Speakers Bureau – AGE

Speakers Bureau

Fresh perspectives. New ideas. Topics that matter.

Meet our Speakers …


Dr. Lori Schindel Martin | Chair, AGE Research & Development Committee

Lori’s Key Topics: Aging and dementia care; responsive behaviours; the sexual health and intimacy needs of seniors; AGE research, including evaluating professional development programs to enhance managing responsive behaviours.

Dr. Lori Schindel Martin (RN, Ph.D) is an Associate Professor at Ryerson University, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing where she teaches undergraduate and graduate programs.

Over the past twenty years, Lori has held several advanced practice positions in gerontological nursing. Her program of research focuses on the health care needs of seniors living with cognitive impairment. Current research studies include evaluating professional development programs to enhance managing responsive behaviours experienced by residents with dementia in long-term and acute care facilities; exploring the mealtime experiences of older adults with cognitive impairments; and developing a therapeutic bathing program to assist formal care providers with the intimate care needs of older adults with dementia.

If you have never heard Lori speak, you’re in for a treat. She is an engaging speaker whose passion and experience engage and motivate audiences. Lori regularly presents her research findings at national and international conferences. Her AGE/GPA research can be accessed on the Research Hub of our website.

Contact us to book Lori as your speaker

April Morganti | AGE Executive Director

April’s Key Topics: Building a strong workplace culture through inclusive leadership and staff engagement; building effective sustainable business/organizational partnerships.

April (BA Hons, MPA, Dip AD ED, Certificate in Co-Creative Stakeholder Engagement, Licensed Crucial Conversations® Trainer and Cognitive Coach) brings over 20 years of broad-based strategic management experience and a track record of building and maintaining effective relationships in health, education, government and not-for-profit organizations.

Prior to joining AGE, April was Executive Director of AbleLiving Services in Hamilton, an award-winning not-for-profit, serving individuals with physical disabilities and seniors, where she oversaw a budget of $15 million and a staff of 350. April led the team to win the Minister’s Medal of Excellence in Community Healthcare, the 3M Award for Innovation and the Pinnacle Award for Innovation. the organization ranked 37th in the 50 Best Workplaces™ with 100 to 999 employees by Great Place to Work® Canada in 2018.

Fostering strategic partnerships to increase opportunities for learning, experience and revenue generation has been a focal point for much of April’s career. As Manager for Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB), she developed the second-only Office for Partnership and Community Engagement in the province. Working with her team, she built more than 150 formal partnerships with a variety of organizations, including Mohawk College, Hamilton Health Sciences and the City of Hamilton; many local not-for-profit organizations, including The United Way, Volunteer Hamilton and Hamilton Public Library; and several large corporations, among them, Turkstra Lumber and Westcam. These relationships increased revenue by more than $1 million annually, enhanced intellectual capital, raised the organization’s profile as an innovator and saw HWDSB recognized as a leader in innovative education by its peers — all of which resulted in greater opportunities for students.

Contact us to book April as your speaker

Michele Bliss | AGE Clinical Education Specialist

Michele’s Key Topics: Value of the evidence-based Gentle Persuasive Approaches (GPA®) Dementia Care curriculum; GPA program implementation and sustainability; GPA Certified Coaches as an internal resource.

Michele Bliss (B.Sc., R.N) is the AGE Clinical Education Specialist and a GPA Certified Master Coach. She is also a Registered Nurse with 30 years of experience supporting individuals with dementia and their care providers. Her career has included roles within the community and long-term care sectors, including Family Support, Education and Behavioural Resource Consultant. Michele’s passion is coaching and supporting staff in the care of persons with complex cognitive and behavioural needs.

Although her fundamental responsibility at AGE is that of an educator, she’s reluctant to define her role using the word educator or teacher. “I prefer to think of my role as that of one who informs, encourages and (hopefully) inspires GPA Certified Coaches. Very often, I’m learning from them,” she points out. Michele regularly works in the field supporting coaches. It’s a vantage point that delivers valuable feedback which she incorporates into tools and resources for GPA Certified Coaches to support their own teams.

Michele is a big believer in sharing knowledge and experiences through storytelling — one of the reasons her presentations come to life so vividly. She is particularly effective at building empathy, bringing diverse members of an audience together in a common cause.

Contact us to book Michele as your speaker

Dr. Victoria McLelland | AGE Research Coordinator

Victoria’s Key Topics: AGE Research; evaluations of Gentle Persuasive Approaches in Dementia Care in the clinical setting and its impact on the self-efficacy, competence and knowledge of both care staff and students

Dr. Victoria McLelland (B.A. Hons, Ph.D) is the AGE Research Coordinator. With a focus on the cognitive neuroscience of memory, Victoria obtained her Ph.D in Psychology at The University of Auckland in 2013. Since then, she has completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children.

Over the past 10 years, Victoria’s research has focused on memory, its development, function and impairment. Working with AGE, she contributes important research to help improve the quality of life for those living with dementia and those who care for them in the clinical setting.

Are you an organization considering implementing GPA? Would you like to learn more about our evidence-based research and the impact of the GPA program on care staff and those they care for? Victoria’s passion for her field is evident in her presentations. She has a knack for delivering evidence-based research and information in a manner that that while comprehensive, collegial and data-driven, is underlined by genuine compassion.

Contact us to book Victoria as your speaker