October PD Day Session Speakers

Please select an October PD Day speaker to learn more about them and their session.

Naomi Kriss is a passionate authority on public relations for the architecture and design industries. She founded Kriss Communications in 2006 with the aim to broaden awareness of quality contemporary design in Canada and to expand recognition of work by Canadian designers abroad.

Representing architects, interior designers, design hotels, as well as noteworthy cultural projects and institutions coast to coast, Naomi helps her clients to understand what makes them unique from their often similarly perceived competitors, to find ways to present their stories beyond a press release, and to become regular participants in a global dialogue about innovative design.

Raised in Toronto, Paris, London, Oxford and Jerusalem, Naomi presents a broad vision and an international perspective. For over 20 years she has applied strategic thinking and creativity to help architectural practices transform their communications and drive new business.

Naomi graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the history of art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London and a master’s degree in post-war and contemporary art from Sotheby’s Institute, University of Manchester.

Navigating the Changing Media Landscape
The media landscape is changing. Naomi Kriss will examine how traditional media (books, magazines, newspapers) differ from websites such as ArchDaily, Dezeen and Architizer and social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Learn how your organization can engage in collective discussions and tap into broader communities of prospective employees, likeminded practitioners and potential clients.
Michael is a visionary leader, speaker and author known for igniting passion in the entrepreneurs he works with by helping them drive their businesses to growth levels beyond their expectations. For over twenty years, as Founder of Walsh Business Growth Institute, Michael’s unique ability has been to maximize owners’ goals for more profit in their business and more freedom in their lives.

Michael's core belief is that businesses must be designed to achieve their owners' personal goals. With an advanced understanding of business models and structures, he takes the guesswork out of building a high-functioning company. His expertise stretches across business disciplines including: finance, sales & marketing, recruiting & people management, leadership development and succession planning, to name a few.

Clients say that Michael has a rare ability to communicate sophisticated business strategies in a simple way, and that his people skills have helped them resolve their trickiest interpersonal problems with customers, employees, and business partners.

Michael lives what he teaches: applying his methods, he has built Walsh Business Growth Institute into a company that provides him the freedom to take eighteen weeks of time off each year for personal travel, together with his family.

Hiring Superstars - The Inside Scoop
The costs of hiring mistakes can amount to tens of thousands of dollars, something most small firms can ill-afford. Michael Walsh will provide the tools and approaches necessary to hire more effectively and generate stronger, sustainable results. Learn how to avoid the potential traps of the hiring process, from attracting the right applicants with effective job descriptions and ads to selecting the right candidate.

Carol is a Principal at Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd. Areas of practice include hospitals, universities, airports, palaces, public buildings, mixed-use retail developments and corporate facilities. Carol has over 40 years of experience, with a focus on design for the high performance workplace and her interest in design education has been reflected in teaching appointments at two universities.

Carol has participated on the boards of interior design professional associations at the National and International level, serving as President of IDC and IIDA and on the Boards of the Design Exchange, CIDQ and CIDA. She has been inducted into the College of Fellows of three professional associations and was awarded an Honourary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) by Kwantlen Polytechnical University.



A leading Canadian architect, Bill has 40 years experience in architecture, overseeing the design and construction of over 700 buildings worldwide. Bill’s major accomplishments include the University of Calgary’s Taylor Family Digital Library, Calgary Courts Centre, Edmonton Federal Building, Songam Space Centre (Korea) and Alberta Children’s Hospital. As a Senior Principal at Kasian, he leads the delivery of architectural, strategic planning (master planning and programming), interior planning and urban planning services, as well as Kasian’s Institutional Market Sector.

Bill is a strong proponent of integrated design, particularly the integration of interior design and architecture into one seamless activity. Bill specializes in planetarium design and is known throughout the industry as the world’s most experienced planetarium architect. In addition to his professional role, Bill is involved in many community activities including sitting on the Senate at the University of Calgary and chairing the Calgary Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.

Getting the Second Client
A refresher course in marketing professional services by two expert marketers - why do it, when to do it, how to do it.

  • Strategies for making business development more effective and more fun.
  • How to develop and maintain a network for business development leads.
  • How to build more productive client relationships.
  • How to grow your own firm, or
  • How to become an indispensable marketing resource to your employer.
  • The skills, competencies and attitudes needed to be a “rainmaker” in a firm.
  • How to distinguish viable opportunities from worthless pursuits.
  • Why network marketing is preferable to process marketing.
Karen Compton has over 15 years of experience in the architecture/engineering and construction industry, and has served as Director of Business Development and Director of Marketing for small companies, mid-sized, multi-office firms and national and international corporations. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Mount St. Mary’s College in Chemistry (where she currently serves as a member of the Board of Regents) and an Advanced Management Certificate from the University Of Southern California.

Ms. Compton has been a featured speaker of the American Institute of Architects, PSMJ Resources, the American Society of Landscape Architects and the National Organization of Minority Architects on the subjects of business development and strategic planning. In 2011, Ms. Compton played a vital role in the launch of A3K Consulting - a national, web based platform that allows business to business networking of design professionals and business consultants in a variety of areas including human resources, leadership, finance, marketing, management and legal.

Competitive Proposal Development
In a field of equally qualified architects, the development of a competitive proposal is often challenging. Efforts to develop strong proposal response are often diluted by available time (time management), an understanding of the client's needs, both stated and unstated, and the development of a focused and targeted value proposition that compels one's selection.

This session will explore business development culture, value proposition, roles and responsibilities within business development, and their translation into proposal strategies and competitive submissions.
Domenic Meffe brings a broad range of experience in the areas of commercial, industrial, non-profit housing, institutional, and academic design. His extensive experience: from design concepts to construction and detailing that provides in-depth real world knowledge. This experience includes planning and development work on numerous non-profit projects, perhaps as many as 100 commercial developments, and institutional projects throughout the province, including a provincial design award in 1995.

Developing a Business Model
The Business Model of any firm should define the focus and character of the organization in a way that ensures value for your customers while also being rewarding for your firm. Domenic Meffe will examine the nine components of a structured business model, including how it can inform your firm’s brand and encompass everything from design sensibilities, values, marketing, methodology and even the behavior of a firm's principals.