Take The Lead – Stacey Robert-Tobin: A Change Maker Of A Generation Of Women Saying “Yes I Can”!
Stacey Robert-Tobin is an educator, author and entrepreneur, who recently received the University of Windsor, “Alumni of Distinction Odyssey Award” for her work in the community. She is also featured in the latest book by local author Jenn Sadai, titled “Women Ready to Rise.”
At the end of February, I had the chance to meet with Stacey Robert-Tobin (RT) to pick her brain on what advice she has for others. Here is a summary of what we chatted about.
Biz X: Why is it important for you to be a community leader?
RT: The world needs people who are willing to lead. I see myself as someone who strives for success and I want others to see this potential in themselves. I also want to inspire others to get involved in their community and give back while following their passion in life. I feel honoured that I can be a mentor and a source of guidance to others.
Biz X: What motivated you to start Women of Windsor and what is your vision for the group?
RT: I have always been fascinated by the power of collective energy. I have volunteered for many organizations and found it to be very rewarding. I began to notice many unsung heroes in our community doing amazing work and I wanted to acknowledge and celebrate their work. I wanted to create a platform where women could share their experiences (personally and professionally) and network. It has been an incredible journey, and as the group continues to grow, I realize the sky’s the limit. Women of Windsor is a success because of the strong and powerful women who have joined. I hope to offer leadership training/mentoring to those interested in further expanding their leadership skills.
Biz X: Please share how you became a leader in fertility support in Ontario, providing service from Windsor to Toronto.
RT: Fertility Friends initially started out of my own need for support after trying to conceive for a few years. Upon discovering there were no support groups in Windsor Essex, I decided to create one and reached out to Fertility Matters Canada. I became their Southwestern Ontario representative. I was also involved in a project conducted by McGill University to develop a mobile app supporting men and women in their fertility journey. My ultimate goal is to continue to advocate for those who feel they cannot speak. It’s important to remove the stigma surrounding infertility, while providing a safe space where they can share their story and obtain advice, support, and guidance.
RT: Choose something you are passionate about and willing to work hard for! With passion and purpose things fall into place. Become an excellent communicator, work to improve your listening skills and never allow anyone to make you feel less than what you deserve. Treat others with kindness and compassion and build bridges — don’t burn them! You never know when you might need a helping hand. Be courageous, go after what you want in life. Courage does not make you fearless, facing your fears is the first step towards achievement. Lastly, don’t be afraid of failure . . . through failures we grow and get closer to achieving success.
Biz X: I know that you are a huge advocate for women and you started an all-female painting business as a student. Do you have any tips for young women starting out in their careers?
RT: Be courageous and proud. You can do anything you set your mind to. Challenge yourself to do what you think you can’t and work hard to achieve your goals. Write down your ideas, because ideas become thoughts and thoughts become actions. Ignore negativity, surround yourself with those who inspire you and build you up. Always listen to, and trust your intuition. Remember that women’s groups should include male advocacy because we are stronger together. To progress, we must have men as part of the conversation; together we can make a difference.
Sherrilynn Colley-Vegh is an award winning leadership consultant and former Director of Leadership Windsor/Essex, Principal, Chief Communications Officer and business owner with over 30 years of experience in education, administration, mentoring, consulting and community leadership. If you know a leader in the community to profile here in this column, please send an email to: [email protected]