Imagine how your life could be enhanced with a little inspiration, a bit of pertinent information, a few tips on how to handle issues and having the opportunity to network and share stories with like-minded women!

Meet the AWC EAST 2022 presenters to date!

Denise Aston

Insurance and Financial Advisor/Business Owner, Aston Insurance Solutions Inc., Port Perry, Ontario

Workshop title • Investing in your future. Together.

Workshop overview: Women today wear multiple hats when it comes to operating a business, especially a farm, which often comes with a number of different responsibilities and risks. This session will discuss the importance of building a team of professionals and the ongoing communication and support the right team can have for your success.

Denise Aston is an Insurance and Financial Advisor with over 25 years of experience in the insurance and financial services industry and the proud owner of Aston Insurance Solutions Inc, a boutique Cooperators agency located in Port Perry, Ontario.

Denise and her team have a deep passion for providing prompt, detailed and personalized service and operate with an “attitude” that challenges the status quo. Their efforts have seen them recognized with several company awards over the past few years including Top Farm Producer, Client Engagement award, and a Platinum Wealth Management award. Denise attributes her success to a genuine passion for what she does, having amazing mentors throughout her career, her continued education in the field and the experience she earned from her tenor as a claims adjuster and a National Client Service Facilitator.

When Denise is not out meeting with families, farm, and business clients you can find her volunteering her time with local nonprofits such as The Whitby Optimist Club or WindReach Farms or chasing her two teenage sons around ball diamonds with her childhood sweetheart and husband of 19-years, Chris.

When asked to describe herself, Denise refers to herself as a no-nonsense WHY person who is always looking for new and creative solutions to meet the needs of her clients, staff, and corporate partners.

Jeanne Beker

Jeanne Beker, Iconic Fashion Journalist & Host, Toronto, Ontario

Presentation title • Fireside Chat with Jeanne

Presentation overview: Join Dianne Finstad for a discussion with Jeanne Beker, one of the most influential women in the fashion industry – in Canada and around the world. From launching a television series to editor-in-chief, authoring 5 books, creating her own fashion lines, receiving numerous awards, named to the Order of Canada and Canada’s Walk of Fame to name only a few distinguished titles, Jeanne has a message for each one of us.

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.

Cindy Benning

Leadership Consultant, Esséré, Dutton, Ontario

Workshop title • BRAVE™ Decision Making

Workshop overview: Cindy will be using a model that relies on alignment of the head, heart and guts to assist in decision making. She will also explain the ways that ego and past experiences can create blockages when making decisions. The workshop will allow you to practice using the model.

Cindy has spent 30+ years in the Pharmaceutical Industry in various roles and in various leadership positions. In parallel with her highly successful career, Cindy lived a tumultuous personal life mainly due to choices related to relationships with men. She spent years doing self-discovery work to learn more about herself and why these divergent lives existed. When she retired from her career job in 2021, she knew it was time to share her story and so Cindy wrote a book. Her story is one of self-discovery as well as how that journey has led her to develop insight into what types of virtues are needed for leaders of today and tomorrow. It is Cindy’s hope that by sharing her story, she will inspire others to learn more about themselves and see that standing solid in her true self and living aligned with your values brings an incredible feeling of freedom and joy.

Beverly Beuermann-King

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

Workshop #1 • Toxic Culture: Strategies For Leaders To Effectively Deal With Toxic People

Workshop #1 overview: Managing other people is never easy, but some people make it particularly difficult. How you effectively deal with toxic behaviours can mean the difference between having a noxious, drama-filled workplace, and an engaged, collaborative, and productive organization. To turn things around takes skillful management and patience. Learn successful strategies and tips for addressing toxicity and building a positive, productive workplace. Quickly and effectively address, coach, and counsel toxic people in order to improve their behavior and your workplace culture.

Workshop #2 • Stop Letting That Difficult Person Ruin Your Day and Team: Effectively Handle Negative Attitudes and Difficult People For Better Productivity and Less Stress

Workshop #2 overview: Stress, uncertainty, and crisis impact how we communicate and how we interact with our family, colleagues and customers.

During the beginning of COVID-19, we saw a focus on patience, support, and collaboration. Now, we are seeing that patience is waning. Expectations are higher. And negativity is on the rise. Learn successful strategies and tips by knowing WHAT to focus on to move these interactions forward, HOW to effectively respond, and WAYS to manage the impact of their behaviour.

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.

Amanda Butt

VP of Operations, Supply Chain, and Human Resources, Moosehead Breweries Ltd., Saint John, New Brunswick

Presentation title • Bringing women back to beer

Presentation overview: For millenia, it was solely women who brewed beer, so how did we get to the current landscape of this industry and how do we bring more women back to brewing? This is the story of beer through the ages, and my own experience finding my place in beers rich history.

Originally from Newfoundland, Amanda holds a BSc in Biochemistry, and an MSc in Brewing and Distilling. What started out as a fun idea turned into a career spanning over 15 years – and counting. Amanda is an international brewer, having trained and worked in several countries for global breweries right down to regionals, and a few places in between. While most of her career has been spent directly in brewing, Amanda is now running operations, supply chain and human resources for Moosehead Breweries in New Brunswick – a brewery founded by a woman over 150 years ago.

Andrea Chantree

Rural Response Counsellor, Family Transition place, Orangeville, Ontario

Workshop title • Violence Experienced by Rural Women: What We Don’t Talk About

Workshop overview: Learning what the signs and symptoms of abuse looks like for women in rural areas. Addressing why women stay in unsafe situations and how support can be offered.

Andrea has been in the Social Services field for 25 years after having graduated a 3 year Child & Youth Worker program at Humber College. She has worked in various schools supporting youth struggling with mental health issues. Andrea has spent the majority of her career working in Domestic Violence and Homeless shelters supporting women and children who have fled abuse. She has worked alongside Social Workers and Child & Youth workers advocating and supporting these families to live lives free of violence. Andrea continues to keep current with her education by attending trainings annually.

For the last 24 years, Andrea has worked with Family Transition Place in various roles. She has worked in the shelter which provided a safe place for women and children fleeing violence to managing the Crisis line that operates 24 hours a day. Andrea currently works in the Rural Response Program providing free, domestic violence services to reduce barriers for women impacted by violence or abuse who reside in rural Dufferin County. Andrea has supported individuals providing crisis counselling, safety planning, abuse education, advocacy, trauma, oppression, separation, grief/ loss, poverty and mental health challenges.

Andrea lives and works in the same community she grew up in. She is very familiar with the barriers women face in a rural community and works to advocate and provide the much needed support women often need but struggle to access. Andrea follows an anti-oppressive and feminist framework and uses a client-centered therapeutic model of support. She draws from the resilience and hopes her clients have to assist and encourage them in moving forward in a life free of oppression. Andrea believes the Rural Response Program is vital to the community and sees this opportunity to educate and advocate for women who are often times feeling hopeless and lost.

Andrea enjoys reading, travelling and sewing and is an animal welfare advocate. She also works part time in her family’s third generation beekeeping business.

Alexandra Clarke

Relationship Manager, Farm Credit Canada, Griffin, Saskatchewan

Presentation title • A Journey That Never Ends

Presentation overview: From balancing life as a working mom, and a farmer/farm wife, I have still found time to pursue my dreams by embracing the chaos and filling my own cup even on days I don’t want to. My success as an ice hockey official, becoming one of the first females hired by the AHL, and going to the 2022 Beijing Olympics, stems from nothing but the ability to know my purpose and keep my vision clear.

Alex Clarke is a Relationship Manager with Farm Credit Canada for 40 hours a week, and a mom, wife, farmer, spin teacher, triathlete, gardener, and ice hockey official by all other hours of the day. Alex grew up in central Saskatchewan, on a mixed grain and cattle operation. Moving away from home at 15 years old to play high level women’s hockey for 7 years, she made her way back to Saskatchewan post University to marry her high school farm boy crush and begin officiating Ice Hockey. Alex currently resides in SouthEast Saskatchewan, building their own farm, family, and dreams.

Laura Ferrier

Mother, Agronomist, Farmer, Lau-tea-da Lentils, Alma, Ontario

Presentation title • Experience with an Unconventional Crop

Presentation overview: Laura takes us on a journey through her trials, tribulations and celebrations of growing and selling Ontario’s only lentils.

Mother, farmer, agronomist, marketer, delivery driver; Laura Ferrier farms with her family just outside of Elora, ON, growing Ontario’s only lentils. Sharing some learnings from the past few years marketing lentils across the province.

Dianne Finstad

Communications Specialist, Red Deer, Alberta

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.

Jen Govier

Senior Regional Manager, TD Wealth Financial Planning, London, Ontario

Presentation title • Know your worth and add gratuity!!

Presentation overview: I’ve been blessed to have a diverse  career that spans across multiple businesses but it took me way too long to find my confidence, courage and voice. I’m driven to help shorten that distance for others by sharing life changing hacks I’ve learned from inspiring leaders, mentors, colleagues and from my own mistakes.

Jen Govier is the Senior Regional Manager at TD Wealth Financial Planning in London & Area.  She has the pleasure of leading a team of passionate and dedicated Financial Planners.   They work tirelessly to help Canadians establish a plan to meet their financial dreams.  Jen has over 27 years of diverse industry experience across Wealth Management, Retail Branch Banking, Contact Centres, Vendor Operations, Workforce Management, Human Resources, Risk and Compliance, Fraud Management and large people leadership positions.

Outside of TD Bank, Jen is an entrepreneur, inventor and co-author of Pursuit 365.  She is the Creator & Founder of HUX.  HUX is the evolution in women’s undies, proudly designed in Canada with a patent pending.  HUX is a proud to have been recognized as TechAlliance Limitless People’s Choice Award winner honoring a standout entrepreneur in the innovation space.

While Jen has held a variety of different roles,  she loves most to help others realize their strength.  Jen is on a mission to inspire women to live and move with confidence so they can chase their dreams and change the world.

Keely Horan

Rural Response Counsellor, Family Transition Place, Orangeville, Ontario

Workshop title • Violence Experienced By Rural Women: What We Don’t Talk About

Workshop overview: Learning what the signs and symptoms of abuse look like for women in Rural areas. Addressing why women stay in unsafe situations and how support can be offered.

Keely has been involved in the social services field since 2002, working in various settings, such as Early Childhood /Infant Development, Addictions, Child Welfare, Child and Family Play Therapy/ Psychotherapy, Mental Health and Domestic Violence Work. Keely follows an anti-oppressive and feminist framework, and uses a client-centered therapeutic model of support.

Currently, Keely works with Family Transition Place’s Rural Response Program (RRP) providing free, domestic violence services to reduce barriers for women impacted by violence or abuse who reside in rural Dufferin County. Within this role Keely has supported individuals providing counselling, safety planning, abuse education, advocacy, trauma, oppression, separation, grief/ loss and mental health challenges.

Keely has a rooted connection with the efforts made by the RRP. She herself grew up and continues to reside in a rural, farming community, learning very quickly about the barriers that women in rural, isolated, communities face when requiring support. With lived experience, Keely brings a professional and personal passion and insight to her work and approach. She not only seeks to provide equitable services for women in the rural areas (specifically those impacted by abuse and violence) but, aims to empower, strengthen, and educate individuals to find their internal and external wellness and hope.

Keely holds an Under Graduate Degree in Women Studies & Sociology, Early Childhood Education Diploma and Certification in Child and Family Play Therapy, Psychotherapy and has a Masters in process.

Bahaar Luhar

Partner, Chicken Thika Farm, Orangeville, Ontario

Presentation title • The Sky is The Limit

Presentation overview: Hear how Bahaar used the Physics of Flight to Build a Successful Enterprise.

Bahaar has the B. Engineering – Aerospace from Toronto Metropolitan University and also holds her PFP as a certified Financial Planner.

Bahaar and her husband own and operate Chicken Thika Farm; the first small-scale family farm in Ontario to be certified halal and certified organic.

Bahaar spent a few years as a process engineer prior to retail banking.  Over the past 19 years, she has been recognized for excellence in customer experience, diversity & inclusion and leadership.

Bahaar is a Relationship Manager – Business Markets with RBC Royal Bank. In this role, she works with business owners to manage their enterprise at various stages by providing business banking and beyond solutions. Her portfolio includes clients in agri-food, manufacturing, retail and healthcare.

She is passionate about maintaining balance when it comes to health, wealth and family.

Maria McKean

McDonald’s Business Unit Canada Leader, Cargill, London, Ontario

Presentation title • How to navigate your career using your network including sponsors, mentors and your peers.

Presentation overview: Navigating your career is difficult, especially when you don’t know how to answer “where do you see yourself in five years”. Learn how to use your sponsors, mentors and peers to learn how best to answer that question!

Maria is the Canada Protein Leader for Cargill with responsibilities for the McDonald’s Canada business.  She is responsible for the business strategy and planning, team leadership, customer relationship and overall enterprise accountability for Cargill’s chicken and beef business with McDonald’s.

Maria has been with Cargill for 21 years in various roles including plant operations, supply chain, project management and account management.  Maria holds a bachelor’s degree in food science and a MBA, both from Iowa State University.

Sarah McVanel

Chief Recognition Officer, Greatness Magnified, Greatness Magnified, St. Catherine’s, Ontario

Presentation title • The FLIP Side of Failure

Presentation overview: In this session, you will truly experience and absorb the F.L.I.P. framework: Fail, Learn, Ignite, Praise. Each dimension of FLIP allows you to harness the power that comes from failure and let go of ego or judgment.

Before you think this is your “unmotivational” speech, trust me when I say that this is empowerment personified. We will be challenging the very definitions of success and failure that we’ve blindly accepted, and it’s sabotaging our well-being, performance, and satisfaction. What does failure mean to you? Does it define you? Can you give yourself permission to fail? Learning from your failures creates your path to greatness. These lessons will forever change you and help you become more decisive, confident, and action-oriented.

The question is how can you become more failure resilient? In this energizing and entertaining session (with a few fun twists), you will awaken possibilities, deepen connections, source solutions, and improve individual and organizational performance by recognizing greatness in a whole new light. Rather than kryptonite, let failure be your superpower.

Sarah is a recognition expert, professional speaker, coach, author, recovering perfectionist, and movement maker. She created F.R.O.G. Forever Recognize Others’ GreatnessTM to invigorate companies so they can see their people as exceptional and, together, create a scrumptious, thriving culture where everyone belongs.

Sarah has 25+ years of experience training, coaching, and leading teams. From her senior leadership role, she founded her boutique firm Greatness Magnified. Proclaimed as the “Frog Lady,” she can be found freaking out perfect strangers (in a good way) by handing out squishy frogs and asking them, “Have you been frogged lately?” and then acknowledging their greatness.

She’s a Certified Senior Organizational Development Professional (CSODP), Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL). She is one of 1500 Certified Speaking Professionals (CSP) worldwide. She has a BA in Psychology, MSc in Family Relations, and Diplomas in Human Resources and Healthcare Administration.

You can catch her kayaking in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter with her husband, or cooking a feast (while listening to an audiobook on double speed). She’s a die-hard carb-ivour, amateur hip hopper, and TikTok embarrasser to her two kids.

Jenny Ose

Director of Marketing, John Deere, Olathe, Kansas

Presentation title • Show Up. Do Your Best. Rest.

Presentation overview: Jenny will give us some insight on her path that she has been on with John Deere and the lessons she has learnt while being in charge of her path and achieving her goals.

I am a farm kid from Northwestern Minnesota and I am passionate about agriculture. I love farmers, farming, sustainable food production, precision agriculture and working at John Deere. I have been fortunate to live in multiple states across the US, Thailand, Brazil, Germany and almost 5 years in Canada and have traveled extensively across the globe with one mission…working with our John Deere Dealers and customers to feed and clothe the world.

Bethany Parkinson

Program Coordinator, In the Know (AV) & Psychological Support Coordinator and Trainer, The Guardian Network (BP), Agriculture Wellness Ontario (Canadian Mental Health Association – Ontario Division), Toronto, Ontario

Workshop title • Building your mental health toolbox with Agriculture Wellness Ontario

Workshop overview: Stock your toolbox with new strategies, tools & resources for better wellness.  Learn about free mental health programs offered by Agriculture Wellness Ontario for the agriculture community.

Bethany Parkinson is the Psychological Support Coordinator and Trainer for the GuardianNetwork, one of the programs included in Agriculture Wellness Ontario through CMHA-ON. Bethany completed her Bachelor of Arts in sociology at the University of Guelph and Master of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University. As a Registered Social Worker, she has experience in clinical, healthcare and educational settings, and is passionate about connecting mental health supports to rural communities. Bethany resides outside of Elora and is actively involved with her family’s purebred sheep and beef cattle farm.

Meghan Pedros

Business Banking Programs, TD Bank Group, Toronto, Ontario

Workshop title • Show up as your BEST self: Leveraging your personal brand through the art of networking

Workshop overview: The pandemic has undoubtedly left many feelings of uncertainty in the world, which can also affect our mental health and productivity as a result. Now is the time to shift priority, focus on ourselves and “show up” everyday. Join us as we identify basic but important fundamentals to build your confidence and enhance your personal brand through the art of networking.

Meghan Pedros is a career-oriented wife, mother, marathoner, mentor and brand ambassador with a passion for developing others through inspiration, mentorship and integrity.   Over her 17 year career with TD, she has held a series of progressive roles in Wealth Management, Retail, Direct Channels and Human Resources, to name a few.  In her most recent role, Meghan led the Canadian Banking Management Associate & Graduate Leadership Programs; which focus on developing general management and leadership capabilities across the organization. In her current role as Manager; Talent Acquisition, Meghan leads the diversity sourcing and recruitment strategy for our Business Banking Associate Programs across Canada.  With a passion for personal development and growth, Meghan plays an active role in supporting Women in Leadership and Diversity initiatives both internally and externally; advocating TD as a career choice for new graduates and a “Place to Be You”.

Marisa Riley

Director of Marketing, Case IH, Racine, Wisconsin

Sponsor Panel Speaker

Panel topic: Agriculture is a broad and dynamic industry that is constantly changing. What can women do to be the most effective leaders in today’s environment?

Marisa Riley is the director of marketing for Case IH North America. In this role, she is responsible for setting strategy for all North American marketing efforts as well as integrating pricing and programming.

Marisa has worked for more than 10 years in agriculture marketing. During her tenure at Bader Rutter, the largest agri-marketing firm in the United States, Marisa worked as the account director on the Case IH business, setting marcom and campaign strategies across numerous business segments. Prior to account management work, she held public relations roles, where she supported stakeholders and spokespeople on content, media relations opportunities and industry events.

In addition to her work on Case IH while at Bader Rutter, Marisa worked on the Corteva (formerly Dow AgroSciences) business, focusing on PR programs to support the sales, agronomy, sunflower and canola segments for Mycogen Seeds. Previous to Bader Rutter, she worked with B2B and B2C clients in multiple PR roles at BVK, another Milwaukee-area marketing agency.

For many years, Marisa has been innately involved with multiple industry organizations, including AMA (American Marketing Association), where she last held the role of Director of Communications for the Milwaukee chapter, as well as NAMA (National Agri-Marketing Association). In 2018, Marisa was featured in the BizTimes (Milwaukee) for her insights on young professionals.

A Minnesota native, Marisa holds a bachelor’s degree in corporate communication and business administration from Marquette University. She also studied at the University of Galway, Ireland. She and her husband live in Ozaukee County in Wisconsin.

Monika Robertson

Corporate Marketing & Communications, Parrish & Heimbecker, Limited, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Sponsor Panel Speaker

Panel topic: Agriculture is a broad and dynamic industry that is constantly changing. What can women do to be the most effective leaders in today’s environment?

Monika is a marketing and communications professional with more than 17 years in the agricultural industry. Growing up in a small farming and mining community in southwest Manitoba, she was continually surrounded by all aspects of agriculture, and it was clear that would be her next path in life.

Wanting to become a veterinarian (what little girl doesn’t want to become a veterinarian) Monika enrolled at the University of Manitoba. Realizing where her skills lay, Monika switched directions and obtained her Bachelor of Science, in Agri-business and then completed a Diploma in Public Relations and Marketing from the University of Winnipeg.

Upon graduating from university, Monika started her career as a Customer Service Manager for a large agricultural chemical and seed company. Other roles over her career include policy and communications for a Manitoba producer organization and marketing specialist for a seed and biologicals company. Monika is now leading the corporate marketing & communication initiatives for Parrish & Heimbecker, Limited.

She currently resides in Winnipeg with her husband and their yellow lab. Outside of work you will find Monika training and competing her dog in hunting and field trial competitions. She is also heavily involved in the Manitoba Cycling Association where she is a coach, learning facilitator, and race official – lucky enough to officiate at 3 national level events.

Ginger Rozmus (she/her)

Sr. Communications Business Partner, Crop Science Leadership Team, Bayer Inc., Calgary, Alberta

Sponsor Panel Speaker

Panel topic: Agriculture is a broad and dynamic industry that is constantly changing. What can women do to be the most effective leaders in today’s environment?

Ginger leads Crop Science Canada Communications, focusing on corporate and stakeholder-specific communications and reputation management. She recently completed a one-year assignment as the Transformational Change Management Lead for Bayer Canada’s hybrid work environment in Pharma, Consumer Health and Crop Science. Ginger has more than 25 years of communications, change management, employee engagement, stakeholder relations and leadership experience. She has worked in a variety of industries, including agriculture, energy/oil and gas, government, finance, non-profit, healthcare and IT. She is passionate about helping organizations succeed through strategic internal and external approaches and spent more than a decade developing expertise in issues management and crisis communications. She is an agile leader who encourages taking big chances and risks in pursuit of professional advancement. She believes career growth involves leveraging your strengths, learning from your experiences, and adapting to new situations, even if you’ve never experienced them before. Her personal mantra focuses on self-awareness, humility, empathy and courage. In her spare time, Ginger enjoys spending time with her son and two dogs, playing piano and participating in a variety of sports, including downhill, mountain and road biking, hockey, trail running and paddling. She is also an avid camper in the Canadian Rockies.

Jane C. Schuette

Speaker, Jane Schuette and Associates, Inc., Watertown, Minnesota

Presentation title • Building Brilliance Through Joy

Presentation overview: Research tells us that if we take care of ourselves, we will be successful in making life and work easier and more productive. But what about JOY? Get ready to learn the most effective practices and tools designed to educate, energize, and inspire your own personal brilliance while increasing your joy.

Jane is a high energy, award-winning speaker and author. She melds humor with a collection of the most effective practices and 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 has an infectious enthusiasm for helping audiences build brilliance and sail through the stormy seas of stress! 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 series of Building YOUR Brilliance 5-Minute Journals helps you find peace within the storms of stress and navigate to brilliance in just 5 minutes a day. The original 5-minute journal is designed for your personal life, the Educator Reflection Journal is for teachers and school administrators, and The Accountable Leader is for people working in business organizations. 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.

Deb Stark

Board Member, Mentor, Volunteer, Ariss, Ontario

Presentation title • It’s 2022. Do we still need AWC?

Presentation overview: Deb will explore why it’s still important to create spaces for women, and how her career advice is changing as we understand both more and less about the world we live in.

Deb calls herself a leader and a learner with a lifelong interest in Canadian agriculture and the people who feed us.  She is a former Deputy Minister of OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) and Chief Veterinary Officer for Ontario.

She spends her time volunteering and sitting on boards including the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute, the University of Guelph, Ontario Genomics (currently serving as Chair) and most recently, the Golden Triangle Angel Network. She is also a mentor for Innovation Guelph’s Rhyze Ventures, a program supporting female entrepreneurs.

Suzanne F. Stevens

Conscious Leadership and Social Impact Cultivator, YouMeWe Social Impact Group Inc., Collingwood, Ontario

Presentation title: Nobody wants to ‘Work’ | Practices that will Attract, Engage, and Retain Diverse Talent

Presentation overview: What if diverse employees experience immediately and repeatedly that they are contributing to the business’s success? How would your culture be naturally impacted?  Suzanne dives into why employees usually don’t want to work and why they do! You will be aware and empowered with 8 Conscious Leadership strategies to bake into your organization’s DNA to realize a collaborative and inclusive culture—where your team feels their contributions count!

Suzanne F. Stevens is a Conscious Leadership and Social Contribution Cultivator. As YouMeWe Social Impact Group founder, Suzanne has been invigorating audiences on five continents for twenty-two years to make their contributions count!

With Suzanne’s thought-provoking, dynamic, and humorous style, she challenges audiences’ perceptions, empowers them with strategies, and inspires them to act!

As a globetrotter, Suzanne has lived and traveled to over 60 countries for business, adventure, and philanthropy. She has interviewed women and non-binary leaders and entrepreneurs in 25+ of them on the YouMeWe Amplified Podcast.

As an international speaker, author, podcast host, impactprenuer community builder, Suzanne grows Conscious Leaders and their social impact. She is the author of Make your contribution Count, for you, me, we; a Certified Speaking Professional (one of 65 in Canada and among 15% globally), past president of The Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, and a multi-award-winning social entrepreneur.

Patti Thompson

Vice President Sales and Marketing, King Cole Ducks Ltd., Stouffville, Ontario

Presentation title: From a Duck to a Pheonix

Presentation overview: After a disastrous outbreak of avaian influenza in Spring 2022, King Cole Ducks rose from the ashes to recover and rebuild a 72 year old business. Tales “from the whole flock”, our female leadership team, will share life lessons about survival, resilience and determination.

King Cole Ducks  is a family owned and operated, farm to fork agribusiness in Stouffville, Ontario.    Today’s presentation is “from the flock” , our  3rd and 4th generation female leaders whose hands on approach to this unique business exudes energy, enthusiasm and after a life changing event in Spring 2022, resilience.  Meet our CEO, VP, Director of Farm Excellence, Director of Hatchery Ops,  Live Production Field Tec,  and Company Veterinarian …all family, who will share their story of how one outbreak almost  destroyed 72 years of blood, sweat and tears.  (King Cole Ducks is Canada’s largest duck supplier of raw and fully cooked duck products with both retail and foodservice customers across the country and beyond its borders.)

Adriana Van Oostveen

In the Know, Program Coordinator, Agriculture Wellness Ontario – Canadian Mental Health Association – Ontario Division, Toronto, Ontario

Workshop title • In the Know: Mental Health Workshop for the Agriculture Community

Workshop overview: In the Know is a mental health literacy program designed specifically for farmers, their families and those who are involved and/or support the agriculture sector. Through this free, four-hour workshop, participants will cover the topics of stress, depression, anxiety, substance use and how to start a conversation around mental well-being.

Workshop title • Building your Mental Health Toolbox

Workshop overview: Stock your toolbox with new strategies, tools & resources for better wellness.  Learn about free mental health programs offered by Agriculture Wellness Ontario for the agriculture community.

Adriana is the In the Know Program Coordinator with Agriculture Ontario and the Canadian Mental Health Association – Ontario Division. Over the past 10 years she has worked in non-profit and social service and is passionate about educating others about Mental Health. Adriana was raised on her family’s dairy farm in Oxford County and has always been passionate about serving the agriculture community. In her spare time Adriana is a 4-H volunteer leading cooking projects and volunteers for her local agricultural Society.

Janet Winkler

Co-Founder, Hacking Sophia, Toronto, Ontario

Workshop title: From Crushed to Crushing It: Uncramming to Get More by Doing Less

Workshop overview: We’re supposed to edit our homes, only keep things that bring us joy, and ruthlessly prioritize at work and in life. So why do we have a never-ending stream of more to do? Why are feeling crushed when we want to be crushing it? Janet Winkler, a seasoned business executive and entrepreneur, will share the power of intentional subtraction, why we struggle so much to do away with things that aren’t serving us, and share simple strategies that help us do less and get more. The session is fun, hands-on and you’ll walk away with a spring in your step!

Janet Winkler is an experienced business leader and entrepreneur who launched Hacking Sophia out of a desire radically improve the day-to-day experience of people living in The Cram it All in Years — those most acute years where the responsibilities of work and life collide. Throughout her career at Procter & Gamble, in-sync, an insights-based brand consultancy that Janet founded and was later acquired by Publicis Groupe, where she became Group President and McKinsey as a Senior Advisor, Janet has been deeply involved in exploring, making sense of and applying human insights for business application and transformation. She has worked with clients to grow and launch multi-billion-dollar brands and has led organizational transformation. Hacking Sophia partners with progressive companies to unleash the capability and capacity of their people through their program, called The Sophia Project.