Education Sessions

Frances Biernacki, Clear Concept Inc.
Friday, May 3 (10:30am – 12:00pm, 1:15pm – 2:45 pm)
Powerful Communications – Thriving in Today's Promotional Products Industry

The promotional products industry is changing. What worked in the past no longer works in this fast-moving industry. Whether a supplier or distributor, the need to continue evolving is a must to remain successful.
A key driver to professional success is communication. Therefore, it’s no surprise powerful professionals are also powerful communicators. In this session, you will learn the best practices to make yourself heard, increase your influence and inspire others to take action.

With every conversation and initiative, we benefit by learning from set-backs and celebrating successes.  Feedback and mentoring are critical factors to help develop individuals and teams to do their best work. Discover how to instill feedback and mentoring into your culture. Learn why and how to deliver constructive feedback. Embrace feedback, while supporting everyone to do their best work.

This fast-paced, interactive session is grounded in leading research and geared for today’s promotional products industry. Feel challenged and inspired to adopt practical strategies to help you thrive, at work and in life.

About Frances
Frances Biernacki is currently working as a consultant and professional facilitator for Clear Concept Inc.  She has been working with several industries, including law, finance, health care and government. Most recently her focus has been working with her clients to customize the learning experience to best suit the audience and their particular training needs. This includes building in accountability, giving feedback and reinforcement to ensure training goals are met and new skills are successfully adopted.

Prior to consulting, Frances held a number of roles with the Nielsen Company of Canada. During this time, learning about the CPG industry from Analytics to Client Management, then running Nielsen University, which lead her to the role of Client Training Manager.  It was in this role that she partnered with clients to assess knowledge and skill gaps that led to the development of custom training programs.  Frances truly believes the key to business success begins with targeted training programs.

Frances spent more than five years in the technology industry as both an operations specialist and a client relationship manager. She improved working conditions, decreased processing times and implemented cost saving changes.

Frances graduated with an Honours BSc from the University of Toronto, where she focused on understanding complex biological systems and how they have changed over time.

When not working, she can be found running the streets of the GTA, walking her dog in the local parks or simply enjoying life with her family and friends.

Lisa Leitch, Teneo Results
Friday, May 3 (3:00pm – 4:30pm)
Your Star Power – Be Strategic, Proactive & Brave

In today’s highly competitive marketplace, customers are demanding more. Are you reactive or pro-active to meet these higher expectations? How do you turn product and price conversations into better business conversations to grow both your customer’s business and your own?

In this interactive high energy presentation, you’ll take away an understanding of:

Mel Sibbitt, Two Crazy Ladies
Saturday, May 4 (9:00am – 10:00am) – Breakout Session #1
Staying Afloat When Life Hits You with an Emotional Tsunami

Mental health and wellness in the workplace are very important topics that affects us all. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMAH), in any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness. Mental illness affects people of all ages, education, income levels, and cultures. Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.

It is happening all around us....

What do you do when a huge wave rolls over you personally or professionally? Who do you reach out to when you need support? How do we even recognize or manage an invisible challenge? Let’s talk about how we can become connected and work as one…

There is a collective realization that the feminine energy is becoming stronger and more prevalent in all areas of our society today. There is an opportunity for all of us to connect deeply to our own internal strength, energy and hearts so that we may be beacons in the stormy seas.  

Come see how WEE do it.

About Mel
In 1988 Melanie started her company with her sister Kim and one product, The Doodle Mug, that was created and designed by Kim. 30+ years later she has a small but mighty team of Crazy Ladies dedicated to making their customers experience fun, creative and memorable.

Mel credits her success to perseverance, listening to her clients and surrounding herself with an incredible number of people that have supported her through her journey.She is in good company with the other women of the industry who have been great mentors and friends. She feels very blessed to be part of such an amazing group of people. When her Dad passed away in 2013 her team and some industry colleagues were there to support her while she healed. Without an incredible circle of family, friends, colleagues, suppliers and clients, the road to recovery could have been a little longer.

You’ll often hear Mel talk about her love of animals, big and small, especially her love of horses. When you would walk into her office you were always greeted by Crazy and Lady, Two Crazy Ladies’ resident kitties. Mel loves to travel, with Arizona, Greece, the Amalfi Coast and the Turks and Caicos among her top picks. An African safari is still on the horizon.

She now lives and works from her float home in Victoria, BC.

Ashlee Froese, Froese Law
Saturday, May 4 (9:00am – 10:00am) – Breakout Session #2
The Legalities of Artwork – Who Owns What

This legal seminar will take you through key legal principles involved with branding and intellectual property laws, building a legally compliant social media program, complying with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation and understanding best practices in licensing structures.   

About Ashlee
Ashlee Froese is lawyer and trademark agent who is recognized by the Law Society of Ontario as a Certified Specialist in Trademarks Law. With over 10 years’ experience practicing branding and fashion law, Ashlee provides a deep understanding of brand protection strategies. Ashlee manages, enforces, commercializes and protects clients' brands domestically and internationally. She also creates strategies for the planning and execution of brand protection strategies.  Ashlee is recognized by the World Trademark Review as one of the top 1000 trademark lawyers in the world. Prior to launching Froese Law, Ashlee was a partner on Bay Street.

Ashlee's scope of practice includes trademarks, copyright, licensing, domain name, social media, marketing/advertising and packaging/labelling laws. Ashlee also assists in drafting and negotiating commercial agreements associated with the manufacture, distribution, sale and advertisement of branded products and services.

Ashlee is a frequent guest speaker and published author on branding and fashion law. She has lectured at law schools, universities, cultural institutions, law societies and industry associations throughout North America. She has also been published in numerous magazines, academic publications and is a contributing author to a nationally published book.

Pauline James, MIR, Principal, Anchor HR & Jennifer Lahey, Predictive Success Corporation
Saturday, May 4 (9:00am – 10:00am) – Breakout Session #3
Finding the Perfect Match: Recruitment & Retention

Whether you are looking for the perfect role or perfect candidate to meet your needs, you are on a similar journey.

Ensuring a great employee and employer fit benefits everyone in the process. It also requires active participation from those on both sides of the interviewing table.

How do you gain the most out of the small window you have to assess fit during the interview process? Once you have landed your dream role or candidate, how do you ensure you gain as much as possible from this relationship? How do you maintain a great experience and high engagement from the start?

You will walk away from this session with answers to these pressing recruitment and retention questions:

This interactive session will draw on research, case studies, and discussion to provide practical strategies.

About Pauline
Pauline has held a number of senior positions and led Employee Relations and Labour Relations in the Canadian market with large national organizations. Over her career she has also held roles in Training & Development, as an HR Generalist, and in Operations.

She has supported small independent units and large complex divisions in identifying barriers to employee engagement and performance. This has resulted in an improved employee experience, while also reducing risk and costs. Having worked closely with her clients and as a leader herself, she is sensitive to the genuine desire of leaders to provide a great work environment while meeting business objectives. Pauline is committed to working with her clients to help them become more effective, respecting their business’ unique challenges.

Pauline has a track record of working with Operations and HR divisions to build effective and sustainable programs, tailored to their needs. This includes support from the design through to implementation, including leader training and employee communications. What is unique about her approach is that she is committed to teaching and helping leaders to become independent as opposed to promoting reliance on an ‘expert’.

About Jennifer
Jennifer is an influencer, inspirer, connector and leader in Toronto’s business and start-up community. Jennifer is a Queen’s University Honours graduate with a Master’s of Science degree. She has a broad wealth of experience in business development, sales and marketing across the financial institutions, insurance providers, telecommunication, healthcare, manufacturing, education and technology industries.

Jennifer is guided by a strong moral compass; she believes in doing the right thing, and helping others realize their strengths and inspiring them to reach their potential. She has progressive experience in Business Development, Sales and Leadership Roles. Jennifer guest lectures Students in the Human Resources Management course at Trent University on the importance of employment testing and Behaviour in the workplace.

Lisa Bentley, Author of An Unlikely Champion
Saturday, May 4 (10:15am – 11:15am)
Transforming Adversity into Mastery Like a Pro – Be a Life Champion

In this session, Lisa will share her strategies for winning in life and thinking like a champion. She will educate, motivate and inspire women to find their path to fulfillment, having courage to get out of their comfort zone and elevate themselves to become their best selves.

Lisa will redefine what winning is especially for women who have to balance family life, career and self-care. She will teach mental training tools and mindset adjustments to achieve peak performance as a mother, partner, career woman and best friend. Ultimately, peak performance is the perfect storm between being competitive and compassionate to self, to others and to your craft. And for women, being compassionate to self is one of the most important and yet most sacrificed necessities to becoming world class in life.

About Lisa
Lisa Bentley raced for 20 years as a professional triathlete. She won 11 Ironman and 16 Ironman 70.3 races. She should not have won any of them: she has cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic lung disease.

But cystic fibrosis was the perfect fan for her inner fire, to turn “no” into “yes,” to find a way where there was no way.

She found that way many times. She found a way to turn cystic fibrosis into a gift. She found a way to turn hard work into talent. Her genetics would have had her wrapped in a warm blanket and coddled. But a sturdy work ethic, fierce desire, clear goals and an unwavering belief in self squashed her genetic blueprint. Lisa did not want to be told what she could not do. Instead, she showed the world what she could do when mind, body and spirit act in unison for the singular pursuit of excellence.

Lisa became one of Canada’s best triathletes and was ranked top 5 in the world for over a decade. She had several top 5 finishes at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. She represented Canada on multiple National Teams and finished 6th at the Pan American Games in 1995. But her most important accolade is as a beacon of hope for families with CF.

And while winning was her job, fulfillment was her goal. Now she helps others learn how to win in life and how to be the best they can be with the cards they’ve been dealt. She encourages everyone to have the courage to get out of the comfort zone, to be an eternal student and to turn seemingly inevitable failure into victory. She demonstrates how attitude trumps fact no matter what that fact is.

Since retiring from professional sport, Lisa authored her first book An Unlikely Champion and has delivered motivational speeches around the world (World Financial Group, ScotiaBank, TEDxEustis, Ernst and Young, MDRT (Million Dollar Round Table – Sydney, Australia and Miami), Studer Group, Unilever, Viterra, Ontario Student Leadership Conference). She teaches audiences how to turn adversity into mastery and fires them up to be their best selves every day. She has done sports commentary work with CBC, CTV, TSN and SportsNet for the Olympics and triathlon. She is an ambassador for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Lisa has an honors degree from the University of Waterloo in Math and Computer Science and a Bachelor’s of Education from the University of Western Ontario. Lisa taught high school for seven years prior to pursuing sport full time in 1999.

Lisa was inducted into the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame in 2012 and into the Triathlon Canada Hall of Fame in September 2014. She continues to run marathons as an elite masters athlete with her best time of 2:47 at 46 years of age at the Boston Marathon.

Hailey Patry, The Lifted Lid
Saturday, May 4 (1:15pm – 2:30pm)
Star Power: When Your Inner Light Shines So Bright, it Lights the Path

In this session, Hailey will share what it means to have star power, and how to become an inner star. She will cover tips on how to be sensational at work and at home, how to increase positivity, confidence and impact, and how to set, hit and exceed your goals.

Using the analogy of the life of a star, she will go through what we all must do in order to truly become the stars we were born to become, in four steps:

About Hailey
Hailey Patry is the founder of The Lifted Lid… “Life Uncapped” and a True Happiness Coach. With decades of experience, she is an authority on Happiness, Love and Success in both the business and personal development worlds, and has the kind of energy that lights up an entire stadium. Having spoken for over one million audience members and coached over 26,000 students and professionals in 136 countries, she is a master keynote speaker and facilitator. She is also an award-winning author with three International Best-Selling Books, plus books 4 and 5 on the way.

Hailey holds ten coaching designations and understands both life and business from the inside out. As a happily married mom of three, she has run three traditional businesses, an international franchise, a 60 million-dollar home-based business, and a coaching institute. She mentors business professionals to become the up-levelled version of themselves and achieve their full potential. She shows clients what is blocking their happiness, how it’s affecting their performance, and how to immediately shift into a happier way of being, which leads to productivity and profitability. This decreases emotional wellness leaves, saving companies and the economy millions of dollars.

Expect excellence when Hailey takes the stage! She blends heart, humour and uplifting stories with interactive activities to teach clients their fastest path to happiness, success and connection as a way to directly raise positivity, self esteem, ability to focus and produce great work and revenue. They immediately decrease stress, overwhelm, and anxiety. Having worked in sectors from education to corporate, and wellness to small business, some of her previous clients include Toronto District School Board, Disneyland Resort on Why Happiness Pays, and Goodlife Fitness.

From her 25 years as a business owner, and having overcome more than 30 years of trauma, Hailey has learned how to bounce back from adversity and create happiness, love and success rapidly, no matter what challenges are present. She has been featured on Cogeco, Rogers, NBC and other media.