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  • 23 Dec 2019

    As the year’s end is upon us, I am reflecting on those who have helped to shape our association. Heartfelt thanks to each and everyone one of you.

    It’s been quite a year for us all! Hosting the world in Toronto; an extensive national and international membership survey; and strategic planning at the Canadian and global level. I feel so much gratitude for the collective of members who pulled together tirelessly to deliver on all these initiatives in such a spectacular manner. We definitely embody the local to global, and global to  local mission of IWF!

    Françoise E. Lyon, IWF Canada President

    Note: Our office will close on Tuesday, December 24 at 12 noon and will reopen on Thursday, January 2, 2020

  • 19 Dec 2019

    We can’t believe it has been three weeks since we had the opportunity to see so many of you and enjoy your friendship, warmth, and wisdom. What an honour to have had 280 delegates from across Canada and the BC Forum join us on this adventure and help us to deliver what was one of the most memorable conferences of all time.

    Since the closing gala, we’ve heard from so many of you! We truly appreciate your gratitude and taking the time to share your stories. It means the world to both of us.

    Thanks to all of you, 1,100 delegates from 34 countries now know firsthand the warmth of Canadian hospitality. Remarkably, many were delighted that we had specially arranged snow for them!

    When we list the highlights – from the Opening ceremony, which was spectacular, to the meticulously curated Behind the Scenes, the perfectly executed Dine Arounds (with the most fantastic food, ever), the breakfast with our indigenous leaders, and the closing Hall of Fame gala – not to mention the pop-up shops and the unbelievable gifts: the shawls, gloves, and hats, the outstanding gift bags, the wine, the cookbooks, the aprons – and so much more. It was all so extraordinary, and we are beholden to you and our sponsors for the unwavering support of our efforts.

    For all who participated in any way, we hope that you carry warm memories of Open Minds, World Leadership 2019 into a New Year of IWF.

    Sharon London Liss and Lisa Borsook

  • 11 Oct 2019

    There are only a handful of spaces left for the OpenMinds 2019 Conference. Currently, more than 995 members from 53 forums around the world have registered! Some of the 17 amazing Behind the Scenes are already SOLD OUT. If you still intend to register, don’t delay! REGISTER TODAY

  • 10 Oct 2019

    Based on current registration (now more than 950 and anticipating 1,000), we will need additional hosts for the Dine Arounds on November 14.  Many of you are already hosting in your homes or clubs and we’re thrilled. Now we are also looking for hosts, as we’ve secured additional dining rooms at condo party rooms, clubs, and other similar locations.

    Given the need for more venues, we’ve widened the radius from the hotel to 12 km. If you are able to host in your home, a condo party room, a corporate dining room, or a club that you belong to, we’d love to hear from you! We’ve engaged an excellent caterer, Food Dudes, to provide meals and wines. All you need to do is set your table for groups of 8 to 12!
    We appreciate everything you’re doing to make this conference a wonderful experience for all attendees! To assist, contact Brenda or Judi

  • 09 Oct 2019

    The Communications and the Membership Committees and Executive would like to thank everyone for participating in the ongoing research initiatives. More than half of you completed the e-survey, which is a great uptake.  Stay tuned for Chapter engagement sessions, which will be underway in the coming weeks.

  • 09 Jul 2019

    When you have some rare down time, do you find yourself checking your Facebook feed? Well, great news! Building on the success of Facebook pages started by Toronto, Montreal, and Atlantic, we’re pleased to announce a single, national IWF Facebook group.

    This informal way to connect has three goals: to celebrate successes and news of our members across Canada, to share news and information that is in keeping with the objectives and values of IWFC, and to build more opportunities for networking and sharing. The page will be interactive and open to all members, with administrators from every chapter encouraged to share local news.

    The sign-up process is simple: use this link to join. You may also simply search for the IWFC group in the Facebook search field.  Invite your IWFC friends to join too.  Looking forward to seeing you online!

  • 09 Jul 2019

    World Leadership Conference  "OPEN MINDS" November 13-15, 2019 in Toronto

    Register now and help us set a National attendance record!

    IWF Canada’s goal is to have the highest number of members from all chapters attend our Conference. Registrations were opened last week and more than 300 members from 53 forums around the world have already registered! The theme “Open Minds” has definitely struck a chord with women leaders from around the world. Some of the "Behind the Scenes" are already full, so in order to avoid disappointment, you should register early.

    To make reaching our National registration goal fun and competitive, we have an exciting contest to announce: The chapter with the highest percentage of member registrations will win an extraordinary gift from Cabot Links--a two-night stay and eight rounds of golf in one of the World’s Top Courses nestled on the coast of Cape Breton, N.S. A $7,000 value! Check out the Cabot Links website HERE.  Thanks to the Atlantic Chapter for securing this superb incentive!

    The winning Canadian chapter can auction the prize off, with the funds to be used at the chapter’s discretion. We will provide a regular tally of member registrations per chapter. So go ahead and register now HERE!

    To get involved in any other way, don’t hesitate to contact Sharon EMAIL or Lisa EMAIL. Working together as Canadian members, we will make this World Leadership Conference outstanding!

  • 09 Jul 2019

    It is hard to believe that my four years as Vice President and President has come to an end. I will remain actively engaged through the balance of the year turning more personal time and attention to helping our Conference co-chairs where needed. I leave our membership in the very, very capable hands  of Françoise Lyon, who has been serving as Vice President with me during my tenure. So many of you know Françoise and her commitment to all aspects of IWF at the Montreal Chapter level having served at that Chapter’s Chair, on the Global Board as the Chair of the Fellows Foundation and in her role on the National Board. It has been an honor to serve our membership and be a part of a Board transformation that has produced a compelling strategic plan that helps to execute our IWFC mission: Thank you all for the support over these years. -- Ellen

  • 10 Jun 2019

    Calgary Chapter

    Food, flair, and great conversation
    More than 35 guests and members of IWF Calgary enjoyed a special evening in May organized by Glenbow Board Member and IWF Member, Terry Allen. The exhibition featured exquisite gowns and daytime apparel, perfumes, and accessories - all from the first ten years of the House of Dior (1947–1957), when Christian Dior himself designed the pieces. It explores the construction of Dior’s designs to understand how the House reinvented modern dressmaking by reviving forgotten historical skills and fusing them with unprecedented designs, cuts, and materials.

    Fireside chat with new U.S. Consul General

    After learning that Lucia Piazza, the new U.S. Consul General, was a recent graduate of the IWF Leadership Fellowship program, 
    Michèle Stanners invited her to meet Calgary IWF members. In April, Lucia was interviewed in a fireside chat by Dr. Brenda Kenny. She shared a vivid picture of her career in the State Department with a focus on women's leadership. In simple but profound initiatives, she’s found ways to make a lasting difference while respecting cultural norms and restrictions in specific countries.

    Waterloo Chapter

    Dine-Arounds are a popular event in Waterloo every spring and fall. An April event included (left to right): Amy Schlueter, Jane Adams, Machelle Denison, Rosa Lupo, Sarah Shortreed, Stacey Rous, Linda Fabi, Ginny Dybenko (host), Anne Miner, and Julie Barker-Merz. In addition to sharing about each other, conversation focused on strategies to enrich and expand membership, as well as how to get more out of chapter activities. The fall Dine-Around is scheduled for October 24th, 2019.

    Atlantic Chapter

    February 2019 marked the five-year mid-point of the work Nova Scotians are undertaking to address their demographics and economic future. IWF Atlantic members attended a lively breakfast update on shared progress toward the 19 Goals identified by the One Nova Scotia Commission. The presentation and Q&A was co-led by Don Bureaux, Chair of One Nova Scotia and President of NSCC, Laura Lee Langley, Deputy Minister of the Office of the Premier and Head of the Public Service, and Duff Montgomerie, Deputy Minister, Department of Labour & Advanced Education. Pictured left to right: Christine Hanson, Don Bureaux, Anna Stuart, Barbara Pike, Dale Godsoe, Ava Czapalay, Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, Marion MacKenzie, Laura Lee Langley, Maureen Reid, Kendra MacDonald, Ann Divine, Candace Thomas, Pamela Scott-Crace, Duff Montgomerie.

    Toronto Chapter








    Last year, several IWF Toronto members attended the Women’s Economic Forum (WEF) conference when it was in Toronto. This past April, former Toronto member Hèlène Marie Gosselin received an honorary doctorate from RAI University at the WEF conference held in Delhi. RAI University has campuses in Bangalore, Ahmedabad, and Gujarat. The honour was conferred “in recognition of outstanding contribution to women’s empowerment and inspirational leadership.” She also received the All Ladies League of India “Award of the Decade in Innovation & Leadership” at the closing ceremony.

  • 10 Jun 2019

    Deborah Trudeau is only the second Canadian to be appointed President of IWF International. She’s served as chair of the Montreal chapter (2008-2011) and president of IWF Canada (2011-2013) and then onto the International Board for six years. She first joined in 2002. As a business owner with frequent travel, she found IWF a great way to get out of her corporate cocoon and meet amazing women she would not have met otherwise. “The connectivity of IWF is very powerful and rewarding,” she says. As IWF global president, she’s focused on enhancing that connectivity through new programs and initiatives bringing local to the global and global to local...READ MORE


  • 17 Apr 2019

    In April, the 2019 Cornerstone Conference welcomed over 700 attendees to Barcelona, Spain. This year’s event programming addressed subjects with profound economic, social and political implications. More than 50 expert speakers and moderators touched on topics including innovation in architecture, barriers for women in sports, sustainable fashion, the future of the European Union and girls’ access to education.

  • 11 Apr 2019

    Martha “Martie” Russel (pictured above left) brings her signature blend of warmth, compassion, and drive to everything she does. An award-winning volunteer, healthcare entrepreneur, and fundraiser, Martie puts caring for others at the core of her leadership. In 2005, she joined IWF Toronto and has been attending Cornerstone and International Conferences from the beginning. For her, those events are sacrosanct time in her annual schedule. Not surprisingly, she’s humble about being the originator of the IWF scarf, now a hit with delegates from Melbourne to Barcelona. For members who treasure the one-of-a-kind, silk-charmeuse memory of world travels and IWF sisterhood, you have Martie to thank... READ MORE

  • 01 Apr 2019

    Is your company in a position to become a sponsor? Please contact Sharon London Liss (, Lisa Borsook (lborsook@weirfoulds.comor Shirley Dawe (

    The Dine-Around Committee is searching for 20 more locations. If your home is located within a 20-minute radius of the Westin Harbour Castle or if you know of a private dining room within that vicinity, please contact Judi Cohen (, Brenda Brown (bbrown0205@gmail.comor Martha Russel (  For non-residents, there are creative ways in which you might still be able to host – a private club, a sister’s home, or even an Airbnb!

    For leads on Pop-Up Shops and Gift Bags, please contact  Pat Tremaine  (pat@tmiprojects.comand Donna Harris (

    Conference Cookbook - The conference committee is creating a cookbook that highlights Canadian cuisine as a gift for each delegate. Collecting the recipes, testing them, and compiling the book will have to happen quickly. We’re looking for six recipes per chapter to showcase local flavour. Do you have a recipe that you would like to share, or can you get a recipe from a renowned restaurateur with photos? We are almost at our deadline, so please connect quickly if you have something to share! Please contact Sharon (, Karen Seward ( or Lisa Lyons (

    To get involved in any other way, don’t hesitate to contact Sharon or Lisa. Working together as Canadian members, we can make this World Leadership Conference outstanding!

  • 21 Mar 2019

    Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia (Atlantic) has been named to Canada’s Most Powerful Women’s Hall of Fame by the Women's Executive Network (WXN). Eleanor Chiu (Calgary) won the Organizational Diversity Award at the 22nd Annual Immigrants of Distinction Awards. Agnes Di Leonardi (Toronto) received the Order of Canada, our country's highest civilian honour for service to the nation.  Honourary degrees were conferred on Kim Sturgess, Marie Delorme and Aritha van Herk (Calgary), who was also named to the Order of Canada.

    Mary D'Alton (Waterloo) was appointed Executive Director of the Cowan Foundation. Karen Furneaux (Atlantic), a three-time Olympian, was honoured by the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame. Chris Hornberger (Atlantic) has received her Certified Executive Coach designation from Royal Roads University. Brenda Kenny (Calgary) is the new Board Chair of Alberta Innovates. Jane Klugman (Waterloo) is the first woman appointed as Honorary Colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada. Kendra MacDonald (Atlantic) is the first CEO for Canada’s Ocean Supercluster.

    Sheila O’Brien (Calgary) was appointed Chair of the Alberta Energy Regulator.  Karen Redman (Waterloo) was elected chair of Waterloo Regional Council in October 2018. Mary Rozsa de Coquet (Calgary) was awarded the 2018 Grant MacEwan Lifetime Achievement Award. Janice Rubin (Toronto) won the Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity Award at the Chambers Canada Awards.

    Michelle Savoy (Toronto) received the Dean’s Philos Award from the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa. Kathy Sendall (Calgary) was named Lieutenant Colonel
    for the Alberta Military. Cathy Simpson (Atlantic) is the new board chair of New Brunswick Innovation Foundation.

    Barb Stegemann (Atlantic) was recently featured in WestJet Magazine about her social enterprise fragrance venture, 7 Virtues. Candace Thomas (Atlantic) has been included in the second edition of 100 Accomplished Black Canadian WomenJosephine Victoria Yam (Toronto) won the Most Influential Filipina Women in the World Award and is one of RBC’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrants.

  • 15 Mar 2019

    Is your organization in a position to become a sponsor? Please contact Sharon (, Lisa ( or Bambina Marcello (

    The Dine-Around Committee is looking for 20 more locations. If your home is within a 20-minute radius of the Westin Harbour Castle or if you know of a private dining room within that vicinity, please contact Judi Cohen ( or Martha Russell ( For non-residents, there are creative ways you can host – a private club, a sister’s home, or even an Airbnb!

    For leads on Pop-Up Shops and Gift Bags please get in touch with Pat Tremaine  ( or Donna Harris (

    Conference Cookbook The conference committee is creating a cookbook that highlights Canadian cuisine as a gift for each delegate. Collecting the recipes, testing them, and compiling the book will have to happen quickly. We’re looking for six recipes per chapter to showcase local flavour. Do you have a recipe that you would like to share, or can you get a recipe from a renowned restaurateur (with photos)? To help, contact Sharon (, Karen Seward ( or Lisa (

    To get involved in any other way, don’t hesitate to contact Sharon or Lisa. Working together as Canadian members we can make this World Leadership Conference outstanding!

  • 04 Mar 2019

    For more than two decades Monette Malewski (above middle) has been a part of IWF.  And IWF has been a part of her.  A history of involvement with Montreal (Canada’s oldest chapter) made her influential in IWF’s early growth across the country. She’s also served three back-to back 2-year mandates on the international board. IWF Canada created a Circle of Luminaries to honour members like Monette, who are deeply engaged nationally and internationally.  At the Miami conference in October, she was IWFC’s 2018 inductee in recognition of her tireless dedication and leadership in fundraising, governance, and mentorship
    >>> Read more

  • 11 Apr 2019

    Meet some of our chapters’ newest members. Watch this space for more new-member listings throughout 2019.

    (Calgary) Sara Austin is the Founder and Chair of Children First Canada, a new national non-profit dedicated to the protection and empowerment of Canada’s children. Claudia Cattaneo is an award winning journalist; news, finance and public policy junkie; and former Western Business Columnist at the National Post. Geeta Sankappanavar is Co-Founder & President of Grafton Asset Management and the recipient of numerous awards for leadership. Susan Veres is a partner with Honeycomb Communications.

    (Edmonton) Myrna  Bittner, a CEO tech founder, is passionate about representative diversity and ethical AI. Cheryl Whiskeyjack, Executive Director, Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society, is a proud Aninshinaabe kwe (woman) and member of the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Nation on Beautiful Manitoulin Island.

    (Atlantic) Jennifer Angel is President & CEO, Develop Nova Scotia. Alice Aiken is VP Research and Innovation at Dalhousie University. Mary Bluechardt is President & Vice-Chancellor, Mount Saint Vincent University. Carrie Cussons is President & CEO, Events East Group. Christine Hanson is CEO, NS Human Rights Commission, and  Christine Pound is Partner, Stewart McKelvey.

    (Montreal) Pascale Fournier, is President and CEO, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, is a member of the Royal Society of Canada College and holds the Research Chair in Legal Pluralism and Comparative Law at the University of Ottawa. Eve Laurier, General Manager, Edelman Montréal, is an award-winning strategic communicator. Francine Leger is VP Creative at Vasco design international Inc. Michéle Thibodeau-De Guire, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Corporation of École Polytechnique de Montréal, is a distinguished recipient of numerous honours for citizenship and excellence.

    (Toronto) Mary Federau, EVP at Mattamy Asset Management. Bambina Marcello is head of Business Development for Air Canada.

    (Waterloo) Elizabeth Heald was named President & CEO of Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation (KWCF) in August 2017.

    (Ottawa) Marjolaine Hudon is Regional President of Ontario North & East at RBC, and has held a wide variety of regional and national positions. Cheryl Jensen is President and CEO at Algonquin College. Jessica McDonald was appointed to the Canada Post Board of Directors and is acting as interim President and CEO. Amy Shapero is the CFO at Shopify.