Every Day is Women's Day at Truly Inc.
I can confidentially say that my career and, especially the growth of my current company, Truly, is largely thanks to the many amazing women who have come into my life, taught me, supported me, mentored me, recommended me, hired me, and championed me.
My first foray into business - a small marketing strategy consultancy in Calgary I named Rogue Strategies after my second favourite X-Men character (it was also my online persona) - was helped by a women-in-business low interest loan. When I moved to Toronto to set up there and found myself floundering, an incredible woman named Carol Ellen went above and beyond to introduce me to the right people (a few minutes after we met!) and continued to champion and support my career (she is still my bestie and I've done what I could to return the favour - p.s. she's an amazing recruiter!).
After I made another move to San Francisco, women like Caterina Fake, Heather Champ, Min Jung Kim, Alicia Preston, Rachel Weidinger, Deb Schultz, Willo Sana, Amy Muller, Karen O'Brien, Karen Hartline, Stephanie Agresta, Liza Sperling, Nilofer Merchant, Jen Myronuk, Elisa Camahort Page, Heather Gold, Susan Mernit, Barb Dybwad, Emily Chang, Kristie Wells, Cathy Brooks, Heather Vescent, Kaliya Hamlin, Juliette Powell, Liz Henry, Sara Winge, Suw Charman, Molly Holzshlag, Lori Dorn, Joyce Kim, Lynn Johnson, Liza Sabater, Rashmi Sinha, Francine Hardaway, Gina Bianchini, Laura Fitton, Lane Hartwell, Beth Kanter, Natalia Oberti Noguera, Carla Borsoi, Silona Bonewald, Mary Hodder, Charlene Li, Leah Culver, Adina Levin, Hillary Hartley, Marnie Webb, Janice Fraser, Deanna Zandt, Anna Curran, Corvida Raven, Leslie Bradshaw, Ruthann Harnisch, Tara Brown, Dina Kaplan, Allyson Kapin, Corey Denis, Cindy Li, Melissa Pierce, Tara-Nicolle Nelson, Sara Chipps, Emma Persky, Danah Boyd, Amber Mac, Katherine Barr, Molly Ditmore, Amy Webb, Cheryl Contee, and many more (I could seriously keep going...if I missed you, tell me!) introduced me, befriended me, supported me, taught me, inspired me and overall helped me move forward.
My book agent, Danielle Svetcov, reached out to me and encouraged me to write The Whuffie Factor, then helped sell it for 6 figures to a major publisher (and sold multiple international versions on top of that. The aforementioned Nilofer Merchant threw book parties for me and Liza Sperling helped organize a karaoke book tour called Whuffaoke, where I was joined by 4 friends, including Emma Persky and Karen Hartline.
In Montreal, where I landed to start my P2P shopping search network Buyosphere, I met Cassandra Girard, who joined Jerome Paradis and I as our COO on a 3-year startup rollercoaster after one dinner. While on that rollercoaster, I met the amazing J. Kelly Hoey, who provided me with a place to stay multiple times in New York and offered oodles of mentorship. Nilofer Merchant jumped in (yet again!) to be my trusted advisor and opened more doors for me. I met the incredible Cindy Gallop (who threw us a fantastic launch party at her Black Apartment that I'll never forget), Ruthann Harnisch (who gave me shelter, intros and support, including a much-needed manicure!), Caroline Pelletier (who helped redesign Buyosphere), Sarah Prevette (whose advice and connections were incredibly helpful), and Rachel Sklar (who introduced me to The List) and many other amazing women in tech during this time who inspired me and connected me.
When I went back into consulting, I worked with the fantastic Adele McAlear on the Justin Trudeau LPC campaign and was brought into other work by introduction of Rachelle Houde Simard. Then it was Kelly Hoey who introduced me to the inspirational Sallie Krawcheck of Ellevate (85 Broads at the time) as a client.
Fast forward to the start of Truly, where another amazing powerhouse of a woman, Aleece Germano, introduced me to multiple clients, including the fabulous Brenda Bartlett of PWL Capital. This helped kick off a series of events that have led me to today. As you can see in my cover image, Truly is fortunate to have many brilliant women involved.
#2. Our amazing clients are mostly women: Brenda Bartlett, President and CEO, and Nancy Graham, Portfolio Manager of PWL Capital; Giulia Doyle, Director of Communications, and Kylee Sauve, Associate Creative Director of Communications at The Canadian Real Estate Association; Heather Ritchie, Head of Strategy, and Amy Campbell, Head of Marketing Campaigns at Nokia; Karen Phipps, President, and Monica Healey, Vice President of Finance and Operations at Compusense. (We've also had the pleasure to work with the amazing Jill Birch, Chloe Langevin, Anick Beaulieu, Marie-Eve Prevost, Linda Kristal, and Susan Daley)
#3. There are so many amazing women who have brought us leads and talent and advice, including Karen Schulman Dupuis, Aleece Germano, Jill Birch, Kaaren Whitney-Vernon, Tal Riff, Chloe Langevin, Galit Ariel, Kelly Rusk, Rubina Shaikh, Maureen Doolub, Jacqueline Parker-Court, Erin Bury, Francine Hardaway, Virginie Soler, Liesl Barrell, Verna Kulish, Beth Thouin, J. Kelly Hoey, Carrie Innes, Marie-Eve Prevost, Petra Kassun-Mutch, Nilofer Merchant, Karima-Catherine Goundiam, Brenda Bartlett, Nancy Graham, Muriel Rosilio, Michelle Melanson, Anick Beaulieu, Cindy-Lee Bakos, Vicki Saunders, and many others.
Of course there are many wonderful men, including my feminist husband Carlos Pacheco, who have also helped along the way, but I can honestly say that the women in my life have contributed the majority of lessons, love and leads that helped me get where I've gotten.
So, Happy International Women's Day! I love that we take a day to celebrate this internationally, but in reality, the women in my life celebrate this every day.