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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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Inspired, Humbled and Making a Positive Impact

Posted By Irini Mikhael, Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Updated: Thursday, May 28, 2020

When you follow your dream, you don’t think about the fact that it might earn you a level of recognition beyond anything you could have imagined. In March of 2019, I was surprised to learn that I had been nominated for Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100™ by two individuals. While I was honoured to have received the nominations, I never thought I would actually win.

The gala – what a memorable occasion

November 21st was a special day. I was excited to attend the Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100™ gala event and, together with my immediate family, decided to bring all the treasured women in my life who have made an impact on me. This included my two aunts, and my mother. Among my four children, three are girls, which made my experience even more profound.

When they announced my name as one of the winners, I was shocked. Speechless. Humbled. And very emotional. I felt truly blessed to have my family and incredible female support network there with me, and it was extremely rewarding to know that others had recognized me for my dedication and hard work over the years. In that moment, my mind flashed back to my father’s speech at my wedding when he expressed his confidence in my intelligence and drive, and said he couldn’t wait to see what my husband and I would accomplish in the future. Unfortunately, my father passed away 8 years ago and even though he was there to witness the opening of our first two Lullaboo Childcare centers, I wasn’t able to celebrate with him on the night of the gala. Nevertheless, the gala was stunning and a thrill to be part of from start to finish. For me, the most meaningful aspect of it all was having the opportunity to be in the presence of so many profound and inspiring women in Canada.

Paying it forward

Pre and post gala, the overarching theme of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100™ this year was empowerment and resilience. After attending both the Top 100 Summit and Top 100 Gala, the significance of my award began to sink in. This experience has made me realize I now have an even greater responsibility to my staff members. Given the fact that I have now been recognized as “one of Canada’s most powerful women”, it is up to me to take that acknowledgment and use it to further support and empower my employees. And it just so happens that of our 350 employees at Lullaboo, 98% are women.

In December 2019, I hosted “coffee events” at each Lullaboo location and invited all staff members to join me. Promoting open, candid and honest communication, I posed the question: “If you had a magic wand capable of anything, what would you do at Lullaboo to make an impact on yourself, your coworkers, your students or all three?” I was both amazed and impressed with what people presented. Some ideas were relatively small, others more significant. All had the potential to make an impact. I followed up and addressed each and every idea. In some cases, implementations have already been made. For other concepts, I prompted my employees to expand and explore their thought processes in order to further develop their ideas.

Given the nature of the Lullaboo business, I am in a position to impact very young lives for the betterment of our society, and to work collaboratively with the parents of those young lives. Within our organization, women perform 98% of the roles. As our business expands, we are creating an increasing number of jobs for Canadian women. I feel compelled more than ever before to guide, support and empower the people on my staff and in our local communities: by helping employees obtain a higher level of education and advance their careers in childcare education; by developing integration and inclusion strategies to assimilate ill and troubled children into our classrooms; by listening to the individual needs of families and tailoring each child’s care accordingly; and by offering delayed, reduced or flexible payment plans to single mothers who struggle financially but who also want to give their children the best possible start in life, to name a few.

Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100™ has both inspired and humbled me as a woman, as a mother and as an entrepreneur. In light of this honour, I have and will continue to put new plans into action so that child by child, parent by parent, employee by employee, I can strive to make a positive impact upon the lives of those around me.

In light of our current situation

Remember over these days, be extra compassionate with your neighbours. Practice patience and tolerance more then ever with your children, your parents, your grandparents. Seek help if you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious about these uncertain times. Use video conference tools as much as possible and share a smile with as many people as you can.

Lullaboo is a family and we will continue to provide the same great service when this is all over. Without you, our centers are just buildings. The children, the energy, the laughter, the singing, and the artwork that provide life in these buildings is sorely missed. We miss you, the children, our extended family.

When things eventually improve, and they will, we look forward to getting back to doing what we’ve been doing for so many years: Providing enrichment to young growing minds and allowing parents to have the peace of mind when they go to work. Until then, let’s keep learning and enjoy the time with our loved ones. We will see you soon!

Irini Mikhael, Chief Operating Officer for Lullaboo Nursery and Childcare Center Inc., 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 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 Irini:

Irini MikhaelIrini Mikhael is Chief Operating Officer for Lullaboo Nursery and Childcare Center Inc.

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

After having her first daughter and being unsatisfied with the service and quality offered in childcare, Irini Mikhael, a professional engineer, decided to open her own childcare centre in 2008. Irini went back to school to obtain her Early Childhood Education degree to improve the program’s educational content. Today, Lullaboo has nine locations across Ontario, cares for more than 1,300 children and employs 350 educators.

Tags:  Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100  CMPW Top 100  powerful women  powerfully empowered  powerfullyempowered  Top 100  Top 100 Awards  top 100 winners  WXN  WXN Top 100 

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A Top 100 Award Leads Women to That Journey of Success

Posted By Sanchari Sen Rai, Thursday, March 5, 2020
Updated: Thursday, May 28, 2020

Humbling. Exhilarating! This is what it felt like to be the winner of one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award.

To be a part of the Top 100 Summit, being amongst the most senior leaders in the industry; to be with them, connect with them, be a part of their discussions, it was a true learning experience.

To come to Canada as an immigrant, to start a business from my basement, to watch it grow into an all-women team and help over 15,000 students find placements in colleges and universities across Canada and around the world… This is a success story for all women, all immigrants, and especially, all immigrant women!

Being a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award winner has re-enforced my belief that “Unless you return the knowledge you have you can’t grow within!” Hence, it’s imperative to continue growing one’s own knowledge. In 2019, I completed my continuing education and graduated. And how do I empower others? As a Co-founder and CEO of Education Consultants Canada (ECC), I recently hired two graduates to be a part of my all-women team. I strongly believe in giving opportunities to students, to do their internship with us and to work with us.

We all do business! But at ECC we aspire to do it a certain way, where our women employees leave with more than just job skills, they are empowered with vital communication and life skills that will carry them throughout their professional and personal journey.

As a winner of a 2019 Top 100 award, it gave the opportunity to experience the Resilience Retreat Workshop conducted by Bank of Montreal. Through interactions and exercises with other award winners, I learned my key leadership strength is empowering my team and I got to take away the feeling of wellness of mind, spirit and body from the workshop as it was about “building resilience from the inside out for women entrepreneurs”.

The theme for the 2019 Top 100 award was ‘A strong woman stands up for herself, but a powerful woman stands up for all of us”. This win is for my all-women’s team! They are the unsung heroes who are young adults just out of school, carrying the enormous responsibility of building, shaping careers, counselling students from all over the world and helping them to integrate into the diverse community.

The path to discovering my personal power as an immigrant woman started with a road-block. I had an academic degree with over 13 years of experience working overseas but could not get my accomplishments recognized when I moved to Canada. It made entering the workforce initially difficult. However, I preferred to look at the obstacles as challenges, and it led to carving a path of untapped opportunity, which has been instrumental in my journey. I wanted to ensure that others who arrived new to Canada didn’t have to face similar struggles, hence, ECC gives opportunities to the novice as a new hire, especially international students. I believe that for students to succeed in their studies in Canada, they have to be armed with right information and the right support structure. I knew I could make an enormous difference, not just to students, but also to Canada! When a student is nurtured to academic success, it paves the way for that student to decide to remain, integrate with the culture and diversity and be a part of the community. THAT is the dream! And ECC helps in aligning that “Canadian dream,” which every immigrant carries with them when leaving their home country.

A Top 100 award win encourages, inspires and recognizes the “unsung heroes”. Women who are pushing boundaries every day and by doing so inspiring and changing lives unknowingly. It is vitally important and a social obligation to give back to the community when one is in a position to do so. It is consequential because only then can one amplify one’s own knowledge, growth and succeed within and outside.

A Top 100 award leads women to “that” journey of success, by giving a forum to share their story of grit, experiences, and personal power that truly allows them to be in sync with diversity, empowerment and inclusion.

Sanchari Sen Rai, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Education Consultants Canada (ECC), is a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner in the BMO Entrepreneurs category for 2019. She has been recognized as a women who owns and operates a thriving business in Canada.

2020 Top 100 Nominations open on International Women’s Day – March 8, 2020. Click here to learn more about Top 100 and nominate a powerful female or even yourself!


About Sanchari:

Sanchari Sen RaiSanchari Sen Rai is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Education Consultants Canada (ECC).

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

BMO Entrepreneurs

Sanchari Sen Rai and her all-women team have helped thousands of international students work through the onerous process of applying to study in Canada, getting accepted and flourishing both academically and in their lives. Sanchari believes it is a vitally important social obligation for businesses to give back to the community when they are in a position to do so.

Tags:  Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100  Top 100  Top 100 Awards  Top 100 Winner  Top 100 Winners  Women  Women Entrepreneurs  Women in Business  Women in Leadership  Women Leaders  Women Leadership 

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"Powerfully Empowered" isn't just our theme; it's our mission

Posted By Sherri Stevens, Monday, November 18, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Every year, we pick a theme for our Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards.

It’s a challenging process because the theme represents many aspects of what we do. It reflects who we are as an organization, the accomplishments of our winners, the diversity and inclusion environment as it stands today, the challenges professional women face and the amazing work we’re all doing together to break down barriers for each other.

Picking this year’s theme, “Powerfully Empowered,” was no different. It’s about women who show their power not through their standing, but rather through the way they inspire and champion others, share their knowledge, create change and help others achieve their best. In short, it’s about celebrating women who don’t stand up just for themselves – they stand up for all of us.

As owner and CEO of the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) and the Canadian Board Diversity Council (CBDC), I often travel across Canada to speak with leaders across roles and industries. Through those conversations, I hear one thing over and over: “I don’t feel comfortable with the word power. I don’t feel powerful.

In fact, for many of us, we’re just plain uncomfortable identifying with the word “power” – we may even feel ashamed of it. We equate it to the car we drive, the office we hold, our physical strength, the money we have or the influence we exert. Some of us even attach negative connotations, especially when it refers to a woman.

Should we stop using the word? Quite the opposite – we should use it more, though in a different way. We need to toss out our old relationship to the word and start celebrating real power.

What is real power? It’s not how we lift ourselves up; it’s how we lift up everyone else around us. It’s quiet in its confidence. It’s unselfish and giving. It’s authentic, humble and honest. It’s kind and joyful. It’s shared, not hidden. It’s brave in moments of adversity and difficulty. It’s pushing forward when you feel like giving up. It’s the way we help other people feel powerful.

When I think of some of our most powerful leaders – leaders like Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Michele Obama – I realized they all have these traits.

And so does every one of the 110 winners of this year’s Top 100 Awards. They personify this kind of power, across our country and across arts, business, sports, science, entertainment, entrepreneurship, technology, the skilled trades and the public sector. They’re making an impact in their industry while inspiring and empowering others to follow in their footsteps.

Thank you to KPMG in Canada, an empowering organization, for their support and leadership as the Presenting Partner for the Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards. As with everything they do, KPMG gives 100 per cent of their support to the recognition and advancement of women. They also give 100 per cent in their partnerships and we are grateful.

This year, “Powerfully Empowered” isn’t just a theme. It’s a call to action for all of us to redefine the word “power” itself, to change the way we think about power in our lives and help others feel powerful in theirs.

Tags:  Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100  leadership  powerful  powerful women  powerfully empowered  Top 100  Top 100 Winner  Top 100 Winners 

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