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Personal Empowerment Breeds Success

Posted By Pina Starnino, Tuesday, July 28, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal empowerment begins with knowing yourself – understanding your motivations and values, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and identifying your goals. It is also not a solo journey – it involves being honest with yourself and others, surrounding yourself with good people, and empowering each other to succeed.

Pina Starnino with a FedEx team member at the 48-HOUR RIDE in support of Make-A-Wish Québec (September, 2019)Critical examination is a natural and necessary process that all aspiring professionals undertake every day. However, second-guessing, doubt, and fear of failure — even fear of success -- are common obstacles we place in our own paths. As women, we must realize a few truths about ourselves before we give in to any thinking that will hold us back from taking the next step in our careers.

It’s important to recognize that in any situation, we are rarely starting from scratch. Our leadership skills are transferable, our experiences matter, and our accomplishments count. We are where we are today because of our ability to grow, adapt, and succeed. Even with new opportunities that may be outside our comfort zones, our ability to learn and relate will kick in.

Believe me — I understand how hard this can be. I began my career at FedEx in the customer service department, before being appointed vice president of our newly created Customer Experience Division. When I was asked to take over as the vice president of Canadian operations, I was both nervous and excited. My background was in customer experience and education, so this was going to be a completely new challenge.

Once I had an honest level-set with myself, I knew I had the ability to lead our operations team the way I truly envisioned. Once I trusted myself, I flourished. More importantly, so too did our operations. We have led an era of significant growth and acclaim for our brand in this country.

Recently, I had the privilege of being named one of WXN’s Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100. To be listed among these distinguished influencers, which includes my good friend and mentor Lisa Lisson, president of FedEx Express Canada, was very humbling, and will always be a personal highlight of my career. 

It is a testament to the fact that personal empowerment breeds success. My personal empowerment grows every time I trust myself, but even more importantly through empowering others to believe in their full potential and their personal power. My confidence soars when I rely on my skills and experiences in empowering others and watching them shine and succeed. Success happens when we all take that next step. 

I was ready and so are you.

Pina Starnino is the Vice President of Operations for FedEx Express Canada. She is a 2019 HSBC Corporate Executives Top 100 Award Winner. She has been recognized for her outstanding achievement as woman in a senior position in a Canadian organization.

2020 Top 100 Nominations are closing on August 3, 2020. Click here to learn more about Top 100 and nominate a powerful female or even yourself!


About Pina:

Pina Starnino – Vice President of Operations, FedEx Express Canada

  

2019 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner
HSBC Corporate Executives

Pina Starnino is vice president of operations for FedEx Express Canada and leads a team of over 5,000 employees at more than 60 locations across Canada. Responsible for all operational matters affecting FedEx Express Canada, including Chairing the cross-functional Safety Governance Board, Starnino was appointed to her current role in July, 2006. Starnino is the first woman to hold the post of vice president of operations in the company’s history.  Under Starnino’s leadership, FedEx Express Canada has implemented a transformational operations excellence strategy to drive superior service and customer satisfaction within field operations, dispatch, customer service and air, ground, ramp and freight organizations of her division.   In her spare time, Starnino serves as a director of the board for two charities—Make-A-Wish Québec and Operation Warm. She is also a member of Canadian Board Diversity Council’s Working Committee for Diversity 50 and the Concordia Leadership Network. A devoted mother, Pina is passionate about education, children, and health.

 

 

Pictured above:

Pina Starnino with a FedEx team member at the 48-HOUR RIDE in support of Make-A-Wish Québec (September, 2019).

Pina is a member of the Board of Directors of Make-A-Wish Québec, and a member of the Governance Committee of the National Board of Directors of Make-A-Wish Canada.


Tags:  Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100  CMPW Top 100  female leaders  leadership  mentoring  powerful  powerful women  powerfully empowered  Top 100  Top 100 awards  Top 100 Winner  top 100 winners  Women  Women empowering women  Women in Business  Women in Leadership  Women Leaders  Women Leadership  WXN 

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Powerfully empowered is being dedicated to empowering and growing the people around you

Posted By Tevi Legge, Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, May 19, 2020

It was funny because when I first received the email letting me know I was selected as one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women: Top 100 in the Mercedes-Benz Emerging Leaders category I was delightfully confused. I had two schools of thought: is this spam, do I need to unsubscribe? Or is this a mistake? But soon after, the colleague who nominated me called me as she had received an email letting her know I had won and we had a good laugh. She confirmed it was no mistake at all and that I was the recipient of this incredible award. After I had some time to absorb it all I felt so honoured and completely humbled by all of it. It has taken some time for it to really sink in and it still is!

Being a part of the Mercedes-Benz ‘She’s Mercedes’ experience was a second to none experience. Most notable for me was off-roading as well as being a passenger in a real race car travelling up to speeds of 200km/h – what a rush!! Getting to know this group of trailblazing women through the Mercedes-Benz Experience was life changing and we will stay connected and support each other for life.

For me, being powerfully empowered is about being dedicated to empowering and growing the people around you. Being Powerfully Empowered is completely selfless, it’s about being courageous, being bold yet optimistic, and exercising our muscles of vulnerability, empathy, and resilience.

We have to be able to try, to fail and dust ourselves off quickly and try again. The most incredible leaders I’ve had the pleasure of learning from know how to remove their ego from any situation and bring it down to the roots of the problems we are trying to solve. It is very important for me to empower myself and those around me to do the same. The other key piece for me is really applying a growth mindset to everything I do and always knowing that I can learn from every person I meet and every experience I take part in, in all aspects of my life. I learn so much from my teams, my children, my husband, and even my favorite barista in my everyday life and it’s really important to me not to lose sight of that.

I always bite off more than I can chew, and I do it with intention and on purpose. I personally learn the best when I am immersed in unfamiliar or overwhelming situations and need to work to navigate through ambiguity that is in front of me. I use a ‘think yes first’ mindset, and truly believe that everything is solvable if we collectively work together. I love to challenge myself by surrounding myself with diverse thinking and people who come from completely different life experiences than myself so I can leverage empathy to learn and hopefully make the world a better place. I am a very data-driven person, so when looking to solve problems I always love to learn from the evidence, the cold hard truth about what we are solving for and I don’t shy away from being honest. I feel fortunate being surrounded by brilliant humans every day whom I learn so much from. Other things I do to challenge myself include meditation, physical activity, and not shying away from things that make me uncomfortable.

Tevi currently works as the Vice President and Head of Customer Experience for Everday Financial Services at ATB Financial. She is a 2019 Mercedes-Benz Emerging Leaders Top 100 Award Winner. She has been recognized as a woman between the ages of 30 to 40 years, who has had a career of successive leadership positions within her organization and has proven a passion for learning and innovation.

2020 Top 100 Nominations are now open. Click here to learn more about Top 100 and nominate a powerful female or even yourself! Nominations close June 8, 2020.


About Tevi:

Tevi Legge – Vice President and Head of Customer Experience for Everyday Financial Services, ATB Financial

 Tevi Legge

2019 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner
Mercedes-Benz Emerging Leaders

As one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 under 40 and one of Alberta’s 60 She-Innovators, Tevi Legge is a pillar in the province of Alberta. Through her vulnerable and transparent leadership style, Tevi is a courageous leader at ATB Financial and an ATB President’s league winner, which represents the top one per cent of achievers in the company. Tevi is an advocate for gender equality, a mom of three boys and wife, with a double degree from the University of Lethbridge.

Tags:  Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100  CMPW Top 100  Emerging Leaders  female leaders  inspiration  leaders  leadership  powerful  powerful women  powerfully empowered  Top 100  Top 100 Awards  Top 100 Winner  Top 100 Winners  WXN 

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Growing as a leader by building your own org chart

Posted By Jenn Lofgren, Thursday, April 2, 2020
Updated: Thursday, May 28, 2020

One of the biggest honours I have received is being named to the WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100. I attended the gala in Toronto last November where I met distinguished women of all backgrounds from across the country, from my fellow award winners to the 10 Hall of Fame Inductees. The opportunity to surround myself and connect with amazing women was one I couldn’t miss.

Having worked with executives over the years as a leadership coach, I’ve found that one of the best ways to set yourself on the path to leadership success is by surrounding yourself with a diverse group of mentors. I like to refer to this as developing a personal organizational chart.

What is a personal org chart?

Businesses have org charts to define roles and organize employees by skill sets, making sure their bench is full of the right people to work towards a common goal. Think of yourself as the CEO of “Me Inc.” Who are the people and what are the departments that you need to meet your goals? And I don’t mean just at work. Beyond a boss and direct reports, who is part of the informal team that helps you get things done?

Your personal org chart should include:

  • Peers
  • Personal advisors
  • Mentors (lots of different kinds) and mentees
  • Your boss, team, and others across your organization or outside of it

The various “departments” of your org chart should be able to provide you with:

  • Emotional support
  • Personal development
  • Professional development
  • Mentorship or coaching
  • Feedback and thoughtful discussion (a sounding board)

The importance of mentors in your org chart

If you’re looking to grow the mentorship arm of your personal org chart, you’ve come to the right place. Before receiving the Top 100 honour last year, I’ve been involved with WXN in different capacities, mostly from my hometown of Calgary. Now, I am also proud to share that my company, Incito, has also become a national supporting partner of the Wisdom Mentoring™ program.

You can have more than one type of mentor in your personal org chart:

  • Internal mentors – this could be a person within your organization who performs the same function as you do. You can also seek someone who performs a different function, to offer different perspectives.
  • External mentors – look for those who are in the same industry as you, as well as someone who is in a different industry.

How to find a mentor (or become one yourself)

Mentor diversity is critical in your growth as a leader. I also recommend seeking mentors who are going through the same things you are going through, whether professionally, like experience dealing with a merger, for example, or personally, such as having young children while working. Being able to relate to someone with similar experiences is beneficial because you can work through challenges together, and share in the experience. It’s also nice to seek mentors who have dealt with similar challenges in the past, but are well past them, so that you can learn from how they got through the situation and know what it might be like on the other side. You do not always have to formally ask someone to be your mentor. Sometimes the dynamic occurs naturally; an informal mentor/mentee relationship can relieve some pressure around the expectations from the partnership. If you’re struggling to get started, I’ve written more about how finding a mentor doesn’t have to be awkward.

If someone approaches you to be their mentor and you don’t feel comfortable or qualified, try your best to fight these feelings of Imposter Syndrome. Becoming a mentor yourself not only enables you to share your own knowledge and wisdom with others, it also opens up your worldview as you connect with your mentees. For example, after being named to the WXN Top 100, a mentor/mentee matching organization called Elevate Aviation approached me to mentor an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. Even though I am technically her mentor, I’ve found that I have received so much more in return – I have already learned so much from her sharing her experiences.

If you are looking to become a mentor, you should reach out to potential mentees whose work you find exciting. You can find them by volunteering, networking, or even following someone’s work that you want to be part of. Go to events big and small. Reach out to your network and tell them about your interests. They might know someone looking to connect, whether or not they have expressed interest in formal mentorship. Put your name forward for any awards, programs, or networks, even at universities.

WXN is a great way to get started on building your org chart’s mentorship arm, whether you are looking for a mentor or a mentee. WXN’s mentorship programs often pair women from different geographical locations and diverse backgrounds. You can learn from others who are doing great things, and pick up skills or insights that you can bring to your own community.

I am grateful to be a Top 100 Winner because it has also helped me connect with my fellow winners: many women with whom I am able to build relationships over time. Forevermore, we have something in common, and we’ve been able to reach out to each other because of it. I’ve stayed in touch with Sandra Sutter, Victoria LaBillois, and Jessica Lui, to name a few. If you have something like this in common with someone you want to connect with, don’t be shy and reach out. The fact that I am able to say “Hey, I’m also a WXN winner. Let’s have coffee,” is just as good as any warm intro.

Learn more about WXN’s Wisdom Mentoring™ program and how you can benefit from a mentor who has faced challenges like yours, how they got to where they are now.

Jenn Lofgren, Founder, Executive Leadership Coach & Consultant for Incito Executive & Leadership Development is a 2019 BMO Entrepreneurs Top 100 Award Winner. She has been recognized a woman who owns and operates a thriving business in Canada.

2020 Top 100 Nominations are now open. Click here to learn more about Top 100 and nominate a powerful female or even yourself!


About Jenn:

Jenn LofgrenJenn Lofgren – Founder, Executive Leadership Coach & Consultant, Incito Executive & Leadership Development

2019 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner

BMO Entrepreneurs

Jenn Lofgren helps executives across Canada and worldwide unlock their leadership potential and grow into inspired, authentic leaders. She is one of only 60 recipients of the esteemed Master Certified Coach (MCC) designation in Canada and five per cent of coaches worldwide. Jenn is a champion of local enterprise, an ally to women in business, an actively involved citizen and a passionate member of the global business community.

Tags:  Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100  CMPW Top 100  female leaders  leaders  leadership  mentoring  powerful  powerful women  powerfully empowered  powerfullyempowered  Top 100  Top 100 awards  top 100 winner  women entrepreneurs  women in business  WXN 

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I am inspired and feel empowered to change the world

Posted By Reetu Gupta, Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Updated: Thursday, May 28, 2020

When I received the email that I was selected as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 in the BMO Entrepreneur category, it was an unforgettable moment for me.

I was sitting in a boardroom with about 15 people, deciding on plans for a new development when I received the email from WXN that I was selected as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100. I froze and re-read the email a few times hoping it said what I thought I read. I was suddenly immersed in a different world with two thoughts – I immediately thanked God and put myself into a state of gratitude to God and the universe. I then nudged my brother, Suraj, whom I share a very deep connection with. No words were exchanged, he just looked at me, shared an understanding and we both got up quietly and left the boardroom. We walked out, closed the door, he looks at me with concern in his eyes and said, “Reet?” I quietly yelled, “I GOT TOP 100!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Suraj is my best friend and the reason I am anywhere today. He has been so supportive of me and so it was only suiting that he was the first person to know. He hugged me and said “Dude, I knew you would get this!” We went back into the boardroom and tried to act nonchalant, while inside I was ecstatic!

I have grown up in an industry that has always been male-dominated. I started working at a very young age, in the hotel industry. At this time almost two decades ago, there were so few women in leadership roles, almost nil. I was always working against preconceived notions and judgements that were silently labelled on me, like a child had taped signs to my back that read “She’s the youngest in the room. She’s the only woman. She’s the boss’ daughter”. Dealing with this type of thinking from others at a young age, I taught myself very quickly that I will not work to prove myself to others but rather to prove it to myself. Always working hard to get ahead of the judgements placed on me being a South Asian Woman, this award for me, was the Universe saying, You Did It.

I had two thoughts when I was selected for this award – the first as I mentioned was gratitude. The second was a deep calling that I need to do more, more for women and more for society. I felt this honour is also a responsibility and I want to do everything I can to ensure that I give back and help elevate others. Being selected in the BMO category for entrepreneurs, I spent time with the BMO team and learned about different initiatives the organization has to offer. I was inspired by their efforts towards diversity and so, the day the award was announced, I also launched my company’s first Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. I have also created an internal mentorship program and hope to inspire others to rise in order to achieve their goals. I am inspired and feel empowered to change the world and to inspire others to do the same. I especially hope to inspire women to support one another, to elevate one another and to follow their passion and to achieve their dreams!

I have a Guru from India who has taught me so much when it comes to life and happiness. One of the best lessons I can share is to “Live life with Life”. We must not go through each day as a passing motion but rather live our lives with excitement, with passion, with life. I hope to continue to inspire others to also live life with life!

Reetu Gupta is a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner in the BMO Entrepreneurs category for 2019. She has been recognized as a woman who operates a thriving business in Canada.

2020 Top 100 Nominations are now open. Click here to learn more about Top 100 and nominate a powerful female or even yourself!


About Reetu:

Reetu GuptaReetu Gupta is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Easton’s Group of Hotels/The Gupta Group.

2019 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner

BMO Entrepreneurs

Under Reetu Gupta’s leadership The Easton’s Group of Hotels has become one of Canada’s largest private hotel development firms. The Gupta Group is an award-winning residential builder with five million square feet of mixed-used projects currently under development. Reetu is also the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Rogue Insight Capital Ltd., a private venture capital firm. She was recognized as a Top 40 Under 40 winner in 2017.

Tags:  Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100  CMPW Top 100  leadership  mentoring  powerful women  powerfully empowered  powerfullyempowered  Top 100  Top 100 Awards  top 100 winner  women empowering women  women entrepreneurs  women mentoring women 

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Step into your Power

Posted By Chioma Ifeanyi-Okoro , Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Updated: Thursday, May 28, 2020

Act as if it is Impossible to Fail, Stand on the Shoulders of Giants and Lift as Your Rise!

I heard about the Top 100 Most Powerful Women award three years ago. That year, women like Julia Deans, Rhiannon Trail and Jodi Kovitz whom I consider absolute bosses were recognized. The following year, another incredible group of women in my network were recognized. In 2019, my mentor and sponsor, Natasha Walji, a past top 100 award winner, ensured that I applied for the award.

To say that seeing my own name on the list was a dream come true would be an understatement. I read the email from Sherri Stevens Owner and CEO of WXN|CBDC congratulating me on being named one of WXN Most Powerful Women, Top 100 in utter disbelief:

“ …We are honoured that you are a part of our influential community that now numbers over 1,100 remarkable women. You do not walk alone….

A few months later, my mom flew all the way from Nigeria to accompany me to the Top 100 Gala. The event was a much-needed reminder that dedication pays off.

My journey in Canada began 14 years ago when I moved by myself, to Baden Ontario, from Nigeria as a 17-year-old international student. I was completely unprepared for the fact that this very great country is also a very cold country. As I navigated my way through culture shock, I came up with a few mantras to guide me in my transition:

  1. To always show up with excellence and intention
  2. To dance through any situation, learn from my mistakes and stay grounded
  3. To be a blessing to others

My journey has been filled with many lessons and blessings. I joined the corporate world after completing my undergrad and then went on to successfully pursue my CPA designation. In December of 2016, I left a secure full-time job to become an entrepreneur and pursue my passion of connecting people with resources, tools and practical strategies to innovate, lead and show up as the best versions of themselves every day.

Launching my business, I was thrown into highly stressful situations like planning a conference for black youth that required thousands of dollars to execute while having only $20 in my personal bank account. I also experienced many wonderful highs, like closing the Toronto Stock exchange in the early days of my startup and standing in rooms with CEOs, Presidents of Countries and the former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama.

These three principles have provided light to my path

  1.  You must act as if it is impossible to fail – Ashanti Proverb

 “I am invincible, unbreakable
Unstoppable, unshakeable
They knock me down, I get up again
I am the champion”

The WXN Theme song by Carrie Underwood and Ludacris really rings true for me.

I learnt a long time ago that I can convince my mind to believe anything. The one person we spend the most time with is ourselves. The most important conversations we will ever have will be held in our minds.  How often are we telling ourselves to play small so we can fit comfortably into the boxes that society has created for us?

Every time I am about to try something new that scares me, I remind myself about the wise Ashanti Proverb – “You must act as if it is impossible to fail” and then I #DOITAFRAID.

Saying these simple words to myself and convincing my brain that I can do anything has led to securing over 30 partnerships with major organizations including CIBC, speaking on international stages, getting featured in major publications and meeting incredible people whom I would only have admired from afar in the past.

There is a ripple effect of doing it afraid.

The next time you don’t feel motivated to do something because it scares you remind yourself – You must act as if it is impossible to fail

  1. “I come as one, I stand as ten thousand”- Maya Angelou

My journey has been guided by a village. This village is made up of people who were once complete strangers who have become my champions. My village includes over 100 people.

Women often ask me “How do I find a mentor or a sponsor?” My response is “You show up and offer value.”

Too many people are focused on what they can get from relationships. When you focus on what you can give you will be pleasantly surprised by the number of doors that will open for you.

Over the years, I have learnt that a good name is more valuable than money. A good name will get you into rooms that money cannot. Protect your good name, show up as a value provider and invest the time to cultivate your village.

  1. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” – African Proverb

Let your light shine and lift as you rise!

When I coach professional women on building their leadership and personal brands, I am surprised at the number of talented women including executives who are willing to downplay what they bring to the table to be seen as humble. Every time you downplay how awesome you are, you miss a chance to serve in a greater capacity, make a difference in someone’s life and inspire the generation coming after you who look like you.

Your journey is not just about you. Do not be afraid to let your light shine! You are a vessel through which others will build the inspiration to step out of their comfort zone.

.

“It is authentic
It is joyful
It is giving
It is not greedy,
It is helping others
It is giving your time, knowledge and skillset to other women and men to help them along their journey
It is brave and it is strong in the face of adversity
It empowers others to be their best…”

Sherri’s definition of power at the Top 100 Summit and Gala really struck a chord with me. The world is going through a series of changes. We need women who are bold enough to step into their greatness and fix some things around here because “a strong woman stands up for herself, but a powerful woman stands up for us all.”

This is your canvas. Here is your paintbrush. PAINT!

There will be good days and there will be hard days. I have learnt to be grateful every day.

My journey to greatness has just begun and I know yours has too.

So STEP INTO YOUR POWER and let the painting begin!

#PowerfullyEmpowered

Chioma Ifeanyi-Okoro, award winning speaker and strategy consultant, is a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner in the Champions category for 2019. She has made describable difference to the advancement of women in the workplace.

2020 Top 100 Nominations are now open. Click here to learn more about Top 100 and nominate a powerful female or even yourself!


About Chioma:

Chioma Ifeanyi-OkoroChioma Ifeanyi-Okoro CPA, CMA, is an award-winning speaker and strategy consultant.

2019 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner

RBC Champions

Chioma Ifeanyi-Okoro CPA, CMA (info@chiomaio.com) is an award-winning speaker and strategy consultant focused on delivering leadership, strategy and  personal brand building workshops to executives, professionals, women entrepreneurs, large enterprises and professional associations across the world.

She is also the founder of My African Corner, a platform dedicated to advancing its community of 3000+ black professionals and entrepreneurs spread across Canada, United States and Europe through providing access to education, networks and resources in partnership with global brands.

She has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by WXN, one of 80 Women in Canadian Tech worth following by BetaKit, A Dial Mover by Move the Dial and TD Canada, a Leader in the Canadian Innovation Ecosystem by Elevate Tech Fest, been nominated for a Toronto Region Board of Trade Business Excellence Award for Young Professional of the Year, received the University of Toronto African Alumni Association African Scholars Social Innovation Award, and the Points International Ltd Points for Good award for outstanding commitment to community.

Her work has been featured in Globe and Mail, What’s Your Tech, GlobalLive Media, Now Magazine, PayPal Blog and more.

She currently sits on the CPA Emerging Leaders Advisory Board, Civic Action’s Future of Work Champions Council and was a founding executive of Black Professionals in Technology Network.

Twitter – @Chiomaio
Website – Chiomaio.com

Tags:  Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100  powerful  powerful women  powerfully empowered  powerfullyempowered  Top 100  Top 100 Awards  Top 100 winner  Women leaders  WXN  WXN Top 100 

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