2012 CanadaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Summit
Special EventsToronto, Ontario
December 5, 2012 11:00 AM,EST
AN AFTERNOON OF LEADERSHIP AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Special EventsToronto, Ontario
December 5, 2012 11:00 AM,EST
11:00 - Registration & Coat Check
11:45 - Welcome & Opening Remarks
11:50 - Lunch & Networking
12:55 - Keynote 1: Nora Aufreiter
1:15 - Keynote 2: Mia Pearson
1:30 - Networking Break
1:55 - Keynote 3: Surprise!
2:15 - Flash Panel Discussion
3:00 - Networking Break
3:20 - Keynote 4: Zahra Al-Harazi
3:45 - Keynote 5: Arlene Dickinson
4:05 - Wolf Blass Networking Presentation
4:15 - Thank You & Closing Remarks
Co-Founder and CEO
A combination of entrepreneurial spirit and timing led Mia Pearson to co-found North Strategic, a communications agency built on the belief that social needs to be integrated into everything you do. A serial entrepreneur, Ms. Pearson left her position as regional president for Fleishman HIllard Canada, and co-founder and CEO of High Road Communications, to start a new company in an effort to set the standard in social PR.
Ms. Pearson is known as an innovator, a creative strategist, and a pioneer at fusing digital integration with traditional PR. Her focus on pushing the boundaries of conventional public relations and embracing new ideas and original thinking keeps her at the forefront of the industry. She works with clients to strategize and execute at the highest levels with some of the worldâ€™s most exciting brands.
With nearly 20 years of integrated communications experience, Ms. Pearson has led some of the industryâ€™s best known launches and worked with clients such as Microsoft, LG, TELUS, Pepsico and Canadian Tire on some of their most complex issues and creative opportunities.
She sits on the advisory board for Marketing Magazine, the board of Trans Canada Trail, and she is a member of CATAâ€™s board of directors. Ms. Pearson is known for building high-performance teams, creating award-winning best-place-to-work environments, and turning around companies. She writes a weekly column for the Globe and Mail on social and earned media. In 2010, she was a winner of Canadaâ€™s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the corporate executive category.
Ms. Pearson is a regular speaker at industry events on the importance of personal branding and she is passionate about advancing the careers of women in business. A mother of two, she is an avid snowboarder and she loves spending time at her cottage on Georgian Bay.
Zahra Al-Harazi can't take no for an answer.
It's how she's wired, and why her skyrocketing success as the award-winning head of Foundry Communications shouldn't surprise anyone.
In an earlier life, Zahra grew up in Yemen, a country not exactly known for women's rights. She was married at 17, and by 25, she gave birth to her third child. Until 1996, Zahra taught ESL in Yemen at the Yemen American Language Institute. When she immigrated to Canada with her family nearly 15 years ago, she didn't know a single person. She went back to school with the help, support and encouragement of her family, earned a degree in Visual Communication (BDES) from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2002, graduating with accolades.
Best described as a dizzying blur of advancement and achievement, Zahra's career has been doing just fine. In three short years after graduating ACAD, she became Founder, and Creative Director of hot-shop Foundry Communications. A staff of three in 2006 grew to 18 by 2012 as her creative reputation went to work all on its own, raking in exciting new clients and the hopeful resumes of some of the best designers in Canada.
Zahra is one of Calgary's Top 40 Under 40 (2009), Business in Calgary's "Leader of Tomorrow" (2010), Canadian Woman of the Year - Chatelaine (2011), and, most recently, one of Canada's most powerful women (WXN). She has also been a speaker for ACAD and Young Women of Influence, Ace Nationals, The Globe and Mail business conference, the Toronto Board of Trade, Mount Royal University, Women in Philanthropy and Women's Executive Network. Zahra has been a judge for many national design competitions such as Design Edge, Applied Arts, Elevated HR, New ARs and The Ace Student Entrepreneurship awards.
Busy surveying western Canada's design, advertising, PR and interactive scenes, Zahra, with her legendary entrepreneurial radar has worked on brands such as ACAD, Cenovous, Travel Alberta, Avi Urban, Celtic, Brinkhaus, Nexen, Encana, Teravita and Golder Associates. Zahra sees the limitless potential of creativity and the opportunity to build strategic partnerships with clients on similar growth paths. Her clients' success has become her success.
Foundry was recognized as one of Canada's Top 10 up and coming entrepreneurial companies in Profit W100 magazine (2009), and a W100 company - #82 (2011). Foundry is also a proud owner of Calgary's third One Show Pencil. Foundry has achieved international and prestigious acclaim and countless awards from: Communication Arts, Hermes International Awards, Applied Arts, Graphis, Print International, Coupe magazine, HOW International, ARC International, LACP International Awards, Creativity International and the Marcom Awards to name a few.
Zahra sits on the Board of board of directors for Entrepreneurs Organization as the Learning and Events Chair, and former member of the Board of Directors for Immigrant Services Calgary, Ad Rodeo Association, and Alberta Women Entrepreneurs. Recently, Zahra's gone back to her teaching roots, involved in business and entrepreneurship initiatives at MRU, Uof C, and the Alberta College of Art and Design.
To round out the pile, she credits her pro-bono work for Immigrant Services Calgary, Design-a-thon (a yearly 24 hour race to create as much pro-bono work as possible for a number of charities), Alberta Hospice Palliative Care, The Impact Society, L'Arche and Calgary Hospice with keeping her grounded. Foundry donates $100,000 of it time yearly since inception to their non-for-profit clients. Zahra is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Design (AIGA), Graphic Designers of Canada (MGDC), Type Directors Club International, Canadian Women in Communications, Women's Executive Network (WXN), and The Entrepreneurs Organization (EO).
McKinsey & Company
In addition to her client and practice development work, Nora leads the Toronto office of McKinseyâ€™s Canadian Practice. She is responsible for managing the officeâ€™s client portfolio as well as the professional development of more than 100 consultants.
Nora was the first woman in the Canadian Practice to be elected a Principal as well as a Director â€“ and among the first women in the firm, globally, to be elected a Director.
Nora is one of the leaders of McKinseyâ€™s North American Marketing and Retail Practices and is currently leading a global initiative on digital/multi channel transformation.
She serves major retailers and other consumer-facing companies to help them strengthen their overall performance through strategy, change management, and operational improvement engagements.
At the firm level, Nora has been a key member of the global personnel committees responsible for electing and coaching new partners. She has also co-led initiatives to advance women within McKinsey and led the development of a global women directors group.
In the course of her career, she has worked in the Toronto, Boston, New York and San Francisco offices. Nora has been a keynote speaker at numerous events; she spoke most recently at WWD's 100th Anniversary CEO conference. She has also written articles for The McKinsey Quarterly, Ivey Business Journal, The Globe and Mail, Harvard Business Review, Advertising Age, and Journal of Market-Focused Management.
Arlene Dickinson is a judge on CBC's Dragons' Den, the television phenomenon that has ignited a national conversation about entrepreneurs in Canada. Dickinson -- aggressive but fair, kind but practical, serious but fun -- is the show's marketing expert, its lone female judge, and one of its breakout stars. Ranked as one of Profit magazine's Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs for seven years running, she is considered one of the most powerful female business leaders in Canada today.
Dickinson is the owner and CEO of Venture Communications, a company whose guiding principle is that marketing be held accountable to business objectives. A 20-year marketing veteran, she grew Venture from a small, local firm to one of the largest independent agencies in Canada. (It's repeatedly recognized as one of the 50 Best Managed Companies in Canada.) A mother of four, Dickinson is the recipient of the prestigious Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneur Excellence, and has been named one of Chatelaine's TOP 100 Women Business Owners. She has also been inducted into Canada's Most Powerful Women Top 100 Hall of Fame.
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