Program at a Glance

Program at a Glance

Stay tuned for more speakers and sessions in the coming weeks.

Speakers and schedule subject to change.

All times listed are Pacific Standard Time (PST)

Friday, February 26, 2021

10:00 am  -  12:00 pm
Main Stage | Plenary Session

Winning with Big Brands


OPEN to all business owners who want to learn more about the tremendous opportunities to open doors and to access more business with “Big Brands” through supplier diversity. The focus is on learning how to cultivate, build and grow relationships and business opportunities between certified diverse suppliers, corporations, and public organizations. Learn more about those championing inclusive procurement and supplier diversity:




Moderator: Silvia Pencak, President, Women Business Enterprises Canada Council (WBE Canada)






  • Cassandra Dorrington, President & CEO, Canadian Aboriginal & Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC)
  • Dale McDermott, COO, Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC)
  • Deidre Guy, Founder, Inclusive Workplace & Supply Council of Canada (IWSCC)
  • Catherine Grosz, Manager, Corporate Membership, WBE Canada, & Representing SDAC
  • Carol Attak, Senior Manager of Global Supplier Diversity and Sustainability, BMO Harris Bank
  • Ashifa Jumani, Director of Procurement, TELUS
  • Tara Hartley, Regional Director, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PWGSC)
  • Celso Afonseca, Manager, Account Services & Program Operations, Staples Promotional Products
  • Lisa Siragusa, President, NRG TeleResources and WBE Supplier

Friday, March 5, 2021

9:00 am  -  11:00 am
Main Stage | Plenary Session

Champions of Change: Women Leaders Who Made and Make a Difference


“Champions of Change: Women Leaders Who Made and Make a Difference”

Laura Reinholz BMO For WomenModerator: Laura Reinholz, Director, BMO for Women




Women increasingly play a powerful role in driving global changes. By providing powerful and meaningful messages of “Women Championing Women”, we know a difference can be made for women, girls, and the next generation of leaders. This section of the 2021 Summit Series will showcase a panel of inspirational women leaders and trailblazers who have had impact on communities, society and the world.  Sharing their sage advice and brilliant perspectives on their ups and downs, their failures and wins, their strategies and tactics for their success, they are all passionate leaders who will encourage, inspire, and motivate you to become the successful woman you want to be!


  • Alyse Nelson, CEO, Vital Voices
  • Betty Hines, President and Founder, Women Elevating Women (W.E.W.)
  • Sophie Pierre, OBC, OOC & Ktunaxa Hereditary Chief
  • Lieutenant Colonel (ret’d) Susan Beharriell, O.M.M., CD.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

9:00 am  -  10:30 am
Zoom Room C | TRACK 3

Get Your Brāv On! Learn How To Build A Braver Mindset & What It Takes To Make It Happen

Moderator: Patricia Ross, Councillor, City of Abbotsford



“Get Your Brāv On! Learn how to build a braver mindset & what it takes to make it happen.

If you were even braver, what would you do that you’re not already doing? Who would you be that you’re not already being? Sometimes it’s not about learning new skills or taking on more courses. Sometimes it’s about stepping up, standing out, and choosing to be brave. After conducting significant research at The Brāv Institute, women at all stages and levels of experience are ready to be braver… whether in their work, their relationships, or their life.

Speaker: Carol Schulte, Speaker, Trainer, Founder of The BRĀV Institute

9:00 am  -  10:30 am
Zoom Room A | TRACK 1

Know Who You Are Hiring With Social Media Checks & Avoid the 3 Most Common People Management Mistakes

Marg HacheyModerator: Marg Hachey, Eastern Managing Director, GroYourBiz




“Know Who You Are Hiring With Social Media Checks”

Job candidates LIE!   You need to know the REAL candidate. Know what to look for to ensure you are hiring who you think you are hiring.   The first pre-employment screening company in Canada, with over 45 years in business is pleased to share useful tips on finding the right job candidate.

Speaker: Marty Britton, President & CEO, Britton Management Profile Inc.


“Avoid the 3 Most Common People Management Mistakes and Set Your Employees Up for Success”

You spent a lot of time and money hiring your perfect employee, now set them up for success and reap the rewards of your investment.

In this session you’ll learn:

  • A simple process to increase your employee’s productivity faster by capitalizing on your new employees excitement for their new job
  • The power of positive feedback to exponentially increase your ROI on your employees
  • How to avoid the 3 most common People Management Mistakes that cost business owners time, money and frustration
  • The secret to increasing your day to day happiness while running your business

Speaker: Angela Heit, Founder & CEO, Crysalis Consulting Group Inc.

9:00 am  -  10:30 am
Zoom Room B | TRACK 2

Master The Moment: Communicate with Diplomacy, Impact and Confidence Especially During Conflict and Stress

Holly SorgenModerator: Holly Sorgen, GroYourBiz Chair, Grande Prairie, Owner, EmPower Up! ED, Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region




“Master The Moment: Communicate with Diplomacy, Impact and Confidence”

Within our global community, diversity can increase creativity and productivity, yet it can also increase misunderstandings, conflict and stress. Know how to navigate through that with the impactful awareness of specific communication strategies that will instantly reduce conflict and stress. There has never been a great leader who wasn’t a great communicator especially during crisis, rapid growth and change. When the pressure is high and the moment is brief, what you do and say in that defining moment matters. Fact, all of us are difficult under stress. While stressed we may be temporarily compromised from our ability to think as effectively. Just like a legal document is null and void if signed under stress or duress…this session is about how to tap into your intelligence to master the moment. Feel confident in communicating through stressful situations. Know how to create the calm and respectful environment you need and how to keep it that way. Understand the impact and game changer of Verbal, Vocal, and Visual in communication.

Speaker: Lorna McLaren, Owner, McLaren Formula Training, (Award Winning Corporate Trainer & #1 Bestselling Author)

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

4:00 pm  -  5:30 pm
Zoom Room A | TRACK 1

Recalibrating Your Life: Advancing Your Life Journey with ‘SELF’ in the Driver’s Seat

Moderator: Marg Hachey, Managing Director & Chair, GroYourBiz

“Recalibrating Your Life: Advancing Your Life Journey with ‘SELF’ in the Driver’s Seat”

Overarching goal of session is to help empower Leaders/ Entrepreneurs in their quest to live balanced, fulfilled and satisfying lives, aligned with their personal values and priorities. It is intended to help serve as an effective and influential resource in support of managing the competing demands of personal and professional life. It will stress the importance of taking a holistic approach to identifying and addressing priorities in various aspects of life, and will reinforce the importance of building on values and talents, and addressing needs as a means of managing energy and preserving motivation. It will emphasize the importance of managing the risk of making decisions and sacrifices at the expense of ‘self’ together with the importance of ‘honouring self’ in all aspects of life.

Speaker: Vania Sakelaris, MBA, CHE, Founder/Principle, VAS & Associates Inc.

4:00 pm  -  5:30 pm
Zoom Room C | TRACK 3

The Crisis of Accountability and What You Can Do About It

Moderator: Susi Graf, President, Susable Consulting, & GroYourBiz Chair, Vaughan



“The Crisis of Accountability and What You Can Do About It”

Businesses are facing a crisis of accountability in the workplace. This crisis stifles collaboration, disrupts creativity and impairs leadership capabilities. Lack of accountability creates environments where teamwork is challenging, transparency is opaque, trust is low and self-preservation is the focus. In this session, participants will discover the causes of low accountability. We will also explore common behaviors of low accountability in the workplace. Participants will gain a greater understanding of low vs. high accountability impacts on their work, their teams and their company culture. Participants will gain insights and techniques to address and improve their own accountability. Leaders will obtain strategies to positively leverage their influence and accountability to help their team members boost their accountability.

Speaker:  Brandy Ferrer, President & CEO, Pathfinder Strategies

4:00 pm  -  5:30 pm
Zoom Room B | TRACK 2

Twinning Your Competition: Why 86% of Buyers Can’t See The Difference

Petra MayerModerator: Petra Mayer, Founder, Petra Mayer & Associates Consulting

Twinning Your Competition: Why 86% of Buyers Can’t See The Difference”

Your business isn’t as unique as you think. Research shows that buyers don’t see you as different compared to your competitors. This comes out loud and clear when you’re price-shopped, lose the sale to a competitor or worse yet-can’t even get the meeting with the decision makers in the first place! Time-starved buyers don’t have the desire to meet with just one more vendor who does the same thing as their current vendor. There’s a reason why calling more leads or hiring more sales staff isn’t helping grow your business faster. The answer is simple, it’s scientific and it requires very little investment other than a few changes to what you’re already doing to reach out to prospects.

Speakers: Chala Dincoy, CEO & Founder, Coachtactics

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

9:00 am  -  11:00 am
Main Stage | Plenary Session

Humanizing Healthcare: The Cost to Businesses and Women Business Owners


“Humanizing Healthcare: The Cost to Businesses and Women Business Owners.”

Moderator: Honourable Darryl Plecas, Former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia and Author, “The Essentials of Leadership in Government”




  • Carolyn Cross, Chairman & CEO, Ondine Biomedical Inc.
  • Dr. Angela Marshall, President & CEO, Comprehensive Women’s Health
  • Juggy Sihota, Vice President, TELUS Health (Invited)
  • Tamblyn Watts, CEO, CanAge (Invited)
  • Martha Dow, Director, Community Health & Social Innovation Hub (Chasis) (Invited)
  • Panelist #6 TBD

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

9:00 am  -  10:30 am
Zoom Room B | TRACK 2

Up Your Speaking Game to Attract New Global Opportunities

Moderator: Susan Baka, President, Bay Communications & Marketing Inc., International Vice President, OWIT


“Up Your Speaking Game to Attract New Global Opportunities”

Ways To Leverage Global Innovation to Grow Your Business.  Gain tips from Canadian, African and U.S. trade experts from OWIT on how to grow your service business internationally.     


  • Anne Freedman, CEO & President, Speakout Inc.
  • Camelia Mazard, Esquire, Doyle, Barlow & Mazard PLLC, International President, OWIT
  • Frida Owinga, Founder, PassionProfit Ltd., Executive Vice President, OWIT
9:00 am  -  10:30 am
Zoom Room C | TRACK 3

Build Your Resilience – 5 Minutes at a Time

Moderator: Susan Kabani, CEO, & Co-Chair GroYourBiz London, UK



Build Your Resilience – 5 Minutes at a Time”

Researchers have discovered the formula for living a good life, so why is depression still the world’s leading disability and anxiety the most common mental health disorder in North America? Most people don’t know what will truly make them happy, and far too few make proven wellness practices a part of their lives. To cope with all the stresses we encounter, we need to actively care for ourselves, which includes heeding our ancient programming that demands that we move our bodies, connect face-to-face and get enough sleep. These important factors build our resilience.

In this entertaining and interactive keynote address, Addie Greco-Sanchez will demonstrate how investing as little as five minutes of self-care goes a long way in building resilience and decreasing absences related to stress and mental health challenges. Based on the book she co-authored, The 5-Minute Recharge, 31 Proven Strategies to Refresh, Reset and Become the Boss of Your Day, Addie will provide useful strategies for thriving at work and in life.


  • Addie Greco-Sanchez, President, AGS Rehab
3:00 pm  -  4:30 pm
Main Stage | Plenary Session

Sustainable Solutions: Doing little things in a Big Way—It’s Up to Us!


“Sustainable Solutions: Doing little things in a Big Way—It’s Up to Us!”

Moderator:  Leann Hackman-Carty, Author of “Master Your Disaster”—Gleaned from years of experience with disaster recovery organizations, she has specialized insight with the different levels of disaster preparation and recovery.



No one knows what tomorrow holds, but everyone has an interest in making this world a better place.  Women and Youth are leading the way in creating Smart Solutions for Sustainable Success, as we address Climate Action / World Floods/ Mental Health / Peace & Security / Racism and much more.

The impact of our global problems will require enterprises and individuals to act in new ways. This session highlights how some leaders are making a difference — whether it’s taking action to save our planet from pollution, world floods, or fostering mental health in a way that impacts generations positively. Please join us for a discussion on global concerns and solutions to protect our world’s most climate-vulnerable communities. Our panel will share their passions and progress in a way that will inspire you to think differently about your business plan and corporate responsibility.  We all want to grow…we all want to help…let’s put our heads and hearts together and see how we can grow into being part of the solution.  We also believe that it will be women and youth, who will become the majority “change makers” pushing for the solutions required to get changes adopted and supported sooner by our policy makers and governments.


  • Bessie Schwarz, Co-Founder, Cloud to Street
  • Dr. Maymunah Kadiri, CEO, Pinnacle Medical Services
  • Monique Maissan, CEO, Waste2wear
  • Major General Suzanne P. Vares-Lum, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

10:00 am  -  11:30 am
Main Stage | Plenary Session

WE Empower UN SDG Challenge and the Benefits for WBOs


“WE Empower UN SDG Challenge and the Benefits for WBOs”

Lisa MilburnModerator: Lisa Milburn, Chief Operating Officer, BMO Wealth Management





  • Alyse Nelson, CEO & President, Vital Voices
  • Amanda Ellis, Executive Director, Hawaii & Asia-Pacific, ASU Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
  • Hadeel Mustafa Anabtawi, Founder & CEO, The Alchemist Lab
  • Laura Reinholz, Director, BMO For Women
  • Leah Lizarondo, Co-Founder & CEO, 412 Food Rescue
  • Mavis Nduchwa, Founder and CEO, Kalahari Honey, Botswana


12:00 pm  -  1:30 pm
Main Stage | Plenary Session

Empathetic Leadership is Good for Business: Leading with Strength and Compassion


“Empathetic Leadership is Good for Business: Leading with Strength and Compassion”

Moderator: Amanda Ellis, Hawaii & Asia-Pacific, ASU Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory





  • Sonya Kunkel, Head, Enterprise Purpose & Customer Experience Marketing & Strategy, BMO Financial Group
  • Panelist#2: TBD
  • Panelist #3: TBD
  • Panelist #4: TBD

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

9:00 am  -  10:30 am
Main Stage | Plenary Session

Money & Morals: Ringing the Alarm on Harmful Tech. Can SMEs Make A Difference?


“Money & Morals: Ringing the Alarm on Harmful Tech. Can SMEs Make A Difference?”

Moderator: TBD


  • Panelist #1: TBD
  • Panelist #2: TBD
  • Panelist #3: TBD
  • Panelist #4: TBD

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

12:00 pm  -  1:30 pm
Zoom Room C | TRACK 3

Share Your Stories & Grow Your Capacity For Success

Crystal D'CunhaModerator: Crystal D’Cunha, CEO, The Inside View Inc. & GroYourBiz Chair, Niagara Falls, ON



“Share Your Stories & Grow Your Capacity For Success”

This interactive session will introduce tips for sharing your stories to increase your visibility, encourage collaboration and connect you with your community. How? By connecting your story to your success and teaching you how to use both to grow your capacity for success and amplify your results. Trish will create a “safe zone” to learn, share and receive peer feedback and recognition.


  • Trish Tonaj, The Mentor’s Mentor, Speaker, Author and Phaze2Wellness
12:00 pm  -  1:30 pm
Zoom Room B | Track 2

Find The Right Franchise For You: A Business Model for Success

Moderator: Betty Hines, President and Founder, Women Elevating Women (W.E.W.)

Find The Right Franchise For You: A Business Model for Success

Franchise business model- this session is for anyone who has considered owning a franchise, has the idea that their business could be a franchise, or who doesn’t understand what a franchise REALLY is.  You will be surprised to know about a few franchises that you would never believe are franchises.

Speaker: Faizun Kamal, CEO, The Franchise Consulting Company

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

8:15 am  -  8:30 am
Main Stage

Welcome Remarks


Welcome Remarks by Barbara Mowat, President & Founder of GroYourBiz and EXCELerate

Mistress of Ceremonies: Pamela Martin, Former TV News Anchor and Reporter

  • National Anthems preformed by: Seven and Aisha, Student, Sarah McLachlan School of Music
  • Traditional Prayer for Squamish Nation from Shamantsut (Amanda) Nahanee
  • Welcome from Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia
  • Welcome from City of Vancouver
  • Welcome Greeting from BMO Bank Of Montreal
    • Lisa Milburn, Chief Marketing & Communication Officer, BMO Wealth Management
10:00 am  -  11:30 am
Zoom Room A | TRACK 1

The 4 Forces of Strategic Differentiation

Victoria EastwoodModerator: Victoria Eastwood, Founder, InSync Executive Coaching

“The 4 Forces of Strategic Differentiation”

Most business owners struggle with their Value Proposition and have immense difficulty with differentiating their offer in a way that feels both authentic and accurate. We live in a business climate where competition is ever increasing, commoditization of our offer is becoming the norm, and consumers are increasingly skeptical. This environment requires a different approach to building value and it is essential that the entrepreneur have not only clarity and confidence in their offer, but also express an inspired vision of a better world.

In this session, Canada’s first Differentiation Coach — a Master Certified Coach and ICF Coaching Impact award recipient — will help conference delegates understand how they can improve their business performance by:

  • Injecting the one over-looked and essential ingredient into their Value Proposition
  • Leveraging a proven framework to create a sustainable, differentiated offer
  • Understanding how to take their business from success to significance


  • Michèle Soregaroli, Co-Founder, Master Certified Coach, Transformation Catalyst
10:00 am  -  11:30 am
Zoom Room B | TRACK 2

Making Foreign Less Foreign

Moderator: Jennifer Cooke, Manager, Inclusive Trade and National Lead, Women in Trade, Export Development Canada



“Making Foreign Less Foreign”

Learn how you can increase your company’s profitability, productivity and innovation through exporting. As a key sponsor for EXCELerate 2021, Export Development Canada is proud to present this session highlighting the benefits for your company of exporting. The session will explore strategies and tips on how to overcome common barriers such as finding new customers, accessing market intelligence and getting the working capital you need to finance your export business.  You will also hear first-hand from highly successful entrepreneurs who will share their inspiring stories, lessons learned, and practical tips for success.


  • Dr. Dionne Laslo-Baker, Founder, DeeBee’s Organics
  • Angela Hofmann, President, World Strategies, LLC, and USMCA
  • Panelist #3: TBD
  • Panelist #4: TBD
10:00 am  -  11:30 am
Zoom Room C | TRACK 3

Pricing & Costing: The Art of the Market Meets the Science of Cost Accounting

Moderator: Catherine Gardiner, President, CG Marketing & Communications & GroYourBiz Chair, Calgary, AB



“Pricing & Costing: The Art of the Market Meets the Science of Cost Accounting”

Price is a critical decision in any business, yet information on pricing is quite scarce.  This workshop is a crash course in both market pricing and cost accounting especially as it relates to growing business.  Our topics include:

  • Introduction: In this section, we discover the ‘Four C’s’ of Pricing and how they play a role in determining the viability of the viability of a product or a business.
  • Understanding Cost (Finding your Inner Cost Accountant): We examine the different cost types, how they impact your prices, and how costs change as your business grows. Of the three things, all entrepreneurs should know cold one is a full understanding of your costs.
  • Market Pricing (Where the fun begins): In this section we discover prices as perceived by your customer. We examine how price is integrated into your marketing strategies, how psychology affects price, and how price anchors are essential for pricing decision.  To apply these to business development we introduce the concept of strategic pricing which is using pricing to achieve specific business goals. Finally, we examine pricing pitfalls and tactics designed to help you integrate pricing into your overall business plan.

This session is designed to challenge everything you know about setting your prices and encourages entrepreneurs to reconsider their pricing beliefs and assumptions. Pricing just may be the most important decisions you make in your business…and good decisions make for great businesses.

Speaker:  Bill Erichson, CEO, William Erichson Business Solutions Ltd.

12:00 pm  -  2:00 pm
Main Stage

Closing Remarks


Mistress of Ceremonies: Pamela Martin

  • BMO Presenting Sponsor: Sheri Griffiths, Senior Vice President, Head of Ontario, Canadian Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal
  • Keynote Speaker: TBD
  • Barbara Mowat introduces NEW AWARD Program
    • Presentation of Awards
  • Poetry Reading By: Sajedeh Zaki
  • Closing Remarks and Thank-you from Barbara Mowat