Meet our Hosts, Participants & Sponsors

Laura Connor - Event Co-Host

Laura is a LinkedIn marketing trainer, visibility strategist and self-publisher. She loves helping business owners increase their visibility and position themselves as industry leaders.

She is the author of the Destination Me! Activity Book Series for Girls & Boys, along with six other medium content books. She is also a Distinguished Toastmaster and has served two terms as President of Markham Toastmasters.

When Laura is not working, you'll find her watching episodes of Monk or cheering her sons on at their music and sporting activities. New friends and old look forward to watching her Feel Good Friday dance videos on social media.

Destination Me! For Kids – Careers Coloring Book. Learn About 26 Great Trailblazing Men and Women of Color from A-Z.

Suzen Fromstein - Event Co-Host

Suzen is a relatively new Markham resident – she moved here three years ago to be close to her eldest son’s family. She adores her three grandchildren.

Suzen joined Markham Toastmasters in 2022. Her professional career is devoted to the communications arts in the financial, insurance, architecture, and engineering spaces. She continues to offer her services as a freelance content provider, marketer, and executive speech writer/presentations coach.

In the last ten years Suzen has published two business, one comedy, and one murder mystery book.

The Grin Reaper – A Humorous Look at Death & Dying (with a few jokes thrown in) co-authored with stand-up comic/musician Mike Nemiroff.

Sylvia Calleri - Author Panelist

Sylvia is a Certified Life Mastery Training consultant with the Brave Thinking Institute. She offers inspiring workshops and retreats to audiences around the country as well as transformational coaching programs that help clients achieve new heights of success, meaning, and spiritual aliveness.

Authentically Evolving is both the name of her company and her chapter in the Uncover Your Light, Vol. 2 Anthology.  Sylvia recently returned from a month-long adventure in Panama helping indigenous women rediscover their light.

Uncover Your Light, Vol. 2, Empowering Stories of Hope And Resilience. This inspiring book explores the concept of how to shine brightly when you’ve lost touch with who you are.

Gary Pennington - Author Panelist

India for Beginners - A Memoir This special book recounts Sherrill and Gary Pennington’s challenges and successes in creating a Canadian International school in Bangalore, India This compelling, first-person account describes the Pennington’s first three years as principals of the school.

Lisa Pinnock - Author Panelist

Lisa is a speaker, writing coach and life-long learner. She is also a four-time best-selling and award-winning author. She loves inspiring women to step into their power and light through community building, advocacy work, and impactful group writing experiences.

Lisa leads a local group of heart-centred entrepreneurial women with FemCity where she is also a Global Member and facilitates workshops on their platform. Lisa walks her talk, and stepped up as one of our great, local sponsors.

Women, Let’s Rise: This moving collection of personal journeys, insights, and wisdom encourages women to use their natural talents of self-reflection, connection, and collaboration to influence and inspire.  

Jim Walker - Author Panelist

Jim is a lifelong Markham resident and avid member of Markham Toastmasters. He's a self-proclaimed home renovator and long-suffering cottage owner.

Jim's writing experience began with customer-facing documents, training materials and other industry materials. More recently, his focus has shifted toward the challenge of writing novels. Jim’s historical fiction novels reflect his personal interests and his family's military background.

NEW BOOK RELEASE!! Traitor: Wartime Treachery in Enemy-Occupied Dieppe.  A historical fiction set during WW2

Helen Xenidis - Author Panel Moderator

While Helen has enjoyed a successful career in the insurance industry, in 2009 she literally had a midlife awakening that changed the trajectory of her life. Her journey has evolved into her passion to redefine how we approach to midlife.  

Helen is an award-winning public speaker, an avid global traveller, and a pro-aging midlife maven! She is passionate about encouraging women to question their ideas about aging and looks forward to midlife unencumbered by social stereotypes.  

Hitesh Parmar - Event Audio Visual Coordinator

Hitesh has been developing e-Learning Courseware for Adult Education for more than 18 years. He has expert level experience with all manner of multimedia, podcast, audio, video, and transmedia storytelling.

Hitesh is also a member of the Canadian Society for Training and Development (CSTD) and has a Level II Canadian Security Clearance. Hitesh has been a Member of Markham Toastmasters since May 2010. During this time he has achieved two Distinguished Toastmaster designations.  

Meet our Event Sponsors

Our Platinum Sponsors

Dr. Dmitri Sokolov
Healthy Kids & Family Chiropractic

7800 Woodbine Ave. Unit 109, Markham, ON CA L3R 2N7
416.642.2602 |  

Youth Alliance for Intersectional Justice
Satellite Office ON - 2 Sheppard Ave, North York Ontario M2N 5Y7

Our Gold Sponsors

Judy Stewart

Large Size Womens' Shoes
Sizes 9.5 to 16

Sylvia Morris - C21
178 Main Street, Suite 200 Unionville ON L3R 2G9

5954 Hwy 7 (and Main Street)
Markham, Ontario

Dr. M. Weerasinghe
Cornell Dental Centre

106 Cornell Park Avenue #1 Markham, Ontario, L6B 1B6

Our Silver Sponsors

Lisa Pinnock
Claim Your Voice

Group Writing Program
Register HERE

Charlotte Kirby
The Village Hive

55 Albert Street, Suite 100, Markham, ON
(647) 261-9163