2021 Speakers


Moodys Private Client Accounting, Moodys TaxCEO

The antithesis of the status quo, Kim is driven to innovate new and better ways to do things for the clients he serves, the advancement of the firm, and other professionals in tax. His relentless obsession with getting to know everything in the Tax Act makes him a highly sought-out resource for peers and clients. In March 2020, Kim published his first book, Making Life Less Taxing: Pay Attention To Your Taxes So You Can Pay Less Tax and Build a Strong, Smarter Canada – an Amazon bestseller in a number of categories.

Kim’s primary area of expertise is tax and estate planning for owner-managers of private corporations and executives, particularly those who have entered into the tax complexities that come with being affluent. Though admittedly not one himself, Kim works with many professional athletes (a guy has got to dream after all). Kim also has expertise in trust and estate taxation and enjoys solving the complexities that arise in developing a well-thought-out estate and succession plan and dealing with testamentary taxation matters.

Larry Brownoff CPA, CA; Director, Member Relations

CPA Alberta

Larry Brownoff is the Director, Member Relations with CPA Alberta. He has an extensive network of accounting professionals and over a decade of experience recruiting for companies across multiple industry sectors where strong financial leadership has enabled growth.

Larry has held various leadership roles within Robert Half International where he specialized in senior finance and accounting recruitment, placement of senior project financial professionals and executive search. In addition to his decade of recruiting expertise, Larry brings 17 years of senior level industry experience to his recruitment assignments enabling him to effectively assist clients in creating high performance strategic leadership teams.

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Randy Nicholls, Msc, BComm, CPA, CA; Director, Member Engagement and Technical Advisory

CPA Alberta

Prior to joining CPA Alberta, Randy was an Instructor at Red Deer Polytechnic where he taught various accounting courses in the Diploma and Degree programs. During his time there he played a leadership role in establishing senior accounting courses that met prerequisite requirements for CPA PREP, thereby enabling prospective Central Alberta CPA’s to remain in the region for their post-secondary education.

Randy began his professional career in Winnipeg with Arthur Andersen & Co, where he obtained his Chartered Accountant designation and was a member of the firm’s audit, assurance and business advisory services practice.

Subsequent to achieving his designation Randy moved into industry positions, eventually moving into CFO roles with both private and publicly listed companies. He has extensive leadership experience with retail, distribution and oilfield services companies.

Rachel Miller FCPA, FCA; CEO

CPA Alberta

Rachel Miller FCPA, FCA is Chief Executive Officer of CPA Alberta.

Since becoming CEO of CPA Alberta (previously CPA Alberta Joint Venture) on January 1, 2015, Rachel has led the evolution of the profession under the Chartered Professional Accountants banner. She has also been instrumental in setting the vision and foundation for the organization, which is focused on achieving and supporting the following priorities:

  • ensure the fulfilment of CPA Alberta’s legislated mandate, which is to protect the interest of the public, to protect the integrity of the profession, to promote and increase the competency of registrants, and to regulate the conduct of registrants;
  • complete the efficient blending of all functions and services;
  • inform members about the products and services CPA Alberta can offer them;
  • advise prospective CPAs about the profession and how to earn the designation;
  • collaborate with the CPA Western School of Business to ensure CPA candidates have the tools they need to succeed; and
  • consistently represent the profession and its values in all activities and initiatives.

Rachel was previously CEO and Executive Director of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta (ICAA) and CMA Alberta, and the ICAA’s Director of Practice Review from 2006-2013.

Gen Segger, BComm, CPA, CA

Segger Charter Professional Accountants

Most of my clients come to me through referrals, and they’re looking for someone who is reliable, trustworthy, and straightforward. They need someone who can balance technology with simplicity and top-quality services.

My experience in public and private accounting is one of the main reasons I can provide “out-of-the-box” services. Early in my career, I worked at one of the top four accounting firms in Edmonton. After creating my own CPA firm in Edmonton, I began providing professional services to a number of public firms, private corporations, and not-for-profits. Over the years, I have also had the opportunity to help high-net-worth individuals optimize their finances and create long-term tax and retirement strategies.

Ryan Lazanis, CPA, CA

I’m a CPA, but please don’t call me an accountant! I much prefer innovative technologies and disruptive business models rather than numbers.

In 2013, I started a 100% online accounting firm called Xen Accounting. A first of its kind in Canada, it was totally virtual, focused on automation and was comprised of a remote team of geeky CPA’s, bookkeepers and technologists.

After 5 short years, Xen Accounting was acquired by a large European corporate services firm, thanks to the tech-oriented, scalable model in place.

Future Firm is a place for me to share knowledge and teachings of my experience crafting a modern, automated, online accounting firm that provides customers with an exceptional customer journey and team members with a modern work environment.

Unrelated to business, I’m addicted to Crossfit, love traveling to remote destinations and was previously an active club DJ in Montreal.

John Fuller, CPA, CA, TEP, FEA

Felesky Flynn

With over 25 years of tax experience, John specializes in tax planning, estate planning and dispute resolution for private corporations and family farm organizations.

He holds his Bachelor of Laws, along with his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA), Family Enterprise Advisor (FEA) and Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP) designations.

John lends his wealth of knowledge and specialized relational “soft” skills as a regular presenter at various tax related forums. He is recognized as a leading tax lawyer by Best Lawyers in Canada and made the short list of nominations of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers of 2020 in the Changemaker category.


Andrew C. Bateman, Barrister & Solicitor

Felesky Flynn

Andrew’s practice covers a broad spectrum of taxation law, including diverse areas such as public and private corporation transactions, family law tax issues, tax dispute resolution and litigation, trust and estate taxation, First Nation taxation and goods and services tax.

As a sought-after speaker and writer, he provides insights to respected associations and publications, such as the Canadian Tax Journal, Legal Education Society of Alberta, Canadian Bar Association, Banff CA Small Practitioners Forum and the University of Calgary Faculty of Law.

Before becoming a lawyer, Andrew earned his Bachelor of Commerce and spent 10 years in the franchising industry, where he worked in a number of sales and executive roles. This hands-on experience shaped Andrew’s aptitude for negotiations, strategy, problem solving and conflict management.

Todd Hirsch, Vice President and Chief Economist

ATB Financial

As Vice President and Chief Economist for ATB Financial, Todd spends much of his time delivering dynamic, clear-eyed talks on topics ranging from the economy and creativity, to adaptability and the future of work. For more than 25 years, he has worked as an economist for organizations including the Canada West Foundation and the Bank of Canada.

Todd has been recognized as one of Alberta’s most influential people. He’s received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the University of Alberta’s Alumni Honour Award, and an honorary degree from Mount Royal University. He previously taught economics at the University of Calgary and for the Executive Education program at the University of Alberta.

He is the author of four books. His latest, Spiders in COVID Space: Adapting during and after the pandemic, was released in March 2021. The book captures the inspiring and compelling stories of businesses and not-for-profits that reinvented themselves during the pandemic.

A strong advocate of the arts and culture, he serves on the boards of Calgary’s Glenbow Museum and the Alberta Ballet. He is also an advisor to the Dean of the Chiu School of Business at Bow Valley College in Calgary.

Todd is the host of a podcast titled The Future Of. In each episode, he and a guest explore what the future might look like for work, communities, art and culture, leadership and other compelling topics. Now in its second season, the podcast won a national award in 2021, and was #2 in the top Canadian banking podcasts.

Hugh Neilson, FCPA FCA TEP

Hugh Neilson FCPA FCA TEP is an independent contractor to Kingston Ross Pasnak LLP, where he is a Director, Taxation Services. He is also an independent contractor to Video News Inc., where he serves as a member of the Editorial Board of Video Tax News, and appears regularly in their monthly video and newsletter.

Hugh has over 30 years of public practice experience, focusing on income tax services for individuals and owner-managed private corporations. He provides tax consultation in many diverse areas, including business structuring and restructuring, negotiations with Canada Revenue Agency auditors and Appeals Officers, tax-effective compensation strategies, immigration and emigration planning and strategies for tax-effective personal, family and estate tax planning.

Steve Meldrum

Swell Wealth Management, PLLC

Steve Meldrum is a contrarian by nature. He separated from the pack in 2014 by founding Swell Private Wealth; a boutique firm specialized in tax strategies with a focus on medical and dental professionals.  Part of his practice focuses on training accountants, lawyers, and private bankers to properly implement insurance into advanced planning. The balance of his time is spent directly with his clients and joint casework from other advisors.  He loves the challenge of solving problems in creative ways.  Steve is straight up, with no bull, you get a person rowing the boat in the same direction as you.

Rick Leigh

Rick Leigh & Associates

Rick worked for the Canada Revenue Agency until 2014 and was the Deputy Assistant Commissioner-Assessment & Benefit Services Branch. He held progressively more senior positions during his career which included Director-Southern Alberta Tax Services Office, Director-International Tax Services Office and other headquarters and field operation positions in Vancouver, Calgary, and Ottawa. For the past six years, Rick has provided consulting services to the Ministry of Finance-the Government of the Bahamas, Lesotho Revenue Authority, the Belize Tax Service through the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Canada Revenue Agency, and Export Development Canada. His firm, Rick Leigh & Associates, provides tax related services through a roster of experienced and knowledgeable tax administration practitioners from Canada, Australia, and the UK.

Rhéal Plamondon

Rhéal Plamondon

Rick Leigh & Associates

Rhéal had a successful career with the Canada Revenue Agency for 29 years as an auditor, large file appeals officer, technical advisor, and team leader. He participated in the successful implementation of the Canadian Goods and Services Tax beginning in 1990. Rhéal has also provided VAT consulting services to the Ministry of Finance-the Bahamas. His technical knowledge and expertise are sought after commodities. Currently Rhéal has been a tax administration consultant with Rick Leigh & Associates since April 2020 and a GST/HST and indirect tax consultant doing business as Rhéal Plamondon-VAT Consultant since March 2021. Rheal also has private sector experience as an accountant for a small manufacturer ($50 million in turnover) which helps him bridge the tax knowledge gap between the business and the Agency.


Kyle A. Ross

Felesky Flynn

Kyle’s practice covers a wide range of taxation law matters with a focus on corporate and personal tax planning, mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, estate planning and dispute resolution with taxation authorities.

Kyle is a sessional instructor in tax law at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law and is a regular presenter on tax topics in other forums. Kyle received many academic awards in law school including the Law Society of Saskatchewan Gold Medal, the Thomas Dowrick Brown Prize for Most Distinguished Graduate and Desjardins Top Eight Academic All-Canadian. He was also the captain of the University of Saskatchewan Men’s Huskie Hockey Team during law school and won various athletic awards during his hockey career.


Steve Windlinger, Director

Southern Alberta Tax Services Office - Canada Revenue Agency

Mr. Steve Windlinger began his career in the public service in Calgary in 1991 with Employment and Immigration Canada (EIC). Over his 28 year career, Steve has amassed significant leadership and client service experience at the local and regional levels, working at Western Economic Diversification and Veterans Affairs Canada as well as EIC, now called Service Canada. In 2014, he became Service Canada’s Executive Director of Citizen Services and Program Delivery, leading their in-person service and Grant and Contribution programs. Mr. Windlinger was Acting Regional Director General of the Benefits Delivery Services Branch for Service Canada prior to his move to CRA in 2017 when he was appointed Director of the Edmonton Tax Services Office. In July 2019 Steve moved to Calgary to take on the role of Director – Southern Alberta Tax Services Office.

Mr. Windlinger has Bachelor Degrees in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Calgary. He is an avid golfer and has a strong sense of adventure, visiting 5 of the earth’s 7 continents so far with plans to visit the other 2 in the near future. His recipe for success is having fun at work while getting the job done. Steve lives in Calgary with his wife and dog.


Brian Rae, Director of Digital and Operational Transformation Division

Canada Revenue Agency

Brian has been the director of the Digital Operations Division in the Assessment, Benefit, and Service Branch of CRA since February 2019. His division is responsible for CRA’s secure portals (My Account, My Business Account, and Represent a Client), and the authentication and registration for CRA’s digital services. It also manages the Agency’s Email Notification and Submit Documents services, and provides communication, engagement and outreach strategies in support of the promotion of digital services.

Before joining ABSB, Brian was the Assistant Director of Collections at the Ottawa Tax Services Office (2017-2019), and the Assistant Director of Assessment, Benefits, and Non-Resident Withholding at the International Tax Services Office (2012-2017).