Calgary Branch - Disrupt YYC

image of Calgary Central Library
Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:30pm

Alberta's economy is changing and Queen's alumni are responding in new and creative ways. Come hear how Calgary's alumni are shaking up industries, innovating, and blazing new trails and how their Queen’s degree got them there.  Local entrepreneurs will also be featuring their businesses in a specially curated marketplace. 

Event will take place in the Patricia A. Whelan Performance Hall, Level 1 and includes 1 drink ticket and hors d'oeuvres.

Thank you Integrated Sustainability for sponsoring this event.


Kevin Alto, Sc’10 

In August 2011, Alto Collective was co-founded by two brothers; Kevin and Owen Alto. Out of a garage in Calgary, AB (where the brothers were born and raised) they dedicated themselves to create functional wood products for people around the world to use.  The brothers differentiate themselves by leveraging computer software and high-tech tools (laser and router CNC) to create natural wood products with extreme precision and customization capability.  After successfully appearing on the most recent season of CBC's Dragons' Den, the brothers are excited about their next steps; opening a flagship retail location as well as expanding into a larger production facility!

Mark Couillard, Sc’04 - Owner

Juice Imports is a small (but growing!) wine agency started up to focus on bringing low intervention wines into the Alberta market place.  We import delicious wines from all different parts of the globe - our producers are smaller family or individually run wineries, almost all of which are self-farmed, and all using fully natural techniques in both the vineyard and during winemaking.  Heck yes, let's drink some wine!

Ted Fleming, Sc'01, Artsci'02 - CEO

Our "Blurb" is Ted's Story about why he started Partake! - “I gave up drinking alcohol after being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, but I wasn’t ready to give up craft beer. That’s why I founded Partake Brewing and created non-alcoholic craft beers with the same great taste and variety I've always been passionate about. Cheers!”


Speakers at this exciting event include:

Zhaodi Culbreath, Sc'08

Zhaodi is a civil engineer by book and passionate about the future of sustainable transportation in real life. After various roles in energy, infrastructure, and construction, he is now the Market Lead for Charging Infrastructure in Western Canada for Tesla. Zhaodi’s main focus is enabling Tesla drivers the freedom and flexibility to drive seamlessly between provinces and to the US. When he’s not developing and building new charging stations, you can find him exploring the great outdoors or singing rhyming songs to his daughter, and often both! 

Rick Tofani, Sci'81

As the Director of Applied Research and Innovation Services at SAIT, Rick Tofani oversees a research and support staff of over 40 full-time employees, the execution of a yearly average of $5 to $6 million in research projects and a team of researchers in investigating the development of new technologies and processes in green-building, clean energy, sports and wellness, prototype design, fabrication and testing, IT and unmanned systems.

Sarah Newton, Sc'10

Sarah Newton is a Senior Geological Engineer at BGC Engineering and Product Owner for BGC’s geohazard risk management software, Cambio, which is used to support geohazard management on 350,000 km of pipelines, railways and highways in North America, South America and Australia. Sarah is intent on finding ways to help industry and society use geohazard and earth science data to make better, risk-informed decisions.

Derek Mendham

Chief Financial Officer – Modern Resources Inc.

Derek is one of the founders of Modern Resources Inc., a Calgary-based private oil and gas company. Derek has worked in the energy industry for over 25 years in both financial and operational roles. He has experience in capital markets, corporate finance, strategic planning, risk management, operational efficiency and accounting. He has filled senior management roles in both private and public energy companies, as well as at investment banking firms. Derek was VP & CFO of Atlantic Directional Inc. until its sale to Ensign Energy Services. Derek was also a founding partner of the energy investment banking team at Genuity Capital Markets, and an oil and gas equity research analyst for RBC Capital Markets. 

Derek graduated from Queen's University with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours). He is a member of CPA Canada and the CFA Institute. He volunteers his time as a Cub Leader with Scouts Canada, and also coaching community baseball.



Calgary Central Library
800 3 St SE
Calgary, AB


$10.00 (2018 and 2019 grads)
$30.00 (at the door)


Sunday, August 25, 2019

Event Contacts

Patrick Leslie
Sc'10, Artsci'11