Career Insights from Industry Professionals

This annual event represents an opportunity for industry professionals to give back to their local community while investing in the next generation of industry professionals. 

Industry Professionals were assigned their own classroom and students moved from classroom to classroom depending on which industry sessions they pre-registered for. 

The 2023 half-day forum at Lester B. Public School involved:

  • 207 Grade 7-8 Students
  • 41 industry professionals
  • 10 industry classrooms
  • 3 classroom sessions per industry
  • 20 students per classroom
  • 30-minutes per session



In its fourth year, Eastbridge Business Connections (EBC) returned to Lester B. Pearson Public School (LBP) in May 2023 and continued to adapt its fun, creative and interactive approach to educating and inspiring students about the many career paths and opportunities that await them.

Between 2017-2018, EBC Speed Mentoring events benefited a total of 60 Grade 8 students. In 2019, LBP made this activity part of their mandatory curriculum for their entire Grade 7 and 8 student body to participate in and benefit from. Now that we've emerged from the pandemic lockdown, LBP was excited to welcome back EBC and its local industry professionals and economic leaders to engage all 207 of their Grade 7 and 8 cohort. 


EBC Provides the Mentors & LBP Provides the Students

EBC sought out 3-5 industry professionals (mentors) per industry and LBP Guidance Teachers worked with the Grade 7-8 student body to register and participate in three of the available 10 industry-themed classroom sessions.


Classroom Activities

Industry Professionals collaborated with one another from within the same industry to coordinate and lead 3x30-minute breakout sessions. Mentors included the following elements in their presentations but were also encouraged to use creativity in delivering and leading their classroom activities. Each industry-themed classroom was accompanied by an onsite teacher. 

  • Introduced themselves, their role/title and their company name;
  • Provided a brief explanation of what their company does/is known for;
  • Provided insights on how/where their company fits within its industry (or supply chain);
  • Listed any professional training, certifications and/or experiences that were required for their profession;
  • Offered ideas of what students should be doing/thinking about today if they're interested in pursuing a career in a specific field;
  • Listed any industry trends expected to shake up their industry in the next 5-10 years;
  • Highlighted any required skillsets to be successful in their industry today and into the future;
  • Provided insights into what students can expect if they pursue a career in a similar field; and
  • Lead an interactive Q&A discussion.
EBC-LBP-Career-Insights-Forum-2023-23 (1)

Industry Breakout Sessions

EBC sought out industry professionals interested in participating in this mentorship / leadership-type capacity in the following fields:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Agriculture / Agribusiness / Food Processing
  • Aviation / Aerospace
  • Engineering
  • Finance / Accounting
  • Health Care
  • Health Sciences
  • Marketing / Communications / Graphic & Website Design
  • Skilled Trades
  • Software Development & Engineering



Networking Session

Following the industry-themed classroom sessions and the two featured panel discussions in the gymnasium, students had an opportunity to meet and greet in the industry professionals in an informal networking setting in the gym. This provided students with an opportunity to:

  • Follow up with any of the industrial professionals in a one-on-one setting;
  • Strengthen their communication skills and increase their confidence in speaking with adults, while in a safe environment/setting; and
  • Connect with other industry professionals whose classroom discussions feel outside of the student's top 3 picks.

Panel Discussion #1: Education for the Next Generation

Students heard from Conestoga College, the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University about:

  • What their institutions are known for;
  • Why students should pursue post-secondary education;
  • What doors open because of it; and
  • How they can start planning for it today. 

Panel Discussion #2: Community Commitment to Supporting Youth

Students heard from three of Waterloo Region's most influential leaders and obtained insights into why youth retention is so important to the long-term sustainability of Waterloo Region's local economy and business community. 

2023's Industry Professionals from Participating Companies

Advanced Manufacturing
  • Founder & CEO, Spa Dent
  • Lead Hand, Progressive Machining
  • Robotics, Clearpath Robotics
Aviation & Aerospace
  • Program Manager (Space Exploration), Canadensys Aerospace Corp.
  • Research & Development Specialist for Pilot Training Technologies, Space Robotics and Machine Vision
  • Principal (Air Quality Engineering), SLR Consulting
  • Associate Engineering Consultant (Chemical & Manufacturing Engineering), Ecovert Commissioning
  • Project Manager (Environmental & Water Resources Engineering), City of Vaughan
  • Vice President of Technology (Sustainable Engineering), s2e Technologies Development
Skilled Trades
  • Partner (Development and Construction), Maxwell Building Consultants
  • Automotive Technician & Former Owner, Essential Auto Service
  • Plumber (apprentice), Dean-Lane Contractors
  • IBEW Local 804 Union Contractor (Electrican), Horizon Electric
Software Development & Engineering
  • Chief Technology Officer - Software Product Engineering, Capgemini Engineering
  • Senior Machine Learning Engineer, Apple
  • Software Tester, AGFA Healthcare
Finance and Accounting
  • Partner & Chartered Professional Accountant, BDO Canada
  • Accountant & Managing Partner, Accounting KW Professional Corporation
  • Global Anti-money Laundering Specialist, Finclusive
Marketing / Communications / Broadcasting /  Graphic & Website Design
  • President, PineLake Communication
  • Founder & CEO, Gecko Websites
Health Care
  • Registered Nurse (Medicine / Oncology), Cambridge Memorial Hospital
  • Dental Surgeon, North Dental Studio
  • Optometrist, Clarity Optometry & Vision Centre
Health Sciences
  • Owner/Pharmacist, Carriage Crossing Pharmacy
  • Owner/Pharmacist, Eastbridge Pharmacy
  • Medical Device Marketing Manager, Sonova Group
  • Territory Manager, JAMP Pharma Group
  • Registered Veterinary Technician, Eldale Veterinary Clinic
Agribusiness / Food Processing
  • Produce Broker & CEO, Fresh Eats
  • Agripreneur, Ponmo (upcycled beef hide)


Alison Wardrop

Lester B. Pearson Public School


Rebecca Pope
Intermediate Guidance Counsellor

Lester B. Pearson Public School

2023 Highlights

2019 Highlights

2018 Highlights

2017 Highlights


"As a newcomer to EBC, I was impressed by the welcome I received and found the ‘meet and chat’ format extremely valuable to not only promote my own business but also establish relationships in my community."