2019 Global TapRooT® Summit Keynote Speakers


March 15, 2019 | 10:50 a.m.

Staff Sgt. Spencer Stone

Don’t be a Bystander: Be the Spark that Ignites Change

On August 21, 2015, Staff Sgt. Spencer Stone reminded the world what a true American hero looks like. With his childhood friends by his side, Stone rushed headlong into the barrel of an assault rifle, tackling and subduing a would-be terrorist just as he was about to open fire on a crowded train. Stone’s remarkable courage earned him honors both at home and abroad, but it would not be the last time he faced harrowing odds and near-certain death. Nothing in his past suggested he would rise to the occasion so dramatically and successfully when needed. His actions seem to prove the old adage that heroes are almost always ordinary people who, when confronted with great challenges, respond in an extraordinary fashion. Stone will recount his own experiences, emphasizing the importance of taking action when we see other human beings in trouble and weaving a rich account of courage, honor, community and destiny that audiences will find both riveting and life-affirming.


March 13, 2019 |  9:00 a.m.

Jim Wetherbee

Controlling Risk in a Dangerous World

With thirty-five years of experience in high-hazard operational environments, Jim Wetherbee is passionate about helping leaders and operators in dangerous endeavors with critical mission objectives. He is the only astronaut to have commanded five missions in space.

Jim began his career as a Naval Aviator aboard the USS John F Kennedy, flying the A-7 Corsair. In his second tour, he was a test pilot in the F/A-18 Hornet. In 1984, Jim was selected to join NASA in its tenth group of astronauts. Over his twenty-year career, he flew six times on the Space Shuttle. The five-time commander flew two missions to the Russian Space Station, Mir, and two missions to the International Space Station. In 1998, he was appointed as the director, Flight Crew Operations, specifically selected to improve the flight and ground safety in the astronaut corps.

Bringing his experience from the aerospace industry as a former NASA executive and astronaut, Jim joined the Oil and Gas Industry as a Safety and Operations Auditor for BP, America. As the VP for Operating Leadership, Jim helped to improve operating results consistently over the long-term, by emphasizing effective leadership behaviors to inspire people to perform with operating excellence.

On the front lines of danger, operators face hazards and make life-and death decisions in dynamic complex situations. They are the last line of defense. What happens if they don’t succeed? After accidents, organizations typically issue new rules. These will work—for a while—in preventing similar accidents. But accidents are rarely simple. A company may be blindsided by another accident that no one thought would occur. Again, new rules are issued and procedures are updated—yet the cycle of accidents continues. Organizations, and operators, must need something more than rules and procedures. Since the beginning of the space program, astronauts have developed techniques based on the principles of operating excellence to execute missions and stay alive in unforgiving environments. These principles-based techniques can help optimize performance in high-risk businesses, and accomplish more in our dangerous world—or out of this world!




March 13, 2019 |  4:00 p.m.

Carl Dixon

Lessons Learned: From Calamity to Success

Born in Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario, TaprooT® Summit favorite, Carl Dixon, remains one of Canada’s stellar singers and musicians. He’s fronted and played with some of Canada’s most iconic bands including The Guess Who, Coney Hatch, and April Wine.

Carl scored his first record deal in the 80s with Coney Hatch, The videos played on MTV 
as Coney Hatch toured across North America as opener for Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and many more. His music career took him on the highs and lows of rock n roll through
 the 90s, and into the new millennium. While lead singer of The Guess Who, Carl was critically injured in a car accident in Australia in 2008
 where he sustained 52 injuries. His remarkable comeback from death’s door first as a solo artist, then in a reunion with Coney Hatch to score a new record deal, (Coney Hatch Four, 2013), has only been topped by his return as front man of The Guess Who for two special shows in the USA in January 2016.

Carl is a published author of “Strange Way to Live – A Story of Rock ‘N Roll Resurrection”(Dundurn Publishing). He’s a prolific songwriter and inspirational speaker.

Carl lives in the woodland wilds of Haliburton, Ontario, Canada.


March 14, 2019 | 9:00 a.m.

Mark Paradies

Decisions that Get People Killed

Mark Paradies is co-developer of the TapRooT® System. He became familiar with advanced human factors technology while at the University of Illinois. During his service as an officer in Admiral Rickover’s Nuclear Navy, he had the opportunity to observe errors that operators and mechanics made, even when well-trained and equipped with good procedures. Mark’s consideration of human factor concepts is foundational to TapRooT®—including advanced human performance technology without the usual jargon—particularly to help folks such as plant personnel, engineers, and managers.

With the development of TapRooT®, Mark and TapRooT® co-developer Linda Unger have changed the way the world solves problems through advanced root cause analysis, training and software, assisting in designing and improving performance improvement programs, and in investigating the root causes of accidents, sentinel events, equipment failures, and quality issues. Mark has taught thousands of students around the world in a variety of industries, including: oil exploration and production; refining chemicals, plastics, and petrochemicals; mining, metals, and fertilizer; utilities; airlines, shipping, railroads, and light rail; pharmaceutical and consumer products; manufacturing; telecommunications and network reliability; pulp and paper; and government.

When you read “decisions that get people killed” do you think about decisions that workers make? These are not the decisions that will be examined. What will be examined are decisions that set up major accidents. These types of decisions are usually made by senior management, and they can have very serious consequences. Management needs to know about them, and what they need to do to prevent major accidents.


March 14, 2019 | 4:00 p.m.

Candace Carnahan

It Could Happen to You

Lauded as one of the “Faces of the Future” by MacLean’s magazine, Candace Carnahan uses her unique life lessons to inspire us to dismantle the roadblocks that hinder efficiency, while celebrating the attitudes and behaviors that promote success – whether personal or professional.

With irrepressible energy, she taps into her own experiences to inspire audiences to realize their full potential. Candace shares her belief that having the Courage to Care through standing up for others is a transformational concept – “If You See Something; Say Something”

The impetus behind Carnahan’s contagious enthusiasm was a devastating workplace incident in which she lost her lower left leg at the vulnerable age of 21. It was an incident that might also have taken her life, but most important to Carnahan – it was preventable. As she grew aware that “tomorrow” is a guarantee for no one, she adapted quickly – mentally and physically – to mobilize herself from a potentially paralyzing situation.

Within 10 months of learning to walk with an artificial leg, Carnahan began her new journey of experience and chronicled her life’s lessons as she backpacked and traveled the world. During that time, she immersed herself in a variety of cultures and gained perspective by doing so. Candace began to appreciate firsthand that the potential for evoking positive change in our own lives and in the lives of others on a day to day basis was not only possible, but well within reach.

Returning from her travels, Candace was transformed and felt compelled to share her story of triumph-over-tragedy, in an effort to eliminate preventable workplace injuries through her knowledge that the first step in not getting hurt is knowing that you can be. Over the years Carnahan has compiled what she considers to be some of life’s most simple but meaningful lessons, which are instrumental to her effectiveness as a speaker.

Deemed the ‘Prophetess of Safety’, Carnahan has shared her message with over 300,000 people worldwide, and continues to expand her message to audiences across the globe. Candace is featured in awareness campaigns across North America, Australia, and Europe.

Carnahan’s journey has given her a passionate voice that speaks to a wide variety of audiences and platforms. Her contagious energy promises to awaken audiences to embrace their inner strengths and power. Her personal story lends a wide range of philosophies, ideas, incentives – and humor – to audiences who are sure to be inspired to understand and achieve what they want out of life – all the while, gaining a better appreciation of the many gifts they already have.