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Gayle Hallgren-Rezac & Judy Thomson

Networking Experts & Bestselling Authors

Gayle Hallgren-Rezac and Judy Thomson are two of Canada’s top networking experts. They are co-authors (with Darcy Rezac) of the best-selling book WORK THE POND! Use the Power of Positive Networking to Leap Forward in Work and Life (Penguin Prentice Hall) which has been called “the connector’s handbook” by Town and Country magazine. Their trademarked philosophy of networking, Positive Networking®, has been named the “world’s best definition”. This dynamic speaking duo’s approach to networking is not just about confident connecting in all networking situations, it’s about developing more collaborative relationships inside organizations and building stronger networks in work and life. Gayle and Judy have a special way of connecting with their audiences. Not only that, but they get their audiences connecting with one and other!    

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


LEAP START!™ -The perfect conference opener keynote
Picture your typical conference: at the first break people immediately pull out their phones. Why? Because talking to strangers is hard. Many people go to conferences with anxiety about walking into the opening reception solo or talking to strangers at “networking breaks”. Gayle and Judy’s signature conference program creates a “permission to network” atmosphere and reminds audiences of all the networking opportunities at your conference. LEAP START!™ delivers the very best tips to start networking immediately—even introverts! This high-energy presentation by two of Canada’s top networking experts is the perfect way to kick off your conference, regional or national meeting. Expect some flying frogs!

POWER OF POSITIVE NETWORKING® – Best business networking training
Audiences learn practical and tactical tips to become better networkers, connectors and relationship builders in this most popular program which is based on a trademarked seven-step system and the “world’s best definition” of networking—Positive Networking®. Audiences learn sure-fire cures for networking nervosus™, skills to ‘work the pond’, how to engage in small talk and effective follow-up techniques. They come away with personal networking plans and easy wins that they can use in work and life. The authors of Work The Pond! (Penguin Prentice Hall) transform the way people feel about networking and its value in both work and life.

ENGAGED WOMAN LEADER™ – For women’s networks and conferences
Networking is a key leadership competency for women yet research shows that women will often “check off” all the other work on their to-do list before they make time to network. The Engaged Woman Leader™ gives women the confidence and the tips and techniques to become better networkers for their career and life, even when they don’t think they have the time. Women in leadership roles find this program an important refresher in networking and collaboration skills. This is a great bonding experience for women in your internal women’s network or at a women’s conference.

FACE-TO-FACE & THE DIGITAL WORLD™ – Networking skills for today’s world
LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, other social networks, apps, chat bots and email are ways that people connect these days and it’s a world that changes rapidly. This session helps audiences learn how to use these digital tools as a powerful alloy, but not to the exclusion of face-to-face connecting. You can’t do one without the other. Face-To-Face & The Digital World™ is networking training for a time-crunched world that still requires people to build high-trust relationships and grow their networks.

Platform Plus

Workshop | Positive Communication & Collaboration™ – Powerful team building
In today’s world there’s no time for long-winded meetings, misunderstandings and personal conflicts caused by poor communications. This session gives your team new tools to improve rapport and trust, avoid unconscious biases, and create positive, productive communications. Take your team’s skills up a notch: be clearer, more concise, listen more effectively and avoid conflict caused by poor communication.  This session creates a more positive and collaborative work world.
Workshop | Power of Positive Networking®
This workshop takes Gayle and Judy’s keynote presentation with the same title to the next level. In a series of six modules during this full-day workshop your team will learn the tactical and practical tips of networking from two of Canada’s top networkers and they’ll delve deeper into the power of networks. They’ll assess their operational, personal and strategic networks ─ something most people have not done! This workshop is interactive with group exercises, discussions and is customized for your audience. At the end of this workshop, attendees will be better equipped to network with ease in any situation.

  • Feedback from our delegates was outstanding. They do a tremendous job of taking the traditional concept of networking and making it fresh, smart and relevant - all delivered in a very entertaining way. They exceeded my expectations and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to other events or organizations.

    - -Executive Director, Boating BC Association
  • We had a fabulous 2-women team that kicked-off the conference with a hands-on, practical session on networking. Their presentation transformed the whole dynamic of the conference!

    - Wal-Mart
  • It was a great event!! Our networking training paid off substantially. We received nothing but enthusiastic compliments from guests and staff and particularly our CEO and President.

    - PCL Constructors Canada Inc.
  • Very great material covered by two very inspiring and knowledgeable women who know business!

    - TELUS
  • Great session, ladies! Loved the chemistry between you two! The conversation was very organic.

    - Attendee, iTRADE The Power of Positive Networking
  • Excellent presentation – well presented material. Good mix of practical examples – positive networking, use of business cards.

    - Attendee, iTRADE The Power of Positive Networking

Summary Profile

Gayle Hallgren-Rezac is writer, speaker and innovative marketer who co-founded one of Canada`s unique entrepreneurial ventures, Cookies by George. Long before cupcakes had their own stores, this trailblazer built a gourmet cookie business into a multimillion dollar venture and won a YWCA Women of Distinction Award for her accomplishments. Gayle has lived all around the world including the United States, Europe and Iran, where she worked for Iranian Radio and TV and UNESCO.  Gayle has spent over two decades observing and writing on networking. She has attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, over eleven times and is a member of the elite Davos Circle. This is the ultimate networking event that brings together world leaders, celebrities and politicians to discuss global issues.

Judy Thomson is a chartered professional accountant (CPA, CA) and business consultant. Judy was part of the start-up management team of the world-famous Rocky Mountaineer Railtours, the world’s largest privately owned luxury train company. She also spent five years in Asia, as the director of administration and human resources for a global accounting and consulting firm with an office of 800 employees. Judy is champion of women in leadership. She is an Honored Alumni of The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s Women’s Leadership Circle® advisory council (after serving as vice-chair for six years), a past director of the Women’s Enterprise Centre, and has ten years of corporate director experience in the public and not-for-profit sectors.

For the past fifteen years, Gayle and Judy have been passionate champions of networking and have developed an expertise that they love sharing with others.  For them, networking is a leadership skill, a team-building skill and a business development skill. It’s what they call “networking done right™”.  They have seen people become more confident, more successful, and more open to opportunities when they put into practice the skills they teach.

Gayle and Judy create a great dynamic on stage. They have chemistry, they kibitz, sometimes they finish each other’s sentences and they get out in the audience and bring people into the conversation. They tell stories, some funny, some poignant and always memorable. They provide tried and true solutions to the challenge of walking into a room solo, engaging in small talk and exiting a conversation. Even introverts can enjoy networking more! They also shine a light on the power of weak links, dormant ties, and the exponential power of social networks.  Gayle and Judy know that their audiences want tactical and practical takeaways and easy wins that they can start using immediately. That’s what they deliver.

Together, Gayle and Judy have given hundreds of presentations to corporations, associations, government departments, universities and had the privilege of presenting on the same stage as Dr. Oz, Joy Behar, Cassie Campbell and others through the Power Within and Power of Women. Their client list includes the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), EY Canada, PCL Constructors, Procter & Gamble, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank, and TD Canada Trust. They have also worked with women’s networks such as RBC Dominion Securities Women in Wealth Management, Women@Enbridge and Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT).