Kelly Bergeron

September 2016 – Brockville

Kelly Bergeron

She’s So Fabulous Show Notes

 

Tonight we talked Hillary, work relocations, glass ceilings, diversity, lean-in groups, the Mckinsey Report, Not For Profits, grant writing, Cornwall culture, recovery plans for economic development, women in tech, the future of code, digital marketing, social media for all ages, the challenges of reaching your ideal customers, and oh yes, figure skating.

 

Kelly Bergeron has over 15 years experience working for large corporations building digital experiences & strategies in workplaces such as Make-A-Wish Canada, the Dept of National Defence & RCMP, Salesforce – both the Toronto org and the San Francisco org.

 

Kelly grew up in Cornwall focused on figure skating. She showed real potential often being trained with Elizabeth Manley’s coach at an Ottawa club that she attended each summer, staying with friends. She has lived in Hamilton, Kingston, New York City, London-England, Toronto, San Francisco and recently returned to her hometown of Cornwall with her husband.

 

Her skill set covers all aspects of digital programming, marketing, advertising and project management in addition to her bilingualism. Job offer after job offer has been presented to her over the years leading to opportunities to relocate and expand her personal connections.

 

She entered into computer programming in Kingston after being nudged out of attending a Theatre program by her dad. She has a very creative side and gravitates towards digital marketing because it allows her the opportunity to express herself. Successful at every role she’s had, she continued to build her skills, engage in the work, and use her feisty personality to think outside the box.

 

I asked her to describe to the group the significance of working for Salesforce, and in two locations. She openly shared the impact Salesforce has had on the economy as well as wonderful employee programming they provided: 6 annual volunteer days, give-back funding programs, opportunities to attend various training/conferences and no lack of innovative projects to lead, etc.

 

[Background on Salesforce: Headquartered in San Francisco, California as of early 2016, it is one of the most highly valued American cloud computing companies with a market capitalization above $55 billion.]

 

Cornwall had reached out to her as she returned to Toronto to teach code in schools. She had been rolling up her sleeves with “Ladies Learning Code” in Toronto when she decided to launch Code Hero’s, a Not-for-Profit in her hometown 5 months ago. She created a board of directors and set out to write grant applications to help fund her programs.

 

She offers training for all ages on website development, robotics, MIT Scratch, 3D Printing, and all aspects of digital marketing and more recently held a successful Hack-a-thon. Essentially, Code Hero’s offers workshops to excite our youth (and adults) to think beyond the thrill of using their devices (phones, iPads, laptops, gaming) and get excited about building apps and other platforms that expands the technology of today and it’s user experience.

 

Code Hero’s is part of a cool, shared co-work place space on Pitt Street, right downtown. The landlord has waived any rent as they get Code Hero’s grounded. [how awesome is that!!!] They share the “above the storefront” space with Obo Art Studios and it’s slowly being decked out including a ping-pong table and other fun workspace areas that lead to creative thinking.

 

It soon became apparent for Kelly and the board that she needed to morph her NFP into a business. She let go of the tedious grant writing exercises and set about to disrupt the town’s forefathers and push the envelope. She actively looks to create a dialogue that encourages fostering the potential of Cornwall. “Citizens are owners of the community.” I stated that I was shocked to learn a few months ago that Cornwall’s population was 47,000.

 

This lead to a lively discussion about economic development in our area and the optics it creates when community leaders are not transparent about gaps. “There is so much potential in Cornwall.” [unfortunately, the lack of transparency of economic development gaps will not attract the injection of growth that it needs to evolve.]

 

She’s recently launched an Innovation Task Force and with the members of that team are working hard to bring positive change to the citizens of Cornwall.

 

A few suggestions from Kelly to “have your mind blown” are:

 

  • The Miss Representation Documentary – women & girls and how they are portrait in the media/movies/music
  • Lean In Groups – Sheryl Sanberg (advancing women in the workplace) – She launched her own Lean In Group in San Francisco with Salesforce.
  • The 3% Conference – Cindy Gallop, TEDTalk Speaker, English advertising consultant, founder and former chair of the US branch of advertising firm Bartle Bogle Hegarty, and founder of the IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn companies. – You can google Cindy Gallop to view her in action at various conferences.
  • “Code: Debugging the Gender Gap” Documentary (challenges of women in tech, current gaps in diversity in tech, the importance of introducing computer programming into schools) I attended Code Hero’s viewing party of this documentary as was glued to the screen. <3

 

A few of my favourite Kelly comments:

 

  • “Black Executive Creative Directors are the rarest unicorn of them all.” Carol Gallop
  • “Men are promoted on potential, women are promoted on proof.”
  • “People don’t quit companies, they quit bosses.”
  • “There is so much potential in Cornwall.” {we just need to inspire them}

 

She encouraged us all to make sure we get a ticket for the release of the new film, “Hidden Figures” the story of the African American Female NASA mathematicians who crossed gender and race lines to help launch astronaut John Glenn into outer space. {I feel a SheConnex movie night coming up!}

 

A lively discussion also took place regarding the US Presidential debate that took place last night. We all agreed that Hilary Clinton won the debate and that we’d be talking about that debate years from now with our granddaughters. <3

 

We closed the discussion by asking her to give us her top tips {in terms of digital marketing} for us as female entrepreneurs who some are working full time and nurturing a side hustle, while others are leading in a small business. She offered us this: she mentioned that she notices many who are shy to own their brand due to lack of confidence about WHO they are. “You are destined to be great, don’t UNDERSELL yourself.”

 

You can make a connexion with Kelly by visiting the Code Hero’s website, and she’s also on LinkedIn. Her website provides a list of upcoming events which Kelly often shares on the Code Hero’s Facebook Page too.