Advancing Women

Susan Blair
Executive Director, Animal Health
Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.
Burlington, Ontario

Presentation Title: Transition from Grassroots to Corporate Boardrooms
Lessons learned and critical success factors in a journey from Saskatchewan grain and cattle producer, to the head of Boehringer Ingelheim's Canadian Animal Health business.

Susan Blair has a Degree in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan. With a passion for agriculture, Susan purchased land in 1983, and began her career in grain and cattle production with her family’s backing. World trade wars, high interest rates and drought propelled her to seek off farm income in 1990, when she joined SmithKline (later acquired by Pfizer) as a Territory Manager in Ontario, covering poultry, swine and cattle. She moved to Alberta in 1993 to assume a Saskatchewan & Alberta Territory, for their cattle and swine business.

Susan later became Product Manager for Pfizer’s Pet portfolio, before joining Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. in 2003 where she held positions including National Sales Manager, Business Unit Manager, and lead the acquisition and integration of the Wyeth/Fort Dodge portfolio for Canada. Susan also worked on special projects including the development of the business plan and respective implementation strategy for Boehringer Ingelheim’s Turkish Animal Health market. She is currently serving on a 3 year term as a Board Member for the Canadian Animal Health Institute, and is Chair of their Annual General Meeting Committee.

Susan is currently the Executive Director for Boehringer Ingelhiem’s Canadian Animal Health Business, responsible for the leadership, strategic alignment and implementations, resource deployment, and financial performance of the business. With a keen interest in lifelong learning, Susan has participated in many marketing, finance, managerial, and leadership programs and conferences over the years, in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

JoAnne Buth
Canadian International Grains Institute
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Presentation Title: Leadership is not a Title
JoAnne Buth will discuss the opportunities she took in her career path in agriculture and what prepared her for her current leadership role.

The Honourable JoAnne Buth became CEO of the Canadian International Grains Institute in 2014 shortly after leaving the Senate of Canada. She was a Senator for over two years, represented Manitoba and sat on the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry and the Standing Committee on National Finance. She returned to the industry she loves, agriculture and food, and is proud to lead the Canadian International Grains Institute. The Institute is dedicated to increasing the use of Canadian grains around the world through technical training, applied research and innovative processing solutions.

JoAnne is an agriculture professional who is committed to a sustainable and profitable Canadian agricultural and food sector. She believes Canada has an obligation to use its natural agricultural endowments and skills to support Canadian farmers and ranchers in the production of safe and nutritious food for Canadians and the global community.

JoAnne has spent her professional life in Agriculture and has served on many agriculture advisory committees in private industry and government. She was the President of the Canola Council of Canada from 2007 to 2012. Under her leadership the Canola Council dealt with several international trade issues, made significant contributions to canola research and marched closer to its target of demand and production of 15 million tonnes of canola by 2015.

JoAnne Buth holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Winnipeg and a Master of Science in Entomology from the University of Manitoba.

Jason Dorsey

The Gen Y Guy®
Chief Strategy Officer
The Center for Generational Kinetics
Austin, Texas, USA

Presentation Title: Crossing the Generational Divide: Unlocking the Power of Generations to Grow Your Business

We work in a time of unprecedented generational challenge and change. Four generations in the workforce. Five generations in the marketplace. And making matters worse, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation around generational differences. What we know for a fact: Strategies that work for one generation can be a
complete turn-off for others. This generational divide makes your job more difficult and more important than ever.

In this provocative presentation, bestselling author Jason Dorsey exposes new generational truths that directly impact leaders like you. Jason shares surprising data, firsthand stories, and step-by-step actions. You can rely on these actions to drive communication, engagement, recruiting, and more.

Jason Dorsey is The Gen Y Guy®. He has been featured on 60 Minutes, 20/20, The Today Show, The View, The Early Show and dozens more. His gift is solving tough generational challenges for companies and leaders.

Over 1,000 standing ovations
Jason has received over 1,000 standing ovations from audiences as large as 16,000 - all without using PowerPoint. Instead, he delivers a new take on generations backed up by fresh data and ready-to-use actions. He's funny too. A key takeaway: Generations are not a box, but powerful clues that drive measurable results. More sales. Better leaders. Faster innovation.

Bestselling Author
Jason wrote his first bestselling book at age 18 (slight overacheiver). His newest books are Y-Size Your Business and My Reality Check Bounced! He also produced the acclaimed training DVDs Managing Across Generations and Insider Secrets for Selling to Gen Y.

Millenials Researcher
Jason is the Chief Strategy Officer at The Center for Generational Kinetics. In this role, he goes behind the scenes with companies - and their data - from around the world. These insights help him to identify emerging trends early, so you can too.

Proven Results
Jason won the Austin Under 40 Entrepreneur of the Year Award at age 25—one of the youngest winners ever. He now serves as a board member for venture-backed and emerging technology companies. And, yes, he text messages his mom every day. Watch Jason explain why Gen Y and Millenials are not tech-savvy:

Caroline Emond
Executive Director
Dairy Farmers of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario

Caroline Emond is the Executive Director of Dairy Farmers of Canada and serves on its Board of Directors. She is leading a vibrant, modern and caring dairy industry that represents more than 12,000 Canadian dairy farms. Before being name Executive Director in January 2015, Caroline was in Brussels as the Québec Delegate General with the mandate to promote Québec and its interests in Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, as well as inside European institutions.

Prior to her appointment by the Quebec government, she worked for close to 20 years as a public and governmental affairs professional. Thanks to her international experience, she has acquired a global perspective and understanding of worldwide economic and political issues. From 2008 until her appointment as Delegate General, she was responsible for worldwide public affairs and government relations at Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). She championed a number of political and economic issues of key importance in places like Canada, US and Europe with a view to ensuring conditions conducive to the sale and use of BRP products in various markets.

Prior to that, she had been employed by Dairy Farmers of Canada, initially in Ottawa as assistant director of international trade, and then in Geneva, Switzerland, as the permanent representative to the World Trade Organization. Among other things, she contributed in these roles to the defense and growth of Canada’s agricultural sector, which she still does today.

Caroline studied law at Université de Montréal and has been a member of the Barreau du Québec since 1994. Caroline Emond hails from La Baie, in Quebec’s Saguenay region.

Dianna Emperingham
Director, Product Supply
Bayer CropScience Inc.
Regina, Saskatchewan

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Presentation Title: Leading in a Non Traditional Role
Leadership is a journey - successes and failures – lessons learned along the way. How I have tried to use this journey to help me aspire to be a Courageous Leader.

Born and raised in rural Saskatchewan, Dianna has been connected to Agriculture for her entire life.
Dianna has been with Bayer for almost 25 years. For the first 16 years Dianna was part of the Canadian operations team holding a variety of roles in both the Animal Health and CropScience organizations, her last role in Canada was Purchasing Manager for Bayer CropScience Canada.

In January 2006 she moved to Monheim, Germany to take on a newly created role as the Global Procurement Manager for Research and Development for Bayer CropScience and then in April 2008 Dianna moved again, this time to the UK Bayer office – located in Newbury, Berkshire – where she has spent two years building and heading up Regional Procurement for the UK and Ireland.

In August 2010 Dianna rejoined the Canadian organization as Director of Product Supply and Site Manager for the Regina Production Facility.

Dianna has two sons, one step daughter and four grandchildren. She and her husband Gord reside in a Lake Community in Saskatchewan where they are still able to enjoy the agricultural activities around them, while also incorporating their love for hunting and fishing.

Dianne Finstad

Communications Specialist
Red Deer, Alberta

Event Master of Ceremonies and Opening Comments

Dianne Finstad is a broadcaster and reporter who specializes in agriculture and rodeo coverage. She’s spent over thirty years bringing stories to light through television, radio, and print. Based in Red Deer, she began her career at CKRD-TV and radio. Her program ‘This Business of Farming’ was a staple in many rural households around the province. She also worked at KG Country Radio, providing daily farm reports and regular rodeo coverage. As well, Dianne has MC’d at events ranging from Farm Credit Canada Forums to ag conferences and dairy shows. Her work has received numerous awards, and she is an honorary member of the Alberta Institute of Agrologists and the Alberta Human Ecology and Home Economics Association. Dianne is currently doing agriculture, rodeo and speaking work on a freelance basis, and is a regular contributor to publications like Canadian Cowboy Country and Canadian Rodeo News.

Cheryl Fullerton

VP Leadership, Human Resources
Maple Leaf Foods
Mississauga, Ontario

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Presentation Title: Empowering Women to Forget Balance, Think Choice
We've often discussed 'work-life balance'…somehow implying that work isn't part of life, or that there is a perfect equilibrium to reach. It's time to reframe the discussion so women feel empowered to be deliberate in their personal choices for a happy, healthy, successful life.

Cheryl Fullerton is Vice President, Leadership at Maple Leaf Foods, a leading consumer packaged meat company, headquartered in Toronto. Maple Leaf Foods has annual revenues of $3 billion, employs 12,000 people, and has an award winning values-based culture that is rich in people engagement and development, and continuous improvement. Cheryl’s accountability includes created integrated and high impact solutions for performance and talent management, talent acquisition, rewards and recognition, engagement, learning and development.

Cheryl sits on the Board executive committee for Spectra Community Support Services, a volunteer-driven, community-based organization providing emotional support and crisis intervention for the Region of Peel. She has a BSc and an HRCCC designation from McMaster University.

Margaret Hudson

Burnbrae farms Ltd.
Mississauga, Ontario

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Presentation Title: The Balancing Act - Managing Kids, Career and Family in a Canadian Family AgriBusiness
Margaret Hudson officially started her journey with Burnbrae Farms, her family's egg business, in 1990 working at the Mississauga order desk while still in college. Since then she has started a family and launched many new products, rising through the ranks to become President in 2008. She will talk about her journey and the many challenges along the way.

As the President of Burnbrae Farms, Margaret Hudson has gained experience in a variety of Burnbrae divisions in over 20 years of corporate work. The youngest daughter of company Chairman Joe Hudson, Margaret has been working for the family firm full-time since 1990.

Burnbrae Farms is recognized as a leader by Canada’s food industry and has egg grading, breaking and farming operations in 5 provinces across Canada. It has been privately owned and operated by the Hudson family since it was founded in Lyn, Ontario by Joseph Hudson, Margaret’s great grandfather, in 1893.

Margaret has occupied a number of different roles in the company’s operations. Most notably, she helped to lead the development and launch of several award-winning products that appeal strongly to health conscious consumers including: Naturegg Omega 3 eggs and Simply Egg Whites. She also helped guide the firm towards the development and marketing of Organic and Free Run eggs. Burnbrae Farms now holds 13 Grand Prix New Product Awards, which recognize excellence in new product development in the Canadian food industry.

In her role, she oversees family and leadership team succession planning, strategy development and general operations for the company. She is also a strong advocate family nutrition and the promotion of the benefits of eggs to health-conscious consumers across Canada.

Margaret holds a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto in Business and Environmental Science, and an MBA from the University of Toronto’s Executive MBA program.

Margaret lives in Toronto and has 2 children, Evelyn and James Rogan.

Jeff Leal

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

A lifelong Peterborough resident, Jeff Leal was first elected to the Ontario Legislature as the MPP for Peterborough in 2003. He was appointed Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in June 2014.

Jeff has served previously as the Minister of Rural Affairs, Chief Government Whip and as Parliamentary Assistant to the Ministers of Aboriginal Affairs, Environment, Energy, Economic Development and Trade and Training, Colleges and Universities.

Prior to his election as MPP, Jeff was a Peterborough city councillor for Otonabee Ward from 1985 to 2003, working extensively with the county and local governments.

Jeff and his wife Karan live in Peterborough with their two children, Braden and Shanae.

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst

Executive Director
Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council
Ottawa, Ontario

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Presentation Title: Update On Supporting the Advancement of Women in Agriculture (SAWA)

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst is the Executive Director of the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC), a national, non-profit organization focused on addressing human resource issues facing agricultural businesses across Canada.

Portia holds a Master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and has a wealth of experience in strategic Human Resource Management.

Ms. MacDonald-Dewhirst is an active member of industry based Boards and is currently guiding the Labour Task Force and the national Workforce Action Plan for the agriculture and agri-food industry.

Crystal MacKay

Executive Director
Farm & Food Care
Guelph, Ontario

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Presentation Title: Searching for Unicorns, The Lochness Monster and Work-Life Balance
A frank and personal perspective from a woman on the go. Crystal will share some insights and advice on the new women’s triathlon – family, work and life.

Crystal is the Executive Director for Farm & Food Care, a coalition with the mandate to build public trust in food and farming. Farm & Food Care represents thousands of farmers and associated agri-food businesses to provide credible information on food and farming. Crystal is a dynamic presenter who has delivered hundreds of presentations to a broad range of audiences from farmers to university students to CEOs across North America.

Crystal was raised on a beef and dairy farm in the Ottawa Valley. She is a graduate of the University of Guelph, the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program, and the George Morris Centre Executive Development Program. She is a past President of the OAC Alumni Association, and a former director of both the Ontario 4-H Foundation and the Poultry Industry Council.

She enjoys spending time with her young family and playing hockey whenever she gets the chance!

Bethany McIntyre

Communications Specialist
Dow AgroSciences Canada
Mitchell, Ontario

Bethany currently holds the position of Communications Specialist with Dow AgroSciences Canada and has worked in agriculture for the past five years. Bethany is currently engaged to a grain producer in Perth County.

Gwen Paddock
National Manager, Agriculture and Agribusiness, Client & Business Strategy
RBC Royal Bank
Toronto, Ontario

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Presentation Title: Your Financial Future by Design
A recent study revealed that Canadians with financial plans feel they are saving more, living well and experiencing higher levels of overall contentment in their lives.  Gwen will discuss why it's important to women to be financially literate and how having a plan can lead to greater financial and emotional well-being.

Gwen Paddock is the National Manager, Agriculture & Agribusiness for RBC Royal Bank. In her role, Gwen focuses on client strategy development for the Agriculture and Agribusiness markets. Born in Guelph, Ontario, Gwen was raised on a Beef Cow-Calf farm. As a youth she participated in 4-H and Junior Farmers. Her interest in Agriculture influenced her decision to attend the University of Guelph where she obtained a B.SC (Agr) with a major in Agriculture Economics in 1985. Following graduation, Gwen joined RBC in Chatham Ontario as an Agriculture Account Manager Trainee. Through the past 29 years, she has held positions in Account Management, Risk Management and Sales Management throughout Southwestern Ontario.  Gwen is a graduate of the Advanced Agriculture Leadership Program and is a Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers. Community involvement includes Board Member of the Farm & Food Care Foundation, member of the Rotary Club of Guelph and past President of the Ontario Agri Business Association. Gwen and her husband Ron live in Guelph.

Collin Phillip
Business Director - Eastern Canada
DuPont Pioneer
London, Ontario

Introduction and Breakfast Sponsor Message


Collin is an innovative business leader, entrepreneur, and former politician. In his role as Business Director - Eastern Canada with DuPont Pioneer, Collin leads the largest seed brand in Eastern Canada.

Originally from Vancouver and not from a traditional agriculture background, Collin’s entrepreneurial approach has helped him to bring fresh energy to the agriculture sector. Prior to joining DuPont, Collin spent several years with Monsanto which included an expatriate assignment in Mumbai, India and has over a decade in leadership roles within the energy and e-commerce sectors. Elected as a School Trustee when just 18, he also has the unique distinction of being the youngest person ever elected to government office in British Columbia.

Collin has an MBA from Simon Fraser University, a Master of Marketing from the University of Melbourne and has completed the INSEAD general management programme in Paris & Abu Dhabi. Other notable distinctions include selection as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and acknowledgement from the Governor General of Canada as an emerging Canadian leader.

Kim Pritchard
Assistant Vice President of Operations
Cargill AgHorizon Canada

Kim Pritchard is the Assistant Vice President of Operations for Cargill AgHorizon Canada. Cargill AgHorizon Canada’s vision is to “be the leader in helping farmers succeed.” In her role she oversees all aspects of operations including Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS); Food Safety, Quality, and Regulatory (FSQR); engineering; and capital management (facilities, equipment, and human). She is part of the Senior Leadership Team of the business and is based in Winnipeg, MB. Kim’s role requires her to travel frequently throughout Canada visiting interior grain elevators and crop input locations as well as export terminals in Vancouver, BC and Baie Comeau, Quebec. She is part of the Cargill Global Operations function and interacts with her peers around the globe.

Prior to Kim’s current role, she worked with the Cargill Animal Nutrition platform in the United States. She has worked in various roles from plant manager to regional operations manager throughout the U.S. She has over 20 years of operations experience, including program and project management. Kim has an extensive background in leading continuous improvement and is a greenbelt in Lean Six Sigma. She also spent several years in investment banking as a foreign exchange trader.

Kim holds a BS degree in Business. Kim and her husband Johnny have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. She not only understands the challenges working mothers face who want both career and family, but also issues women may experience in fields that are primarily male dominated.

Bonnie Schmidt Ph.D., C.M.
Founder and President
Let’s Talk Science
London, Ontario

Presentation Title: Life is a Contact Sport
Relationships are key - more often than we realize (or acknowledge), others profoundly shape our path. Join Bonnie in exploring how a little experiment unwittingly became a fascinating adventure and career.

Dr. Bonnie Schmidt is the founder and president of Let’s Talk Science, an award-winning, national charitable organization that she started in 1991 while completing a PhD in Physiology. Let’s Talk Science helps children and youth fulfill their potential and prepare for their future careers and citizenship role by supporting their learning and engagement through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Over 3.5 million youth and educators have been reached by Let’s Talk Science during its 20+ year history and the organization has an ambitious plan to reach 5 million more over the next five years. A key growth strategy is connecting the STEM and education communities to help young Canadians explore the relevance and importance of science, technology and innovation in our everyday lives.

Bonnie has been active in many national and provincial organizations and initiatives. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Genomics Institute and the Board of Governors of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). Bonnie was the founding co-Chair of the Science & Technology Awareness Network (STAN). She has served on several federal granting review panels and on the 2010 Coalition for Action on Innovation in Canada led by Rx&D and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. She was also a member of the expert panel that developed Ontario’s Early Learning Framework in 2006.

Bonnie has organized sessions on STEM learning and outreach at national and international academic conferences and has been an invited speaker at many events, including the National Space Science Summit, the Leader to Leader Program for 21st Century Skills, the Canadian Science Policy Conference, and the OECD Conference on Global Science, ‘Declining Student Enrolment in Science & Technology’. She chaired the national panel that developed the Spotlight on Science Learning benchmarking report. Bonnie has also published several papers and reports, which can be accessed through

For her efforts in education, Bonnie was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2015 and has received several awards, including the Top 25 Women of Influence; Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award; Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award; Top 40 Under 40; Ontario’s ‘Leading Women, Building Communities’; YWCA’s Woman of Distinction; and Western’s Young Alumni Award.

Dr. Marla Shapiro MDCM, CCFP, MHSc, FRCP, FCFP, NCMP

Medical Contributor to CTV’s Canada AM and Medical Consultant for CTV News

Presentation Title: Wellness - the Four Pillars of Health
Can you define what pillars constitute your health and wellness? What is it we need to know to challenge ourselves to better health. This presentation will arm you with life changing skills.

Viewers across Canada tune in to see Dr. Marla Shapiro as Canada AM’s Health and Medical Expert. Every week, Dr. Shapiro continues to bring the latest medical news as well as practical advice to keep the entire family healthy on Canada’s #1 morning show.

Dr. Shapiro completed medical school at McGill University and trained at the University of Toronto for her Masters of Health Science in Community Health and Epidemiology. She trained in Family Medicine and is certified by the Canadian College of Family Practice. She concluded her specialty training in Preventive Medicine and Public Health, receiving her Fellowship from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. She holds a Fellowship in Family Medicine and is a NAMS credentialed menopause specialist.

Since 2000, Dr. Shapiro has been the Health and Medical Expert for Canada AM. In addition to her weekly appearances on Canada AM, Dr. Shapiro is seen regularly on CTV News Channel and as the medical consultant on CTV National News.

Dr. Shapiro has written a regular column for The Globe and Mail and currently writes her weekly blog on the She is the Founding Editor of ParentsCanada Magazine, writing a regular “Ask Dr. Marla” column. Additionally, Dr. Shapiro is a member of several committees and advisory boards including Research Canada, The Canadian Foundation for Women and Health and The North American Menopause Society.

In 2011, The Israeli Cancer Research Fund honoured Dr. Shapiro at their Women of Action Luncheon for her personal and professional dedication to supporting innovative cancer research. She was the recipient of the 2010 Peter R. Newman Humanitarian Award in recognition of an exemplary commitment to the welfare of individuals or the community, at home or abroad. Dr. Shapiro was the recipient of the 2005 Media Award from the North American Menopause Society for her work in expanding the understanding of menopause. She won the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada/Canadian Foundation for Women's Health Award for Excellence in Women's
Dr. Shapiro received an Award of Excellence from the College of Family Physicians of Canada for her lifelong commitment and dedication to family medicine in 2008. As well she was awarded the Excellence in Creative Professional Activity in 2008 by the University of Toronto, Department of Family and Community Medicine.

Health Journalism in 2006 for her documentary, Run Your Own Race. The documentary was written, presented and co-produced by Dr. Shapiro, and won numerous industry awards including the New York Film Festival and the Columbus International Film and Video award. Her national best-selling book, Life in the Balance: My Journey with Breast Cancer was released in Fall 2006.

Linda Smart

Vice President Commercial & Agriculture Banking – Ontario
National Bank of Canada
Toronto, Ontario

As Vice President Commercial & Agriculture Banking – Ontario since November 1, 2012, Linda Smart ensures that all the operations of the business line serving commercial clients in the Ontario region run smoothly.

At the time of her appointment, Ms. Smart was Vice President Corporate Finance & Specialized Lending, a position she held since November 2000. She has been with National Bank of Canada since 1989 and has successively held the positions of Branch Manager, Commercial Account Manager and Senior Manager serving a full range of customers, from small to large corporations.

In addition to her professional activities, Ms. Smart volunteers with various community organizations, including Junior Achievement of Central Ontario and for the past three years has served on their Board of Governors.

Ms. Smart has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto.

Deb Stark

Deputy Minister
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Guelph, Ontario

Presentation Title: Mud, Mascara and Other Grand Challenges: What lies ahead for food, agriculture and the women who will lead us?

Deb is currently the Deputy Minister of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, a ministry of over 900 people with a passion for food, agriculture and public service.

Deb was raised on a dairy farm in Ontario. She graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College and worked in a mixed practice for several years. Deb joined the provincial government as an extension veterinarian "for a couple of years" and has been there ever since. She has spent her time in both the agriculture/food and the environment ministries overseeing areas such as research, science and standards, food safety and economic development.

Along with her career in the Ontario public service, Deb has been fortunate enough to serve as the President of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (first female), Chair of the OPSEU Pension Trust and Chair of Hospice Wellington. Most recently she was honoured by Life Sciences Ontario with the 2015 Public Services award.

Alison Sunstrum

GrowSafe Systems Ltd.
Airdrie, Alberta

Presentation Title: IOT – Disrupting Everything
The Internet of Things (IOT) is changing the way we live, work, play and learn; everything is being transformed. Alison will share her experience building an Ag Tech business in the IOT space when it didn’t exist; and ask, “Are you ready for a new opportunity in a world of connected smart things?”

In 1999 Alison invested in GrowSafe. She and Founder Camiel Huisma have since grown GrowSafe from a research and development skunkworks conceived in an Alberta garage to profitable financial results, while growing the company’s global footprint and research and development networks through a number of ventures and academic partnerships. GrowSafe has developed an intelligent animal measurement, monitoring and management IOT platform that non-invasively acquires data continuously from individual animals. GrowSafe’s patented technology offers a scientifically proven unprecedented ability in real-time to continuously and automatically monitor individual animals, measure and predict their market value and identify and treat targeted animals without human intervention.

Alison was an early EDI/ECOMM innovator, holds patents for innovative technology and has presented and published articles on electronic data interchange, precision livestock farming and developing early stage technology ventures. She leads a team of talented geeks, nerds and cowboys that received the 2012 Alberta Science & Technology Foundation Award for Innovation in Agricultural Sciences, the 2013 Canadian Information Technology & Communications Association Award for Excellence and Innovation, the 2014 INTEL SME Award for Innovation and in 2015 she received West Virginia University’s Pioneer Award for advancing feed efficiency in the Beef Industry.

Alison says, “I have followed my passion doing things that I love with people I love. We are always pushing boundaries, making mistakes and always learning. With this approach and a team that is so very good, we just keep succeeding.”

Dr. Nancy Tout
Head of Regulatory and Biological Assessment
Guelph, Ontario

Dr. Nancy Tout is the Head of Regulatory and Biological Assessment for Syngenta in Canada, where she leads the Canadian Research & Development team. Nancy doesn’t shy away from the challenges of being in a science-driven business and is often sharing her passion for science and agricultural literacy through her support and personal involvement in Scientists in School and Agriculture in the Classroom. Dr. Tout has also been named to Syngenta's North America Diversity and Inclusion Champion Network in support of strategies and programs that embrace the unique perspectives and capabilities of employees.

Nancy holds an BSc. (Honours Biology) from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of Guelph and completed post-doctoral training in the Guelph Department of Environmental Biology.

Nancy participates on Bioenterprise Corporation's Science and Innovation Advisory Committee to advise on trends in global research in the agri-technology sectors. Nancy is also a Board member of Life Sciences Ontario, the voice of the life sciences community across Ontario.

Nancy was born, raised, and educated in Southwestern Ontario and now gives back to her community through her charitable work as a Research Information Volunteer with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, where once again, science continues to play a central role in her life and her vision of a cure for all children living with Type 1 Diabetes.

Courtenay Wolfe
Venture Capitalist, Chairwoman
Vital Alert & Brilliant Resources
Toronto, Ontario

Presentation Title: Your Network is Your Network: Building Success One Relationship at a Time
Relationships are the key to greater success, wealth and happiness. Effective networking is a life skill that takes authentic practice and effort but what separates highly successful people from everyone else is their ability to effectively build and leverage their networks. Learn how to use this powerful skill to help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

Courtenay is an active venture capitalist that has been involved in the investment business for over 12 years. Courtenay is the former President and CEO of Salida Capital. During her tenure, Salida was ranked one of Canada's largest private investment management firms. Courtenay is also the former President and CEO of SCM Securities, a Canada based private investment dealer. Prior to her tenure in finance, Courtenay ran Dell Canada's online business and grew it to the largest ecommerce business in Canada in the late 90's. Courtenay is an avid board member and sits on numerous for profit boards in a diverse area of sectors from technology to agriculture. She is the Chairman of Vital Alert Communication, a private Canadian based technology company and Brilliant Resources, a public Canadian natural resources company focus in Africa. Courtenay is also a passionate philanthropist. In 2009, Courtenay founded the Salida Capital Foundation and established a philanthropic partnership with the William J. Clinton Foundation for sustainable agriculture and development in Africa. In 2013, Courtenay visited numerous countries in Africa with former President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton including touring the successful work they have done with farmers in Malawi. Courtenay was recognized as one of 2011’s top 50 global Leading Woman in Hedge Funds.

Advancing Women in Agriculture on YouTube!
Advancing Women is created for every woman who wants to achieve success in her career, family, community, financial independence and relationships in and outside the workplace. Whether you are in a career path with an organization, starting your own business, looking for your dream job or wanting to hone your overall life skills, this conference is for you. AWC is a one of a kind event. Register today. Be inspired for tomorrow. .

Register Today!
Participate as a sponsor and reap the rewards. We are seeking corporate sponsors who believe in the importance of fostering great women leaders in agriculture, and who want to help make this conference a reality.

Sponsorship Packages
Along with our high profile industry speakers, select "Speaker Sponsors" will have a chance to address the conference and share their inspirations and ideas.

Speaker Profiles
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