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Speaker Series

Sean Dunbar

Real-world experience from the business community

Since 2016, the International Business & Entrepreneurship Centre’s Speaker Series has hosted numerous individuals from the business community to speak with students, faculty and the surrounding community about their experiences and visions.

The topics and themes range from each speaker’s personal and professional experience, to the important role business plays in today’s economy. These speakers help provide the real-world experience that many students are currently studying and help provide insight on the various components of business and entrepreneurship.

Laura Araneda

Sept. 12

Laura AranedaLaura Araneda is the President and CEO of Vic Progressive Diamond Drilling and President of Terrain Drill Solutions Inc. Vic Progressive specializes in underground exploration, surface exploration including core and soil samples. Laura expanded the company from underground exploration to surface exploration finding opportunities in a highly competitive market.

Araneda has a strong presence outside of her role as President. She serves on the board of directors for the NB & PEI division of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, is a member of the Campaign cabinet for UNB, It Begins Here. A charter member of the Atlantic Canada Chapter of Women’s President Organization. A UNB graduate, BBA 1991, DLitt 2014 and a graduate and order member of in the Entrepreneurial Leaders Program of the Wallace McCain Institute at the University of New Brunswick.

Under her leadership, she and her company have received numerous awards and recognitions including 2017 Atlantic Business Magazine top 50 CEO, 2016 Profit 500 Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies, W100 top female entrepreneurs in Canada in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016 along with being a finalist for RBC Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Laura will be speaking on the many components of opening a business in New Brunswick.

Norm Couturier

Sept. 19

Norm CouturierNorm knows entrepreneurship! Norm Couturier has been a I.T. business builder, owner, and entrepreneur for the last 30 years. He has built 8 software companies from scratch (one of them to 130+ employees), been through a few company acquisitions, mergers and sales, pitched VC’s, secured investors, and has been fortunate to be part of $30M+ of acquisitions. Two of his products were successfully acquired by multi-billion dollar companies.

Currently, he is the lead of Startup Fredericton and chairs its taskforce. He has also recently launched a NB-wide initiative to grow the entrepreneurial eco-system across New Brunswick.

Norm will be speaking on: Starting Up: Charting Your Path to Revenue. As entrepreneurs, our drive to succeed is nearly unstoppable - it is an innate quality that propels us forward in spite of barriers and uncertainty. It is also a significant contributor to our creation of "blind spots" that can cripple us financially before our time.

Norm will share stories of the building of 6 of his technology companies - the obstacles, near-misses, successes and failures. Through these stories, he will share some thoughts on some of the critical skills that we as entrepreneurs need to develop as we chart our courses for our startup companies.


Paul Delmas

Oct. 3

Paul DelmasPaul graduated from UNB in 1983 with a BBA degree .  Upon graduating he joined Ernest Young in Toronto and worked as a senior staff accountant for five years. In 1988, Paul joined Loblaw Companies Limited as a Finance Manger in their Wholesale Division. Over the next five years Paul took several roles of progressive responsibilities leading to the role of Vice President, Finance for Loblaw‘s Atlantic Canada Operations. This role required Paul and his family in 1994 to relocate to Halifax where he was based for the next thirteen years. 

In 1998, Paul moved to a merchandising role managing the Center of Store categories for Atlantic Canada. In 2007, Paul and his family returned to Toronto where Paul took on the national role of Vice President, Pricing Analytics in the newly created Loblaw national merchandising team. Over the next ten years Paul worked in merchandising and supply chain leading a variety of national merchandising functions including promotions, pricing, and space planning. 

Over the last two years of Paul’s career along with his current responsibilities he played an active role facilitating Loblaw company's business culture initiative. 

In June of 2018, Paul has retired from his full time role and is now providing consulting services in the area of leadership and culture to the Loblaw group. He will be speaking on Business Leadership & Culture: Lessons I would of like to have learned earlier in my career.

Devansh Bavishi

Oct. 10

Devansh BavishiHelping people has been a major theme throughout Devansh’s work life. After working in academia for several years, Devansh moved into the financial field and was an Insurance Advisor for six years and a Real Estate Agent for another five years.

As a Consultant with Investors Group, his goal is to help professionals, their families and business owners achieve their goals by providing comprehensive and strategic financial plans tailored to their specific financial situations. In addition, Devansh has joined the leadership team at Investors Group as a Division Director and has begun mentoring and guiding new Consultants toward successful careers helping their clients.

Devansh knows that no single approach will work for all situations and that good financial advice is more important than ever. He believes that building long-term relationships is the best way to help you and your family explore the financial options that are the most beneficial at each stage of your life. By creating a detailed plan, reviewed and updated regularly, he gives you the financial resources you need to realize your goals and stay on track.

Devansh is passionate about his community and is involved with Hospice Fredericton, is on the Board of Directors of Fredericton Non-Profit and Affordable Housing Association and is the President of the Loyalist Cricket club.

He will be speaking on personal financing.

Ng Pock Too

Oct. 17

Dr. Ng Pock Too

After graduating UNB in 1968, Ng Pock Too returned to Singapore and worked for the government as a civil servant dealing with economic development. Pock Too was as Member of Parliament, served as Political Secretary to Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, and he later served in the National Trades Union Congress as a trade union leader.

Pock Too eventually left the political scene to serve as CEO of the Sembawang Engineering Group and subsequently became the President for Asia Pacific of Hamilton Sundstrand, a United Technologies Company. Since retiring in 2007 he has been an adjunct professor with the National University of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and is Chairman and CEO of New Board Technology Ptd Ltd.

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Brian Johnson

Oct. 31

Building a business and your role in the community

Brian Gilliland

Nov. 14

Relationship selling

Joanna Killen

Nov. 21

Market validation