Guest Speakers

Wayne Marcus

Since graduating from Syracuse University in 1989, Wayne has been busy contributing to the world of design.  He currently holds a number of patents, is a published author and a recipient of the IDEA Gold Award for Perfect Portions, a collection of infant and toddler feeding vessels, utensils and helpful tools for parents.  He was also an Adjunct Professor, Department of Industrial Design at RISD for 11 years and most recently, the Senior Director, Design & Development at Hasbro for 9 years.  During this time he was responsible for toys from infant to teens such as Nerf, Lazer Tag, Super Soaker, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head and Angry Birds Star Wars (Rovio).

Wayne is a versatile, relentless creative catalyst, innovation advocate, entrepreneurial leader and mentor of people and process, with a history of delivering award winning product design, structural packaging and brand experiences based on consumer insight, business intelligence and emotional connection.  He is currently the Principal Imaginer, Visualizer and Designer at Zebu Creative.  He helps clients put the fun in function, and regularly shares the “secrets” of rapid visualization with students and other professionals.

Michael Leckman

Michael Leckman

Born and educated in Montreal, Michael studied building science at Vanier College, and architecture at the University of Toronto. He joined Diamond Schmitt Architects in 1988, became associate in 1994, and Principal in 2003. In his more than 20 years with the firm, he has provided leadership on complex institutional projects, has helped shape a critical debate on design as Vice Chair of the City of Toronto Design Review Panel, contributed extensively to design education as a guest critic, lecturer and mentor at schools of architecture across Ontario. He is also an accomplished amateur photographer.

Michael has been project principal for buildings in Ontario, New Brunswick, Alberta, British Columbia and New Mexico. His list of key assignments includes the Bahen Centre for Information Technology at the University of Toronto, the Governor General Award winning York University Student Centre, the Esplanade in Medicine Hat, the Los Alamos Civic Centre, the New Brunswick Museum, and two LEED Platinum projects: the Centre for Green Cities at Evergreen Brick Works and the Algonquin College Centre for Construction Excellence.

Chef Brad Long

Chef Brad Long

Brad Long is recognized as one of the top chefs in Canada. His talents are highly acclaimed by some of the country’s toughest food critics – VQA Restaurant Awards of Excellence and Globe and Mail Top 10 restaurants of the year.

Currently Brad Long is a chef and owner of Café Belong and Belong Catering. He is a co-host of the Food Network smash hit Restaurant Makeover and is currently in post-production of a new provocative food documentary.

An active advocate for sustainable farming and ethical treatment of livestock, balancing work and family is vital to Long. When he isn’t creating menus, speaking with farmers or checking the freshness of new produce, he relishes family time with his wife Sheryl and their five children.


Samira Khan

Samira Khan has over fifteen years of Canadian and international visual communications, graphic design and art direction experience. Samira has lead Exettra Inc., a boutique design studio in Mississauga since 2008, working with clients across industries as diverse as architecture, aviation, entertainment, hospitality and real estate.

Prior to this, Samira worked with HOK Canada, an award-winning global architecture and interior design firm for eight years, ran a successful clothing line “Chy Shy” and delivered over 20+ shows at Toronto Fashion Week.

Samira has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Design from Ryerson University, and a Diploma in Design and Graphics from the International Academy of Design Toronto.