Speaker Series - calgary

Why Male Mentors Matter

Gender equity and equality are not women’s issues, they are human rights issues.

Event Details:

Gender equity and equality are not women’s issues, they are human right issues. To change society and start moving forward, people of all genders must be a part of the conversation. Hear from a panel of men and women who discuss mentoring/having mentors of different genders to learn the importance of new perspectives.


7:00 am MDT – 9:30 am MDT

7:00 am – Registration & Networking

7:30 am – 9:00 am – Breakfast, Panel Discussion & Networking

9:00 am – Breakfast Concludes

9:00 am – 9:30 am – Optional Networking



Andrea Brecka, General Manager Retail, Shell Canada

Andrea Brecka has more than 20 years of experience at Shell Canada enjoying a diverse career from refining, to trading, to retail. Andrea currently leads the Retail business for Shell Canada, where she inspires her organization to fulfil its purpose: making Life’s Journeys better for Canadians by enriching today and creating a more sustainable tomorrow. Andrea is passionate about leadership and has long been an advocate for closing the gender divide. Not only has Andrea served as the President for Shell’s Women’s Network, and participated as a global mentor in the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, but she also represented Shell at the 2015 Governor General Canadian Leadership Conference, is the Shell representative for Catalyst Canada and Diversity Champion for WXN-CBDC.

Andrea’s purpose is to help everyone she meets discover and activate their personal purpose in the aspiration of reaching their fullest potential.

Andrea has two daughters, who show her every day what is truly meaningful in life. She enjoys being active, reading and travel.

Michael Crothers, Shell Canada Country Chair and Vice President, Canada Integrated Gas

Effective January 1, 2018, Michael Crothers will take on lead responsibility in Canada for Shell’s Integrated Gas business which includes an interest in the proposed LNG Canada project. Michael will have a dual role as both Vice President, Canada Integrated Gas while remaining Shell Canada President and Country Chair.

In 2017, Michael held the position of Executive Vice President, Oil Sands leading the organization through the oil sands divestment. Michael returned to Canada in January 2015 as Vice President, Unconventionals North America after spending more than three years as the Managing Director of Shell E&P Ireland leading the Corrib gas venture.

Michael joined Shell in 1987 as a Process Engineer and during that time he has built a broad operations experience base including roles in manufacturing, chemicals, supply, distribution, HSSE, unconventionals, and offshore wells. Michael has led large, complex operations, joint ventures and the development, execution, commissioning, and start-up of mega projects. Leading teams across Shell’s upstream and downstream businesses, his assignments have taken him to over 30 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Africa and North and South America.

Michael was born and raised in Calgary and graduated in 1984 as a Chemical Engineer with distinction from University of Alberta. Michael and his wife Cheryl have three children – twin girls and a son. When he is not on an airplane, Michael enjoys cycling the hills in NW Calgary or do-it-yourself jobs around the house.


Desirée Bombenon, President & CEO, SureCall Contact Centers

Desiree Bombenon portrait

Desirée Bombenon has 30 years of business leadership experience. Along with operations and strategic planning, Desirée is an agent of change with a proven track record of leading businesses to success. As a Harvard Fellow for 2017, Desirée is a member of the Advanced Leadership Initiative cohort working on critical humanitarian issues affecting our world. Through her work at Harvard Desirée created the Hero Girls Project, educating females in underserved and developing communities. She was honoured at the 2017 UN Assembly in New York, with the ‘Enabler of Vision’ Award for this work. Also honoured as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women 2016 & 2017, Desirée serves as a mentor through Women’s Executive Network. In 2018, Desiree was achieved the Business Leaders Award through Business in Calgary Magazine.

Desirée is a CIAC certified Strategic Leader and is a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt.  She is the current President, CEO for SureCall, a global business outsource solutions company. She is also the CEO of Desirée Imports, an award winning boutique wine importer, the CEO of Mentor in a Miniskirt an endeavour leading the way for young females to reach their greatest potential, and a published fictional author for her books “the Offering” and “the Congregation.”

Desirée is an active member of Young Presidents Organization, serving as the Alberta Chapter Chair 2007-2008 and the first female Regional Chair for Canada 2011-2013. She served on various committees at the International level, and has won 3 International awards for her work globally for YPO. She was awarded the Lang memorial award for her commitment and accomplishements to the Alberta Chapter. Desirée is a member of International Women’s Forum, Women’s Executive Network, and has chaired several industry boards and focus groups. Desirée sat on the board of the National Music Center – Bell Studio 2009-2016 building a home for Canadan’s Music, a Board Director for Children First Canada, working on Canada’s First Charter of Rights for children, and is a current director of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce board.

Under Desirée’s leadership her companies have been recognized for numerous industry awards for service excellence. Non Industry awards include BSME Top 100 Best Employers in Canada ranked 8, E-Business Award of Excellence through Alberta Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau’s Award for Ethics, and the Tom Ryan Award for Ethics, Integrity and Quality. The call center business has won over 25 consecutive awards in the area of customer service and quality work, with Desirée at the helm. In 2009 Desirée was awarded a silver medal for leadership in North America by Contact Center World.

Desirée is an active community leader involved in several philanthropic endeavors – volunteering, sponsoring and advocating support for many important community organizations. In 2016 she launched a corporate responsibility program called ‘Good Call’ that creates a strategic partnership with SureCall, NPOs and Canadian Charities. She tied this program into her Harvard project “Hero Girls” to help fund and support the program.

As an industry expert, Desirée has been asked to speak at many industry conventions and conferences and is a highly regarded resource on corporate culture, innovation and operational excellence. She has given of her time and energy to create a meaningful difference in the lives of others through mentorship and advocacy.


Fairmont Palliser

133 9th Avenue SW

Calgary AB Canada

Silver Partners:

   Scotiabank logo

Are you a member? Contact membership@wxnetwork.com to get your member PROMO code.

October 12, 2018
7:00 am - 9:30 am
Calgary, AB