Articles Virtual Series – Leading Through Change – Resilience

Now more than ever as a community we need to support each other on this journey and forge ahead and navigate through these uncertain times. We are here to support, you are not alone!

We are hosting Virtual Leadership Panels featuring companies and leaders to discuss navigating through The Great Pause AND continuing the conversation to advance women in business!

Listen to the REPLAY Virtual Series with Award-winning leaders from diverse backgrounds as they navigate through The Great Pause, Learn how they have overcome adversity, embrace resilience, and lead their teams. Gleen insights to be present in the “now-normal”, and strategies to get on boards and set goals to further your education!.

Karen Fonseth, ICD.D – CEO, DASCH

Karen is a highly respected Chief Executive Officer with proven skills in effectively growing, managing and developing complex organizations both provincially and nationally. These organizations have ranged from start-ups through multimillion dollar corporations.  Karen is an experienced and analytical Board Director with extensive experience in corporate and board governance, strategic planning, insurance, audit & risk management, finance, communications/media relations, human resource management, government relations, standards and policy.

Currently Karen is the CEO of DASCH (Direct Action in Support of Community Homes).  In 1974, DASCH began as a group of families who wanted to provide community-based support for their family members with intellectual disabilities as an alternative to the institutional-based residences and services of the time.  Since 2001 under Karen’s leadership, DASCH has rapidly grown as the organization responded to demand from families, closing institutions and government.  In 2001, DASCH supported 50 clients, operated eleven locations and had a staff component of 55.  Today, DASCH supports hundreds of clients, operates over 60 locations throughout Winnipeg and has a staff component of 700.  As the amount of people DASCH supported increased, DASCH created individualized community-based, person-centered services to support the varying needs represented including behavior supports, health care planning, mental health supports, support for racialized, immigrant, indigenous and other vulnerable groups.  Work placements in the community with a full support team to ensure the individuals success along with a full clinical department to support the needs of the individuals.  She recently spearheaded the research and launch of a for-profit business to support the needs of DASCH called Nurse Next Door providing care and support to senior citizens throughout her community.  In addition to this major launch of a new company, she also oversaw the launch of a new program within the organization called DASCHWorks.  This is an innovative program brought to Canada with a mandate to identify, support and train individuals with an intellectual disability in order to gaining meaningful employment.  The program participants are already enjoying successes.

Desiree Bombenon – CEO, SureCall Contact Centres | @desireebombenon

Desirée has over 30 years of business operational experience, and strategic leadership. Awarded Ernst & Young 2019 Entrepreneur of the year for the Prairies in Communication Technology, she is a bold innovator, futurist, and purpose driven leader. Her portfolio includes business strategy, social enterprise, and culture building. Desirée is an active member of a number of organizations including YPO (formally Young President’s Organization) and International Women’s Forum, and has chaired several industry boards and focus groups. She is a past director of the National Music Centre, is a past Chair of YPO Alberta Chapter, and a past Chair of YPO Canada Region. Desirée currently serves as Chair of the Governance & HR committee for the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Chair of Governance, HR & Nominating committee for Children First Canada, and Vice Chair with CAMX, the Canadian Call Management Association. She also currently Chairs the YPO International Wine Network and is an Executive Committee member of the YPO Sustainable Business Network. She is a cohort for Singularity University and a Harvard Alumni for the Advanced Leadership Initiative 2017 Cohort. She is involved in mentorship programs in her community and through Women’s Executive Network. Desirée has earned her B Admin, CIAC Certification as a Strategic Leader, and is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and is currently enrolled in Queen’s University EMBA program through Smith School of Business.

Karen Stewart – CEO Fairway Divorce Solutions | Bumble Bees Venture Capital | @FairwayDivorce

Karen Stewart is the Founder and CEO of Fairway Divorce Solutions, the first national divorce franchise company that is changing the way divorce happens and Bumble Bees Venture Capital, a VC with a strong social cause supporting the Female Economy and Tech while specializing in Series B opportunities. Karen is also Published Author, Speaker who is committed to disrupting both outdated thinking, markets and products.

Karen has over 25 years of experience in the business/financial world. She is experienced as a Financial Planner, Stockbroker, Insurance Agent, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, Chartered Mediator, innovator and entrepreneur. She has previously founded, built and sold 5 businesses and today is focused on disrupting the Divorce Industry and Supporting women in leadership and building a national Venture Capital firm with a strong investment thesis and cause.

Karen is also an active blogger, writer, the published author of the best-selling book “Clean Break” and sought after by various media outlets for her advice and speaking engagements.



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