Women’s Empowerment Event

Designing a NEW tomorrow

Thank you for Attending
WEE 2021 Virtual

Back by popular demand and kicking off WEE 2021 Canadian Artist,

Bernadette Connors will be performing – what a way to start! https://www.bernadetteconnors.com/

We are very excited to share that our four hours of education and networking will include:

Rina Rovinelli: Named 2020 Top 25 Women of Influence™ & Co-Founder Of Speaker Slam

“Build Your Personal Brand with Inspirational Speaking”

Build your personal brand by getting clear on your message and infusing inspiration into your communication. In this session, learn the formula for crafting a viral-worthy inspirational speech that will make an impact and connect with your audience. You will learn the importance of using speaking to connect heart to heart with your clients, co-workers and community. This is an opportunity to reflect on your brand and how you want to be seen. This session will be thought-provoking, fun and inspiring!

Judy Croon: Canada’s Keynote Humourist Known for her Ted Talks and specials that have appeared on NBC, CBS,CTV and the Comedy Network. She has worked with many celebrities including; John Cleese, Jon Stewart and Joan Rivers.

“Maximizing Humour to Relieve Stress and Create a brighter tomorrow”

Stress is a major cause of most illnesses, but humour is an amazing way to relieve it. Did you know that your brain shrinks when it is stressed? Harvard studies have demonstrated just that. But, when you laugh, you relax; and when you relax, you learn. This hilarious and inspirational session explores seven stress-relieving ingredients: a positive attitude, perseverance, forgiveness, teamwork, family and friends, mental activity, and physical activity.

Panel Discussion

Panels are always a WEE highlight. This year’s dynamic group of ladies will be discussing:
Designing a New Tomorrow for Women in the Promotional Industry.

Panel Moderator – Michele Bell

Michele Bell is a vice president at ASI, overseeing the Editorial, Special Events and Education teams. With more than 30 years of journalism experience, she has been with ASI for 24 years and is the recipient of multiple Neal Awards, known as the Pulitzer Prize of business journalism. Michele also covers the overseas promo markets extensively, attending shows around the world to profile for ASI’s content platforms.

Panelist – Jennifer Tarnopolski

Jennifer was born and raised in Winnipeg, MB, also known as one of the coldest cities on Earth. In 2004, she fell in love with (and into!) the promo industry and has never looked back. Born into a line of entrepreneurs, Jen founded Outstanding Branding in 2016 and has been steadily growing her outstanding team ever since. Jen’s also excited to be the President of the newly established PPPC chapter for Manitoba, and is also an active member of her community and organizations like Women Business Owners of Manitoba and Winnipeg Executives Association. When she’s not busy having fun at work, Jen enjoys spending time with her husband and three young boys at the cottage, with a glass of wine and a roaring bonfire.

Panelist – Kathy Cheng 

Kathy Cheng is the President of WS & Co., one of Canada’s leading full-service apparel manufacturers, and the founder of its in-stock apparel line, Redwood Classics Apparel, which provides promotional and retail resellers with high-quality garments that are handcrafted in North America.

With the innumerable recognitions and awards that Kathy has been accredited for over the years, she was most notably named on Inc. Magazine’s 100 Female Founders List and was recognized for her significant contributions in Supplier Diversity, receiving the WBE President’s Award and the LGBTQ+ Ambassador of the Year Award for 2020.  

As a result of Kathy’s contributions to women-focused efforts, she was presented with the prestigious Counselor Supplier Woman of Distinction Award by ASI (Advertising Specialty Institute®) in 2016, was one of three Canadians inducted into The EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ program in 2014, and was on WXN (Women’s Executive Network)’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada list in 2013.

Panelist – Jessica De Mello

Business Development Manager, St Regis Group

A proud part of the Promotional Products Industry since 2005 and WEE attendee since 2012. On a personal level: 1st generation Canadian Citizen, single mom of 2.

My motto: I am who I choose to be. Living in the moment, always learning, evolving & challenging myself!

Panelist – Lindsay Alcorn

Lindsay Alcorn got her start in the promo industry at the age of 10 back when she used to stuff envelopes for her father’s supplier company. She learned enough about the family business early to know two things: she wanted nothing to do with sales or the promo industry. So she went off to study marketing and eventually went to work in the world of digital advertising. After a series of unexpected and serendipitous events, she somehow found her way back into the industry, working for Staples in a sales position. This was certainly unexpected. She quickly rose through the ranks at Staples, spending a highly decorated decade at Staples before moving on to BrandAlliance. A 5-year stint at Brand Alliance saw her climb the corporate ladder only to arrive at an important epiphany: she really just liked selling. The time and space afforded to her by Covid allowed Lindsay to step back and reflect on what she really wanted for the rest of her career. She found the answer in an unlikely place, a company called BAMKO. The US-based distributor had been looking to expand into the Canadian market and was designed to support and help grow the sort of sales assassin that Lindsay realized that she was destined to be. Enamored with a culture of growth and capabilities designed to land major program accounts, Lindsay joined the BAMKO team in the middle of 2020 and hit the ground running at full speed, finally finding the place she intends to call home for the remainder of her career. Lindsay just moved to Stony Creek and when she isn’t landing major accounts, she spends her time golfing and cavorting with friends and family.

In typical WEE fashion we also have a few scheduled guests to shake things up!!

Casey Thomson from The Cheese Gallery will provide tips and suggestions to create a drool worthy charcuterie board! thecheesegallery.ca

Ayanna Lee-Rivears will get us out of our chairs and moving by introducing us to Socacize. So be ready to crank up those speakers for a creative blend of authentic Caribbean and African dance!!     socacize.com





ASI - Advertising Specialty Institute


Debco HPG
Katana Blanket
KC Caps
KC Caps


Botanical Paperworks
Justin Case
Strauss event & association management

Our goal with WEE has always been to create a safe, inclusive and diverse space. Recently, we changed our name to womxn as research reflected that it was a word that was used to signal inclusive spaces for BIPOC, transgender and non-binary people. However, language is fluid, it changes, it can be co-opted, and context can change. While our intent in using womxn was positive, time has shown that this word can in fact be used to exclude transwomen and non-binary. We are therefore changing the spelling back to Women but our mission of creating a safe, inclusive and diverse space has not ended.

Thank you from the WEE committee,
Kate Plummer (she/her),
Ann Baiden (she/her),

Carol deVille (she/her) and
Katrina Derksen (she/her)

Attending my first WEE in 2019 was an incredible experience and a lot of fun! The Plan-It women will definitely be back with even more of us in 2020 and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us! We were absolutely blown away by the quality of the WEE speakers and the incredible opportunity for professional and personal development. I’m encouraging all of our female team members to attend in 2020!

Cindy Chapman

Chief Innovation Officer & Founder – PlanIt Promotions Ltd.

To me WEE is a learning experience and a place to share ideas and knowledge in an open and friendly atmosphere. The speakers are always memorable, insightful and engaging. This is a platform to teach as well as to build friendships and strengthen contacts within our industry. I feel that WEE is one of the best events I’ve been to and this will be my fifth one coming up! I highly recommend it to any woman in our industry whether on the supplier or distributor side – we all work together.

Patty Weisdorf
Sr. Account Executive – Cotton Candy

Wee 2019 was the best I’ve experience yet.  Congrats to the wonderful, hardworking, and caring ladies who spend tireless hours organizing this event.  The experience is always interesting, thought provoking, and lots of fun.  Can hardly wait for Wee 2020!

Cindy Puritt
Senior Business Development Manager – Debco

I just wanted to thank you again for organizing and hosting yet another wildly successful WEE Conference. I can’t tell you how much positive feedback I heard from not only the BrandAlliance ladies who attended, but every single person I met outside our organization. It was a great event, EXTREMELY powerful and interesting presenters and it provided an opportunity to meet women from different organizations and learn about their challenges in career and life. Many of us struggle with the work/life balance and this event made many realize they are not alone, but the ability to overcome struggles of any kind are within us. Can’t wait for this year!

Lindsay Alcorn, CAS
Vice President, Eastern Canada – Brand Alliance

What makes WEE so special?  One thing I especially love is that we get maximum value from a pretty tight schedule. Give them two days, they’ll give you a whole lot in return!!  The speakers are well diversified, from professional development to motivational. The networking opportunities are always fun and dynamic.  The diversity of the women in attendance is great, and the fact that it draws from western Canada as well as the greater Toronto area is really impressive. Overall, for variety of sessions, diversity of regions represented and a great mix of topics and fun, WEE delivers!

Kippie Helzel, MAS
Sr. Vice President, Sales – Custom Plastic Specialties, LLC