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2024 International Women’s Day Symposium and Luncheon

March 8 @ 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Community Futures Middlesex with the support of its sponsors and partners is excited to be hosting our seventh annual International Women’s Day Symposium and Luncheon within the newly renovated Lucan Biddulph Community Centre on Friday, March 8 2024 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm.

It is the first time we have been able to host this signature event in-person since 2020. We have partnered with Tractus Events, an online events company based in London, Ont., to elevate the experience for those who choose to attend in person. The event including the presentation and performance by Juno Award Nominated Singer, Songwriter and Author Emm Gryner will be produced and livestreamed to a dedicated event website and our social media channels for all to view. Thanks to the generous support of our keynote sponsor Libro Credit Union.

Prepare to be inspired (#InspireInclusion) by a series of fireside discussions and presentations involving inclusive female entrepreneurs, a rising star in women’s health innovation, women-in-leadership and women supporting women through the sharing of experience, knowledge, skillsets, resources, support and mentorship. Do not miss this opportunity to celebrate, network and learn from local women doing great things within and outside of their communities. 

The three local female entrepreneurs profiled will be Deb McCoy, owner/operator of Fresh Skin, Alla Shevchuk, owner/operator of Alla’s Ukrainian Pierogies & More, and Susan Judd, co-founder and operator of Ride The Bine and certified Pommerlier of Heeman’s Mead and Cidery. Discover the unique barriers, lessons learned and individual motivations that fueled their personal decision to pursue a career in entrepreneurship. This interactive discussion will be facilitated by the Development Commissioner for Strathroy Caradoc Economic Development, Heather LaLonde.

Femtech is a term coined to describe the significant market opportunities that exist for innovation and disruption in women’s health. Dallas Barnes is the founder and CEO of Reya Health. A company founded by a birth control user for the users of birth control. Dallas will share her experience and what motivated her to research and develop a solution to help you make the right choice for your own personal health and well-being. We will learn about future plans to make this tool more broadly accessible to individuals that would benefit the most.

Our final fireside discussion will be facilitated by Michele Sands of Community Employment Choices and Regal Insights. Participants in this discussion will include the Past-Warden of Middlesex County and current Mayor of Lucan-Biddulph Township, Cathy Burghardt-Jesson, Positive Voice Coordinator for Nokee Kwe and Former Chief of Oneida Nation of the Thames, Sheri Doxtator and Business Councillor for the PARO Centre for Women Enterprise, Gitanjali Aggarwal. The focus will be on initiatives to encourage women to pursue leadership roles within politics or their community and the positive impact of initiatives and programs that make connections to allow for the transfer of experience, knowledge, skill sets and resources through coaching or mentoring.

Individuals who choose to participate in-person will be treated to a networking lunch with samplings provided by rural Middlesex County business owners including but not limited to a charcuterie grazing table and assortment of sandwiches from Let It Brie Charcuterie, a selection of desserts from Dessert First Bakery Cafe, gelato from ProofLine Farm, coffee/tea service from Muggs Coffeebar & Clayroom, ciders from Generations Cider Co and canned cocktails from NE1 Spirits.

Event registration is now open, with the first 20 individuals to register and attend in-person receiving a paperback copy of Emm Gryner’s book entitled, “The Healing Power of Singing: Raise Your Voice, Change Your Life (What Touring with David Bowie, Single Parenting and Ditching the Music Business Taught Me in 25 Easy Steps)“.

In-person registration fees are non-refundable. Register for virtual participation to receive updates and further instructions on how to access the livestream of our event for free.

Net proceeds from hosting this event will be donated in support of the Women’s Rural Resource Centre, the PARO Centre for Women’s Excellence and the Positive Voice Program at Nokee Kwe. Everyone is encouraged to make their own donation in support of these charities beyond the contribution made by hosting this event.

We appreciate and recognize the contributions of all partners and sponsors. Without them, hosting this event would not have been possible. We look forward to having you join us in person or virtually on Friday, March 8 2024.

Please contact events@cfmiddlesex.ca if you have any questions or concerns.



March 8
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Community Futures Middlesex
(519) 641-6100
View Organizer Website


Lucan Biddulph Community Centre
263 Main Street
Lucan, Ontario N0M 2J0 Canada
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(519) 227-4442
View Venue Website