Navigating AI Opportunities and Challenges in the Boardroom (Edmonton)

June 19, 2024

The increased popularity of AI-driven applications has ignited conversations within boardrooms on possibilities, ethics, accountability, and regulatory considerations. Understanding the opportunities and ensuring effective oversight of AI initiatives are imperative for organizational performance and regulatory compliance….

Our Fireside Chat Features:

Yasmin Jivraj

Chair, NAIT
Board Member, Alberta Blue Cross & Alberta Foundation of the Arts

Heather Barnhouse

Partner, Dentons Canada Corporate Group, Co-Leader of the Venture Technology and Emerging Growth Companies

Kianna Adams

Chief of Staff, AltaML

Moderated by:

Kristina Williams

CEO, Alberta Enterprise Corp.
Vice Chair, NAIT,
Board Director, North American Construction Group

We are pleased to invite you to join our next Board Ready Women event on June 19th from 4:30 to 7:00 pm (MT).  In-person registration starts at 4:00 pm, with the panel starting at 4:30 pm, followed by cocktails and networking.


In-person attendance is limited to 100 attendees so please register early!

The increase in popularity of AI-driven applications has ignited crucial conversations within boardrooms on possibilities, ethics, accountability, and regulatory compliance. Understanding the opportunities and ensuring effective oversight of AI initiatives are imperative for organizational performance and regulatory considerations.

Join us for this informative session to hear about recommendations and insights on potential opportunities and challenges with AI experts, followed by a discussion on factors to consider from the boardroom perspective.


Speakers' Bios:

Yasmin Jivraj

Chair, NAIT

Board Member, Alberta Blue Cross & Alberta Foundation of the Arts

Yasmin, an accomplished entrepreneur and Information Technology professional with 35+ years of experience, began her career creating business software applications. She co-founded Atlas Systems Group in 1988, later merging it with CompCanada to form Acrodex, where she served as president until its sale in 2015. Her strategic leadership propelled Acrodex to a leading position in Canada’s IT solutions landscape. Presently, amongst other businesses in Canada and abord, Yasmin co-owns Dexcent, an industrial automation engineering consulting company.


Beyond business, Yasmin is deeply involved in boards and currently is the Chair of NAIT’s Board of Governors and a board member at Alberta Blue Cross and Alberta Foundation of the Arts. She previously served on many boards including CBC/Radio Canada, Aga Khan Foundation Canada, Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, FOCUS Canada and the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region.


Yasmin has received several honors, including bring inducted into the Business Hall of Fame of Junior Achievement of Northern Alberta, Alberta’s Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee medal,

NAIT Honorary Bachelor of Technology degree, University of Alberta Alumni award, and Fellow Member by the Canadian Information Processing Society, recognizing her significant contributions to the Information Technology industry and to the community in Canada and beyond.




Heather Barnhouse, KC

Partner, Dentons Canada Corporate Group, Co-Leader of the Venture Technology and Emerging Growth Companies Group

Heather Barnhouse, KC is a partner in Dentons Canada’s Corporate group, the Edmonton Co-Leader of the Venture Technology and Emerging Growth Companies group, and the National Co-Leader of the Agribusiness group. Heather is known for her strategic acumen in navigating the complex intersections of technology and corporate/commercial law, making her an invaluable legal partner for businesses at every stage – from inception to exit.

Heather’s experience extends across a wide range of legal services. She drafts, reviews and negotiates a broad range of technology-related and corporate/commercial agreements, assisting clients with all aspects of their business, from organization, structural management, operational, financing, succession and exit transactions (i.e., mergers and acquisitions). She also provides guidance on corporate issues relating to statutory requirements, shareholder and director relations, liability concerns, shareholder and partnership agreements, in addition to addressing disputes related to them.

Her clientele is diverse, ranging from technology startups and health care innovators to oil and gas companies and family-owned businesses. Heather excels in addressing the unique challenges of family-owned businesses, devising innovative solutions for business continuity, ownership transitions and family-related issues. Building on her extensive experience, Heather also brings in-depth knowledge to the franchising sector. She advises franchisors and franchisees across various industries including agribusiness, retail, automotive and industrial, helping them grow and manage their businesses while mitigating risks associated with franchising operations.

In the venture technology sector, Heather is a visionary, guiding clients through scaling initiatives via strategic partnerships and joint ventures. She has worked with many clients that have formed partnerships with First Nations, to explore new markets and operational efficiencies. Her strategic foresight in structuring these partnerships ensure maximum benefit, operational efficiency and thoughtful succession considerations.

A recognized leader in software licensing, implementation support, service level and maintenance agreements, Heather has developed strategic solutions for clients in highly regulated fields including life sciences. She also provides guidance on regulatory compliance, clinical trial agreements and ancillary documents for two of Canada’s largest research-intensive universities. Her focus areas include confidentiality, material transfer, licensing, service, grant, collaboration and consulting agreements.


  • The Best Lawyers in Canada: Technology Law
  • Recognized by the Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada 
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: Technology Transactions
  • Recognized by Lexpert as a “Rising Star: Leading Lawyer Under 40,” 2016

Honors and Awards

In the Media

  • Quoted in “When Succession Planning Meets Nepotism: Will Your Company Survive?” Business in Edmonton Magazine, Spring 2018
  • Filmed in “Lexpert Rising Stars 2016,” Lexpert, November 28, 2016


Activities and Affiliations

  • ICD.D Designation with Institute of Corporate Directors
  • FEA Designation with Family Enterprise Canada (in progress summer 2023) 
  • Member, Law Society of Alberta
  • Member, New York Bar Association
  • Certified Clinical Research Contract Professional
  • King’s Counsel Designation

Latest Podcast Episodes

Dentons Agribusiness Podcast Series: This podcast series looks at a key pillar to the Canada’s economic system, the agriculture and agri-food sector. From farming to distribution, advancements in ag-tech, food producers and manufacturers, this podcast series will exam the vast ecosystem that encompasses everything agriculture. Listen here.

Women in Leadership and Entrepreneurship: In every episode of this podcast series, Heather Barnhouse is joined by inspiring women leaders and entrepreneurs. Together, they explore the ecosystem in which these women evolve. Listen here.

Community Involvement and Pro Bono

  • Board Member, Tickit Health Ltd., 2020 – present
  • Past Chair of Inaugural Governance Committee and Trustee of the Board of Trustee of AIP Realty Trust, 2022 – 2023
  • Past Chair of Inaugural Governance Committee and Board Member of Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation, 2019 – 2021
  • Corporate Secretary for Bitcoin Well Inc., 2021 – 2022
  • Past-President and Corporate Secretary, Lifesaving Society of Canada, 2016 – 2019
  • Legal Advisor, Lifesaving Society of Canada, Alberta and NWT branch, 2004 – present 
  • Instructor, Commercial Transactions, 2015 – 2016
  • Director of World Triathlon Series Edmonton, 2014 – 2018
  • Instructor for LESA’s CPLED Bar Admission Program, 2012 – 2021
  • Drafting “Legally Speaking” articles for Lifesaving Society publications, advising on legal matters relating to aquatic facility management and lifeguards




Kianna Adams

Chief of Staff, AltaML

Kianna is the Chief of Staff at AltaML, collaborating closely with the Executive team to ensure the seamless execution of AltaML’s strategic initiatives. Leveraging her expertise in program management, Kianna acts as an integrator across the organization, turning visionary ideas into reality. Prior to this role, Kianna was a Program Manager at AltaML, where she guided clients through the AI development life cycle with a key focus on responsible AI and AI adoption. Kianna’s ability to translate business needs into technical requirements enabled her to drive the operationalization of over a dozen AI use cases from concept to production, generating millions in ROI for her clients. Kianna holds a Bilingual Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta. Connect with Kianna on LinkedIn



Kristina Williams,

President and CEO, Alberta Enterprise Corp.

Director, North American Construction Group

Vice Chair, NAIT

Prior to joining AEC, Kristina worked for several technology companies where her responsibilities spanned the spectrum of legal, regulatory, international and new business development, corporate strategic planning, intellectual property management, as well as marketing and sales. At Alberta Enterprise Kristina has lead several of the corporation’s investments. In 2014 she was named the President and CEO, and she now oversees the management of the Alberta Enterprise Fund. She is an Associate with Creative Destruction Lab – Rockies, and a member of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Board of Governors, the North American Construction Group (NYSE/TSX: NOA) and Alcanna (TSX: CLIQ) Board of Directors. She also serves on the Alberta Securities Commission New Economy Advisory Committee, and she is the Honorary Consul for Sweden in Northern Alberta. Kristina holds an MBA from the University of Alberta, a Master of Laws from Uppsala University in Sweden, an accreditation for the Venture Capital Executive Program from the University of California, Berkeley – Walter A. Haas School of Business, as well as an ICD.D from the ICD-Rotman Director Education Program.