EAST 2018

Our great lineup of speakers

Our speakers are industry leaders, market innovators and those passionate about creating success.

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

Meet the AWC EAST 2018 presenters that we have lined up!

Laural Adams

Communications Manager, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Mississauga, Ontario

Sponsor Panel Speaker

Since starting her communications career in 2001, Laural Adams has developed an uncanny ability to balance and harmonize corporate priorities within an increasingly complex consumer and global media landscape.

As Senior Communications Specialist at OMERS, Laural was responsible for synthesizing diverse internal employee and member communications strategies to improve brand cohesion, employee engagement, and access to information. Her success in this area led to helming the strategic development and launch of OMERS multi-brand social media strategy, where she earned recognition as an employee of excellence for helping to raise the organization’s profile through corporate social giving initiatives.

In her current role as Communications Manager at Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO), Laural is a member of the Senior Management, and leads a multidisciplinary team responsible for developing and implementing omni-channel communications and government relations strategies that protect and promote the interests of both dairy farmers and the dairy industry. Laural is accountable for managing a complex annual communications cycle involving the planning and execution of planned and emergency communications campaigns as well as public, media, and government relations programs. These strategies integrate and optimize the range of traditional and digital media as well as public relations, social media, media outreach and event design and marketing.

Laural attended Ryerson University in Toronto, where she earned a Bachelor of Journalism. True to her original passions, she is active in many community organizations including the Canadian Cancer Society and the United Way. Laural is also a devoted runner, having completed four marathons, most recently the Chicago Marathon in 2017.

Kenda Allen

Vice President, Commercial Banking, TD Bank, Kitchener, Ontario

Sponsor Panel Speaker

Kenda is Vice President Commercial Banking South Central Ontario for TD Bank covering the Waterloo Region as well as the Guelph and Stratford markets.   She is a graduate of the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Degree (Animal Science Major, Co-op Program). Upon graduation she worked for the Ayrshire Breeders’ Association of Canada as the Office Manager & Editor of the Ayrshire Review before becoming a Commercial Banker. Kenda has 30 years of management and financial experience having held various positions in commercial banking throughout Ontario and in the lower mainland of BC. She is the Chair of TD Bank’s Ontario District Women In Leadership Committee, and has volunteered her time with a number of organizations and held board positions including Chamber of Commerce, Restorative Justice, Rotary, and amateur sports, in the cities where she has lived. She was recently elected to the Grand River Hospital Foundation Board of Governors, in Kitchener. Kenda keeps in contact with Agriculture as her family operates a Dairy Farm in Eastern Ontario.

Diane Bourassa

Country Manager, Vétoquinol N.A. Inc.,  Lavaltrie, Quebec

Presentation Title • A Career Path Story

Presentation Overview: Diane will discuss her career path including the decisions she had to make, the risks she took and the opportunities she captured along the way. Her story will inspire you for creating success and will motivate you to pursue what you believe in.

Born in Grand-Mère, in Mauricie, Québec, Diane Bourassa holds a bachelor degree of Administration, Accounting from l’Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. She obtained her CPA-CA designation in 1990.

After 3 years working as an external auditor at ERNST & YOUNG, she worked in the retail industry at COSTCO and LOBLAWS. Diane spent four years as Director of Finance for a third party logistics service provider METRO CANADA LOGISTIQUE before she came to VETOQUINOL –  a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of Animal health products – in 2007. She first assumed the position of Director, Finance and Administration – where she had the opportunity to contribute her own expertise as a Chartered Accountant – responsible for all financial, IT and HR activities for Vetoquinol Commercial and Industrial Canadian Divisions.

In September 2011, she was appointed as the General Manager of Vetoquinol Canada. In 2015, she was designated to act as an Administrator of Vetoquinol N.A. Inc., the first woman to ever hold such position within the Vetoquinol organisation.

Member of the Canadian Animal Health Institute Board of Directors since September 2012, she acted as Chair of the Board from September 2015 to September 2017 and is acting as Past Chair since September 2015.

Melodie Chan

Senior Manager Veterinary Services – Cattle/Equine/Genetics, Zoetis, Kirkland, Quebec

Women Talk Panel Speaker

Presentation Title • Why wait for the knock? Build your own doors

Presentation Overview: Despite being a city kid, Melodie Chan travelled down an unlikely pathway right into the heart of agriculture.  Join her as she takes you through a journey where self-awareness, curiosity and courage all played an important role to help her get to where she is today.

Dr. Melodie Chan grew up in the greater Vancouver area as a city girl and fell in love with agriculture during her undergraduate studies at the University of British Columbia. In 2002, she graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and pursued a career within the dairy industry.  After completing an internship in Dairy Production Medicine at Cornell University, Dr. Chan worked at a mixed animal practice in Saskatchewan and then started her own dairy veterinary practice in Olds, Alberta. Dr. Chan is currently the head of Zoetis Canada’s Technical Services Team for Cattle, Equine and Genetics.

Dr. Chan is a past-president of both the Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners and the Canadian Association of Bovine Veterinarians. In 2014, she was named as one of the honorees of Vance Publishing’s 2014 “Top 40 Under 40” Award Program which recognizes people making a significant contribution to America’s food system.  More recently, Dr. Chan received the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) Industry Award in 2016 that formally recognizes a CVMA member for their contributions to the advancement of veterinary medicine.

Dr. Chan has a passion for helping people to succeed by sharing knowledge that will improve animal health management, animal welfare and food safety.

Denise DeJong

Vice-President, BMO Bank of Montreal, Hanover, Ontario

Speaker at BMO Workshop

Denise is the Vice-President at the Business Bank for Bank of Montreal where she leads a team of Business Banking professionals, in Owen Sound/Hanover & Huron County Markets.   She has worked in various roles within personal and business banking. Denise has been very successful in balancing a very busy career, family and many community activities.  In her current position as Vice President, Business Banking she is accountable for financial services the Bank Provides to its Business and Agriculture customers.  Her team of 12 Relationship Managers, specialize in financing a wide range of agriculture clients engaged in primary production.

Kathryn Doan

Producer, Director, Global Business Development & Technology, AgCareers.com, Norwich, Ontario

Women Talk Panel Speaker

Kathryn Doan is the Director with AgCareers.com & more recently CareersinFood.comCanada and has been working in agriculture & food digital employment services for fourteen years. Kathryn was instrumental with Farms.com in the successful merger in what is now AgCareers.com. Kathryn is responsible for the Canadian business including strategic business planning and technology development. She is also responsible for new global business opportunities, currently focusing on North America & Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

Prior to joining the AgCareers.com team Kathryn worked in the agriculture department as the Agriculture Coordinator at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, Ontario. Kathryn is a University of Guelph Alumnus and is involved with her community where she is a local 4-H leader, involved with her local community, church, curling and participates as a Junior Farmer member. Originally from Blackstock ON, Kathryn and her husband currently reside at Norwich, Ontario and remains involved in primary agriculture their turkey and cash crop operation.

Gemma Duley, P.Eng

President, Edge of Control Consulting Inc., Bolton, Ontario

Sponsor Panel Speaker

What started off as a stress reliever at the University of Waterloo – baking brownies and other goodies – turned into a fascination with the food industry after a co-op work term with a multi-national canning company in Australia.  Even during her 9 year stint with DuPont Canada first as a process engineer then assistant manager and finally Black Belt, Gemma still found time to get involved with local food industry.  She worked with a local cidery to set up a QA lab, spent time with Eastern Ontario farmers finding out about their different crops and definitely finding out where to get great local food products!

This fascination with the food industry convinced Gemma to take on a role as Black Belt with Maple Leaf Foods, initially in the Ontario Pork industry, and later in the Quebec processed foods industry.  As a Black Belt, Gemma became involved in projects from one end of the value stream to the other – “Farm to Fork” as they say!.  This breadth of exposure to varied elements of the food chain, and the people involved from small, hobby farms to large international suppliers, sparked a passion for helping business find the hidden potential within their own organization.

In 2008 Gemma went out on her own, launching Edge of Control Consulting to help both large and small companies become stronger, more collaborative, more engaged, through projects and training focused on optimizing their existing processes.  She continuously seeks out opportunities that expand and grow her knowledge (University of Guelph Food Science Certificate, Milk Processing Short Course, Innovation).  Recently Gemma has been taking special interest in how to apply Lean Six Sigma to the farming industry, working with local farmers around Caledon and York region.

Gemma’s motto is “Making Potential…Kinetic”

Annemieke Farenhorst

Prairie NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, and Acting Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Panel Discussion

Workshop Presentation Title • An Open Discussion on Maternity Leave

Workshop Overview: Join the panel of women discussing both sides of maternity leave – how to plan for success for those planning a maternity leave and employers who have women leaving on maternity leave.

Dr. Annemieke Farenhorst is the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering in the Prairie Region and a professor in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Manitoba. In July 2018, she was appointed Acting Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. Dr. Farenhorst conducts research on pesticides, natural steroid estrogens, and antibiotics in soil and water, and on drinking water quality in First Nations communities. She is the director of the NSERC CREATE H2O program for First Nations water and sanitation security, one of the first science-engineering research programs in Canada that combines technical water and wastewater management training with Indigenous theory, law, and methodological skills training. For the past 14 years, Dr. Farenhorst has also been contributing to the National Agri-Environmental Health Analysis and Reporting Program of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to develop and refine a pesticide indicator that consists of a stochastic model coupled to the Pesticide Root Zone Model. Through her work, she has contributed to over 300 articles, abstracts, and reports on chemical fate processes and water quality. As well, Dr. Farenhorst is on the Board of Directors of Canadian Centre for Women in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology, and was named a WXN 2016 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award winner. She has served as a member of the Advisory Group Supporting the Advancement of Women in Agriculture, Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council, and in 2017 launched a Manitoba mentorship program for women in agriculture.

Rachel Faust

Marketing Manager, Eastern Canada, Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, Chatham, Ontario

Sponsor Panel Speaker

Rachel was born and raised on a beef cow/calf operation near Port Elgin, Ontario.  Upon graduation from high school, Rachel followed her love of agriculture and headed to University of Guelph, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree with a major in Agricultural Economics.

At present, Rachel supports the sales and marketing activities of the Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, business in Eastern Canada, including Pioneer® brand products, Brevant™ brand products and the Corteva Agriscience lineup of crop protection products.  This includes marketing activities around products and services, pricing and programs, segmentation, distribution and promotion with a focus on fostering strong alignment with the sales team while maximizing profitability, volume and share growth of the business.

Rachel joined Pioneer Hi-Bred in Canada in 2003.  Over her tenure with the company she has held roles in technical marketing, marketing management and marketing communications.  Prior to joining Pioneer, Rachel worked for DuPont Crop Protection in both sales and marketing capacities. During her university career, she also worked for Pioneer in the areas of canola breeding and parent seed production.

Rachel now resides in Chatham, Ontario.  Rachel enjoys gardening and golfing in the summer months and is an avid curler in the winter.

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.

Sheri Griffiths

Regional Vice-President, Business Banking, Greater Toronto Division, BMO Financial Group, Toronto, Ontario

Speaker at BMO Workshop

Sheri Griffiths is responsible for Bank of Montreal’s Business Banking in the GTA Region.  Sheri brings over 25 years of extensive retail and business banking experience to this role. She started her career in banking as a teller and has progressed through many roles and several locations during her journey including relocating her family throughout South Western Ontario landing in Stratford, Chatham and Windsor before returning to Toronto.  She is married with 3 teenage children including a set of twins. She holds an MBA from Dalhousie University and is a passionate champion of mentoring Women in Business Banking as well as promoting BMO as the bank of choice for female entrepreneurs.

Julie Gunlock

Director, Center for Progress and Innovation, Independent Women’s Forum, Alexandria, Virginia

Presentation Title • Modern Agriculture in the Culture of Alarmism

Presentation Overview: Julie will discuss how the culture of alarmism is a barrier to agricultural progress and the modernization of the food system. She will examine the factors that contribute to the culture of alarmism: media, activists, junk science.

Julie Gunlock is director of Independent Women’s Forum’s center for progress and innovation. She is the author of the book From Cupcakes to Chemicals: How the Culture of Alarmism Makes Us Afraid of Everything and How to Fight Back.

Before joining IWF, Gunlock served as a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and on the House Homeland Security Committee, and on the staffs of Ohio Senators Mike DeWine, George Voinovich, and Tom Coburn. Gunlock has written about food and culture for the New York Post, the Washington Post, New York Daily News, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Times, National Review Magazine, National Interest Magazine, the Tampa Tribune, and Townhall.com and is a regular contributor to National Review Online, BlogHer and Huffington Post. She has offered political commentary on Fox News, TheBlaze TV and other networks and is a regular guest on local, regional and national radio programs.

She lives in Virginia with her husband and three young, active, and perpetually hungry boys.

Bettina Hamelin, PharmD, EMBA

President and CEO, Ontario Genomics, Toronto, Ontario

Women Talk Panel Speaker

Presentation Title •  The Rise of Women in Science and Business – Challenges and Opportunities

Presentation Overview: Bettina will speak to the tremendous opportunities for women in science and business based on her own adventurous and non-traditional career path.  Always striving for continuous improvement, Bettina will describe what inspires her and how she has successfully pushed cultural, geographic and disciplinary boundaries in pursuit of her dream to make a difference in the world around her.

Bettina has more than 15 years of international experience in the pharmaceutical industry as well as 10 years of experience as a tenured professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy at Université Laval. Prior to assuming her current role as President and CEO of Ontario Genomics, Bettina served as Vice-President of NSERC’s Research Partnerships Directorate. She has also held a variety of leadership positions at Pfizer Canada. She is known for pioneering novel public-private partnership models, and breaking down barriers between federal, provincial and private sector stakeholders. Bettina holds a B.Sc. in pharmacy and a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Kentucky, U.S. and an EMBA in Healthcare from the UBC.

Sarab Hans

President, Hans Dairy Inc., Mississauga, Ontario

Presentation Title • A Career Path Story

Presentation Overview: Sarab will tell her story  – the decisions she had to make, the risks she took and the opportunities she captured along the way. Her story will inspire!

Sarab Hans is the President of Hans Dairy Inc, a family business that focuses on providing authentic and natural dairy products to the South Asian community.  Since joining, Sarab has been in charge of developing and manufacturing ethnic dairy products that provide a taste of home.  Their current product lines are available in all the major Ontario retail grocers.  In 2015, Hans Dairy relocated to a new 22,000 sq ft facility which gives them the space needed to expand the business on a national level and develop new and innovative ethnic offerings.   Prior to joining Hans Dairy, Sarab worked in the investment banking sector for 6 years. She has a B.A. from University of Western Ontario and a M.B.A. from McGill University.

Candace Hill

Manager, Special Projects – Next Generation and Women in Agriculture, Farm Credit Canada, Regina, Saskatchewan

Presentation Title • Leadership & Long Runs

Presentation Overview: Training and running a half-marathon is a lot like leadership, it’s a journey, there are twists and turns and you can’t always predict where the path will lead. Candace will share her insights on leadership through the story of a long run including three principles to living your best life.

Candace Hill believes in living a life on purpose and spreading kindness wherever you go. She’s been sharing her passion and energy for marketing over the last 20-years in various roles within the financial services and agriculture industries. She has worked in the agriculture industry for more than 10 years. Since 2012, Candace has been with Farm Credit Canada in agri-marketing roles where she has created content strategies, led the Agriculture More Than Ever cause, and is currently immersing herself in all things next generation and women in agriculture as Manager, Special Projects.

A passionate agvocate, Candace loves interacting with people coast-to-coast to help them share the real story about where food comes from and how it’s produced.

Candace is a wife, a step-mom, a runner, and a city-girl working in Canadian agriculture. She and her husband Ryan, live in Regina with their family.

Cheri Knott

Regional Vice President, Personal Banking, Bank of Montreal, Owen Sound, Ontario

Sponsor Panel Speaker

Cheri is very proud that her entire banking career of over 32 years has kept her in the rural markets.  She began her banking career as a teller in Collingwood and has worked in many different roles in both sales and management positions throughout the years prior to her current role of Regional Vice President Personal Banking.  Cheri is accountable for personal banking services offered to clients as well as the branch network that serves them in the Owen Sound/Hanover Market.  She sits on the Board of the Owen Sound Hospital Foundation and is currently the Vice-Chair.  Cheri is also involved in bringing “Women In Agriculture” events to her Market. In her spare time she enjoys travelling and volunteering in her local community.

Kay Kuenker

Owner, K2Kinetics, LLC, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Workshop Presentation Title • To Coach… or To Be Coached…? That Is The Question!

Workshop Overview: Have you ever wondered if you could benefit from a coach? Have you ever thought about being a coach? Coaching has been around for a long time, but there are many different definitions, styles and processes. How do you know a coach is a good fit for you? How can you tell a ‘good’ coach from one that’s not so good? Regardless of the end of the spectrum you’re on—coach or coachee—this workshop is designed to answer those questions. Coaching is all about helping people realize and achieve their innate potential by exploring the possibilities. Join us for a fun and insightful session!

Presentation Title • Leading Inside-Out

Presentation Overview: Each of us has an opportunity in life to lead. In its simplest form, this means leadership of ourselves, being aware and consciously choosing how we show up and conduct ourselves to get the best results from ourselves and in our relationships with others.  In its more complex form, it is leading others, whether as leader of a project team, function, business division or company–family farm, for-profit or not-for-profit. The foundational underpinning of all leadership roles is self-leadership.

Self-awareness, knowing our triggers, foreseeing and keeping our reactions in check and effective communication are critical for both personal leadership as well as leading others.

Kay Kuenker, retired global VP of Dow AgroSciences and now business owner, consultant and coach, will share 10 principles of leadership integrating these concepts.

Kay Kuenker, having retired from a 29+ year career at Dow AgroSciences (DAS), is in a year of transition! In mid year, she finished her Results Certified Coaching certification; she is in the process of establishing her consulting and coaching business starting her own company called K2Kinetics, LLC. She worked at Purdue University’s Foundry, as Entrepreneur in Residence from January through August coaching faculty and graduate students on the process to take their ag related technology ideas and intellectual property to commercialization; she became an adjunct faculty member for the MBA program at Butler University and taught there this past summer.

For the previous nine years, Kay served on the executive leadership team for DAS and held three different Vice President positions: Global VP Business Development, Commercial VP Europe, Middle East and Africa and most recently, Global VP Government Affairs, Public Affairs and Sustainability for DAS.

Kay joined The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) in 1986 as a math modeler focusing on reactor design, pharmacokinetics and environmental risk assessment. She became part of Dow’s agricultural business in 1988 with roles focused on manufacturing plant optimization for agricultural chemicals.

In 1989, she relocated to Indianapolis and became leader of the Research and Development’s Modeling and Information Sciences Lab. She held various positions in R&D and IT until 1999, when she joined the Plant Genetics and Biotechnology Organization as a Project Success leader for corn. Subsequently, she held a variety of commercial jobs including marketing specialist, licensing leader for Corn Traits and Germplasm as well as global business leader for Corn and Sorghum. In 2005, she relocated to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to serve as the Regional Commercial Unit leader for Canada.  In 2007, she again returned to Indianapolis and was named Vice President, Business Development. In 2011 Kay relocated to Europe where she held the position of VP Dow AgroSciences Europe, Middle East and Africa. She returned to US in mid 2014 and was named Global VP of Government Affairs, Public Affairs and Sustainability.

Kay is a member several boards including BioCrossroads, AgriNovus Indiana, IN State Workforce Innovation Council and the Women in Agribusiness Advisory Board. She previously served on the Executive Committee of the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA, Food and Ag Governing Board for Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Purdue University Burton Morgan Entrepreneurial Center, Executive Committee for the National FFA Foundation and CropLife Canada.

Kay received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in mathematics from Central Michigan University. In addition to her coaching certification, Kay earned her Personal Fitness Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist Certifications through International Sports Sciences Association.

Lisa Lamers

Lamers Insurance Agency Inc., The Co-operators, Bowmanville, Ontario

Panel Discussion

Workshop Presentation title • An Open Discussion on Maternity Leave

Workshop Overview: Join the panel of women discussing both sides of maternity leave – how to plan for success for those planning a maternity leave and employers who have women leaving on maternity leave.

Lisa started her career with The Co-operators as a Sales Associate in Prince Edward Island and within a year moved to the GTA into a Claims Representative Role. She spent a few years on the claims side, lastly as Claims Specialist, which was her first experience in a leadership role. In 2002, she accepted a position as a Personal Lines Specialist where she spent a significant amount of time in the field training and coaching new and existing staff. Throughout that time she thoroughly enjoyed being out in the field and working directly with agencies which lead her down the path of Associate District Manager. She spent 15 years in the Associate District Manager role and during this time came to the realization that her true passion is leading, influencing and encouraging others to become strong and confident leaders and business owners. On a personal development note Lisa completed both her Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) Designation and her Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) Designation this time as well.

As an Associate District Manager, Lisa supported, managed and coached numerous corporate employees through their maternity leaves in addition to managing three of her own personal maternity leaves. Her first maternity leave for her oldest daughter was in 2005 at which time she took a full year off. During that year she worked on her career development completing a couple of Certified Financial Planning Courses to better position her for her return to work. Her next two girls came much later in her career in 2014/2015 where she had two back to back pregnancies taking shorter six month leaves as the girls were born 11 months apart. However, she was planning on the shorter leave regardless for both leaves due to her career development path.

In December of 2017, Lisa decided to take a slightly different direction and take over an Insurance Agency in Bowmanville, Ontario with The Co-operators. As a small business owner Lisa has 3 staff, one of which is 4 months pregnancy so is currently assisting her with the preparation of her maternity leave in March 2019 and beginning to actively recruit to fill the position.

Eileen McEwen

Associate Director for Learning and Development North America, Merck Animal Health, Kirkland, Quebec

Sponsor Panel Speaker

For close to twenty-five years, Eileen’s career has been in the pharmaceutical industry. On July 1st, 2018, she became the Associate Director for Learning and Development – North America – for Merck Animal Health. Prior to her current role she was the Farm Animal Business Unit Regional Manager for Ontario and Learning Partner for Canada. Eileen has fourteen years of experience as a Regional Business Manager, supporting, coaching, training and developing people in all provinces East of Saskatchewan. People development is a passion of Eileen’s. Before being a Regional Business Manager, she was a Sales Representative for ten years. Customer focus was and still is one of her strong traits. Her motto is “treat your customer how they want to be treated”. Eileen graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture majoring in Animal and Poultry Science with a minor in Extension Education. Being from a dairy background, she has presented Grand Champions at both World Dairy Expo in Madison, WI and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON. Eileen and her husband Phil reside in Ridgetown, Ontario and they have two daughters who have careers in Health Care – Registered Nurse and Nurse Practitioner.

Loralee Orr

Marketing Communications Leader Canada, Corteva Agriscience™ Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, Calgary, Alberta

Presentation Title • Change Management: Lessons from a Merger

Presentation Overview: Change is ever present in life, but at times the rate and magnitude can become almost overwhelming.  Loralee Orr will take a step back and share her insights from the past year as three organizations, cultures and systems have come together to create Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont.

Loralee’s life and passion has always been agriculture. Growing up on her family farm and her love of people inspired her to pursue a career in the industry. A graduate from the University of Manitoba, she holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture with a double major in Entomology and Plant Science.

Loralee began her career with Dow Elanco as a Sales Intern in 1997, just two days after graduating from University. Her career within one company has spanned 20 years, three name changes and multiple jobs and locations. In September of last year, she assumed the role of Marketing Communications Leader for Canada with Corteva Agriscience, the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont.

As a member of the Commercial Leadership Team and the People Leader Team, Loralee is responsible for championing the MarComm perspective in the development of the Canadian structure and strategy. She is integral in ensuring communications strategies align with business goals and her team is responsible for successful fulfillment and execution of all marketing and communications campaigns and tactics.

Loralee and her husband Brad reside in Calgary Alberta with their two sons.  She is actively involved in her boys’ sports and volunteering, and when she finds time for herself, enjoys playing any sport that involves hitting something (golf, hockey, baseball), gardening, music and of course food and wine!

Tammy Oswick

4-H Ontario, Brantford, Ontario

Presentation Title • 4-H: Learn to do by Doing

Presentation Overview: Tammy will share her unique journey in 4-H, here, there and everywhere. Using her head, heart, health and hands to become successful in whatever she does.

A mom of two and grandmother of two, Tammy enjoys volunteering with different organizations. Tammy served as a Girl Guide leader for 15 years, helped raise funds for the Kidney Foundation, worked closely with the United Church developing a community program in Eastern Ontario, and most recently went on two mission trips to Nebaj, Guatemala to help build a new hospital. She works full time as the bilingual event coordinator with Holstein Canada.

Tammy has a long history with the 4-H program. She served on the Ontario 4-H Council from 2012-2018 holding the position of President in 2016 and 2017. She also served on the Canadian 4-H Council in 2004-2005. A former 4-H Canada staff person, she was primarily responsible for organizing the 100th Anniversary celebrations held across the country and the global 4-H Youth Ag Summit. She was a 4-H Ontario staff for 6 ½ years and is a 12-year volunteer with Prescott 4-H Association, now sharing her experience with Brant 4-H Association.

Never having had the opportunity to experience 4-H as a member, she has participated and facilitated at many 4-H events, activities and programs locally, regionally and nationally, including Provincial Leadership Camp, Career Mania, Future Leaders In Action, Future Talk, GECO, Greenbelt, Discovery Days, Washington 4-H Conference, Members Conference and many, many more.

She truly believes in the 4-H motto of ‘Learn to do by Doing’ and continues to seek out new ways of living the 4-H motto every day.

Meghan Pedros

Relationship Manager, Talent Acquisition Business Banking Programs, TD Bank Group, Toronto, Ontario

Workshop Presentation Title • Build your Brand, Achieve Success!

Workshop Overview:This interactive workshop will take you through a step-by-step process on how to effectively build and leverage your personal brand to achieve success! Whether you are a strong negotiator or looking to build confidence, this workshop will add tips and tricks to your personal development checklist.

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 14 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 lead 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 Relationship 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 grads and a “Place to Be You”.

Erin Romeo

National Dekalb Marketing Lead,  Bayer Canada – Crop Science Division, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Panel Discussion

Workshop Presentation title • An Open Discussion on Maternity Leave

Workshop Overview: Join the panel of women discussing both sides of maternity leave – how to plan for success for those planning a maternity leave and employers who have women leaving on maternity leave.

Growing up, if you had told me I would one day attend a conference for women in agriculture, I would have given you a blank stare. I’m a city kid. I had never set foot on a farm until a senior partner at my firm insisted I show up at his farm and learn to seed canola. After that unusual assignment, I’ve worked in agriculture for almost 15 years, either as a lawyer or more recently, in my newly discovered passion for marketing. During my career in agriculture I have enjoyed visiting places in Canada that are not often traveled and meeting many inspirational farm families. Family is the center of my universe; my husband Matt and I are the proud parents of Max, a four year old boy who is slowly bankrupting us with his excessive use of Spiderman Band-Aids. Since becoming a mother, my career success (and my sanity) result from the strong parenting partnership with my husband, the steadfast support of my parents and the flexible work environment at Monsanto Canada. I get the a chance to be a senior leader, to do interesting work I am passionate about and nobody bats an eye when I’m the last  one to show up in the morning after taking Max to Montessori.  My true passion is leading teams and developing the next generation of senior leaders. I’m looking forward to learning from the other conference attendees and sharing new insights with the women in my organization.

Demetha Sanders

Global Talent Management & Acquisition Leader, Cargill, Wayzata, Minnesota

Sponsor Panel Speaker

Demetha is driving the talent management & acquisition agenda for one of the largest privately-owned businesses in the world with $2.45 billion in annual earnings and 150,000 employees in 70 countries. While no easy task, it’s one that impacts the lives and career projection of thousands of individuals on a daily basis.

She is leading the charge while working alongside a global team of professionals in the Talent space to bring innovative solutions that solve new challenges in talent management and acquisition including looking at new ways to solve for diversity, to revolutionize onboarding, to build sustainable succession and to assess capabilities in a place where the work truly matters.

Lisa Schouten

Continuous Improvement Process Lead, Cargill Limited, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Panel Discussion

Workshop Presentation Title • An Open Discussion on Maternity Leave

Workshop Overview: Join the panel of women discussing both sides of maternity leave – how to plan for success for those planning a maternity leave and employers who have women leaving on maternity leave.

Lisa Schouten grew up in the prairie town of Neepawa, Manitoba and completed undergraduate studies in Economics at the University of Winnipeg.  She has worked at Cargill for over 21 years in a variety of finance and accounting roles supporting the grain and crop input businesses in Canada.  After 16 years based in the Winnipeg office, Lisa had the opportunity to experience the ag industry in southern Saskatchewan as a Regional Finance Manager.  Since relocating back to Winnipeg in 2015 she has been supporting process improvement initiatives and leading projects for the North American supply chain businesses.  Lisa is also an active member on the leadership team for the Women’s Resource Group for the Cargill North American supply chain businesses, where one of her focus areas was to support a study of Cargill employee experience of parental leave.  With three maternity leaves while working at Cargill, Lisa has not only navigated through different stages and types of maternity leaves but has also managed a team of employees who have experienced the effects of maternity leave.

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

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

Presentation Title • Stressed, Anxious and Depressed: Clarifying the Needs of our Agricultural Community

Presentation Overview: Dr. Marla will present the definitions of stress and burnout with an emphasis on stress management in the ag sector.

Dr. Marla Shapiro is one of Canada’s most trusted guides to personal health and well-being. A warm, compelling, and compassionate speaker, she gives practical advice on developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Shapiro offers specialized talks on women and family health care and discusses the pressing issues at the forefront of today’s news.

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

Since 2000, Dr. Shapiro has been the Health and Medical Expert for Canada AM. In addition to her weekly appearances on Canada AM, Dr. Shapiro is seen regularly on CTV News Channel and as the medical consultant on CTV National News. In 2012, she hosted CTV News Channel’s Dr. Marla & Friends, a weekly series examining the most current and news-driven medical topics and stories. In addition, Dr. Shapiro has contributes topical, medical investigative documentaries for CTV’s W5, Canada’s most-watched documentary series. In 2003, she began hosting Balance: Television for Living Well, a refreshing daily health and lifestyle show seen across North American households.

In 2015, Dr. Shapiro was named a member of the Order of Canada, for contributions as a family physician and trusted source of health information.

Dr. Shapiro has written a regular column for the Globe and Mail. She currently writes her weekly blog on the CTVNews.ca website. Dr. Shapiro is the Founding Editor of ParentsCanada Magazine.

Additionally, Dr. Shapiro is a member of several committees and advisory boards including the Board for the Canadian Foundation for Women and Health, Research Canada and The North American Menopause Society. She was on the original Board of The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer having stepped down after 6 years.

Dr. Shapiro was honoured at the 150th Bayer Anniversary among 22 leading scientists and researchers for her work in Women’s Health and contraception, and she was also named one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women by Women of Influence Magazine in Canada. In 2011, The Israeli Cancer Research Fund honoured Dr. Shapiro at their Women of Action Luncheon for her personal and professional dedication to supporting innovative cancer research. She was the recipient of the 2010 Peter R. Newman Humanitarian Award in recognition of an exemplary commitment to the welfare of individuals or the community, at home or abroad. Dr. Shapiro was the recipient of the 2005 Media Award from the North American Menopause Society for her work in expanding the understanding of menopause. She won the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada/Canadian Foundation for Women’s Health Award for Excellence in Women’s Health Journalism in 2006 for her documentary, Run Your Own Race. The documentary was written, presented and co-produced by Dr. Shapiro, and won numerous industry awards including the New York Film Festival and the Columbus International Film and Video award.

Dr. Shapiro received an Award of Excellence from the College of Family Physicians of Canada for her lifelong commitment and dedication to family medicine in 2008. As well she was awarded the Excellence in Creative Professional Activity in 2008 by the University of Toronto, Department of Family and Community Medicine.

Her national best-selling book, Life in the Balance: My Journey with Breast Cancer, was released in Fall 2006.

Cathy Stranges, BBA, PFP

Financial Planner, Investment & Retirement Planning, Welland, ON

Speaker at BMO Workshop

Cathy is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University, with a degree in Honours Business Administration. She has attained the Personal Financial Planning designation (PFP). She brings to her role 20 years of experience in personal banking with BMO Bank of Montreal.

Sherry Waddingham, MBA, ACPC, PCC

President, Mindshift, Toronto, Ontario

Presentation Title • Don’t let unspoken gender rules get in your way

Presentation Overview: Men and women are very different. Men have different rules by which they work, communicate and make decisions. The challenge for women is these rules are not consciously communicated which leaves them operating blind.  This session will uncover gender differences in the workplace and how to avoid the pitfalls that can hold you back.

Sherry is an Interpersonal Behaviour Specialist and the President of Mindshift a workplace communication consultancy. She works with organizations in the areas of interpersonal communication, gender differences in the workplace and leadership for women.

Sherry’s desire is to create a more humane workplace experience by helping people understand each other and providing the tools to help them work better together. Her industry experience runs the gamut and she has worked in both the private and public sector.

Prior to starting her own consultancy, Sherry was a corporate executive and spent over twenty years inspiring people and building teams. She has held senior leadership positions in communications, marketing and strategic planning with some of the country’s top companies including IBM Canada, Cossette Communications Group, OgilvyOne Worldwide and Liberty Health.

Sherry holds an M.B.A. from Queen’s University and studied Psychology at Ryerson University.  She is an alumna of The Judy Project (Leadership Forum For Executive Women) from the Rotman School of Management. She is a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation and a graduate of Adler International Learning/OISE, University of Toronto.   Sherry is a graduate of Protrack Academy from the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS).

Sherry lives in Toronto, is an avid potter, gardener and animal lover.

Dr. Brynn Winegard

DrBrynn.com, Toronto, Ontario

Presentation Title: Boost Your Brain! Maximizing Motivation, Productivity, Functionality, Health

Presentation Overview: Learn the brain-based tips and tricks you need to know for higher motivation, productivity, and functionality in all you do.

Dr. Brynn Winegard is an award-winning professor, speaker, and expert. Brynn completed her formal education in Neuroscience, Psychology, Marketing, and Strategy (HSBc, MBA, PhD), coupled with over a decade in corporate marketing working for Pfizer Inc., Nestle Inc., and Johnson & Johnson Inc. While Professor Winegard retains positions as Faculty at Schulich School of Business, DeGroote School of Business, and University of Guelph, she has now dedicated herself to helping others through speaking about ‘Building Better Business Brains’ to groups, organizations and companies, stemming from her research, which combines business and brain sciences. Brynn combines real-world experience with frontier research to deliver impactful programming that will be sure to please audiences and elevate their daily business.

Clients are some of the world’s top companies and organizations. When Dr. Brynn isn’t speaking, she is a regularly featured expert in television, radio, and print.

Brynn is passionate about business, brain science, the intersection of business and brain science, speaking, dogs, golf, tacos, and travel.

Debbie Zimmerman

CEO, Grape Growers of Ontario, St. Catharines, Ontario

Presentation Title • A Career Path Story

Presentation Overview: Debbie will share her story of politics to vineyards – the path she took, the opportunities she captured and the skills she has honed along the way to be recognized as a distinguished leader.

Since 2003, Debbie has been the CEO of the Grape Growers of Ontario, the official organization that represents over 500 actively producing growers of 17,000 acres in the province’s three viticulture areas: Niagara Peninsula, Lake Erie North Shore and Prince Edward County. Embracing new technology and creating a focus on growing Ontario’s VQA wines is the culture embraced by the organization.

Debbie was actively involved in local politics for 36 years. Her political career began in 1978 as a local alderman for the Town of Grimsby, and in 1989 was elected to Regional Council. In 1997 Debbie was elected as Regional Chair for the Regional Municipality of Niagara, a position that she served for two terms. In 2014 Debbie decided to pursue other interests and did not seek re-election.

Debbie is the past Chair of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation for the Province of Ontario (2004-2010), and was assigned by the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, to the 2015/16 Provincial Review Panel for Ontario’s Land Use Plans, including the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, and the Niagara Escarpment Plan. Debbie joined the Premier in November 2017 on the Provincial Trade Mission to China and Vietnam.

Debbie currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Buffalo/Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority, McNally House and 2021 Canada Summer Games which will attract over 5,000 athletes and coaches to the twelve municipalities across Niagara during the summer of 2021, and provide a lasting legacy for the Region, Ontario and Canada. Most recently, Debbie was a member of the YMCA Board of Directors and a Co-Chair of the Pathstone “Mending Minds” fundraising campaign.

Debbie has been the recipient of many awards including the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce “Community Leadership Award” in 2013, the “Niagara Award” in 1998, the Niagara College “Board of Governors Award” in 2001 and the YWCA “Woman of Distinction” award in 2003. In 2015 Debbie was awarded the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation’s “Local Food Champion” award for her commitment to local food and her years of service to Niagara, and in 2017 Debbie was named a “Friend of the Greenbelt” for her work on the Provincial Review Panel.