Adria Mackenzie at Leading Moms 2014

Adria Mackenzie is a Corporate Communications Manager and the Philanthropic Manager at General Motors of Canada. A single mother of three children, Adria shares her story of balancing between corporate life and being a mother.

Andrea Thomas Hill at Leading Moms 2014

Andrea Thomas Hill is driven by a strong sense of philanthropy and community service. In 1992, she founded Run for the Cure in Canada, and suddenly, families, friend and communities were running together for someone they loved. The event grew to become a vital part of our country’s landscape and raised millions of dollars in breast cancer research funds.

In 2007, Andrea’s inspiration drove her to support families affected by poverty. She founded Vancouver’s Cause We Care Foundation to help single mothers and their children find more fulfilling, empowered, and independent lives, adding immeasurably to those touched by her deeply caring spirit.

Louise Green at Leading Moms 2014

Louise Green is a globally recognized voice at the forefront of the body advocacy movement. Louise is a certified fitness professional as well as a successful plus size athlete. She empowers athletes of all shapes and sizes in a culture that generally dominates one ideal.

Green, is not only the founder of Body Exchange (with 6 locations in Canada) but also a writer, host of international wellness retreats and an advocate with a comprehensive continental reach.

Green’s unflinching and unapologetic questioning of the way we view plus-size athleticism is also the catalyst for her groundbreaking book, “Limitless” which will be launched in 2015.

Green has been published internationally on platforms such as The New York Times, UK’s Daily Mail, Huffington Post and XOJane. She has also pitched her business concept on CBC’s Dragon’s Den and was a highly heralded speaker at the first annual Body Love Conference in Tucson, Arizona.

Green ignites the change we wish to see.

Jennifer Schaeffers at Leading Moms 2014

Jen Schaeffers is the Executive Director, CKNW Orphans’ Fund and Founder, With over 12 years experience in sports marketing, including roles with Intrawest and the Vancouver Canucks, Jen left the corporate world in 2011 to pursue philanthropy full time.

Organizations she has been involved with, both past and present include: Women Leaders in Non-Profit, Women’s Leadership Circle, The Minerva Foundation for BC Women and Ronald McDonald House BC.

In 2014, Jen was recognized as a finalist in the community building category for the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards and awarded the TELUS ‘Women of Promise’ Award. She is a mentor and frequent public speaker on topics such as networking, non-profit and leadership.

Follow her on twitter @jenu2.

Michele Kambolis at Leading Moms 2014

Michele Kambolis (MA) is a Registered Clinical Counselor and parent educator recognized for her dedication to empowering children and families. Her first book, Generation Stressed: a handbook for parents of children suffering from anxiety-related issues will be released in September 2014 by LifeTree Media. Her CHI Kids school delivers many courses created for parents, children and educators to unlock the power of play in building child resiliency. Michele writes a popular weekly parenting and advice column for the Vancouver Sun called “Parent Traps,” which runs across Canada in the Postmedia Network chain of newspapers. Michele integrates the power of attachment with science-based methods with the intention to ensure all children have the opportunity to fully thrive.

Keri Anne Livingstone at Leading Moms 2014

Keri-Anne Livingstone is a mom of two boys, wife and former Corporate Marketing Professional who transformed her “unconscious” life in every way by exploring one powerful concept – Daring to Suck. Today she serves the world as certified professional coach and speaker helping men, women, executives and entrepreneurs unleash more of their true self into everything they do to “come alive” in their life and work. She demonstrates that when we listen to our heart,  leap into the unknown and TRUST, amazing experiences and reaching our full potential are waiting for us on the other side.

Madeleine Shaw at Leading Moms 2014

Madeleine Shaw is a social entrepreneur known for her longstanding commitment to green products, progressive business practices and women entrepreneurs. She is the co-founder of, a for-profit venture that manufactures and markets an online collection of healthy and eco-friendly products for girls and women to support them throughout their life cycle. Thanks to Lunapads, over 1 million pads and tampons are being diverted from landfills every month. She is also the co-founder of Pads4Girls, a social change project that provides sustainable hygiene supplies to girls in developing nations and G Day for Girls, a global social movement to celebrate and empower adolescent girls.

Marnie Goldenberg at Leading Moms 2014

Marnie Goldenberg is the Sexplainer. A circuitous path including leading canoe trips with at-risk youth, legal training, counselling for Planned Parenthood, senior leadership roles in the voluntary sector and, of course, parenting, brings her to today. Marnie thinks sexuality is predominantly a force of good in the world and takes every opportunity to engage with parents about how to talk to young people about sex in healthy and happy ways. She launched her blog in March 2013, teaches kids about sex, spoke at a local TEDx, is currently writing a book and helping plan a US-based sex education conference.

Tamara Taggart – Leading Moms 2014 Keynote

As a veteran broadcaster, a third generation Vancouverite and busy working mother, Tamara comes to the anchor chair with a lot of experience, passion and a deep understanding of what matters to Metro Vancouver residents. In the field, Tamara reports on a range of important issues, from women with HIV to rare diseases affecting children.

Tamara’s commitment to our community goes beyond her work on the air. She’s proud to be the Chair of the BC Women’s Hospital “Hope Starts Here” campaign, helping to raise $17 million dollars for a new Newborn Intensive Care Unit at BC Women’s Hospital. She also sits on the boards at The Kettle Friendship Society, the Pacific Parkland Foundation and The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. Tamara is also a big supporter of the Developmental Disabilities Association and the BC Centre for Ability. Tamara is a founding board member of the Rare Disease Foundation.

Christine Magee’s Keynote at Leading Moms 2013

Over the past two decades, Canadians have gotten to know Christine through the company’s numerous television and radio commercial spots. And last year, Leading Moms attendees got a chance to meet Christine in real life.

Mom Rapper Entertains the Crowd at Leading Moms 2013

Hip Hop mom, The World Needs M, is “raisin’ kids n’ rappin’, makin’ it look all easy-e”. Watch the video to see how Monica Morong brings down the house at Leading Moms 2013.

Kelsey Ramsden’s Closing Keynote at Leading Moms 2013

Kelsey Ramsden delivers her closing keynote talk at Leading Moms 2013. Find out why more than 50% of our attendees voted this as one of their favourite talks of the day.

Leading Moms Overview

On October 3, 2012, 130 moms were treated to a day filled with stories from moms making a difference in the arts, fashion, culture, business, science, media, politics and more.

Missed Leading Moms last year? Watch the video to get an idea of what the day was really like.

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

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!

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