Promotional Product Professionals of Canada (PPPC) held its annual Women’s Empowerment Event (WEE) on May 27, bringing women from the Canadian promotional products industry together virtually for an afternoon of connections and education. This year, WEE drew 150 participants representing 78 industry companies, with 65 percent of those attending being new to the event.

The day began with a musical performance by musician Bernadette Connors, who opened the event with her unique take on blues, jazz and folk music. A returning WEE performer, Connors ended her performance with a song that has proven to be a WEE attendee favorite, Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire.”

WEE’s first session of the day featured motivational speaker Rina Rovinelli, who guided her listeners through a reflection on their mentors and what about them was so inspiring. Rovinelli encouraged attendees to forget about society’s expectations and norms and reminded them, “Our voice is the best promotional product,” and to “use our voices to connect, inspire and show our power.”

Casey Thompson, owner of The Cheese Gallery in Thornbury, Ontario, gave WEE attendees a lesson in preparing an appealing cheese board before a WEE panel discussion. Moderated by ASI’s Michele Bell, panelists Lindsay Alcorn, CAS; Kathy Cheng; Jessica De Mello, MAS, and Jennifer Tarnopolski explored a variety of topics, including the challenges of COVID-19 and the future of the promotional products industry.

Next up was Socasize, a workout session with Ayanna Lee-Rivears, followed by the event’s closing session with Judy Croon. Croon showed the audience how to use humor and laughter to “navigate the unknown.” WEE ended its program with a virtual networking and cocktail session.