Women in Food Industry Management

re: WFIM Updates from Barbara Onyskow, WFIM Chair

As the summer is upon us, we hope you are doing well and can finally breathe a bit now during this global pandemic.  It has been a challenging time for all of us.  

Those in essential services have had to work hard and fast to battle covid-19.  The entire food industry has stepped up to provide us with the necessary services to support all our communities, to keep us fed, healthy and safe.  From the entire supply chain, food producers, processors, operators, packaging, and various ingredient suppliers, to transportation, logistics and front-line grocery retailers.  It has been no easy feat for food industry leaders and their employees.  

We’ve all been personally affected.  Whether it is working from home, adjusting to social distancing, work situation changes, addressing home schooling and family needs during this time… the list goes on, please be good to yourself and don’t forget to remember that we are in this together and we will get through this.  

On behalf of WFIM we would like to acknowledge all you have been doing and continue to do every day in work and your personal lives.
WFIM has had to adjust as well, rescheduling pre planned events to later dates, whilst adding a series of webinars these past few months.  We have matched the attendee webinar registration fees, and topped it to the amount of $5000 for the Ontario Medical Association District 11 (Toronto area physician’s front line workers). 

It was very important that we stay connected with you during these uncertain times.  WFIM is all about supporting, developing and connecting us all to be the best at the table whether it is in person or virtually. 

We welcome and appreciate your feedback on the new WFIM webinar endeavours, so please feel free to reach out to myself or Brenda Seto with your comments and suggestions.  There was much to learn and we continue to learn and grow as we include virtual events into our mix of program offerings.  

We are also a full volunteer organization.  If you are interested in being involved as a volunteer and have some skills and time to help, please contact our Volunteer Lead, Kelly Buckingham via admin@wfim.ca  We will be collectively evaluating what else we need to support our plans for our organization moving forward.  

Here are some more updates:

Our ever popular WFIM Nine & Dine was initially reset from May to Oct. 6th, whilst we've been monitoring the Covid-19 situation.  

After careful review and consideration of the Covid-19 situation, we have therefore decided to defer our Golf Nine & Dine to Wednesday May 26, 2021. We have secured Glen Abbey for this event.  We wanted to make sure everyone remains safe as there are still social distancing protocols, as well as travel restrictions which would have impacted the venue as well as attendees.

For our current valued WFIM Members, the Board has also decided to extend each Member's current membership to end December 31, 2021as well.  All members will be receiving further information from the Director of Membership (Tina) relating to their overall Membership benefits. 
We decided not to have the June Gala this year due to Covid-19 restrictions.  The next live event at this time is scheduled for December 9th Gala at Millennium Gardens, Brampton.  Nancy Modrcin, former VP Marketing Metro is the keynote speaker.  Our Scholarship winner will be announced during the December Gala this year.  There is still time for students that would like to apply for the $1000 WFIM Donna Messer Scholarship.  Details noted on WFIM website.  The application deadline is extended to July 31st.  Any date changes or/ updates regarding the December Gala will be communicated, as we will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation.

For Fall 2020, planning is underway, led by Brenda Seto, our Head of Marketing, together with the marketing and events teams over the coming months.   We are in the process of developing a variety of Webinar formatsand key themes relevant for our community.  We will be updating you all via email and our website as programs are currently being confirmed for the Fall.  

We also have our Sustainability Summit planned for April 2021 at Millennium Gardens, with Solange Ackrill, VP Club Coffee and Cher Mereweather, President Provision Coalition plus other panelists TBD.  Stay tuned for more details as they unfold.

We always welcome your feedback and input, as we look for new and meaningful ways to get together virtually to support, develop and connect with each other.  No doubt there will be changes going forward, and we expect the way we hold future events to be different from pre Covid-19.  We assure you that we will do everything we can to give you the support and value you expect from us.

On behalf of the WFIM board, I would like to personally thank you for your ongoing support over the years and in particular this year.  If you need to discuss anything, have questions or concerns; please do not hesitate to contact me directly.  We look forward to hearing from you, staying in touch and "seeing"you soon.

Be Well and Stay Safe.  
Wishing you and your loved ones a safe & fun-filled summer!

Best Regards,
Barbara Onyskow
WFIM Chair
Cell: 647-981-7005

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