The daily tug-of-war between balancing a career and raising children can leave parents torn between both worlds.

Victoria Sopik, CEO and Co-founder of Kids & Company, (and mother of 8), understands this delicate balancing act. Victoria’s experiences as a working mother and devoted parent have had a profound impact upon her, and they have made her determined to make a difference by helping working parents and concerned employers with work-life challenges.

As CEO, Victoria oversees the company’s strategic direction and provides leadership to the company’s management team to deliver industry-leading child care services. Victoria has a long and distinguished career in the child care industry. Kids & Company is the culmination of over 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur and child-care and parenting expert. Kids & Company has served over 30,000 children and created thousands of jobs across Canada.

Victoria lends her time, skill and leadership to benefit the child care industry and community by presenting at a variety of events, workshops and conferences across Canada.

Victoria’s professional accomplishments have been recognized with several honours and rewards; some of these include: 2013 RBC Women Entrepreneur Of The Year Award Ð Momentum Category, 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year in the Business-to-Business Category, WXN Top100 Most Powerful Women, Passion Capitalist Award for Work Culture and Philosophy – 2012, 2008 Profit Magazine’s Ð One of Canada’s fastest growing companies, Canadian Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs for the past 7 years, Member of the Young Presidents Organization, and the International Women’s Forum.

Mary De Paoli is Sun Life’s Executive Vice-President, Public & Corporate Affairs and Chief Marketing Officer. Ms. De Paoli assumed this role in 2012 and is responsible for Sun Life Financial’s brand, digital, marketing and public and corporate affairs functions globally, and for leading the Company’s focus on its customers across its businesses.

Ms. De Paoli joined Sun Life in 1999 and has a significant background in marketing, customer and corporate activities and in leading pension and retirement services businesses. She headed Sun Life’s brand-building, digital media and other marketing programs in her previous role as Senior Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer and, prior to that, managed the Company’s Group Retirement Services division, which rose to the number one market position in Canada. During this time she was named as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40TM for 2002.

In her earlier career, Ms. De Paoli was a business journalist, working at the Washington bureau of CNN and as Managing Editor of Canada’s Benefits & Pensions Monitor magazine. She also authored The New Imperative: The Plan Sponsor’s Guide to Education and Communication.

Ms. De Paoli is on the Board of Directors of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance and the Audit Bureau of Circulations Canadian Buyers’ Advisory Committee. In 2012, Ms. De Paoli was named the Marketer of the Year by Strategy magazine.

Ms. De Paoli holds a post-graduate degree in Journalism and Communications from the American University in Washington D.C. and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Western Ontario.

Michael McCain is President & CEO of Maple Leaf Foods Inc., Canada’s leading food processor and exporter with 19,500 employees, sales of $4.9 billion in 2011 and flagship brands including Maple Leaf, Schneiders and Dempster’s.

Prior to joining Maple Leaf Foods Mr. McCain spent 16 years with McCain Foods Limited in Canada and the United States.

Born in Florenceville, N.B., Mr. McCain received an Honours Business Administration degree from the University of Western Ontario. He has five children and is a resident of Toronto.

Mr. Voegeli is a Managing Director and Co-Head of the Diversified and Technology, Media & Telecom Group at CIBC World Markets Inc. Ryan has over 10 years of investment banking experience. During this time, he has developed significant transaction experience advising on numerous M&A and capital markets assignments and extensive industry coverage of both retail and consumer products and technology, media and telecom sectors.

Recent transaction advisory experience includes acting as bookrunner on the initial public offerings of Choice Properties REIT, CT REIT, the Hudson’s Bay Company, Mitel and Smart Technologies, and acting as financial advisor on Shaw’s $225 million acquisition of ENMAX Envision, Leon’s $800 million acquisition of The Brick and BCE’s $3.4 billion acquisition of Astral Media.

Before his career in investment banking, Ryan was a partner at a major Canadian law firm where he worked from 1999 to 2004. He practiced in the area of corporate law with a focus on corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions.

Ryan holds a Bachelor of Commerce (with Honours) from the University of British Columbia and an LL.B from the University of Victoria and is a CFA charterholder.

Tony Chapman is the founder and CEO of Capital C, a creative and technology powerhouse servicing blue chip clients throughout the world. The first non-mass agency to win Marketing Magazine’s coveted Agency of the Year, their creativity has garnered over 60 Gold and Best of Show Awards in the past 48 months. Capital C was the agency behind Bridezilla, one of the most successful social media campaigns every unleashed. Their $3,000 viral video hijacked pop culture globally, for over three weeks, and was subsequently featured in documentaries in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

He is also co-founder of Fresh Intelligence, a revolutionary online research agency which in two years has established a North American and European client list, and Lola an innovative social media agency.

A leader in the industry, Chapman is one of the youngest individuals to be inducted in the Marketing Hall of Legends, and his opinions on consumerism, brand building, social media and business strategy, make him a sought after guest and frequent contributor to national television, radio and newspaper. Chapman will be one of the Judges on Recipes to Riches, The Food Channel and Global Television’s new competitive food show that is premiering in 2011.

Chapman’s presentation delivery is electric and engaging, and he consistently earns the highest ratings in post conference evaluations as an individual that delivers relevant and thought provoking content in an inspirational and motivational way.

Farah was born an entrepreneur. She started her first business when she was nine (performing at birthday parties and being paid with cake), her second big entrepreneurial success happening when she was 16, then a flop in her early twenties, then her best idea yet.

After graduating from the University of Western Ontario and completing a marketing program in Toronto, Farah, CEO & CO-FOUNDER of Speakers’ Spotlight started her career in the advertising industry. In 1995, she took a deep breath and a major plunge into the biggest risk of her life. Yes, she married Martin Perelmuter (but was pretty sure that would work out), and together, they quit their jobs and started their own business, Speakers’ Spotlight. The adventure began.

Since starting the business in a little room in their apartment, Speakers’ Spotlight has grown beyond Farah’s wildest dreams. Today, they have offices in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary and the best staff in the industry. The agency was selected by Profit Magazine as one of the 100 fastest growing companies in Canada and twice the couple has been named finalists for the Ernst & Young ‘Entrepreneur of The Year Award’. Farah has been recognized in the industry numerous times, for instance; Profit Magazine has ranked Farah as one of Canada’s Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs for seven consecutive years, in 2008,

Farah was selected as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 through the Women’s Executive Network, and in 2009 The Women’s Post named Farah one of Canada’s Top 20 Women of the Year.

Farah has been featured numerous times in media and has twice been featured on the covers of national magazines. Her opinions have been quoted in various business books including in the first Canadian edition of Contemporary Business Communication, a college and university textbook published by Houghton Mifflin Company. Farah is a sought-after mentor by many ‘start-ups’ and other executives and entrepreneurs through various organizations. She believes in giving back, inspiring, and learning from, others in business. But for this entrepreneur, her most important job is being Mom to Jade and Cole (oh, and wife to Martin, too).

John DeLucchi is the managing partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) BC region, and a member of PwC’s Extended National Leadership Team. Prior to this, he led PwC’s National Life Sciences, National Technology Industry, and National Consumer and Industrial Products practices. DeLucchi was also the founding director and board member of Wireless Innovation Network and Wave Front; is a past director of the Monte Jade Science & Technology Association, the Vancouver Enterprise Forum, and he has served on the executive committee of Life Sciences BC. Currently, he serves on the BC Business Council’s Board of Governors and Executive Committee.

Highly involved in the community, DeLucchi recently became a director of Covenant House in Vancouver and the Heart & Stroke Foundation of BC. He also volunteers with the United Way of the Lower Mainland, currently serving on the board of directors.

Mark Kinney is a founding partner and managing director of Newport Private Wealth with more than 20 years of experience in the investment industry. Mark is the chair of Newport Private Wealth’s Investment Committee, which is responsible for managing the firm’s investment strategy and execution. He works directly with individuals and families to provide investment and wealth management services.

Prior to starting Newport Private Wealth in 2001, Mark was a vice president at RBC Private Trust. From 1992 to 1999, he was a Principal with Merchant Private Trust Company and Connor Clark Private Trust, which was acquired by the Royal Bank of Canada in 1999. He started his career in the investment industry as an account executive at Canada Trust in 1989.

Mark is active in a number of community and charitable organizations, including being a director of the Yellow Bus Foundation.

As Managing Director and Head of Scotia iTRADE, Bob is responsible for the profitable global growth of Scotiabank’s online brokerage business. This includes leading innovative business development, sales and marketing, client service and relationship management, operations, and order traffic management. Scotia iTRADE serves a full spectrum of clients ranging from the self-directed mainstreet investor to the active trader. Since Bob’s appointment in 2010, he has guided the business through a complex integration and is driving renewed focus on increasing sales and market share.

From 2005-10, Bob held two senior roles in Scotiabank’s Global Transaction Banking group, as Senior Vice President of Sales, and Senior Vice President, Cash Management and Payment Services. In these roles, Bob led the evolution of the Bank’s electronic payment platforms and expanded sales of corporate and commercial deposits, payments and transaction services to Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Throughout his career at Scotiabank, Bob has been at the forefront of a number of significant change initiatives that leveraged new technologies to create innovative financial products, services and delivery channels. Examples include several national payment systems, branded and non-branded ATM networks, several credit card offerings, INTERAC Direct Debit, and Scotiabank’s global Website.

Bob is a Member of the Board of Directors of Scotia Capital Inc., and has represented Scotiabank on a number of corporate boards and industry associations, including the Canadian Payments Association, VISA Canada, VISA International, Interac, Acxsys Corp., CertaPay, eroute, e-station, Omni Cash Inc and e-Scotia.

Bob is a regular guest lecturer at the Schulich School of Business, where he graduated with a Master of Business Administration. Bob is an avid skier and golfer.

Carolyn Saunders is the Director, ING Direct Transition for Scotiabank. Scotiabank acquired ING Direct in Canada in 2012, the largest acquisition in the bank’s history, and Carolyn is responsible for the oversight of the transition including marketing, branding, product and channel strategies.

Previously, Carolyn has held roles as Director and Head of Brand & Media for Scotiabank with management of the brand and creative platform in Canada and as Director Marketing Online Brokerage, leading the launch of the new Scotia iTRADE brand and the consolidation of the bank’s 3 direct investing businesses. Prior to joining Scotiabank, Carolyn worked for several years with E*TRADE Canada where she was Director Strategy & Business Development following positions in Marketing and Product Management. She has also previously held positions with TD Bank.