Ashley is a three-time Paralympian in Para-Dressage, representing Canada at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. She also rode at the 2010 and 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games (USA and France, respectively). Her career highlights include top-10 finishes at both the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympic Games. She began riding at the age of two, after being diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Her parents were told horseback riding would be great physiotherapy and help with her stretching and balance. She was soon hooked, and by 2006, made her debut on the Canadian Para-Dressage Team in Langley, B.C. Ashley has engaged in public speaking for many years, and since 2014, as been an ambassador for organizations like the Rick Hansen Foundation and Right To Play. She published her first book, My Opportunities Just Dress Up As Obstacles, in late 2015. "You have to wake up everyday and make the decision that today you will choose joy no matter what obstacles you may face. And when in doubt it's always a good idea to laugh at yourself."
Real Life Narcos
Steve Murphy & Javier Pena
Their real-life story inspired the hit Netflix series NARCOS!! Retired DEA Special Agents Steve
Murphy and Javier Pena were at the center of the largest, most complex, multi-national, high
profile investigation of its time. Working with an elite Colombian Task Force, Murphy and Pena
were responsible for the downfall and capture of the world’s first narco-terrorist, the infamous
drug cartel leader, Pablo Escobar, following his brutal reign as head of the Medellin Cartel in the
1980s and early 1990s. Because of their efforts, Escobar offered a $300,000 bounty for the
death of each of them. Now, these true American heroes take audiences beyond the history
books as they reveal inside stories from a good-versus-evil battle that seems too wild to be
true, along with lessons learned on teamwork, leadership, and overcoming what some might
see as overwhelming challenges. Javier and Steve use humor and rarely seen visuals to
entertain and enlighten audiences, and their presentation is followed by a Q&A opportunity.
When Terror Hits Home
Deputy Chief A.J. DeAndrea
Deputy Chief A.J. DeAndrea was in a leadership role in three school shootings that changed the fabric of American society and police response to active shootings around the world. Deputy Chief DeAndrea was an Entry Team Leader at Columbine High School on the first sweep of the building and a Team Leader during the bulldozer incident in Granby, Colorado. Deputy Chief DeAndrea helped devise and execute the tactical plan for the hostage rescue at Platte Canyon High School in September 2006. Again in 2006, he was the Team Leader during an officer rescue where a deputy was pinned down by gunfire. The officer was rescued without injury. In 2007, Deputy Chief DeAndrea was the Patrol Supervisor and Patrol Entry Team Leader during the Youth with a Mission (YWAM) active shooting.
Building Resiliency with Trauma Exposed Professionals
Dr. Tim Black, R. Psych.
Dr. Tim Black, R. Psych, is an Associate Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of Victoria, a specialist in PTSD and group counselling approaches, the National Clinical Co-Advisor to Wounded Warriors Canada (WWC), and the co-founder of WWC's Couples Overcoming PTSD Every Day (COPE) Program, Trauma Resiliency Programs (TRP1 and TRP2), and the peer-led trauma education program Trauma Resiliency Training (TRT) for Trauma Exposed Professionals (TExp - including professions such as military, police, fire, paramedic, corrections and health care). Dr. Black has trained clinicians across Canada and internationally to deliver WWC programs and he currently works with TExP organizations, locally and nationally, to help educate and support their members in learning about the effects of professional serial trauma-exposure, and the importance of acquiring skills in managing post-traumatic responses. Dr. Black's presentation topic will be on building resiliency with trauma exposed professionals (TExP), combining knowledge, skills and social responses to more effectively management traumatic event exposure in policing.
Rebecca (Becky) Swan M.R.Sc., CAT(C), CSCS, TSAC-F
Tactical professionals are often exposed to traumatic events on a regular basis as a part of their profession. For years, yoga has been recognized as an impactful approach to supporting the nervous system and there is growing support for using strength and conditioning as a means to support people through trauma. Rebecca will be discussing what a trauma informed approach in the weight room looks like, how exercise can be used to help an individual regulate their nervous system and then their window of tolerance for stress.
Sergeant Ali Gailus
Sergeant Ali Gailus has been a sworn member of the Vancouver Police Department since 2002. Ali is currently a Sergeant in the Human Resources Section, focusing on member support. Prior to that, she was road Sergeant in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. In 2016, while working as a uniformed Constable, Ali was the subject officer in a police involved shooting. Ali will share her journey of navigating five year long Independent Investigations Office and Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner investigations, WorkSafeBC process and the court system. Despite the impacts, both personally and professionally, Ali used those experiences to become a member of the Critical Incident Stress Management and Peer Support Team, a Road to Mental Readiness Trainer and a Trauma Resiliency Trainer. Ali is passionate about breaking down the stigma of talking about mental health within law enforcement organizations so that we can be our best selves for our families.
Sergeant Aly Smith
Sergeant Aly Smith has been with the Vancouver Police Department since 2005. The majority of her career has been in patrol and she is currently a sergeant in the Human Resources Section focusing on member wellness and support. Aly's involvement in a 2016 police-involved shooting gave her a unique perspective as a witness officer. Aly has used this experience to support other members and to help improve the return to work process after critical incidents.
May 5, 2021
Living My Best Life, With PTSD
Sgt. Lane Douglas-Hunt
Sgt. Lane Douglas-Hunt is a 12 year member of the Victoria Police Department. She has enjoyed a varied career in Patrol, ERT, Explosives and in the Special Victims Unit. She was recently promoted to Sergeant and is now back in the Patrol Division as a supervisor. She is very passionate about mental health and is currently the Team Leader for the Critical Incident Stress Management Team.
Her own journey with PTSD inspired her to participate in speaking events such as this one as well as running with the 2021 Wounded Warrior Run team in an effort to reduce the stigma related to PTSD.
Outside of policing Sgt. Douglas-Hunt enjoys her hobby farm with her husband Jeff and two dogs as well as her 80 chickens, honeybees and 700 gallon reef tank.
April 1, 2021
A Couple's Journey to Overcoming Adversity
Cpl. MacWilliams and Det/Cst. Lillejord
Cpl. Jordan MacWilliams from the Delta Police Department and Det/Cst. Stephanie Lillejord from the Vancouver Police Department share their story living and overcoming significant personal and professional adversity.
In 2012, Cpl. MacWilliams shot and killed a hostage-taker at the Starlight Casino. After an investigation by the Independent Investigations Office, Cpl. MacWilliams became the first police officer in BC to be charged with murder in the course of his duties as a member of the Emergency Response Team.
Cpl. MacWilliams and Det/Cst. Lillejord will discuss the challenges they faced through that ordeal as well as further events that compounded their stress in the following years. Through a medical crisis, another police shooting and an unexpected loss of a family member, the couple discuss overcoming these ordeals to maintain a healthy, meaningful relationship with each other and their children.
June 3, 2021
Dark Nights of the Soul - When Terror Hits Home
Deputy Chief, A.J. DeAndrea
Deputy Chief, A.J. DeAndrea was in a leadership role in three school shootings that changed the fabric of American society and police response to active shootings around the world.
Deputy Chief DeAndrea was an Entry Team Leader at Columbine High School on the first sweep of the building and a Team Leader during the Bulldozer Incident in Granby, CO. Deputy Chief DeAndrea helped devise and execute the tactical plan for the Hostage Rescue at Platte Canyon High School in September 2006. Again in 2006 he was the Team Leader during an Officer Rescue where a deputy was pinned down by gunfire. The officer was rescued without injury. In 2007 Deputy Chief DeAndrea was the Patrol Supervisor and Patrol Entry Team Leader during the Youth With a Mission (YWAM) active shooting.