Saugeen Connects celebrates International Women’s Day with web talk featuring keynote speaker Diane Crawford

NEUSTADT – In their collective efforts towards advancing women economically, the Saugeen Connects partners are hosting a special speaker for International Women’s Day on March 8 from 6:30 to 7:30pm.

The free talk will be presented virtually on Zoom.

Speaker Diane Crawford, of The Voyage Inc., will offer her perspective on “Removing Barriers to Success: The 5 C’s”.

Attendees from the Saugeen area will be guided to find their superpowers in Confidence, Collaboration, Communication and Connections in this time of COVID-19.

“This is an excellent way to culminate our current entrepreneurial webinar series for women,” said Saugeen Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) general manager Rose Austin, who is heading up the partnership project.

“Our Saugeen Connects group brings together five municipalities and the SEDC toward benefitting the economic vitality of our region.”

Saugeen Connects partners are the Towns of Hanover and Minto, the Township of Wellington North and the Municipalities of Brockton and West Grey and the SEDC, who collaborate on projects to assist youth, newcomers, women and businesses in transition.

The collaborative group is currently running an AWE webinar series, assisting rural women with entrepreneurial skills and business leadership training. A second SUCCESSion Planning webinar series is guiding business owners in transition to retire, sell their businesses, coordinate the addition of owners or plan other succession options.

“We are so lucky to be able to work together on the larger area to provide these kinds of projects,” said Minto business and economic  manager Belinda Wick-Graham, who with Hanover’s economic development manager April Marshall have been instrumental in coordinating the Women of Wellington Saugeen Area (WOWSA) group for area women to connect and network.

Marshall said, “It’s beneficial to our economic region to find opportunities such as this to collaborate and share resources to deliver initiatives and programs that build skills and confidence among our local entrepreneurs.”

Other Saugeen Connects partners like Wellington North Economic Development officer Dale Small, and Brockton Community Development coordinator Paulette Peirol also see the value of sharing their efforts in these projects.

“We can really get things done together,” said Small, who has seen quite a few local businesses sign up for the webinars to prepare to hand over businesses to the next generation or bring on employee owners.

“It is great to have this guidance to help business owners take advantage of our resources, including the website.”

Peirol sees the Saugeen Connects project as a way for everyone to learn how to pivot and be resilient in these challenging times of pandemic.

“I’m really pleased to see our speaker is from our area and has worked her way through her own business challenges, so will be able to share with our attendees,” Peirol said. “We have such talented people in the Saugeen region. We are all pivoting together to meet today’s barriers for tomorrow’s recovery.”

Crawford’s bio indicates she “possesses diverse management and operational skill sets.” From managing her own start-up to directing a team of over 400 professional staff, she has “honed her coaching and people development skills.,” and “worked with women around the world and just up the road as she offers first-hand strategies to manage the dynamics of change, build self-awareness, understand values, leverage strengths and create vision.”

“This is going to be great for our area women,” said West Grey CAO Laura Johnston, who also sits on the Saugeen Connects committee.

“In these challenging times we all need a little extra inspiration to keep going and find the ways we survive and thrive to become resilient in our communities,” said Johnston.

For more information see To register to attend the March 8 Zoom presentation, email or call 519-799-5750 or toll free at 1-877-335-7332.

Anyone with barriers to attending, is urged to call and for help connecting to the presentation.