Speakers

speakers at the 2024 ag

Peter-Dyakowski

LESSONS LEARNED FROM AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE

Banquet Speaker

Presenter: Peter Dyakowski, Professional Football Player,
CBC’s Smartest Person in Canada

Peter Dyakowski is a retired CFL football player, winning several awards as an offensive lineman. He played for the Hamilton Tiger Cats 12 years, followed by 1 year with Saskatchewan Roughriders.

In 2012 Peter was named Canada’s Smartest Person in a contest run by the CBC, followed by being a contestant and finalist on Jeopardy in 2014.

Peter is a member of Mensa Canada, In Hamilton.

Dr-Christopher-Labos

DOES COFFEE CAUSE CANCER? LESSONS LEARNED FROM AN ACCIDENTAL CAREER IN MEDICAL JOURNALISM

Presenter: Dr. Christopher Labos, Author, Columnist, Physician

Dr. Christopher Labos is a cardiologist with a master’s degree in Epidemiology. He is a columnist with the Montreal Gazette and Medscape, featured on the Sunday Morning House Call on CJAD radio, and has a regular TV segment with CTV Montreal and CBC Morning Live.

He is an associate with the McGill Office of Science and Society and co-hosts the award-winning podcast “The Body of Evidence.” He is the author of “Does Coffee Cause Cancer?” a story about food epidemiology and why food headlines are usually wrong.

He occasionally practices as a cardiologist so he can buy groceries. To date no one has asked him for his autograph.

J.R. Jeff Filliter

THE SHALLOWEST OF MEN – MURDER, MONEY LAUNDERING, AND A GLOBAL SEARCH FOR JUSTICE

Presenter: J.R. Jeff Filliter, Investigator, Crime writer

A factual accounting of a six-year criminal investigation, presented by the investigator, involving murder, fraud, multi-jurisdictional money laundering, and corruption at the highest levels of government, all driven by the second largest drug cartel in Mexico.

Jeff Filliter is a private investigator, retired RCMP, and author.

Ali-Dussault

NEURODIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE

Presenter: Ali Dussault, auticon.com

Ali Dussault is the National Director of Employment for auticon Canada, a social enterprise committed to creating rewarding careers in tech for autistic spectrum Canadians.   She has been partnering with neurodivergent Canadians in home, academic, community, and employment settings for over 20 years and holds a Master of Special Education in Autism and Developmental Disabilities.

This presentation will be about inclusive design — creating practices that enable people from all backgrounds and abilities to succeed across environments.

Larissa-Panetta

GIFTED YOUTH AND DOUBLE EXCEPTIONALITY

Presenter: Dr. Larissa Panetta, Psychologist

Dr. Larissa is a former teacher and holds a PhD in Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology. She has a particular interest in the double exceptionality assessment of ADHD plus neurodivergency in gifted children. Her presentation will be about the special needs gifted kids, and how their parents can help prepare them for the challenges of life.

Larissa is on the board of Directors for Mensa Canada Gifted Youth Group.

Matthew Freedman

MAKING GAMES FUN

Presenter: Matthew Freedman, Video game designer

Matt is a Creative Director and Games Industry Consultant with 20 years of experience working on some of the largest titles and franchises in the industry across a wide range of platforms and genres. He has worked at ROCKSTAR GAMES in a Senior Designer Capacity for 8 years on titles such as Grand Theft Auto V, Red Dead Redemption II and Max Payne 3. He also worked at EA, Blackbird Interactive, and most recently, while living in Edmonton, he worked for Chuhai Labs – Tokyo. He has developed a training course on practical game design for designers working in a business that is evolving at an exponentially fast speed.

Matt has been a regular host on Mensa Canada Gifted Youth Group gatherings.

Max-Li

THE ART OF MANGA

Presenter: Max Li

Max Li is a graduate of Waterloo Mathematics. He dabbles in writing and drawing but wouldn’t call himself an anime artist yet. He has studied “the art of manga” and has written hundred-page documents on the subject.

Scott-Baker

WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS- GRIMSBY

Presenter: Scott Baker, Casablanca enthusiast

A lighthearted talk about Casablanca; one of the best films ever made. There will be a discussion about its outstanding qualities, a touch on some minor errors of fact, character inconsistencies, and production trivia, augmented by a brief quiz.

Scott is a retired salesman, and a member of Atlantic Mensa, living in Nova Scotia. He is an avid fan of films, new or old, as long as they are good. He has an encyclopedic, & frequently accurate, knowledge of films. He first saw Casablanca when he was 18 and has probably seen it at least twice a year since.

Mishkin Berteig

CHATTING TO CLAUDE: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE -THE NEXT GENERATION

Presenter: Mishkin Berteig

Mishkin Berteig is an entrepreneur, a software developer, a math geek, an AFOL, a Baha’i, a father, a husband, a languages geek, an architecture buff, an almost author, and a road cyclist. He founded MaxGood.work in 2022 (a coaching platform) and Berteig Consulting in 2004. This is an organizational development consulting and training company that uses AI to connect users, technical, and business people to help create effective technical products and systems.

The presentation will discuss the future of AI after Chatgpt, and the philosophy of what it means to be human in the emerging context of powerful generative AI systems.

Mishkin Berteig is a member of London Mensa.

Portrait of Giggles D. Otter

LAUGHING IN THE FACE OF TOTAL ABSURDITY

Presenter: Professor Giggles D. Otter

Professor Otter has made the utterly ridiculous her life’s work. Her latest book “Keeping a Straight Face in the Face of WTF” has spent the last 6 months on the New York Times Bestseller List, and she is the author of 42 research papers on the topic of bizarre beliefs and the absence of logic.

At 3pm on Saturday June 22nd, Professor Otter will lead a 1-hour workshop on how to let go, relax, and find humor in the craziness you can’t fix. 

Portrait of Gertrude von Wetpaws

ACTIVE LISTENING: MAKING EYE CONTACT WITHOUT LOOKING CREEPY

Presenter: Gertrude von Wetpaws

Ms. Wetpaws is the CEO of Otterly Attentive Communications, Inc. She has 15 years’ experience in teaching the art of attentiveness as a tool for success at work, in social situations, and most importantly, in personal relationships. Her client list includes Fortune 500 executives, heads of state, and more then a few celebrities with scandals to smooth over.

At 8pm on Saturday June 22nd, Gertrude will lead a 1-hour workshop on how to make people feel that you’re genuinely interested in their thoughts, not just mentally calculating if they will fit in your freezer.