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Mentorship Circle

“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of

other successful women, who have her back.”


Connections: Mentorship Circle was founded by Finley & Associates Ltd. for a simple purpose: empower and support women in a positive environment through discussion, mentorship, and skills-building.




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).


start-quoteComing out of a pretty intense academic environment surrounded by people with similar backgrounds, it was refreshing for me to hear perspectives from the corporate and political world. It’s not something I’m used to. For me, I grew up in such a small town, that I don’t have any role models in professional roles, never mind female role models. So it was an incredible experience for me that I’m not sure I would have had the opportunity to be a part of any way else.”

– Kala Ortwein, University of Calgary Master’s Student & Connections Mentee

start-quoteHaving accelerated quicker than I expected in my career, I understand and appreciate the significant role that mentorship plays in your personal and professional development. I joined Connections with hopes of meeting Mentors outside of my work environment for an objective sounding board as I continue to build my career. What I received when I joined Connections, though, was more than adding Mentors to my network – meeting fellow Mentees has been just as rewarding. I truly value the camaraderie we have all formed, the incredible, intelligent fellow Mentees I have the honour of being connected with, and I look forward to continuing my journey with Connections as a resource. Here’s to, well, building more Connections!”

– Karen Nguyen, Director of Marketing at McLean Partners & Connections Mentee

start-quoteMy initial draw to Connections was being able to provide guidance to Mentees.  I love being able to help talented, bright young women.  In addition to meeting and being able to support Mentees, I find the content of Connections inspiring and thought provoking so I also learn each time I attend.”

– Pat Pohlen, Director of HR at Alberta Health Services & Connections Mentor

start-quoteConnections is an incredible initiative and a great way to empower young female professionals. Kudos to Finley & Associates for putting it together.”

– Whitney Smithers, Director at the City of Calgary & Connections Mentor