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Bringing together some of Canada’s top female business leaders, CPA Ontario's Women Inc. Conference is your opportunity to not only learn, grow and develop both your personal and professional skill sets, but also your chance to engage with thought-provoking speakers as they dive into the challenges, obstacles and solutions that exist in today’s business environment and network with your peers.

The conference will include a series of keynote speakers, an executive panel and networking opportunities.

December 12, 2017

7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

Breakfast and Registration

8:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.

Welcome and Introduction

8:15 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Opening Keynote:

Darling You Can't Do Both – and Other Noise to Ignore On Your Way Up
Janet Kestin
Author and Co-Founder of Swim Leadership Lab

Nancy Vonk
Author and Co-Founder of Swim Leadership Lab

9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Financial Panel – Surviving the Challenges
Allison Baum,
Tax Specialist, KPMG Canada

Valerie Gillis, CPA, CA
Senior Vice-President, Finance & Chief Accountant, TD Bank Group

Laura Klaehn
President, Vision Financial Partners Inc.

Karyn Lipman, CPA, CA
Senior Partner, Tax, Crowe Soberman

10:30 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.

Networking Break

10:50 a.m. – 11:50 p.m.

The Road to Resiliency Ninja
Allison Graham
Resiliency Ninja, Top Line Revenue Expert, Elevate Your Life, Double Your Business

11:50 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.


1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Media Panel – Current Climate
Sadiya Ansari
Associate Editor, CHATELAINE

Manisha Krishnan
Senior Writer, VICE Media

Kathy English
Public Editor, Torstar Media Group

Michelle Sheppard
Investigative Reporter, Torstar Media Group

2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Networking Break

3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Closing Keynote:

Prisoner of Tehran
Marina Nemat
Author, Prisoner of Tehran and After Tehran: A Life Reclaimed

4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Cocktail Reception

Keynote Speaker

Marina Nemat
Author of Prisoner of Tehran & After Tehran: A Life Reclaimed


After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Marina was arrested at the age of sixteen and spent more than two years in Evin, a political prison in Tehran, where she was tortured and came very close to execution. After immigrating to Canada in 1991, Marina published her memoir, Prisoner of Tehran, and her second book, After Tehran: A Life Reclaimed, documenting her experiences as a political prisoner.

Marina has received several awards including the inaugural Human Dignity Award from the European Parliament, the prestigious Grinzane Prize in Italy and the Morris Abram Human Rights Award from UN Watch in Geneva. Marina also regularly speaks at high schools, universities, and conferences around the world and sits on the Board of Directors at the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture and Vigdis, a Norwegian charitable organization that provides legal and other forms of assistance to female political prisoners around the world.

Keynote Speakers

Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk
Dove’s "Real Beauty" Campaign Leads, Authors & Co-Founders of Swim Leadership Lab


Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk have built their careers on unconventional creative thinking. As ad agency leaders behind Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, they famously championed stripping away the photo retouching and false perfection that force women to conform to narrow beauty stereotypes. After years of rethinking brands, they decided to focus on rethinking the way women work—or, in many cases, the way work doesn’t work for women.

Early in their career together, Nancy was recommended a top job in her ad agency’s creative department—but was strongly advised not to have kids because "you can't do both". She and Janet, already a mom, refused to believe that “truth” and went on to find a way to make motherhood not a roadblock in their careers, but an advantage. In their best-selling book, Darling, You Can’t Do Both, Janet and Nancy explain how you can really begin to change your reality—and maybe even your company—from the ground up.