Our TALKers



Susanne Heaton

Susanne Heaton

Susanne climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2011 which is Africa’s highest peak. Through the climb and descent of this mountain, she draws parallels to the ups and downs that occur in life. You will receive inspiring information to encourage risk taking and to value your unique capabilities.









Andrea ThompsonAndrea Thompson

Andrea is a poet, novelist and Canadian word legend. She will be talking about finding your voice, following your bliss, and celebrating the voices of women. Andrea has performed her work at venues across North America and overseas for the past twenty years. A pioneer of Slam Poetry in Canada, Thompson was a feature in the ground-breaking documentary Slamnation, is the co-editor of the anthology Other Tongues: Mixed Race Women Speak Out, author of the poetry collection Eating the Seed, and creator of the Urban Muisc Award nominated CD, One. A graduate of the University of Guelph’s MFA Creative Writing program, Thompson currently teaches Spoken Word through OCAD University and has recently released her debut novel, Over Our Heads with Inanna Publications.  www.andreathompson.ca




Chef Nicole Gomes

Nicole Gomes
Top Chef Canada Contestant

Nicole Gomes passion, curiosity and love of food and travel has led her to work in Paris, France, Sydney, Australia, Hong Kong, and Vancouver, BC. She has been cooking professionally for the last 18 years. Moving to Calgary over a decade ago, she soon became a welcome addition to the city’s top talents show casing her style at establishments such as Catch & Mercato.  Her entrepreneurial spirit led her to create Nicole Gourmet, a successful boutique catering company. Nicole was a Top Chef contender on season three on Food Network and the last woman standing.

See Nicole’s Video Presentation






Cara Fullerton

Cara Fullerton

Former TV reporter/anchor turned Healthy Lifestyle Coach.

She took her passion for fitness and motivating others to a whole new level.  She uses life coaching skills, plus her experience as a personal trainer, and group fitness instructor to help women who have failed at every diet they’ve tried, put their life on hold until they lose 10lbs, or just can’t stand what they see in the mirror. She helps them get BODY-CONFIDENT. Cara believes YOU have the power and answers inside of you to make that big change. However, it’s the excuses (or lies) you tell yourself that are holding you back. Find out how she worked through, over, under, and around her excuses to make that leap into her new career!


See Cara’s Video Presentation




Beth_HedvaDr. Beth Hedva
Psychologist , Educator, Healer, Author
Dr. Beth Hedva’s passion for healing led her to become a core faculty member in both the Department of Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, and the Department of Transpersonal Counseling Psychology at JFK University before relocating to Calgary, Canada. Former Canadian Chair for the UN’s nongovernmental organization, the Association for Trauma Outreach and Prevention, today she leads a private practice as Director of Dr. Beth Hedva and Associates, and also makes time to connect with others in need through her work as the Director of Counseling and Training at the Canadian Institute for Transpersonal and Integrative Sciences (CITIS), and Adjunct Research Faculty at Sofia University’s (Institute of Transpersonal Psychogy’s) Global Program.


 See Beth’s Video Presentation


Colleen_Doey-KelbaColleen Doey-Kelba
Singer, songwriter, performer and MS survivor
Colleen, the youngest of eleven children (with 9 sisters and a brother) was born in Kelowna, BC and raised on traditional country music. She wrote her first song by the age of 14, teaching herself to play guitar on a hand-me-down 12 string from her brother. By 19 she was singing and performing at the “Stage Door” Dinner Theatre, where she also experienced her first live musical theatre performance as Tup Tim in “The King and I”. Colleen will delight the audience by performing her newest song. She will also share her very special journey that led her to writing this new song.
Colleen will be speaking about “The Other Side of Suicide”…surviving and THRIVING after living with, and losing, a loved one to biPolar1 and suicide. Music became my life line throughout this journey and I will be sharing a song I wrote along the way. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou
“There is no greater loss than thoughts left unspoken.” Colleen Doey-Kelba


 See Colleen’s Video Presentation




Kelly Falardeau
Motivational speaker, international bestselling author, burn survivor.

Kelly Falardeau is a burn survivor since the age of two-years-old on 75% of her body and constantly struggled with her self-worth and confidence. She found a way to go from near-death to success; from the ugly scar-faced girl to the Top 10 Most Powerful and Influential Speaker, Fierce Woman of the Year, an International Best-Selling Author (4x), recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and most recently a YWCA Woman of Distinction. You have to ask yourself how? How did a burn survivor who constantly struggled with rejection, staring and teasing burst through all the negativity in her life to succeed? You have to hear her speak or read her books to learn the stories of how she did it.


See Kelly’s Women Talk Video





Colette Smithers Lawson
YWCA benificient and Survivor
Colette will shared her amazing journey of survival. After finding herself homeless she found her way back to a happy life with the help of the YWCA.

 See Colette’s Women Talk Video





Carla-MacleodCarla MacLeod

Defenceman for the 2006 & 2010 Olympic Gold medal-winning Women’s Hockey Team

Her career on the Canadian Women’s National Hockey Team began in 2005, when Carla played in her first IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championship, winning silver. In 2006, she played in the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, where she won the gold medal and was named as a tournament all-star. In 2007, she played in the IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championship, where Canada won its ninth world’s gold medal. At the 2009 IIHF World Women’s Championships she was named tournament MVP and also named to the media all-star team. In 2010, Carla again won Olympic Gold at the Vancouver Games. Carla attended the University of Wisconsin where she attained a degree in Legal Studies. She played with the Wisconsin Badgers in the NCAA for four years – two of which she served as team captain. In her senior year she was a Top 10 Finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award and was awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor for proficiency in scholarship and athletics. Now retired from playing, Carla has transitioned into coaching and is currently an assistant coach with the Mount Royal University Cougars in Calgary, as well as an assistant coach with the Japanese Olympic Women’s Hockey Team. She most recently returned home from the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games where she coached Japan at its first Olympics in 16 years.



Angie_MoiijAngie Moiij

was a stay at home mom for 12 years, whose weight was starting to interfere with her day-to-day life including activities with her children. She struggled with fad diets and trying to obtain a healthy lifestyle, and at 41, her weight exceeded 300 pounds. A life changing realization occurred to her in YEAR occurred to her while on a family vacation: she may not be around for her kids in the future if something didn’t change. She set out on a path to make a change; her daughters her motivation. She began to lose weight, setting goals, achieving them, and striving for more. Every day brought its challenges. Her weight loss continued, and Angie aimed higher, competing in her first triathlon in 2012. Today, Angie has lost over 150 pounds, returned to work as a Registered Massage Therapist and Reiki Master, and is now a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Specialist. She has changed her life not only physically, but mentally and spiritually. Her new goal is to pass on her story and motivation to inspire others to reach their own personal health and/or fitness goals by creating a foundation of healthy choices.


Carmen Stockton

Carmen’s Comedic journey began in 1993 when she wrote, produced and starred in a one woman show entitled Rubberneckin’. In 1995 the curtain rose on her second show, Afterthoughts. In 1999 her focus shifted to Stand up comedy, that year she was invited to perform at the prestigious Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal. She has twice been featured on CBC’s nationally broadcast radio program Madly Off In All Directions in 2001and 2003.
In 2004 she made her Canadian television debut on CBC’s Winnipeg Comedy Festival and was invited back to the Festival in 2007 & 2013. In 2005 she made her American television debut on Comedy Central’s Premium Blends.
In 2010 she appeared on the television special Best Of The West, which was produced by Corkscrew Media and aired on CBC the same year. In 2012 she was invited back by Corkscrew Media to be a part of the show The New West, which also aired on CBC the same year.
Carmen performs regularly across Canada and recently ventured into the world of Keynote Speaking.


Lynda and Allison marketing shotLynda & Allison Hays

With four decades of combined experience, sisters Lynda and Allison Hay have seen markets and and the investment world change drastically – with one constant: “building strong, trusting relationships is the cornerstone of our business,” Allison observes. As Investment Advisors and Certified Retirement Specialists at TD Wealth , Lynda and Allison create comprehensive collaborative solutions that reflects each individual needs. “The details matters” says Lynda. In order to provide the best strategies, we’re familiar with everything from taxation and legal issues to retirement planning. We’re not expert in every facet, but with the strength of TD, we have the resources to solve your financial issues. Native Calgarians, Lynda & Allison practice balance in their personal and business lives. “Investing is like the marathons we run; every step is necessary in order to reach the finish line.” That success goes beyond the bottom line. “Rates of return are important, of course. But at the end of the day, it’s about listening and understanding to help people achieve their goals.”

Vanessa McWilliams


Vanessa McWilliams

Vanessa McWilliams lives in Calgary, Ab with her husband and 2 boys. At 9 years old she was diagnosed with Alopecia, an auto-immune disease that causes hair loss. Losing 80% of her hair as a child, she has made it her mission to help others through her Alopecia support group, thriving wig business and public speaking engagements. She inspires people to be the best they can be and feel beautiful!




Sue Tomney

Sue Tomney

Sue Tomney
Chief Executive Officer – YWCA of Calgary

Sue Tomney has been CEO of the YWCA of Calgary since November 2010. Since that time, she has led a collaborative visioning process and organizational realignment intended to focus the YWCA for its next century of service. Sue’s extensive communication experience, first at Canadian Airlines International and then at TransAlta Corporation and her leadership experience in the not-for-profit sector with Imagine Canada and the Calgary Stampede Foundation, provide a solid foundation of her work. She has worked with all levels of government on a number of important issues and is a very active member of the southern Alberta community where she has volunteered with organizations such as the United Way, the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations and Calgary’s Poverty Reduction Coalition. Sue’s three children keep her passions and energy high.