Networking with Donna Messer Event – A Huge Success!

It was one of the sunny days of October 2013. And it was the day of October when we had the evening networking event with Donna Messer aka “Queen of Networking”.

As mentioned on her web site ( Speaker”, “journalist”, “author”, “coach”, “trainer”, “advisor”, “facilitator”, “mentor” and “leader” are all words that describe Donna Messer to a tee.

The event started with great nibble food from Toronto International Centre, just to mention some: Mini Mason Jars filled with British-Style Sheppard’s Pie, Smoked Salmon Mousse and Traditional Chicken Pot Pie.

With 70 people in attendance, a Poker networking game helped us meet new people along with networking with our old friends and colleagues.

Donna Messer was introduced by our new great MC: Jane Mangat.

Once Donna came in from of the audience we had the chance to learn that it’s all in the Power of Leverage.  We went through the idea of pushing ourselves from the comfort zone, to how to make connections and improve our networking skills and how to measure our actions.  We learned great tips to follow if you would like to become more visible: go out and meet new people, be active in the groups you belong to, write a book /article, blog and mentor.  It was a full continuous improvement cycle: plan, do, check and act.

The best tip of the day? It is not about you, it is about what you can do to help others. So, the saying “what comes around goes around” proves right one more time.

Donna is also WFIM’s Chair of the Mentoring program.  If you are interested in being a mentor or mentee this year, please contact her at

Looking forward for the next event: Academy Breakfast on November 05 2013.

Best Regards,

Mariana Macovei, WFIM Chair Events

National Sunflower Association networks with WFIM

The NSA sponsored WFIM’s October networking event at The International Center, featuring the Queen of Networking, Donna Messer. Chris & her associate were handing our sunflower seeds to all attendees, and held a draw for a lovely bouquet of sunflowers, and a watch/pen set.  Here’s what Chris had to say about their sponsorship:

“The National Sunflower Association (NSA) recently sponsored a WFIM networking event.This was an excellent opportunity for representatives of the NSA to meet WFIM members and to share information on the benefits of sunflower oil. The NSA had a table to display information and WFIM also posted a short sunflower oil powerpoint presentation on a loop, on a large screen, so all of the guests could learn more about sunflower oil.  We had a good opportunity to speak with WFIM members about what type of oil they are using and also were able to gather business cards for possible future follow-up.  WFIM volunteers were terrific to work with and I would highly recommend other companies and associations investigate opportunities to promote their brands with this organization in the future.”

Chris Gould, Senior Vice President, Harbinger

On behalf of the National Sunflower Association

Protecting yourself and your assets

Why I didn’t take out the garbage.
It’s not my favourite household chore.   I would have taken it out,but my gut told me not to.  You see, there was an unusual truck in our condo complex, the driver seemed to be having trouble finding the house he wanted, and he went back & forth in front of my house a couple of times, finally stopping in front of my neighbour’s house.  Of course, it was after dark, and my partner wasn’t home, so there were no lights on in the house. The driver could easily see that I was alone in the car, and that the garage was empty when I opened it.

Now, I was just coming home from the Halton HRPA dinner meeting. The topic at the meeting was “safeguarding your assets”…how to keep yourself & your employees safe at home & at work, and protecting the assets of the company so that it can be more profitable.
So security.  And it was fresh in my mind.   So, no garbage.

The speaker at the meeting was Dean Correia, of Correia Security Resources.   His presentation was engaging, as he had numerous examples of things gone wrong…workplace violence, robbery, shrinkage of your inventory, time theft…a lot of those stories I remember from the headlines, or from training in my previous life as a restaurant manager.  One thing he said, was to trust your gut – both ladies & gentlemen!   If your not comfortable getting on an elevator with a stranger, don’t.   Who cares if he takes offence?  And you’ll only be delayed by the time it takes for another elevator to arrive.  At least you’ll be safe.
We also need to be able to recognize the signs of violence.  There are early warning signs that an individual may have the potential to become violent, such as dehumanizing others, challenging authority, alienating customers or clients.  When it gets to fighting or inviting fights, or displaying weapons, the individual is realizing his/her potential to be violent.
Here are some ways that Dean suggests to protect yourself at home or at work:
Going to or from work, make sure you check the transit schedules so that you don’t have to wait long at a bus/subway stop.  Always be alert, walk confidently.  Keep your vehicle fueled and maintained.  Park in well lit secure areas – if you can’t park close to the door when you arrive at work, move your vehicle during your break.  Use a buddy system: leave work in pairs.
Always keep your cell phone charged. Even pretending to make the call can deter someone following you.  Many years ago, I traveled a lot along highway 403 between London & Hamilton, when Bernando/Homolko were stalking women along that highway.  One time I felt that I was being followed:  I slowed down, they slowed down, I sped up, they sped up, they had opportunities to pass me but didn’t.  I got out my ginormous phone (it was one of the first cell phones ever invented) and called home to give them the license plate.  The car soon disappeared. Did the phone call scare them off?  I like to think so.
Another thing about cell phones, program your emergency contact in as “ICE”!  Emergency responders are now trained to look for ICE – In Case of Emergency – on cell phones.
If you find yourself facing a robbery, Dean will tell you to comply with a reasonable demand!  Give them your purse/iPod/cell phone!  You can replace anything but people!  Don’t be a hero.  Do try to be a good witness – observe distinguishing features such as age, height, weight, clothing, skin/eye color.
Dean also had many suggestions for protecting yourself while away from home.   I like the idea of a throwaway wallet…keep a wallet with you that has expired credit cards in it, if you’re being robbed, you can give the attacker that wallet, and know that you’re real cards are still with you.   Just be sure this only happens once during your vacation/business trips, as I’m sure you don’t want to carry a dozen throwaway wallets!
Here’s more ways to protect yourself while traveling:
Do advance research! Know the city, your hotel, the weather etc.  I was starting a new job once and had to go to Chicago for training.  I didn’t have very much notice, so I didn’t do my research.  At the busy Chicago airport, I called for a taxi, they told me to watch for cab #97.  Well, a van came up with the #97 on it, and I got in.   I didn’t know where I was going, didn’t know how long it should take me to get there, and realized a long way from the airport that I hadn’t even checked to see if the van had the taxi company logo on it!  No one would have known where I was if I didn’t show up to work the next day!
In hotels, the safest floors are 3-7:  floors 1 & 2 can be targets for theft, and rescue equipment may not be able to reach floors higher than 7.  Know the evacuation routes – count the doors from your room to the exit (On a plane, count the number of seats from yours to the nearest exit).  Also, only use hotel approved vehicles or taxis.
Back to my garbage:  when Fred got home, he commented about me not having taken out the garbage.  After sharing this story, he said “Thanks for not taking out the garbage”.   Our garage is now quite stinky while we wait a week for the next garbage day, but that’s an issue we can deal with knowing everyone’s safe.
Be safe!

A Letter from a Wonderful Sponsor!

October 1, 2013

Dear Women in Food Industry Management Board Members,

Advertising or supporting funds are difficult to obtain in these tight economic times. I made the decision many years ago that Flavorcan International Inc. would support Women in Food Industry Management.

Why? First it is a worthy endeavour as it brings together the best women at the table to encourage and mentor other women as they wander through the minefield of business and break through the glass ceiling. Flavorcan International Inc. is proud to be part of this. Second it is a unique opportunity to develop close relationships with a dynamic group of influencers and decision makers. Last but not least, investing in support for Women in Food Industry Management, which is a well-run organization, is a safe investment as the relationship only brings kudos.

The clincher for me was to attend one of their meetings. It was warm and friendly, with tremendous energy and a genuine desire to offer guidance, assistance and advise on the part of all.

I strongly encourage you to select Women in Food Industry Management as a place to advertise and an organization to support. It will make you feel good to be part of the organization.


Frank J. Ansell

Vice President