Christina Benty, MA is a retired politician, a jazz singer, and the owner of Strategic Leadership Solutions, a consulting firm designed to assist teams in building a culture of excellence in leadership and governance. As former Mayor for the Town of Golden with 12 years’ experience in local government, she is passionate about sound governance, leadership development, organizational culture, community engagement and asset management. After her wealth of time spent living within the world of local government, she now facilitates conversations that encourage meaningful dialogue and assist governing bodies to transition from strategic vision to practical action. Christina considers herself an asset management evangelist. She is a regular conference presenter who is desperately trying to inspire local governments to take their stewardship responsibilities seriously and to inject some passion and enthusiasm into this complex topic.
Talk: The Global Optics of Power
Sophia Sunwoo is a 10-year (and still running) serial entrepreneur. She was listed as a leading force in Social Entrepreneurship on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2016, awarded the Fred Alger Finance Award, and was a NY pitch finalist at ELLE Magazine's Impact2 Awards.
Sophia built and sold her first company when she was 19, which had products placed in 250 retailers worldwide and was worn by celebrity clientele. In 2011, Sophia cofounded Water Collective, an organization founded to fix and prevent broken water projects in West Africa and India by building community ecosystems of water maintenance care. Sophia is currently a Startup Architect for social entrepreneurs, helping them overcome their financial roadblocks to construct six-figure, revenue rich startups. Sophia holds a BBA from Parsons School of Design Strategies, and is currently pursuing her MPA in International Economic Policy at Columbia University.
Talk: Smart Risk
Maili Wong is the #1 bestselling author of Smart Risk: Invest Like the Wealthy To Achieve a Work-Optional Life. She is a leading Canadian investment advisor and licensed portfolio manager whose fresh modern approach to investing for high-net-worth clients sets her apart from others in her field.
Maili has presented on high-profile stages including the Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, Vancouver Board of Trade, Association of Women in Finance, and the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute’s Global Body of Knowledge.
Maili is a featured financial expert on radio talk shows including CBC Radio, CKNW 980 AM, CKWX News 1130 AM and Business in Vancouver Roundhouse Radio 98.3 FM. Her Smart Risk message has been featured in The Vancouver Sun Newspaper, The Province Newspaper, The Sing Tao Daily Newspaper and in the Business in Vancouver newspaper where she has won the Top 40 under 40 Award in 2012.
Emelia Symington Fedy
Talk: The Power of The Ugly Truth
Emelia Symington Fedy is the creator and curator of tryingtobegood.com, a website dedicated to personal essays and live storytelling that candidly explores the darkness of the human condition. A “social acupuncturist,” Emelia pokes needles into the heart of the matter and elicits results that are hilarious and healing. Now, thanks to the success of her blog, Emelia also hosts and produces a daily radio show #1 on Roundhouse Radio that focuses on intimate interviews with her favourite people about their greatest fears and longings.
For over a decade Emelia has made feature documentaries and told personal stories on CBC radio and has worked on over twenty new theatre productions as both a writer and performer. She is the co-artistic director of the international touring and award-winning creation-based theatre company Chop Theatre, here in Vancouver.
Emelia’s whole point is to share the mess of her own life, in hopes that folks are inspired to do the same. She finds that talking candidly about our shared darkness is the best way to bring us all closer to the light.
Pole Dance Performance
Rosalyn Mow is born and raised in Vancouver and has a background in rhythmic gymnastics and Chinese dance. When looking for a new way to stay fit, she discovered Tantra Fitness as a studio offering a variety of dance, aerial arts and pole classes. Upon taking her first pole fitness class 4 years ago, she instantly loved how challenging and fun it was and has since then become an instructor and seasoned competitor as a complement to her career as a Notary Public. She currently holds the title BC's 1st runner up and an American national title. Tantra Fitness’s mission is to create an open space for women to be playful and courageous while discovering their inner beauty and power through fitness and dance. They now have locations in Burnaby, Mt Pleasant, Gastown and Richmond and welcome all walks of life, regardless of gender, religion or ethnicity. Performance Description Pole fitness has rapidly evolved over the years in becoming a legitimate sport.
Talk: The Gift of Dyslexia
Julie Salisbury is the Founder and President of Influence Publishing Inc. and InspireABook® publishing coaching. She has coached over 800 authors with her unique “InspireABook” process to draw out the life story and purpose. She has published over 90 titles through Influence Publishing Inc. since 2008.
Salisbury circumnavigated the world by sail boat, train, plane and bus, taking seven years to complete the journey. She is the author of “Around the World in Seven Years – A Life Changing Journey” and has been featured on International TV, radio, and press including the “Daily Mail” in the UK. She is a professional speaker and won the 62nd Golden Gavel Speech Competition in 2008 as well as many other speaking awards. Julie was recognized with the prestigious awards: Woman of Worth, Spirit, Success and Soul 2013 Unlimited Woman of Creativity 2013.
Talk: Giving Menopause a Makeover
Shirley Weir introduces herself as a 49 year-old Menopause Chick. Shirley’s perimenopause journey began 10 years ago. Sore boobs, sleep deprivation, depression and brain fog initially led Shirley to her doctor’s office, the book store and “Dr. Google,” but she was left feeling confused, overwhelmed and alone.
At 46, she created MenopauseChicks.com, a mission-based platform that empowers women to talk openly about perimenopause and menopause, navigate midlife health information and connect to professionals who can support their journey.
Menopause Chicks has been featured by ShareCare (a Dr. Oz site), OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) and Healthline Magazine. In April 2016, Shirley hosted the first-ever online menopause party celebrating her own menopause milestone. She and rock star Bif Naked discussed learning to love menopause, while women tuned in to share their own stories in a private online community that now has nearly 2000 members.
Shirley’s communications career spans 28 years, she has a Peer Counselling certificate from UBC, and she is mom to two teenagers and one golden doodle.
Talk: The Social Media Supermom
For the past 8 years Suzanne has been a full-time stay at home mother. In 2013 she added entrepreneur to her roster when she became Founder & CEO of MyMayu, a company focusing on innovative multi-functional outdoor gear for families. Suzanne loves spending time outdoors with her two boys. She grew up camping and hiking in the Canadian Rockies and knows the value of good outdoor gear for herself as well as her children. From experience, she knows the importance of nature play and, as a mother has witnessed her kids "climbing the walls" on a rainy day. No wonder she is on a mission to get kids outside (it might just save the sanity of a few mamas!) Suzanne has an LLB from UBC and graduated with distinction with a BA in Communications and Spanish from the University of Calgary. Suzanne practised law as a civil litigator for 8 years in Vancouver and is versed in commercial and corporate law, employment law and insurance law. Suzanne is passionate entrepreneurship and about the role of women in society. Living a life in which adventure is the norm- in her leisure moments, you can find her running the North Shore trails, travelling and honing her photography skills. She was recently a speaker at She Ventures in Vancouver and a finalist of the Camber Outdoors Pitchfest in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Talk: Childless by Choice, A Powerful Act of Fullfullment
Vicki McLeod is an award-winning entrepreneur and the author of #UNTRENDING, A Field Guide to Social Media That Matters - How to Post, Tweet and like Your Way to a More Meaningful Life. She is a newspaper columnist, podcaster, and blogger.
She is the President of Main Street Communications Ltd, where for more than two decades she has worked with businesses, organizations and governments to implement comprehensive communications and marketing strategies and sustain meaningful change. She also leads personal and professional development workshops and retreats and has held senior positions in the arts, environmental and economic development sectors.
A certified business and personal coach, consultant and trainer, Vicki is an advocate for everyday happiness, mindfulness, and living a passionate and creatively engaged life.
Talk: Modern Self-help - More Distracting than Helpful?
A life-long learner, Ms. Faris successfully defended her MA in Graduate Liberal Studies at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in 2015. She has worked as a Teaching Assistant in the Humanities, History, and English departments at SFU and is pursuing her studies there now as a PhD candidate with the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies (GSWS). Before following her passion as an academic, Reema served as a one-term Trustee for the West Vancouver Board of Education and enjoyed a multi-decade career as a communications professional with a variety of public and private sector organizations. She is also a mother who is trying her best to guide a teenage artist through life as well as Grade 10. In addition to being a member of Vancouver Opera’s Board of Directors, Reema is an avid traveller, a chocolate enthusiast, and often dreams of Paris.
Reut Amit: He Never Hit Me
Reut Amit is an Israeli-born, Vancouver-raised, lawyer, writer, thought-leader and social justice activist. Her essays and opinion pieces discuss feminism, gendered violence, cyber-misogyny, public policy and whatever else moves her in between. She is a contributor to a number of publications, including Gawker, The Huffington Post, The Establishment Magazine and Good Magazine and has appeared on HuffPost Live to speak about the intersection of women's rights and the internet. Reut believes there is immense power in the act of sharing our stories and that a stranger's story is one of the greatest gifts. Reut lives in Vancouver, B.C. where she practices workplace law and commercial litigation and provides pro-bono services to refugee claimants, the MS Society of Canada, and Rise Women's Legal Centre.
Talk: Smashing the Double Glass Ceiling
Barinder is Co-Founder and Advisory Committee Chair for a unique series of conferences, each featuring 16 inspirational women who share stories of leadership, transformation, innovation, and how to succeed in today’s rapidly changing world. SheTalks Global is in it's second year with it's popular events, SheTalks YVR, SheTalks Resources, SheTalks Technology and SheTalks Health & Fitness.
In 2014 Barinder was recognized by Vancouver Magazine as one of the 50 most powerful people in Vancouver.
Previously, she served two terms as an elected City Councillor for the City of Surrey taking leadership roles in public safety and transportation.