• Women's Leadership Symposium

  • Description

    What is the conference about?

    Rotman Commerce Women in Business will be hosting its 8th Annual Women's Leadership Symposium (WLS) on March 4th, 2017. This dynamic conference will unite and empower students from a variety of universities. Through keynote speeches, interactive activities and breakout sessions, speakers will share their insights on the topic of "Pursue Your Power" in developing their personal brand. Students will have the ability to choose from various panels representing different industries with both male and female representatives from numerous backgrounds and experiences. Don't miss out on an opportunity to forge new relationships with distinguished representatives. Register today!



  • Info & Details

    8th Annual Women's Leadership Symposium


    Saturday March 4th, 2017


    Early Bird RC: $30

    Early Bird External: $35

    Regular RC: $35

    Regular External: $40



    All students, professionals, and genders are welcome!


    Business Formal

  • Agenda

    8:15 to 8:45 Delegate Registration
    8:45 to 9:15 Breakfast
    9:15 to 9:30 Opening Remarks by RCWIB
    9:30 to 10:15 First Keynote Speaker | Pooja Handa
    10:15 to 10:25 Brief about Breakout Sessions
    10:25 to 11:45 Breakout Session #1
    11:45 to 12:45 Networking Session
    12:45 to 1:45 Lunch
    1:45 to 2:30 Interactive Activity | 
    2:30 to 3:55 Breakout Session #2
    3:55 to 4:00 Dessert Break
    4:00 to 4:40 Second Keynote Speaker | Morra Aarons-Mele
    4:40 to 5:00 Raffle + Closing Remarks

  • Keynote Speakers


    Anchor, CP24/Co-Host, CP24 BREAKFAST

    Pooja Handa has been a CP24 anchor since 2008, and in April 2011 she became a co-host of CP24 BREAKFAST WEEKEND, before moving to the weekday edition of CP24 BREAKFAST in 2014. Torontonians have come to know Handa as one of the faces greeting them every morning with news that will help them start their day. Handa is born a storyteller, using wit and humour to engage viewers.


    With CP24, Handa has covered everything from politics to entertainment, including the annual Toronto International Film Festival and the 40th Anniversary of THE JUNO AWARDS in Toronto. She is also a regular contributor to CP24’s coverage of major events taking place in Toronto including hosting CP24’s annual Pride Parade broadcast, WorldPride 2014, and CP24’s coverage of the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival grand parade. She has also been a regular judge for the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

    Before joining CP24, Handa worked as a traffic reporter and entertainment host for GLOBAL MORNING NEWS in Toronto, where she created and hosted a unique entertainment segment called the PH FACTOR (Pooja Handa Factor).

    Handa is passionate about charity work and helping others. Born and raised in the GTA, Handa makes it a priority to give back to the community, and continues to be active by hosting and supporting charitable and community events throughout the city. She also works closely with the Halton Industry Education Council mentoring young girls in their career paths. When Handa is not working, she loves spending time with her husband and family.


    Follow Handa on Twitter: @poojahandatv



    Founder of Women Online & The Mission List

    Morra Aarons-Mele is the founder of award winning social impact agency Women Online and The Mission List. She is an Internet marketer who has been working with women online since 1999. She helped Hillary Clinton log on for her first Internet chat, and has launched online campaigns for President Obama, Malala Yousafzai, the United Nations, and many other leading figures and organizations.


    Morra is also the host of the popular podcast Hiding in the Bathroom, found on PodcastOne and part of the Forbes Network. Her forthcoming book will be published by Harper Collins in fall 2017.


    Morra’s Internet experience spans politics and the private sector. During the 2004 Presidential Election, Morra was the Director of Internet Marketing for the Democratic National Committee. After the 2004 election she founded Edelman’s digital public affairs team where she worked with Fortune 50 clients. Morra worked in various roles at leading online companies in New York and London, including iVillage.com, eBookers.com, and at iVillage UK, where she managed public relations and marketing.


    She was founding Political Director for BlogHer.com, and has written for BlogHer as well as The Harvard Business Review, The Huffington Post, MomsRising, The Wall St Journal, The New York Times, and The Guardian. She has covered events from the White House to the campaign trail to Harvard Law School in her role as a blogger on women, politics, and work. Morra has taught at the Yale Women’s Campaign School, the Harvard Kennedy School, and at the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders forum at Harvard, as well as at the Johns Hopkins Graduate School of Communication. Morra has degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School and Brown University. She and husband Nicco Mele live in Boston with their three children.


  • Accounting

    Breakout Session #1

    Ikram Al Mouaswas

    Parnter, Assurance & Advisory, Mining at Deloitte

    Ikram is a Partner in the Toronto Assurance & Advisory group at Deloitte Canada. Ikram joined Deloitte as a staff accountant in the fall of 2006 immediately after graduating from UoT St. George with a B.Comm from Rotman. Since then, Ikram has worked in both Assurance and Advisory, specializing in Energy & Resources. In 2015, Ikram was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Woman, nominated by her regional Partners at Deloitte. Ikram leads CPA recruiting for the Toronto office, and is heavily involved in recruiting at the St. George campus. Outside her professional life, Ikram loves traveling, and enjoys documenting her travels on Snapchat videos for her friends to virtually go along with her on her trips!

    Zenaida Dulce

    Financial Controller at Scarborough Golf and Country Club

    Zenaida works for Scarboro Golf and Country Club, where she holds the position of Controller. She is a York University graduate with a Bachelor in Business Administration and an Honours Bachelor degree in Accounting. She received her CPA, CGA title in 2014 and she is recently CHAE (Certified Hospitality Accounting Executive) designee. Zenaida has broad work experience in various industries, such as government, publishing and hospitality and recreation. She volunteers for the CPA Social Events Committee, and sits on the Board as a director for Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals, Ontario Chapter. Zenaida loves discovering new cultures and has traveled extensively in different parts of the world. She believes that the secret to success is being passionate about her job and learning from others’ knowledge and experiences. Zenaida is one of the Chartered Professional Accountants Ontario representatives.

    Lesley Townend

    Senior Director, Internal Audit at CIBC

    Lesley Townend brings 20+ years of audit, business advisory and change management experience in the Financial Services industry with specific knowledge of internal controls, audit practices, policy development and implementation, learning and people development in an audit context.
    Lesley has always been passionate about learning, developing training programs, leading conferences, and working with managers on changing behavior. In the past three years Lesley focused on the development and implementation of an integrated HR strategy for Internal Audit designed to build audit and leadership skills, improve use of recognition tools, focus recruitment to bring in the right people for the right positions and improve the overall employee experience.
    Lesley is also a founding member of the CIBC Women’s Network and past chair of the CIBC Administration Employment Equity and Diversity Committee. Lesley holds a BA from York University, Toronto.

    Brenda Vethanayagam

    Senior Associate, Risk Assurance Services at PwC

    Brenda is a Senior Associate in Risk Assurance Services at PwC. She specializes in performance assurance, specifically focused on Service Organization Controls reporting. Over her 4 years at the firm, she has gained a wide variety of exposure to different industries including Financial Services, Power and Utilities, Real Estate and Technology. She has worked with key clients to understand and address business process and information technology risks through the implementation and review of key controls.


    Brenda graduated with a Bachelors of Accounting and Financial Management degree from the University of Waterloo. She is a candidate for CPA, CA designation, with expected qualification in April 2017.


    Miranda Ferris

    Analyst at ONCAP Management Partners

    Miranda Ferris is an Analyst at ONCAP, the middle-market private equity team at ONEX Corporation. She was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and moved to London in 2011 where she attended the Ivey Business School at Western University. Following her graduation in 2015, she spent her first year out of school at Deloitte in Toronto in their Assurance and Advisory practice. She worked on a variety of clients in the financial institution industry, such as banks, mutual funds, etc and recently completed her Common Final Evaluation, the final exam in the CPA process. She then began at ONCAP, where she has been working on a variety of projects in various industries. Outside of work, Miranda is an avid runner and enjoys taking exercise classes around Toronto, as well as spending time with friends and family.

    Tianen Nar

    Staff Accountant at KPMG - Moderator

    Tianen Nar is a fourth year Rotman Commerce student specializing in Accounting. He landed a job at KPMG after his first year and over the course of two summers, he worked in the Real Estate Tax Group, Financial Institutions and Real Estate Audit Group, Risk Consulting (IT Advisory), and the Financial Institutions (FI) Audit Group. He will be returning to the FI Audit group for full time this fall. Tianen was also actively involved as a Board of Ambassador for CPA Ontario and held an executive role on the Rotman Commerce Accounting Society during his first two years of university. In his spare time, he loves to golf and spend time with his family and girlfriend.

  • Finance

    Breakout Session #1

    Maurissa Bell

    Associate, Corporate Banking at CIBC

    Maurissa Bell is a Chartered Accountant with over six years of diverse experience in accounting and finance. Currently, Ms. Bell is an Associate at CIBC Corporate Banking, covering the Financial Institutions sector comprised primarily of large cap, investment-grade borrowers. Prior to her current role, Ms. Bell also worked in Equity Research at CIBC covering the large cap financial sector, including banks and life insurers.

    Before joining CIBC, Ms. Bell spent three years at BDO Canada in Vancouver pursuing her Chartered Accountant designation, auditing complex financial instruments and preparing financial due diligence reports, with a primary focus on mining companies.

    Ms. Bell holds a Bachelor of Business Management and Organizational Studies with a specialization in Finance from the University of Western Ontario.

    Paula Lum

    Senior Associate, Total Portfolio Management at CPPIB

    Paula spent the last 4 years at BCIMC in their Infrastructure and Private Equity investment groups focussing on both Developed and Emerging Markets portfolios. Before that Paula was a senior analyst in the M&A investment banking team at BMO Capital Markets and prior to that she was a Power Plant Engineer at Ontario Power Generation


    Nataliya Paranych

    Manager, Branch Strategy & Capabilities at TD Bank

    Nataliya started with TD Bank over 5 years ago as part of the Finance Associate Program and has held progressive roles in Corporate Finance, Personal Products, Wealth Management and Branch Banking Strategy. In her current role, she is responsible for providing strategic counsel to stakeholders across Branch Banking through research projects, thought leadership, and strategy development.

    Velma Jean Milburn

    Manager, Real Estate and Financial Services at McCor Management (East) Inc.

    Jean is a business professional with broad experience encompassing all facets of business. Currently she holds the position of Manager, Real estate & Financial Services with McCor Management (East) Inc., a third party property management firm with national scope of a mixed portfolio of retail and office buildings. She has worked for many companies including as a Law Clerk in the commercial leasing department of Minden Gross LLP, a mid-sized law firm with large landlord and tenant clients in commercial, office and retail properties across Canada. Previously, she has worked for larger companies such as Manulife Financial, holding the position of Supervisor, Real Estate Operational Accounting, wherein she was responsible for processing accounting transactions for the North American Real Estate Offices including the administration of leases and payments, and was accountable for the production, accuracy, and integrity of financial statements and reports.


    Jean enjoys studying and keeping current on her skills having graduated from York University where she spent 7 years studying economics while concurrently working full time from 1997 to 2004. She then completed 2 years of courses required for the Real Property Administrator (RPA) certification from the Builders and Owners Association (BOMA), and in August of 2012, she was awarded her CMA designation after completing the Accelerated CMA and Strategic Leadership programs.

    Robert Kelsall

    Managing Director, Debt Products at BMO Capital Markets

    Robert Kelsall has been in the capital markets industry for 29 years since graduating from McGill University with a BCom and MBA. He has worked in fixed income, specifically corporate bonds and has been with BMO Capital Markets for the last 10 years. The corporate bond trading group is part of BMO’s FICC (Global Fixed Income Currencies and Commodities). He heads institutional investment grade corporate bonds for the bank and works with large institutions on the buy side, fixed income salespeople, and debt capital markets (syndication and origination). His team has consistently ranked as the #1 corporate bond team in Canada. Outside of work he loves to golf and travel with his family.

    Alberto Berumen

    Associate, Investment Division Rotational Program at Manulife Asset Management - Moderator

    Alberto is a fourth year Rotman Commerce student at the University of Toronto, specializing in Finance & Economics. He has had internships in Finance at Magna International and Manulife Asset Management. Upon graduating this June, he will return to Manulife and begin his career in the firm’s Investment Division Rotational Program.
    Born in Mexico City, he is fluent in Spanish, and is currently learning French. He is a passionate soccer and hockey fan, loves to swim, and looks forward to this year’s WLS.


  • Marketing

    Breakout Session #1

    Chelsie McKnight

    Manager, Small Business Marketing at TELUS

    A bachelor of commerce graduate from the University of Toronto (Vic 0T6) Chelsie has held a wide breadth of roles at TELUS over the last 10 years. Her career started in a leadership development program, and her roles quickly grew to include strategic planning, product development, capital governance, and marketing. She currently leads a team in Small Business Wireline Marketing. She is a member of Connections, the TELUS Women’s Network, and mentors team members who are just starting their careers at TELUS. In 2011, Chelsie was recognized as Community Champion at TELUS for her leadership and dedication to volunteerism. In 2014, she joined Forward Together as an organizing committee member—a movement of companies that works to elevate high-potential women in the workplace. In 2015, she was recognized as an Emerging Leader by Victoria College at the University of Toronto.


    Chelsie was involved for eight years as a volunteer at Camp Quality, a not-for-profit camp for children with cancer. Currently she is an avid supporter of Habitat for Humanity GTA and Global Village. She organizes annual fundraising and builds for TELUS to participate in, helping raise over $150,000 and counting. She has also travelled internationally to Sri Lanka, Mozambique, and Jordan for building projects.

    Maria Shibaeva Escarraga

    Marketing Director, Costco Canada Team, at P&G

    Maria is a fellow University of Toronto Alumni, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Marketing & Languages. She is currently a Marketing Director for P&G. She leads the P&G Canada Shopper Marketing Team for Costco Canada. She is an entrepreneur and often guest lectures for marketing classes at Rotman and York University.

    Dani Roche

    Owner of Kastor and Pollux

    Dani Roche is a multi-disciplinary designer and the owner of Kastor & Pollux, a creative agency based in Toronto. While she is a formally trained graphic designer, Dani has worked in a multitude of industries - from editorial to media to fashion. Most recently, Marketing Magazine recognized her as one of the top "30 Under 30" marketing leaders in Canada.

    Jessica Stevenson

    Marketing Manager at Revlon

    As the Marketing Director for Revlon’s professional division made up of top beauty brands including Revlon Professional, CND and American Crew, Jessica Stevenson has a keen eye for uncovering transformational customer insights and strategies into how brands can reach and engage consumers in a meaningful way to influence purchase behaviour on-and off-line. Her passion for building brands started from an early age when she worked for the family business, Kathy Hagerman Fine Arts. After completing her HBA, she developed new product innovation and brand campaigns for various General Mills brands, including Nature Valley, Cheerios and Pillsbury that touched millions of homes and hearts across the country. Today Jessica’s focus is on unlocking potential, whether that be strategic consumer-centric brand building, P&L management or developing high performance teams. She feels that there is nothing more rewarding or important for a business then discovering top talent and building future leaders.

    Alex Shadrow

    Founder and CEO at Unitiques

    In the words of Christine Hunsicker who sold her first company to Yahoo for $850 million, "Alex will make it come hell or high water, she will eat through a wall." Alexandra Shadrow is the founder of UNItiques.com: the first college focused fashion marketplace where campus fashionistas can buy & sell. Now on over 500 campuses, UNItiques is fulfilling its mission of enabling college girls to be entrepreneurs by turning their dorms and closets into stores. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Shadrow inadvertently started her company after a scary encounter with a Craigslist creep during her junior year at Boston University, where 2/3 students are now members. Alex has been noticed by the likes of Forbes and the Huffington Post, speaks as a panelist at Harvard University, and appeared on TV as a "winner" on Lifetime's new hit show "Project Runway Startup."

    Hailey Vasyliw

    Category Team Analyst at Walmart - Moderator

    Hailey is a graduate of the Rotman Commerce program at U of T and specialized in Finance and Economics. She started her career at Walmart Canada as part of their Finance and Accounting Development Program where she worked as a Merchandise Finance Analyst in Health & Wellness for a year. She then transitioned to the Merchandising side of the business and is currently working as a Category Team Analyst in Produce and manages Walmart's Bulk Foods program. Hailey has held previous summer analyst roles at HSBC in both Commercial Banking and Debt Capital Markets

  • Law

    Breakout Session #1

    Susan Ursel

    Partner at Ursel Phillips Fellows Hopkinson LLP.

    Susan Ursel is a Senior Partner with Ursel Phillips Fellows Hopkinson LLP, a progressive labour and employment law firm. She represents unions, organizations and individuals on arbitrations, labour board proceedings, tribunal hearings and litigation before all levels of court in Ontario, as well as the Supreme Court of Canada. Her practice focuses on labour and employment, pay equity, employment equity, human rights and pensions and benefits law.

    In 2016 Susan was named to the first-ever composed Independent Advisory Board for Supreme Court of Canada Justices. The Board was responsible for assisting with the selection and recommendation of candidates to serve as the next Supreme Court judge.

    Susan has been honoured with many awards and recognition for her work. She was inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in 2016. She was also the youngest recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from Pro Bono Ontario in 2016, recognizing her early and continuing efforts to provide access to justice for all Ontarians, among other outstanding achievements.

    Nooreen Bhanji

    Associate at Torys LLP

    Nooreen Bhanji is a fifth year associate at Torys LLP and her practice focusses on Commercial Real Estate Law. She completed her undergraduate degree at the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University and completed law school at Osgoode Hall at York University. In law school, Nooreen volunteered with the Family Law Program in collaboration with Legal Aid Ontario, and as a legal researcher with the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants.

    Lisa Munro

    Partner at Lerners Lawyers

    Practises commercial litigation and arbitration, including business and contractual disputes, shareholder disputes and oppression remedy cases, class actions, and matters involving director and officer liability, transnational and cross-border law (enforcement of foreign judgments and letters rogatory), accountants’ and auditors’ liability. Called to the Ontario bar in 1994. Selected for inclusion by peers in Best Lawyers in Canada for corporate commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution. Recognized and recommended by Lexpert as a leading cross-border lawyer in corporate commercial litigation. Recipient of Diversity Journal’s Women Worth Watching Award in 2015. Recipient of Lexpert Zenith Award for Diversity and Inclusion in 2016. Member of Lerners LLP Executive Committee since 2007 and Chair of the Lerners Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Co-Chair of the Toronto Commercial Arbitration Society. Member of the board of directors, Greater Toronto Scout Foundation, and recipient of Scouts Canada Medal for Good Service. Frequent speaker, panelist, and moderator, including for the Ontario Bar Association, Osgoode Professional Development Program, and the Law Society of Upper Canada.

    Ronda Bessner

    Visiting Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, Adjudicator on the Consent and Capacity Board.

    Ronda Bessner has been involved in a wide range of areas of the law, including academia, adjudication, policy work and public inquiries.

    Professor Bessner’s areas of teaching have been Criminal Law, Evidence, Youth Justice and Public Inquiries. She teaches at Osgoode Hall Law School and was a McMurty Fellow. She is the author of many published articles on child abuse, evidence, criminal law, and HIV/AIDS. She was formerly the Assistant Dean (JD) at Osgoode.


    Ronda Bessner is also an adjudicator on the Consent and Capacity Board. Ronda has worked on a number of public inquiries and in law reform. She has held the position of Senior Legal Analyst at five public inquiries including the Walkerton Inquiry (contamination of drinking water), the Ipperwash Inquiry (the death of Dudley George in a land claim protest and occupation by Aboriginal people), and the Royal Commission on the Blood System in Canada. This past year, Ronda co-designed and co-facilitated two Roundtables and presented a paper to three federal Cabinet Ministers for the proposed Public Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls.

    Marlene Costa

    Ontario Securities Commission, Legal Counsel

    Marlene Costa is Legal Counsel in the Compliance and Registrant Regulation Branch of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). She obtained her law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, where she earned the Dean’s Gold Key Award and has remained involved as a teaching team member of the Lawyer as a Negotiator Course since 2011. In her previous role as legal counsel to the tribunal of the OSC, Marlene gained expertise in complex securities litigation matters, administrative law and regulatory compliance. She has developed recommendations for procedural and administrative law policies, including access to justice initiatives such as the tribunal’s Guideline for French Hearings and the OSC Litigation Assistance Program. Prior to joining the OSC, Marlene worked at the then Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade on matters arising under the North American Free Trade Agreement. She also previously interned with the United Nations Development Program’s Governance Cluster conducting comparative legal research. Marlene is an active member of the Ontario Bar Association, currently serving as Vice Chair of the Public Sector Lawyers Section, Program Coordinator of the Women Lawyers Forum and a member of OBA Council.

    Karolina Iron

    Osgoode Women's Network,President (2018 JD Candidate) - Moderator

    Karolina Iron is a second year law student at Osgoode Hall Law School, and President of the Osgoode Women's Network, an organization which seeks to promote the advancement of women in law through mentorship, skills-building, and networking opportunities. Karolina is also an avid mooter, having competed in five moots. Prior to attending Osgoode, she worked as Secretary to the National Director of the United Steelworkers, where she developed an interest in labour law, occupational health and safety, and advocacy. She also holds a B.A. in Criminology from York University.

  • Consulting

    Breakout Session #1

    Jillian Watson

    Management Consultant at Accenture

    Jillian is a Management Consultant within Accenture’s Retail practice. She has played the role of process design and solution architect on multiple supply chain projects for Loblaw. Jillian recently completed an MBA, specialized in Finance, from McMaster University. Jillian also holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Western Ontario.

    Prior to joining Accenture, Jillian was a Consultant with Canadian Tire’s Customer Analytics & Insights group. Jillian also has experience in investment banking/M&A and capital markets.

    Alice Goffredo

    Founder & Principal of Goffredo Consulting Group Inc.

    Alice Goffredo is the founder and principal of Goffredo Consulting Group Inc., a Human Resources Consulting practice offering talent acquisition, career coaching and generalized HR consulting services and is the former head of Global Talent Acquisition at CPP Investment Board. She gives freely of her time to young professionals – offering mentorship and guidance. Alice is a member of the Program Advisory Committee of the HR Advisory Board at George Brown College, where she taught the Career Planning and Development course, is on the Professional Advisory Committee of Avanti Women and is a member of Women in Capital Markets.

    Julie Van Wyck

    Management Consulting Associate at Boston Consulting Group

    Julie van Wyck is an Associate at the Boston Consulting Group. She attended the Ivey Business School at Western University, and spent her free time playing on the varsity lacrosse team and tutoring younger business students. Following her graduation in 2015, she joined BCG. Since joining, she has primarily worked in Financial Institutions, completing cases in Toronto, Montreal, Boston, and Hong Kong. Outside of work, Julie enjoys spending time with family and friends and traveling and learning about different cultures.

    Andrea Pitura

    Senior Project Engineer at MMM

    Andrea Pitura graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2000 with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering. Following graduation, she began her career at Marshall Macklin Monaghan (MMM); the engineering consulting firm where she had completed her final co-op work term. Andrea worked in the Municipal Engineering department at MMM for 3 years until she took leave for the birth of her first child. After taking 9 years off to raise her two children (her 9 year maternity leave), Andrea returned to MMM to continue her career in engineering. She is now a Senior Project Engineer responsible for the Contract Administration of the Region of Peel’s Hanlan Feedermain project; the most complex and extensive infrastructure project ever completed by the Region.

    Alexa Nick

    Managing Director at BottomLine Group

    Alexa Nick is a Partner and Managing Director at BottomLine Group, a boutique Management Consultancy. Alexa brings over 20 years of experience and expertise in corporate and business unit strategy, mergers and acquisitions, organizational performance and enterprise transformation. Alexa is also the founder of myPractice, a core learning offering within BottomLine Group, focused on developing creative strategies and learning programs with the goals of closing the customer experience gap. BottomLine Group has established relationships within Travel, Financial Services, Professional Services, Government, Automotive and Construction industries and works with Canadian and U.S.-based Fortune 500 companies.

    Lilly Tong

    Digital Business Integration Analyst at Accenture - Moderator

    Lilly Tong is a Digital Business Integration Analyst at Accenture, a global consulting firm specializing in technology and strategy consulting. She graduated from McGill University in 2016 with a degree in Software Engineering. Prior to joining Accenture full time, she interned with the firm, where she served a major client in public transportation. Currently, she is working with a leading insurance company to transform and standardize their global data governance and modelling practices. Lilly is looking forward to connect with everyone at Women's Leadership Symposium this year, so she would really appreciate it if you could drop by and say hi to her!

  • Fashion

    Breakout Session #2

    Sara Duke

    Creator of Sara Duke

    Sara Duke is a Canadian independent fashion designer, based in Toronto. Her pieces are thoughtfully created for the modern, urban woman, signified by clean lines and modest fits. For almost a decade, she has been designing and hand cutting garments out of her Parkdale studio, always with an emphasis on carefree, easy wear.

    Every Sara Duke piece is small batch, individually hand cut, and proudly made in Canada. With a focus on easy care and easy wear, each tidy garment is constructed to last from locally sourced fabrics. Duke designs her collections with functionality, versatility and durability in mind, resulting in simple, stylish separates for an understated modern aesthetic.

    Her commitment to quality means a hands-on approach to design - Duke drafts each pattern and hand sews the sample garments for every collection. Sara Duke is also a strong supporter of the local fashion community; the label’s production comes from a small manufacturer in downtown Toronto, and collections are carried exclusively by independent retailers across Canada.

    Laura deCarufel

     Editor and Chief of The Kit

    Laura deCarufel, the editor-in-chief of The Kit, is an award-winning editor and writer with more than 12 years experience in fashion and beauty journalism. She joined The Kit in August 2015 and is the founding editor of Compact, The Kit’s monthly millennial fashion and beauty magazine. Previously, Laura was the executive editor at ELLE Canada for three years and has worked at FASHION and Hardly Magazine, the digital style magazine she co-founded. She is also the author of Learn to Speak Fashion (Owlkids).

    Vava Valentina

    Co-Founder of The Store on Queen

    Valentina was always the fashion girl growing up, but never thought she would make her passion into a career because it wasn’t something she wanted to do and she never imagined owning her own store. When Valentina was working at Le Chateau as a store Manager, the Buying department offered her a paid buying internship at head office in Montreal and 3 months later offered her a position to stay. She declined, and moved back to B.C. Thereafter, she was offered a Supervisor position in B.C and also turned that down. Her BFF at the time, needed her buying and styling ability and begged her to open a store together. She accepted and resigned her position of nearly 9 years with the company. Nearly 2 months later she opened the doors to her first shop without her BFF. After a few years, Valentina wanted to travel and decided to sell the business and take off. A year later, she ends up in Toronto.

    Darina Granik

    Editor at FAJO Magazine

    Darina Granik entered the fashion and media world in 2008. She launched the first ever street style website IMOD in her native city Odessa, in Ukraine, which transitioned into a web magazine about fashion and culture in the city. She also worked as a columnist and a photo reporter for the largest print magazine in Odessa, covering local Fashion Weeks and International Film Festivals. In 2012, Darina moved to Toronto, where she resumed her studies and received a Certificate in Fashion Coordination and Styling, as well as a Master's of Arts in Fashion from Ryerson University. She also did an internship with FAJO Magazine, where she subsequently became a Reporter. Her high-profile coverages at FAJO included the Royal Visit of the Danish Royal Family, as well as exclusive interviews with various celebrities, such as Lisa Ray and Harry Rosen. Darina is also a fashion scholar, whose research focuses on style icons and their role in society. She has presented her research papers at the national and international academic conferences, in Ukraine, Canada, USA and Australia. Currently, she holds the position of Events Editor at FAJO Magazine.


    Alex Shadrow

    Founder and CEO of Unitiques

    In the words of Christine Hunsicker who sold her first company to Yahoo for $850 million, "Alex will make it come hell or high water, she will eat through a wall." Alexandra Shadrow is the founder of UNItiques.com: the first college focused fashion marketplace where campus fashionistas can buy & sell. Now on over 500 campuses, UNItiques is fulfilling its mission of enabling college girls to be entrepreneurs by turning their dorms and closets into stores. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Shadrow inadvertently started her company after a scary encounter with a Craigslist creep during her junior year at Boston University, where 2/3 students are now members. Alex has been noticed by the likes of Forbes and the Huffington Post, speaks as a panelist at Harvard University, and appeared on TV as a "winner" on Lifetime's new hit show "Project Runway Startup."

    Hannah Bulaun

    Operations Lead at Oak+Fort - Moderator

    Having worked retail for 6 years now, Hannah has gained a lot of experience on the different aspects that go into the fashion industry. It really has kept her up with the latest trends and move forward with her wardrobe. Not only that, but she has gained a lot of confidence working for brands like Aritzia, Vince Camuto, AllSaints and now she is the operations lead for Oak+Fort.

    This position, has given Hannah more awareness with what goes on beyond the sales floor and how important those who work in the background are to keep brands like these successful. In the upcoming year, Hannah will be attending George Brown for HR Business in hopes to work for companies such as these, to really get connected and help those who are just like her, living creatively and loving fashion.


  • Human Resources

    Breakout Session #2

    Nina Mikalachki

    Group Talent Manager at Enterprise Holdings Inc.

    Nina is a Talent Manager with Enterprise Holdings. She oversees all recruitment, training and development initiatives across all three Enterprise brands- Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent-A-Car. Nina began her career as part of Enterprise’s entry-level Management Training Program and has since held various positions of increasing responsibility within the organization. She has a passion for adopting innovative approaches to discovering top talent and is committed to helping develop the next generation of leaders within the organization. Nina also holds a leadership role on various Enterprise committees, including the Women in Leadership Committee, Employee Equity Committee and Worklife Quality Committee. She is a McGill University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in North American Studies.

    Melissa Dalmacio

    Senior Advisor, Campus Recruitment at CPPIB

    Melissa Dalmacio is a Senior Advisor, Campus Recruitment in the Human Resources group at CPP Investment Board. She joined CPPIB in 2014 and is based in the CPPIB’s Toronto office. Melissa is responsible for campus recruitment for the Investments and Technology groups at CPPIB. She was previously with Deloitte LLP in Toronto, focused on campus recruitment and risk management. Melissa obtained her Bachelor of Administration and Commercial Studies with a major in Finance from The University of Western Ontario.

    Dina Barazza

    Founder of Avanti Women

    Dina Barazza is the Founder of Avanti Women, a volunteer organization dedicated to empower women to move forward professionally and personally through networking, mentoring and learning.

    Dina’s academic background includes a degree in Business Management, a diploma in Human Resources Administration, and a certificate in Training and Development. She is a certified Achieve Global Trainer and graduated from the Disney Institute with Business and Management Effectiveness. Dina is also a DiSC Certified Trainer and is Internationally Certified as a Mentor Practitioner (CMP). She has held various board positions with the Toronto Chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA), including the position of VP of Talent. In the past Dina would bring forward her thought leadership with the Canadian Community of Corporate Educators and the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities, where she is the VP of Human Resources and Training. Currently Dina is the Board Chair for the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities and provides guest speaking and consultation to many companies and not for profit organizations with Diversity & Inclusion initiatives.

    Emily Roe

    ‎Supervisor, Affinity Accounting Operations at Manulife

    As Supervisor of Accounting Operations at Manulife Emily is Responsible for financial control, oversight of Affinity Markets premium, commissions and claims, and acts as the accounting representative for product changes and new initiatives. In her four years at Manulife Emily has also worked in Financial Reporting and Pricing for the Individual Life Insurance and Group Benefits businesses. She is actively involved in the Accounting Recruitment Committee for the Co-op Student and New Graduate Programs and is a member of the event Planning Committee for Manulife’s Global Women’s Alliance.

    Emily completed an Undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph where she studied music and an MBA with a concentration in Accounting at Wilfrid Laurier University. In her free time Emily sits on the Board of Directors of the Grand Philharmonic Choir as treasurer. She loves to play the piano and when vacation time allows, she likes to travel to new places.

    Valerie Caranci

    Human Resource Coordinator at PERI

    Valerie is an alumna from Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management. Valerie has a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a specialization in Human Resources Management and Business Law. She had a strong interest in the fields of Talent Acquisition, Training & Development and Employment Law. Valerie has also obtained her CHRP and is currently pursuing the leader designation. Valerie has a strong background in workforce management and identifying top talent in all market places across Canada and the US. She has worked in Human Resources Management positions in various industries including Entertainment, Health Services and Construction. Valerie has also received a certificate in Leadership and is a certified JHSC worker member. When not working Valerie enjoys spending her time in the outdoors riding horses. With her strong background in Talent Acquisition, Valerie is now focusing on gaining more experience in Training & Occupational Health & Safety. Valerie currently works as an HR Generalist at a global leader in the construction industry.

    Christine Alocber

    Director of Care at Revera Inc. - Moderator

    Christine Alcober is a Registered Nurse having obtained her “Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree” from Ryerson University. Since then she has worked as a field nurse in the areas of Labor and Delivery and Long-Term Care. Alongside her Registered Nursing Degree - she has a “Director of Care Certificate in Clinical Leadership” obtained from York University, and “OANHSS Administrator Leadership” certificate. Christine has years of progressive management experience, presently working as Director of Nursing Care in Long-Term Care. Christine is responsible for a nursing department consisting of over 100 Personal Support Workers and Registered Staff. She also oversees the provision of daily care for 150 residents and their families. Christine has organized annual fundraising activities such as “Volleyball for Sick Kids,” in which her team has been Platinum Award Fundraisers and Bi-annual Bowling Tournaments. During her free time she enjoys volunteering for “Global Medic” and spending time with her family.

  • Entrepreneurship

    Breakout Session #2

    Christine Stanschus

    Founder and CEO of Little Kickers Group

    A firm believer in the principle that life is too short to spend time doing a job you don’t love, Christine set up her own business in 2002, and has not looked back since.

    After graduating from Aston University in 1993, with a degree in International Business and Modern Languages and a love of travel, Christine worked in the City of London for 10 years in order to gain the experience required to set up her own business. After a brief stint at Price Waterhouse as a trainee accountant, Christine entered JP Morgan’s Graduate Scheme where she was fortunate enough to work in a number of varied roles in London and New York which gave her a good understanding of business and the opportunity to travel extensively and gain experience working with people from other countries and cultures.

    Jacqueline Prehogan

     Founder and President of Canada Pooch Ltd

    In 2011, Jacqueline Prehogan began her journey to make her vision a reality by designing functional and fashionable dog coats out of her one-bedroom apartment. In four short years, Canada Pooch has become a household name among Canadian pet parents, and is rapidly expanding internationally, serving customers across the US, Europe and Asia. Most recently, Jacqueline co-founded Open Farm, the industry's first Certified Humane® pet food. In two years, Open Farm has rapidly built a strong presence in the Canadian and US markets and has received a warm welcome from consumers looking for a healthy and nutritious pet food that is also ethically sourced.

    Natasha Penzo-Mcintosh

    Founder and Principal of The Urban Blueprint

    Natasha Penzo is the Co-Founder of Urban Blueprint, a real estate development and construction company that specializes in design, construction project management, and urban redevelopment. At Urban Blueprint, Natasha oversees marketing, strategy and sales, and client relations. Together with her co-founder and brother Luca, Natasha takes pride in building beautiful urban spaces.


    Natasha earned her MBA from Schulich School of Business in 2014. In 2016, she was named PROFIT Magazine’s W100 Top 5 Women to Watch. Her company’s portfolio of work has been featured in Toronto Life, Globe & Mail, and Toronto Star.


    Angela Phung

    Co-Founder of The Store on Queen

    Angela had recently moved to Toronto in October of 2011 to take a year off after dedicating several years launching her restaurant businesses in cities West of Ontario. She planned to enjoy her time off while familiarizing herself with the area to be able to launch another business venture after her year off...2 months after her move, she was already bored and needed something to do. She moved to London in 2002 for her studies. During the 3 year program, Angela launched her own brand, developed a local clientele, showcased in many fashion shows and competed in competitions, one of which she placed nationals and represented Canada on international runways of Paris. Her story was published in the Guelph Mercury. In the article, she was asked where she saw herself in 10-15 years, she responded, “Owning a retail store on Queen Street West”. Upon graduating, she came across a marketing opportunity for a restaurant chain and decided she wanted a new challenge. She submerged herself in the business for 5 years where she eventually became the company’s creative director in charge of all branding and marketing. She expanded the brand across Ontario and launched 9 restaurant locations. That was the beginning of the strong interest in developing different brands and turn key businesses. By 2010, Angela successfully developed and launched 3 different restaurant brands and 1 kids indoor playground brand. Angela opened TSOQ and landed a role in the reality series “Keasha’s Perfect Dress” on Slice. Working along side with Keasha from TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress”.


    John F. Lettieri

    Founder and President of Hero Burger

    John Lettieri is a driven entrepreneur. He built the franchises of Hero Certified Burgers and Lettieri Espresso Bar and Café in Toronto to the success they are today.

    John received a diploma in dairy technology from the Institut Agricole Grangeneuve in Fribourg, Switzerland. He returned to Canada and developed an award-winning Swiss cheese for the Canadian market.

    He continued on that path with his father to begin the first factory in Canada to breed sheep for milk production. From those valuable lessons, he took the leap to become a prominent franchisor in Canada.

    Lettieri Cafes, John’s first venture, began in 1988 and grew to 20 cafes. With that momentum, he opened the first Hero Certified Burgers in 2003 which has now grown to 55 locations within the GTA, with its first location opening in Montreal in 2017.

    As the company continues to grow, John continues to source environmentally sustainable products that result in a wholesome and healthier burger.

    Natasha Koifman

    President, NKPR

    Natasha Koifman created NKPR in 2002 in order to combine her two passions: shining a spotlight on stories of substance and supporting causes that are making a difference around the world. Under Natasha’s guidance and leadership, NKPR has established itself as a highly-regarded full-service public relations, artist management and digital agency with offices in Toronto and New York, representing over 40 diverse national and international brands including Mulberry, TD, Scotiabank, Green Shield Canada, Thompson Hotel Toronto, Saje Natural Wellness, RUDSAK, DAVIDsTEA, PYA Brands, and Freemark Apparel Brands. Launching NK Artists in 2013, NKPR also manages strategic partnerships for high-profile personalities like David Drebin, George Stroumboulopoulos, Sophie Elgort and Drena De Niro.

    Winner of the 2015 WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award in the CIBC Entrepreneurs category, and selected as one of the most innovative people in North America by BizBash, Natasha is dedicated to social responsibility and giving back to those in need, believing that public relations can help forge meaningful relationships between the public and not-for-profit sector. She acts as Chair of the Board for Artists for Peace and Justice Canada, working with a star-studded board which includes founder and Academy Award-winning director Paul Haggis, as well as public figures like Olivia Wilde, James Franco, Ben Stiller, Maria Bello, Javier Bardem, Daniel Craig, Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon.

    Angie Ramdeyol

    Senior Commercial Lines Underwriter at Intact Insurance (Retired) - Moderator

    Angie has worked in the insurance industry for the past 38 years in various departments from claims to commercial lines. She is designated as a Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) from the Insurance Institute of Canada. Most recently, she worked as the Senior Commercial Lines Underwriter in the Property and Casualty department at Intact Insurance. Angie's success is built on being customer driven, having integrity, focusing on market intelligence and growth, to help drive profitability of a company. From her professional career, she is extremely passionate about being socially responsible and embracing diversity in both the workplace and the community. In her leisure time, she enjoys giving back to her community through volunteering at various charitable organizations and being apart of Women's Mentorship groups. Most importantly, she loves spending time with her family and traveling.

  • Entertainment

    Breakout Session #2

    Lana Gay

    Radio Host at Indie88

    Lana Gay is a music journalist, broadcaster and educator. You can hear her every day from 2 - 7pm on Indie88 in Toronto. She is fixated on independent Canadian music, the arts, and is an advocate for children’s literacy, running A Good Book Drive Toronto. Lana is proud to hail from Leamington, Ontario where she was raised on Motown music and Hungarian food (an underrated combo, really.) She once tried to chase a rainbow and ended up in Blenheim, Ontario.

    Megan Press

    Director at Artscape

    Megan Press is a visual artist and arts administrator from Burlington Ontario. She completed a BFA at Western University, ON and a MFA at the University of Victoria, BC. Her work has been exhibited at the Art Gallery of Windsor, Artcite Inc, Forest City Gallery (ON), Deluge Contemporary and Xchanges Gallery (Victoria, BC). Recently she accepted a Program Manager position with Artscape Toronto Inc. and is now Manager of Artscape Youngplace. Previous career roles include Exhibition Curator and Resident Artist Program Coordinator at the Living Arts Centre, Mississauga. Past curatorial projects for the Centre include Full Spectrum, Systems & Sequence, Interrupted Landscape and strung out and undone (World of Threads Festival). In addition Megan curated exhibitions for deFacto Gallery space at Mulberry Coffeehouse on James Street North, Hamilton ON from 2015 - 2016.

    Carrie Brown

    CEO of Carrie Brown Management

    From media management roles at the Georgia Straight in Vancouver to CBC Television & Radio in Toronto, Carrie Brown’s 20+ year career in the news and entertainment industry has made her an expert in all things talent and event management. Add those years to more live music events and red carpet arrivals than Beyonce herself would ever expect to attend and you’ll arrive at Carrie Brown Management – a whip-smart coast-to-coast-to-coast professional volunteer management service. Designed by someone who lives and loves behind-the-scenes, it’s the finer details of CBM that let everyone focus on the big picture, and centre stage.

    Nina Lee Aquino

    Artistic Director at Factory Theatre

    Nina Lee Aquino is an award-winning director and dramaturge. She was the former Artistic Director of fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company and Cahoots Theatre Company; and is now the current Artistic Director of Factory Theatre.

    She is the editor of Canada’s first Asian-Canadian 2-volume drama anthology love + relasianships and the co-editor of the award winning New Essays on Canadian Theatre Volume One: Asian Canadian Theatre (Playwrights Canada Press).

    Nina is a professor at the Humber College School of Creative and Performing Arts and has taught theatre at educational institutions such as University of Guelph, York University and the National Theatre School of Canada.

    Awards for her directorial work include: the Ken McDougall Award 2004, the Canada Council John Hirsch Prize 2008 and two Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Direction. She is an honorary member of the Canadian Association for Theatre Research.

    Angela Wright

    Agent at Edna Talent Management

    Angela is a Talent Agent at Edna Talent Management (ETM) where she represents actors for Film, Television, Theatre and Commercials.

    Born and raised in Winnipeg, Angela received her BA from the University of Winnipeg. She attended the Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and graduated with an MFA in Acting. Following graduation, Angela moved to NYC. She worked for Talent Agents and Casting Directors in New York before making the move to Toronto.

    After working for 6 years as an Agent at Noble Talent in Toronto, Angela joined ETM as their first On-Camera Agent when their doors opened 22 years ago. Angela took a 4.5 year sabbatical to live with her husband and young children to Washington, D.C. and she returned to ETM in 2005.

    In addition to working full-time as a Talent Agent, Angela teaches a course in Talent Management at Ryerson University. Her interests include reading, writing, tennis and reluctantly, hockey. She has three sons and spends more time than she would have ever imagined at the rink.

    Siobhan Scott

    College Radio Coordinator at RPM Promotions - Moderator

    Siobhan Scott is a fourth year Rotman Commerce student, specializing in Management with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Economics. She is very passionate about the entertainment sector, and aspires to continue working in music. For the past year, Siobhan has been working at the radio promotions company RPMPromotion doing social media and college radio PR. She plans to continue her schooling next year, with either a Master’s in Ethnomusicology or a post-grad cert in Public Relations. In her spare time, she can be found playing and attending shows in the Toronto music scene.

  • Social Media & Technology

    Breakout Session #2

    Valerie Shannon

    Associate Vice President, Digital Sales Strategy for Canadian Banking & Wealth at TD Bank

    Valérie leads a team focused on defining strategies to deliver an exceptional customer experience for our clients to manage their finances digitally. Valérie has been working in financial services for over 20 years. She started working in digital in 1997 with Sun Life Financial where she pioneered the development of transactional sites for the group insurance industry in Canada. Valérie’s career has spanned all aspects of digital from product, experience design, delivery and end to end strategy. She joined TD in 2011 leading the development of the TD Insurance Mobile App as well as digital applications for TD Life and Travel Insurance. Valérie’s continued passion for digital has led her to her current role that also includes developing strategies to acquire new business and increase share of wallet through TD’s digital capabilities.


    Valérie grew up in Montréal but now lives in Vaughan with her husband, 2 children and her dog Toby.

    Jenna Jacobson

    Social Media Researcher at the University of Toronto.

    Jenna Jacobson is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto in the Faculty of Information. From mining big social media data to analyzing little data, her research interests lie at the intersection of social media, labour, and community. Jenna has been featured in various publications, including The Globe & Mail, CBC News, The Toronto Star, Global News, andThe Huffington Post.

    Jenna is the Project Manager at Ryerson University’s Social Media Lab. She is also a Conference Chair of the International Conference on Social Media and Society.

    Georgia Sapounas

    Digital Director of the Canadian Olympic Committee

    Georgia leads the digital team at the Canadian Olympic Committee and is responsible for the fan experience across all digital and social properties. Her portfolio includes Team Canada’s digital content, properties, analytics, innovation projects and platform partnerships. Her and her team saw exponential growth and engagement within all Canadian Olympic Team channels during Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016. They won many awards for their responsive site (Olympic.ca), and Sochi brand campaign centered around the official hashtag, #WeAreWinter, which was the most used globally after #Sochi2014. On the road to Rio 2016, she lead the creation of the Canadian Olympic Club (OlympicClub.ca), a next generation digital fan club – driven by social login and gamification. It’s the first of its kind for any national Olympic Team, and industry leading by any pro sport standard.


    In her former life, prior to nerding out behind a screen 24/7, she competed on Canada’s National Team for eight years and skated her way to a world bronze medal. Now, she spends her time staring at a tiny screen, travelling and being one of the Blue Jays’ biggest supporters.

    Jordana Greenberg

    Partner Lead at Google

    Jordana is a Partner Lead at Google, focused on growing & supporting clients within the personal care & beauty industries. Prior to Google, she worked in management consulting, primarily focused on the financial services sector. Jordana graduated with a degree in Finance and Economics from Rotman Commerce at UofT, where she was Founder & President of Rotman Commerce Women in Business. She also completed her post-graduate education from the University of Southern California.


    Outside of work, Jordana also co-leads the local chapter of Levo League, which organizes networking events & workshops for young professionals and she sits on the board of Dixon Hall, a social service agency based in Toronto.

    Carolyn Van

    Director of Ladies Learning Code

    Carolyn Van is the Director of Youth Programming at Ladies Learning Code. She oversees program and education design for kids and youth ages 6 to 17 years old across Canada through Kids Learning Code, Girls Learning Code, Teens Learning Code and Teachers Learning Code. With the Canada Learning Code mission in mind, she and her team are working on designing and growing accessible and inclusive technical education experiences for Canadians from coast to coast. Carolyn wants us all to grow beyond being consumers of experiences - in to creators of a better future with technology as a mighty problem solving tool.

    Michelle Pinchev

     Founder & Lead Strategist at Pinch Social

    Michelle is the Founder and Lead Strategist for Pinch Social, a communications & digital marketing agency, In addition, Michelle is the Executive Director at SMWi Toronto, Michelle is a natural communicator and compulsive content creator, She is bursting with creative energy and the drive to bring great ideas to life. Social media is not just work for her - from an early age, it was a way of life and over the years she has seen first hand the transformative impact strategic social media can have on brands and individuals.

    She leverages social media, digital content, paid media and other strategic digital marketing tactics to engage with the public, raise brand awareness and help organizations meet their strategic objectives.

    She is also the Founder and Editor of www.CityByHeart.com, a Toronto culture and lifestyle blog. Truly a passion project, City By Heart is a prime example of my ability to develop and grow online communities.

    Yvonne Yeung

    Customer Support and Communications Manager at Umapped - Moderator

    Yvonne currently works at Umapped, a Canadian-based travel tech startup. Her love of travel (most recently: Copenhagen, Iceland, Hong Kong, Seoul) led her to a company changing the way travel advisors work and communicate with their clients. Her expertise lies in developing customer experience journeys and implementing communication strategies. She streamlines and creates processes leading to scalability and growth. On the communication side of the business, Yvonne leads social media, marketing and customer support.


    Before moving back to Toronto, Yvonne worked for Poppy Barley, an Edmonton leather footwear and goods company. As the Customer Experience Lead she managed all aspects of the customer journey, retail operations and implemented a VIP Shopper program for top customers. Her love of shoes brought her to this small company headed by two ambitious women with a love of doing business for good and rethinking the fashion industry.

  • Financial Sponsors

    Not possible without our AMAZING Sponsors!

    Rotman Commerce

    Platinum Sponsor

    Shangri-La Hotel Toronto

    Gold Sponsor

    CPA Ontario

    Gold Sponsor

    Enterprise Holdings Inc.

    Silver Sponsor

    Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board

    Silver Sponsor

    Proctor & Gamble

    Bronze Sponsor

    FDM Group

    Discovery Sponsor

    CFA Society Toronto

    Discovery Sponsor

    Goffredo Consulting Group Inc.

    Discovery Sponsor

    Avanti Women

    Discovery Sponsor

  • Delegate Bag Sponsors

    We've got a top notch team!

  • Social Feed

    Check out our latest updates!

  • FAQ

    What you need to know for the big day.

    Q: What do I need to bring?

    A: Yourself... And maybe some business cards for networking. We've got the rest covered.

    Q: How long is the conference?

    A: Roughly an 8-9hr day. Registration starts at 8:15am and closing remarks end at 5:00pm.

    Q: Do I need to be an upper year student?

    A: No! We encourage all students to join, WLS is a great opportunity to network with students and professionals.

    Q: What if I work that day? Can I still come?

    A: Of course! You can come by at any point in the day, just give us a heads up so we can keep your seat warm!