21-23 April 2020 | Brussels, Belgium

Seafood Expo Series on Women in Leadership*

**Registration is now closed**

Hosted by Diversified Communications & the Mission of the Canada to the EU

8 May 2019
8:30 – 10:00
Hall 11, Room 1122

This inaugural event will kick off with a panel discussion “What Government and the Private Sector Can do to Support the Inclusion and Advancement of Women in the Seafood Industry” featuring Canadian officials and industry panelists as well as representatives from the global seafood industry. They will discuss the importance of including and advancing women in the industry and will share their experiences and examples of what they are doing to attract, support and promote women at all levels.

Following the panel, Mary Larkin, President of Diversified Communications will interview Marie Christine Monfort, co-founder and president of the International Organization for Women in the Seafood Industry (WSI)and Tesa Diaz-Faes Santiago, Director of Communications for Grupo Nueva Pescanova. They will share their experiences as a advisors and employees active in promoting gender equality in the seafood industry.

“What Government and the Private Sector Can do to Support the Inclusion and Advancement of Women in the Seafood Industry”


Christina Burridge, Ph.D. | Executive Director 
British Columbia Seafood Alliance

Christina Burridge is the executive director of the British Columbia Seafood Alliance, an umbrella association whose members represent about 90% of the value of BC’s wild seafood. Its mandate is to encourage sustainable, profitable fisheries on Canada’s West Coast.

She is closely involved with third-party programs to verify seafood sustainability, particularly the Marine Stewardship Council, the international gold standard for assessing fishery sustainability. She is also the chair of the international Association of Sustainable Fisheries, representing three-quarters of fishery tonnage in the MSC program.

Christina has worked for various Canadian fishing industry associations since 1988 and is a member of numerous industry and government advisory groups.

Laurel Broten | President and CEO 
Nova Scotia Business Inc

Laurel Broten is a seasoned executive, public policy expert, former senior Ontario Cabinet Minister, lawyer, legislator and advocate. Laurel is President and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI), a crown corporation responsible for export development, business and film financing, and investment attraction for the Province of Nova Scotia.

In 2017, Laurel received Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 – CIBC Trailblazers and Trendsetters award. Most recently, Laurel became a proud member of the 30% Club, an organization dedicated to championing meaningful and sustainable change in the gender balance of boards and leadership.

From 2003 until 2013, Laurel served as Minister of Education, Minister of Children and Youth Services, Minister of the Environment, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues, Vice-chair of Treasury Board/Management Board, and Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier, to the Minister of Health and Long-term Care and to the Minister of Energy.

Laura Halfyard | General Manager  
Sunrise Fish Farms

Dr. Laura Halfyard is the General Manager for Sunrise Fish Farms Inc. and Connaigre Fish Farms Inc. and is currently the Past-President and a Mussel representative for the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association. She is part of the development team for the Government of NL and NAIA “The Way Forward: Aquaculture Sector Work Plan”.

She is on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation that is owned by Memorial University of NL. She has over 30 years of experience with the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland, as an aquaculture/fisheries specialist, including education and gender resources, working in Canada, as well as Asian and African developing countries. Her father, Laura and most of her siblings are members of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band Order, NL.

Over the years, she has been active in Newfoundland and Canadian organizations focusing on mentorship and Aboriginal youth, including: Past-President, Director and Fellow Member of Women in Science and Engineering Newfoundland and Labrador; the gender advisory committee for the Council of Marine Professionals.

Daniel J. Costello | Ambassador
Mission of Canada to the European Union

Daniel J. Costello (B.A. Honours, Political Science, McGill University, 1984; M.A. Philosophy, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 1991; Ph.D. Philosophy, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 1995) taught for several years at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and l’Université François-Rabelais in Tours, France, before returning to Canada to serve as Policy Adviser and Executive Assistant to the Director of Policy and Research in the Office of the Prime Minister Executive Assistant to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Chief of Staff to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

He returned to teaching at the University of Ottawa in the fall of 2004 prior to joining Foreign Affairs Canada in 2005, where he has served as Director General for Intergovernmental Relations and Domestic Outreach, Director General for the European Union and Western Europe, Ambassador to the Republic of Poland with concurrent responsibility for Belarus, Director General for Strategic Policy and Assistant Deputy Minister for Europe and the Middle East.

He was appointed Ambassador of Canada to the European Union in August of 2015.

Ian D. Smith | Chief Executive Officer
Clearwater Seafoods Limited Partnership

Ian D. Smith is the Chief Executive Officer of Clearwater Seafoods. Mr. Smith joined Clearwater in May 2010 with over 30 years of international experience in the food and consumer products industry.

Prior to joining Clearwater, Mr. Smith held senior leadership positions at the Campbell Soup Company within Canada, the United States and China. Prior to his time at Campbell’s, Mr. Smith held various marketing, sales and international business development positions with Allergan, Colgate-Palmolive and the Gillette Company.

Mr. Smith participates on a number of boards and advisory groups focused on international trade and public policy. He is a graduate of McGill University (BA Economics, MBA) and a former Captain in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserve.


Mary Larkin | President
Diversified Communications USA

As President of Diversified Communications US, Mary Larkin oversees a global portfolio of almost  thirty events, media and conferences run out of Diversified ‘s US office.  Since joining the company in 1995, she has had roles in sales, as Show Director and Vice President of the global seafood events.  More recently, she has been Executive Vice President of the US operations.




Marie Christine Monfort | President
International Association of Women in Seafood (WSI) 

Co-founder and president of the International Organisation for Women in the Seafood Industry (WSI), Marie Christine Monfort works at promoting gender equality in the seafood industry.

For over twenty years, she operated as a seafood market analyst advising private businesses, national public institutions, and international organisations. During this period, immersed in the industry, she witnessed its gender organisation, sometimes discriminations and understood that things could be done differently. Since 2015, she decided to leave the marketing issues aside and invest in the gender dimension.

In 2016 she co-founded WSI a not for profit NGO which takes every opportunity to alert seafood stakeholders about gender inequalities and to disseminate good practices. WSI is the organiser of the international video competition displaying the lives of women operating in any segment along the seafood value chain.

Marie Christine Monfort has a degree in economics (Msc) from Sorbonne University, Paris and International Trade (Msc) from the Norwegian Fishery Economics Institute (NHH), in Bergen, Norway.

Tesa Diaz-Faes Santiago | Directora de Comunicacion             
Grupo Nueva Pescanova

Tesa Díaz-Faes is the CCCO- Chief Communications Officer at Nueva Pescanova Group since the beginning of April 2016. She is one of the leading women in the field of communication in Spain, not only because of her responsibility as Pescanova´s Communication Director, one of the most relevant brands in the food industry that sells in 80 countries, but also for her commitment to the professional development of communicators.
She has two degrees, one in Journalism and the other one in Audiovisual Comunication through the University of Navarra. She also has a masters degree in the IESE Business School and the most important postgraduate degree for women executives in Spain: Promociona Project, in the ESADE Business School.
With a strong strategic vision and focus on results, she has previously developed corporate, crisis and product communication strategies in consumer areas, banking, energy, technology sectors and business associations. She has also practiced journalism in the Spanish media and in the Miami Herald, USA.

Tesa is a mother of three children, and she is one of the forces promoting the development of women at Pescanova, “Women in Pescanova”, WIP, a women´s group whose mission is to detect and support women´s talent within the company.

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