2023 Together Again Speakers

by | Feb 20, 2023 | Events, News, Uncategorized




Christopher Quinlan – MarketWurks

Chris served his passion for regional economic and food security as the manager of the Whistler Farmers’ Market for 8 years, a role that gave rise to his development of Marketwurks.com. 

His experience as a business owner taught Chris to find practical solutions to everyday challenges, such as being presented with 4, 4 inch binders of paper applications to the Market.

The existing technical solution was cost prohibitive, so Chris developed his own online market management program. Over time, he developed a customizable program that allows market managers to generate the application forms required to better qualify applicants, utilize that information to create public profiles and populate market maps, all while maintaining control of their data, and market customers, inside the markets’ website. Chris has been a great partner to help us develop and tweak the vendor verification form to meet our needs. Chris has also generously donated a year’s subscription to Marketwurks that manager attendees will be entered into a draw for.  

Jenny Berkenbosch, Sundog Organic Farm, Telling Your Story

Jenny is committed to food, family and creativity.  For half the year she is a farmer with Sundog Organic Farm – planting, growing and harvesting for her community, and for the other half she is painting – taking the richness of her life as a farmer and transcribing it into color and form on canvas.  

She is mom to three boys and wife to James Vriend.

Their farming practices begin with respect for the soil.  Soil covers only a small part of the earth, and what they have has been built up over millennia to become the life-supporting substrate that they can grow food in.

Jason Arden, Cooperators,  The Right Coverage for You, Your Market and Your Vendors

Jason started his career with Co-operators in 2009 as a Home and Auto insurance representative. In June of 2009, he successfully completed the Life licensing exam and his role then changed to an Associate Insurance/Financial Advisor focusing on providing Life and Business insurance solutions, as well as Investments. In 2014, he was given the opportunity to take over as the Financial Advisor/Owner of the Lloydminster, SK, office. Jason and his team work hard to take care of their clients’ insurance and wealth management needs.

In his spare time, Jason continues to further his education, working on the Certified Insurance Professional program and plans on beginning the Professional Financial Advisor course soon.

When not working or reading, he enjoys spending time at the lake with my wife and two boys, experiencing all the great outdoors has to offer.

Sunni Shannon, Duuo, Vendor Insurance Made Easy and Affordable

Sunni Shannon is an individual who brings her A-game when it comes to making sure Duuo’s partners are successful in their endeavors. Not only does she excel at Duuo, but she also thrives in all of the other areas of her life! Sunni is an avid traveler, a nature lover, a Big Brother fanatic (maybe a future contestant), and has an overt passion for people. In simple terms, Sunni is a lover of life.

Her experience in insurance has stretched over 15 years, meaning she knows a thing or two about this line of work. She’s brought this knowledge into her role as Partner Success Manager and continuously provides the Duuo team, as well as our partners, with her great ideas and expertise. Her commitment to helping our partners understand the importance and benefits of getting their clients covered has resulted in many successful and long-lasting partnerships. Sunni’s love for innovation is what drew her to Duuo, and this passion is what makes her an integral part of the team!

Kady Hobbin, Kaden Ave Communications, Social Media Tip and Tricks

Kady is a born-and-raised Edmontonian and MacEwan University alum. After spending six years first in non-profit communications and then digital marketing and media buying, she partnered with Avery to form Kaden Ave in 2018. Since then, Kady and her team have empowered businesses across Canada to build their best social media presence through strategy and creative execution.

When she’s not at work (and even sometimes when she is), Kady can probably be found apologizing to people for smelling like horses — she spends nearly every day of the week with her off-track Thoroughbred, Ro. She has been a competitive show jumper for more than 20 years and is Kaden Ave’s resident horse girl. On the few other days that she smells like a normal person, she’s busy playing volleyball or hanging out at home with her two cats, Oliver and Rigatoni.

Melissa Maltais, Hatch + Hype, BCAFM 

Melissa is an event planning and logistics professional with over 15 years of experience. She has previously worked with the Surrey Urban Farmers Market, New Westminster Farmers Market and most recently was the Executive Director of the Fraser North Farmers Market Society overseeing the management of the Port Coquitlam and Haney Farmers Markets. She is an award winning fundraiser and has assisted in generating over $1 million in revenue for the BC SPCA helping animals in need of veterinary care. Melissa is dedicated to helping small businesses succeed and enjoys working with passionate individuals who are contributing to the well-being and economic success of their communities.When not thinking about or visiting farmers markets Melissa is hanging out with her young son, Logan in the City of Port Coquitlam. During her “off” time she loves to preserve food, bake yummy cakes and go camping and explore British Columbia.

Alternate Routes Coffee Co., Coffee Tasting

Founded in 2017 in Leduc, Alberta, by partners Ian & Kellie Wahl, Alternate Route Coffee Co. is built on a foundation of passion, commitment, and partnership.

The passion to explore the world of coffee, challenge what we know, and push the boundaries on what they currently believe is possible, both in coffee and in life. A commitment to create a special product that honors the work of coffee producers and fairly compensates them for their efforts. They focus on building partnerships that extend beyond simple transactions, and instead focus on working together to achieve common goals, and creating a better life for those around us; if their partners are successful, they are successful.

Daniel Hung, Food Safety Specialist Food Safety Specialist Government of Alberta, Labeling -Information for Food Vendors and Managers

Mary Burch, Red House Salsa, Vendor Success Stories

Mary’s salsa journey started with gifting our homemade salsa to friends and teachers. As a family they made salsa together; chopped garlic, peppers, stirred pots and created a special homemade gift. The kids loved taking these gifts to school to share with teachers and friends. When her youngest kiddo passed grade 1, that teacher encouraged me to venture out to the markets and sell this salsa. ” You never grow inside your comfort zone”. What started as a hobby, has turned into a business that allows her to go on field trips with her kids, balance out the demands of a busy family and the passion of being an entrepreneur. 

Damini Mohan, Mini-Kitchen, Vendor Success Stories

In 2012, with no previous experience in food service, Damini Mohan and her mother Renu started a farmers’ market stand featuring dishes that were served around their family table. They started with kebabs and chickpeas and pomegranate. Then came the samosas and their best-selling butter chicken and chana masala. Since then, Mini Kitchen has expanded to several farmers’ markets and a wholesale business, sharing the flavors of the Indian subcontinent, Damini’s entrepreneurial drive and Renu’s love of a good food have grown a number of Mini Kitchen fans.They have been a staple at most farmers’ markets in Edmonton area ever since. They make the most delicious and home-style Indian and Thai meals using premium and local ingredients. They use only the best ingredients. It’s the kind of food eaten at homes and not found at restaurants.

Tanni Doblanko, Leduc County Mayor

Mayor Doblanko facilitates clear, concise communication about decisions made by council and the impacts these decisions have on our community. She is committed to ensuring sustainable agriculture and responding to constituent requests.

Doblanko grew up in Mannville, a small village in central Alberta. Prior to being elected to council, she worked as an assistant superintendent with the Edmonton Public School Board.

Minister Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation

Nate Horner was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for the constituency of Drumheller-Stettler on April 16, 2019.

Prior to Mr. Horner’s election, he was a rancher with a cow-calf mix farm operation and avid volunteer in local community organizations.

Mr. Horner has his agriculture business diploma from Olds College and his bachelor of science degree in agriculture from the University of Lethbridge. He was the Canadian Intercollegiate Rodeo Association saddle bronc champion in 2002 and 2004.

Mr. Horner was first sworn in as Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development, now known as Agriculture and Irrigation, on November 5, 2021.