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Past Presenters

Tamara McKee

Tamara McKee joined the Day of Hope Presenter Team after several years as a volunteer committee member. Truly inspired in 2010 to make a difference in her community, the Day of Hope and Leadership and personal events compelled her to co-found a grassroots charitable organization called Stilettos for the Cure.  Since 2011, the organization has raised $50,000 with the support of the community and a dedicated team of volunteers. She did this while raising two children on her own, and maintaining her roles as managing editor of three regional publications. Having graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in political science and philosophy, and over 20 years in media, her passion is helping others to find their voice and speak their personal truth.

Although change is consistent in life, Tamara encourages others to seek first to understand, let go of perfectionist expectations, and define themselves. The Hope Team was pleased to include Tamara as a workshop presenter at the Day of Hope & Leadership in 2013.

Tamara McKee is now the owner and chief collaborator at QuirkyGirl Creative. You can connect with Tamara on Linked In or Facebook Twitter: itsquirkygirl

Garth Johns

Garth left the Hope Team after a 5 year term.  His extensive knowledge, wisdom and insight was a valuable asset to the team.  Garth moved on to take the time to further develop his consulting business and spend more time with his family.  As a Human Resources Consultant and Leadership Professional, Garth has spent 37 years in senior roles, primarily in the public sector and broader public sector.  His consulting business assists organizations with a multitude of Human Resources concerns. In 2009, Garth published his book entitled, Common Sense Leadership.  Garth’s second book Quit Your Job, Enjoy Your Work was released the summer of 2012.

Garth’s educational background includes Baccalaureate Degrees in Arts and Health Administration as well as an MBA.  He has numerous professional Certifications and has served as a Board member of a number of professional and volunteer organizations, including his present role as President of the Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres Board.

Garth has a passion for leadership with a particular interest in educating, mentoring and developing others.  His reputation is built around the promotion of positive employee/labour relations, a quality work life for all staff and improving our collective work/life balance.

Todd Skinner (July 31, 1973 to September 10, 2013)


Todd passed away on September 10, 2013.  As was one of our founding members of the Day of Hope and Leadership and a dear friend to all of us, he will always be missed – but never forgotten.

Todd was the VP of Client Happiness at 360Incentives, one of the fastest growing technology companies in Canada. Todd’s mission was to make positive change in people’s lives.  He was passionate about encouraging companies to embrace  powerful organizational cultures that engage, inspire and ignite people to work (play) above what they thought possible.

Todd’s journey led him to discover that his greatest joy in life was investing in others.  He wanted people to reach above and beyond their potential.  He also felt strongly that great companies are built by confident leaders who allow their employees to play to their strengths and share in the fun of building a profitable organization as well as creating an unbelievable work experience.

Todd’s legacy will move forward with the Todd Skinner Memorial Fund, a bursary set up at Durham College by Dan Carter and the Hope Team.  Todd may not be with us physically but he will always be a part of the Hope Team and he will always live on in our hearts.

Ian Hill

Ian was one of the founding members of the Day of Hope and Leadership and was part of the team until 2011 when his busy schedule made it almost impossible for him to commit to continuing.  Humanitarian, Business Leader, Award Winning Philanthropist; these are some of the words that are often used when referring to Ian.

Ian has been recognized for being a catalyst for positive change throughout the Globe.  In 2002, Ian’s passion for the improvement of others led to the founding of The Changing Point. He is also Volunteer, CEO of Let Them Be Kids.  The Day of Hope and Leadership was very lucky to have Ian on their team.

Dan Walters

Born and raised in Durham Region, Dan is the Practicum Coordinator and Instructor for the University Of Ontario Institute Of Technology’s Faculty of Social Science and Humanities.  Working one-on-one with undergraduate students, Dan has the opportunity to learn from the ever-shifting values, goals, and priorities of our emerging leaders.

As an active board member and volunteer with a variety of social service organizations, Dan encourages his students to move beyond the books, ‘walk the talk‘, and engage their respective communities.  Dan was awarded the Cupples cup by the National Association for Career Educators and Employers.  Dan has a keen interest in the culture of inclusion, and was the UOIT and Durham College Accessibility Chair for over 2 years.  When the sun goes down, Dan writes, records, and tours with his Rock & Roll band.

Travis Dutka

Having worked in both the corporate world and the non-profit sector, Travis is currently the Talent Manager at 360incentives in Whitby, Canada and is enjoying the excitement and challenge of helping to build the best company to work for in the world. He spends his time in the “fun half” of HR recruiting, screening, interviewing and investing in personally and professionally in team at 360incentives.

Travis is a proud husband and energetic father who enjoys being inspired daily, laughing constantly and swinging kettle bells occasionally. Over the years he has become a coffee snob who enjoys sipping a well-pulled espresso paired with an old fashion paper magazine and a notepad to capture all the crazy idea floating around in his head.

Katie Zeppieri

Having developed an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, Katie Zeppieri is proud to be the Founder & Chief Empowerment Officer of Make Your Mark, a social enterprise that provides leadership development training to youth and is also the Founder of GIRL TALK Empowerment Day, a one-day pep rally dedicated to motivating girls to become leaders of positive change.

Katie’s outspoken voice on important issues has led her to travel across Canada and abroad to speak about issues that matter. She is a Blogger for The Huffington Post, an on-air radio panelist Monday mornings on NEWSTALK 1010, a motivational speaker who has spoken on many platforms, including on the TED Worldwide Stage, and a nationally-published writer who has had her work featured in such outlets as

Katie is a champion for human rights and gained her passion for speaking out after both witnessing and experiencing many forms of bullying during her school years. Her active involvement and leadership has led her to the career path she has chosen today and provided her with opportunities for national recognition. Katie just released her first book GIRL TALK: Words Every World-Changing Girl Needs to Hear.

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