WILB Conference
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Program Overview


Sunday, May 28th




Leadership Happens Everywhere! Sometimes we need to feel the exhilaration of adventure to test our leadership strengths. So choose your own experience to push your limits. Choose any two of the following: Canoeing, Low Ropes, Rock Climbing, Hiking, Rowing, Mindfulness, and even a Make Up Session with Mary Kay! (2 sessions of 1 hour each). Numbers limited in each session.


Reception / Interactive Keynote and Improv Session - Jennine Profeta - Second City


Stay in onsite at Trent University - Private Residence Room

Monday, May 29th


Early Morning Rejuvenation - Yoga, Run, Hike or Stretch (Optional)


Healthy Start Breakfast


Opening Celebration - Smudging Ceremony


Keynote for WILB & B2L with Samra Zafar - Founder of Brave Beginnings, Dare to Be Bad To Be Great


Networking Break


Concurrent Session Streams

Choose one:

Personal Power

Mindfulness: Life & Leadership



- Heather Rea

Inclusiveness, Diversity & Accessibility

The V Project: Values, Validation & Venus


- Leanne Nicolle

Your Inner Brilliance

Savvy Solutions: How to Work Visually to Align Teams & Accelerate Results

- Carolyn Ellis


Leadership Impact Workshop


- Human Synergistics International


Networking Lunch


WILB & B2L Keynote with the Unstoppable Tracy Schmitt

Laugh when you haven't got a leg to stand on: Exceed Uncertainty, Earn Respect


Networking Break


Concurrent Session Streams

Choose one:

Personal Power

How to Harness Employee Passion for Profit & Social Impact Through Volunteering

- Nicole Hrinco

- Jill Valentine

Inclusiveness, Diversity & Accessibility

Diversity as a Resource: Driving Innovation, Growth and Progress

- Connie Bonello

Your Inner Brilliance


The Resilient Workforce



- Sapna Goel 

- Rann Sharma



Take Charge of Your Career


- Vandana Juneja


Panel Discussion - Government and Business Leaders Discuss The Issues: Diversity, Confidence Gap, Being Heard,

Your Career Path


Accessibility Celebration - Closing Ceremonies



Take the Lead - Improv Workshop

INTERACTIVE KEYNOTE: Sunday, May 28 6:30pm

Sometimes at a conference we spend the first day getting comfortable with meeting new people, and we think you deserve better than that! Kick off your WILB conference with a high energy, action packed, informative 90-minute improv workshop that will help you to get connected right away. Laugh and learn as you meet conference participants, work on leadership and confidence-building skills, and get comfortable with the uncomfortable (all while kicking it’s butt!) Join performer and Second City improv facilitator Jennine Profeta for this inaugural event that will get your conference off to a fantastic start!

The Power of Authenticity

KEYNOTE: Monday, May 29 9:10am

The power of authenticity for personal and professional success cannot be underestimated. By allowing yourself to be seen, getting in touch with your inner purpose, and embracing human connection, you can harness your power and strength to build empowering support systems, rewarding relationships, and unprecedented business success.

As humans, we are made for relationships. The most rewarding relationships come through from selflessness, working for a greater cause and giving back for the betterment of humanity. We all have the power to use our small, everyday actions to have life-changing impacts on others. When we use that power and take the opportunity in our own hands, we become a part of a solution and change. True leadership is leading by example, and supporting others to success, without expecting instant returns. The rewards in the long-run are multiple folds, and we set ourselves up for success far beyond what we can envision.


Unstoppable You: Exceed Uncertainty, Embrace Change, Earn Respect

KEYNOTE: Monday, May 29 1:00pm

No matter where you are in life, sometimes you just need to be inspired. You are a great leader, and great leaders push to drive change. That’s never easy. And sometimes you will feel like you can’t do it anymore, any better or any other way. Well…Tracy will help you see that you CAN. Tracy will share strategies, stories and perspective that will help you to conquer YOUR impossible. Because, despite being a 4 way amputee Tracy has climbed mountains in Nepal, captained 110 foot tall ships in the Eastern Atlantic and won a bronze medal as a paralympian athlete in alpine skiing and that's just her first 20 years! She uses humour and inspiration to help you sift through your challenges and come out on top. She will help you laugh when you haven’t got a leg to stand on and turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary landmark kind of day. 

Mindfulness: Life & Leadership

WILB Concurrent: Monday, May 29 10:30am

Every one of us has the potential to be a successful leader.  A leader is anyone in a position to influence another person. Every single one of us, every single day, has the opportunity to influence another person. And the most successful leaders are mindful – they are self-aware and compassionate, which reduces stress for others and inspires teams to action. This starts with the self. Mindfulness is a process of training the mind that teaches you how to understand your own mind – and how it functions in different and challenging situations.

This break out session provides insight for incorporating mindfulness practices into your life & leadership.

  • Experience a variety of mindfulness practices including; mindful eating; sitting meditation focused on breath, body, sound and thoughts; mindful listening and speaking.
  • Learn how to reduce stress through mindfulness
  • Examine how leaders can bring mindfulness practices into the work environment for the benefit of the workplace.
  • Tune in to your “voice”.  Non-judgmental observation of self-talk allows you to pause, observe, reframe, and change your thoughts (actually rewire your brain), including what you say about yourself and others.
  • Focus on what matters and remain level headed about what you can’t control.

Participation is limited to 30 people

The V Project: Values, Validation and Venus

WILB Concurrent: Monday, May 29 10:30am

Does your life feel off balance? Are you unhappy with something, but not sure what to do about it? Do you have trouble making decisions that feel right? Are your relationships as strong as they could be?

Professionally and/or personally, can you say YES to any of these:
“I feel stuck.”; 
“I feel disempowered”; “My life feels out of control.”; “I always put the needs of others before my own”;
“Something needs to change, but I don’t know how to start.”; 
“I sometimes feel guilty about wanting more. Shouldn’t I be happy with what I have?”
; “I feel alone in this - I’d like some help.” 

In the V-Project workshop, participants will become intimate with their values in order to drastically raise their level of self-awareness so they feel empowered to confidently make decisions that are right for THEM (not just everyone else).

More wants, less shoulds. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Savvy Solutions: How to Work Visually to Align Teams and Accelerate Results

WILB Concurrent: Monday, May 29 10:30am

In a world where information overload is high, and the effectiveness of traditional top-down leadership is low, how can you get your team on the same page? Whether you’re doing strategic planning, developing change management initiatives, and solving an unexpected crisis, too often great ideas and initiatives flounder when it comes time for execution and implementation. Without alignment and buy-in, it takes longer and is more costly to get the results you want.

In this session, visual facilitator and leadership expert, Carolyn Ellis, shares how to create savvy solutions to any problem by incorporating simple visual tools can help align teams, create better conversations and engagement, and accelerate results. Participants will learn:

·    How low engagement requires new leadership skills to be developed

·    The key attributes of an aligned team (and how to support them if these qualities are missing)

·    The brain science behind why drawing out your ideas helps improve decision-making, communication and engagement

·    Three essential skills to work visually with your teams you can use right away (no drawing skills required)   

How to Harness Employee Passion for Profit & Social Impact through Volunteering

WILB Concurrent: Monday, May 29 2:30pm

In this session, you will learn how volunteer engagement for employees can be a used as an effective technique for development and retention resulting in positive ROI.  Together, we will explore personal and professional development through international and local volunteering, effective team building and corporate culture, and how passion and purpose fulfilment translates to productive, engaged and effective employees.  The workshop includes a participant assessment to evaluate both your company’s corporate values and business requirements and how it maps against your own personal skills and passions.

The session will include content that will highlight the various stats that point to how in fact this does drive ROI (30%) and the remaining workshop (70%) will be spent in individual and group workgroups, as a means to develop personal maps for participants that show how passion and profit can come together in their own lives, at home or at work.  This means you will walk away with a framework you can implement tomorrow.

Diversity as a Resource: Driving Innovation, Growth and Progress

WILB Concurrent: Monday, May 29 2:30pm

The world is full of all kinds of leadership programs. There is still, however a pervasive talent and leadership gap in many organizations. This gap is inhibiting many organizations in driving innovation, growth and progress. A key factor in building an innovative and high performing culture is an active commitment to diversity and inclusion. During this session we will discuss the dimensions of diversity and how diversity and inclusion can promote innovation and creativity to enable organizations to succeed now as well into the future. We will outline key strategies to building a diverse and inclusive culture, which embraces diversity of thought and perspective and employee engagement. Finally we will discuss how to harness these capabilities to unlock innovation and take you to a whole new level of leadership.

The Resilient Workforce

WILB Concurrent: Monday, May 29 2:30pm

Why do some people thrive in a fast-paced, fast-growing environment while others burn out? What is an essential quality of a successful professional in an entrepreneurial space? The answer is resilience. With a combined 30 years of professional and management experience across sectors, Rann Sharma and Sapna Goel will share best practices and practical applications through  discussion and case studies of resilience in action. Learn how to recognize the qualities of resilience while also playing a role in instilling resilience among your team.

Take Charge of Your Career

B2L Concurrent: Monday, May 29 2:30pm

What are your plans to take your career to the next level? Do you want to feel more empowered? Challenge yourself and learn new skills? Maximize your access to “hot jobs”—the large, highly visible projects, mission-critical roles, and international assignments that provide critical on-the-job development opportunities and accelerate career advancement?

This interactive session led by Vandana Juneja, Senior Director, Catalyst will help you to enhance your skills necessary to build mutually beneficial relationships with influential others, and make your achievements visible in ways that benefit both you and your organization. If you are ready to take charge of your own career and begin to successfully negotiate your role today, join us for tips on negotiating your way to a more challenging and satisfying role. You will be challenged to create a plan of your own exploring actions, support, success metrics, and a timeframe to propel you forward on your career journey. Invest in yourself and walk away with fresh insights about how to accelerate your career with tools and a plan to make it happen.

Overcoming Barriers for Women and Leadership in Canada

Panel Discussion: Monday, May 29 3:20pm

As we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, women have made gains in many aspects of Canadian life -- social, cultural, economic, and political. We have more women entrepreneurs, more women in positions of political leadership, more women on boards or  leading large multi-national organizations then ever before. Yet for all of these achievements, gender parity remains tenuous in many areas.

This panel of distinguished leaders in government, business, education, and not for profit discuss the progress and the opportunities to overcome barriers to success as we move closer to equality. Our leaders discuss innovative ideas for accelerating these changes within our communities, our businesses, and elected positions. Our conversation about gender in Canada has been elevated by definitive actions of our Prime Minister and government, and together we will explore not just the barriers but also the way forward to boldly drive change together. Because only by having a more diverse voice around our board room tables can we build the healthy, prosperous society that will help us to navigate the next 150 years successfully.

You will leave with a greater understanding of:

  • Insights and strategies into the real and perceived barriers faced by women in leadership
  • Mindset and critical experiences we need to seek as women leaders to accelerate change and social progress
  • Key actions to break through the challenges to gender parity
  • How to position your skills and your voice to meet the emerging needs of our changing society