EVENT: The Only One in the Room

Let’s get unladylike and talk about the challenges of creating truly diverse boards and the trials and tribulations of being the first diverse candidate on a board!

Join us in-person in Calgary, Alberta on March 6, 2023 for an exclusive event proudly sponsored by DiliTrust, in partnership with Governance Studio, Board Ready Women, The 51 and Vermilion.

Limited seats: register now!


Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, OC, AOE, PEng, President Emerita, University of Calgary and Corporate Director – The 51

President Emerita of the University of Calgary, professional engineer and geomatics engineering expert, Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, OC, AOE, is a leader in the research and development of GPS for industrial and academic environments. She has commercialized technology to over 200 agencies worldwide, and has been recognized with many national and international honours including the Johannes Kepler Award from the U.S. Institute of Navigation, an NSERC Steacie Award and the Gold Medal Award from Engineers Canada. Dr. Cannon is currently a member of numerous boards and advisory councils, and is a seed-stage investor, particularly in female-founded companies. Dr. Cannon was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network. In 2019, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, and in 2021 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Axis Connects Calgary Influential Women in Business Awards. In 2022, Dr. Cannon was awarded the Alberta Order of Excellence and was inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame – Southern Alberta. She has received five honorary degrees and she is a member of the General Partner Advisory Committee (GPAC) of The51.

Heather Culbert, ICD.D, GCB.D – Board Ready Women

With over 27 years of experience in the oil and gas sector, Ms. Culbert has held senior positions in the oil and gas sector and was formerly the Senior Vice President of Corporate Services at Enerplus, a mid-sized oil and gas company.

Heather served as Vice Chair on the Board of Export Development Canada (EDC) and Chaired the HR Committee. She was recently appointed the to the Board of The Fraser Institute and Catapult Environmental.  She chairs the United Way World Leadership Council, a member of the She Leads Economic Council of Alberta and is past Chair of the Alberta Research and Innovation Advisory Council (ARIAC), past Chair of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), and as a Director of Whitecap Resources.

Heather has been an active volunteer and philanthropist for many years and has co-founded both the Board Ready Women and Axis Connects not-for-profit organizations in Alberta.  She is now the Co-Chair of the Calgary Cancer Centre campaign with the goal of raising $250 million.  Heather has served on many not for profit Boards over the past 15 years.

Ms. Culbert has been recognized for her leadership and community service and most recently was the recipient of the Queens Platinum Jubilee Award and last year received the 2021 Women’s Energy Council Female Executive of the Year Award.  In March of 2019, she proudly received the Governor General’s Sovereign Volunteerism Medal to recognize her exemplary philanthropic efforts in Canada.  Heather has received numerous other awards including the BMO Celebrating Women 2016 Community and Charitable Giving award, a SAIT Honorary Bachelor of Science Degree in 2014, the Doc Seaman Generosity of Spirit Award as an individual philanthropist in 2013, the Alberta Centennial Medal for Community Service in 2005, and in 2003 she was recognized as SAIT’s Distinguished Alumna.

Heather recently completed her ICD.D certification through the Haskayne School of Business ICD program and her GCB.D ESG certification through Competent Boards.

Yvonne Jeffery, MSc – Vermilion Energy

Yvonne has over 30 years of international sustainability and communications experience, with more than a decade in the energy sector. Yvonne joined Vermilion in 2013, where she has since led sustainability strategy and reporting, community investment and communications. She previously held leadership roles at the intersection of business, community and sustainable development, including at the Calgary Herald. Yvonne began her career with 10 years as a logistics officer in the Canadian Army, serving across the country and on a United Nations’ peacekeeping mission in Cambodia. As a thought leader in the rapidly evolving world of sustainability and ESG, Yvonne prioritizes collaboration and shared value, while aligning her work with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She focuses on building communities through collaboration and partnerships, with the ultimate goal of leaving no-one behind. Yvonne currently serves on the Board of Governors of Commissionaires Southern Alberta and on Commissionaires’ national Governance Committee, and is Vice Chair of the Advisory Committee and a mentor with the Graduate Diploma in Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto.

Lori James, Executive Director of Making Changes Association/Dress for Success Calgary

Lori has over 25 years of experience empowering teams, supporting clients, and generating results.   With a focus on relationships and empowerment, for years Lori has worked as part of Senior Management within non-profit organizations supporting strategic planning, program development, human resources, fund development, and stakeholder engagement. Lori is passionate about empowering women and helping to ensure all individuals are provided equal opportunities regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, or sexual identification.

Sylvia Groves, FCG, Acc. Dir – Governance Studio

Sylvia, a self-proclaimed “governance nerd”, believes in the power of transparency, integrity and continuous improvement to add value. She created Governance Studio from her award-winning work with one of Canada’s foremost governance leaders. Sylvia Groves is the author of AAA+ Minutes™, a judge of the Excellence in Governance Awards, a member of the founding faculty of the GPC.D professional designation and President of Governance Studio

From her award-winning work in corporate governance, she created Governance Studio, a firm dedicated to Adding Value to Every Seat in the Boardroom Table™. She works exclusively with organizations that seek to apply good governance practices as a fundamental way to add value.

Sylvia’s expertise and no-nonsense practical advice has helped thousands of directors, governance professionals and corporate secretaries enhance the effectiveness of their boards and their organizations.


Monday, March 6, 2023 from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm (MST)


Vermillion Energy Inc., Suite 3500, 520 3 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 0R3


  • 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM Welcome!
  • 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM – Panel Discussion
  • 12:45 PM – 2:00 PM Lunch and Networking


 $20 – all proceeds will be donated to Dress for Success Calgary, aiming to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and life.



Limited seats available!