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Vancouver 2SLGBTQI+ Supplier Diversity Business Symposium

Sep 11, 2024 | Vancouver
Date(s)
September 11, 2024 8:30 am - September 11, 2024 5:00 pm
Sheraton Wall Centre, 1000 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC

Join Canada’s 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce at the Sheraton Wall Centre for a day dedicated to celebrating and supporting the vibrant 2SLGBTQI+ entrepreneurial community.

Delve into insightful panel discussions, engage in interactive breakout sessions, and network with fellow professionals and ecosystem organizations. From exploring the intersectionality of business to mastering how to differentiate your business, this symposium offers a unique opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. Reserve your spot today and be part of a dynamic community driving positive change and inclusion in business.

Join us for an in-person experience that’s absolutely  FREE

Date: September 11th, 2024
Time: 8:30am-5pm
Location: Sheraton Wall Centre, 1000 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2R9

8:30am – 10am: Registration, Breakfast and Ecosystem Showcase

Enjoy breakfast while connecting with our CGLCC Certified Suppliers and Ecosystem Organization Partners at their booths. Find about more about their services and how you can collaborate and work together.  

10:00am – 10:15am: Opening remarks

10:15am – 11:15am: Supplier Diversity Panel

11:30am – 12:30pm:  Morning Breakout Sessions
Access to funding for small businesses
Differentiating Your Business in a Sea of Sameness

12:30pm – 1:30pm:  Lunch 

1:30pm – 2:30pm:  Afternoon Breakout Sessions
Going Global
Ethical Marketing & Sales: A Radical Approach to Business Based on Consent 

2:30pm -2:45pm: Coffee Break

2:45pm – 4:00pm:  Keynote
Shine Bright

4:00pm – 5:00pm: Mingling and Ecosystem Showcase

Are you a CGLCC-certified supplier or ecosystem organization partner? Would you like a booth during our ecosystem showcase to promote and share your business or organization? The showcase will take place from 8:30am-10:00am, and again from 4:00pm-5:00pm. Each booth is 6ft x 30 inches, has two chairs, and linen, and can be shared with another business. Please send an email to chris.mariano@cglcc.ca to register immediately for a booth – space is limited!

Supplier Diversity Panel

Supplier Diversity provides diverse-owned businesses with greater access to corporate and public procurement opportunities. By connecting diverse suppliers with organizations that are actively looking to diversify their supply chain, supplier diversity is supporting the growth of those businesses. Hear from CGLCC certified suppliers and corporate partners about the impacts and benefits of supplier diversity, and gain insights into the benefits and advantages of certification. 

Ashleigh Brown
Ashleigh Brown (she/her)
Director, Business Development, CGLCC
Moderator
Ashleigh has an extensive background in creating strategic partnerships and developing business opportunities. She finds professional and personal fulfilment at the intersection of advocacy, business, and impact-driven strategy. Ashleigh is also the founder of SheCann, an NGO focused on empowering women and gender diverse people through medical cannabis. Her dedication to amplifying the needs of equity-deserving groups is evident in her success as a consultant and advocate. Ashleigh’s work has been recognized through over a dozen national awards and nominations. She lives in Winnipeg with her partner, her 2 children, and 4 creatures, who all make regular, unscheduled appearances on Teams calls!
Ashleigh Brown (she/her)
Director, Business Development, CGLCC
Moderator
Aaron Cruikshank
Founder & President, CTRS
Panelist
Aaron Cruikshank is a market intelligence and research professional with more than 20 years of experience in dozens of sectors which include private sector, government and nonprofits.

After a career in the public service, Aaron began working as a freelancer/researcher in 2003. Including a stint as an Associate Vice President with Ipsos in 2011-2012, Aaron has worked with many large clients including Bosch, Bosa Properties, London Drugs, FortisBC, BC Hydro, the Government of Canada, BC Lottery Corporation, the City of Surrey, Vancity Credit Union, New York Institute of Technology, Nintendo and the Business Development Bank of Canada. Aaron formed CTRS after leaving an Executive Director role in 2014.

Aaron’s areas of expertise are market intelligence, competitive intelligence, qualitative market research, market validation, public policy research and strategy, and business strategy in heavily regulated industries. Aaron holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and a Master of Public Policy from Simon Fraser University. He is currently working on his Executive MBA at the University of Fredericton before moving on to his Doctorate.
Aaron Cruikshank
Founder & President, CTRS
Panelist
Kailey Gilchrist
Kailey Gilchrist (she/her)
Business Development Manager, Corporate, CGLCC
Panelist
Kailey brings a dynamic perspective to the CGLCC team, with over 11 years of experience in business development and as a Certified Diverse Supplier with her company, NONA Vegan. Leading a successful CPG food business has taught her versatility and resilience in entrepreneurship. Actively engaged with CGLCC for the past 5 years, she has attended Global Trade Missions, won pitch competitions, obtained Rainbow Registered status, and participated in the Out for Business Youth Program. 



Now in the role of Manager of Corporate Business Development, Kailey holds a genuine commitment to fostering partnerships with organizations and supporting suppliers in their journeys. Having completed Tuck Executive Education programs at Dartmouth for Starting and Growing a Successful Diverse Business, she brings both practical experience and education to her role. Additionally, holding a degree in Theatre Studies from the University of Guelph, Kailey’s creative background may just be her ‘secret sauce’ in the world of business. 
Kailey Gilchrist (she/her)
Business Development Manager, Corporate, CGLCC
Panelist
David Kim
Regional Manager, Inclusive Entrepreneurship for B.C. & North Region, BDC
Panelist
Since joining the Business Development Bank of Canada in 2010, David Kim has been a growth engineer for entrepreneurs.  He held a variety of positions including Senior Account Manager, Regional Coach, and Senior Advisor Learning.  In his current role as Regional Manager Inclusive Entrepreneurship for BC and the North Region, David is part of a national team working closely with BDC colleagues in the field and partner organizations where he connects underserved business owners with people and programs to grow and scale their business. He is also a strong advocate for supplier diversity educating entrepreneurs, businesses, and BDC account managers about the opportunities and impact of inclusive procurement.

Prior to BDC, David had a long career in finance and banking that spanned the globe as well as business ventures in education and technology.

A proud Canadian of Asian descent, he comes from a family of entrepreneurs and understands the challenges of navigating an unfamiliar business environment. Because of his and his family’s experiences, David is keenly aware of the influence of representation and being inspired by someone who ‘looks like me’ in the business world.

David is a graduate of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C., and holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce.
David Kim
Regional Manager, Inclusive Entrepreneurship for B.C. & North Region, BDC
Panelist
Sarah Anne
Procurement Assistance Canada
Panelist
Sarah Anne is a proud culturally Deaf member and is American Sign Language user. She is currently an MBA candidate at Royal Roads University. She also ran a tile business on the side.

Sarah Anne joined Procurement Assistance Canada (PAC) Pacific Region and brought an in-depth understanding of business and experienced various barriers as a business owner and citizen. Before joining PAC, Sarah Anne worked at the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Provincial Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, supporting numerous deaf and hard of hearing youth and their families navigating throughout the provincial system for services and resources. She is passionate about educating and spreading awareness of many fantastic opportunities in doing business with Government of Canada. 
Sarah Anne
Procurement Assistance Canada
Panelist

Morning Breakout Sessions

Access to funding for small businesses

Whether you’re starting a business or you’re looking to put your existing business on the path to success, ensure you’re equipped with a portfolio of resources to boost your business acumen and access to capital.

Expect to learn about:

  • Dedicated financial supports, free educational opportunities available through Small Business BC;
  • Why a business plan provides the blueprint you’ll need to achieve your financial goals. 
Tom Conway
Chief Executive Officer, SBBC
Session Leader
As an experienced business owner himself, Tom understands how having access to education, support and resources can make all the difference when starting and growing a company. 

Tom brings with him more than 25 years of senior leadership experience including advocacy, fundraising and governance. He ventured into small business when he started a partnership with his husband and launched a food service company in Chicago, Illinois. Later they moved to California where Tom became the president and CEO of Easter Seals Central California. He then served as the Pacific U.S. Regional Director of YPO, part of a global network of over 25,000 CEOs where he managed two Boards, 60+ local chapters and a global management team. After moving to Vancouver in 2016, Conway served as the Executive Director for the British Columbia Schizophrenia Society before joining SBBC.
Tom Conway
Chief Executive Officer, SBBC
Session Leader
John Baxter 
Regional Business Advisor for Vancouver Island
Session Leader
Having worked on entrepreneurship programs both in Canada and abroad, he has experience with a wide variety of businesses. He uses this expertise to aid clients with all aspects of their business, helping them develop a business plan to guide their venture through start-up and growth. In addition to his expertise in general business planning, John also offers valuable knowledge of the dynamic consumer packaged goods sector.
John Baxter 
Regional Business Advisor for Vancouver Island
Session Leader

Differentiating Your Business in a Sea of Sameness

In today’s highly competitive market, standing out from the crowd is essential for business success. This workshop, led by Karley Cunningham, Creative Strategist & Business Growth Accelerator, will guide business owners through the process of differentiating their businesses by leveraging their unique values, beliefs, and strengths. Participants will gain insights into developing a compelling, Unique Value Proposition (UVP) and integrating authentic differentiation into all aspects of their business. Through interactive activities and real-world examples, attendees will be equipped with actionable steps to boost their bottom line, better attract and retain top talent, and appeal to their ideal customers by differentiating their business.

Workshop Objectives – Participants will:

  • Gain an Understanding of the Importance of Business Differentiation;
  • Explore the Core Elements of Differentiation;
  • Learn How to Develop a Compelling Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
Karley Cunningham
Creative Strategist & Business Growth Accelerator, Big Bold Brand Inc.
Session Leader
Creative Strategist & Growth Accelerator Karley Cunningham develops brand leaders by taking businesses from overcrowded, competitive spaces into blue ocean territory, where they can confidently stand out and thrive.

Her international client base benefits from accelerated growth, profit and stability as her innovative Surefire MethodTM provides them with an infallible business strategy and brand toolkit to stand out in the sea of sameness, attract the people their business needs to thrive, and become a brand leader in their industry.

Karley’s entrepreneurial success story is featured in the awarded book The Widest Net by Pam Slim. Believing deeply in the practice of ‘givers gain,’ she’s developed a global network and rarely goes a day without making a referral or connection. When not focusing on the business or expanding her network, she can be found somewhere in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest with her wife and dog in their 4×4.
Karley Cunningham
Creative Strategist & Business Growth Accelerator, Big Bold Brand Inc.
Session Leader

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Going Global

Cass Elliot (he/him)
Global Manager, CGLCC
Session Leader
Cass Elliott is a passionate advocate for social change and inclusion. As the Global Program Manager at Canada’s 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce, he has been pivotal in helping Canadian businesses expand globally and access supports to do so. Cass excels in navigating funding for trade expansion and guiding businesses to find their place of engagement in the global market.

He serves on the Government of Canada’s Global Affairs GBA+ advisory committee and is a member of Dignity Network Canada. Cass has led numerous trade missions for CGLCC and championed initiatives that promote economic growth and inclusion for Canadian businesses and our global partners abroad. Today, he is thrilled to facilitate a panel with suppliers who will share their international trade experiences. Let’s Go Global together.
Cass Elliot (he/him)
Global Manager, CGLCC
Session Leader

Ethical Marketing & Sales: A Radical Approach to Business Based on Consent 

Is it possible to grow a profitable, scalable business by centring our customer’s needs, not our sales goals? With ethical marketing and sales, it sure is! Join this lively workshop with Lindsay Johnson, aka The Radical Connector, and discover how to ditch old-school, sell-at-any-cost tactics that leave you and your customers feeling gross. You’ll discover how to get your business in front of the people who are already looking for you, with money in hand, and make it clear and easy to buy from you. Walk away with a new perspective on marketing & sales that feels aligned with your values and attracts all the right customers.

Lindsay Johnson
Marketing & Sales Coach, The Radical Connector
Session Leader
Lindsay Johnson, aka The Radical Connector, is an entrepreneurship nerd with over 20 years of experience teaching ethical business skills for faster growth with less work that feels dang good. As a speaker, trainer, and facilitator Lindsay brings a cheeky, playful, and engaging energy to everything they do. Their signature consent-based marketing and sales strategies focus on visibility, collaboration, and co-creating the sales journey to help entrepreneurs lighten the load of building a profitable, scaleable business. Lindsay challenges entrepreneurs to think bigger, be bolder, and evolve beyond exchanging goods and services for money into thought leadership and changing the world. No matter what stage of business you’re at, Lindsay will fire you up to be the best entrepreneur you can be and dare you to rock the boat so you can stand out from the crowd.
Lindsay Johnson
Marketing & Sales Coach, The Radical Connector
Session Leader

KEYNOTE

Shine Bright

Stop guessing what your audience wants to hear from you, and tap into what you actually have to say. Come prepared to get your juices flowing and to connect with other 2SLGBTQIA+ business owners about what you have in common, and what sets you apart. Over the course of this engaging workshop, the folks from Harc Creative will teach you how to centre your message around your greatest asset: you.

Jarren MacDougall & Parker McLean
Co-Director & Creative Director, Harc Creative
Solid and sensitive, Jarren’s focus is on supporting our client-partners through the inevitable ups and downs of organizational change and leadership. Tenderhearted and confident, Parker gently guides our collaborators through creative exploration and strategic development with equal parts heart, head and humour. Since 2015, Harc Creative has been helping people ground themselves in their own expertise and perspective so that they can dream their most daring dreams and get where they need to go.
Jarren MacDougall & Parker McLean
Co-Director & Creative Director, Harc Creative
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