The Schedule

Four friends standing together

An unforgettable weekend

Friday November 17

Group welcome
Group activity: curling (no experience necessary!)
Group dinner
Lightning talks

Saturday November 18

Breakfast (on your own)
Morning keynote sessions, with coffee break
Group lunch
Afternoon keynote sessions, with break
Free time
Group dinner
Late night merriment

Sunday November 19

Breakfast (on your own, or join us for brunch)
Check out and head home in your own time

*Group activities, lightning talks, sessions and group meals are included in your ticket to Gather North. Breakfasts are not included.

Accommodation is booked separately. See the accommodation page for details.

Keynote: Melissa Nightingale

Boss Level Konami Code: Unlocking the next level of your career

Melissa Nightingale is a founder and partner at Raw Signal Group. She is co-editor of The Co-pour and co-author of a book about modern leadership (coming fall 2017).

Melissa’s been a startup warrior since the first dotcom boom and has the branded t-shirt collection to prove it. She has held senior leadership roles in marketing, pr, and strategy at several fast paced startups, including Wattpad, Edmodo, and Mozilla. She moved to Toronto after more than a decade of working in senior tech roles in Silicon Valley and is gradually adjusting to seasons.

Melissa is a frequent contributor to Betakit and can be found speaking at industry events about leadership, entrepreneurship, and women in tech.

Keynote: Jennie Ormson

Who do you think you are?! Making peace with your inner critic

For over 20 years as a therapist and EQ Consultant, Jennie Ormson has provided insight, compassion, and the skills to thrive personally and professionally. Her work in Canada, USA, Ireland, and the UK has impacted thousands of lives. Jennie’s forte is telling the truth (even the ugly truth) in a way that helps clients wake up and embrace radical possibilities. For kicks, Jennie likes to crisscross the globe: trekking in Nepal, exploring the medina in Marrakech, or snacking her way through Europe. Closer to home, she can be found snipping blooms from the garden, riveted by documentaries, or reading way past her bedtime. With three kids, a booming private practice and thriving online businesses, Jennie understands the need to juggle it all with grace and humour.

Keynote: Cassie McDaniel

What the bosses never told you, but I will. Negotiating money, politics, and power for your own benefit

Cassie recently founded Jane & Jury, a full-service design studio out of small-town Paris, Ontario, with her partner in all life and creative endeavours, Mark. She moved to the UK out of school where she studied graphic design then settled in Toronto, becoming part of the founding team for Creative Mornings and Hacking Health in Toronto as well as founding Women && Tech. She started at the Mozilla Foundation as an interaction designer and left as Design Director to found her own design studio as well as a small town creative meetup series, Paris Lectures.

Prior to her work at Mozilla, Cassie designed in the healthcare space creating cutting edge healthcare device interfaces, including mobile and desktop applications intended for chronic disease management. Before having babies sucked up all her free time, she published thoughts on design for A List Apart, Smashing Magazine, .net Magazine, the Pastry Box Project, Offscreen Magazine and others and has spoken for similarly reputable industry events around the world including Harvard, HXD, Made by Few and An Event Apart. She is incredibly excited about connecting with an intimate audience at Gather North.

Keynote: Lorena Scott

The Fights Worth Fighting for: An honest conversation about being a woman in tech, the choices we make, and the impact we have

Lorena Scott is a Colombian born entrepreneur and investor. Love (a Canadian husband) brought her north, and she now proudly calls Toronto “home”. As a member of the Canadian tech community, Lorena is inspired by the momentum she’s since over the past seven years and is super passionate about supporting women entrepreneurs and women in tech.

Currently, Lorena is Head of People of Operations at, a technology company making it their mission to enable people and businesses to get ahead everyday by digitizing local commerce. Toda, Ritual’s mobile app serves as a concierge for the best restaurants and coffee shops in your neighbourhood. Prior to Ritual, Lorena was VP of Operations at 500px, leading their People, Customer Support, Finance & Accounting, Legal and Operations teams. Lorena was bit by the startup/tech bug after founding MommiesFirst, a Toronto­ based monthly subscription service supporting expectant and new moms across the US and Canada. Prior to MommiesFirst, Lorena sat on the other side of the startup equation as an investor – and held various investment roles at private equity and venture capital funds in the US and Canada. Lorena loves spending time with her family, running, and dancing.

Lightning Talks

Group of women laughing

The perfect weekend kick-off

We’re setting aside an hour on the Friday night of Gather North 2017 for attendees to present lightning talks. These 5-minute long presentations will light a spark and inspire ideas for other attendees, and will be the perfect kickoff to the Gather North weekend.

We invite all Gather North attendees to consider giving a lightning talk presentation, as they are the perfect way to practice professional speaking in a welcoming environment. Take this opportunity to share something useful or motivational with other Gather North attendees, and build confidence as a speaker in a low-pressure and supportive setting. Lightning talks can be technical, but must not be overtly promotional in nature.

Lightning talk proposals must be submitted in advance, and those chosen for presentations will be given coaching and tips beforehand to help improve their presentation skills (if they’d like). Only confirmed Gather North attendees may submit lightning talk proposals, and there are only ten spots available for presentations. More details on the submission process for lightning talks will be sent to all confirmed Gather North attendees this summer.