By Ryan Hyndman
The 12th annual Dalhousie Tigers Women in Leadership Spotlight Dinner, presented by RBC was hosted on Wednesday night, with more than 350 people gathered in the McInnes Room at The Dalhousie Student Union Building.
The Women in Leadership Spotlight Dinner began in 2009 with a goal of celebrating women in leadership positions who have used their experiences in elite-level sport to help strengthen and hone their leadership skills. Presented by the women’s basketball and volleyball teams, the event highlights key attributes like commitment, teamwork, time-management and perseverance, that are all paramount to good leadership.
Dalhousie’s Executive Director of Athletics & Recreation Tim Maloney and Associate Director Cindy Tye opened the festivities acknowledging the many people who supported this night including sponsors, staff, attendees, and speakers.
Among those thanked were some generous donors who purchased tables to provide youth girls teams the opportunity to attend the event. Maloney also highlighted the role the basketball and volleyball teams play in running the event and how it’s an important steppingstone in their leadership growth and development.
Basketball player Kelsey Crocker and volleyball player Anika Almero, served as co-emcees for the evening and introduced Vinita Savani, Regional President, Atlantic Canada, who spoke on behalf of presenting sponsor, RBC.
Savani noted the tremendous impact the partnership between RBC and Dalhousie has had in it’s first year, including the opening of the RBC OnCampus branch in Dalplex where their staff has had the opportunity to interact with more than 9,000 Dalhousie students since it opened last spring. She also spoke to her own leadership journey and the importance of acknowledging that everyone has their own unique story and that there is no one way to find success. There are an unlimited number of paths to take to achieve your goals and to become an effective leader.
After dinner, special guest speaker Logan Dunning took to the stage to share her leadership journey.
Dunning played five seasons with the Tigers basketball team between 1997 and 2003. During her time at Dalhousie, she earned a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering while helping the Tigers to an AUS championship title in 2001. She began a career in the energy field after graduation and enrolled in Queen’s MBA program a few years later. She is currently the commercial director at NorthRiver Midstream in Calgary, Alta.
She reflected back on the leaders she had in her life and admired three specific qualities/traits that she applies in her leadership style. The first was that good leaders find a way to make those around them better. She also stressed the importance of having the courage to speak up when it matters, and that authenticity goes a long way. Dunning concluded by defining authenticity as being honest with ourselves and others and stressed that advocating for yourself to show what you have to offer is a part of being authentic.
Following Dunning’s remarks, she was joined on stage by Savani and took turns posing questions to volleyball player Ella Hornby and basketball player Sarah Valley.
Hornby and Valley were asked several questions by Dunning and Savani including who their role models were growing up. Both spoke about the positive impacts their parents had on their development as leaders. When asked if she could change one thing in the world, Hornby responded that she wants more support for women and concluded the evening by stating, “When women are uplifted and recognized for their achievements, society as a whole will progress.”
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