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Julie Beun | J. Beun Media | Ottawa, Ontario, CanadaJulie Beun
J. Beun Media, Ottawa, ON

What happens when you take some of Canada's most inspiring, intelligent, talented and forward-looking women and put them in a room together? They set the world on fire. That's what happened at the inaugural Distinctive Women IGNITE conference in Toronto. From the exceptional panelists to the new friends made, it was an unabashed celebration of women who aren't just 'networkers' — they're super-connectors.

Lynda Hay | Hay Wealth Advisory Group, TD Wealth | Calgary, Alberta, CanadaLynda Hay
Hay Wealth Advisory Group, TD Wealth, Calgary, AB

The IGNITE conference exceeded all of my expectations!! I have never experienced a group of women before that were so supportive and truly interested, caring and sharing. I have often been reluctant to join women's groups because of the "competition" — and I honestly did not feel that at all. Can't wait for next year BUT you ladies have your work cut out for you because this will be a tough act to follow!

Susan Kurta | The Hersh Team, RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc., Brokerage | Toronto, Ontario, CanadaSusan Kurta
Hersh Condos, Toronto, ON

When Ashley Robson first contacted me about the Distinctive Women IGNITE Conference, I couldn’t have been more enthusiastic. The thought of bringing together a group of accomplished and like-minded professional women — all under one roof — seemed very exciting. I instantly knew that I not only wanted to attend the conference, but I wanted to take on an active role in it. I was honored to have had the opportunity to sponsor the opening night welcome reception where it was apparent that new connections and long-term friendships were already being made. What a fabulous kick-off to the next day and a half! I have attended many, many conferences and I have to say that this one was definitely a favourite! When the last day rolls around and you find that nobody wants to leave, you know your event has truly been a success. Congratulations to Brenda, Ashley and Courtney.

Jenn Lofgren, CHRP, CPCC, PCC | Incito Consulting Inc. | Calgary, Alberta, CanadaJenn Lofgren
Incito Consulting Inc., Calgary, AB

The Distinctive Women IGNITE conference was a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn insights and be inspired by some of Canada's most engaging and successful women. The conference was a balanced mix of learning and opportunities to meet a diverse group of women in the networking breaks. The Fashion and Philanthropy evening included an over-the-top fashion show and irresistible silent auction items, all to support a great cause. I walked away with amazing new business and personal relationships with incredible Distinctive Women across the country and was surprised and honoured to be recognized as the 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year.

Colleen O'Connell-Campbell, CFP, CIM, CFDA | ScotiaMcLeod | Ottawa, Ontario, CanadaColleen O'Connell-Campbell
ScoatiaMcLeod, Ottawa, ON

Ignite 2014 was a high energy conference that allowed me to connect and share with authentic professional women from across Canada, stoking my confidence. If you are looking to spark your motivation flame — it is a must attend event!

Merrill Pierce | MPSquared Coaching | Toronto, Ontario, CanadaMerrill Pierce
MPSquared Coaching, Toronto, ON

As the President and Head Coach of MPSquared Coaching – Insight Council, I am often required to attend industry functions, events and networking meetings, many of which, I must admit, I dread. As someone who works with people daily, I often find these events challenging and personally exhausting. Making chit chat for the sake of business building is not my thing, nor is it something that actually feeds my soul. Attending, participating and, most importantly, experiencing the energy, interest and authenticity amongst the women at the inaugural IGNITE conference for Distinctive Women was a completely different experience. Meeting extraordinary women, who were all willing to share their incredible stories and insights, made the experience rich, robust and incredibly enjoyable. From the venue, to the incredible attention to detail, the conference provided a forum for women in all areas of business and leadership to be with one another in a way that we all too often are not able to experience in a working environment — no competition or posturing, but instead, affirmation, support and inspiration. To say I was sad when it ended is truly an understatement. My kudos to Brenda, Ashley and Courtney for realizing their vision of what Distinctive Women can be.