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Welcome to Connections: Mentorship Circle Calgary! The Chapter that started it all. The story goes like this… back in 2014 Rebecca Finley-Schidlowsky noticed that a lot of her female friends were asking to take her Mum, Donna Finley, for coffee because they didn’t have a female Mentor in their lives. The demand became overwhelming (and Donna can only drink so much caffeine!), so this mother-daughter duo decided to start a small women’s mentorship circle to bring women together.


13403920_1721450098109422_8935493075273729588_oFlashforward four years and Connections has grown into a national organization with a simple purpose: empower and support women in a positive environment by growing their confidence, network, and skills.


Connections is not a ‘business’ group and programming is focused on building a well-rounded leader in the areas of: Relationships, Work, Spirituality, Self-Improvement, and Active Living. Our Community is made up by a diversity of women ranging from entrepreneurs to scientists, management consultants to health care professionals, interior designers to lawyers, musicians to not-for-profit leaders. It is the richness of these backgrounds that make for new and empowering conversations that help us challenge our own thinking. Welcome to this unique and supportive network of incredible women!

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Rebecca Finley-Schidlowsky
Connections Co-Founder & Calgary Chapter President


Donna Finley




Rebecca began her career in real estate development before finding her true passion in management consulting. In 2015, Rebecca left the industry to join a start-up consulting firm – Finley & Associates. Project highlights include working with: Alberta Ballet, University of Calgary’s Faculty of Science, Department of Art, Department of Computer Science, Department of Math & Stats; the 21 Boards & Commissions in Alberta Agriculture; The Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra; Alpha House; Calgary Reads; as well as numerous high-net worth family businesses across Canada.



Entrepreneur Spotlight:
Building a Socially Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Organization
in an Oil & Gas Town

Speaker: Jessie Li,
Co-Founder of PARK

Postponed until Fall

Hear the amazing story of PARK told through Co-Founder Jessie Li, Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2016, as well as the struggles and triumphs of being a young female entrepreneur.


None is too Many:
The Global Cycle of Resurgent anti-Semitism

February 2018 / Calgary


February’s Session was led by Beth O’Connor and featured a in-depth conversation on the evolution of anti-Semitism over the past 2,000 years led by Rabbi Joshua. We want to give a special thanks to Beth Tzedec Synagogue for allowing us to hold our session in their space.

The Homeless Guy’s Daughter: How Vulnerability Can Lead Social Change

November 2017 / Calgary


After seven years of living on the street, Kala Ortwein’s dad passed away at age 44. Since then, Kala has attempted to honour his legacy, while also trying to understand homelessness as a phenomenon. Our final Calgary session of 2017 explored a rarely discussed perspective, and included a participatory exercise to guide an empathetic response to homelessness.

Personal Investing 101: Buying & Selling Stocks Workshop

October 2017 / Calgary


David Schaverien – CA, MBA, BComm – helped us dive into the basics on how to trade stocks and build a diversified portfolio (without a broker). Dave taught us what the difference is between Index and Mutual Funds and when is the best time to buy. We could tell the group was surprised at how fun and interesting investing really can be.

Getting Creative to Reach an Impossible Goal: The Board Governance Series

September 2017 / Calgary


Building on Governance 101, Connections presented its third session focusing on the case study of the Calgary French & International School. The session focused on teaching how to fundraise innovatively, learning about Board restructuring, and good governance.

You Can’t Break it! So Stop Being Afraid of Technology

June 2017 / Calgary


Dr. Mea Wang & Dr. Christian Jacob, two unconventional Computer Scientists, debunked common myths and stereotypes surrounding technology, explored why so few women are in the field and taught us new ways to incorporate technology to improve our daily lives.

Who’s Your Muse? Connecting Through Music

April 2017 / Calgary


Donna Bennett & Brian Finley, recent recipients of the Order of Canada, performed and taught us how to appreciate classical music. Their emotional session left many of us in tears.

Women & Politics

February 2017 / Calgary


Nirmala Naidoo, an award winning journalist (Global News, CBC, NBC etc.) shared with us her inspiring story of being a woman in politics, what today’s political landscape is like and how we can get involved in politics.

Governance 101: Board Basics Part 2

November 2016 / Calgary


Featured a panel that discussed their direct and relevant Board experiences through personal stories.

Governance 101: Board Basics Part 1

September 2016 / Calgary


Dr. Donna Finley, SSHRC Doctoral Fellow and founder + senior strategist at Finley & Associates.

Lessons from the Heart: On Leading & Learning

June 2016 / Calgary


Dr. Gayla Rogers, former Dean of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary.

Forward Into The Fire: Honing Your Instincts With Intuition

April 2016 / Calgary


Brenda Finley, an award winning journalist with 30+ years of experience at numerous Canadian radio & television networks (CBC News , CTV News, Global News).