The fifth annual Women in Leadership Spotlight Dinner took place last night in the McInnes Room at Dalhousie University with over 350 people in attendance. Former basketball Tiger and Emera Caribbean president, Sarah MacDonald was the guest speaker and TD announced their new mentoring program in partnership with the Dalhousie Tigers coined ‘Investing in Tomorrow’s Leaders’.
Hosted by the women’s basketball and volleyball teams, guests enjoyed hearing from many of the student-athletes, including second-year volleyball player Anna Dunn-Suen and third-year basketball player Ainsley MacIntyre who recounted some of the details of their humanitarian efforts this past summer.
The evening’s guest speaker, Sarah MacDonald (LLB ’92), shared many stories about the challenges she has faced in her role as President, Emera Caribbean, including natural disasters and union unrest. MacDonald spoke about her time at Dalhousie as a student-athlete and how the skills she learned, like discipline and time-management, prepared her for her career.
MacDonald credits a lot of her success to building the right team around her, where ever she goes. “Being a Dal Tiger taught me that I work best when I’m on a really great team,” said MacDonald.
Another key message in MacDonald’s time on stage was to urge everyone to be “less hindered by the risks, and more open to the possibilities. Don’t limit yourself to the what, the where or the when; but focus on, and believe in the who and the why.”
“We’re very grateful and proud of this event,” says women’s basketball head coach Anna Stammberger. “Grateful for the support from our sponsors, the university community and friends of the Tigers. We’re proud of our student-athletes’ performances in the classroom, in our community and on the court. Sarah MacDonald had a terrific message about the importance of athletics in developing great employees and leaders and delivered it with humour and magnetism.”
TD Canada Trust’s District Vice President, Georgette Moffatt, announced a new mentorship program as an extension of the Women in Leadership Spotlight Dinner.
"At TD, we are exceptionally committed to women in leadership and through our community giving, we are working to build programs and policies that bring that vision to life,” explains Moffatt. “Investing In tomorrow's leaders will offer the opportunity of mentorship and leadership training to future leaders. We couldn't be more proud or more excited to be a catalyst for those conversations."
Investing in Tomorrow’s Leaders is a mentorship program that facilitates six meetings between a female Dalhousie varsity student-athlete and a female junior high student. The objective of the program is to instill exemplary leadership skills in young women through hands-on experience with a community leader.
Eight relationships will be fostered between Dalhousie varsity student-athletes and junior high students. Mentors from Dalhousie include women’s volleyball players Abby Czenze, Amy Appleby, Anna Dunn-Suen and Julie Theisen and women’s basketball players Robbi Daley, Tessa Stammberger, Christina Brown and Ainsley MacIntyre.
The pairs have met twice thus far including a meet and greet session last month and at the Women in Leadership Spotlight Dinner on Tuesday evening.
The mentees will have the opportunity to be an honorary Tiger for the day, taking part in a full schedule of game-day activities. Other sessions include a lunch focused on developing proper business etiquette and a discussion on how to be a community leader.
“I think that this program is a great opportunity to develop my leadership skills, be a positive role model and give back to the community,” said fifth-year basketball player, Robbi Daley.
Kiara Simmons, a grade nine Caledonia Junior High School student is Daley’s mentee and hopes to play basketball at the varsity level. “I’m really looking forward to experiencing what it’s like on game day,” says Simmons. “I think this program will help me prepare for the academic and athletic challenges to be a varsity student-athlete someday.”
The Tigers would like to thank everyone who helped make the fifth annual event a huge success and look forward to next year’s event.