On October 24-25th, WEConnect International in Canada will host its signature annual event, Power the Economy, for women-owned businesses, multinational corporations, senior government officials, and partner organizations supporting the growth of women’s entrepreneurship across Canada.

Power the Economy offers targeted education and valuable corporate connections for female business owners seeking to grow their businesses as well as a rich environment for corporations interested in creating or improving their inclusive sourcing programs.

The event brings together large buyers practicing supplier diversity and inclusion and potential suppliers that are 51% or more women-owned.

Join us for valuable networking opportunities, concrete business leads, and the high-powered energy and enthusiasm of impassioned advocates ready to power up women’s contributions to economic growth.

*Note: Only WEConnect International, CGLCC or CAMSC certified women's business enterprises with up-to-date certification will be qualified for the corporate matchmaking session.


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Power the Economy 2019 Preliminary Agenda
St. Regis Hotel, Toronto

Thursday, October 24

  6:30 pm – 8:30 pm    Welcome Reception


Friday, October 25

  8:00 am – 9:00 am    Registration, Networking, and Hearty Canadian Breakfast
  9:00 am – 9:10 am    • Indigenous Land Acknowledgement
   • Sheri Spinks, Master of Ceremonies
   • Welcome
Stephanie Fontaine, WEConnect International in Canada
   • Opening Remarks
      Elizabeth A. Vazquez, WEConnect International
  9:10 am – 9:25 am      Presenting Sponsor Remarks
   • Laura Didyk, BDC
  9:30 am – 10:15 am    Panel: Opposites Attract. Women Leading in STEM (Science,
   Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), presented by BDC
Cathy Imbriglio, Imbritech Industries Inc.
   • Susy Imbriglio, Imbritech Industries Inc.
   • Mary Ann Wenzler-Wiebe, BDC (Moderator)
  10:15 am – 10:20 am    Announcement by Moody's
Jennifer Stula Rivera, Moody´'s
  10:20 am – 10:35 am    Break
  10:35 am – 11:15 am    CEO Fireside Chat with Johanne Boivin, The Bugatti Group, Inc.
   and Céline Dion Global Brand Manager
   • Interviewed by Elizabeth A. Vazquez
  11:15 am – 11:55 am    Panel: Growing a Global Business, presented by EDC
   • Pina Romolo, Piccola Cucina
   • Dionne Laslo-Baker, DeeBee's Organics
   • Suhayya Abu-Hakima, Amika Mobile   
   • Jennifer Cooke, EDC (Moderator)
  11:55 am – 12:00 pm    Announcement by Walmart
Shelley Kiroff, Walmart
  12:00 pm – 1:30 pm    Buffet Luncheon and 2019 Awards
   • 2019 Canadian Corporate of the Year
   • 2019 Canadian Partner of the Year
   • 2019 Canadian Supplier Diversity Champion of the Year
   • 2019 Canadian WBE of the Year
  1:30 pm - 2:30 pm    Concurrent Tracks
   •  WBE Track Option 1: WBE Track: Raising Capital Through The
       Glass Ceiling as a
Female Entrepreneur 
       Facilitated by Dionne Laslo-Baker of DeeBee's Organics  
   •  WBE Track Option 2: How to do More Business, Create New
Enhance your Reputation and Drive Social Change 
       Facilitated by Cynthia Benedek and Bonnie Lester, HigherGround Agency
   •  Corporate Track: Increase the Impact of your Supplier Diversity
       Program: Three Best Practices from the Field

       - Developing a Supplier Diversity Brand Internally and Externally, by Casey
          Oakes, Marriott International
       - How to Create a Supplier Forum, by Richard Pinnock, Walmart
       - How to Build and Grow your Tier 2 Program, by Elizabeth Auceda, Sodexo
  2:30 pm – 3:20 pm    Concurrent Tracks
   •  WBE Track Option 1: Expanding to the US Market
       Facilitated by Amesika Baeta, EDC, and Shannon Fisher, EDC
   •  WBE Track Option 2: Develop your Company Philosophy to Guide your
       Strategic Decisions
       Facilitated by Sapana Patel, Kinamark Inc.
   •  Corporate Track: Interactive Session - Take your Supplier Diversity 
to the Next Level
       Lori Benson, EY and Kim Hutchings, ExxonMobil
  3:20 - 3:35 pm    Break
  3:35 pm – 5:00 pm    Concurrent Sessions
   •  Facilitated Roundtable Activity for WEConnect International, CAMSC,
      and CGLCC Certified Suppliers to meet Corporate Buyers

      Table hosts: BDC, Enterprise Holdings, The Estée Lauder Companies,
      ExxonMobil, EY, Global Affairs Canada, Johnson & Johnson, Marriott
      International, Microsoft, P&G, RBC, Sodexo, TD Bank, Walmart, and more) 
   •  In Conversation with The Big Push
      Sponsored by the Women's Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub
  5:00 pm    Closing Remarks