2012 Speakers

Premier Christy Clark

Christy Clark was sworn in as B.C.’s 35th Premier on March 14, 2011 and was elected Vancouver-Point Grey MLA on May 12, 2011.

She previously served as the MLA for Port Moody-Burnaby Mountain (1996-2001) and Port Moody-Westwood (2001-2005). She has served as Deputy Premier, Minister of Education, Minister of Children and Family Development and vice-chair of the Treasury Board.

She took a break from government in 2005 to spend more time with her family. She worked in the media as a columnist, commentator and host of the “Christy Clark Show” on CKNW.

Premier Clark pioneered the anti-bullying “Pink Shirt Campaign” in B.C. and received a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award. She attended Simon Fraser University, Collège de Sorbonne and the University of Edinburgh.

Tara McLean-Grand singing Where Am I?

One of the highlights of Leading Moms 2012, Tara McLean-Grand introduced her video to her song Where Am I? When the lights came up, there was not a dry eye in the house.

Tara MacLean-Grand is a singer/songwriter and mother of three amazing girls.  She is also a doula, a prenatal consultant for Moksha Yoga, an ordained minister and devoted wife.  Tara has toured the world singing for the last 15 years but now lives on a stunning Salt Spring Island farm where she is immersed in being a mother and writer.  She is currently trying to figure out what to do with 600 pounds of pears, and trying to hide her lip gloss from her 10-year-old.

Find out more about Tara at www.theripple.ca

Natalie Angell-Besseling

Natalie Angell-Besseling is the Founder and Executive Director of The Shanti Uganda Society.  Shanti Uganda is a Canadian Charity and Ugandan NGO that improves infant and maternal health, provides safe women-centered care and supports the well-being of birthing mothers and women living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda.  She has been sharing her time between Vancouver, BC and Uganda since 2007.

She co-founded Heart Centre Yoga, has produced a guided meditation CD and spent several years working as a doula and supporting birthing mamas in Uganda and Canada.  In 2010 Natalie gave birth to her own daughter at home in water.

Natalie is on the International Advisory Board for the Women Like Us Foundation and now spends her time speaking around North America on issues surrounding maternal & infant health, grassroots women’s initiatives and sustainable international development.

Ratana Stephens

With an MA in English Literature and a BA in Psychology, Ratana began her career in India as a college lecturer.

She met and married her life-partner Arran Stephens in 1969 and moved to Canada, soon joining his then small, but growing vegetarian restaurant enterprise.

In 1984, she and Arran started Nature’s Path Foods with very little capital, out of the back of their restaurant.

As Co-CEO, Ratana is often described as the “heart” of the company and is at the center of every development. With acumen and practicality, she has helped lead and inspire significant successful growth. In 2009, Ratana was recognized with the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award along with several other awards for community service.

Ratana and Arran are parents of three daughters and a son, who are passionately involved in various aspects of the enterprise.

A role model for entrepreneurial women, Ratana is committed to opportunities that meet the needs of people and planet.

Gail Murphy Takes Us to Task

Gail Murphy is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia and a co-founder and currently Chief Scientific Officer at Tasktop Technologies Incorporated. Much of her research and company work is about how to make knowledge workers more productive with the right technology. She puts this work into action managing work and a family life that includes three boys.

In this video, she talks about task management and motherhood.

Monica Morong is the World Hip Hop Mom

Monica Morong (aka World Hip Hop Mom) is a conscious mom rapper on a mission to make mainstream music more meaningful for our youth who are strongly influenced by what they hear on the radio and listen to online. Monica is currently re-writing popular rap songs and uploading her remakes to YouTube to shed light on how absurd and meaningless some songs truly are. Her goal is to produce trendy and uplifting songs that appeal to young people and move them to want to do good in the world. Monica lives in Vancouver with her husband and two young girls.

Watch her videos now.

Dr. Carol Friedrich-Fong

Dr. Carol Friedrich-Fong is the Program Head and an instructor in the Biotechnology Department at BCIT. Carol has been an educator in the field of Microbiology and Biotechnology for 10 years.

In addition to the Biotechnology majors, Carol has taught nursing, environmental health and nuclear medicine students. Carol is also involved in yearly high school outreach workshops that expose students to biotechnology as a possible career choice. She enjoys seeing the excitement in the students when they understand the amazing future possibilities and diversity of biotechnology, and when they see beyond the “biotech in the news”. However, Carol feels it is just as important for her students to think critically about the social, ethical, environmental and economic consequences of such fast moving technologies.

Carol enjoys spending time with her husband and two young boys, preferably outdoors!

Fiona Douglas-Crampton on Being Brave

Fiona Douglas-Crampton believes in the importance of having mentors and in being a mentor to others. Having grown up on a hobby farm in Southern Ontario with five siblings and a barnyard full of animals, Fiona’s early life was shaped by her parents’ inspiration and mentoring. Today, she regularly coaches people in career transition and delivers workshops on career search and relationship building for women in the job market.

Before becoming the CEO of the Minerva Foundation in September 2011, Fiona’s roles included Director of Membership Marketing and Executive Director of the Women’s Leadership Circle at the Vancouver Board of Trade, and Acting Director of Fund Development at YWCA Metro Vancouver. She is also currently a mentor with the YWCA and the Vancouver Board of Trade

Fiona resides in Deep Cove, North Vancouver, with her husband Dan, her two children and their dog.

About the Minerva Foundation

With a mission to elevate the visibility, influence and contribution of women leaders, the Minerva Foundation has helped to create and fund programs that have assisted more than 3000 women and girls across British Columbia since its inception in 1999. Learn more about how the Minerva Foundation is changing lives and empowering women by visiting its web site and following them on Twitter at @MinervaBC.

Diana Stirling and Shannon Ward

Shannon Ward and Diana Stirling are the authors of Babyproofing Your Business, teaching entrepreneurs how to build wildly successful businesses without sacrificing themselves or their families. These moms, entrepreneurs and change-makers have figured out that work-life balance is a myth and redefining success is the key to living an amazing life. They have been extensively quoted, listed and ranked since they tore down their 7-figure business and rebuilt it on a new business model called Pretirement that earns them freedom, financial gain and fulfillment.

Nicole Bridger Fashion Show

Nicole Bridger showcased her Fall 2012 collection in a fashion show at Leading Moms 2012.

Born and raised in Vancouver, Nicole received her BAA in fashion design from Ryerson University in Toronto ON. During an internship in London with Vivienne Westwood, Nicole learned the art of sculpting, draping and layering fabric. It was here that she began to realize that her talent for fashion design could also be used as a vehicle for positive social change.

In 2006, Nicole aligned herself with Chip Wilson, the owner of Lululemon. Together they founded Oqoqo, a pioneer in the North American eco-fashion market. After her experience nurturing the growth of Oqoqo, Nicole was poised to unite her passion for high fashion and eco-consciouness, and in 2008 she founded Nicole Bridger Design.

Nicole is the embodiment of Nicole Bridger Design. A mother and social entrepreneur, Nicole strives to make positive contributions to her community and environment through the products she creates and the people she connects with. She is fuelled by a desire to create clothes that make all women feel beautiful and unique.


Tracy Theemes

Prior to co-founding Sophia Financial Group in 2009, Tracy Theemes gained valuable international experience with Smith Barney, a US brokerage firm. Tracy is a believer that “we are stronger together than apart” and regularly participates in activities and events that promote and support financial literacy.

Prior to co-founding Sophia Financial Group in 2009, Tracy Theemes gained valuable international experience with Smith Barney, a US brokerage firm. Tracy’s has a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology.

She is a Certified Financial Planner, is insurance licensed and is a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute. She is also a Financial Divorce Specialist. Before becoming a financial advisor Tracy spent 10 years in management with an international play equipment company. She founded, then sold, a specialty children’s furnishing company based in the US.

Tracy is a believer that “we are stronger together than apart” and regularly participates in activities and events that promote and support financial literacy.

In this video, Tracy shares some real insight on being good enough (yes you are!). And yes she raps too.

Eaton Arrowsmith’s Sandra Heusel

The Communications Director for Eaton Arrowsmith School, Sandra Heusel has involved in the field of special education for the past 15 years, as a teacher and an educational consultant, in order to support students with learning disabilities and attention difficulties.

One of the founding staff members of the Eaton Arrowsmith Schools, Sandra finds tremendous joy in watching students students strengthen their learning capacities by rewiring weaker areas of the brain.  As communications director, Sandra reaches out to the public to shares stories of life changes made possible through the Arrowsmith Program and the incredible learning environment  that can be found at these schools.

Sandra loves spending time with husband and two young children….usually at the playground!

About Eaton Arrowsmith School

Located at sites in Vancouver, White Rock and Victoria, Eaton Arrowsmith School is modeled after the Arrowsmith School in Toronto which has been operating successfully since 1980 using the Arrowsmith Program to address the underlying causes of students’ learning difficulties and learning differences by strengthening learning capacities.

Gurdeep Stephens Sings Her Grandfather’s Song

The Leading Moms audience was treated by a spontaneous performance from Ratana Steven’s daughter Gurdeep Stevens.

Pamela Martin and Christine Pilkington Open Leading Moms 2012

Recognized across BC as the anchor of CTV News, Pamela Martin is well-versed in the issues that affect and impact the people and communities across the province and in this video reflects about her life as a mom and broadcaster.

Christine Pilkington is the Publisher of VancouverMom.ca and Founder of the City Mom Now Network. You can find out more at www.vancouvermom.ca and www.citymomnow.com.

This presentation was delivered as the opening for Leading Moms 2012, an event attended by 130 moms on October 3, 2012, in Vancouver. For more information about Leading Moms visit www.leadingmoms.ca.

Screening of Mina Shum’s Hip Hop Mom

Our Leading Moms 2012 audience was treated to a screening of Hip Hop Mom, Mina Shum’s comedic take on how moms of the world can stay true to themselves while raising a family.

When two alpha supermoms dispute over a parking spot, they quickly reveal their secret identities and it’s a hip hop mom dance battle royal! We are thrilled to announce that we will be showing Hip Hop Mom, a short by filmmaker Mina Shum. The film is an irreverent ode to moms everywhere.

With multiple awards, including the Berlin, Toronto and Sundance film festivals and the Genies, Shum has written and directed three feature films, “Double Happiness” (1993), “Drive, She Said” (1997), and “Long Life, Happiness, and Prosperity” (2003). She is currently developing her fourth feature film, “Two of Me” with Brightlight Pictures.

On Hip Hop Mom, Shum comments: “I have felt the need to express my irreverent, irresponsible self at times. And when I do, I’m so aware of the ‘mommy me’ and the ‘not so mommy me’. And both sides have to find their expression or we end up losing our true selves.”

Dina Goldstein on Inspiration

Dina Goldstein’s images of power, beauty, celebrity, the disenfranchised, the persecuted and the fantastical have graced the pages of magazines throughout the world.

Goldstein is acclaimed for her many photography projects, especially the evocative Fallen Princesses series. By recreating classic fairy tale settings, Goldstein exposed with wit, irony and satire and the fallacious nature of female archetypes within the modern world.

Based in Vancouver, Goldstein, mother of two lovely girls, shoots around the globe, bringing her unique sensibility to images of the human condition.

Find out more about Dina at www.dinagoldstein.com.

Dina delivered her talk via pre-recorded video.

Kim Graham-Nye

Kim Graham-Nye is the ultimate gMum.

Canadian-born and Australian-bred, Kim is as passionate about babies as she is about the planet. As co-founder and president of gDiapers, the ecodorable diaper that is both cute and biodegradable, Kim combines her love of both into one earth friendly, family-centered company. Named one of Fortune Magazine’s top 10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in America in 2011, Kim has proven that with a little creativity business and family can go together better.

Kim delivered her her talk virtually via pre-recorded video.

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