WILB Conference
Back To Top


Getting To Success: Embracing Change, Encouraging Disruption, and Incentivizing Innovation

OPENING KEYNOTE: Monday, March 27 8:30am

Growth Strategies Leadership Maximizer

In this insightful and useful talk, Michele recounts her journey from a Queen’s University undergrad to becoming ranked in WXN’s “100 Most Powerful in Canada” and listed as a Forbes’ “Millennial on a Mission”, sharing along the way the lessons she’s learned as one of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs, including the necessity of embracing change, encouraging disruption, and incentivizing innovation at every stage of the game.

Living and Leading with the Capital "V" Voice Behind Your Voice

OPENING KEYNOTE: Tuesday, March 28 8:30am

Leveraging Communication

As a voice coach of 25 years, Tamara has had the privilege of working on the many different layers of the voice—training the physical voice, working with the emotional blocks that manifest themselves in the voice, and helping others freely express the colours and nuances of themselves through their voice.  But there is so much more to the voice than just its ability to make sound. In this inspirational and informational talk, Tamara reflects on her work with singers, celebrities, business professionals and victims of abuse to find their ‘Capital V’ voice and how this discovery has led to a life with more meaning and conviction. We’ll explore how ‘Capital V’ can be accessed to find and stay on your path, make decisions, prioritize, manage high-pressure situations, transcend limitations and be compelling as a communicator, business professional, and leader.  Everything is more fulfilling when you speak, live, and lead #withacapitalV.

Through discussion, exercises and live coaching, the breakout session will further the conversation on how to:

  • Tune into the ‘Capital V’ voice daily in order to foster instinct, speak with meaning, and uncover greatness in you and those you lead
  • Leap to this voice when you need to access courage, authenticity, and conviction instantly or in high-pressure situations
  • Align with your ‘Capital V’ voice when speaking

Perspectives and The Future of Work: Bringing Together Generations in the Workplace

KEYNOTE: Monday, March 27 1:30pm

Leadership Maximizer

Today there are up to five generations in the workplace. With increased technological integration combined with different levels of technological competency, how can we get the most out of our people? How can we increase collaboration and engagement in the workplace? In this presentation, Eric discusses communication and collaboration in the workplace. He talks about the shifting nature of work and the environment needed for an integrated workplace.

The session starts with a high energy presentation to set the context, and then quickly shifts gears so that YOU take over exploring PERSPECTIVES. In this interactive session, WILB leaders and our future B2L leaders work together to explore the world of work, myths and misconceptions, opportunities, and connections by getting REAL. Eric, a leading expert on multi-generational workplaces, will challenge you to look at leadership, success and culture differently by having GREAT conversation. Be prepared to be amazed by the insights.

You will leave with:

  • Insights about how the future of work will shape your path forward
  • A deeper understanding of how multi-generation leaders view the world of work and working together
  • New connections and perspectives that will change the way you work and lead
  • A high level of energy and several “a-ha” moments that challenge how you apply your leader strengths

Speaking While Female - Five Strategies for Being Heard

CLOSING KEYNOTE: Monday, March 27 4:30pm

Leveraging Communication Growth Strategies Leadership Maximizer

lthough there’s never been a better time to be a woman in business, unconscious bias still often influences how women are seen and heard. Communications expert Shari Graydon marries relatable stories, reliable research and a healthy dose of humour to deliver concrete strategies for how you can amplify your voice, raise your profile and increase your impact.

Facing the Confidence Gap

KEYNOTE: Tuesday, March 28 2:45pm

Growth Strategies Leadership Maximizer

A contributing factor to the gender gap is confidence.  While the degree of the confidence gap can vary from one research study to another, one fact that is undisputed is that a gap exists.  Please join us for an authentic and compelling panel discussion with successful Meridian leaders to hear about their story and the advice they would offer their past self to overcome periods of self-doubt.

How to Leverage What You Have Learned

CLOSING KEYNOTE: Tuesday, March 27 3:00pm

Leveraging Communication Growth Strategies Leadership Maximizer

Conferences are fantastic because they connect us to people and ideas that are game changing as leaders. And the challenge is to implement and execute following the conference…Because we have just missed 2 days of work, and we know the work will pile up when we get back. So very soon, the ideas get pushed to the background, and we lose traction before we start. We don’t want that to happen. So Doug will explore strategies and actions that will get results for you. As the CEO of Learn2, Doug has worked with organizations to inspire transformation for over 27 years. He shares strategies that matter to drive change. You leave with an action plan that gets results. Simply, Authentically, and Exponentially.

Followed by: Closing Candid Conversations Panel – From Information to Action

The sessions at conferences go by very quickly, and often we have questions that don’t get asked. Or we think of a  question after another session triggers it. This is your last chance to engage with our expert panel of speakers to ask them ANYTHING that will help you get results. The goal is simple…we want you to have your path forward fully cleared when you leave the conference…so that there is nothing standing in the way of your success. Our speakers have generously offered to help you one last time on your journey. You don’t want to miss this candid, no holds barred session that will prepare you for your next great steps.

Upgrade Your Style

BOOSTER WORKSHOP: Sunday, March 26 2:30pm

Leadership Maximizer

Come prepared to PLAY in this engaging and interactive workshop! Set yourself apart from the crowd by learning how to create the most powerful context for your PERSONAL style language.

Cutting edge studies show that those who truly “dress for success” earn 30% more than their more casually dressed counterparts. Details matter! Learn how to sharpen up your image with easy-to-implement shifts in colour and accessorizing.

In this “PLAYshop”, we explore Colour, Texture, and Scale, and how to know what’s right for your individual style.

Two lucky attendees will win:

•An “on-the-spot” consult with Certified Image Consultant Michelle Horne
•An accessory styling with Designer and Stylist April Mitchell-Boudreau
• $50 BeadQueen Gift card
• $50 gift card from Putting it Together

Take the Lead - Improv Workshop

BOOSTER WORKSHOP: Sunday, March 26 3:00pm

Leveraging Communication

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!

Choir Nation Presents: Your Chance to Sing Your Heart Out

Booster Workshop: Sunday, March 26 6:45pm

Leveraging Communication

There aren’t too many chances in ordinary life to be in perfect cooperation with other people. Singing fulfills that need. Choir Nation is a unique team-building company that works with companies and organizations to teach them the joy of choir singing in the ultimate test of working together to create something magical. The process of singing in groups provides some incredible physical, social, and mental health benefits to the individuals that sing and ultimately to our clients in terms of morale, employee engagement, and commitment to the organization.

We have a great team of music directors, including Sarah Jerrom of St Catharines, who will take you through a choir rehearsal and ultimately a performance of a song. It's your chance to unleash your inner rock star and we can't wait to be a part of your experience at this prestigious conference.

Embrace Positive Conflict

CONCURRENT SESSION: Monday, March 27 10:45 am

Leveraging Communication

Workplace conflict is usually uncomfortable – it can be painful, personal and intense. Many people avoid conflict altogether. Some become very, very NICE… very SWEET… kinda COLD. Others complain and tell everyone and anyone who will listen what a… ahem… difficult person you are.

But does workplace conflict have to be negative? With roles continuously changing in today’s workplaces, you may be ready, say for arguments sake, for productive conflict. Not only does today’s environment demand it, today’s top leaders practice it.

Join a high energy session with Leadership Communications Expert Jalyn Anderson, Principal in Leadership Development at LHH Knightsbridge, to:

  • Understand workplace conflict today
  • Gain insights into your default style when dealing with conflict
  • Review the 8 common sources of workplace conflict
  • Explore the type of conflict that is valuable, and
  • Learn Strategies to demonstrate productive conflict

Explore how to foster productive conflict in your workplace to move you, your team and your organization forward.

No Guts, No Gain!

CONCURRENT SESSION: Monday, March 27 10:45am

Growth Strategies

The difference between winning and losing is almost imperceptible. An Olympic sprinter measures victory in milliseconds. The first mountain climber to reach the summit may attribute the achievement to a timely burst of adrenaline. Identifying what can give you that edge – that extra drive – is the difference between achievement and disappointment; between excellence and mediocrity. 

Many people never reach the summit because they are waiting for a feeling or “sign” that they are ready. Learn how to handle the pressures and challenges of building a successful business or career. This will help you become more assertive, more effective in your personal interactions, and to make you feel more comfortable as a high achiever.

For those ready to become high achievers, this session will help you:

  • Keep yourself motivated
  • Avoid procrastination
  • Increase your self-esteem and decisiveness
  • Overcome “fear of failure” once and for all
  • Learn from your mistakes 

This session will help you define your goals and create a plan to achieve them. Redirect your thoughts and energies toward achieving clear and compelling personal goals!

Negotiation and Gender: Being Smart with Negotiation

Concurrent Workshop: Monday, March 27 10:45am

Leadership Maximizer

Pay is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you hear about workplace negotiations and gender equality. It’s all about the money… except when it isn’t. While salary is important, ambitious leaders negotiate many aspects of their careers – including salary, but also bids for more satisfying and challenging roles. Join Vandana Juneja, Senior Director, Catalyst for a conversation on successfully negotiating your role today. We will consider tips on both negotiating your own way to a more challenging and satisfying role, as well as empowering your employees to negotiate their roles, maximizing access to what Catalyst refers to as “hot jobs” – large, highly-visible projects, mission-critical roles, and international assignments that provide critical on-the-job development opportunities and create career advancement. Invest in yourself and your direct reports, and come away with insights on confidently negotiating towards success!

How to Get What You Want and Create Authentic Followership

CONCURRENT SESSION: Monday, March 27 11:35 am

Leadership Maximizer

Do you get frustrated because people don’t do what you want them to do? Do you throw up your arms when colleagues aren’t truly committed to doing what you need them to do? Do you wish you were better at influencing and creating authentic followership? During this interactive workshop, you will be introduced to the 7 secrets to successfully influencing others and hone your influencing capability to more effectively get what you want.

At the end of the workshop, participants will better understand how to successfully influence others and enhance their own influence capabilities in the 7 key elements of successful influence. As a result, they will be better positioned to get what they want and create authentic followership.

Setting the Tone: Battling a Negative Work Environment

CONCURRENT SESSION: Monday, March 27 11:35am

Leveraging Communication

Chances are that we have all had to face a negative work environment at some point during our career. The effects – loss of motivation, decrease in teamwork, communication breakdown and shrinking creativity – can be damaging to team morale and performance. As a manager, it is your job to lead by example and set the tone for the rest of your team. During this interactive workshop, you will learn to identify your management style and steps you can take to positively contribute to the work environment; how best to deal with different types of negativity that you may encounter in the workplace; and gain key insight and takeaways that can immediately be put into action.

Protect Yourself and Your Organization From Risk of Fraud Schemes

Concurrent Workshop: Monday, March 27 11:35am

Growth Strategies

As your business grows, so does the need for sound business practices and controls as protection against personal and business threats. Fraud schemes perpetrated via e-mail, such as phishing and executive impersonation, have become commonplace. Individuals and businesses stand to lose far more than their intellectual property or financial dollars. Damage to reputation and brand can be just as devastating as theft of property and secrets.

Through discussion and exercises, Karen Grogan, Partner in KPMG’s Forensic practice will provide you with prevention techniques that can be implemented to help reduce fraud risk in your organization.  These same techniques can be applied to your personal life and may help safeguard your children and parents against fraudulent schemes.

 You will leave with:

  • Awareness about common fraud schemes. What are fraudsters up to these days? 
  • Ways you can mitigate fraud from occurring.
  •  Red flags. What are the warning signs of fraud? 
  • What should I do when I suspect fraud?  What to do and more importantly, what not to do, when responding to an incident of potential fraud.

Motivating and Mobilizing People: Getting Results Through Others

CONCURRENT SESSION: Monday, March 27 Part 1: 3:00pm Part 2: 3:45pm

Leveraging Communication

As leaders, we rely on others to help move mountains. And if we are looking to increase our impact, one of the most overlooked competencies in our leader toolbox is the ability to communicate with others in a manner where we are not only heard, but the listener is also compelled to take action.

The common misconception that people are motivated by the same thing — money, is simply not true. In this session, leaders and managers will learn the motivating categories, how to identify them, and craft their language effectively within an accepted style, by either men or women.

We are not only are motivated by different variables, but we respond to different communication styles. When you motivate and mobilize people they will move mountains to achieve that end result quicker and more effectively. You will leave this session with a strategy you can use immediately with anyone at any level within the organization, to truly help you grow your business or advance your career.

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

CONCURRENT SESSION: Monday, March 27 3:00 pm

Growth Strategies

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) 

Setting the Bar of Expectations

CONCURRENT SESSION: Monday, March 27 3:00pm

Growth Strategies

Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg once said “I want every little girl who is told she is bossy, to be told instead, she has leadership skills”.

Women (and men) struggle to establish and maintain control in daily business and personal interactions. Relying on tone and demeanor to convey their message, they are often accused of being controlling, domineering, and yes, even bossy. There’s a fine, but definite line between being in control and being controlling. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience an approach that works for men or women, young or old, leaders or followers.  You’ll learn 5 easy steps to setting clear expectations and timelines that allow you to be in control but not be controlling.

How to Build Your Board Profile

PANEL | CONCURRENT SESSION: Monday, March 27 3:45pm

Growth Strategies

Companies that have more women on boards have stronger financial results than those who have fewer. And it has been recognized that Canada’s ability to leverage all of its talent is a key strategy for international competitiveness. Yet, Canada continues to lag behind other countries in terms of gender balance on corporate boards. The conversation is shifting from “why” we need more women at the table to “how” to accelerate progress.

It’s time to make sure that our women leaders have the skills, the confidence, the connections and support to be board ready. This panel explores how our women leaders can pro-actively build their board profile, so that more highly educated, experienced and board-ready women are advanced to boards and executive positions.

Increasing the number of women in powerful positions has the potential to transform our workplaces and society. While there are challenges, there are concrete things that we can do to get access to these positions. Let’s explore how to get there together.

You will leave with a greater understanding of:

  • Insights and strategies to navigate progression to executive and board positions
  • Skills, traits, and critical experiences you need to support your advancement to paid board positions
  • Key actions to break through the challenges to critical positions
  • How to position your skills to meet the emerging needs of boards / organizations

Stages and Transitions - Leading Organizations Through Transformation

PANEL | CONCURRENT SESSION: Monday, March 27 3:45 pm

Leadership Maximizer

While many of us on a personal level are looking to make some kind of transformation in our career (to the next level, expanding our skills, our first Executive Role, our first board role, or even Entrepreneurship), we are also tasked with leading our teams or organizations through transformation. While we are considering and planning this journey, it is often helpful to hear from those who have been in our shoes to better understand what is needed at each stage of the journey.

There are complexities and realities when leading organizations through change. There are things that have proven successful, and others that have been great learning moments. This panel explores both of these elements so that we leave with greater insights and understanding of how to build a transformation strategy that works for our organization.

While there are challenges with transformation, there is also fantastic energy. There are concrete things that we can do find the strength, the skills and the insights to move forward successfully. Let’s explore how to get there together.

You will leave with a greater understanding of:

  • Insights and strategies to navigate personal and organizational transformation
  • Skills, traits, and critical experiences you need to support the transformation from a personal and a leader level
  • Key actions to break through the challenges to transformation
  • How to position your skills to meet the emerging needs of organizations

Linking Corporate Social Responsibility to Business Strategy

Concurrent Workshop: Tuesday, March 28 10:30am

Leveraging Communication Leadership Maximizer

The research is clear: For corporate social responsibility initiatives to deliver the promised organizational benefits they must be connected to business strategy. Yet, how we connect CSR to strategy is far from clear.

Social innovation researcher Trish Ruebottom starts with existing research and its implications for business practice, and then builds on this base to get to the questions you need to answer to develop strong successful strategic CSR initiatives.

Through presentation of research, discussion and exercises this session will allow you to:

  • Understand the difference between philanthropy and strategic CSR
  • Explore the link between CSR and strategy for your business
  • Develop ways to brainstorm and assess possible CSR initiatives 

Your Next Step: 7 actions you can take right now to get promoted, recruited, or go out on your own!

CONCURRENT SESSION: Tuesday, March 28 11:20 am

Growth Strategies

Become unstuck. After working on a one-to-one basis with more than 400 executives and business owners since 2012, Susan Varty has seen what works when people want to take their next step – and what doesn’t. Learn about the 7 actions you can take when you want to step up, step out or work on your own terms.

Chaos to Control: How to transform the way you work

CONCURRENT SESSION: Tuesday, March 28 10:30am

Growth Strategies Leadership Maximizer

Want to stop doing the boring busywork that is eating up your workday? Do you dream of spending your time and attention on the work that matters most? Join me on a journey from chaos to control. You’ll learn how to move from a place of reactively putting out fires to proactively working on your priorities.

This hands-on workshop will explore essential productivity tools that will help transform you into a lean, mean get-it-done machine.

Your takeaways include:

  • Honing in on your unique brilliance and why it is your productivity superpower
  • The secret to delegating more efficiently and effectively
  • 3 essential tech tools you need in your personal productivity toolkit

Leading From Strength

CONCURRENT SESSION: Tuesday, March 28 10:30am

Leadership Maximizer

What are you known for?  What are you deeply interested in?  Why do you naturally excel at some things?  What leaves you feeling energized?  The answers to these questions hold clues to your natural talents – those thoughts, feeling and behaviours that come to you instinctively – and if aimed, are a source of your unique potential.
Leveraging Gallup’s Strengths finder assessment, workshop participants will discover their strengths profile, and work with this information to generate insights on how their talents can be most productively applied.  Participants will reflect on their signature talents in action and begin to make connection to the meaningful impact they have on positive results.
Facilitators: Claudine Chess, Shelly Dix, Carolyn Loy

Unstoppable You: Exceed Uncertainty, Embrace Change, Earn Respect

CONCURRENT SESSION: Tuesday, March 28 11:20am

Leadership Maximizer

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. 

It's Your Time

CONCURRENT SESSION: Tuesday, March 28 1:50pm

Growth Strategies

Women owned businesses infuse over $117 billion into the Canadian economy and $2.5 trillion in the US economy. Over the last 25 years, women have been launching new businesses at double the rate of men. Statistically, it looks like women are making it happen. But let’s dig deeper. How is it that some women are crushing it, while others are simply scraping by? How can there be such a discrepancy between those who are earning over 6 figures and the majority that never earn more than $20,000 a year?

News Flash… It isn’t about time management. It’s about Power Moves™.

This step-by-step and hands-on workshop will help you create a 90 day action plan for getting more eyeballs on your work, build trust through your sales funnel, and establish the credibility of an industry leader. You’ll walk away with the key power moves you need to reach your goals, so you can focus on what you need to do to grow your business with courage.

This session is ideal if you want to:

  • Stop spinning in circles and quit wasting your time on random marketing tactics that aren’t putting you any further ahead
  • Position yourself as the go-to expert in your field and learn the skills people look for in a true leader
  • Identify hidden growth opportunities, so you can be smart about where you channel your money, time and energy in your business
  • Understand the power moves that will immediately create momentum and impact in your business
  • Feel confident about what’s next in your business and have a clear action plan to follow over the next 90 day

How to Get Branded and Social for Leadership

CONCURRENT SESSION: Tuesday, March 28 1:50pm

Leveraging Communication

Social media and personal branding aren’t buzz words anymore. They’ve become critical components for leadership and business success. If you want to build an online brand that opens doors and starts right conversations, this is one session you don’t want to miss! Social Media Trainer and Personal Branding Coach Cher Jones will walk you through the mindset shifts you need to make to finally get yourself branded and social for leadership.  She’ll show you how to take advantage of proven social media strategies to build professional profiles that stand out, grow your credibility, attract incredible new opportunities and strengthen your existing relationships. By the end of the session, you will have created your own Personal Brand Action Plan checklist so you know exactly what you need to start working on your brand for business.

Aligning Your Leadership Role With Your Purpose

CONCURRENT SESSION: Tuesday, March 28 1:15pm

Leadership Maximizer

What is your purpose in life?  What impact do you want to have – as a leader, as a team member, as a member of society, as a member of your family?  Participate in this interactive workshop led by Vanessa Vidas, Leader, Inclusion, Growth & Markets of Deloitte Canada who will share highlights of her professional and personal journey in her 20+ year career.  She will challenge you to articulate your own answers to the above questions and to determine a game plan for the next phase of your professional life.