20 Under 40: Melissa Maloney

A continuing series highlighting the advancements of our 20 Under 40 program alumni and 20 Under 40 Foundation supporters. This installment features Melissa Maloney, 20 Under 40 Class of 2018.

Photo: Melissa Maloney and Jennifer Slay


Melissa Maloney and Jennifer Slay have had countless conversations with working women who, in an ideal world, would be demonstrating their ability to lead on a daily basis. Maloney, senior divisional manager of operations with GoodLife Fitness and owner of Happy Leader Enterprises, and Slay, a local clinical social worker, life coach, author and speaker, want to ramp up the conversation by bringing women together and providing education, theory and practical tools to enable them to take action, both individually and collectively, in order to ramp up their leadership levels.

And what better time to do that, they reasoned, than in conjunction with International Women’s Day celebrations?

The All Women L.E.A.D. conference will take place March 11, 2020, at Goodwill Industries on Horton Street, where ­participants will participate in an interactive day of learning, hear a ­keynote address by Erin Ackles, TD’s vice president technology solutions-delivery and have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session with a panel of successful female leaders.

The one-day conference will be the culminating event to a series of monthly “power hour” lunch-and-learn workshops, each of which focuses on a specific topic, such as emotional intelligence, goal-setting and productivity.

“We want to empower women—to help build a network of women who will become a support team for each other, to help lift each other up” —Melissa Maloney

“There has been a shift in the last few years—people are looking for ­different kinds of leadership in the workplace,” says Maloney. “From the research I’ve done, I see that the younger generation has different expectations, and they are speaking out: ‘We want our mental health taken care of. We want more control over how work is done.’ They don’t want to put in 50- or 60-hour workweeks and sacrifice family time.”

It’s time for women to step in, ­leverage their emotional intelligence and have the confidence to take risks, apply for leadership positions and bring a new brand of leadership to the workplace, Maloney adds. “We want to empower women—to help build a network of women who will become a support team for each other, to help lift each other up.”

Maloney and Slay bring their coaching and consulting skills to the table as facilitators for the monthly workshop series. Both are focused on helping people find their own way to be successful.

“We believe that people have tools, they just need to leverage them and make the right connections,” says Slay. “Our hope is that through this series they will learn something new or reinforce what they already know, build their network and walk away with practical strategies that they can implement immediately.

20 Under 40: Melissa Maloney  20 Under 40

The sessions will combine the education and theory of leading thought-makers with the practicality and execution needed to make things happen.”

Panel members for the March 11 session include Michelle Baldwin, executive director of Pillar Nonprofit Network, Rachel Ettinger, founder of Here for Her initiative in support of women’s health, Courtney Hance, president of The Branding Firm Inc. and current board president of the London Chamber of Commerce, Leah Hunt, senior manager strategic ­planning at TD and city councilor, Arielle Kayabaga.

“These women are representative of different ages, demographics, areas of expertise and levels of leadership. They are at different stages of life and career, and are facing different ­challenges,” says Slay.

To help ensure the program is ­accessible to most women, Maloney and Slay have set the workshop fees at $25 per session, the full day conference at $149 and offer a discounted price for the full series. 20 Under 40: Melissa Maloney  20 Under 40 Kym Wolfe

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