CEO and Founder, The 7 Virtues | Social Entrepreneur
Barb Stegemann first launched her perfume company, The 7 Virtues, in her garage, armed with only a dream to help war-ridden nations rebuild. Just eight years later, it is now an award-winning social enterprise — supporting suppliers in countries such as Afghanistan, Haiti, and the Middle East — and the first and only Canadian brand to be sold through Sephora’s "Clean at Sephora" space across North America. Through her inspiring entrepreneurial story, Barb shares powerful messages of
triumphing over adversity, and empowers her audiences to embrace their inner disruptor.
A newsmaker, Barb first became known to millions of Canadians when she landed a venture-capital deal on CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den — the first woman from Atlantic Canada to do so. She went on to become the "Top Game Changer"in the history of the popular reality show for creating her social enterprise.
Since then Barb and her hypo-allergenic fragrance collection have been celebrated in major media outlets around the world, including Vogue, Elle Canada, Fast Company, Forbes, The Cut, Women’s Wear Daily, The Globe and Mail, as wells as CBC, CNN, Bloomberg, and more.
Barb has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by WXN; won the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” in the emerging Entrepreneur category for Atlantic Canada; was ranked as one of Profit Guide magazine's "Top 30 Cool and Fabulous Canadian Entrepreneurs"; and was also made the first female Honorary Colonel in the history of 14 Wing Greenwood base, Royal Canadian Air Force, completing her term in 2015.
Barb is also the author of the bestselling book, The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen, now in its 7th edition, and the subject of the feature-length, award-winning documentary Perfume War, directed by Michael Melski.
Registered Psychologist & Owner | Tara Forgeron Psychology
Tara received her Honours degree in Psychology from Saint Mary's University, and later received her Master of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Toronto. She worked as a Registered Psychologist in Halifax for several years before moving home to Cape Breton with her family in 2018. Tara then opened her private practice, Tara Forgeron Psychology, with the desire to bring a wellness-inspired approach to psychological services in Cape Breton.
Tara Forgeron Psychology now employs several clinicians who have a shared mission: to utilize evidence-based psychological approaches to teach people how to shift from experiencing mental and emotional distress, to feeling a sense of peace, fulfillment, and purpose in their mind, body, and spirit.
Tara strongly believes in the importance of taking a proactive approach to mental health, meaning that individuals do not need to have a diagnosis to seek treatment. She believes that there lies incredible power in exploring how individuals can feel well, as opposed to solely focusing on reducing suffering. Tara loves teaching individuals various ways to retrain their brains and integrate new habits to ultimately live a rich and meaningful life. She has a passion for inspiring people to live their most joyful lives and loves working with individuals who are motivated to take positive and healthy action to achieve their wellness goals.
Founder and Host | Optimistically Depressed
Ruth McMullen is the founder and host of Optimistically Depressed. She can be found making impactful sound waves on her podcast Optimistically Depressed, working with the Halifax Social Network team to create community, while also being present for those she loves and cares about.
Ruth is deeply passionate about creating space for and bringing the internal journey into the light so we can all feel a little less alone. She also happens to have a way of speaking directly into your soul that makes you feel heard, understood and cherished.