Starting and or running a business is rewarding but challenging. Business owners are faced with uncertainty, high stress, and fiscal restraints, which can normally contribute to mental health issues, but all these factors and more are amplified during this time of isolation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the lives of all of us. In a recent Morneau Shepell study of Canadian workers, 81% of respondents reported that the pandemic is negatively impacting their mental health.
Join Giri Puligandla, Executive Director, Canadian Mental Health Association – Edmonton Region, and Curtis Stange, President and CEO of ATB Financial, as they speak to the support available, how to encourage open communication about mental health among team members, as well as the role diversity and inclusion can play in building a thriving team.
About our Speakers
With 30-plus years in Canada’s financial industry, Curtis Stange knows that people are at the heart of everything. It's with courage, disciplined thought and precise action that Curtis leads 5,000 team members at ATB Financial as President & CEO. ATB is Alberta’s largest financial institution and provides personal, business, agriculture, corporate, investment banking, and wealth management services to over 800,000 customers.
Curtis has led teams across diverse geographic markets and through various economic cycles—always with an inquisitive nature and a desire to get to know the people and places around him. Alberta, with its broad diversity in both people and landscapes, is where Curtis calls home. At ATB, he created a new line of business focused on Alberta entrepreneurs and played a key role in the transformation of ATB's banking systems—the company's biggest technology challenge in a generation.
Curtis is a proud recipient of the Order of Athabasca University for his public service work and is a Stanford alumnus. He is a strong advocate for mental health as an active member of the Alberta Government’s Mental Health Advisory Council. He is also a member of the Alberta Business Council, the Stars Air Ambulance Board, the Edmonton International Airport and Visa Canada advisory boards, and co-chairs the Children’s Wish Foundation.
Giri Puligandla, Executive Director, Canadian Mental Health Association
Giri’s passion to make a difference in the lives of people experiencing mental health challenges has been a common thread throughout his career.
Over the past two decades, he has built a strong reputation in Edmonton’s health and social services sector for innovative service design, strategic collaboration, data mobilization, and cross-system planning. He is always eager to explore new innovations and partnerships to bridge disconnects that contribute to unmet needs, many of which are magnified by the pandemic. Giri believes that involvement of the broader community and people with lived experience can create environments and service systems that promote recovery, resilience, and well-being.
Prior to joining CMHA Edmonton, he held leadership roles in Homeward Trust for over seven years as Chief Strategy Officer and Director of Planning and Research and served in a management role in Alberta Health’s Addiction and Mental Health branch. Earlier in his career, Giri was Executive Director with the Alberta Caregivers Association and Schizophrenia Society of Alberta Edmonton Chapter. He also holds a MSc in health promotion from the University of Alberta.