Presenter Bios

SEM Works President

Jim Black

President and CEO

SEM Works

Dr. Jim Black, is an internationally recognized expert in enrolment management as well as in change management. He has published a monograph titled, Navigating Change in the New Millennium: Strategies for Enrollment Leaders,and four books, The Strategic Enrollment Management Revolution,considered to be a groundbreaking publication for the enrolment management profession, Gen Xers Return to College, Essentials of Enrollment Management: Cases in the Field, and Strategic Enrolment Intelligence, Canada’s first book on enrolment management.

Among his other published works are numerous articles and book chapters including a feature article in College & University, Creating Customer Delight; a chapter, Creating a Student-Centered Culture, for a book on best practices in student services published by SCUP and sponsored by IBM; a chapter on enrolment management in a Jossey-Bass book on student academic services; as well as a bimonthly feature in The Greentree Gazette.

Dr. Black is the founder of the Community College Enrollment Management and Student Marketing Symposium and the National Conference on Student Retention in Small Colleges as well as the cofounder of the National Small College Admissions Conference and the National Small College Enrollment Conference. He formerly served as the director of AACRAO’s Strategic Enrollment Management Conference.

Black was honored as the recipient of the 2005 AACRAO Distinguished Service Award and was selected as the 2012 Alumnus of the Year by his graduate program at the University of South Carolina. He has been interviewed by publications such as The Chronicle of Higher Education, Converge Magazine, The Enrollment Management Report, The Lawlor Review, and was interviewed for AACRAO’s Data Dispenser. Black also was featured in an international teleconference on enrolment management sponsored by The Center for the Freshman Year Experience at the University of South Carolina, and a PBS broadcast on “Blending High Tech and High Touch Student Services.” In 1999, Jim Black was named an IBM Best Practices Partner, one of only twenty-three in the world. He was invited by The College Board to Heidelberg, Germany, to evaluate the APIEL Exam and most recently was invited to lead conferences on enrolment management and student services in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Dr. Black has served on the boards of several technology companies and has consulted with companies such as Microsoft, Blackboard, and the SAS Institute. Higher education clients have included over 400 two-year, four-year, public, and private institutions.

Jim earned a B.A. in English education and M.A. in higher education administration from the University of South Carolina, as well as a Ph.D. in higher education curriculum and teaching from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His doctoral experience provides SEM Works’ clients with unique perspectives into innovative pedagogical, curricular, and program opportunities that impact enrolment outcomes. Leveraging his educational background along with his many years as an associate provost, dean, and faculty member in a higher education environment, Dr. Black will provide your institution with strategic insights that are grounded in theory and are actionable.






Dr. Dannie Brown

Associate Professor

Organizational Management- Shannon School of Business

Cape Breton University

Dr. Brown received his B.Ed. (Business Education), M.Ed. (Vocational Education), and M.B.A. (Management) from UNB in Fredericton, New Brunswick and his D.B.A. (Management) from Anderson University in Anderson, IN. He began his teaching career in Manitoba at the high school level before moving to postsecondary education where he taught at Crandall University and UNB before coming to CBU in 2009. His doctorate is in management and his research interests lie in the areas of human resource management and entrepreneurship. Dr. Brown teaches International Business, Business Competitive Strategy, Human Resource Management, and the Nature of Entrepreneurship at the BBA level and Marketing and Strategic Marketing at the MBA level. He operates a consulting business in management training and leadership development and spent two years as a professional fundraiser at the largest long-term care facility in New Brunswick. In addition to teaching, Dr. Brown, as a keyboardist, has a passion for music.



Chamber of Commerce

Kathleen Yurchesyn

Chief Executive Officer

Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce


Wesley Colford

Artistic Director

Highland Arts Theatre

Wesley has the great honour of being the inaugural Artistic Director of the Highland Arts Theatre in Sydney, NS.. Since founding the theatre company in 2014 he has produced over 45 local productions, several of which he also wrote, directed, or performed in. He works frequently at the Savoy as well and is a graduate of the Musical Theatre program at Sheridan College and has studied at the George Brown Classical Acting Conservatory Program.


Dr.Keith Brown

Professor- MBA- CED

Former (Vice President, International and Aboriginal Affairs, Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies)

Cape Breton University

Dr. Brown obtained a B.B.A. from St. F.X. University, Antigonish, N.S., a B.B.Ed. from Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, N.S., and an M.B.A.-Marketing from City University, Bellevue, Washington, U.S.A. and a Ph.D. Marketing (tourism consumer behaviour) from the University of Bradford, Bradford, England.

As a Professor of Marketing in the Shannon School of Business at Cape Breton University, Dr. Brown has taught Marketing Management, Consumer Behaviour, International Business, International Marketing, Sales and Sales Management, Advertising and Tourism Marketing. He has taught and lectured in Cairo, Beijing, Tianjin, Zhengzhou and Zhuhai.  He currently teaches in the MBA (CED). (Marketing, International Business, Strategy).

He has presented and published a wide range of academic papers and served as a guest speaker and panelist on Economic Development, Immigration, Cultural Tourism Marketing, Aboriginal Economic Development and Aboriginal Education. His research interests include regional economic development, cultural tourism marketing and Aboriginal Economic Development.

His most recent publications include:

Brown, K.G., Doucette, M.B., Tulk, J. (2016),Indigenous Business in Canada: Principles and Practices. Cape Breton University Press.

Brown, K. G., Pyke, J., (2016) An Introduction to Aboriginal Cultural Marketing. In Brown, K.G., Doucette, M.B., Tulk, J., Indigenous Business in Canada: Principles and Practices. Cape Breton University Press.

Brown, K., Pyke, J., Johnson, D., Doucette, M., (2015). Aboriginal Cultural Tourism Marketing:   An Issue of Governance.Canadian Journal of Native Studies. Vol. 35.2. (published in 2016).

Brown, K., Luo, T. (2013). Authenticity versus Commoditization: The Chinese Experience in the UNESCO Heritage Site of Lijiang. Journal of Culture and Tourism Research Vol. 15(1).

Prior to this position, Dr. Brown served as Vice President International and Aboriginal Affairs, Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies, Vice President, External; Dean and Managing Director of Economic and Technological Innovation and Dean of Extension and Community Affairs within the Cape Breton University community.  Beyond his career in higher education, he has held the positions of Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation and Vice President of Industrial Development with the Cape Breton Development Corporation.  He also fulfilled several other senior management roles within these public-sector corporations.


MaryJane Morrison


Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism Management- Shannon School of Business

Cape Breton University


Jennifer Currie

Student Placement Officer- Shannon School of Business

Cape Breton University

Jennifer works full-time at Cape Breton University since 1992 and is currently the Student Placement Officer in the Shannon School of Business.

In 1999 Jennifer took a leave from CBU and was the Event Manager for the East Coast Music Awards in February 2000.  In 2006, in Edinburgh, Scotland, she completed a Master’s in Communication and teaches part-time in the Communication Department at CBU.

In 2005 Jennifer opened a small business, Hannah Banana Event Management, to work on special projects with Celtic Colours International Festival in addition of being a volunteer for the festival since 1998.

Over the years, Jennifer has been in many volunteer positions some of which include a the CNIB, the Transition House Foundation, Vice President of the Cape Breton Italian Association, seven years as New Dawn Board of Director and is currently the Chair of the Cape Breton Music Industry Cooperative.

 In 2015/16, Jennifer was co-chair of ECMA2016, another successful ECMA held in Cape Breton.

Jennifer currently lives with her family in the woods of Cape Breton.