AGM Speakers & Special Guests

We are honoured to welcome all speakers and special guests to our 80th Annual General Meeting + Conference.

Part of what makes our annual event so special is the people who attend.

Our conference creates rich networking opportunities and plenty of collision space for industry leaders.

Get to know some of our special guests and speakers below!


Jackie Clayton

Mayor of Grande Prairie

One of Jackie’s favourite experiences was serving on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. During her 6 years on the Board and Executive, eventually becoming Grande Prairie’s 2nd female President in over 90 years, she saw firsthand the endless opportunities this region has to offer.

Prior to running for Mayor of Grande Prairie, Jackie served two terms as a City Council member where she honed her political skills, helping contribute and develop the future of our community.

JP Gladu

Founder & Principal Mokwateh Consultancy

Founder JP Gladu brings rich experience, a broad network, and unique insights to bear for his clients. What often stands in the way of moving forward for the Indigenous and non-Indigenous business communities is a viable bridge. Mokwateh has the expertise to build it.

It is with this spirit of bringing past, present, and future wisdom to the table that Mokwateh is accomplished at creating innovative partnerships and solutions. At guiding consensus building. And at breaking down barriers to reveal equitable opportunities.

Honorable Nate Horner

Minister of Agriculture & Forestry

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 currently serves as Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development and is a member of the Treasury Board.

Paul Jannke

Principal of Lumber, Forest Economic Advisors

Paul is a Principal of Forest Economic Advisors LLC, the premier source for North American wood products analysis and information. In this capacity, he develops and implements the company’s business and operational strategies. Paul’s true professional passion lies in analyzing North American lumber markets. With 25 years’ experience studying lumber markets and providing reliable, insightful forecasts, Paul has become the industry’s top economic analyst.

Shannon Marchand

Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Rural Economic Development

Since joining the Alberta Public Service in 1996, Shannon has held several senior leadership roles, including deputy minister of Community and Social Services, deputy minister of Seniors and Housing, deputy chief of the Policy Coordination Office and assistant deputy minister for 3 departments. His earlier government experience was in the areas of immigration and intergovernmental relations areas.

Born and raised in rural Alberta, Shannon holds a master of arts in political science from the University of Alberta.

Brian McClay

Principal, Brian McClay & Associates Inc.

Brian McClay, based near Montreal, is one of North America’s foremost experts on factors that drive pulp supply and pricing. With his experience in Pulp Marketing, Trade and Government Affairs. Brian provides consultancy to subscribers and clients around the world. Through his company, Brian aims to improve their understanding of current and future market conditions and emerging marketplace trends.

Marcel Michaels

Mayor of Hinton

Marcel searched out media jobs in the region, and received a call back that would change the course of his life: an opportunity at The Eagle Radio. He was proud to work there for two years, but saw a new opportunity in Municipal Election 2013. 

Marcel was successfully elected to Council in election 2013, completing his four year term before being elected Mayor in 2017. 

Before moving to Hinton, Michaels earned a BA in Political Science from McMaster University. 

Derek Nighbor

President & Chief Executive Officer

Derek was born and raised in Pembroke – in the heart of the Ottawa Valley – and has been President and CEO at FPAC since March 2016.

He is proud to represent Canada’s forest products sector and its workers, families, and communities nationally and internationally.

Derek served for over 3 years as Senior Vice President of Public Affairs with Retail Council of Canada (RCC) representing over 45,000 retail storefronts across Canada, including leading retailers like Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Staples, and Home Hardware.

Derek has also held senior political positions with the Government of Ontario, including two years as Chief of Staff to Ontario’s Minister of Consumer and Business Services.

Derek’s global roles include his recent appointment as the industry representative and advisor to the United Nations Forum on Forests and his involvement as a Steering Committee member of the International Council of Forest & Paper Associations (ICFPA) – an organization of forest sector leaders from 28 countries around the world. He served as ICFPA’s President of from 2019 to 2022.

Terry Ungarian

Reeve of the County of Northern Lights

Terry has been on the municipal council of the County of Northern Lights for 12 years and is a strong advocate for the socio-economic fabric of the region. 

Terry is the 3rd generation to reside on his family’s beef cattle farm north of Manning with his wife of 45 years, Louise. Together they have 4 children and 6 grandchildren.

Kate White

Deputy Minister of Jobs, Economy & Innovation

Prior to this appointment, Katherine (Kate) was the deputy minister of Finance and secretary to the Management Board for the Government of Yukon. Most of Kate’s public service career has been with the Government of Alberta, where she held the positions of assistant deputy minister of economics and fiscal policy at Treasury Board and Finance, as well as chief economist and many others.

Kate is an economist by profession, with a passion for public policy and public sector leadership. She holds a master of arts in economics from the University of Calgary and a bachelor of science from Dalhousie University.

Bev Yee

Deputy Minister of Environment & Parks

Bev has been with the Government of Alberta since 1994. She was appointed deputy minister of Intergovernmental Relations in March 2018 and deputy minister of Environment and Parks in September 2018. Previously, she was deputy minister of Agriculture and Forestry and held five assistant deputy roles.

Bev holds a bachelor of education and a bachelor of science.

Donavon Young

Deputy Minister of Indigenous Relations

Donavon brings 35 years of direct experience and knowledge to his position in Indigenous Relations – at the national level, with 2 provincial governments and at the community level. He joined the Government of Alberta in 2005 as an assistant deputy minister (7 years at Aboriginal Relations and 2 years at Alberta Justice) until April 2014 when he was appointed as a deputy minister.

From 1995 to 2005, Donavon worked for the Government of Saskatchewan (Aboriginal Relations) as an assistant deputy minister for most of that time. From 1992 to 1995, he worked for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples as the Urban Research and Policy Coordinator. Donavon also worked in research and program development at the Gabriel Dumont Institute of Metis Studies and Applied Research from 1983 to