NLOWE’s 20th Annual Provincial Conference Goes Local

NLOWE’s annual provincial conference, now in its 20th year, has become the premiere professional development event for women business owners in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Over the past two decades, we have witnessed the growth of women-owned businesses in our province and the development of world-class expertise right here at home. This year, we are pleased to be showcasing this homegrown talent with a full roster of local women business owners.

Selecting this year’s conference speakers from our own province not only allows us to spotlight the very women business owners that NLOWE supports, it also gives conference delegates the chance to learn from other women entrepreneurs who have faced the challenges and opportunities unique to our province. Our conference speakers bring a local perspective to their world-class expertise, offering the best business advice for women looking to grow their businesses at home and abroad. Who better for women entrepreneurs to learn from than other women business owners who have carved their own path in The Rock?

Conf17-AnneWhelanWe are pleased to announce that this year’s keynote speaker will be one of 2016’s Top 100 Canada’s Most Powerful Women, Anne Whelan.

Anne has almost 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur growing a small family business into a diversified multi-million-dollar company. She is President and CEO of Seafair Capital Inc., a growth-focused private investment company that provides strategic leadership and expertise to its group of operating companies. These companies specialize in health and community care, business support services, and industrial and safety supplies.

She currently chairs Newfoundland Power’s board of directors and also serves as director on several other boards, including the Business Development Bank of Canada, CSA Group, and the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council.

Anne has been recognized for her leadership and entrepreneurship at a national level. She was named CEO of the Year by Atlantic Business Magazine in 2014 and won NLOWE’s 2013 Entrepreneurial Excellence Award. She was also named the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in the growth category in 2010 and received a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contribution to home care in 2012.

During her keynote presentation, “Fortune Favors the Brave,” Anne will talk candidly about successes and challenges, making smart and brave decisions about people, time, and money, and—most of all—how to maximize your return on luck. She will challenge delegates to find their inner strength as women and as entrepreneurs.

Conf17-JennySmithOur Opening Plenary will feature Strategy Magazine’s top Creative Director in Atlantic Canada in 2015, Jenny Smith.

With 20 years in the advertising and marketing business, Jenny has created internationally recognized, award-winning advertising. She’s ranked one of the top creatives in Canada and is the region’s most decorated creative person. Her current role is President and Creative Director of Ray, an advertising agency in St. John’s that she launched in 2013.
Just one year after its launch, Ray swept the 2014 ICE Awards, which celebrate excellence in Atlantic Canada advertising, winning Best in Show. In Strategy Magazine’s 2015 Creative Report Card, Ray was ranked #1 agency in Atlantic Canada. In 2016, Jenny was awarded NLOWE’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Start-Up.

These awards and recognitions have not come without hard work and determination, as Jenny will discuss in her presentation, “My Road to Success: Sweat, Tears, and Vodka.” During the Opening Plenary, delegates will hear all about her journey on starting an advertising agency, the ups and downs of owning a business, and how to kick some serious ass!

Conf17-SusanMurrayFollowing the Opening Plenary, delegates will hear from leadership development specialist and principal consultant of Clearpath Leadership, Susan Murray. Susan teaches executive leadership at the Rotman School of Management and graduate leadership studies at Memorial University. In addition to her teaching engagements, Susan has worked closely with many emerging leaders to help develop their leadership potential, consulting with both public and private organizations globally. In this workshop, entitled “Bold Steps Will Define You,” Susan will help delegates identify key leadership insights to create a strategy for growth, identifying practical actions along with their vision for success.

In the afternoon, a panel of women business owners will discuss change management and share tips and best practices on how to personally handle change as a female leader in any organization. The panel will be led by leadership, engagement, and change professional, Jess Chapman, Principal at ethree consulting. Jess has over a decade of experience helping organizations to improve the effectiveness of their workforce. Jess will be joined by Gina Pecore, CEO of Genoa Design International, who helped establish the company in 1994 and supported its growth from a basement enterprise to an international operation. Also joining the panel is Cindy Roma, Co-CEO of Telelink, now celebrating her 21st year with the company.

Conf17-LoriBarronThe final workshop of the day will be presented by Lori Barron, Founder and Brand Strategist, Hello Interactive Media & Design Inc. Lori is an experienced marketing communications professional who has been building brands, managing marketing and communications initiatives, developing strategies, leading outreach, and running campaigns for non-profits, government agencies, and private companies for nearly 20 years. During this interactive workshop, Lori will lead delegates through the process of building a brand strategy for their businesses.

NLOWE’s 2017 Annual Conference will be held on April 5–6 at the Delta Hotel & Conference Centre in St. John’s. The annual conference provides the opportunity for women business owners, members of the business community, industry professionals, government representatives, and community partners to learn, network, and do business. In addition, conference delegates will have the opportunity to attend a half-day of pre-conference workshops. With a top-notch lineup of stellar business leaders, this year’s NLOWE conference promises to be one of the best yet!
Register now at


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