So just what does leadership look like?
Tammy Elliott, Bolton resident, mom, wife, professionally trained facilitator, leadership coach, and cancer survivor, is on a mission to help women discover what authentic leadership looks like for them.
Her own personal journey has led her to enabling The Leadership Forum, a monthly Caledon event where local women are able to network as well as develop skills and ideas by listening to a top-notch speakers series.
Tammy married fairly young, at 22, and it was during her subsequent divorce at about age 30, that she discovered she had thyroid cancer. “You just do what you have to do,” she remembers. “It’s like being on auto-pilot”. Tammy met her disease head on and, while raising a toddler, underwent surgery and a series of radiation treatments. She has been cancer-free for 15 years.
Tammy moved to Bolton in 2000, via Toronto and Lindsay. Over the course of frequent visits to family members already living in the area she had come to really love the community. And it was here that she met her true love, Todd, through a friend, and re-married.
Acting on a passion for connecting people and helping them succeed Tammy left a rewarding 18-year career at Bell Canada to go back to school and seek Certification in both Professional Coaching and Adult Education/Staff Training.
Shortly after launching Elliott Coaching and Consulting, she saw a need for a business women’s networking group and in 2011, the Business Ladies Lunch and Learn was born. “At our first meeting, we had 6 women in attendance. It seemed to take no time before there was an online community of over 170 people. These are all women who actively attend our meetings.”
“For close to 3 years that group filled a need in the community for female business owners to be able to network and discuss business tips and so on. But the desire to open the door to all women, not only to business owners, started to grow. I wanted to reach all working women at deeper level.”
In reality, the question had become “Who do you need to be to have a successful career?” instead of “What do you need to do to have a successful business?”
The evolution into The Leadership Forum was complete in 2014 and in Tammy’s words “It is as much an empowerment program as a place to grow your professional network.” The group now attracts female employees, non-profit leaders, women in career transition as well as entrepreneurs.
For example, The Leadership Forum opened the 2015 season with a panel of 3 amazing women – Caledon OPP Acting Sergeant Brenda Evans, Caledon Fire Acting Captain Pamela Hall and Air Canada Pilot First Officer Laura Russell.
Tammy and her “Ambassador Board” – Sheralyn Roman, Mary Beitz, Erin Woodley, Rose Pallotto, Theresa Sherwood, Lindsay Whisen, Lori Theriault, Lisa Molinelli and Susan Toth- ensure that Forum attendees are consistently offered a high-caliber speakers series and the opportunity to network with area women of common interests.
They are particularly excited to announce that the June 4th guest speaker is Sheila Crook, one of 5 Canadian women to be nominated by the United Nations to be “an ambassador for women’s economic empowerment”.
You can click here to read more about Sheila’s keynote presentation and register for the event
Note: photography accompanying this article is by Jennifer Gilbert. Visit JenniferGilbert.ca