TrailblazHers: Women in Tech

Five phenomenal women in the tech industry with diverse backgrounds and in different roles will share insights on how they reached their level of success and their experiences to inspire, educate and connect with women in the industry. Attendees will learn about the difficulties, successes and benefits of women in the tech industry, and what we can do to ensure women aren’t just fully represented, but thrive.


+ The crowd:

Sudbury’s smart, fun, creative, innovative tech and business community – software and application developers, company owners, startup founders, marketing and communications professionals, investors, community leaders, allies or advocates of women in tech, and stakeholders in the tech industry.

+the format

Connecting, food & drinks > keynote presentation > panel and Q&A > more connecting and conversations

+the format

6:00pm Doors open! Grab a drink and get to know the women around you. We’ll provide snacks to keep you energized!

6:45pm Opening Remarks and Introductions

7:00pm  Keynote Speech by Yvonne Pilon

7:45pm Stretch Break sponsored by New Day Wellness

8:00pm Panel and Q&A with five trailblazing women in tech industry

8:45pm We’ll wrap up and give away the doorprize

9:00pm Save some time to chat as a group, learn from each other’s stories and connect with other women in tech!

+the vibe

Fun, friendly and open environment with complimentary food, a cash bar and a signature TrailblazHers drink. You’ll laugh, smile, and be inspired.

*We aim to create a platform for you to create lasting connections, and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive and fun environment. This is an inclusive event and all women – and men who support the advancement of women in tech – of all industries and career levels are welcome*

+ The speakers:

Leaders and innovators sharing their passion for tech, their stories and their experiences:</div

Keynote Speaker
Yvonne Pilon, CEO WEtech Alliance

Yvonne Pilon is a Millennial #GirlBoss and #WomenInTech. At the age of 24, she founded her first tech company, AD2IT, and by the age of 29, she became the youngest female to lead a Regional Innovation Centre in the Province of Ontario. Yvonne has over 10 years experience in the startup and tech space with a core focus on growing companies and building a thriving entrepreneurial community. Yvonne recently took her love for tech to the airwaves as Host of the ‘Tech In The City’ podcast where she likes to consider herself the Carrie Bradshaw of tech. Yvonne is also an advocate for community service boasting dozens of volunteer roles. In addition to her role as President and CEO of WEtech Alliance, she is an Instructor at St. Clair College, Co-Founder of Branded Sisters and Host of Tech In The City.

Mel Morin, CEO StaffStat

Melanie is the CEO/President of StaffStat, Inc., a fast-paced, rapidly growing software company servicing the health-care sector across Ontario and winner of the Innovation Award at the 2016 Bell Business Excellence Awards. She spends her evenings and weekends as half of the acoustic duo Chicks with Picks and, together with her sister, runs a successful photography studio; Scrappy Sisters Photography. Born in Northern Ontario, Mel is an advocate of all things local. As a recent recipient of the 2017 Intrapreneur of the Year Award and as one of Sudbury’s Top 40 Under 40, she is known for her ambition, entrepreneurial spirit, and creative, solution-based thinking.

Renee Higgins, Director, Code-Op and Manager of 311 and Customer Service at the City of Greater Sudbury

Renee has a Bachelor in Commerce & Computer Science and a Master of Business Administration from Laurentian University. She has been working as a web developer with the City of Greater Sudbury for seven years, where she is especially passionate about citizen engagement. In 2017, she lead the technical and design implementation of the new City website and was awarded the inaugural 2017 Mayor’s Award of Excellence for her work on that project. She also established the City’s Open Data Program, which recently ranked in Canada’s Top 20 and 3rd in Canada for municipalities under 300k population in the 2017 Open Cities Index (OCI) rankings. In her spare time, she volunteers with many non-profit community organizations, such as Canada Learning Code, Maison McCullough Hospice and the Copper Cliff Curling Club. She is also a Director with Sudbury Code-Op, a new organization which aims to make Sudbury the programming capital of Northern Ontario (and maybe more!). In April, she is excited to take on a new role as the City of Greater Sudbury’s Manager of 311 and Customer Service, where she will be able to leverage her technology, business and leadership skills to support quality customer service outcomes

Leslie McDermid, Founder, The Social Launch

Leslie McDermid is the owner of The Social Launch, a social media business that offers social media management and training services for other businesses. Leslie strives to help businesses improve their online presence and shares quick tips on her weekly podcast, blog and videos on YouTube. Find out more at www.

Theresa Nyabeze P.Eng, Front Line Supervisor, VALE

Theresa Nyabeze, a graduate of Laurentian University, is a professional mining engineer who works underground as a frontline supervisor for Vale. She lives in the mining capital of the world, Greater Sudbury, Ont. Theresa’s passions lie in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers, as well as encouraging mentoring as a way of promoting her profession and encouraging people to enter and stay working in the mining industry. Theresa is also the president of Women In Science and Engineering (WISE), and in 2017 published a children’s book as a way to promote diversity in the workplace and encourage more women to enter the industry. Find out more at

Kelly Scott, General Manager, Barrydowne Paint

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