William Cunningham is the managing director, and founder of the Western Canadian based company Meetings That Matter (MTM).
Cunningham oversees the strategic direction and operation of the Meetings That Matter group – an emerging global leader in travel, business consulting, and conference management services.
In addition to that, Cunningham works closely with MTM's key clients, partners and team to refine and deliver the MTM brand promise of: "bringing people together to do extraordinary things, while empowering each other to succeed." As part of his portfolio, Cunningham delivers leadership development programs, strategy planning sessions, meeting facilitation, and business development coaching. In his capacity at MTM, Cunningham has partnered and worked among some of North America's leading organizations, including Air Canada, the University of Alberta, Widex, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, HydroOne, Teck Resources, and Exxon Mobile.
From 2003 until 2014, Cunningham served with the luxury hotelier, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, in an assortment of management and leadership positions. During his tenure at the Fairmont Western Mountain Region hotels, Cunningham was a three-time recipient of the prestigious Fairmont Masters designation for leading sales performance and ascended to the top three highest achievers within the global organization.
Proceeding that, Cunningham served as Conference Consultant at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, a multidimensional post-secondary institution for the arts, and later became the Interim General Manager and Consultant for the Juniper Hotel, a unique boutique hotel with historical Indigenous significance. During his time at Banff Centre, Cunningham helped establish and implement meaningful programs linking the arts and conference business entities functioning within the institution. In 2014, Cunningham collaborated with the New York based TED organization, bringing the first 'TED Talks Summit' to Banff.
Cunningham is a member of the board of directors at the John Perry Academy of Music in Los Angeles, where he served as executive director from 2012-2014. He sits on the advisory board for Banff & Lake Louise Tourism, and is a partner with the executive leadership firm Envision Group International.
Among educational and not-for-profit organizations, Cunningham has assisted with the development and fundraising efforts of the Montreal Chamber Music Festival and Las Vegas Wine & Music Festival. He has been a regular presenter and speaker for the SAIT Polytechnic and Selkirk College Hospitality Management schools, and the Camosun College International division. In 2018, Cunningham was invited by the MENSA organization to speak at the North American annual conference on the science of music, which explored the historical, scientific, and spiritual elements of music.
Cunningham is also known for his work as a pianist and composer, having performed for esteemed and internationally renowned audiences, including the Kennedy Family, The Prime Minister of Canada, Robin Williams, and Buzz Aldrin among numerous other business conglomerates and celebrity figures. A curious and avid world-traveler, Cunningham is an advocate for building spirited communities and fostering effective leadership practices — both globally and close to home.
As the founder and Managing Partner of Envision Group, Pat is one of North America's foremost Executive and Leadership Coaches. With over 25 years experience in coaching, management and business development, Pat has worked extensively with senior executives and CEOs at mid-sized to Fortune 100 companies in a wide range of industries. Pat has coached top leaders at companies such as Bell Canada, the Government of Alberta, WestJet, KPMG Canada, Core Lab, Calfrac Well Services, Suncor, CanElson Drilling, Genivar Engineering, Precision Drilling, Husky Energy and Schlumberger.
Pat is a top-ranked corporate coach globally and has been honored with numerous awards including, Top Coach of the Year, Canadian Coach of the Year, and the Top North American Executive/Corporate Coach. With a coaching philosophy grounded in the key fundamentals of business and leadership, Pat specializes in catapulting already accomplished executives and their teams to the next level of personal and professional success.
Pat challenges leaders to understand every aspect of their company, evaluate what makes them and their organization unique, and leverage the talents of each individual team member. His top-down approach to coaching has a ripple effect that positively impacts the entire organization. When employees see their leaders re-energized and armed with the fundamentals of leadership, teamwork and personal effectiveness, the whole company – and its bottom line – benefits.
As a "lifetime coach," Pat focuses on building long-term trusting relationships with top leaders and their companies, helping them to successfully align their priorities and maximize their potential. Currently Pat is pursuing the prestigious Master Certified Coach (MCC) designation through the International Coaches Federation (ICF).
With a passion for partnerships and exceeding expectations Neal continually learns new ways to create that "WOW" experience for clients and colleagues with a servants heart to knock your socks off. Neal has a noble purpose with imperative intention to actively seek to improve the lives of his customers, associates and his team and to outsell his competition that simply focus on targets and quotas. Neal positions himself with top decision makers to affect dramatic positive economic impact and be an impeccable ambassador of his brand.
A Solution Manager at heart, relationships are pivotal to gaining success and continual rapport are the results of win-win opportunities. Neal's profession has simply been his continual education while working with some incredible mentors in his past. He thrives on a challenge and seeks to initiate strategies never attempted while thinking outside the box and coaching in a motivational Strength Finders approach and developing people based on their passions.
Neal is a Former Marine that served our country in the Middle East during a combat campaign as a military policeman. Honor, duty, respect, integrity, teamwork and empowerment are core values of his and imperative tools he instills on a team. His business background spans two decades from working in Government then Tourism in Miami at the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (groomed in Corporate, Association, Incentive, SMERF, Sports and Citywide Markets). Thereafter he sought the challenge of selling property in the United States and Canada in an Ocean Resort, Mountain Resort, City Center and Suburban hotel environment. Neal has also served on three accomplished new build opening hotel project teams. He graduated from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in 19912 and received his Certification in Hospitality Business Acumen accreditation (CHBA) in 2011.
Personally, Neal has a passion for volunteerism as a Youth Grief Counselor, Habitat for Humanity and the American Heart Association. He enjoys nature and the outdoors with activities such as hiking, biking, zip lining, white water rafting, international travel, dog parks, amusement parks, live music and concerts.
Leah Eftekhar began her career in the hotel industry as Sales Manager working for Radisson, Delta, and the Fairmont brands. In 2010, Leah was offered the role of Special Projects Advisor with ATCO Group in Calgary, Alberta, Canada where she partnered with local and international meeting service suppliers throughout the world.
Leah attended the University of Manitoba and Red River College earning an Associate Degree in Marketing. In 2013, she obtained a Project Management Extension Certificate, and a Public Relations Extension Certificate from Mount Royal University.
During her time in Calgary, Leah Eftekhar engaged with the community in various ways, including serving as Board Member and Director with the Executive Women International, Calgary Chapter. In 2015, Leah joined the Meetings That Matter Advisory Board, and later moved in to the important role of Meetings & Destination Risk Advisor.
Currently residing with her husband in Castle Rock, Colorado, USA, Leah is an active member on the Junior League of Denver, and also enjoys playing the piano, salsa dancing, and playing tennis.
Scott runs Takeover Studio
, providing design work and building websites since 2000. He partnered with Meetings That Matter to design and build the new MTM website, along with providing design services to MTM clients.
Through the years Scott has had the opportunity to work with great clients such as The Polaris Music Prize, Music Canada, Kevin Hart, Codeblack Films, Lionsgate Entertainment, Warner Music Canada, Dine Alone Records, Universal Music, Columbia Records, City & Colour, Walk Off The Earth, The Strumbellas, Taylor Oballa Murray Leyland LLP Entertainment and Media Lawyers, Good Vibes Music Group (with Kenny ‘Babyface' Edmonds), Toronto International Film Festival, Jagermeister, Heineken, Rogers Media, Canwest Media, Alliance Atlantis and MTV to name a few.
Julianne Young is the founder and lead designer at Julianne Young Weddings, which began operations in 2011. As one of Western Canada's most sought after wedding planners, Julianne has been certified under the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada since 2008 and serves an international list of clientele for events throughout Western Canada and as far as Mexico. Julianne was the winner of the 2015 Canadian Event Industry Awards's "Best Wedding Over $75k" and has been nominated for the 2016 "Best Wedding Under $75k" in Canada. Julianne obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Calgary, and completed part of her studies internationally at Bocconi University in Milan, and the University of Western Australia in Perth.
Julianne is known for her timeless & elegant design style and an impeccable attention to detail, that when coupled with her background in floral design, pushes all of her wedding designs beyond mediocrity. Julianne's energy and passion is contagious; and her love for her work is shown through her genuine desire to go above and beyond to serve her clients. Julianne is also completely inspired by love, which is why she considers wedding planning to be "her calling" in life. Through her company, Julianne is honoured to have found a way to share her gift and give couples around the world an unforgettable memory of their wedding day – One of the greatest celebrations of life and love.
Tawna McKay is the business manager and marketing coordinator at Envision Group International, and travel advisor with Meetings That Matter.
McKay brings over 20 years of experience to these roles and oversees the day-to-day activities of Envision Group ensuring vitality, professionalism, and warmth. With a focus on great service, and advocacy, Tawna ensures both internal and external clients and partners are well taken care of.
In the role of travel advisor, Tawna draws upon her previous experience as a travel consultant with AMA to deliver meaningful advice and options for both individual travel and meeting and conference bookings.
Tawna McKay holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Alberta and was as a practicum coordinator with the University of Calgary where she was involved in the legal, risk management, and IT departments. McKay has held positions in customer service, administration, and human resources; and currently specializes in secret shopper hotel and restaurant assessments throughout Canada.
Tawna McKay is an advocate for helping organizations enrich the spirit and performance of their cultures through sound leadership practices and great values. McKay considers this the most rewarding and fulfilling work and believes in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Tawna is dedicating to spending time with her husband and two growing children.
Christy Hagel brings nearly 20 years of administrative experience to the role of travel advisor with Meetings That Matter, while devoting much of her professional time as an executive assistant with Envision Group International.
Christy's up-beat personality and positive character brings joy to her work. Her approachability, great communication skills, and attention to detail helps clients and colleagues stay organized, on time, and highly efficient.
Prior to joining Envision Group, Christy held various positions in healthcare, including the Departmental Secretary to the Chair of the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University, and Executive Assistant to the Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of Alberta.
A devoted wife and mother of two children, Christy believes strongly in the power of family, and the importance of allowing quality time for oneself when possible.