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Meet our High Profile Women of Influence

Today we are celebrating our women of influence, recognizing both high profile individuals as well as initiatives that are bringing women of incredible talent and drive together to improve their communities. Through their public speaking they are able to reach out to assist each other in bettering the female business community on a national level.

The importance of finding the right speaker to act as an influencer or spokesperson can’t be overestimated, prospeakers.com has the talent for a variety of integrated marketing initiatives including – public relations campaigns, endorsements, advertising campaigns, hospitality, public appearances etc.

If you’re interested in reaching out to your client with the voice of a female industry leader consider the talents of one of our speakers; Kathy Buckworth an award winning writer, public speaker, and television personality; Natasha Sharma a relationship therapist, entrepreneur, author, speaker; Leading parenting expert Alyson Schafer, who has a wealth of knowledge to share with your audience; Or Dr. Dina Kulik, pediatrician in Toronto and one of Canada’s leading child health media experts.

Our process includes understanding your program objectives; recommending talent based on relevance, timing & budget; negotiating all agreements and managing contract activation. We represent and have excellent relationships with a wide range of talent from media personalities, athletes, chefs, medical experts, and lifestyle spokespeople or industry experts.

Contact prospeakers.com today to include these talented and inspirational women in your next event.

Natasha Sharma

A welcome new addition to our roster, Natasha Sharma is a relationship therapist, entrepreneur, author, speaker, TV/media spokesperson, and doctoral student. She is devoted to inspiring and helping others to be their best and live their best, and has worked with thousands of individuals, couples, and families. Natasha received her Master’s degree in Psychology from The Johns Hopkins University, and is currently completing her Doctorate degree in Psychology.

Natasha writes for a number of global publications such as InsideToronto.com, TheBabySpot.ca, MotivatingOtherMothers.com, and Mike Fiore’s DigitalRomance.com. She has also appeared on some of Canada’s most popular TV shows including Global News Toronto, Breakfast Television, Etalk Canada, City TV News, CTV News, and Rogers TV. In addition, her relationship tips and mental health advice have been featured in The Globe and Mail and Huffington Post.

Kathy Buckworth

Kathy is an award winning writer, public speaker, and television personality. She is the author of six books and has been a regular guest expert on CityLine, CBC’s Steven & Chris, Breakfast Television, CTV Canada AM and other television and radio shows. She writes for Post City Magazines, Huffington Post and Metro News, and has a regular segment on Sirius/XM radio Canada Talks.

She has over 18 years of corporate marketing experience, and is the Chief Family Advisor for Presidents Choice Financial and PCPlus. In addition to this she has acted as a corporate/media spokesperson and social media consultant for many other companies such as Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Nintendo, Research In Motion, Pfizer and LeapFrog Toys.

She has four kids (material) and a husband (more material) and lives in the Toronto area, helping Moms everywhere laugh and realize that balance is just something you need to do while putting on your peep-toe heels.

Alyson Schafer

Alyson Schafer is a therapist, author, and internationally acclaimed parenting expert who empowers families by sharing her principles, rules and tools for raising happy and healthy kids. She is the bestselling author of Breaking the Good Mom Myth; Honey, I Wrecked The Kids; and Ain’t Misbehavin’, which have garnered attention from parents and the media across North America.

She delivers deep insights in ways that today’s busy parents can easily understand and apply immediately. The media recognizes her as their go-to person for parenting. She promotes a firm but friendly “democratic parenting” style and offers practical solutions backed by extensive research, as well as clinical and field experience.  Alyson’s insights into parenting, understanding, and working with children have proven to be valuable game-changers for many of her audiences.

Dr. Dina Kulik

Dr. Dina Kulik

Dr. Dina Kulik is a mother and Pediatrician in Toronto and is one of Canada’s leading child health media experts. She appears regularly as a pediatric medical expert guest providing parenting and medical expertise on The Social, CBC, CP24 and City TV’s Breakfast Television. She is also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and writes many unique articles every month for her website, drdina.ca.

She obtained her medical degree (MD) from McMaster University, completing her Pediatric residency training at the University of Toronto. She completed her Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children and is currently a staff physician there. She is also part of a multi-disciplinary team at KinderCare, a pediatric centre in Toronto. She works with children of all ages, from infancy through adolescence.

Above all, Dina’s greatest joy is her family and being the mom of three active, happy boys.


Donald Cooper – 20 Years On and Going Strong


Donald Cooper

For over 20 years, prospeakers.com has been booking Donald Cooper, MBA, for clients who want to create compelling customer value and experiences, manage smarter, attract a top-performing team…and grow their bottom line.

There’s a reason he continues to be respected as bottom-line realist and passionate visionary by clients in over 40 industries around the world; Donald has been in the trenches.  He has been both a world-class manufacturer and an award-winning fashion retailer.

From humble beginnings, Cooper Sporting Goods became the world’s leading maker of hockey equipment and a Canadian Brand icon. As a growing family business, Cooper Canada bought competitors, went public, became unionized, became un-unionized, imported, exported to 20 countries, opened an offshore plant in Barbados, and grew to over 2,800 employees.

Then, at age 43 Donald ‘fired’ himself from the family business and reinvented himself as a visionary fashion retailer. He fundamentally redefined customer experience, for which he received seven Awards of Excellence for service, marketing and business innovation, including being voted Canada’s outstanding Innovative Retailer of the Year.

Simply put, Donald Cooper is a bottom-line management guy.  Through keynotes, interactive workshops and intensive  1-to-2 day ‘Management Boot Camps’, he works with business owners and managers who want to achieve extraordinary outcomes in 5 key areas:

  1. Create compelling customer value and experiences that will give them a clear competitive advantage.  Mediocrity is no longer an option.
  2. Market and promote more effectively on a tight budget in a cynical and over-served market.  There’s no point being the best if you’re also the best kept secret.
  3. Attract, engage, and retain a top-performing team.  The real battle in business today is the battle for talent.  We must all become ‘talent magnets’.
  4. Improve profitability now and for the long term…and
  5. Create a clear Vision for the future of their business, a specific Plan to get there and a culture of commitment, urgency and accountability to make sure they do.

Donald will inform you, inspire you, challenge you, disturb you…and leave you with a new and powerful understanding of your customers, your business and your life!


To learn more about having Donald speak at your next conference or event, be in touch with us via our website or by phone at 416-420-4525. We’d love to bring his effective business input to your company today!


Welcome to Dianne Buckner, of Dragons’ Den Fame

New to our roster this fall, Dianne Buckner is most widely known for her role on the hit CBC show Dragons’ Den. With over a decade of experience on the CBC News business team, Dianne brings her keen insights and interview skills to bear in her keynote presentations.

Consider having Dianne come speak to your team on The Art of the Pitch, Seven Powerful Business Trends, or share her Top Ten Tips on the road to business success.

For more information on Dianne and to see a video of her in action, view her profile here. And as always, we are happy to hear from you via phone or via our site anytime!

Bringing Clarity to Your Vision: Donald Cooper in the Globe & Mail

Donald Cooper, business innovator and thought leader, was featured in Sunday’s Globe and Mail. Founder of the highly successful Cooper Canada Ltd (a sporting goods manufacturing company), he also holds an MBA from the University of Western Ontario and spent 14 years as one of Canada’s most innovative retailers.

Clearly, he is a knowledgeable consultant, one whose chief aim is to help your company clarify its vision.

He starts by building a clear, understandable vision that can inspire others. Many companies, he notes, cram their vision statements with motherhood statements like “honouring their customers” or “having fun” that offer no real direction to employees…

When that’s completed, you can develop your mission statement: A clear, one-page statement of what you commit to do, this year, in every part of the business, to move toward the three- to five-year vision. You should create a fresh mission statement about two months before the end of each fiscal year, so you know what you intend to accomplish in the coming year. (from the Globe and Mail)


Too many companies have muddled their vision, overcomplicated their mission, and are floundering as a result, he believes.

Does your company have clear, identifiable goals? Are your central purpose and values practical and concise? Could Donald help bring clarity and direction?


For more information on booking Donald for your company, give us a call at 416-420-4525 or contact us via our website.


Innovators Are Doomsday Deniers

When you see today’s market volatility, are you keeping the big picture in perspective or are you prone to “aggressive indecision?”

Jim Carroll on innovation, optimism, and adjusting to the new norms.

Planting Seeds: The Immeasurable Fruit of Generosity

Sometimes, the little things we do may not seem to have an immediate pay-off, and we’re tempted to focus only on pressing matters with tangible results. But when we “plant seeds,” we never know what will come of them…

From Josh Linkner‘s blog:

How do you know if you’ve accomplished something today? What should you measure if you didn’t deliver something measurable? In an era of dashboards, metrics, and key performance indicators, should every ounce of your energy be directed at hitting near term deliverables?

In studying the behavior of the most successful people, I’ve noticed that they spend a good deal of time planting seeds. Sure, they deliver short-range tangible results, but they also constantly invest in the future.

When you take the time to help someone out with no immediate payback in sight, you are planting a seed. When you write an article, blog, or whitepaper – simply to share insight with others – you are planting seeds. When you volunteer at a local hospital, give back to the community, or pick up that piece of trash that everyone else sees yet ignores, you are planting seeds.

The results often come back to you in non-linear ways, but the return on your investment will absolutely be noteworthy. The college student you help, simply because it is the right thing to do, ends up referring his boss to you years later who, in turn, becomes your largest client. The speech you gave at a community event touches the mayor, who becomes an ally to you as you seek permit approval several months later.

The funny thing about generosity is that it actually ends up driving better results than the selfish person craves. If you go out into the world and greedily chase cash, you’ll seldom find it. But if you genuinely seek to make a difference, you’ll end up with an even greater bounty.

You can plant seeds by building new relationships. Helping a colleague. Extending support to others without issuing them an invoice in return. Sharing your knowledge. Supporting a friend during difficult times. Doing a favor. Pitching in without being asked.

The seeds you plant may not provide a boost to this month’s income statement, but there’s simply no question they will propel your future. It’s one of those things that grumpy, penny-pinching CFOs will advise against; which is all the more reason to keep on planting.

Sure, it’s a good day when you land a client, close a deal, or improve performance by 3.68%. But it’s a great day when you’ve planted fresh seeds. While it can’t be measured this month, you will savor the wonder and magic when those seeds bear beautiful fruit.

Plant away.

Polio, Pennies & Lessons in Leadership

Life & leadership lessons we can learn from FD Roosevelt, Dr. Salk & the eradication of polio in the US, from Doug Keeley’s “Mark of a Leader” e-zine:

Poliomyelitis – Polio – is an infectious, viral disease which has been around since ancient times. Its effects are devastating. Polio attacks the nerve cells and sometimes the central nervous system, often causing muscle wasting, paralysis and even death. Highly contagious and affecting mostly the young, polio epidemics tend to happen during the summer months.

In 1921, the disease struck an especially prominent US citizen: 39-year old vice-presidential candidate Franklin Delano Roosevelt. After contracting a sudden fever and chills, Roosevelt lost the use of both of his legs. He would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

After becoming President, Roosevelt founded a charity known as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, dedicated to polio research. But with America just coming out of the worst economic depression it had ever weathered, traditional sources of charity funds had dried up.

So instead of going after big donations, the Foundation appealed to everyone in America to send in a small amount. The message: no one was too poor to give a dime to help a kid walk again! Roosevelt himself helped launch the appeal with a radio broadcast, and within days the White House had received almost 3 million letters, each containing a donation.

The organization and its new way of fundraising ultimately became The March of Dimes – millions of people giving what they could, even if it was a dime.

Inspired by FDR, movie stars and celebrities gave the time and names to the cause to raise its profile. It worked brilliantly. By the late 1940’s, the foundation was raising an unprecedented $22M per year. The fight against polio had become a national crusade.

Yet they were no closer to having a viable vaccine. Until in 1951, the head of the foundation, Basil O’Connor, met a research scientist from the University of Pittsburgh: Dr. Jonas Salk. They hit it off immediately, and Salk agreed to head up a massive research effort.

Up until that point, researchers had focused on making vaccines from live virus. The live virus would be crippled so that it could not develop further, but would trigger the immune system to create antibodies. This was felt to be the only valid and safe approach; but it was a complex and very time-consuming process.

Salk was a brilliant and ambitious scientist whose experience working with flu vaccines told him a killed-virus vaccine would be possible, and much faster to produce. Other scientists criticized Salk’s methods, insisting that the only way a safe vaccine could be developed was from live virus… but that it was still 5-10 years away.

Salk knew that was far too long to wait. New cases were appearing every day, and children were dying or being paralyzed. For worried families across the country, every second counted.

By 1952 America was experiencing its worst polio epidemic. Nearly 58,000 cases were reported, leaving over 21,000 young people with some form of paralysis for the rest of their lives. The only way some of them could continue to breathe was by spending their lives encased in a metal prison known as an “iron lung”. Surveys at the time showed that, apart from the atomic bomb, polio was Americans’ greatest fear.

With the support of March of Dimes, Salk completed the animal testing phase and was ready to test the vaccine on humans. In November 1953, at a press conference in New York, Salk announced that his wife and sons had been among the first volunteers to be vaccinated. More importantly: the volunteers had all produced antibodies, and none got sick.

The field trial to test the vaccine was the largest and most elaborate program of its kind, involving 20,000 physicians and public health personnel, 220,000 volunteers and 1.8 million school children. Polls showed that more people knew about the field trials than knew the name of the President.

It was the largest human experiment in American history… but the public would have to wait for nearly a year to learn the results.

Finally, on April 12, 1955, the announcement was made to a live audience of over 500 people, and a broadcast audience that included 54,000 physicians sitting in movie theaters across the country. The trials had been a success!

Americans everywhere listened intently to their radios for the details; church bells rang out, factory whistles blew, department stores broadcast the news across their PA systems, and every newspaper in the country ran huge headlines trumpeting the news. Laboratories began preparing millions of doses for distribution.

Jonas Salk became a beloved national celebrity overnight, and was showered with awards. When asked who owned the patent, he replied, “There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?”

The success of the vaccination program was both dramatic, and rapid.

In 1955 there were 28,985 reported cases of polio; the following year, that dropped to 14,647. By 1957, there were fewer than 6,000 …and by 1961, only 161 cases. Polio, once one of America’s most feared diseases, became largely a thing of the past.

Jonas Salk continued to work in the field of immunology, trying to develop vaccines against cancer and AIDS until his death in 1995.

What can we learn from his story?

Believe in yourself. Salk was criticized as being “unscientific” for his approach. But he believed in himself to the point that the first trial vaccines were given to his own family to show that they were safe!

Sometimes fast beats perfect. Salk knew that his method wasn’t the only way to create a vaccine… but he also knew that by using it, he could cut development time significantly. And that would make all the difference. For the worried parents who were counting on him to protect their children, that speed was absolutely essential.

Everyone doing a little adds up to a lot. When the success of the Salk vaccine was announced, it was rightly seen as a “victory for the whole nation”. It had not been funded by giant corporations, wealthy benefactors or federal treasuries. It happened through the efforts of millions of volunteers, and hundreds of millions of people who gave what they could – even a dime – to make a difference.

Most great leaders would be content to leave one strong mark. Salk left us two.

First, the cure for polio.

And second, the millions of families who continue to be helped by the charity that funded the polio cure – the incredible March of Dimes.

On behalf of all of those families around the world – thank you Dr. Salk.

Filed under: Entrepreneurship,Leadership — Beth @ 11:32 am
Frank O’Dea – Canada’s Champions of Change

CBC and Outpost Magazine and Manulife have launched a six-month search for the top Canadian volunteers, Canada’s Champions of Change. And they have named Frank O’Dea, entrepreneur, speaker and humanitarian as the Chair of the panel of judges who will select the finalists for this Canada-wide, people’s choice award. (more…)

Filed under: Business Management and Organization,Entrepreneurship,Motivation — Tags: — prospeakers.com @ 5:30 pm
Frank O’Dea – CBC Champions of Change Judge

Frank O’Dea will be one of the judges for champions of Change contest that celebrates Canada’s top volunteers – Champions of Change. A champion of change himself, Frank O’Dea is the chair of our selection committee, the Top Ten Panel. (more…)

Frank O’Dea & Fast Company

In its Visionary Leaders series, the prestigious business publication, Fast Company, has just published an interview with Frank ODea, co-founder of Second Cup and Proshred Security. (more…)

Filed under: Entrepreneurship — Tags: — prospeakers.com @ 7:22 pm
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