunteer serving as chair of her community association’s heritage committee and as a board member for Heritage Ottawa. After nearly 10 years working in the cultural heritage field coordinating projects, reviewing programs and leading community consultations, Joan returned to her first love, skating, by becoming an employee of Skate Canada. As a former figure skater, Joan is very passionate about reducing barriers to participation in skating and getting more kids on the ice.

Cal Botterill, PhD – Sustainable High Performance: Preventing Under-Recovery & Burnout in Coaches & Athletes

Cal has 40 years of experience in high performance with sport, medicine, business, education and the performing arts. He has played a role in 10 Olympics for Canadian athletes and consulted for five NHL teams, including the Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangers in 1993-94. Seven of the 14 athletes that Cal has worked with won gold medals in Sochi. Cal has been instrumental in the development of a “High Performance Physician” program in medicine, where demands and burnout are prevalent. Cal is a PhD & Killam Scholarship recipient from the University of Alberta, and a teaching excellence award winner at the University of Calgary & the University of Winnipeg. Cal has authored several books, videos, & many articles. His latest book entitled “Sustainable High Performance” is available from

Cal’s wife, Doreen, is a former Olympic speed skater (‘64, ‘68), & his daughter, Jennifer, is a three-time Olympic Gold medalist in women’s hockey. His son, Jason, is a three-time gold medalist in World junior Hockey and is currently associate GM with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Dr. William Bridel – Safe Sport: Bullying in Sport / Sport-Related Pain & Injury

Dr. William Bridel is an Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary in the Faculty of Kinesiology. His teaching and research focus on socio-cultural aspects of the body, sport, physical activity, and health. His research interests include: the emergence of ultra-endurance sports as forms of leisure activities; social and political aspects of health; sport-related pain and injury; and, gender, sexuality, and sport. A member of the National Office staff from 1997 to 2004, William has served as a consultant on athlete development, coaching, and high performance projects since 2006.

Sheila Beard – Officials Expansion: Building the Tools Clubs & Sections Need to Recruit & Retain Officials

Sheila has been judging and evaluating for over 20 years. Currently she is a qualified Challenge level judge in singles, as well as a Section Technical Controller, Gold evaluator in free skating and skating skills, Diamond dance evaluator and Section Clinic Leader. She is the Judge/Evaluator Chair for Skate Canada Nova Scotia and a member of the Officials Development Committee and Technical Coordinating Committee. Sheila is very active throughout all the Atlantic Sections at competitions, test days and leading clinics. Originally having begun her career as an official in Calgary, Alberta where she lived for 15 years, she was very active there as Competition Chair and Events Chair, and also was on the organizing committee for Canadian Championships, Western Challenge and the World Championships in 2006.

Sarah Clarke – Maximizing Partnership Potential

Sarah Clarke joined Skate Canada in July 2014 as Partnership Director. The Toronto native has over 20 plus years of sales and business development experience and is excited to bring her passion for the sports business by developing and managing the relationships with Skate Canada’s broad spectrum of partners. At the beginning of her career, Sarah worked in sports and entertainment content distribution before becoming Director of Sales for IMG Canada where she was responsible for broadcast negotiations of such sporting properties as Wimbledon, British Open, and World Snowboard Championships. She initiated business development opportunities with Toronto Fashion Week, and served as Executive Producer for skating properties, including Kurt Browning’s Gotta Skate, Holiday Festival On Ice and Stars On Ice. Prior to joining Skate Canada, she served as a Strategic Advisor with Bell Media and Entertainment One on VOD/CRM strategies. Sarah is a member of Canadian Women in Sport and a mentor with Women in Communications and Technology.

Reaghan Fawcett Fortin – STAR Program: Getting Ready for Change
Reaghan has been a Skate Canada judge-evaluator for 25 years. She is currently qualified as an International Judge in Singles and Pair, and a Gold evaluator in free skating, ice dance, skating skills and interpretive. A former competitive skater, she enjoys judging and evaluating at all levels, from club competitions to invitationals, nationals and beyond. Reaghan has also worked extensively with Skate Canada through a variety of volunteer committee roles. She was a Judge-Evaluator Chair for Central Ontario, a member of the Domestic Officials Committee and Chair of the Skating Programs Development Committee. More recently she has been appointed as Chair of the Technical Coordinating Committee. Reaghan is fluent in French after spending two years living and working in France as a university student. After completing her International MBA, she worked for several years in the pharmaceutical industry in finance, marketing and HR roles. She is currently working at home to raise her children and continues her passion for volunteering outside of skating through different roles at her children’s school such as Treasurer for the school’s Parent Council.

Mark Halliday – Brand Workshop / Maximizing Partnership Potential

A seasoned marketing and television executive, Mark Halliday joined Skate Canada in January 2014 as Chief Marketing Officer. Born and raised in Montreal he is fluent in French. Mark brings with him almost 25 years’ worth of progressive marketing experience. He began his career as a Global Product Manager at Bauer Nike Hockey, and in the early 2000s he served as a Brand Manager for Cadbury Adams. He continued his career as Senior Product Manager at Rogers Cable where he managed TV content. More recently, Halliday was at Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium delivering Vancouver 2010 like never before to all Canadians. Prior to joining Skate Canada he was Sr. Director Marketing Content and PPV at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He has a passion for athletes, competition and sport, and knows how to build a brand with a keen understanding of media platforms and consumer insights.

Karen Howard – What the Referee Says to the Panel Before an Event: Information Coaches Don’t Want to Miss!

Karen has been involved as a Skate Canada official for 33 years having volunteered in many roles. She is qualified an ISU Championship Judge in Singles and Pairs as well as a National Referee in these two disciplines. She is also qualified as a Gold Evaluator in free skating, ice dance, skating skills and interpretive. Karen has worked on many committees both at the sectional and national levels; she is currently serving as the Chair of the Officials Assignment and Promotion Committee for Skate Canada. She has also volunteered in many roles with her daughters’ involvement in the sports of basketball and gymnastics as well as at many other local events in her community. Karen has her Bachelor of Education and Masters of Educational Administration from the University of Regina.

Donna King – CanSkate: After the Launch

Donna is in her 22nd year with Skate Canada’s Skating Development department. Her work currently is focused on LTAD-related programming including the new CanSkate program and Skate for Life initiatives. Donna also was a test skater, and coached skating for 10 years, specializing in CanSkate and STARSkate. She has a Bachelor of Arts Specialization in Recreation & Leisure Studies from Concordia University and has completed several courses in music and early childhood education. She has played several side roles with Skate Canada over the years, including in-venue host, bilingual announcer and voice-over talent for numerous instructional coaching and skating programs videos. She is a certified Kindermusik educator as well as a musician and performer in two different bands.

Joel Lenius – Skate Canada’s New Power Skating Movement

Joel is a retired professional hockey player and current hockey skills and team coach within the Greater Toronto Area. As national Power Skating Coordinator, Joel’s main role is leading the monitoring and revitalization of Skate Canada’s Power Skating program. After playing hockey through the Ontario Junior and University levels, Joel played two years of professional hockey in Europe (Poland and France). After retiring from playing, he began his full-time player development and coaching work at National Training Rinks, also working previously with the prestigious SK8ON Hockey School for 3 years. Currently Joel is also the Head Coach of the Toronto Red Wings Atom AAA team and the Associate Coach of the Toronto Red Wings Bantam AAA team. He is Hockey Canada Development 1 certified, CanPowerSkate Certified, and is in pursuit of his Hockey Canada High Performance 1 certification. He is also a skills coach for numerous GTHL and OMHA teams, numerous individual competitive hockey players, and Junior and Professional players – specializing in skating development and correction. Joel believes that skating is the foundational skill for which all other hockey/ringette skills are developed. Continuous practice and strengthening of core skating skills, at all levels of play, is essential in increasing muscle memory and ultimately developing stronger skaters and hockey players.

Monica Lockie – Boots & Blades: Making the Right Choice for Performance & Injury Prevention / CanSkate: After the Launch / STAR Program: Getting Ready for Change

Monica is a seasoned Skate Canada coach with over 30 years’ experience. She has coached synchronized skating, singles and pairs at a national level and even spent a season training a Juvenile dance team. Her experience and passion for the grassroots programs CanSkate and STARSkate are evident in the amount of time and energy she has given to the revitalization projects in these areas. Monica joined the Skate Canada staff this year as the National Performance Centre Director in Toronto, working to support the pathway of excellence for skaters, coaches and officials.

Nicole Mickelow – Skate Canada Productions Update

Nicole Mickelow is the Content & Communications Director for Skate Canada. She oversees the organization’s digital and social media presence, content creation and distribution, internal and external communications and in-venue entertainment for events. Nicole is a two-time Gemini Award nominated producer with extensive experience in both video production and digital media. She joined Skate Canada last September from TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) where she held a similar role. Previous to that she held roles in both the digital and creative services realms for Astral Media working on brands such as Family Channel, Disney Junior, HBO Canada and The Movie Network. Nicole is an avid sports fan and is very involved in Toronto’s running community. She has completed 7 marathons and over a dozen half marathons in the last seven years. In that time she also helped coach a Running Room Marathon clinic, led pace groups for several others and was a Run Ambassador for Lululemon Athletica.

Dr. Jane MoranBoots & Blades: Making the Right Choice for Performance & Injury Prevention

Dr. Moran is the Representative for Winter Sports on the IOC’s Medical Commission and is world-renowned for her work in the campaign for Clean Sport and the science of anti-doping protocols and procedures. A member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport for many years, she also is a Sport Medicine Physician, Emergency Physician and Associate Clinical Professor at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Moran accompanied the Torch Relay as Chief Physician during the 106 days of its cross-Canada run in the lead-up to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Her published research into boot-related injuries is widely quoted. Dr. Moran is also a former member of the Skate Canada Board of Directors.

Mark Pillay – Choreography Part 2: Musicality

Mark Pillay is a World and Olympic level choreographer. Although Mark’s skating career began in Saskatchewan, Mark is now based out of Vancouver. Some of Mark’s choreography credits include Pre-Novice, Novice, Junior and Senior National Champions of Canada, ISU Junior and Senior Grand Prix Finalists and Grand Prix Medalists and Olympic Medalists (2014). Mark currently holds an Honours degree in Psychology and an Extended Minor in Contemporary Dance from Simon Fraser University. Mark is currently completing a Graduate Degree in Psychology from the University of British Columbia.

Sally RehorickBoots & Blades: Making the Right Choice for Performance & Injury Prevention

To her experience in skating as a skater, official, project leader, seminar moderator, committee chair and board member, Sally Rehorick adds her professional expertise as an educator. She has been the lead researcher and director for several large-scale national and international projects in the area of second language education and new university start-ups. She has participated in six Olympic Winter Games in various roles: judge, Officials Assessment Commission member, team leader (figure skating); Assistant Chef de mission and Chef de mission (Canadian Olympic Committee); Director, International Client Services and Official Languages (Vancouver 2010 Organizing Committee). She is Principal, the Rehorick Group (Innovations in Educational and Organizational Development) with clients in Canada, Japan and Dubai. Sally’s interest in equipment selection for skaters and the relationship to performance arose through her ongoing interactions with skaters and coaches at local clubs and competitions across the country. Realizing that injuries due to equipment problems seemed to becoming more prevalent, she began a six-month informal investigation into the effects of boot and blade selection on the performance of skaters from the Skate for Life through to the Skate to Win populations.

Dan Thompson – Plenary Workshop: The Skate Canada Strategic Plan Update & Discussion

Dan Thompson has over 30 years’ experience as an athlete, board member and administrator in the Canadian sport system. He has been the CEO of Skate Canada since June 2013. As a seven-year member of Canada’s National Swim Team and Olympian, Dan was to participate in the 1980 Olympic Summer Games, which were ultimately boycotted. He holds a Bachelor of Science, Physical & Health Education degree from the University of Toronto, and made the move into the corporate marketing world at the conclusion of his competitive swim career.

Dan spent many years as a sponsorship marketing consultant with Lang & Associates and in the 90’s worked with the Canadian Figure Skating Association to create an integrated broadcast sponsorship packages with CTV, develop the Champions Series of skating which became the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, and launched the Champions on Ice figure skating tour. He then went on to lead one of Canada’s largest sponsorship marketing agencies, MacLaren Momentum. Prior to accepting the position of Skate Canada CEO, he served as President of Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities for over 5 years which saw Dan guide the growth of Jumpstart into Canada’s largest private foundation dedicated to helping in-need kids participate in sport and recreation. Currently Dan sits on the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario Board of Directors and also is serving on the Toronto 2015 Sport Program and Legacy Committee.

Meredith WarnerOfficials Expansion: Building the Tools Clubs & Sections Need to Recruit & Retain Officials

Meredith has been with Skate Canada for the past seven years and is currently in the role of Officials Development Coordinator. She has a Bachelor of Science degree, Honours Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa and holds numerous certifications in the field of health and fitness including Certified Personal Trainer, Pre and Post-Natal Fitness Specialist and Certified Fitness Instructor. A former competitive singles skater and professional cast member with Disney On Ice, Meredith is also a section level Technical Specialist in synchronized skating and primary STARSkate certified coach.