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Keynote Speakers

Wouter Hoogkamer, Ph.D.
Wouter Hoogkamer, Ph.D. is a post-doctoral research associate in the Locomotion Laboratory at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He uses a comprehensive approach to study human locomotion, integrating neurophysiology, biomechanics and energetics. Dr. Hoogkamer’s work covers the full health spectrum, from gait neuromechanics in individuals with cerebellar damage to running energetics in sub-elite marathon runners. He has published over 30 papers since 2012 in top international peer-reviewed journals (e.g. Sports Medicine, Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, Journal of Neuroscience). After obtaining master’s degrees in Civil Engineering and Human Movement Sciences in the Netherlands, he moved to Belgium where he earned his Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Sciences, before moving to Colorado, in 2015. Dr. Hoogkamer is passionate about mentoring students. He is an avid runner with a wide range of personal bests from 48.6sec for 400 meter to a 2:32:50 marathon.
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Luke Kelly
Dr Luke Kelly is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Human Movement & Nutrition Sciences at The University of Queensland, Australia. Luke’s research program is in the broad area of foot biomechanics, with specific focus on understanding the relationship between foot morphology and function. Luke’s PhD research provided important insights into the function of the plantar intrinsic foot muscles during locomotion. Dr Kelly currently holds a National Health and Medical Research Council Fellowship to further explore how the central nervous system controls the mechanical function of the foot, in order to optimise balance and locomotion performance. This research incorporates the use of biomechanical and neurophysiological approaches to provide a comprehensive understanding of human foot function.
In addition to his research career, Dr Kelly is also a Podiatrist with over 15 years of clinical experience. He has provided clinical expertise to elite sporting organisations and athletes in Australia and internationally.
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Shalaya Kipp
Shalaya Kipp, is a Ph.D. student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC in the department of Kinesiology. She studies how exercise influences cardio-respiratory functions and the implications for health and performance. Previously, Shalaya completed her Masters degree in Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado, Boulder where she studied the biomechanics and energetic of human running. She has published 10 peer-reviewed publications. Shalaya is a competitive runner, specializing in the 3000m steeplechase. She represented the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games.


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Plenary Speakers

Kathryn Mills, BPhty PhD
Dr Kathryn Mills is a clinical researcher and physiotherapist based at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. She completed her PhD at the Australian Institute of Sport in 2011, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Running Injury Clinic in Calgary, Alberta, in 2013. Her passion is to see people of all ages engaging safely in physical activity that they enjoy. Her internationally award-winning research explores the role of nerves and the brain in the perception of footwear comfort and running biomechanics. She has co-authored over 50 scientific journal articles and abstracts, with a primary focus on footwear and people with knee pain. She also writes for a popular Sydney-based running magazine, offering readers practical advice on footwear choices.
When not researching, Kathryn is usually running herself, either for fun or to assess someone on the sporting field. She was also physiotherapist to the Canadian Women’s Field Hockey team at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
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Sarah Ridge, PhD
Sarah Ridge is an assistant professor in the Department of Exercise Sciences at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.  She got her PhD in Biomechanics and Movement Science at the University of Delaware prior to moving west in 2010.  She has published papers focusing on a variety of topics related to lower extremity biomechanics, including foot structure and function, minimalist footwear, and measurement of figure skating jump landing forces. She has presented research about the effects of minimalist footwear in symposia at the annual meetings of the American Physical Therapy Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the American Society of Biomechanics.
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Kelly Robb, C. Ped (C), MKin
Kelly Robb has been practicing as a pedorthist since 2009.  She is the owner of KAL Orthoses, a private practice located in Southwestern Ontario. Kelly has recently minimized her clinical hours to focus her attention on advancing literature in the pedorthic field of study. Kelly is currently completing her PhD studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, in Waterloo, ON. Current research focuses on the connection between neuromechanics, mechanoreceptor facilitation, lower limb muscular activity, and foot orthotics. Kelly’s long term goals are directed towards improving clinical practice and evidence-based treatment options for neuromuscular diseases. Kelly is a current member of the Pedorthic Association of Canada’s board of directors and a course instructor in Western University’s pedorthic diploma program.
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Joan Weir
Joan is the director of health and disability policy for CLHIA (Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association), a voluntary trade association with member companies that account for 99 percent of Canada’s life and health insurance business.  In her role, Joan is responsible for analysis on industry issues, policy strategy development and to build consensus on concerns important to member companies.  An important part of the health portfolio is working within industry and with provincial/federal payers on benefit programs, specifically on best practices, strategy, advocacy and sustainability.
Joan brings 20+ years of benefits management expertise to her position at CLHIA, having worked for insurers and administrators on both private and public sector programs, notably with First Canadian Health and Health Canada on the NIHB program and most recently with Medavie Blue Cross.
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Lauren Welte, B.A.Sc.
Lauren Welte is a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering at Queen’s University, where she also completed her Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2015. She has actively participated in biomechanics research at Queen’s since 2014, and has since specialized in the human foot. Her passion stems from a desire to understand how the healthy foot functions, to ultimately inform the design of footwear and prostheses. Her research employs the use of a myriad of technologies, including optical motion capture, bi-planar x-ray videoradiography, and shear wave elastography. Currently, she is using these technologies to answer questions surrounding the role of passive tissues in the arch of the foot. 
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Steffen Willwacher, Institute of Biomechanics and Orthopaedics, German Sport University Cologne
Steffen Willwacher is a Postdoc at the German Sport University (GSU) Cologne, from which he received both his Diploma degree in 2009 and his Doctoral degree in Sport Sciences in 2014. Since then he is working in the Institute of Biomechanics of the GSU where he analyzes human locomotion over a wide range of speeds (incl. walking, running, sprinting and jumping) and subject groups (from patients to elite athletes) with a focus on the biomechanical loading and the performance of the lower extremities. He is also a co-owner of the Institute of Functional diagnostics in Cologne where biomechanical analysis techniques are utilized to help patients with movement-related pain and injuries. Further, he lectures Biomechanics at the Coaches Academy of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB). He received several scientific awards for his work including the Nike Award for Athletic Footwear as well as the New Investigator and Hans Gros Emerging Researcher Awards of the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports.
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Breakout Speakers

Freeman Churchill, C. Ped (C)
Freeman Churchill is a Certified Pedorthist (Canada) in Halifax Nova Scotia. He is a graduate of Acadia University Rec) 1975 and of Dalhousie University (PE) 1981 He has been practicing in pedorthics in one form or another since 1980, but became Canadian Certified Pedorthist in 1991 shortly after the formation of the Pedorthic Association of Canada. He has served on the PAC board for 7 years and has served as President for the Pedorthic Association of Canada for 2 terms. In 1986 he formed Orthotics East Ltd which has had its own orthotic fabrication lab since its inception. He has trained 15 Certified Pedorthists Canada. He has been a director for the Prescription Foot Orthotic Laboratory Association for 12 years. Freeman has run for over 40 years and is a competitive Master swimmer, practices Yoga and is a hiker.
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Brad Gibbs, C. Ped (C), R.Kin.
Brad began his career in early 1988 after graduating from the University of Waterloo.
In 1990, he established his own pedorthic practice in Cambridge Ontario and expanded with a satellite clinic in Oakville in 1995.
Brad was a member of the original Certification committee for the newly formed Pedorthic Association of Canada, authoring exam questions for the certification exam and later, for the practical portion as the examination process evolved.
Brad was a part of the group exploring Regulation in Ontario and continues to serve on the committee for Title Recognition in Ontario. In 2008 he became a member of the Board of Directors of the Pedorthic Association of Canada and served as president in 2011-12.
Brad is a proud recipient of both the Award of Distinction and the Michael Van Vlack Memorial Leadership Award.
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Evan Macdonald, BASc.
Evan is motivated to help people better understand their health and provide inspiration to become their best self. He hopes to give people the right tools to engage in their desired lifestyles, excel at work, and push their personal boundaries without hurting themselves. Evan began his Master’s degree in Mechatronic Systems Engineering at Simon Fraser University in January 2018 and is pursuing research in development of a low-cost activity tracking shoe insole. He is using this insole as part of an investigation into foot pain in the workplace.
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Ermin Pagtakhan, C. Ped (C)
Ermin Pagtakhan is a Canadian Board Certified Pedorthist since November 2008. Ermin has an Associate’s degree from Douglas College in Science followed by a Bachelor’s Degree from Simon Fraser University in Kinesiology and Humanities. He has also received certificates in Health & Fitness and in Liberal Arts. During his 13 years at Kintec Footwear + Orthotics, Ermin worked at multiple locations, improving his skills in treating a variety of patients. In 2011, Ermin was promoted to run operations of the Port Moody Clinic. The time split between helping patients and running the retail business excited Ermin to further develop his skills in helping people stay active. With the success of his clinic and the growth of the company, Ermin was promoted again as the Director of Store Operations overseeing 10 locations. Ermin regularly contributes to Educational blogs for Kintec, and he was the Project lead for Kintec’s contribution to the Clinical Practical Guidelines on Knee OA and Hip OA.  Outside of work, Ermin is always active with his wife and 3 kids. He frequents the gym and is seen running on the roads or trails. His passion for basketball leads him from his playing days to now coaching his son’s team. Ermin is regularly on social media where you can reach out to him on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
He is excited to be there today to share his best practices and proven methods on how to grow your business and how to become the Family Pedorthist.
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Daan Peters, C. Ped (C), C. Ped MC
Daan came to Canada in 2006 after completing his education as a Custom Shoemaker in the Netherlands. Daan is certified as a C. Ped (C) and C. Ped MC. He is working in Red Deer, Alberta at Steenwyk Custom Shoes & Orthotics where they have implemented CAD/CAM last design technologies combined with a traditional approach to Custom footwear design. With over 20 years of experience he brings an extensive knowledge in Custom Footwear casting techniques, design and manufacturing.
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Johan Steenwyk, C. Ped (C), C. Ped MC
In 1983, Johan came to Canada and started working for The Wascana Hospital in Regina, Saskatchewan as an Orthopedic Shoemaker. In the spring of 1984 he moved to Alberta and within one year started his own company Steenwyk Custom Shoes. 
Today Johan has replaced his shoemaker’s hammer with a computer mouse. This was exactly what he had in mind when he became involved in developing and implementing CAD/CAM technology 23 years ago with Vorum Research.  Finally, in 2010 he connected with Choose Your Shoes (CYS).
In the true spirit of Dutch innovation, CYS had successfully implemented CAD/CAM technology into their manufacturing facility. Steenwyk Custom Shoes started sending digital data to CYS on a trial basis. Based on the success of the pilot it did not take long before they completely discontinued their in-house production. They have now re-directed their total custom shoe production to CYS; even the most complicated cases. As a result of their relationship, Johan can focus on the clinical aspects of custom footwear as a shoe designer/engineer.
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Olav Toornend
Olav has been working his entire life in orthopedic footwear. First, in his father’s company which he eventually took over. He later sold the company and started a production facility in Portugal for the production of bespoke orthopedic footwear. There he developed the new concept of making bespoke footwear.
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Calvin Tse, M.Sc.
Calvin began his graduate work at McMaster University where he completed a B.Sc. in Kinesiology and an M.Sc. with a focus on occupational biomechanics and workplace musculoskeletal disorders.  Today, Calvin is a doctoral student in the Graduate Programs in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of British Columbia. 
His current research, through the UBC Motion Analysis and Biofeedback Laboratory, employs various tools, including 3D gait analysis, electromyography, plantar pressure assessment, and patient-reported outcomes to investigate conservative management options for treating knee osteoarthritis.  Specifically, his current work evaluates the impact that various orthotic insole designs have on gait mechanics and clinical outcomes of comfort, pain, and physical function in healthy individuals and those with knee osteoarthritis.  An accompanying aim of his work is to generate a predictive tool using clinically available assessments to classify biomechanical responders and non-responders to insole treatment.  Through this work, Calvin hopes to inform clinical practice of conservative knee osteoarthritis management by developing a practical tool that clinicians can implement without the need for expensive and inaccessible laboratory equipment.