It is time to guide, inspire and build our future workforce

HALTON, ON – The Halton Industry Education Council's (HIEC) Fall Breakfast with the Mayors event put the spotlight on Leadership Through Mentorship: GUIDE. INSPIRE. BUILD. on Thursday, November 22, 2012 as business owners, educators and community stakeholders gathered at RattleSnake Point Golf Club in Milton. Mayor Rick Bonnette of Halton Hills and Mayor Gord Krantz of Milton served as hosts for the breakfast event that celebrated local mentorship initiatives and encouraged employers to get involved and mentor our future workforce.

Sponsored by Teachers Credit Union and Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, the event was capped off with a keynote presentation from celebrity speaker Mag Ruffman. Known for her roles in Anne of Green Gables and Road to Avonlea, and her most recent claim to fame as Canada's Tool Girl, Mag defined mentorship by breaking it down into three categories 'the invisible, the classic and the self-mentor.'

'You become a better mentor when you learn to self-mentor,' said Mag. 'Through that, you become a stronger leader, which helps you to be more compassionate when you lead others.' As part of ongoing efforts to build and sustain a culture of mentorship in Halton, HIEC used the event to announce its third annual Community Challenge in support of the Men as Career Coaches (MACC) and Women as Career Coaches (WACC) programs. MACC and WACC are free, annual, intergenerational mentorship events that link over 1,000 local high school students and community members for an evening of table discussion and motivational speakers. This year's goal is to raise $30,000 towards the increasing costs of these valued community programs. Another highlight was special guest Thomas Desmarais, a 12-year-old student from W.H. Morden Public School in Oakville. Even though he is not old enough to grow a moustache of his own, Thomas decided he would still take part in the Movember fundraising initiative by wearing a different fake mustache every day. After his introduction, both hosting mayors welcomed Thomas to the stage to contribute to his cause and welcomed other event attendees to do the same.

The audience also heard from spotlight speakers who gave testimonials on why it is important to guide, inspire and build our future workforce. Among the speakers were Fareen Samji a member of the Burlington North Rotary Club and one of the organizers of the upcoming Pythons Pit, Susy Pardo the owner of Flourgirls in Milton, Harnoor Gill a grade 9 student from Christ the King Secondary School and founder of the Peace Welcome Club; and Elizabeth Shepherd from Craig Kielburger Secondary School.

Emphasizing the morning's theme of Leadership Through Mentorship, Elizabeth spoke about leadership and how by following the 'footsteps of the world's leaders before me, I am carving a path for the leaders of tomorrow… Everyone is capable of being a leader, we just need someone to jump up and show us the way.'

HIEC would like to thank Teachers Credit Union, Sheridan College, Halton Region, the Halton Catholic District School Board and Halton District School Board for their support and continued partnership. To learn more about HIEC, its many programs and how you can get involved, visit


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