Wondering what all of these companies have in common? Well, they all started with taking the entrepreneurial leap. So what does that mean for you? Have you ever had an idea, but weren’t sure what to do with it? Have you ever wanted to gain further insight into how to effectively utilize online marketing? Engage with consumers faster and more effectively online? Or simply just want to be your own boss?

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, then join the Communications, Popular Culture and Film (CPCF) department for their annual This is My Niagara’s Connect Networking Event happening Tuesday March 7, 2017 from 6:30-9pm at Rodman Hall Art Centre. (Don’t worry it’s on the bus route). During this event you will get to network and connect with many local businesses and non-profits as well as hear from keynote speakers who took the risk and turned their dreams and passions into realities. For some of you, graduation is just around the corner and before your parents get a chance to start nagging you about jobs, take the proactive approach and utilize this opportunity to connect with local businesses. This is a great chance to speak to different members of the community and get a sense of what fields, careers and opportunities are out there that might interest you.

Taylor Book, Co founder – Beechwood Doughnuts

Tayler Book of Beechwood Doughnuts. Photo by Gary Cralle

Did I mention Beechwood Doughnuts? The vegan doughnuts we cannot get enough of and leap for joy whenever a new flavour comes out. Yes, those doughnuts. Well what if I told you Tayler Book, Co-Founder of Beechwood Doughnuts is a fellow Brock Badger? Badger Pride right there. Tayler Book will be one of the keynote speakers and will be providing you with the backstory of Beechwood Doughnuts, how the idea came became a reality and more importantly how Tayler utilized digital media marketing tools to effectively engage with customers.

Here’s a social media rundown for you:

Facebook likes = 12,900

Instagram followers = 19.8K

Twitter followers = 2, 327


Ransom Hawley, CEO – Caddle

Left to right – Ransom Hawley, Founder and CEO & Mick Higgins, CMO. Photo by: Niagara this Week

When I was younger my mom was known as the “Couponing Queen,” she had a book of coupons that she would take to the store with her to save all sorts of money on everyday items. However, now being in the digital age and companies being more conscious of paper products coupons have entered the digital realm as well. That’s where Caddle comes in, imagine getting paid for your engagement, feedback and purchases. Once you download the app, you can scroll through weekly offers, watch videos, complete surveys, engage with brands and earn money. It’s that easy!

The second keynote speaker is Ransom Hawley who is the Founder and CEO of Caddle, which is located right here in St. Catharines. His talk “taking the leap” will give you insight into timing, the pros and cons of running your own business and how to mitigate your risks.


Alex Digenis, Owner and General Manager – Henley Honda & Subaru of Niagara

Alex Digenis, Owner and General Manager of Henley Honda and Subaru of Niagara. Photo by the Standard

 Cars, sometimes we have a love/hate relationship with them but in the end we know we need them. And for those of you who haven’t experienced this love/hate relationship I am talking about, don’t worry, you will someday. There can be so many unexpected costs with them; they are gas-guzzlers, the manuals are practically written in a foreign language and how do you even know if you’re getting a good deal on a second-hand car? Well just ask Alex Digenis, Owner and General Manager of Henley Honda and Subaru of Niagara. Alex brings 17 years of experience with the Honda brand, operational management, marketing and most importantly customer satisfaction.

Sometimes it can be a frightening time buying a new car…

As our third keynote speaker, Alex will be speaking about establishing better relationships with failure, what its like to run a business in Niagara and taking the next step.

If connecting with professionals from across the Niagara Region, meeting entrepreneurs who started out just like you and gaining new insight on taking risks is something that interests you then check out This Is My Niagara’s Connect Networking Event, taking place on March 7, 2017 at Rodman Hall from 6:30-9:00pm.