WFF Roundtable Attracts Record Numbers


TORONTO — Last week, the Women’s Foodservice Forum’s (WFF) inaugural networking breakfast roundtable session was held in Vancouver. This week Toronto’s event attracted a record crowd of more than 200 industry executives, including men and women, to the Pearson Conference Centre in Brampton, Ont.  

As part of its mandate, the WFF focuses on building competence, contents and connections to elevate and advance women in hospitality. This year’s roundtable discussion focused on the core competencies of influence and diplomacy.

Lisa McNeil, GFS, welcomed attendees to the breakfast, saying, “We’re creating an environment to promote professional growth. We had our first roundtable in Vancouver last week, and we’re excited about where we’re about to go.”
Next up was Brigid Pelino, chair of the group and senior VP of Human Resources for Tim Hortons. “It’s an exciting time for the group,” she said. “We have inspiring vision; one of the most important things we focus on is advancing the industry. This is a really cool industry to work,” she stressed, adding most people “get it and relate to it, but the engines behind it are complex and we need to get out there — we need women and men to work together.”  

Pelino encouraged female leaders to get involved through volunteering in the group, chairing committees and fostering professionalism. ”In Canada, the organization is getting some traction — corporate Canada is now behind these initiatives and that’s important,” she said pointing to the growing number of corporate sponsorships.  

The WFF was born in the U.S. two decades ago to promote professional growth for female leaders and to develop gender-diverse leadership talent for all segments of the foodservice industry. A few years ago the group made the trek north to launch a Toronto chapter before expanding to Vancouver and Montreal.


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