2024 Speakers

Joelle Tomlinson

Joelle Tomlinson is an accomplished and award-winning journalist, known for her passion, professionalism, and captivating storytelling.

With a career spanning over a decade, Joelle has made a significant impact in the field of broadcast journalism. She was the youngest Black female News Anchor and Producer across Western Canada in history, hosting CTV Morning Live Calgary for six years. Her engaging presence, daily interviews and informative reporting made her a trusted source of news and information for viewers.

Joelle is now the community reporter for Global News in Calgary, covering human interest stories, emceeing major events and representing the voices of the city.

Joelle believes in connection, community and compassion, recognizing the importance of giving back and making a positive impact. She is particularly passionate about mental health and addiction initiatives after losing her brother to a fentanyl overdose. She is also an avid trail runner, a spin instructor, and can most often be found on Calgary’s pathways with her two rescue pups and a coffee in hand.

Ashley Freeborn

CEO & Co-Founder of Smash + Tess

Born and raised in Vancouver, B.C., Ashley graduated from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., with a BA in English, a BEd, and an MEd. She taught school for a decade before co-founding Smash + Tess with her mother in 2016.

The idea for Smash + Tess rose out of a Ashley’s recognition for an unfilled niche in fashion—a void in the loungewear market. Deciding to fill that void with affordable, stylish, comfortable loungewear, she attended the summer fashion program at Conde Nast in London, UK. Bootstrapping her idea to life, S+T has grown from two employees to a team of 40+. As CEO, Ashley oversees everything from designing to financial planning to dreaming up fun and creative marketing campaigns. Under her direction, S+T has grown exponentially in revenue and transnationally in market share and public notoriety. It has grown famous for its celebrity collaborations with the likes of Hilary Duff, Paula Abdul, Jillian Harris, and Sarah Nicole Landry aka The Birds Papaya, and is best known for leading the Romper Revolution- a movement that was born out of clothing that celebrates femininity, strength, style, and comfort in women of all shapes and sizes. Ashley is also committed to giving back. S+T has spearheaded several charitable endeavors, raising tens of thousands of dollars to support organizations like Matriarch Movement, Mamas For Mamas, Marsha P. Johnson Institute and more.

In 2020, Ashley was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, which recognizes the most outstanding leaders in the country. She also led Smash + Tess through exponential growth, landing the company on The Globe and Mail’s Top Growth Companies for the past three years in a row. Ashley is a published author and her children’s book, Frankie and the Magical Romper, can be purchased at Chapters Indigo. She is also a celebrated presenter, touring North America to speak on topics including building a successful brand, e-commerce and D2C sales, authentic collaborations, and social media strategy.

Jody Carrington

Renowned Psychologist & Bestselling Author

Dr. Jody Carrington is a powerhouse speaker and fearless champion for authentic human connection. She is highly sought after for her expertise, energy and genuine approach to helping people solve the most complex human-centred problems. Jody’s work focuses on the value of reconnection – the key to healthy relationships and productive teams. Her authentic, honest (and often hilarious) approach never fails to inspire and motivate audiences.

Dr. Carrington is the founder and principal psychologist at the Carrington Practice, where she uses her twenty-plus years of experience to empower the clients she connects with. Jody’s unique resume of clients – from kids to major institutions – provides her with the insights and depth of experience to present unmatched value to her audiences. Her core message resonates with everyone from the practice to the world stage: our power lies in our ability to acknowledge each other first.

She is the bestselling author of Kids These Days (2019), Teachers These Days (2021), and the emotionally charged and introspective chart-topping, Feeling Seen (HarperCollins, 2023).

Jody lives in small-town Olds, Alberta, with her husband and three children (she had three kids in 2 years to test her own resilience) and leads the amazing team at Carrington & Company.