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!

Cindy Benning

Leadership Consultant,  Esséré, Dutton, ON

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.   Cindy will also explain the ways that ego and past experiences can create blockages when making decisions.  The workshop will allow participants to practice using the model.


Coming soon!

Dr. Caroline Brookfield

Speaker, Veterinarian, Artful Science, Calgary, AB

Presentation title • The reluctant Creative: 5 Effortless Habits to Expand Your Comfort Zone

Presentation overview: The pace of change in the world has accelerated beyond our ability to adapt. Our default tried and true formulas are not working like they used to. Creativity is the prerequisite to innovation, and the antidote to languishing in 2023.

Dr. Caroline Brookfield is a Reluctant Creative. She is a veterinarian, author, speaker, stand-up comic, and mom. Faced with a false ultimatum of art or science, she chose science. Does that sound familiar? If you’re a “left brainer” like Caroline, you might share the belief that creativity is for artists, kids and grandmas, and somewhat ancillary to more important goals. Feeling snubbed, eventually Caroline’s creativity demanded attention like a cat at dinnertime. She learned how to integrate her creative and scientific sides, realizing the importance of both, and that you don’t have to choose. Caroline is passionate about helping you to identify your own barriers to individual, everyday creativity, so that you can speak up, stand out, and build a uniquely satisfying future for yourself. Caroline presents balanced evidence, with easy to understand and actionable takeaways, kind of like a keynote mullet: Fun up front and data in the back. You can also learn how to balance rigor with creative expression to survive the gusting winds of change, with a smile on your face. Caroline received honors for her veterinary degree from the Ontario Veterinary College, is a certified level 2 Creative Problem Solving facilitator, and holds a Certificate of Professional Management from the University of Calgary. She is always up for a challenge, like learning guitar, rock climbing, getting her kids to eat vegetables, surfing, meditation retreats with sniper rifles. You know, the usual stuff. Caroline lives in Calgary, Alberta, where her lectures go unheeded by her family. The dog listens, sometimes.

Michelle Durnin

Owner, Durnin Farm and Ranch Wear, Auburn, ON

Presentation title • Kicking Limiting Beliefs to Build a Business

Presentation overview: Michelle will discuss how she went from someone who had never aspired to run a business to now exploring multiple entrepreneurial pursuits, including building a women’s workwear brand with zero experience. She will discuss the tools that have helped me to change my beliefs, how important it is to see other women in business, and what she has  learned in this process so far.

Michelle Durnin wears many hats, including: wife, farmer, podcaster, agronomist, and workwear designer. She grew up on a cash crop farm in Ancaster, Ontario. After graduating from the University of Guelph with a Crop Science degree, she spent several years working in agronomy and sales roles but struggled to find her fit within the industry. Wanting to provide more value to those in the ag industry, she started a podcast, Prosperity Ag Out Loud. Little did she know, this small step in building something on her own terms was the beginning of her path to entrepreneurship. Over the last few years she has learned to take risks, dream bigger, welcome failure, and (slowly) value her worth. She is now building her two businesses, Prosperity Ag Consulting, where she provides independent crop consulting,  and Durnin Farm and Ranch Wear, a women’s workwear brand. Through Durnin Farm and Ranch Wear, she is working to bring confidence and a sense of community to other women in agriculture.

Hayley Hesseln

Department Head, Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK

Workshop 1:

Workshop title • Leverage your emotional skills to make better decisions

Workshop overview: Recognizing and managing your emotions is essential when it comes to success in your personal and professional life. Learn how to hone emotional skills to develop emotional self-awareness and decision-making.

Workshop 2:

Workshop title • Manage yourself through change

Workshop overview: Change is inevitable in life, yet some find it difficult while others embrace it.  This session will help you to identify your preference for handling change and how to communicate better with others.

Hayley is an executive coach and co-founder of EI Advantage and the Department Head and Professor in Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Saskatchewan. She has a PhD from Colorado State University in Forest Economics and is a Certified Executive Coach and member of the International Coaching Federation.  Hayley teaches agricultural economics, offers executive coaching, and has developed courses for clients in industry and government to develop emotional intelligence and leadership skills.

Candace Hill (she/her)

Manager, Brand Planning and Advertising Services. FCC, Regina, SK

Presentation title • Midlife + Midcareer: Navigating the magic and the messiness

Presentation overview: Life if filled with twists and turns. Some you see coming, others jump out and knock you off your feet. Candace will share three principles she lives her life by that have helped her to navigate the journey and find joy.

Candace Hill is the Manager, Brand Planning and Advertising Services at FCC. She leads a team of strategic marketing professionals who champion the FCC brand, supporting business results while building relationships with customers and partners across the country.

Candace has worked in marketing for over 24 years in various roles within the financial services and agriculture industries. Since 2012, Candace has been with FCC in agri-marketing roles where she’s created brand and media strategies and led the development of the FCC women entrepreneur strategy. She is a passionate supporter of the agriculture and food industry.

Coming from rural roots, she is now an impassioned advocate for bridging the urban/rural divide and driving change within the broader agriculture innovation ecosystem in Canada.

Anne Miner

President, The Dunvegan Group, Woodstock, ON

Presentation title • The Platinum Rule – Training for personal and work life, how to adapt and communicate with each other

Presentation overview: The Platinum Rule, “Treat Others The Way They Want To Be Treated” is far more effective than the Golden Rule we were all taught. Identify your own profile and that or others with the tools from this workshop; adapt your behaviour and see your relationships thrive!

Anne Miner is an International Speaker, Best-Selling Author, and Business Owner.  She’s a confident leader. A creative genius. And a cool and collected woman of style and charisma. Her proven ability to bring calm to chaos, success to failures, and solutions to problems weave to¬gether seamlessly to define her executive charm as the President of The Dunvegan Group.

Since 1987, Anne’s trusted expertise in business excellence and customer retention have made her a highly-respected woman of influence. But it is her ability to use her deeply-rooted values, unwavering determination, and array of experiences that attracts many who seek her pro¬fessional guidance.

It is Anne’s experiences, and her valuable perspective on life that has attracted audiences to her candid, motivating, and genuinely comforting speaking engage¬ments at seminars, conferences, and networking events worldwide. She has successfully empowered many “to go over, under, around, or through the obstacles on any path… and to be courageous in pursuing dreams.”

Anne wears many hats and brings the experience of a variety of roles to bear on her speaking assignments:

  • Founder and CEO of The Dunvegan Group
  • Business Coach and Mentor
  • Certified Trainer of the Platinum Rule®
  • Author of three books and co-author of Amazon Best-Seller, “Succeeding in Spite of Everything!”
  • Chair, Toronto Chapter of the International Women’s Forum, Canada

Anne weaves anecdotes and humor into her spirited presentations ensuring the audience will be engaged, uplifted, entertained, and inspired! No wonder she was awarded the University of Guelph’s Alumni Achievement Award!

Meghan Pedros

Manager, National Business Banking Programs, TD Bank Group, Toronto, ON

Workshop title • Stand Out! Show up as your BEST self and leverage your personal brand to achieve success!

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 how we “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 and personal development planning.

Meghan Pedros is a career-oriented wife, mother, marathoner, mentor and brand ambassador with a passion for developing others through inspiration, mentorship and integrity.  With her 17 year career with TD, she has held a series of progressive roles in Retail, Direct Channels, Wealth Management and Human Resources, to name a few.  Prior to her current role, Meghan led the Canadian Banking Management Associate and MBA Leadership Programs; which focus on developing general management and leadership capabilities across the organization.  In her current role as Manager, National Business Banking Programs, 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 & Diversity initiatives both internally and externally; advocating TD as a career choice for new graduates and a “Place to Be You”.

Jodi Souter

President, J4 Agri-Science Ltd, Saskatoon, SK

Presentation title • Navigating a Field of Barriers

Presentation overview: Starting a business can be bumpy—starting an agricultural business as a young woman can be downright rough. Lessons learned through the best career decision I’ve ever made.

Dr. Jodi Souter is a business owner, plant breeder, farmer and Nuffield Scholar from Northeastern, Saskatchewan. After completing graduate school, Jodi worked as a contract plant breeder, before deciding she was going to take a risk and start her own plant breeding company. There are few private plant breeding companies in Western Canada, and even fewer in broad-acre inbred crop development. Jodi is passionate about increasing competition in variety development and giving farmers better varieties and additional choice in what they want to grow. Jodi hopes to change the way Canadians think about plant breeding and to create an environment where younger plant breeders can follow their chosen dreams with fewer obstacles than she faced.

Helen Hirsh Spence

CEO, Top Sixty Over Sixty, Woodlawn, ON

Presentation title • What’s Age Got To Do With It?

Presentation overview: Did you ever wonder why age gets such a bad rap? It’s because of ageism, the only remaining “ism” that is socially acceptable and omitted in most diversity initiatives. With the hundred year life being a 21st century reality, however, the multigenerational workforce is becoming the new norm and a strategic imperative for Canada’s economy.

After 50+ years in schools, as both student and educational leader, Helen’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning has never waned. Using her leadership experience as a jumping off point, she became a newly minted social entrepreneur in her late sixties.

Helen is a well-respected and sought-after thought leader who has appeared in several major national media outlets, on television, podcasts, and radio. She advocates, writes and speaks about age diversity in the workforce, intergenerational connection, and how to mitigate the damaging impacts of ageism on individuals, society and economies.

Among hundreds of applications, her company, Top Sixty Over Sixty, was selected as a semi-finalist for the prestigious Canadian Innovators and Entrepreneurs Awards. She is often invited as a panelist to speak about ageism as it relates to elder abuse and mental health. In the summer of 2022, she was asked to become faculty for Advocis’ summer professional development conference and she was welcomed into Living, Learning and Earning Longer, an award-winning collaboration with the World Economic Forum, Organization for the Economic, Co-operation and Development and the American Association of Retired Persons.

Her reputation as an expert in the “age” space has earned her invitations to speak at conferences and to participate on advisory boards for start ups. She serves as a board member locally, nationally and internationally, and mentors youth and newcomers to Canada. She is passionate about maximizing potential at every and all ages.

Shirley Weir

Menopause Expert or Founder,, Menopause Chicks, Port Moody, BC

Workshop 1:

Sunday November 19, Special Women’s Health Session

Workshop title • You Deserve to Feel Amazing

Workshop overview: You CAN navigate perimenopause-to-menopause (and beyond!) with confidence and ease. But you can’t do it alone.

Workshop 2:

Workshop title • Genie in a Bottle: How to make {health} decisions in, yet another, new media world

Workshop overview: This workshop is about how to make decisions in a sea of headlines & hearsay; memes, marketing & media influence…first it was “Dr. Google” and now, it’s artificial intelligence. I talk mostly about women’s health information, but you can use these tips and strategies for any decision you’re facing in this brave new media world.

Shirley Weir introduces herself as a Menopause Chick. Now 55, her perimenopause journey began in her 40s. Sore boobs, sleep deprivation, depression and brain fog led Shirley to her doctor’s office, the book store and “Dr. Google,” but she was left feeling confused, overwhelmed and alone. Ten years ago, she launched onto the world stage to empower women to get curious about their health—and with a reminder that we all deserve to feel AMAZING!

As a fierce advocate for women’s health, Shirley teaches women hormone health, and also how to be their own best health advocate. Her audience reaches over 120K women around the world while she moderates a private community with over 47K members who regard the group as trustworthy and the “go-to” place to get their questions addressed. Last year, the group generated over 2.2 million site visits—but that doesn’t surprise Shirley as her research shows 77% of women have questions about their health, and more than 80% state they don’t have anyone to talk to about perimenopause or menopause.

Shirley is a TedX Speaker, a recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction award, has tweeted for Oprah and speaks regularly to media. Her first book, MOKITA: How to navigate perimenopause with confidence & ease is an Amazon bestseller in women’s health. Her second book, FEEL AMAZING: An invitation to re-think perimenopause, menopause & post menopause is a gift with purchase in retailers across the country in 2022 & 2023.

Shirley is a communications graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University and holds a certificate in Peer Counselling from the University of British Columbia. She lives in Port Moody and is the mother of two young adults and one golden doodle.