So Who’s Speaking at GEM Conference, Anyway? Two-Point-Oh

If I could go back in time, I would have named these blogs “Look Who’s Talking” and “Look Who’s Talking, Too” in honour of those late ‘80s / early ‘90s movies starring John Travolta and Kirstie Alley.

I can’t go back in time (and since you savvy modern business women would notice a title swap), we’re sticking with what we have. So on that note, let’s check out who is speaking during the afternoon sessions at GEM Conference!


Fireside Chat: Glass Breakers

Speaker: Anna Lambert, Director of Talent Acquisition, Shopify

How do you not only go beyond the Glass Ceiling, but shatter through it into a leadership role, and handle the haters along the way? As Director of Talent Acquisition at Shopify, Anna leads a team of more than 100 people across seven locations around the world. She is going to share lessons learnt from climbing the corporate ladder in one of the fastest growing companies in the world, hitting career milestones, successes, failures, and everything in between.

Panel: Social Darlings

This panel is going to break down all things Personal Branding and how to use social media effectively. They’ll answer the question “What is Personal Branding,” and talk about monetizing and working with it (i.e. social currency), and share their best social media tips. 

Speaker // Katie Hession: Blogger, YOW City Style & Mealshare Community Leader

Katie is a Meal Share Community Leader, Cycle Instructor at The Dailey Method, and has grown her YOW City Style Instagram following to almost 20,000.

Speaker // Jasmine Riley: Co-Owner, Tallow

After five years as co-owner of “The White Dress” bridal boutique in Ottawa, Jasmine worked briefly at Shopify when she realised her true passion was in entrepreneurship and brand design. Alongside three other powerful female owners, Jasmine launched Tallow, a clothing brand that is rapidly growing locally and beyond. Since its opening just over a year ago, much of Tallow’s early success can be attributed to brand promotion through Instagram with a major emphasis on customer generated content sharing.

Speaker // Dominique Baker: Blogger, Style Domination

What started as a creative outlet for Dominique to share her love of style and crazy adventures soon turned into a go-to destination for those seeking beauty advice, reviews, fashion, and lifestyle tips. Since launching her blog Dominique has been featured in Flare Magazine, The Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Life Magazine, Krowd Magazine, and has worked with brands such as Ford Canada, Lincoln Motors of Canada, Charlotte Tilbury, L’Oreal, and RW&Co.She was named a Person 2 Know by The United Way Ottawa and was an Ambassador for The Ottawa Hospital. 

Speaker // Gemma Bonham-Carter: Owner, The Sweetest Digs

Gemma is a digital marketer, entrepreneur, and owner of The Sweetest Digs, an online clothing shop. She’s taken her love of home decor, essential oils, living simply, cute clothing, and digital marketing and grown a  combined Instagram following of almost 10,000.


Gem conference speakers

This panel will talk about all things collaboration and partnerships. How to manage and work on effective teams, maintain a positive and efficient work  culture. Is it really all about community, or is some competition a good thing?

Speakers // Amber Stratton + Jen Dalgleish:  Co-Owners, Pure Yoga + Pure Kitchen

As Co-Founders and Owners of Pure Yoga and Pure Kitchen Amber Stratton and Jen Dalgleish have successfully built a brand that is known to Ottawa as not just a great yoga studio and restaurant, but a lifestyle. Pure Yoga first opened their doors in 2012 and in less than seven years has grown into four yoga studios and four Pure Kitchen restaurants. In 2017 Pure Yoga expanded to Liberty Village in Toronto and has also built a successful Online Yoga Studio, Pure Online. The duos newest ventures include Ottawa’s hottest new bar and lounge, “Charlotte” and a women’s boutique clothing store, Tallow.

Speaker // Jenna Sudds: Kanata North BIA, TEDx Kanata, Ottawa City Council

Jenna Sudds is the City Councillor for Kanata North. Prior to becoming an elected official, Jenna worked as an economist in the federal government for twelve years before becoming the inaugural President and Executive Director of the Kanata North Business Association where she spearheaded bringing TEDx to Kanata. She went on to become the inaugural Executive Director at the CIO Strategy Council before announcing her decision to run for Ottawa City Council in March 2018.

Speaker // Sascha Lafleur: Co-Founder and Designer, West of Main + West of Main Shoppe

Sascha is the co-founder of West of Main, an award-winning interior design firm which is currently nominated for 3 international awards. Sascha has an incredible team at West Of Main where each member plays a significant role in lifting each other up and pushing the company to reach its full potential. They are the wheels that keep the business moving forward, and Sascha believes that this constitution is what sets West of Main apart.


Gem conference speakers

This panel will take a step back and look at wellness and habits that lead to a well-balanced #girlboss lifestyle. when we get busy, often the first thing to go is our "me" time. These women have hit the lows before taking the steps to make wellness apriority and they're going to breakdown how they did it (to be a better worker + human).

Speaker: // Elisa Kurylowicz: Podcaster + Marketing Manager, Former Team Canada Skier

Elisa is a social media manager and coordinator and Founder of the podcast Elisa Unfiltered. Through her podcast, Elisa talks about the emotional, mental, and physical life lessons she’s encountered over the years and how to make good decisions and ultimately be happy in life.

Speaker // Ashley Beaudin: Founder, The Imperfect Boss

Ashley Beaudin is an inspirational speaker, hug-dealer, and the visionary of The Imperfect Boss, a movement that is making imperfect normal and inspiring tens of thousands of creative women to grow their confidence. Ashley started creating online movements and leading communities of women in 2013 and has fallen in the love with creating vulnerable, encouraging and confidence-inducing cultures. She is passionate about seeing women show up fully as themselves and lead through their gifts, message, and presence. 

Speaker // Clary Chambers: Founder, Spark Clarity

A powerhouse in her own right, this ambitious, queer women of colour, who lives with a chronic illness, is definitely one to spark joy in any room. Nicknamed Joy Queen by those closest to her, Clary Chambers continues to spread kindness and positivity on her road to entrepreneurial success. As an inspirational speaker, car accident survivor, fibro-warrior, self-care expert, coach, and very funny human, Clary Chambers has made her mark on the wellness community. Working with universities, business owners, students, members of the community, and political figures, Clary inspires others to challenge the status quo, and create more inclusive and accessible spaces, especially for folks of colour and those who identify as LGBTQ+.

Panel: Impact + Changemakers

How does your business or leadership impact others? This panel will showcase women who are doing it right. Remember: You have the power to change how business is done.

Speaker // Shannon MacLaggan: Founder, Anupaya Quality Goods + Yoga Teacher

Knowing that business has the power to create positive change in the world, Shannon and her partner Tom had a goal of creating a company with a higher purpose, to create positive change in the world, to build a community, and to honour environmental stewardship. Through their One Pound Promise, for every product sold, Anupaya commits to removing one pound of waste from wild spaces. 

Stay tuned as we continue to roll-out and announce new speakers! This is going to be one event you do not want to miss. Want to connect with our speakers ahead of time? Follow us on Instagram, where we’re profiling each of them and linking to their bios directly.

Speaker // Susan Elstob: Founder, Isla Pearl + Et Al. by Isla Pearl

Face, voice and vision behind the Isla Pearl (@islapearllife) brand with an unwavering commitment to empowering other women through personal growth and style. From corporate climber to becoming an entrepreneur with zero game plan - she navigated her way through the social media world based on instinct and building a brand based on intention, passion and purpose that has landed her on "Top Blog" posts in North America alongside some of the biggest names in the biz. What friends and colleagues say about her? "if you hang out with Susan for long enough she'll have you believing that anything is possible - including your dreams coming true" 



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