Meet Our Facilitators



Past Events



RECAP Mike Vardy, The Productivityist: The True Speed of Time Management

The Grand Connections community was thrilled to meet Mike Vardy and here for the first time his new talk “The True Speed of Time Management”.

Mike Vardy shared his passion and enthusiasm for crafting time as the Productivityist. He is truly on a quest to help us to stop “doing” productive and start “being” productive. He shared his practical approaches to TimeCrafting with strategies and tactics for developing task and time management.

The world is moving at a breakneck pace. We are inundated with information 24/7 and are expected to deliver the goods at both work and home while digesting everything that comes our way. It’s a challenge for us to keep up with everything we need to do – let alone get ahead so we can spend time on the things we want to do.


Grand Potential Podcast | Mike Vardy The Productivityist on TimeCrafting!

A productive mindset can make all the difference in achieving your business goals. We were honoured to interview Mike for our upcoming podcast, The Grand Potential. This interview held so many productive gems that have already helped us start the year off right. Enjoy!

In this talk Mike gives us advice on how to make time to fit in a writing a book and yoga! Ideas that can apply to all projects … PLUS hear Mike’s journey from Costco to comedian and writing parody, to becoming an expert on Productivity. And discover his nickname from high school, his fav podcast too and more about the art of managing your time.

Mike Vardy is a writer, productivity strategist, and the creator of the methodology and philosophy known as TimeCrafting. He has a popular podcast and is the author of several books, including The Front Nine: How to Start the Year You Want Anytime You Want and the upcoming TimeCrafting: A Better Way to Get The Right Things Done.


Podcast Interview on Focus and Freedom With Val Low – History of the Internet

I am honored to have been a guest on the podcast Focus and Freedom with Val Low. Val’s very practical podcast helps entrepreneurs find focus and productivity in their business.

In this episode, we took a trip down memory lane with online changes over the last 20 years. I started my first business in 1991 the year the internet was first announced. I welcome you to join us for a fun look at changes over the years and some practical tips for staying connected in business.

On Apple iTunes – Click Here
On Stitcher – Click Here


DEEP DIVE With Mary Charleson – 13 Pandemic Behaviours, Trends & Opportunities

Susan and Carolyn took a further deep dive with Mary Charleson as a follow up to her presentation on November 20th 2020 | 13 Pandemic Digital Marketing Trends: Finding Opportunity During COVID-19. Our Grand Connection with our guest Mary Charleson was so well received that we asked Mary to expand upon the talk for use all to get more practical ideas on how to take these trends a step further to grow our businesses.


Grand Connection Fundraiser for Project Somos in Guatemala – Dec 2020

The Grand Connection and members are proud to be supporting Project Somos as the charity we will support for the Dec 4th event.  Please register here for the Grand Holiday Business Networking Party – all welcome!

Canada and the USA will receive a tax receipt if donations are made through the following links. Please put “Grand Connection” in the message box so we can track your donation and send you the prizes.


RECAP Nov 20 – 13 Consumer Behavior Trends during the Pandemic With Mary Charleson

Mary Charleson shared with us the 13 consumer behavior trends during the pandemic with her observations on how to best adjust our approach to digital marketing.

#1 Motivations have changed.

#2 Workplaces have shifted to home.

#3 Online shopping increases where we’ve seen years of growth happen in literally seven months during the pandemic.

#4 Increase in online media usage where we’ve gone from spending an average of three hours a day to over 10 hours a day when we take a look at our, our media for work as well as entertainment.


RECAP Nov 6 Real Time Connections Partner Event

We were thrilled by the opportunity to be a part of this collaborative virtual business networking event with these three great networking organizations: 

Paulette Durepos at CafeLifestyle Socials from Toronto Canada

Blaney Teal from MBX events from Baltimore Maryland – USA

Pinky Ghadiali at – Scotland

We all built better virtual networking skills and formed new business relationships as we listened and learned from our presenters and moved around from room to room. 

Many opportunities were provided to meet new potential collaborators and customers and practice our introductions with the intention to connect, create and collaborate. 


Carolyn Cooper McOuatt on Focus & Freedom Podcast With Val Low

A special thank you to Val Low who is one of our facilitators with the Grand Connection. She has a brilliant podcast called Focus and Freedom and she had me on her show. She provides her clients with her own signature Focus & Freedom™ Method and Planner that supports entrepreneurs to have an opportunity to experience more focus, time and freedom. Val loves nothing better than showing entrepreneurs how to calm the overwhelm and distractions with focus and efficiency strategies and tools that enable them to have the freedom to do the things that make the most of their business and life. Visit Val’s Website:

FOCUS & FREEDOM PODCAST: Val Low & Carolyn Cooper-McOuatt


My interview with Val focused on inspiring people to make the decision to Live Above the Line. We too often either bounce below the line or meet the top of our comfort zone, which is the line. I shared how we can make the choice to stretch our comfort zone farther and farther with a sense of wonder, having an open mind, clear purpose and a plan to take action towards a positive future.


Nov 10th VBN Boost Your Profit With a Cohesive Business Plan = Profits With Carolyn Cooper-McOuatt 

Our own Carolyn Cooper-McOuatt is speaking at Vancouver Business Network’s Virtual Event.

Come and join her on Tuesday evening, November 10, 2020 and learn how to transform your business with a well-crafted brilliant business plan. You will discover how it is the superpower tool to support your business growth and the means to become prepared, systematic and meaningful to maximize your potential. Each element of the plan builds on the other and links together cohesively. It’s vital to document your value, mission, marketing, operations and your financial health. To be clear on where you are going, grounded and confident in the process and cultivate a mindset of prosperity.


RECAP: Traditional Marketing Is Broken (and 5 Ways to Fix It) With Jim Ewel

To soar in the twenty-first century, marketing needs a twenty-first century approach; and that approach is, in a word, Agile.

We had a great event last Friday with our expert speaker Jim Ewel. He shared that now is the time to fix your marketing efforts and discover the unique trends available with agile marketing. It is now a necessity in our current market to go from surviving to thriving in our post COVID world.

Traditional marketing is broken and we need to learn how to make marketing as effective as possible.


RECAP OCT 9 2020 – Real Time Connection Partner Event

rtc blog 9 oct
We we thrilled to with these three great networking organizations:

  • The Connected Woman – Cathy Kuzel – Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Farah Networking – Farah Hussain – Scotland
  • BizSocial Networking – Brian Morrison – UK

We all built better virtual networking skills and formed new business relationships as we listened and learned from our presenters and moved around from room to room. We all had an opportunity to meet new potential collaborators and customers and practice our introductions with the intention to connect, create and collaborate.


RECAP SEPT 25 MIKE WOLF Business Mistakes With Mike Wolf and Tips for Financial Freedom

Our Sept 25 Grand Connection was very valuable!

Mike Wolf shared with us how to work smarter and not harder in business. Like most people he started out broke not really knowing how to build a business and that he did not have a clue.

Since then, he has participated in a lot of entrepreneurial ventures. He said there is an evolution and there’s never really a finish line. He recommends to just keep going and keep making it better as you evolve!

Mike figured it all out of necessity – how to have balance and go from being a workaholic to playaholic and now to do the things that he loves.


RECAP SEPT 10 Tips From Power Partners at Real Time Connections

We were thrilled to collaborate with Terilee Harrison of TEAM Referral Virtual Network, Global and Chris Christoff of The Connect Collaborative from Brisbane Australia who both shared brilliant virtual networking tips. It was a powerful collaborative networking experience for businesses from around the globe including Scotland, the UK, India and North America. Businesses came together to virtually network in rounds of intentional break out sessions and practice their introductions.

Terilee Harrison shared how you can maximize our time with online networking. The concept of putting your “Big Ask” out there. She says we don’t ask big enough. It’s up to us to ask people we meet for what we need in a way they can hear it. Put it out there on a silver platter so they say to themselves “Oh I know how to help here”. Terilee invited us not to waste our time and to maximize our time to get the most out of these events we can.

Her recommendation is to make a list:

  • Create a description of your best clients and share that with the group.
  • Decide how you could ask for more than one client at a time.
  • Ask to meet your competition to collaborate.

Network with your power partners, the people who share your clients.

Always put out there:

  • This is who I am …
  • This is what I do …
  • A good power partner for me is _____.

When we play small we don’t get what we are looking for. Make your “BIG ASK” so audacious that we chuckle. By putting your big ask out there it will change the trajectory of your business. It will bring results you are looking for. Terilee promises you will be glad you did!

Chris’s networking tip was how to approach networking. He says it’s about the relationship more than the transaction. He recommends us to connect with people to build the know, like and trust factor. He shared that there is a fear component in networking and that online events are a safe environment to get to know people and develop those relationships. To take a referral to another level; both parties have a reputational capital that is sound. We can look at people inside your industry and the swimming lanes; either side of your industry. They can make great collaborators. To collaborate and refer across to each other is a great opportunity. Also, think about networking outside your industry. It’s not what you know or even who you know, it’s who they know. Make a connection through a connection. He explained that LinkedIn is a great tool to reach out and search to find the right contacts you are looking for.

For those who missed the last Grand Connection event, the Power of Podcasting, you can find it, along with other recordings and offers in the Facebook Group.




Michelle Abraham

Michelle shared her deep passion for podcasting, the global trending podcasting landscape and how podcasts amplify your influence.

She told us that we are in the golden age of podcasting with tons of room for growth.

No other platform even compares to podcasting in regard to time spent.

Facebook – 18.2 seconds
YouTube – 4 minutes 20 seconds
Instagram – 26 seconds

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