Connections: Mentorship Circle expands nationally with launch of Toronto chapter

Connections: Mentorship Circle was co-founded by mother-daughter duo Donna Finley and Rebecca Finley-Schidlowskyfor an important purpose: empower and support women in a positive environment by growing their confidence, network and skills. Since its 2014 launch, the Calgary Chapter has grown to a circle that includes over 80 Mentors & 80 Mentees.

Headshot Gnocato

Kathleen Gnocato, President of ConnectionsTO

With the wonderful success of its Western Chapter, Connections is delighted to announce its national expansion into Toronto – ConnectionsTO. The Toronto Chapter will be led by Kathleen Gnocatoand will officially launch this September. Kathleen is thrilled to be taking on this leadership role and cannot wait to engage women in mentorship and conversations around personal and professional development opportunities. Kathleen is an Analyst at the Office of the Provincial Security Advisor, responsible for the office’s work on security of critical infrastructure in the province of Ontario. She is also the Program Director of the Global Ideas Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. On top of that, she Kathleen holds a Master’s ofGlobal Affairs from the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and a BAH from Queen’s University.

Kathleen’s professional background includes developing and managing the Utility Transformation Program at the MaRS Discovery District’s Advanced Energy Centre, an advisory role at Canada’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, and collaborative projects for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing.

More about Connections:

Connections is not your typical women’s business group. Programming is focused on developing a well-rounded leader and sessions are built around relationships, professional development, continuing education, health & wellness and spirituality. Over the course of a year, participants are exposed to topics in Governance, STEM, the Arts, Community and Capacity Building… to name a few. Past sessions include: a Master’s class on how to appreciate classical music led by recent recipients of the Order of Canada, Brian Finley and Donna Bennett; an introduction to technology featuring the University of Calgary’s Department of Computer Science; Board Governance Basics (we are introducing a Board Shadowing program this fall in Calgary); and, women in politics which featured award winning journalist (CBC, NBC, Global News) Nirmala Naidoo.

Feature Photo

Mentees are encouraged to facilitate sessions to gain hands on experience and learn how to build Agendas, run meetings effectively and practice their public speaking skills. Connections women come from all different backgrounds (Oil & Gas, Entrepreneurs, Academics, Interior Designers, Heath Care, Social Services, Performing Arts, Education and Professional Services) and generations (ranging from 22 years old to over 60).


Join us at our next Connections YYC session:

Connections Movie Night July 29More information: