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Rona Maynard

Mental Health Advocate and former Editor-in-Chief, Chatelaine

Rona Maynard didn’t let a history of depression block her path to the top job at Chatelaine. She then shared her journey in a landmark editorial that inspired a myth-shattering conversation among millions of readers across the country. Today the candour and wit that made Rona’s monthly editorial a must-read are front and centre at the podium, where she mines her own surprising story for life-tested wisdom that strikes a universal chord.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


The Healing Power of Work
This fearless, eye-opening speech will challenge, move and inspire anyone who deals with mental illness in the workplace. Rona shows how work awakened her fun-loving side and taught her the meaning of teamwork. You’ll also learn the three things she’d do differently if she could revisit her experience with mental illness on her staff. You’ll leave with a fresh perspective on one of the most urgent issues in human resources today.

Renew, Recharge, Re-imagine: Tap Your Inner Wellspring
This inspiring, entertaining, laugh-filled speech will use vivid real-life examples to connect everyone in your group with their own inner wellspring. Drawing on rich experience with frantic schedules and conflicting demands from home and work, Rona will show you how to stay calm and focused when everyone wants a piece of you.

Following Your Inner Leader
Drawing on her own journey from underachieving sad sack to dynamic motivator and role model for millions of Chatelaine readers, Rona shows how to listen to the wise voice within, which cuts through de-motivating workaday static, so that others will listen to you. Rona’s stories will connect you with the passion, commitment and distinctive gifts that make up your personal leadership toolbox.

From Wanting to Die to Loving My Life: How I Beat Depression
Rona Maynard didn’t take her own life because she knew that her family would miss her. But she still had to make a life worth living. The first step was admitting that she needed help. Learn why she’s not ashamed to have a history of mental illness and how we can work together to ensure that diseases of the mind get the same respect as diseases of the body.


Platform Plus

Workshop | Build Your Brand With A Story

All compelling stories have something in common-the power to capture an audience. If you have a product to sell, a cause to champion or employees to motivate, you need a story that will cut through the nonstop noise of a working day and focus attention on your message. The storytelling tool kit used for this workshop was honed as Editor of Chatelaine Magazine during the biggest rebranding in its history. Suggested length: three hours


YWCA of Metropolitan Toronto | Woman of Distinction Award
Israel Cancer Research Fund | Woman of Action Award
Canadian Nurses Association | Media Award
Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health |National Champion of Mental Health Award
  • I felt energized as I left the luncheon after listening to Rona's inspiring messages... I created a list of Rona's key points and I intend to keep this as a handy reference and guiding point for me in my own life.

    - The PowerPoint Group, Women of Influence Luncheon Series
  • Please, don't change a word, a pause, an inflection. You are an outstanding speaker with a presence and a poise that are rare. I will think of you as I interact with the 'rogues' in my life. And I will try to be rational enough not to blame the rain for falling.

    - Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario
  • She was inspirational, touched everyone in the room. She was articulate, charming, warm, inviting, and totally wonderful. The feedback was terrific - we could not have done better!

    - Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Peel

Summary Profile

Rona Maynard tells stories that inspire courage, build community and kick-start life-changing conversations. As Editor-in-chief of Chatelaine, Maynard became a mentor and friend to millions of Canadian women who recognized their most intimate challenges and dreams in her stories. She told the truth about her victory over chronic depression, proving that a history of mental illness is no barrier to joy or success.

Maynard’s advocacy won her the National Champion of Mental Health Award, one of many prestigious honours. Funny, frank and passionate, Maynard shares her unlikely journey from self-confessed “sad sack” to dynamic leader, with you-can-do-it lessons that empower audiences to overcome obstacles and tap their greatest gifts..

Rona is the author of the acclaimed memoir My Mother’s Daughter, an “honest, affectionate and captivating book (that) will ring true for every reader who has struggled to be her own woman while still being her mother’s daughter.” Now she leads others to the heart of their own stories in a unique memoir workshop for beginning writers and a companion workshop on brand building through storytelling.