Category Archives: Breakfast Speakers 2017

Breakfast Meeting January 21, 2017

ashsilvaAsh Silva, speaker and author is the Director of Business Development at Next Century Publishing. Ash has been the driving force, guide and mentor to many authors bringing their stories to life. His vast knowledge of the publishing and printing industry paired with his first hand experience as an author paves the way for authors to create everything from your book to an author’s empire. Whether it’s your new book, a reprint of your existing works or marketing materials, Ash’s creative talent and eye for detail can help meet the spectrum of all your printing needs.

Over the past 20 years, he has become best known, as “The Connector” through his gift in teaching and sharing the power of connection, Ash has magnanimously made thousands of connections leading others to experience results from lucrative business contracts to extreme personal transformation and growth. Ash has taken his years of experience and knowledge to create and build training programs in Social Media, Online Marketing and his very latest, “Connection-Power“.

Breakfast Meeting, February 18, 2017

Terry Reardon began his career in English banking, continuing in Canada. Bridging both countries sparked his interest in the relationship between Prime Ministers Churchill and King. A director of the International Churchill Society in Canada, Reardon is also on the editorial board of Finest Hour, the Churchillian magazine. He has appeared on TVO speaking with Steve Paikin of The Agenda.   Born 18 days apart with blue eyes and a final height of 5′ 6″‘, Winston Churchill and William Lyon Mackenzie King embarked on a 50-year relationship that defined an era. Although they had their disagreements, they worked together during the most important war in the history of the world. Terry Reardon, author of “Winston Churchill and Mackenzie King: So Similar, So Different”, sits down with Steve Paikin to talk about the war-time actions and relationship of Churchill and King. The following link takes you to Youtube.

Breakfast Meeting March 18, 2017

Since retiring from public service in 2013, Susan Ksiezopolski has
re-ignited her award winning writing. She has developed and delivers
creative writing workshops across the GTA. Susan has published two
poetry books and recently launched “The Writer’s Workbook, Free the Writer Within” a creative writing aid.  The focus of Susan’s writing is not solely for telling her own stories and for her own self-expression but to also help others to be inspired to tap into their writing voice and capture their stories. Her motto is “Everyone has a right to have their voice heard it they choose to use it, regardless of their circumstances”. She is a member of the Canadian Authors Association, The Mississauga Writer’s Group and a recent graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her work has been featured in the Canadian Immigrant magazine and in numerous other on-line platforms. Susan’s dedication for inspiring others to find their voice also prompted her to volunteer with the Toronto Writer’s Collective, where she is now a trained facilitator supporting the TWC mission to deliver workshops that “encourage voice and illuminate undiscovered strength in Toronto’s most vulnerable communities to transform lives”. She also runs creative writing workshops at Studio 89. To find out more about Susan visit her website at:


Breakfast Meeting April 15, 2017

Ronnie Swais is a Marketing, Media and Sponsorship Expert. She has successfully produced multiple media platforms over the last 10 years, gaining a collective audience of over 15 million readers, viewers, site visitors and event attendees during that time. She has negotiated and generated 10’s of  $1000’s of dollars in Sponsorship and advertising revenue  for her Books, Websites, Events, iTV Show, Radio Show and Print Magazines. For the last 2 years she has been speaking about the changes in Social Media, the rise of Influencers and the power of creating your own audience. She is particularly passionate about Authors, Bloggers, and Speakers learning about how to partner with Corporations to generate Sponsor Dollars. Sponsor Dollars can finance the production and printing of their books, marketing material, and even to hire PR representation to gain Speaking gigs, TV and Radio Guest spots!




Breakfast Meeting May 20, 2017

My name is Jokelee Vanderkop*. A head-on collision cost me my career as a secondary school teacher and left me with a chronic pain disorder as well as some brain impairments. For twelve years, I was embroiled in a battle for benefits with my car insurer and extended health carrier. The emotional toll this battle takes is tremendous. I am but one of many legitimate claimants who has had to fight their insurer tooth and nail to have their insurance policy honoured.

The story of my insurance battle was compounded by an incurable cancer that developed four years into the process, followed by rheumatoid arthritis. My book, ‘So You Think You’re Covered! The Insurance Industry Rip-Off’ contains valuable advice about how I won on all fronts. I wrote it to inform others so that they would be on a more equal footing with their insurer. I have learned some very useful lessons that should help others when they have to file a claim for benefits.

The author has her M.A. in Political Studies, along with a Bachelor’s in Education. She is proficient in French, having lived in Switzerland for eight years. Before becoming a high school teacher, she worked at the University of Guelph, Ontario, playing a key role in conceptualizing and organizing the five day international “Ethics and Technology” Conference at the University of Guelph in 1989. She produced and co­edited two books, pre­conference and post­conference publications entitled, ‘Ethics and Technology: Ethical Choices in the Age of Pervasive Technology’, and has co­authored articles on food security, the Shining Path in Peru, as well as on international development issues. She was the editor/producer of Worldscape, an International Development periodical put out by the Centre for International Programs in Guelph. For nine years, she worked as a volunteer in various capacities with the Rural Women’s Shelter Program. Ms. Vanderkop has traveled extensively in Europe as well as in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.

Before her car accident, she taught French Immersion and Core French, History, Economics, Geography and Law in Palmerston, Ontario, where she still resides.

Breakfast Meeting June 17, 2017

Bertram Ellis and his wife, Karen, emigrated to Canada in 1957.

He joined the de Havilland aircraft of Canada company, engineering department and retired in 1990 as the manager of Aero Services. 

He was a pilot until he lost his licence due to deteriorating vision.

He has travelled the world, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Far East, and South America. Among his adventures, he has been lost in the Sudanese desert south of Omdurman, blown up, shot at, and fished the mighty Zambezi and been on safaris, day and night.

During his travels he never lost his belief in the essential goodness of people.

After he retired he started writing and presenting seminars on memoir writing.

He has presented seminars on memoir writing for 25 years in the USA and Canada. He wrote a book, ‘A century of memories’ which was published by a seniors magazine. A ten article series on the subject was published by several senior magazines and newspapers in America.

The Florida newspaper that published the series in a weekly column, received requests  for the complete set from places as far away as Australia. Visitors had read one or two articles while on holiday in Florida and wanted to read the complete set. 

Bert has written novels, short stories and articles on various topics. His novel ‘The GINA Mirage’ ( German intelligence north Afrika) is partly based on his two years in the Egyptian desert while serving in the RAF just after WWII.


Breakfast Meeting July 15, 2017

This is our semi-annual members readings. Please come out to support your fellow members and marvel at all of the talent we have in our organization. If you wish to read please send your entry and request to Jasmine Jackman at . Readings are limited to five minutes in order to accommodate all of the participants.

Breakfast Meeting September 16, 2017

Marnie Grundman is the author of MISSING: A True Story of a Childhood Lost. Marnie has been featured on major Television and radio shows such as Breakfast Television, Young Justice with Zach Rhoads, Wise Women Canada, CJAD, Experience 50, Lifeology with James Miller and the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse. A child who belonged to no one, missing at the tender age of 13, she experienced the worst of humanity firsthand. However, she didn’t just make it through; she rose above the darkness, becoming a beacon of light, of empowerment, for others to do the same.

What began as a story of healing led to one of triumph, of the power of the human spirit, of one woman’s surthrival against all odds. Marnie has since become an advocate for the missing, working to change the perception of runaway children so they might finally get the help they desperately need. Her compelling book, engaging talks, and insightful articles have become a shining light to the lost and the struggling. Marnie guides and teaches how not to live their damage, how to heal and overcome, how to rise up and reclaim a life of happiness.

Her typical audiences are Adult Survivors of Abuse/Trauma, Social Workers, Child Advocates, Homeless Youth Organizations and Advocates, Recovering Runaways, Families of Missing and Runaway Children, Missing Children Organizations, Educators, and those who are looking for ways to help recovering runaways.

SPECIALTIES: Understanding the impact of child abuse: emotional, physical and sexual. How to heal from trauma and child abuse. Runaways/homeless youth: What they face, why they run, and how to serve them when they return.

Breakfast Meeting October 21, 2017

sharonacrawford-smallSharon A. Crawford, a former journalist, is a freelance memoir and fiction writer, writing consultant and instructor, blogger, book reviewer, editor and sometime actor. Sharon is the author of the Beyond mystery series, the short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012), and her latest novel Beyond Blood (Blue Denim Press, Fall 2014). In the May 2013 issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Jon L. Breen in his “Jury Box” review of Beyond the Tripping Point called Sharon A. Crawford “a Canadian writer of promise.”Sharon has appeared with her Beyond mystery books along with other Crime Writers of Canada authors in libraries, cafés and Word on the Street. Her main Beyond character, private investigator Dana Bowman, has shown up at book launches, fundraisers and other presentations. Sharon also belongs to Toronto Sisters in Crime, The Toronto Heliconian Club, and runs the East End Writers’ Group. She was Writer in Residence for the Canadian Authors Association, Toronto branch, 2009-2014. Her hobbies: reading, walking and gardening act as catalysts for her next novel. Check her website at and her author blog


Breakfast Meeting November 18, 2017

Eva Stachniak is the award-winning and internationally bestselling author of The Winter Palace and Empress of the Night, two novels inspired by Catherine the Great The Winter Palace was a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year and made The Washington Post’s most notable fiction list. She holds a PhD in literature from McGill University.

The Chosen Maiden, set in the world of Ballets Russes, was published by Doubleday in January of 2017. The Chosen Maiden is like entering Aladdin’s Cave, where a vivid, strange and enchanting world awaits. This is the world Stachniak paints of the Ballets Russes, replete with firebirds and fauns, love affairs and bitter artistic rivalries. Most of all, it is the thrilling world of the Great Nijinsky and his passionate and unforgettable sister Bronia, whose discipline and talent rival her famous brother’s, but whose greatest genius may be her will to survive. Spanning two world wars and the Russian Revolution, Eva Stachniak’s sumptuous and evocative dance of the Chosen Maiden is the dance of 20th century history.

Born and raised in Poland, she moved to Canada in 1981, and lives in Toronto.