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United around the globe to foster international trade and the advancement of women in business.

Opening Session: Virtual OWIT Canadian Women’s Business Delegation to Mexico

  • Tuesday, March 22, 2022
  • 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM


Registration is closed

Aylin Lusi UPS Canada, Vice President, Public Affairs

Aylin joined the UPS Public Affairs team in 2013, in their European headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. In her current role, she oversees all federal, provincial and municipal government affairs activity in Canada, representing the organization externally, and providing policy insights to enable strategic investment, growth and risk management. Public policy and international trade have always been central to Aylin’s work. She started her career at the House of Commons of the United Kingdom and European Commission, before joining the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union (AmCham EU) in Brussels as a Policy Officer. Born and raised in London, England, Aylin holds an MSc in European Political Economy from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and a BA in European Politics and French from University College London (UCL) and Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV). Aylin speaks English, French and Turkish.

Susan Baka President, Bay Communications & Marketing

An advocate for women exporters, Susan is the President of Bay Communications & Marketing Inc. and is an authority on international trade, women’s entrepreneurship and diversity. She is a prolific writer and global speaker on women and trade and has presented in Europe, Africa and at the World Trade Organization in Geneva in recent years. Susan is a founder of OWIT-Toronto, which is the first Canadian chapter of OWIT International, and has served on the international board for over a decade. She is a senior consultant to Grow Trade Consulting, which provides trade facilitation services for US companies looking to enter the Canadian market, and she is also the Ontario representative for TFO (Trade Facilitation Office) Canada, which helps SMEs in developing countries access the Canadian market. Susan served on the Canadian Minister of International Trade’s SME Advisory Board (2008-11) and represents OWIT in stakeholder consultations on free trade agreements. She has been honoured with international awards, including OWIT International’s 2019 Woman of the Year Award for 20 years of volunteer contributions to raise the profile of women in trade and for inspiring women to do business globally; and the TIAW World of Difference Award which recognizes 100 women worldwide for contributing to women’s economic empowerment.

Mr. Graeme C. Clark, Ambassador of Canada to Mexico

Graeme C. Clark was educated in French and English and attended the universities of Toronto and Oxford prior to joining the Canadian Foreign Service in 1989. He has held various positions at headquarters, including: Director of Mexico and North America; Director of Media Relations; and Director General and then Acting Assistant Deputy Minister of Human Resources. He was also Legislative Assistant to two ministers of Foreign Affairs (1993-1995) and to the Prime Minister of Canada (1995-1997). Abroad he began his career as Second Secretary and Vice-Consul in San José, Costa Rica (with cross-accreditation to Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama); served as Ambassador to Peru and Bolivia (1997-2001); as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (2006-2010), and; as Minister and Deputy Head of Mission in France (2014-2019). He was awarded the Orden del Sol del Peru and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal. Ambassador Clark presented credentials on September 22, 2020.

The Honourable Lisa M. Thompson Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)

On June 18, 2021, Lisa was proudly appointed Ontario’s 40th Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs by Premier Doug Ford. Prior to being Agriculture Minister, Lisa served as Minister of Government and Consumer Services, Ontario’s Registrar General and Minister of Education. Additional to her parliamentary roles, Lisa is honoured to represent Ontario as Chair for Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians—Canada Region. Lisa was born and raised near Wingham in Huron County, but now calls Bruce County home as she lives near Teeswater on a farm that has been in her husband’s family for 120 years. Lisa is a graduate of the University of Guelph and is also an alumnus of Class 6 of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program and the George Morris Executive Leadership Program. Before entering into politics, Lisa served as the General Manager of the Ontario Dairy Goat Cooperative (ODGC). Lisa has a long history of being an active and engaged citizen, working with many community organizations. She is a past Chair of the Ontario 4-H Foundation and also served as Vice-chair of Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc. (now known as Agscape).

Sabine Soumare - Executive Director, Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub

Sabine has ten years of experience in government and the nonprofit sector. She has been with DI for two years and most recently served as the Director, Communications and Marketing, where she promoted DI's work and positioned the Institute as a leader in the field. In her role, Sabine was also a spokesperson representing the Academic Director in various capacities. Prior to joining the Diversity Institute, she founded her consulting firm dBrief Consulting, where she provides strategic advice to policymakers and nonprofit leaders on how best to connect and engage with diverse communities. She advises organizations on strategic communications and marketing, as well as connections with provincial and federal governments. She gained her extensive experience in government relations and strategic communications while working as a senior communications and stakeholder relations advisor to Ontario's Attorney General and Minister of Francophone Affairs between 2015 and 2018. There she also advised the Premier's Office on outreach opportunities, as well as stakeholder and media relations. Sabine holds a master's degree in marketing from the École supérieure de gestion de Paris, as well as a degree in communications and a certificate in strategic management.

Brooke Gordon Regional Manager, Client Diversity BDC

Brooke Gordon is the Regional Manager, Client Diversity for BDC in Ontario and Atlantic, and national lead for Women Entrepreneurs where she assumes the responsibility of helping women, Indigenous, Black and LGBTQ2+ owned businesses accelerate their growth and scale up — and ensuring all thrive through every step of their business journey. Brooke joined BDC in 2017 with the High Impact Firms (HIF), Advisory Services where she led a team of Business Advisors and Analysts that support the Growth Driver Program as the HIF Service Delivery Manager for Ontario. Prior to joining our organization, Brooke served as a trusted business advisor and consultant for over 20 years in the areas of strategic planning, organizational development and operations. Brooke is a weight lifting enthusiast and certified Health Coach who is passionate about sustainable balance between career ambition and personal goals without sacrificing your health. She is a proud volunteer with Soroptimist International, an organization that provides financial support for women enrolled in training (Live Your Dream) and career counseling for girls in high school (Dream It Be It). Brooke is certified in ITIL and holds a Master’s in commercialization and innovation (MEEi), in addition to both a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Engineering Physics from McMaster University, where she was awarded a patent in semiconductor manufacturing processes. She is additionally a certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach.

Catherine Beach, MBA National Lead, Women in Trade, Inclusive Trade Export Development Canada (EDC)

Catherine Beach is the national lead for Women in Trade on the Inclusive Trade team at Export Development Canada (EDC). As the lead for EDC’s Women in Trade strategy, Catherine focuses specifically on helping more women entrepreneurs export to grow their business. Working directly, as well as through key partners, EDC offers specialized trade knowledge, facilitates trade with financing and insurance solutions, and provides connections to enable companies to grow their business with confidence. With more than 15 years’ experience in international business, marketing and partnership development, Catherine has worked with fast-growing startups, international development agencies, social enterprises and government organizations in Europe, Asia and North America. Catherine has a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from Queen’s University in Kingston, ON, with a bachelor of international business (BIB) and a post-graduate in non-profit marketing from Carleton University in Ottawa. She’s also a certified scrum alliance product owner and is completing her designation to become a coach with the International Coaching Federation (ICF). EDC is Canada’s export credit agency, offering innovative products and services to help Canadian exporters and investors expand their international business. EDC’s knowledge and partnerships are used by more than 9,000 Canadian companies and global customers in 200 markets each year. EDC is financially self-sustaining and has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 employers for nine consecutive years.

Kelli Saunders, President/CEO, Morai Logistics Inc.

Kelli Saunders is President / CEO of Morai Logistics Inc., an operating agency of Mode Transportation, which is a multi-national transportation logistics company servicing markets across North America including Mexico. For over 30 years, Saunders has been a leading advocate for women in business and believes in the powerful impact of “paying it forward”. In 2019, she was awarded the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Supply Chain by the Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA). In 2017, she was honoured with the title of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 award, an honour that recognizes women with achievements in leadership positions in the private, public and not-for-profit sector. She has also won other awards in the logistics industry, most notably the Organization of Women in International Trade’s Women Exporter of the Year 2016. She is also a 2018 graduate of QuantumShift: Canada’s Top Entrepreneurs program at Western University’s Ivey Business School. As a leader in business, Kelli uses her industry platform to inspire and encourage women to pursue rewarding careers in entrepreneurship and supply chain and logistics. She is an active member of the community and participates in a variety of discussions, where she shares industry insight and strategies gained throughout her diverse experience.

Nydia Orue, General Director, Cluster Agroalimentario de Nuevo León, Agroalim

She studied the Bachelor of Chemical Pharmaceutical Biologist at Universidad de Nuevo León, Master of Sciences with a major in Food Microbiology. She has worked for 20 years in Private Companies related to the food industry, medical devices, and cosmetics. She has published 3 scientific articles in indexed journals. She was Leader of the Innovation Committee from 2014 to 2017 of the Agroalim of the State of Nuevo León, business mentor in the 2018 edition of Nobi Norte, member of the International Society of female professionals, and member since 2010 of AMEPAL AC, where she was President, she has been participating in COFOCALEC AC since December 2017 as a member of the Technical Committee and as of May 2019 is part of the GFSI Provisional Services International Technical Committee. She is currently the director of the Agrifood Cluster of the State of Nuevo León in Mexico since 2021.

Rosa María Suárez Novoa, Import Manager, Comercial City Fresko

Rosa María Suárez Novoa, Import Manager at Comercial City Fresko, a growing supermarket Mexican chain that until now owns 79 stores in Mexico covering the middle and upper market segments. In charge of all the international logistics, imports, and exports of the group. Along with my team, we are responsible of complying the best times and planning the appropriate logistics chain, so the stores have the differentiating products that makes us leaders in the Premium sector in Mexico. Graduated in Communication Sciences and later in Foreign Trade, love to combine these two passions in my daily work. With 7 years directing premium brands and 21 years of experience at the International Commerce Sector, I am an enthusiast of opening new markets, developing suppliers and products. At the speed that the world and its needs change, I think it is important to always be ahead of the curve, preparing ourselves and being always open to learning new things, not only at work, but also in life, we must not lose the capacity of wonder.

Geneviève Dionne Trade Commissioner (Agri-food) Embassy of Canada in Mexico 

Mrs. Genevieve Dionne is Trade Commissioner responsible for agri-food at the Embassy of Canada in Mexico. She arrived in Mexico in August 2021. Mrs. Dionne joined Global Affairs Canada in 2001. She has held various positions abroad as part of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (2002-2004 Algiers; 2006-2009 Tunis; 2013-2017 Detroit) and as head of the cooperation program (2002-2004 Algiers; 2007-2008 Tunis). In Ottawa, Mrs. Dionne has held different positions in relation with the Trade Commissioner Service. She has also worked on corporate issues. Most recently, Mrs. Dionne has served as deputy Chief Negotiator in the negotiations of a free trade agreement between Canada and the Pacific Alliance, comprised of Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia. Mrs. Dionne graduated from Laval University with a Masters in Land Planning and Urban Development.

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