Eric Geddes Lectures

The Geddes Lecture Series brings together leaders from the community with Alberta's world-class researchers to inspire and promote awareness and discussion on impactful and relevant business topics. 

Upcoming LectureS

Cancelled: Cultivating the Future of Agribusiness


We have made the difficult decision to cancel the upcoming Cultivating the Future of Agribusiness: Eric Geddes Lecture Series scheduled for November 8, 2023. Unfortunately, registrations for this event have remained low, despite our ongoing marketing efforts to both the business and agriculture alumni communities. Thank you for your on-going support of the Alberta School of Business. Our next Eric Geddes Lecture Series will take place in the new year. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Farming, agriculture and business are inextricably linked together. Collaboration between farmers, agribusinesses, investors and service providers is essential for sustainable food production, economic growth, and innovation. Join us for our next Eric Geddes Lecture Series where we will explore the current landscape of agribusiness and what the future looks like with a panel of industry experts. 

Discussion topics will include technology and innovation; market trends and consumer preferences; supply chain and distribution; and more. Our panelists include Scott Bolton (‘85 BCom), President and CEO of United Farmers of Alberta (UFA); Stan Blade, Dean of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences (ALES); and Kelleen Tait, a MNP business advisor. Colette Miller, (‘82 BCom), a chartered accountant and co-founder of Wilde & Company, who also personally farms, will be moderating the discussion. 

This event takes place at the Maple Leaf Room of Lister Centre, on the University of Alberta campus. The $15 ticket fee includes a boxed lunch and complimentary parking. 





Scott Bolton

Scott Bolton, CPA, CA, BCom, is the President and Chief Executive Officer at UFA Co-operative Ltd. Scott joined the Calgary-based Co-operative in 2014. Prior to his appointment as President & CEO, Scott held the position of Chief Financial Officer. Prior to UFA, Scott spent his career at PwC, where he was Partner in charge of the Alberta consulting practice and National Energy Leader.

Scott’s industry knowledge covers the agriculture, oil and gas and mining sectors, with experience working in Europe and the United States. Originally from Devon, Alberta, and a University of Alberta alumnus, Scott advocates for a strong and prosperous Western Canada. During the pandemic, Scott chaired the Agriculture & Forestry Table for the Premier’s Economic Recovery Council. He was also the Agriculture representative on the Business Council of Alberta’s Define the Decade Committee.

Scott is very involved in the Calgary community. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Business Council of Alberta. He is also on the Board of Directors of Calgary Quest School, a private school that educates children with special needs and FSHD Society, a Calgary-based charity whose mission is to find a cure for a form of Muscular Dystrophy. Scott has also been an active volunteer for Special Olympics Calgary, and a member of the Board of Directors of JDRF (Calgary) and the Children’s Link Society.


Dr. Stanford F. Blade, P.Ag

Dr. Stanford Blade is Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences (University of Alberta). The top-ranked Faculty is made up of 500+ faculty and staff, 1650 undergraduates and 550 graduate students. The Faculty has an annual budget of $85m, with approximately $45m in external research support from industry and funding agencies. ALES is focused on teaching, research and community service in its departments: Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Sciences (where Dr. Blade is a Full Professor); Renewable Resources; Human Ecology and Resource Economics & Environmental Sociology. In 2018 Dr. Blade was named an International Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry.

Dr. Blade’s PhD was awarded by McGill University for plant breeding/cropping systems research (conducted at IITA) supported by a Government of Canada Doctoral Scholarship. He is a 2012 graduate of the Wharton Business School’s Executive Development Program (University of Pennsylvania). He is currently a Trustee on the Board of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and he previously served two terms as Vice-Chair for the Board of Trustees of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation, a Nairobi-based agency supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Blade is a board member of Edmonton Global (regional economic development agency), the Alberta Cancer Foundation and the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute. Dr. Blade has been an invited discussion leader at Harvard Agribusiness Seminars and participated in the Oxford Scenarios Programme.

Dr. Blade was founding Chief Executive Officer (2008-2014) of Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions. Dr. Blade previously served as the Deputy Director General (Research) for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

Dr. Blade’s expertise has been recognized through his many invitations to speak at international fora on the role of innovation in creating prosperity in the agriculture and food sectors and through his participation in research reviews conducted by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology, European Union, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, Food and Agriculture Organization, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.




Kellen Tait

Kelleen is a Business Advisor with MNP’s Assurance and Accounting team in Edmonton and leads the Firm’s National Poultry and Alberta Food and Beverage Processing teams. She delivers a comprehensive suite of assurance and advisory services to agricultural producers, food and beverage processors, groups of agricultural sector companies, feedlots and intensive livestock operations, producer associations, and the Hutterian Brethren. Kelleen helps her clients with audits and reviews, AgriStability and tax planning, and advises on strategies for growth, benchmarking and achieving business goals.

Kelleen obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in accounting from St. Francis Xavier University in 2008, spending a semester in both Helsinki and London during her studies. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (CA) in 2011. Kelleen is a director with the Alberta Food Processors Association, and also sits as an associate member on the Beef and Veal Committee for the Canadian Meat Council.


Colette Miller

Colette Miller, partner at Wilde & Company, and co-founder of Wilde Advisory Group, is a current director with the Canadian Business Growth Fund and AVAC Ltd. Between these positions, as well as her previous director roles at ATB Financial and Athabasca University, Colette has honed her strategic and governance skills, benefitting corporate, NPO and personal clients with Wilde Advisory Group. Colette’s own experience farming provides deep understanding to better serve families with complex succession, tax, and estate manners. For over 40 years, Colette has helped small businesses navigate complex financial matters and has expertise with audit, internal control assessments and course instruction for NPO’s and municipalities.

Colette was recently awarded the CPA Alberta 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award.



Past Lectures

From artificial intelligence to innovations in health, the Geddes Lecture Series has covered several timely topics in business today. Check out some of our past lectures:

Courage to fail: A conversation with Kevin Lowe

The Digital Transformation

The Future of Work

Artificial Intelligence: Using AI in Your Business (Podcast)

Cannabis & the Retail Market: Six Months Later (Podcast)

Building a New Economic Future for Alberta: Innovation in Health, Technology and Delivery (Video)


What if I have to cancel due to illness?

We are happy to refund your ticket if you are unable to attend. Please contact Vi Warkentin at for further information.

Will there be vegetarian options or dietary alternatives?

Please indicate any food allergies or dietary restrictions during registration. We will do our best to accommodate you.

Does the room allow for physical distancing?

The Wayne Gretzky Ballroom Salons B & C can comfortably host more than 200 guests. Attendance has been limited to 150 people and tables are limited to six guests.

Do I have to wear a mask during the event?

Masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces based on current public health restrictions. Guests can remove their masks once they are seated at their table and when eating and drinking.

Upcoming Lectures

Geddes Lecture on Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence: Using AI in Your Business

Date: Thursday, October 3, 2019
Time: 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Location: Royal Alberta Museum, 9810 103 A Ave NW, Edmonton


  • Cory Janssen, '04 BCom
    Co-founder and CEO of AltaML Inc.
  • Anna Koop
    Senior Scientific Advisor, Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute
  • Patrick Pilarski
    Canada Research Chair in Machine Intelligence for Rehabilitation, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta and Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute Fellow
  • Curtis Stange
    President and CEO, ATB

The panel discussion was moderated by Kyle Murray, Vice Dean & Professor of Marketing, University of Alberta School of Business.


Breakfast Lectures: $45 per person

Lunch Lectures: $60 per person

Event Format

  • Welcome
  • Panelist Introductions - 20 min
  • Panel Discussion - 20 min
  • Q&A - 15 min
  • Conclusion / Wrap-up

Recent Lecture Topics

Interested in what other topics the lecture series has previously covered? Check out some of our recent lectures:

Listing of Past Lectures


Sarah Kowalevsky

Assistant Dean, Development
Phone: 780-492-0147


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