Haltech Celebrates 6th Annual HERhalton International Women’s Day Breakfast in Milton

By March 9, 2023March 27th, 2023Haltech News, HERhalton, News

On March 9th, 2023, Haltech Regional Innovation Centre hosted the HERhalton International Women’s Day Breakfast at Piper’s Heath Golf Club. The sold-out event brought together 180 attendees from across the region to celebrate and raise awareness of the many accomplishments of women entrepreneurs and professionals in Halton Region and beyond.

Left to right: Allison Christilaw, Evangeline Chima, Emily O’Brien, Shane Ropp, Hannah Fritchley, Jiten Bhambhani. Front: Anita Grant, Shann McGrail, Idas Levato

HERhalton 2023 saw attendance of Federal and Municipal representatives including Marianne Meed Ward – Mayor of Burlington, Councillor Kristina Tesser Derksen, representing of Mayor Gordon Krantz of Milton, and councillors from Burlington, Oakville, Milton, and Halton Hills, just to name a few.

Here’s what happened

The event featured a keynote speech from Emily O’Brien, formerly incarcerated inmate who started a specialty popcorn business in prison called Comeback Snacks. Her inspiring story of resilience and determination was a reminder of the power of entrepreneurship and the ability to overcome adversity.

This year’s HERhalton also featured a brilliant panel discussion, moderated by Julia Matthews – Founder of Not Your Child Corporation, a Canadian road safety company. Julia led a group discussion around this year’s International Women’s Day theme – Embrace Equity with Renee Durepos – Founder and Owner of Be Strong Fitness, Beatriz Zanatelli – Director of Programs at Accelerator Centre in Waterloo, and Manpreet Sachdev – Founder of Wise Tree Inspirations. The panelists shared their own unique experiences and insights as women entrepreneurs, providing valuable advice and inspiration to the audience.

Top takeaways

One of the top takeaways from this year’s HERhalton International Women’s Day Breakfast included a quote shared by Beatriz Zanatelli, Founder of Lightouch, originally from Eleanor Roosevelt: “No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – a powerful bit of food for thought to the many girls and women who may experience additional barriers to success.

The HERhalton International Women’s Day Breakfast was a great success, highlighting the many accomplishments of women entrepreneurs in Halton Region and beyond. As we at Haltech continue to support and empower women entrepreneurs, we look forward to seeing the continued growth and success of women-led businesses in our community.

“You have a lot more than you think”

– Julia Matthews, Founder of Julia M. founder of Not Your Child™ Corporation


“Buckle Up”

– Emily O’Brien Founder of Comeback Snacks

“Be Present”

– Beatriz Zanatelli Founder of Lightouch

“Expand Your Horizons”

– Manpreet Kaur Sachdev, LL.M, Founder of Wise Tree Inspirations

“Build Your Community”

– Renee Durepos, Founder of Be Strong Fitness

Keynote Speaker, Emily O’Brien, delivering keynote speech

PowerTalks Panelists left to right: Julia Matthews – panel moderator, Emily O’Brien, Beatriz Zanatelli, Renee Durepos, Manpreet Sachdev

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Shane Ropp

Author Shane Ropp

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