Our great lineup of speakers: Listen, Learn, Network & Grow!

Our speakers are industry leaders, market innovators and those passionate about creating success. We choose the best people from within and outside the ag industry to share their wisdom and knowledge with you.

Imagine the goals you could achieve with a little inspiration, and new and insightful skills from women who’ve “been there, done that” and are willing to share what they’ve learned along the way.

Pam Arpin

VP & Chief Information Officer, Canadian Pacific (CP), Calgary, AB

Presentation Title • Be Curious, Be Courageous and figure out what balance works for you

Presentation Overview: Pam will speak about her career path and how curiosity led her to her current role and how along that path she took the opportunity to be courageous and take risks and how she is paying it forward to other woman that are coming up through the ranks in their careers. In talking about balance, it is all in how we define it and it is different for everyone.

Pam Arpin was named Vice-President and Chief Information Officer in July 2021.

In this role, Pam is responsible for redefining CP’s digital strategy and information services (IS) roadmap, enabling CP’s strategic business goals with the right investments in technology. Pam leads a diverse team focused on discovering and implementing new technologies that return competitive advantage. By fostering a culture of innovation, her role positions CP for sustainable growth through strategically connecting people, processes, systems, data and assets.

In October 2020, Pam became the company’s first Vice-President Innovation & Business Transformation. As Vice-President and CIO, she retains the same portfolio, including oversight of CP’s Network Service Centre.

Pam has navigated an extensive and varied career at CP, and has 20-plus years of experience working in commercial, operations, finance and customer service roles. Her leadership and industry influence have received North American recognition: Notably, she was named the 2019 Railway Woman of the Year by the League of Railway Women and was named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 by the Women’s Executive Network that same year.

Pam holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan.

June Audette

Regional Manager, Global Asset Management, Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto, ON

Presentation Title • Retirement and Succession Planning

Presentation Overview: It takes time, care and expertise to create a farm succession plan that meets the need of both the incoming and outgoing generations. No matter where you are on your succession journey, we have experienced and knowledgeable Financial Planners to help you make the next move. Join Erin, June and Tamara for a lively discussion on succession planning, learning some investing strategies to invest in you and women’s role in today’s economy.

June started her career over 25 years ago when she joined AGF Financial Group in January 1994. She joined RBC Global Asset Management in February of 2001 to develop the distribution of RBC Investment Solutions to the Independent Advisor Channel.

Over the next several years, June worked closely with RBC Portfolio Management providing support to Financial Advisors in Southwestern Ontario, and in April 2009, she became a District Vice President.  In January 2016, June joined the Enterprise Distribution Strategy Team. In her current role, June shares her deep experience in Capital Markets and the investment industry with RBC financial planners in Southwestern Ontario. She supports them in helping RBC clients grow and sustain their wealth through RBC’s best-in-class investment advice and investment offerings.

Janice Bartley

Founder, Foodpreneur Lab, Scarborough, ON

Presentation Title • The Upside of Challenge

Presentation Overview: Janice joins us to discuss how your belief system affects your outlook.

Founder, Foodpreneur Lab was created in January 2019. Janice brings a wealth of experience into the food sector as a former Operations Manager in Culinary & Hospitality management. Her 30+ years as an entrepreneur brought her to Food Starter as part of the Management team. She has mentored many young and experienced Chefs in the food industry and had been able to transition those mentoring skills to food entrepreneurs. Janice has worked with community based Organizations, such as JumpStart Refugee Talent and Ryerson Diversity Institute both support women entrepreneurs and newcomers. In 2019 her first mentee won the JumpStart pitch competition and in 2020, she mentored participants in HERStartup, a newly created division of JumpStart Refugee Talent focused on providing support to newcomer women in food. Janice also serves as a Mentor/Advisor with StartGBC, George Brown College helping students in the food space. In 2021, she joined Centennial College as a Mentor/Advisor supporting young Culinary entrepreneurs in the new Entrepreneur Hub. Janice serves as a Mentor to the Elizabeth Fry Society, EnterpRISE program supporting young women launch or scale their business.  She also provides consulting services to food entrepreneurs and serves as an Advisory Member, for York Region Agriculture and Agri-Food Committee. Janice currently works in the food production and incubator/accelerator space and helps support Clients launch and scale their food businesses.

Angela Bedard-Haughn

Dean and Professor, College of Agriculture and Bioresources, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK

Presentation Title • Managing Expectations in Uncertain Times

Presentation Overview: A major source of stress – both personal and professional – is when there is a disconnect between expectations (of ourselves and of others) and reality. How can we manage and communicate about expectations to mitigate stress while navigating a world fraught with uncertainty?

Dr. Bedard-Haughn was born and raised on her family farm in the central parkland region of Saskatchewan. She received both her BSc in Physical Geography and her MSc in Soil Science from the University of Saskatchewan. She attended the University of California at Davis, where she received her PhD in Soil Science and Biogeochemistry in 2004.

Following completion of her PhD, Dr. Bedard-Haughn joined the Department of Soil Science at USask as a Postdoctoral Fellow before being appointed to a tenure-track faculty position in July of 2006. Over the course of her career, she has served as Head of the Department of Soil Science and as Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) for the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, before taking up the position of Dean in summer 2020.

Dr. Bedard-Haughn specializes in soil science research, focusing on two main areas: management of wetland soils and predictive soil mapping. Her notable research program has been supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Research Fund, the Global Institute for Water Security, Environment Canada and several industry groups. She has also been active in experiential training, teaching field courses on soil and landscape classification at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

Dr. Bedard-Haughn is an associate member of the School of Environment and Sustainability, a member of the Global Institute for Water Security, and, is fully engaged in graduate student training.

Jeanne Beker

Iconic Fashion Journalist, Toronto, ON

Presentation Title • Jeanne Beker: Forging Her Own Path

Presentation Overview: From the outset of her career, Jeanne Beker was determined to “have it all.” She became a media trailblazer, known for keeping her listeners, viewers, and readers abreast of the shifting cultural landscape, reporting directly from the trenches.

In show business for 50 years now, Jeanne reflects on her distinctive multi-faceted, multi-media career as a fashion reporter, television personality, and creator of her own fashion lines. She accomplished all this while building her now internationally recognized brand — long before “personal branding” was a common buzz phrase — and raising her family.

Crediting her “nose to the grindstone” attitude and strong work ethic for her success, Jeanne Beker recounts the highs (and lows) of her life and career thus far, inspiring her audiences to dream big.

Jeanne Beker is one of the most influential women in the fashion industry—in Canada and around the world. A long-time celebrity, Jeanne speaks on how she rose to the top of arts and culture media as the iconic host of TV’s Fashion Television, along with what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

Jeanne started her professional “show biz” career when she was just 16, when she moved to New York to study acting, and to Paris to study mime. In 1975, she found herself in St. John’s, Newfoundland, covering arts for CBC radio.

Three years later, Jeanne landed a job at Toronto’s CHUM radio. In 1979, she helped launch the ground-breaking series The New Music, on CITY TV, which she co-hosted for six years.  A founding member of MuchMusic, Jeanne continued to trail-blaze, and in 1985, launched the legendary Fashion Television, which she presented on in over 130 countries for 27 years.

A seasoned newspaper columnist and features writer, Jeanne was editor-in-chief of FQ and SIR magazines from 2003 to 2008; she has authored five books; and she is a frequent guest on myriad lifestyle shows.

Jeanne has been at the creative helm of numerous fashion lines under her own eponymous label, and since 2015, has been Style Editor for The Shopping Channel, where she currently hosts the series “Style Matters”.

Active with several charitable organizations, Jeanne received an honourary doctorate from St. Mary’s University, and is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Special Achievement Award from the Canadian Academy of Cinema and Television, and a Crystal Award from Toronto Women in Film and Television.

In 2014, Jeanne was named to the Order of Canada, and she was inducted into the American Marketing Association’s Hall of Legends in 2015. She also received a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2016, and an honorary doctorate from OCAD University in 2018.

Beverly Beuermann-King

Mental Health and Resiliency Expert, R ‘n’ B Consulting – Work Smart Live Smart, Little Britain, ON

Presentation One • Breaking The Silence On Mental Illness: Understanding Depression Within Your Team During Change and Challenge – Part 1

Presentation Overview: Just over one in ten adults will experience Depression at some point in their life, and those experiencing Depression often feel distant from colleagues, friends and loved ones. Discover the subtleties around mood, blues, and depression.

Presentation Two • Breaking The Silence On Mental Illness: Bringing Supportive Conversations To The Workplace – Part 2

Presentation Overview: Discover how be supportive when you suspect that someone is struggling and become comfortable with having a conversation in a non-judgmental and supportive way, so that you can promote a productive, engaged, and psychologically healthy workplace. Learn strategies using the A-L-E-C model for addressing the issue of mental health in a supportive, open and confident way.

For over 20 years, Beverly has used her S-O-S Principle™ with people and organizations who want to control their reactions to stress, build resiliency against life’s challenges, and live healthy, successful lives. Beverly believes that resiliency is about building a plan that works, and one that is unique to the person and team who builds it.

Beverly launched her company, R ‘n B Consulting, in 1995, and since then she has helped teams from a wide range of industries to shift from stressed out to resilient, enabling them to be happier, engaged, and successful.Beverly’s psychology, sociology, management, and adult education background combine to create her Work Smart Live Smart presentations, which are soundly based in research, and are enlightening and inspirational. Audiences discover the right strategies to improve their health, manage their challenges, and enhance their life’s satisfaction using three simple questions.

Beverly is a sought-after media spokesperson and is a highly respected speaker. Diverse organizations from Enbridge Gas and the Ontario Veterinarian Association, to York Regional Police, and the Elementary Teachers Federation, have partnered with Beverly when they want to protect their mental health.

Beverly is one of less than seventy Canadians to have earned their Certified Speaking Professional designation and has been accredited as a Certified Virtual Presenter through eSpeakers and through Power Women WorldWide. Beverly’s ability to connect the theoretical to real life through her stories and humour, help her audiences to move past the challenges and into a world of possibilities.

Perri-Rae Boell

Financial Advisor/Owner, The Co-operators, Pembroke, ON

Presentation Title • Honing Your Skills in Farm Risk Management

Presentation Overview: Sherry and Perri-Rae will help you learn ways to build a protective fence around your farm; which will help you leave a legacy for your family.

Perri-Rae began her insurance career in 1988 in the small town of Cobden, Ontario working for her father who was the farm specialist.   Perri-Rae is the Financial Advisor/Owner of the Co-operators in Pembroke, Ontario.  Perri-Rae has obtained her Certified Financial Planner Designation, her Certified Health Specialist Designation, her Chartered Insurance Professional Designation and her Mutual Funds license.

Perri-Rae sits on the board of the Ottawa Valley Co-op as well as From Houses to Homes Canada, a charity who builds homes for families in Guatamala.

Perri-Rae and her team are avid volunteers in the community as they are big believers in giving back.

Leslie Coleman

Vice President, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Nutrien, Loveland, CO

Presentation Title • Courage to Care

Presentation Overview: Leaning in to the Topic of Inclusion. Talking about topics like gender, race, sexual orientation, and class can raise anxiety for many people, and yet we must have the conversation in both our personal and professional lives in order to be more inclusive and change the world for the better. What are the fears and common pitfalls that keep us from broaching courageous conversations?

Leslie Coleman, Vice President, Equity Diversity and Inclusion, joined Nutrien in March 2021.

Leslie brings extensive experience in driving a diverse and inclusive workforce for global organizations in a variety of sectors. Most recently, Leslie was the Global Director of Diversity & Inclusion at International Paper (IP) in Memphis, Tennessee. Prior to joining IP, she served as the Global HR Leader at Cargill. Leslie is currently a National Board Member for the National Black MBA Association and former President for the Memphis Chapter. She is also a Board Member for the Memphis Orpheum, TAG and YWCA amongst other prestigious organizations.

Leslie earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources with a minor in Psychology at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Graduating with honors from the University of Memphis, she secured a Masters in Psychology and Research and has a published article titled “Self Theories.” She also holds executive certifications with from both Harvard and Emory. Leslie has two son’s, Lane and Luke of which Luke is privileged to play football for the US Naval Academy. Leslie and Lane reside in Memphis, TN.

Leslie’s motto: “Forward to the possibilities,” has served her well and continues to be the ground swell for her success!

Tamara Court

Manager, Investment Retirement Planning, Royal Bank of Canada, Brantford, ON

Presentation Title • Retirement and Succession Planning

Presentation Overview: It takes time, care and expertise to create a farm succession plan that meets the need of both the incoming and outgoing generations. No matter where you are on your succession journey, we have experienced and knowledgeable Financial Planners to help you make the next move. Join Erin, June and Tamara for a lively discussion on succession planning, learning some investing strategies to invest in you and women’s role in today’s economy.

Tamara grew up on a cash crop farm in south western Ontario near Lake Erie. The family farm has grown from a 100 acre farm to a large cash crop operation including a grain elevator and a custom business. Tamara has worked in banking for the last 25 years and has been an accredited Financial Planner for 15 years. She just recently completed her MBA and lives with her family in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.

Roxanne Derhodge

Mental Health and Wellness Specialist, Roxanne Derhodge Consulting, Niagara Falls, ON

Presentation Title • The Power of Authentic Connections: The Shift from Return on Investment to Return on Human Connection

Presentation Overview: Authentic Heart Based Leaders focus on relationships and the bottom line results fall in place based on their ability to connect.

Roxanne Derhodge is a registered psychotherapist, corporate consultant, keynote speaker, trainer and author. She works with her clients to develop a keen sense of their resilience. When leaders start to focus on “Return on Relationships”, the companies’ ROI takes care of itself. With over 20 years’ experience, Roxanne works with senior leadership to enhance their resilience so they can more effectively manage the various levels of the organization. She will help improve their capacity to understand the style of their leadership and how their stress response may impact their ability to lead effectively.

Denise Dewar

Innovation Advisor, Bioenterprise Canada, St Thomas, ON

Presentation Title • What’s the secret to being a successful entrepreneur?

Presentation Overview: There are fundamentals of starting a business.  But if it were that easy, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?  In this talk we will engage in a conversation beyond formulas and begin to look for the entrepreneurs “trim tab”.

Denise Dewar is a senior executive with over 25 years’ experience in advancing agriculture innovations to the marketplace. Denise has worked around the globe with multinational companies, farm groups, non-profit organizations and technology associations. She returned home to Canada and joined Bioenterprise as an Innovation Advisor in October 2020. Denise holds an MSc in Crop Science and a BSc in Agriculture with from the University of Guelph.

Sandra Dyck

4D Farms, Springstein, MB

Presentation Title • Stepping up: The challenges of leadership

Presentation Overview: Leadership opportunities can come our way, but there can be several challenges that come along with stepping up into leadership roles. In this Table Talk session, we’ll talk with some women in agriculture about the challenges they faced when stepping up into leadership roles, and the strategies or tools they found really helpful to address these challenges.

Sandra Dyck is an egg farmer based in Springstein, Manitoba, where she and her husband Eric manage 4D Farms. She is also a member of the board of directors of Manitoba Egg Farmers.

Dianne Finstad

Communications Specialist, Red Deer, AB

Master of Ceremonies

Dianne Finstad is a communications specialist with a passion for all things agriculture. She spent over thirty years as a broadcaster and reporter, specializing in agriculture and rodeo coverage. Raised on a ranch in southern Alberta, she was able to combine her 4-H inspired interests in communication and ag into an interesting career, which now takes her to exciting places like Advancing Women in Agriculture conferences. 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 national dairy shows. She works as both a show announcer and rodeo reporter at the Calgary Stampede. 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, writing and speaking work across the country.

Danielle Graff

Partner, MLT Aikins LLP, Regina, SK

Presentation Title • Risks of Social Media

Presentation Overview: Understanding and managing the legal risks and opportunities associated with using social media for business purposes.

Danielle has a corporate commercial practice with a focus on technology, privacy, commercialization, and the health-care and agriculture and food sectors. She provides assistance to a diverse client base, from small businesses to large public and private corporations. Her experience includes assisting clients with outsourcing arrangements and procurement of information technology services and software, advising clients on privacy law interpretation and compliance issues, providing support in the implementation of IT systems and programs, and assisting both the developers and customers of e-commerce platforms.

Danielle also has experience advising clients on IP strategy as well as drafting and advising clients on licensing, transfer, and other commercial arrangements regarding IP. She has also been involved in commercial transactions that include the purchase and sale of IP assets. In her general corporate commercial practice, Danielle regularly advises clients on a wide range of matters including corporate governance and regulatory and compliance matters.

Lorelei Graham

Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Toronto, ON

Presentation Title • Transformation: The next evolution in your business

Presentation Overview: Our panel of experienced lawyers will explore three critical legal areas businesses must consider as they contemplate a transition:  structure, third-party investment and governance, tax impacts and branding. Whether you are transitioning your farm, reorganizing or taking your business to the next level, bring your legal questions and join the panel for an interactive discussion.

Lorelei Graham practises intellectual property law, with a significant focus on clients in the food and agribusiness sector. She has developed a practice that addresses all aspects of her food and agriculture client’s intellectual property needs, from initial consultations regarding IP strategies to drafting, filing and prosecuting patents, trademarks, industrial designs and copyright in front of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, the United States Patent and Trademark Office and internationally.

Lorelei is registered to practise in both the Canadian and the United States patent and trademark offices and manages IP portfolios on an international level for a wide variety of clients in a variety of disciplines including mechanical, bio-mechanical, agricultural, food industry and environmental areas. Lorelei advises a variety of high-profile clients in the agribusiness sector, most of which are confidential. She has written extensively on the growing role of precision agriculture within agribusiness.

She also works with emerging businesses, advising entrepreneurs on timely and cost-efficient IP strategies that work within their business goals. Ms. Graham believes in partnering with clients and providing a team approach to solve their legal issues. She has also developed an award-winning entrepreneurial legal program. She frequently speaks on a variety of IP topics across the country at a number of universities, client-sponsored events and community initiatives.

Vanessa Grant

Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Toronto, ON

Presentation Title • Transformation: The next evolution in your business

Presentation Overview: Our panel of experienced lawyers will explore three critical legal areas businesses must consider as they contemplate a transition:  structure, third-party investment and governance, tax impacts and branding. Whether you are transitioning your farm, reorganizing or taking your business to the next level, bring your legal questions and join the panel for an interactive discussion.

Vanessa Grant practises business law in our Toronto office. Her practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and corporate governance for public and private corporations, including private equity and venture capital. She also provides ongoing general corporate and commercial legal advice to a number of clients.

She has worked with several national and international clients in various industries, with a particular focus on food and agribusiness companies, technology companies, life sciences companies, and REITs.

Ms. Grant is currently the co-director of the Osgoode Hall part time LLM in business law, and teaches corporate finance for the program.

Janice Holzscherer

Vice President & National Head of Agriculture, Scotiabank, Listowel, ON

Presentation Title: Using Informal networking to build a career or business in Ag

Presentation Overview: Informal networking is undervalued, yet Janice has built an entire career based on it. Join Janice to discuss your how you are perceived and how your strengths and weaknesses are key to impacting the decisions that affect you.

In the role of Vice President and National Head of Agriculture, Janice is responsible for the overall strategic positioning, growth and management of the National Agriculture team across Canada. She was appointed to this position in August 2016.

Janice joined Commercial Banking at Scotiabank in 2007 and has held progressively senior roles within the Canadian Bank in Toronto, Kitchener Waterloo and Listowel, Ontario. Prior to Scotiabank, Janice held senior positions in the investment industry. Janice holds a CFA, a Bachelor of Economics and History (Honours) from Trinity College, University of Toronto.

Janice has a passion for agriculture and is an avid equestrian. She resides on a farm in SW Ontario with her husband and they have three children all of whom are attending post-secondary education.

Shevy Horowitz

CFO, Prisum Coatings Canada Inc., Holland Landing, ON

Presentation Title • Becoming CFO of Prisum Coatings

Presentation Overview: Shevy will share her empowering story of overcoming hardships, making mistakes and moving forward. Her powerful story will teach you that you can do anything, and she will guide you through how she did! She not only overcame many obstacles but grew and thrived. Her presentation will inspire and motivate you!

I grew up in Richmond Hill, and my father always told me never work for someone always have your own business. I took his advice to heart. I got married at 19 to the love of my life and took over my parents rooming house business with my husband. My husband Eli wanted his own business and a lot of options came about, and then we met Richard together they decided to open a paint factory. After 2 years of working together my husband and father drowned in a boating accident. I was left with 3 babies and no life insurance and $1 million in debt. I went bankrupt and started over. I came into the factory knowing nothing. I took accounting courses and together with Richard we built up the factory from nothing. We had a rough start, banks shut our loans after my husband died, our landlord sued us, we had teenagers lite our factory on fire and I had 3 kids at home to raise by myself. It was a long road that I travelled, but today our business is successful, I have remarried to my 2nd love of my life and we even had a baby together. I survived!

Darren Hueppelsheuser

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Calgary, AB

Presentation Title • Transformation: The next evolution in your business

Presentation Overview: Our panel of experienced lawyers will explore three critical legal areas businesses must consider as they contemplate a transition:  structure, third-party investment and governance, tax impacts and branding. Whether you are transitioning your farm, reorganizing or taking your business to the next level, bring your legal questions and join the panel for an interactive discussion.

Darren Hueppelsheuser’s practice concentrates on income tax law, with an emphasis on the tax aspects of financing and transaction planning for corporations and partnerships in both private and public transactions, with a keen interest in the food and agribusiness sector.

Mr. Hueppelsheuser also advises on international tax structuring of Canadian inbound and outbound investments and the tax aspects of debt reorganizations and financial restructurings in creditor proceedings.

Mr. Hueppelsheuser regularly presents on tax matters and has written and presented for the Canadian Tax Foundation Annual Conference and was a Canadian national co-reporter for the 2017 International Fiscal Association conference report.

Tomina Jackson

Co-Founder, Rolling D Workwear, Russell, MB

Presentation Title • Be Brave & Repeat: A Guide to Entrepreneurship through an Introvert’s Perspective

Presentation Overview: In this presentation, Tomina walks through how she let go of her doubts and harnessed her power as an introvert to successfully co-found a workwear business for all the extraordinary women who work outdoors.

Tomina is a farmer, avid vegetable gardener, vintage clothing collector, and self-professed introvert. She’s also the co-founder of the recently launched business, Rolling D Workwear, whose mission is to provide highly functional and classically styled clothing to women who work outdoors. Tomina saw the demand for women’s workwear after realizing the farming women in her family (and there’s a lot of them) were wearing mens and boys clothing. This set Tomina and her Aunt Cheryl on an unforgettable adventure to launch Rolling D Workwear, proudly named after Tomina’s Grandmothers’ Farm. Tomina is committed to providing women who work outdoors with functional and stylish workwear made in Canada. Tomina farms with her sister, Mom, and Dad at High Bluff Stock Farm, a purebred Charolais and Simmental cattle and grain operation in Manitoba.

Candice Jay, CIM, FCSI, MFA-P

Vice President, CC&L Private Capital, Toronto, ON

Presentation Title • The Makeup of a Successful Investor – Financial Management & Independence

Presentation Overview: Explore the principles of investing and behavioral biases that appear for investors and how to best overcome them.

Candice has over 15 years of experience in the financial industry. Prior to joining CC&L Private Capital, roles at Pembroke Private Wealth Management and HSBC Global Asset Management demonstrated Candice’s ability to support private clients and foundations across Canada. She is focused on helping charitable foundations and high net worth clients—including women, farm families and  entrepreneurs —achieve their long-term financial goals. Strategic philanthropy is also an important part of Candice’s practice and she is passionate in working with clients to identify values and areas where philanthropy can play a role.

A graduate of the University of Toronto, Candice holds the Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) designation, is a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI), holds the Master Financial Advisor – Philanthropy (MFA-P) designation. Candice understands the importance of giving back to her community, and is a current board member of the University of Toronto Alumni Association and UHN Impact Collective of the Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation. She has also sat on the Board of Directors and Executive Board of the Toronto Chinese Business Association. In her spare time, Candice enjoys practicing yoga, playing golf and tennis, and taking hikes with her family and golden retriever, Sadie.

Debra Jonasson-Young

I.H. Asper Executive Director – The Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship / Co-Lead Women’s Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub Manitoba, Asper School of Business – The University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB

Presentation Title • The Future of Women’s Entrepreneurship in Canada – The Great Reset.

Presentation Overview: Did you know that just a 10% increase in women-owned small and medium-sized businesses has the potential to add more than $1.98 billion to the Canadian GDP? Women’s entrepreneurship in Canada is an untapped economic opportunity and women in agriculture are well-positioned to make an important impact in the entrepreneurial world, resulting in personal economic freedom and security against a fast-changing career landscape.

Debra is a strategic and visionary leader who has consistently excelled at building strong and profitable organizations and has been active within the Winnipeg business community for over 30 years.

Debra is the I.H. Asper Executive Director for the Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship at the Asper School of Business and Co-Leads the Manitoba Women’s Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub. In her previous role as Director of Executive Education for the Asper School of Business, Debra was responsible for the strategic development and execution of the Executive Education program in support of delivering leading edge programming for senior leadership in both the public and private sector.

Debra was previously President of People First HR Services and was responsible for the strategic leadership and operations of the organization. Prior to People First, Debra was Vice-President of Dufresne Furniture and Appliances. In this position she was responsible for the strategic direction and operation of the retail division, as well as, the furniture wholesale alliance with the North West Company and the Dufresne Retail Solutions Group, a buying group supplying retail solutions to over 80 independent furniture retailers across Canada.

Debra has also held the positions of Vice-President for Shopper’s Optical, responsible for the strategic direction and operation of the national chain’s 75 locations across Canada and Vice-President and General Manager of Videon CableSystems. Debra spent the majority of her earlier career within Eaton’s Department Store working her way up through successive positions, latterly as the General Manager of the Manitoba North Western Ontario division. Debra holds an MBA from the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba.

Active within the community, Debra is Past-Chair and currently sits on the board of the Associates of the IH Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba. In 2019 she was appointed to the Manitoba Women’s Advisory Council (Status of Women Provincial Government). She is Past-Chair of the Women of Winnipeg, is on the executive of the Institute of Corporate Directors Manitoba Chapter chairing the Member Engagement Committee, sits on the Advisory Board of TEC, and until recently sat on the board of Value Partners investment firm. She was a Governor of the Manitoba Museum for nine years, and was on the board of Manitoba Hydro Board. As well, Debra served both on the board and as Chair of the Winnipeg Downtown Business Improvement Zone, sat on the board of Tourism Winnipeg and acted in an advisory role to the University of Manitoba, Continuing Education Division as well as the Red River College, Business Administration program.

Trish Jordan

Senior Business Partner, Government & Industry Affairs, Bayer Crop Science Inc., Winnipeg, MB

Presentation Title • A Career Well-lived: Let your natural skills shine; Prove your worth; Say yes to opportunities

Presentation Overview: Looking back on a career in Canadian agriculture that has spanned 37 + years, it is a good time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t.  In her  presentation, Trish will walk you through her path and share the skills that worked for her in building a meaningful and impactful career.  She will take you on a surprising but rewarding journey that exposed her to opportunities and allowed her to excel in an industry she never expected.  Loaded with serendipity, a ton of luck , and a little personality and confidence to “go for it,” Trish’s career story will be sure to inspire you down your own path.

Trish Jordan is passionate about agriculture, farmers and enhancing agricultural awareness with the non-farming public.  She grew up in the city but has worked for five different agricultural organizations in two western provinces, all with very different organizational structures and cultures.  Each role has given her the privilege of working closely with, and for, farmers.

In her current role as Senior Business Partner, Government & Industry Affairs, Trish engages with provincial governments in Western Canada and key farm and industry stakeholders across the country in support of Bayer’s business, its farm customers and the Canadian agricultural sector.  Trish also leads Bayer’s sponsorship program and manages two flagship community giving programs aimed at strengthening communities and improving the lives of both rural and urban residents across the country.

Trish donates her time to many boards and is a current executive member of the Clean Farms Board of Directors and is the President of the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame. She also serves on the Boards of Agriculture in the Classroom-Manitoba and Cereals Canada and was recently appointed to the Board Advisory Committee of Agriculture in the Classroom Canada.

In September 2020, Trish received the Canadian Farm Writers and Broadcasters Lifetime Achievement Award which honours long-serving members who have made outstanding contributions to the federation and to the agricultural communications and media industries.  Trish is also a 2013 recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her leadership in agriculture; advocacy for innovation and competitiveness; and her commitment to community service.

Anita Kemp

Program Lead – WEKH Alberta, Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH), Calgary, AB

Presentation Title • See It. Be It. Challenging the Stereotypes of Entrepreneurs

Presentation Overview: From funding and training, to the aspirations and confidence of women, entrepreneurial stereotypes have far reaching effects on women’s experiences with entrepreneurship. During this session, Anita and Amanda will discuss gendered and culturally specific assumptions about entrepreneurship. They will also talk about the power of personal story in challenging these stereotypes and promoting transformative change.

Anita Kemp is the Alberta Program Lead for the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, where she supports Mount Royal University to work with key partners throughout the province to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for the advancement of women entrepreneurs. She describes herself as an entrepreneur and a lifelong learner – both of which she discovered in her forties, having quit the corporate world of finance to complete a master’s degree and start her own business.

Wendy Kostur

Senior Agronomist, 360 Ag Consulting, Gilbert Plains, MB

Presentation Title • A Quick Update from the 2020 Agronomist of the Year

Presentation Overview: When anyone asks how we survived during Covid, our story is “all these really good things , kept happening to us!”  Our story also includes how attending Advancing Women In Agriculture changed my life.

Wendy grew up as a member of the 5th generation, on the McConnell family cattle and grain farm, near Gladstone, Manitoba. She attended the University of Manitoba and graduated with a degree in Agronomy, in 1998. Wendy worked for one year in Red Deer, AB and then with Manitoba farmers, as an agronomist for over 20 years, at Crop Input sites and Grain Elevators for Agricore/Agricore United and P&H in Western Manitoba. Currently, she enjoys crop scouting, soil sampling, and making recommendations as an Independent Crop Consultant, with 360 Ag Consulting, in the Parkland. Wendy resides at Gilbert Plains, MB with her 2 daughters, KC and Connelly, and her favorite farmer: her new husband Brian. Wendy loves to be a cheerleader for Agriculture, and to promote Agriculture as a rewarding option to those considering their career path. Wendy has enjoyed contributing as a councillor with Agrologists Manitoba, and an advisory member for the ACC Agribusiness Program, Manitoba Agronomist Conference, and Prairie Certified Crop Advisors Exam.  Being an Ag in the Classroom volunteer has also been a highlight. Wendy feels extremely grateful to be recognized as the 2019 Prairie Region Certified Crop Advisor of the Year and the 2020 Canadian Association of Agri Retailers Agronomist of the Year.

Virginia Labbie

Senior Policy Analyst, Agri-business, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Regina, SK

Presentation Title • Human Resources Management Strategies and Best Practices for Farm and Agriculture Organizations

Presentation Overview: Increase your odds of success by building on your business’s strongest asset, its workforce. We will explore how to understand government compliance requirements, develop and implement an effective human resource management strategy to help your organization thrive.

Virginia Labbie is the Senior Policy Analyst, Agri-business with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). In this role, she serves as CFIB’s lobbyist and media spokesperson for the Federation’s 6,000 agri-business members across Canada.

Virginia has over 20 years of experience in the agriculture industry and joined CFIB in June 2007. Virginia has led several important agriculture files including CFIB’s work on Business Risk Management Programs, carbon taxes, farm succession, labour shortages and the CFIA- just to name a few. She has also presented to a number of Ag organizations across Canada in her desire to raise awareness of CFIB as The Business Voice for Agriculture.

Virginia has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. She has also participated in an international agricultural exchange program in New Zealand. Virginia was raised and worked on a family farm (which included a purebred cattle operation and grain farm) in Northern Saskatchewan.

She is a passionate advocate for farmers and firmly believes agriculture can lead Canada’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. She is also a mother to two girls and can be found at the ringette rink or courtside at a basketball game in her spare time.

Alicia Lauriault

Business Advisor, CFIB, Toronto, ON

Presentation Title • Human Resources Management Strategies and Best Practices for Farm and Agriculture Organizations

Presentation Overview: Increase your odds of success by building on your business’s strongest asset, its workforce. We will explore how to develop and implement an effective human resource management strategy to help your organization thrive.

Alicia Lauriault is a bilingual Business Advisor with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). Over the last 5 years, she has had the pleasure to educate and assist thousands of small and medium-size business owners on a wide range of issues across all sectors and industries.  Using her knowledge of government compliance and human resources management combined with her critical thinking allows her to analyze, problem-solve and providing strategic recommendations on a variety of topics. She consults daily with employers on employee management and operations, assists with developing workplace policies and improving performance, educates on workplace-specific legislation such as employment standards, occupational health and safety, human rights, and workers’ compensation. With a passion for communication, she enjoys public speaking engagements, writing content for our website and connecting with Canadian entrepreneurs.

Arvel Lawson

Regional Sales and Account Manager, Bayer Crop Science, Mannville, AB

Presentation Title • Developing Your Personal Brand

Presentation Overview: Are you deliberate about creating and sharing your personal brand? Do you take time to consider how you show up at work? By embracing your unique and impactful contributions to the world and learning to confidently share your brand story, you take a critical step in accelerating your career. Though this may feel uncomfortable at first, the positive impact of cultivating your personal brand outweighs the risk…and it gets easier with practice!

Arvel Lawson is fortunate to lead a great team as the Regional Sales and Account Manager for Bayer Crop Science in Northern Alberta. Previously, Arvel worked in technical roles with both Bayer and Monsanto, leading projects such as Canola Advancement for Market Development and Agronomic Knowledge Transfer for Western Canada. She is currently the co-chair of the GROW | WiSE Leadership Team at Bayer Canada and believes that inclusion is a powerful catalyst in business success and that we are better as an industry when everyone can bring their whole selves to the table.  Arvel previously worked with the Canola Council of Canada as the Program Manager for Crop Production and with Manitoba Agriculture as the Provincial Oilseeds Specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy and a Master of Science in Weed Science from the University of Manitoba; she also holds her Professional Agrologist and CCA certifications. Arvel is a Distinguished Development Award winner (Monsanto Global) and is passionate about developing future leaders in agriculture.

Arvel and her husband Brian farm at Mannville, Alberta. They both enjoy outdoor adventures and the highlight of their 2021 summer was doing a multi-day kayaking and hiking trip on Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park. In her spare time, Arvel enjoys running, gardening, teaching yoga and reading.

Mireille Leroux

Co owner of Ferme l’Artisan Farm and Farm manager for Ferme avicole MS Leroux Ltée, Fournier, ON

Presentation Title • When a Door Opens

Presentation Overview: At age 30, an unexpected door opened up to Mireille – the opportunity to carry on with the family farm. It wasn’t in the plans, at all. Six years later, 3 new barns were built, a kid, 3 businesses to run. Why would Mireille still do it again?

I grew up in a small francophone farming community of eastern Ontario on an egg farm. As a kid, I wasn’t very interested in the farm, I was more in sports, arts, politics. I left my region to pursue a Degree at Université de Moncton in Leisure and Tourism. Came back to eastern Ontario to work for a national non-profit organization that promoted francophone culture from coast to coast. After a couple of years, decided to sell the house in the city and to start from scratch again and enroll in the Ontario Agriculture College to pursue an Agriculture Diploma. Once I graduated, I worked, first as a crop consultant, then as the sales director of the crop sector of our local COOP. As I worked at the COOP, I also bought a small pick your own farm/apple orchard with my partner – The plan here was to merge my University Degree with my College Diploma and develop an agritourism stop for our developing region. We still run the orchard today. 6 years ago, my parents came to me and said: If you would like to come back to the farm – it’s the right time – You hop on or we will start thinking about selling. After just a couple weeks of reflection, I jumped right in. 6 years later, we have 3 farm sites, added 3 new buildings for a new organic farm and I am slowly taking the reins. What a ride!

Cheryl-Ann Lovie

President, Its My Turn, Woodstock, ON

Presentation Title • It’s YOUR turn! A loving message about putting yourself first.

Presentation Overview: Living in a constant state of overwhelm? Wake up screaming and you weren’t even asleep? Feeling like you’re in the back seat of your own life? Cheryl-Ann has been there, and still has the scars to prove it. And she has a message that just might change your life. Or at least put you in the driver’s seat again!

Cheryl-Ann Lovie, or as her friends call her “Warrior In Heels”, definitely knows what it feels like to live life in the stress lane. Building a successful HVAC business in a male-dominated industry, while raising her children, and taking care of aging parents, has definitely taught her a few things about resilience.  Today she will share a story about the time life sent her a wake up call, and she learned the hard way what happens when you ignore the most powerful asset you have – yourself.

Her take-off-the-face-and-get-real message will empower you to live a life on your own terms, and have the courage to put YOU first. Are you ready? Because it’s YOUR turn.

Wafaa Mamilli

Executive Vice President and Chief Information and Digital Officer, Zoetis, Parsippany, NJ

Presentation Title • Byte-sized Lessons on Leadership and Livelihood

Presentation Overview: Growing up in Morocco, Wafaa Mamilli loved books and leaned into the unknown. Being fluent in Arabic, French and English, she embraced her passion for different cultures and computer science, which transported her to new countries and science-based careers. But it took it took a balance of humility and confidence to ultimately shape her success as Chief Information and Digital Officer of Zoetis, the world’s largest animal health company – where she quickly learned that “pens” were an important staple of livestock farming in a digital world. Wafaa’s life lessons to keep learning, stay authentic, and pay it forward will resonate with women in ag and aspiring leaders everywhere.

Wafaa Mamilli is executive vice president and Chief Information and Digital Officer of Zoetis. In this role, she is responsible for leading the global Information Technology team that powers the business innovation, growth and customer experience through information technology strategies and solutions. In addition, she is responsible for the development of digital and data analytic strategies and solutions for the animal health industry.

Mrs. Mamilli joined Zoetis from Eli Lilly and Company, where she most recently served as Global Chief Information Officer for the company’s Business Units with responsibility over sales, marketing, customer experience, medical affairs for the diabetes, oncology, biomedicine and international business units. In her 20-plus years with Eli Lilly, Mrs. Mamilli held a variety of international leadership positions with increasing responsibilities, while building high-performing teams to identify opportunities at the intersection of healthcare, information technology, big data and analytics. As Eli Lilly’s first Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), she led the strategy and execution to secure products, devices, manufacturing systems and information across the business.

Mrs. Mamilli is currently a member of the board of directors of Fiserv, Inc., a global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions. She earned a master’s degree in Computer Science from INSEA in Rabat, Morocco, and a master’s degree in Business Applications of Information and Technology from Université Rennes in Rennes, France. In addition, Mrs. Mamilli holds a General Management Certificate from the London Business School and completed the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management program.​

Christine Manning

Co-founder, Manning Canning Kitchens Inc, Toronto, ON

Presentation Title • Always in a pickle. Is the jar half full or half empty?

Presentation Overview: Just under a decade ago, Christine Manning walked away from her successful 20 year marketing career to make pickles like her mom and her Nonna used to do when she was growing up. Over the past eight years her business (Manning Canning) has grown and you can find her products in over 250 stores in Ontario. One of the largest challenges she faced as her business grew was finding reliable commercial kitchen space – so she opened her own. And today over 40 small businesses prepare their products in the facility for sale to consumers. She believes a rising tide lifts all boats and her goal is to help support local agriculture and small food businesses expand and thrive in today’s market where customers seek out local.

After spending close to 20 years working in marketing, Christine took the giant leap into self employment. She is founder and co-owner of Manning Canning Kitchens Inc. She makes a selection of award winning preserves and healthy beverages and she offers certified commercial kitchen space to new food entrepreneurs. Over the past 6 years hundreds of new food businesses have started, grown and expanded their food business with thanks to the amazing facility Christine has built but also the consulting work Christine does with her clients. She works hard to ensure they don’t step on any expensive rakes in the heavily regulated industry of food production.

Lauren McCreery

Founder & Professional Coach, Swerve Coaching & Consulting, Canmore, AB

Presentation Title • How to Listen to Life’s Whispers and SWERVE to a Career and Life You Love

Presentation Overview: Life always sends us small messages, hints or “whispers” to help guide us, but we often silence the message and wind up suffering the consequences. Lauren will share how she went from stressed and burnt out to making her career and lifestyle dreams come true. Coach Lauren will share the key steps you can take to confidently seek what you want out of your career and life.

Like many others, Coach Lauren spent years daydreaming of a different life – a career where she could make a meaningful impact and a lifestyle full of adventure and stillness in the mountains. After years of working in a stressful job, feeling stuck and wondering about the possibilities of something greater, she boldly changed direction and swerved to the life and career of her dreams.

In 2019, after becoming a Certified Professional Coach, Lauren founded Swerve Coaching & Consulting. Her mission is two-fold: to help Millennials transition to sustainable and fulfilling careers and to help leaders of organizations build healthier workplaces that enable Millennials to thrive. Coach Lauren helps Millennials to SWERVE and leaders to “SWERVE-proof” their organizations.

Iris Meck

Director of Conferences, Glacier FarmMedia, Calgary, AB

Presentation Title • Greetings from your host

Iris Meck was raised in Sapton, Manitoba on a mixed farm, and attended the University of Manitoba where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. Iris started her career at Cargill and for over 10 years, held management positions that included marketing and sales. During that time, Iris earned a Certificate in Management at the University of Manitoba, and then moved into Account Management for prominent agricultural marketing agencies in Regina and Calgary.

In 1999, Iris started her own business delivering marketing tactics for domestic and international agricultural corporations. She created a “turn-key”
service of organizing forums, conferences, workshops, product launches and facility openings for clients in the agriculture and food industry.

Among her successes, in 2014 Iris created Advancing Women Conferences ‐ a Life Skills for Leadership Program for Women in Agriculture positioned across Canada. Since 2014 and through 13 AWC conferences across Canada, over 7000 women have joined the community to listen, learn, network and grow.

In 2019 Iris joined Glacier FarmMedia and she continues to host AWC and other conferences in agriculture. Iris lives in Calgary, Alberta.

Megan Menzel

Marketing Manager, Corporate and Commercial, FCC, Regina, SK

Presentation Title • Rising Above the Depths

Presentation Overview: Megan provides an intimate and introspective view of her journey navigating through anxiety and depression with a focus on the voyage to recovery. With staggering stats that by age 40, roughly 50% of Canadians will have or have had a mental illness, Megan made a promise to herself that she would support normalizing the conversation on mental illness. Megan uses her experience to give a voice to those who need it and shares strategies that worked for herself and the people that supported her.

Megan Menzel is a high energy and passionate leader with 20 years of experience largely working in the financial services industry. For the last 3 years, Megan has been leading strategy on how FCC will support businesses to grow, innovate, export, be competitive internationally as it relates to agribusinesses and food manufacturers, the two important book ends of agriculture.

She is a builder and a proven intrapreneur with a keen eye for strategy, coaching and planning. Her purpose is really driven by creating pathways to new possibilities in the work she leads and in individuals themselves, especially the next generation of female leaders.

Megan is a wife, a mother to two beautiful boys ages 5 and 9, and you can often find her out on the tennis court, running on the pathways or out on bikes with the kids. She and her husband Ryan, live in Regina with their family.

Philomena Morrissey Satre

Director of Diversity-Equity-Inclusion, Land O’ Lakes, Arden Hills, MN

Presentation Title • Be 100% YOU-Building Your Professional Brand

Presentation Overview: Plan on joining this interactive workshop to explore the elements of Building Your Professional Brand in Life and Work! To be truly memorable and impactful your brand should represent who you are today and who you want to become. We will dig deeper into 7 practical strategies to accomplish this. There will be time to learn and practice.

Philomena serves as Director of Diversity & Inclusion and External Strategic Partnerships.  She joined Land O’Lakes June 2017, bringing more than 30 years of human resource experience in diversity and inclusion, community relations, work life and wellbeing. Before joining Land O’Lakes, she worked at Wells Fargo & Company.   Her previous roles included VP of Organizational Effectiveness Development, Diversity and Inclusion; Community Outreach Consultant; and Senior HR Consultant.

Philomena joined the Board of Directors for the Cookie Cart organization and leads the Governance Committee.  She co- leads the Leadership Advisory Board for SHIFT and formerly served on the Board of SHIFT (nonprofit focused on people in midlife) for 8 years. Philomena serves on the Agriculture D and I Consortium (Together We Grow), and co-chairs the Twin Cities D&I Roundtable. Philomena served on the Minnesota Workforce Citizen Commission on Aging, Minneapolis Workforce Council, the Executive Leadership Council for Honoring Women Worldwide, the Goodwill Easter Seals, Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES), Lifeworks, HIRED and Resource Inc. Advisory Boards.  She also co led the 2020 Women on Boards initiative for Minnesota.

Philomena has received numerous awards, including AARP/Pollen 50 over 50, the Minneapolis Business Journal’s Woman Change Maker and Minority Advocate, Minnesota Business The (Real) Power 50 Award and the University of Phoenix Diversity Leadership Award. Philomena has an MA in Organizational Leadership from St. Catherine University and a BA in Public Administration and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse.  Philomena is an Adjunct Professor at the University of St Catherine in the Master of Organizational Leadership Graduate Program.

Dulcie Price

Regional Coordinator, Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub at the Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB

Presentation Title • Have you thought of being an entrepreneur?

Presentation Overview: To be an entrepreneur is not easy, however, having a concept or product unlike anyone else is the first step in thinking you could be a self-reliant entrepreneur.

In her current position with the Women’s Entrepreneurial Knowledge Hub (WEKH) she has taken the lead as a regional coordinator to bring together the women’s entrepreneurship ecosystem within the province of Manitoba drawing together support providers so female entrepreneurs can come together to generate and grow new initiatives to grow and expand the WEKH MB mandate.

With a proven track record in the grain business, Dulcie became the first female in Western Canada to own and operate a grain brokerage company, which she successfully led for 31 years. As an entrepreneur she managed the day to day operations, promotion and sales efforts which resulted in a very productive grain procurement, brokerage and logistics company in the business of shipping grains and oilseeds to export from Canadian ports and to the USA.

Reflecting on the 25th anniversary of her company and the Prairie grain industry she authored the book Across the Grain, the inside Stories 1986 – 2011. In  2017 she changed direction after retiring from her grain business she has assisted Gaspard LP, the supplier of graduation gowns and stoles to universities across Canada. She managed the dressing of 15,000+ students per year for their convocation ceremonies at universities across Canada.

In the community Dulcie has served as a volunteer for the Age and Opportunity Centre, Health Sciences Foundation, Manitoba Museum, Winnipeg Harvest, the Nellie Foundation 2016 Awards and the YWCA Women of Distinction awards.  She has been a director of the Winnipeg Exchange District Biz Board; currently she serves on the executive for Women of Winnipeg and is Vice President of the Winnipeg, Manitoba Chapter of Canadian Association of Retired Persons. (CARP)

Lori Robinson

Farm Manager, Eric C. Robinson Inc., Albany, PEI

Presentation Title • Challenge Accepted

Presentation Overview: Life is full of challenges. Before the age of 26, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness, chose a career that was exceedingly male dominant, and lost my father in a tragic car accident just 3 months after joining him in our family’s agricultural business. At a young age, I learned that how I chose to face life’s challenges would either make me or break me.

Lori Robinson is the Farm Manager at Eric C. Robinson Inc., a sixth generation farming operation located in Albany, Prince Edward Island. As Farm Manager, Lori oversees the day to day operations of the family’s 2500 acre farm, concentrating on the production and sales of soybeans, grains and forages. Lori obtained her BSc in Agriculture, majoring in Agricultural Business, from the University of Guelph in 1991 and has 27 years of experience farming in PEI. Under Lori’s management, Eric C. Robinson Inc. was PEI’s first recipient of the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Fund, awarded in 2019. Lori  has been a Board Member of several PEI agriculturally related boards, including PEI’s Agricultural Insurance Board, which she chaired in 2015 and 2016. Currently Lori sits on the Advisory Board for the PEI’s Rural Women’s Business Centre, is the Co-chair of PEI’s Land Matters Advisory Committee, advising provincial government on land policy related issues, and is a member of a Women’s Working Group examining how to get more women involved in leadership roles in agriculture on Prince Edward Island. Outside of agriculture, Lori is a Coaching Association of Canada Level 2 Curling Coach, having coached most recently at the 2019 Canada Winter Games and the Canadian U18 Nationals, enjoys spending time with her 6 month old chocolate lab, Juno, and hopes to one day write a book titled: “I am the Mr. Robinson you are looking for!”

Erin Ryan

Investment Retirement Planner, Royal Bank of Canada, Chatham, ON

Presentation Title • Retirement and Succession Planning

Presentation Overview: It takes time, care and expertise to create a farm succession plan that meets the need of both the incoming and outgoing generations. No matter where you are on your succession journey, we have experienced and knowledgeable Financial Planners to help you make the next move. Join Erin, June and Tamara for a lively discussion on succession planning, learning some investing strategies to invest in you and women’s role in today’s economy.

Erin Ryan started her career 27 years ago in the financial service industry and has been providing clients comprehensive financial advice for the past 14 years as an Investment and Retirement Planner with RBC. Erin grew up in Chatham Kent and has deep roots in the agriculture community.

Erin is an RBC Business Owner Planning Specialist. This is  a complimentary, comprehensive advice offering to help business owners make informed decisions about structuring and growing a business, preparing for the unexpected, and planning for transition.  Drawing in RBC colleagues as needed for support in specific areas. She can help you assess things like does it make sense to incorporate or not?  What is your business worth today? Where does your business fit into your retirement plan?

Erin’s passion is applying financial knowledge and skills to help her clients develop a personal and business financial strategy. She will take the time to understand what matters most to you, then recommend strategies for reaching your goals—whatever they may be.

Erin received a BA Economics from the University of Western Ontario.  Erin started her career with Revenue Canada and Ministry of Agriculture and Food prior to entering the banking industry.

Susan Schafers

STS Farms, Parkland County, AB

Presentation Title • Stepping up: The challenges of leadership

Presentation Overview: Leadership opportunities can come our way, but there can be several challenges that come along with stepping up into leadership roles. In this Table Talk session, we’ll talk with some women in agriculture about the challenges they faced when stepping up into leadership roles, and the strategies or tools they found really helpful to address these challenges.

Susan Schafers is a second generation egg farmer based in Parkland County, Alberta. She has been an active leader in the industry for many years, and served as the Chair of the Board of Egg Farmers of Alberta.

Jane Schuette, MA, DTM

Building YOUR Brilliance Speaker, Coach, and Author, Jane Schuette and Associates, Inc., Watertown, MN

Presentation Title • SOS – Manage My Stress

Presentation Overview: The constant change and uncertainty in the world require a back-to-basics approach to stress management. Jane’s presentation will energize and motivate you to apply a practical and research-backed strategy for sailing through your stress so it stops swamping you.

Jane is an award-winning speaker and author. Throughout a lifetime of research, she has collected the most effective practices and chosen tools designed to educate, energize, and inspire you to manage stress. Her audience is diverse – from global corporation employees to educators, from U.S. Armed Forces to women inmates. Jane’s message is easy to digest and implement, helping you to sail through the stormy seas of stress with ease! Her first book, Building Your Brilliance: Move from Stressful Survival to Joyful Living, features a toolkit to help you manage stress and uncover your brilliance! Her second book, The Building Your Brilliance 5-Minute Journal, helps you find peace within the storms of stress and navigate to brilliance in just 5 minutes a day. Jane lives in rural Minnesota with her husband and is delighted to have her children and grandchildren nearby for plenty of play time in the exhilarating Minnesota seasons.

Lauren Sergy

Communication and Public Speaking Expert, Up Front Communication, Edmonton, AB

Presentation Title • Discovering Your Speaker’s Edge

Presentation Overview: Many people assume that great communicators are born, not made, but nothing could be further than the truth. In this inspiring and practical talk, you’ll learn how to dig into your innate communication strengths while boosting your  skill and confidence so you can make your voice heard!

Public speaking and communication expert Lauren Sergy has helped thousands of people become more effective leaders by developing critical communication skills such as persuasion, presentation, and executive presence. Known for her highly practical and inter-disciplinary approach, Lauren tackles tough speaking and communication issues with refreshing humor and candor. She has worked with a variety of clients and audiences in Canada, the US, and Europe including KPMG, T-Mobile, Grant Thornton, the Government of Alberta, the University of Alberta, Dairy Farmers of Canada, and many more.

Lauren is a proud member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. She holds a Master’s degree in Library and Information Studies and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Classics, and teaches business communication at Concordia University of Edmonton and the University of Alberta.

Her book, The Handy Communication Answer Book, was featured on Library Journal’s Best Reference Books of 2017 list.

Suzanne F. Stevens

Conscious Leadership & Social Contribution Cultivator, YouMeWe Social Impact Group, Collingwood, ON

Presentation Title • Choose to Express Your Feminine Power

Presentation Overview: From Suzanne’s extensive interviews with women leaders in twenty-five countries, she will share eight practices that women who transformed their organizations and communities embrace. You will gain increased confidence to liberate your authentic power and show up as the best version of you, at home, at work, and in your community.


As a multi-award-winning social entrepreneur, Suzanne works with SME leaders and entrepreneurs to maximize their meaning and resilience by making their contrition count for them, their organization, and the community. Leaders are empowered to ignite an inclusive culture while having a social impact. Strategies attract, engage, and retain colleagues, customers, and collaborators — sustainably.

Suzanne has been inspiring audiences for twenty-two years on five continents, challenging their perceptions, arming them with strategies, and inspiring them to act. She is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), web-tv and podcast host, moderator, event producer, community builder, author (Make your contribution count for you, me, we – https://store.youmewe.ca/). Suzanne is the founder of YouMeWe Social Impact Group: YouMeWe.ca, YouMeWeMovement.ca, WisdomExchangetv.com, YouMeWeFoundation.org, YouMeWe Community: Women Leading Social Impact and YouMeWe Events.

As an adventure traveller and curious by nature, Suzanne enjoys exploring and sharing how diverse people make their contributions count. With the world getting smaller and bandwidths getting larger, Suzanne is thrilled to build the global YouMeWe community of women leading a social impact through volunteerism, advocacy, and commerce.

Karen Summerfield

Research and Knowledge Mobilization Officer, Egg Farmers of Canada, Ottawa, ON

Presentation Title • Stepping up: The challenges of leadership

Presentation Overview: Leadership opportunities can come our way, but there can be several challenges that come along with stepping up into leadership roles. In this Table Talk session, we’ll talk with some women in agriculture about the challenges they faced when stepping up into leadership roles, and the strategies or tools they found really helpful to address these challenges.

Karen Summerfield is the Research and Knowledge Mobilization Officer at Egg Farmers of Canada. She manages EFC’s women in the egg industry program, a program launched in 2019 to connect, support and mentor women in the industry across Canada.

Karen W. Taylor, PhD, MBA, P.Ag.

Director, Corporate Finance, Agriculture and Agribusiness, BMO Bank of Monteal, Abbotsford, BC

Presentation Title • The Changing Business of Agriculture

Presentation Overview: Discussion with new graduates on why they are choosing agriculture as their career; what has changed in agriculture, and how can BMO (as the largest agricultural lender in North America) continue to support agriculture and agribusiness through change.

Dr. Karen Taylor has been an Agriculture Lender for over 15 years with several financial institutions in the Fraser Valley. Karen is very involved in the agricultural community and has a passion for supporting the agricultural industry at all levels. She is an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia teaching Agribusiness Management in the Master of Food and Resource Economics (MFRE) program. Karen is also a Director in Corporate Finance with BMO Bank of Montreal helping all types of agriculture operations and agribusinesses

Dr. Taylor has a MBA in Agribusiness from the University of Guelph, a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University, and a Professional Agrologist.  She was born and raised on a farm.  Outside of work, you can find her riding her horse, taking pictures, gardening, or collecting eggs from her small flock of chickens.

Trish Tetz

Agriculture Manager, Agriculture & Agri-Business, BMO Financial Group, Olds, AB

Presentation Title • Value-added Opportunities: From possibility to reality

Presentation Overview: Trish will have an open discussion on how to enhance your existing business, and how to take an idea outside of your core business structure and make it part of your business model.

Trish is the Agriculture Manager for the Alberta Agriculture team at BMO Bank of Montreal. She frequently works with farms from all across the Prairies, assisting in new farm purchases, financial restructures and farm succession. Trish received her Agriculture Technology Diploma from the University of the Fraser Valley and continues to pursue a designation in agrology. Trish has a passion for agriculture and enjoys both the production and business sides of the industry. As a woman in agriculture, Trish believes it’s important to participate in the industry and to be a mentor to other women who wish to break into the industry, as well.

Heather Van Nest

Director, John Deere Financial Sales US/CAN, John Deere Finanical / Deere & Company, Apex, NC

Presentation Title • Learning to be comfortable in the uncomfortable.

Presentation Overview: In 24 years as a professional in the Agricultural industry I have had to learn to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations both personally and professionally.  It has taken time, learning and adapting however today I thrive in the uncomfortable, the grey area the place that creates the future.

With her team Heather delivers financial solutions for customers to purchase John Deere Construction & Forestry and Agriculture & Turf equipment, and for Ag producer crop input needs.

During her 19-year John Deere career Heather has gained experiences in product development and marketing of Production and Precision Ag and B2C solutions, as well as in diverse sales roles with Deere’s U.S. and Canada distribution channels.

Before joining John Deere, Heather worked for Syngenta in positions of increasing responsibility for the U.S. Seed sales organization.

Within John Deere Heather is a Steering Committee Member for Women in Marketing, and Co-Executive Sponsor for the ABLEd Employee Resource Group Des Moines Area Chapter.

Heather is a graduate of Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Arts, and a Master of Business in Strategy Management from Kelly School of Business at Indiana University.

Sherry Watty, PFA

Financial/Insurance Advisor, Agency Owner, Watty Insurance Services Ltd, The Co-operators, Abbotsford, BC

Presentation Title • Honing Your Skills in Farm Risk Management

Presentation Overview: Sherry and Perri-Rae will help you learn ways to build a protective fence around your farm; which will help you leave a legacy for your family.

Sherry Watty started her insurance career in 1996 in Northern Ontario. Sherry is a Professional Financial Advisor/Agency Owner for the Co-operators in Abbotsford BC. Sherry’s agency is a speciality lines office focusing on Farm, Commercial and Financial Planning. Sherry and her team take great pride in client engagement and risk management while implementing long lasting relationships with our clients. Sherry has obtained her Mutual Funds license, Professional Financial Advisor designation. Sherry is enrolled in the  Executive Master of Business (EMBA) program at Simon Fraser University.  She currently sits on the Field Advisor Council Board and the Presidents Advisor Council Board for the Co-operators. She is a firm believer in customer service satisfaction and her commitment to the clients has been a proven success in her career.

Amanda Williams

Assistant Professor, Mount Royal University, WEKH Alberta Hub, Calgary, AB

Presentation Title • See It. Be It. Challenging the Stereotypes of Entrepreneurs

Presentation Overview: From funding and training, to the aspirations and confidence of women, entrepreneurial stereotypes have far reaching effects on women’s experiences with entrepreneurship. During this session, Anita and Amanda will discuss gendered and culturally specific assumptions about entrepreneurship. They will also talk about the power of personal story in challenging these stereotypes and promoting transformative change.