Speaker Series - toronto

Empathetic Leadership

How to Lead with Both Strength and Compassion

Event Details:

Regardless of job title, we are all human beings and we are emotional creatures. Your ability to understand the emotions of your team members allows you not only to become a more effective communicator and problem solver, but also to build the rapport, trust, and relationships that fuel team and business success. Leaders need to increase human connection and bring more compassion to the workplace. Learn from top Canadian companies who are leading with compassion and discover simple tools and tips to integrate empathy and compassion to your people and culture programs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Manage and adapt emotional behaviors that impact leadership in a variety of workplace situations
  • Integrate empathy to promote strong relationships
  • Apply collaborative, inclusive, and creative communication practices
  • Gain emotional insights to understand and implement change
  • Implement emotionally intelligent motivational skills to achieve team results


8:00 am – Registration & Networking

8:30 am – 10:00 am – Breakfast, Networking & Discussion

10:00 am – Breakfast Concludes

10:00 am – 10:30 am – Optional Networking


Paul Godfrey
Executive Chair, Postmedia Network

Paul Godfrey portraitMr. Godfrey is the Executive Chair of Postmedia Network. Previously Mr. Godfrey has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Postmedia, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Post, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club, and spent 16 years with Sun Media Corporation, eventually taking the role of President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Godfrey has a proud record of public service including a record four terms (11 years) as the Chairman of the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto. He served as the Chairman of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation from 2010 until 2013. He is Chairman of the board of RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust. He also serves on the board of Cargojet Inc. and serves as Vice Chairman of the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. In 1999, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada and in 2010, he received the Order of Ontario.

Alastair Macdonald
Senior Vice President Human Resources, Nestlé Canada Inc.

Alastair Macdonald portrait

Alastair Macdonald was promoted to Senior Vice President, Human Resources in April 2016 after a five-year expatriate assignment as Vice President, Human Resources, Nestlé Equatorial African Region based in Nairobi, Kenya. He serves as a member of the Business Executive Team and reports directly to the President & CEO of Nestlé Canada.

Alastair started his career with Nestlé Canada in 1995 as Human Resources Manager within the Laura Secord Division. In 1996, he transferred to our headquarters in North York in the role of Manager, Corporate Training & Development. With the acquisition of the Ault Foods Ice Cream Division in 1997, Alastair moved to London, Ontario as Manager, Human Resources for our ice cream operations. Is 2001, Alastair was promoted to Director, Human Resources Operations & Distribution and was the Labour Relations Group Manager – Operations for all of the businesses of Nestlé in Canada between 2003-2011.

In his current role as Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Alastair is responsible for championing organizational and transformational change in an increasingly complex environment by developing capabilities and engaging our people in a deeply values-based culture.

Prior to joining Nestlé Canada, Alastair worked with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Air Canada.

Alastair has a B.A. in Economics and History from McGill University and a Masters of Industrial Relations from Queen’s University.

Caroline Riseboro
President, CEO, Plan Canada
Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner

Caroline Riseboro is President & CEO of Plan International Canada, one of Canada’s largest charities working in over 70 countries to help children, especially girls, realize their rights. Each year Plan Canada raises $240 million from Canadians helping over 6 million children at home and abroad. Caroline is well respected for being a champion of innovation and is credited with launching ground-breaking and award-winning campaigns that have engaged Canadians on some of the world’s toughest issues. In 2017 and 2018, Caroline was named Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the trailblazer category and is the recipient of 7 Stevie awards, including for Woman of the Year. Before joining Plan, Caroline held many senior roles in leading organizations including at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation, and World Vision Canada. In addition to serving as President of the GTA chapter of AFP, Caroline serves on the Boards of the Humanitarian Coalition and the Canadian Partnership for Children and Women’s Health (CANWACH). Caroline holds a Bachelor (honours) degree from McGill University and has been pursuing a Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Carleton University.

Rhiannon Rosalind
President, CEO and owner of The Economic Club of Canada (The EC), founder of The Jr. Economic Club of Canada and CEO & co-founder of The Global Institute for Conscious Economics (GICE)
Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner

Rhiannon Rosalind portrait

Rhiannon is the president, CEO and owner of The Economic Club of Canada (The EC), founder of The Jr. Economic Club of Canada and CEO & co-founder of The Global Institute for Conscious Economics (GICE). Rhiannon is redefining what it means to be a corporate leader in this country. She is passionate about highlighting important issues our nation is grappling with – from Truth & Reconciliation to racism & exclusion on Bay Street, Rhiannon is challenging corporate Canada to see its role in creating a more prosperous and equal future for everyone. Rhiannon has hosted countless thought leaders and changemakers at The EC through the years including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Rhiannon has been named one of Canada’s Change Agents by Canadian Business Magazine, one of WXN Canada’s TOP 100 Most Powerful Women in Business three times and became the youngest ever WXN “Hall of Fame” award winner in the fall of 2018.

Rhiannon may mingle and do business with the C-suite crowd, but she definitely shouldn’t be confused with the establishment. Inspired by her own lived experience with poverty as a child, Rhiannon has become a warrior for women and youth facing barriers.

Rhiannon is the proud mother of two young boys, Luke and Bennett and enjoys exploring Toronto with them in her spare time.


Sherri Stevens
President & CEO, WXN and CBDC, members of the PhaseNyne network of companies

Sherri Stevens, President and CEO of WXN and CBDC and founder and President of SRG, is an award-winning entrepreneur, visionary and lifelong advocate, dedicated to the advancement of diversity and inclusivity in management, executive and professional board roles. Sherri takes great pride in the crusade to support and inspire others to lead and use their collective impact to break barriers and shatter ceilings.

As an expert on business strategy, change management, and workforce development, Sherri has been recognized by numerous professional organizations, most notably as the recipient of the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Momentum, as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 in the category of Entrepreneur and has been named to the Profit W100 list 9 years running. Beyond her business accolades, Sherri’s positive impact over the years has provided meaningful work for thousands of people, helped companies sustain productive workforces and supported communities across North America!


Vantage Venues
150 King Street West
27th Floor
Toronto, ON M5H 1J9

Silver Partners:

   Scotiabank logo

March 21, 2019
8:00 am - 10:30 am
Toronto, ON