Beige Podium

KEYNOTE LINEUP

JOY LOEWEN

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ASHLEY FREEBORN

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JODI KOVITZ

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ASHLEY FREEBORN

Born and raised in Vancouver, Ashley graduated from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC with a BA in English, a BEd, MEd,. She taught school for a decade before co-founding Smash + Tess with her mother in 2016. 

The idea for Smash + Tess rose out of Ashley's recognition of an unfilled niche in fashion - a void in the loungewear market. Deciding to fill that void with affordable, stylish, comfortable loungewear, she attended the summer fashion program at Conde Nast in London, UK. Bootstrapping her idea to life, S+T has grown from two employees into a team of 65+ in five years, S+T is tracking to make $30million in revenue, which would be a YoY growth of 80%. 

As CEO, Ashley oversees everything from designing to financial planning to dreaming up fun and creative marketing campaigns. Under her direction, S+T has spearheaded several charitable endeavors, raising tens of thousands for dollars for COVID-19 related relief, BC Women's Hospital, and the Alliance of Moms. 

In 2020, Ashley was named on of Canada's Top 40 Under 40, which recognizes the most outstanding leaders in the country. She also led Smash + Tess through their biggest growth year and landed the #8 spot on The Globe + Mail's Top Growth Companies in 2020 - being the #1 woman-led company on the list! Ashley is a published author and her children's book Frankie and the Magical Romper can be purchased at Chapters Indigo. She is also a celebrated presenter, touring North America to speak on topics including building a successful brand, e-commerce, and D2C sales, authentic collaborations, and social media strategy. 

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JODI KOVITZ

Jodi Kovitz is the Founder of #movethedial, a global movement and organization to advance the participation and leadership of all women in tech.

 

Jodi has been featured in Forbes Women, the Globe and Mail, Report on Business, on Business News Network multiple times and in the Huffington Post. She has been named twice one of Canada’s Top 100 most powerful women (2017, 2019), the IABC/Toronto Communicator of the Year (2019), a top 25 Women of Influence in Canada (2018) and a Toronto Adweek Brandstar (2018).  In 2018, she also co-chaired the re-election campaign for Toronto’s Mayor, John Tory. 

 

Jodi is passionate about philanthropy and has had the honour of creating #tech4sickkids, an initiative to raise $25M to build the most innovative emergency suite and AI services in pediatric medicine in the world out of Toronto. She is also on the board of Toronto Global focused on Foreign Direct Investment in Canada, and sits on 4 advisory boards of tech companies. Jodi’s first book was released in 2020, “Go out of Your Way: How one small act can move the dial in life and business”, which was endorsed by Sheryl Sandberg and she is the host of the podcast “Joyful Sundays”, a show focussed on living your best life. 

 

Jodi holds an HBA from Ivey and an LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School.

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JOY LOEWEN

Joy Loewen is CEO of the National Screen Institute, a Winnipeg-based not-for-profit that empowers storytellers across Canada through training and mentorship.

 

Joy believes in the power of story and has a passion for helping people share theirs with the world. During her 30-year career in the media industry, she has seen first-hand how telling our stories can build empathy and connection. In divisive times, they are key in our ability to understand others and heal our communities.

 

As a lifelong advocate for women and girls, Joy helped launch the Women’s Television Network (now The W Network) in 1995 from its home base in Winnipeg. For over a decade she championed women’s leadership and excellence as a volunteer board member at Balmoral Hall, serving two years as board chair. Joy believes in the unbridled potential of women and our collective responsibility to lift each other up.

 

Joy is a fiercely proud Manitoban and gives back to her beloved community through volunteerism. She brings her unmistakable energy to many local organizations including The Winnipeg Foundation and the Order of Manitoba and Queen’s Council advisories. She also serves as a civilian aide to The Honourable Janice C. Filmon, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba.

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