Release Date: December 2, 2009
Media Contact: Dale Johnson, External Relations
Phone: 306-585-5439
Mobile: 306-536-4312
Fax: 306-585-4997
University of Regina to host internationally renowned speakers at women's leadership conference
The University of Regina will host internationally renowned speakers at a women's leadership forum on March 11, 2010. Inspiring Leadership: Realize the Leader in You! is a one-day leadership development conference, hosted as part of the week-long celebrations surrounding International Women's Day. It features guest speakers: Sharon Macleod, Dove brand building director for Unilever Canada; Betsy Myers, senior advisor for Barack Obama's presidential campaign; and Dr. Marla Shapiro, a well-known media personality and medical commentator.

The conference will include keynote sessions, a panel discussion and networking opportunities. In particular, the panel will comment on the importance of mentorship and explore the role that today's leaders can play in developing leaders of the future.

"Mentorship by leaders has made a tremendous difference in my life and career," says University of Regina President, Dr. Vianne Timmons, who was recently named one of Canada's top 100 most powerful women by the Women's Executive Network. "I'm proud that the University of Regina's Inspiring Leadership forum will provide that same opportunity for self-development to so many other women."

Sharon MacLeod is best known for her expertise in consumer behavior and as the driving force behind Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty - an initiative designed to expand our society's conception of beauty by working against stereotypes. A true visionary in her field, MacLeod challenges traditional marketing and business practices, believing that professionals like her can extend the power of brands to positively impact the lives of women everywhere.

Betsy Myers is a leadership expert who specializes in teaching business groups how to be effective and inspirational. As a senior advisor during Barack Obama's presidential campaign, she was instrumental in helping him get elected. She also was also appointed chair of the Women for Obama committee, and travelled extensively speaking to undecided voters, particularly about women's outreach.

Dr. Marla Shapiro is the author of a new best-selling book, Life in the Balance: My Journey with Breast Cancer, which draws on her recent life-threatening battle with breast cancer and her remarkable journey back to health. A well-known medical commentator, Dr. Shapiro will share her experiences both as a prominent female physician and as a patient, who discovered first-hand how vulnerable yet strong we can be in the face of a great personal challenge.

In addition to the keynote speakers, conference participants will hear from a panel of local leaders and will have the opportunity to ask them questions about their journeys to the top. The panel will be chaired by Dr. Marlene Smadu, Associate Dean of the Southern Saskatchewan Campus for the College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, and former Assistant Deputy Minister of Health and principal nursing advisor for the Government of Saskatchewan. Dr. Smadu will be joined by leaders in fields such as politics, education and the arts, including award-winning Saskatchewan playwright and poet Kelley Jo Burke, the 2009 recipient of the Saskatchewan Lieutenant-Governor's Award for Leadership in the Arts.

This is the first event in an annual series on leadership hosted by the University of Regina. To attend Inspiring Leadership: Realize the Leader in You! register at For more information, contact