The Kathy Barnett Leadership Luncheon raised over $21,000 to support the development of women leaders in the Sea to Sky region, with more than 350 people coming out to hear Jane Francisco, the editor-in-chief of Chatelaine Magazine, speak about mentoring.
Global BC Morning News host Sophie Lui interviewed Francisco, who founded lifestyle magazine Glow and launched another called Wish before moving on to Chatelaine, recently named Canada's best-selling magazine. Francisco was asked about how being mentored and acting as a mentor to others has fit into her career and life.
"I absolutely feel the need for mentors. In fact, when I feel like I don't have one that I can bounce things off of; especially when you have to make a big decision...it can be so much more difficult."
Francisco talked about one close mentor "who can talk me off a ledge... because in this job the politics is a big thing." Another mentor, she said, has more experience as a business executive, allowing her to learn more about that aspect of her job.
Yet, she added, young people also act as mentors.
"I absolutely believe that. Having someone come in with fresh ideas; learning can come from any direction," Francisco said.
In total the event touched 24 individuals with grant or mentorship experiences, and inspired a room of people to think about their own life paths, said Darren Roberts, chief operating officer of Pique.
Four women were also presented a total of $6,000 in grants from the Kathy Barnett Memorial Fund at the luncheon at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler on International Women's Day, March 8. The money allows each of them to attend leadership and career-enhancing training programs.
Tess Evans of Whistler Children's Centre will take part in the Lighthouse visionary mentorship network program;
Tanya Richman of Sea to Sky Community Services will use her award to train for a non-profit management certificate at BCIT;
Claire Ruddy of Association of Whistler Residents for the Environment (AWARE) will be taking the management and leadership skills certificate at Royal Roads University;
Naomi Dunaway of the Howe Sound Women's Centre will take social development studies at the University of Waterloo.
This is the first time four grants have been given. The $21,000 raised at the luncheon is going towards building the memorial fund, set up in the memory of late founding publisher of Pique, which has now grown to over $115,000.
As part of the fundraising efforts and in keeping with the mentorship theme, 12 industry leaders put themselves forward as "auction prizes," with the winners being able to meet them for lunch and learn from them what their business and public lives have taught them.
The lunch mentors were: Hillarie and Grant Cousar of Whistler Cooks Catering, Ginny Dennehy of the Kelty Patrick Dennehy Foundation, Niki Haine of Scotiabank, Harry Hertscheg of the Vancouver Wine Festival, Sophie Lui of Global BC, Roger McCarthy of the RMOW, Christine McLeod of Impact People Practices, JF Pelchat of NOW Snowboards, Darren Roberts of the Pique, and Tyler and Lorien Schramm of Pemberton Distilleries.
As well, 10 female high school students from Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton took part in a "speed-mentorship" information session at the luncheon, where they were able to spend time talking to Youth Mentors. Some of the mentors taking part included Fiona Famulak of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, Sue Adams of the Grocery Store, Michelle Leroux of Whistler Blackcomb, and Nicole Shannon of Keir Fine Jewellry.