Women in Leadership Gala – An Evening to Remember

CSPN’s 1st Women in Leadership Gala boasted a jam-packed evening filled with inspiring women, a group of motivating panelists, and guest speakers that left the attendees in awe of their inspirational rise to the top. This year’s event had a record attendance of close to 150 women and men in the customer service industry to celebrate female leaders that surround us in the workplace.

CSPN was honoured to have such a vast group of ‘Female Leaders’ share their insights from various industries, of their road to success.  The evening kicked off with Johanne R. Bélanger, President, and CEO of Tourism Toronto, enriching attendees with the story of how she elevated herself in her career and personal life in the face of adversity. It wasn’t an easy feat but through patience and perseverance, she rose above, all the while ensuring that she proudly lived a life that was solely hers.

The evening continued with our panel discussions; four remarkable women from vastly different organizations enlightened the audience with tips and advice on how to excel up the corporate ladder as a female in today’s corporate world. These four panelists were:

  • Helga Iliadis (Assistant Deputy Minister, Customer Care Division | Service Ontario)
  • Maria Soklis (President | Cox Automotive Canada)
  • Kelly Harper (Director, Enterprise Customer Experience Program | BMO Financial Group)
  • Mary Proc (Vice-President, Customer Service Delivery | Metrolinx)

Moderating the panelist session was Sharon Ramalho, who recently retired from her position as Senior Vice-President and Chief People Officer at McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd.! It was engaging, informative, and a light-hearted session that left attendees feeling inspired.

The evening’s focus was on celebrating the inspirational women that surround us at work.  A record number of nominations were submitted and the Female Leaders that took home awards were:

  • Employee Engagement Leader – Kelly Cotton from Armtec
  • Mentor Leader – Lisa Frank from Legrand
  • Emerging Leader in the Public Sector – Michelle Herder from The Regional Municipality of York
  • Emerging Leader in the Private Sector – Sandra Lisi from BMO Financial Group
  • Customer Engagement Leader – Mary Barbieri from Shoppers Specialty Health
  • Leader in Change Management – Renata Erme from Saint Elizabeth Health Care
  • Leader in Diversity – Sanja Cancar-Todorovic from Telus
  • Leader in Technology – Eram Uddin from Fleet Complete
  • Woman of the Year – Helga Iliadis from Service Ontario

The WIL Gala delivered an exciting and thought-provoking evening. A special thank you goes out to the guest-speakers who left guests inspired, motivated, and in awe of the stories and advice passed on to them. A special shout out goes to the small army that brought this event together; our judges, committee, sponsors, vendors, council members, and the entire CSPN team!

This sold-out event was well received by guests. Don’t believe us? Here is what a few attendees had to say:

“A wonderful experience that has resonated with me on both a personal and professional level. Please! Keep doing what you are doing. Thank you” Nadia – BMO

“I loved to see women succeed in their careers, and hearing them share experiences in both their professional and personal lives. This event was engaging, encouraging, progressive and optimistic for guests” Irina – Giesecke & Devrient

“So, empowering to be around so many amazing women pushing each other upwards. An awesome evening filled with beautiful women” Joy – Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.

“Had a wonderful evening! Amazing speakers. I leave tonight with a new network and inspiration from women in leadership” Alyssa – Arcelor Mittal Dofasco

“This was my first CSPN event. I was very impressed with the quality of the event” Susan– Ministry of Community and Social Services, Family Responsibility Office

“Well done CSPN. An excellent event filled with passion and high-caliber women. Very pleased to be a part of the evening and support our staff” Krista – The Regional Municipality of York