December 2019 – Strictly social Holiday Celebration. 

We gathered to celebrate the season, enjoy the company of new friends and old and raise money for our charity. No keynote speaker or presentations this month.



November 2019 – Get off the Hamster Wheel and Live a Life in Alignment

Have you ever found yourself feeling like a hamster in a wheel? Busy, productive, and even successful by others’ standards, but not getting anywhere, or at least not getting where you want to go? Or do you sometimes feel like your work or career are veering off in the wrong direction but you don’t know how to get things back on track?

Just like the tires on your car need alignment from time to time to drive straight and true, alignment in your life is important in keeping you on the path you you’ve set out for yourself. When things just don’t feel right, when you’re overly stressed, agitated, or distracted, chances are you are out of alignment somewhere and need to make an adjustment.

Join us to explore how you can step off the hamster wheel. Learn the most important things you need to be aligned with to live a life of purpose, meaning and success in work and in life.

About: Ingrid Vaughan is an HR Architect and owner of Smart HR in Victoria BC. She works with small business owners in creating and sustaining strong HR programs and systems. With 15 years’ experience in HR management, she brings a practical, proactive approach to human resource challenges in the workplace. Ingrid believes strong leadership is the key to culture, engagement and retention and in 2020 is launching the Smart Leadership Academy as a platform for groups of leaders to learn together in a cohort-based model. She coaches leaders at every organizational level to grow their leadership confidence and effectiveness.

Meeting is sponsored by Pam Katunar, Raymond James Ltd

October 2019  5 Powerful Women

This month we heard from a panel of 5 business women sharing business wisdom and insights.

Pam Katunar, Raymond James Ltd.: How Workshops Can Leverage Your Knowledge and Grow Your Business. Pam has been running workshops and seminars for years, sharing her knowledge, wisdom and expertise. Learn her key takeaway on the benefits.

Jilly Hyndman, The Heartrageous Coach: Building Integrity and Resilience in Your Business.
Learn a simple and powerful leadership tool that will allow you to build integrity and resilience in yourself and your business. You’ll learn how to re-awaken your feminine super-powers so the garden of your business (and life) can flourish, both in times of flow and challenge.

Heather Beaton, Potential Plus Coaching: What are you willing to give up today to accomplish what you want in your future?
Tomorrow doesn’t wait. Learn Heather’s 5 takeaways for achieving your business or life goals and dreams.

Brittany Barton, Iron & Pearl Financial Services: How To Use Instagram To Engage With Your Network.
Regardless of your business. Instagram is one of the least used marketing tools in the financial services industry and many other industries, because people think it’s not applicable to them. Hear how Brittany has leveraged Instagram, grown her network and following.

Bonnie Chomica, Marketing Done Write: Social media is rented space, Email Marketing is Where It’s At. 
Are you tired of posting on social media and not getting any leads? Learn Bonnie’s tips on getting the most from email marketing.

August 2019  Be Emergency Ready! 

Join us this month with Jenn Houtby-Ferguson, a specialist in Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management, as she asks: Are you ready?

In today’s changing world, managing risk is critical to the preparedness of individuals, businesses and communities. From natural disasters to terrorism we must all understand our role, and the role of local government to both prepare for and respond to emergency situations.What is an emergency plan? What should you pack in your Grab n’ Go bag? How can you safeguard your family when travelling? Be prepared, not scared and learn how to disaster-proof your life!

Take Aways:

  • It happened to me! Tales from the front line
  • What is emergency readiness and why it matters for individuals and community
  • Who is responsible?
  • Hazard identification for the Vancouver Island Region
  • Key components of an Emergency Kit and Family Reunification Plan
  • What to prepare when you travel and where to get help while away
  • Where to go for start and go for help? (Additional resources)

About Jenn Houtby-Ferguson:

A seasoned marketing and communications professional, Jenn Houtby-Ferguson is a sought after speaker and facilitator. Also-known-as Madam Disaster, Jenn is ready to help businesses and individuals be ready before disaster strikes. A sessional instructor at Vancouver Island University, Jenn recently started a doctorate at Royal Roads University and trains groups throughout North America on risk management and emergency preparedness.

July, 2019  PR & Marketing for Your Small Business. 

Trisha Lees spoke about putting your best foot forward in building the reputation of your business.

Trisha is the owner of Rep Lab Communications in Victoria and worked with a variety of businesses throughout Canada. With a background in journalism, public relations and marketing strategy, she presents companies in a creative, engaging manner that helps build their reputation and enhance their bottom line.

She shared her knowledge of public relations and marketing for small businesses including:

  • How to get the media’s attention
  • The best way to spend marketing dollars
  • Using social media to build a brand and impact sales

As a business owner, she spoke about:

  • How to introduce yourself and grow your opportunities
  • Using strategy to create a business you love
  • The challenges of working on your own

About Trisha: Trisha Lees founded Rep Lab Communications in 2014, building on a 15 year career developed at Alberta Children’s Hospital and Tartan Group. She has a graduate certificate in journalism from Langara College and a certificate in public relations & communications management from the University of Calgary, as well as a MBA from Royal Roads University, with a specialization in management consulting.

For a large portion of her career she has focused on issues and crisis management, often working with clients who are experiencing a situation that will impact their reputation or well-being. Trisha’s ability to communicate a brand’s message effectively has garnered her recognition from diverse businesses and organizations. Most recently, Rep Lab was recognized by Douglas Magazine as a winner of the ‘10 to Watch Awards.’

June 2019, Kelly Falardeau, burn survivor, motivational speaker

Kelly Falardeau joins us from Edmonton Alberta, hot on the heals of her Canada-wide documentary film debut #StillBeautiful, the story of her life as a burn survivor.

Her message of body image, self-empowerment and self-esteem is an important message for men and women; an issue many struggle with. Her perspective will change your life!

In today’s world we are programmed to be SuperWomen, and yet no matter how hard we work at it, we still seem to feel like we are “not enough”.

Be prepared to be inspired!! In Kelly’s presentation, she will show you how you can thrive through tragedy or challenge and still be a successful person. Your value and worthiness has nothing to do with how much money you make or don’t make.

She will show you how the tragic fire when she was two and her divorce, are actually gifts in life that made her the strong woman she is and if she can do it, so can you. You will be inspired to see your life in a whole new way.

About Kelly: Kelly Falardeau is a burn survivor. From the age of two-years-old, when she had burns on 75% of her body, she constantly struggled with her self-worth and confidence.She found a way to go from near-death to success; from the ugly scar-faced girl to the Top 10 Most Powerful and Influential Speaker, Fierce Woman of the Year, an International Best-Selling Author (5x), recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and a YWCA Woman of Distinction.Her most recent accomplishments include two TEDx talks in 2019 and her #StillBeautiful  documentary hit the big screen and National TV.

May 2019

Paula McPhee, Marine Biologist turned eco-preneur.

Paula and her partner Nairn, both educated in marine environmental fields. were prompted to make changes in their lives  when faced with sobering statistic. “By 2050 plastic items in the oceans are estimated to outnumber fish.”

Interested in the concept of Zero Waste, they made shifts in their consumption and interviewed hundreds of people while travelling and researching for a year.

In August 2018, they opened Vancouver Island’s first Zero Waste grocery store, and one of only a handful in Canada. The store provides customers with everything found in a conventional grocery store, completely package-free. The new store on Douglas Street is taking Victoria, BC and Canada by storm!

How does a marine biologist become an eco-preneur? In this keynote, you’ll learn their secret sauce:

  • passion (find better healthier alternatives for food and consumables while reducing excessive packaging)
  • mission (to tread lightly on the earth)
  • determination (navigating a complex retail and grocery industry)
  • travel (interviewing people for one year in their travels about zero waste)

Proof that you don’t have to come up with a new idea, just embody it and share it with the world (at least Vancouver Island). Oh, and they did it all within a year!

April 2019

Sozie Moskal, local Victorian grows YouTube channel to 1.9million YouTube subscribers. 

Meet Suzie Moskal, nail school owner in Victoria BC, the host of Nail Career Education and YouTube sensation with a hugely successful YouTube channel with over 1.9million subscribers and growing.
In Suzie’s keynote she’ll share her journey, how and why she got started with YouTube, how she reached 1.9M+ in YouTube subscribers, aspects that have made her channel successful and what you should know about getting started if you’re feeling shy about the YouTube space. 
Suzie publishes detailed video tutorials that attract an ever-increasing online audience. What started as a way to raise the veteran nail tech’s profile to reach more potential students is now a widely successful YouTube channel. 

March 2019

Peanut Butter and Dragon’s Den oh my! This month we welcome Jill Van Gyn, founder of Fatso Peanut Butter in Victoria, which is taking Canada by storm. In fact she secured a deal on the Dragon’s Den!

She says her journey with Fatso is not a conventional entrepreneurial path but her experiences are what enabled her to not only launch the company but drive it to be the success in two short years!

Fatso is now in over 1000 stores nation-wide and she has ambitions of entering the US market in 2020.

ABOUT THE PRODUCT:  “Fatso was developed with the elite athlete in mind, but regardless of whether you’re an athlete,  I also get how tough it can be to simply start your day off right. Fatso was designed to be the essential nut butter for the weightlifter, CrossFitter, spin enthusiast, yogi, or mountain biker but is also great for those who want to dip their toes into eating right. Whether you are trying out a keto diet, gluten free, or vegan or just need a better peanut butter in your life, Fatso is here to save the day.”

Attend and learn lessons from a successful, unconventional (her words, not ours!) entrepreneur. There are many lessons to be learned from other’s paths: Jill will share

  • her entrepreneurial journey
  • how she got the business started
  • the challenges and lessons learned
  • today’s success
  • and of course her vision for the future.

ABOUT JILL: Jill Van Gyn was born and raised in Victoria and returned home in 2010 after living away in Montreal and Vancouver for 10 years. Jill launched Fatso Peanut Butter in 2016 after having difficulty finding a job in her field in the year and a half that followed graduation from grad school.

Jill’s journey to Fatso is not a conventional entrepreneurial path. Her experiences, tenacity and perseverance have enabled her to launch the company and drive its current success. She lives on a farm with her family in the Blenkinsop Valley and plans on starting a small side business selling figs and making apple cider for local green grocers…if she ever finds the time.

February 2019

The Power of Storytelling with Karen Elgersma

Discover how you can create unique, compelling, and inspiring stories that will help you in your business…with the story-whisperer, Karen Elgersma.

Karen Elgersma has worked in media for over 30 years as a writer, producer, reporter, host and content creator. Her love of storytelling is infectious, and her passion for sharing her secrets has kept her in high demand as a speaker and media consultant.

  • Find out how to write your story in a way that is marketable, shareable, and emotionally engaging
  • Discover the key ingredients to a powerful story
  • Learn how you can turn your story into content that you can share
  • Understand the different platforms you can use to market your business through storytelling
  • Get the insider scoop on how to get earned media –media that tells your story for you, for free (e.g. you featured in Douglas Magazine, or on CHEK TV).
  • Discover how to hook your audience with your compelling story
  • Learn how to get eyes on your content.

January 2019

Beyond the Law of Attraction with Nadine Hanchar

How would you like to achieve the things in life and your business that you desire?

You can. Using the laws of the universe you CAN create your heart’s desires.

These laws apply to anyone, any time, any place. They do not discriminate. As you generate energy through your mind and your heart, you have the ability to create in your life. You are doing it all the time. When you understand and cooperate with these Universal Laws, and use them purposefully, you can be more proactive in what it is you create.

Whether you are aware of them or not, the Universal Laws govern everything in your life. They are at work all the time, everywhere. Be aware, understand them, and put them into your life in practical ways to assist you:
• in being more of who you really are
• to create and manifest your life in a purposeful way
• in being more fulfilled by working for yourself instead of against yourself.

Discover tangible tips on how to use the Universal Laws more effectively to achieve your life’s desires.

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