“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~ Harold R. McAlindon

This quote couldn’t describe the lives better of the 4 guest speakers I was fortunate enough to meet Sunday evening. I can honestly say from the point I left the room I gained useful knowledge from their wisdom and the experiences they have shared with us. Our guest speakers Dr. Natalie Archer, Melani Chong, Katrina Hadden and Alexandra Orlando are prime examples of strong Canadian women I am proud to look up to!

Brief Biographies

Dr. Natalie Archer has committed over a decade of her dental career. Her innovation approach to oral health care, and aging is making Runnymede Dental Centre a national leader in geriatric dental care. Her success and volunteer work is well recognized within her profession for her leadership role to young women. She is thrilled to be a motivational speaker and finalist judge in Miss Teen Canada- World.

Melani Chong developed a personalized natural skin care line called ‘Soya Boutique‘ after working in fashion and beauty for over 15 years. As a certified skin care technician and chemist, Melani achieves professional results, high performance skin care with authentic origins while focusing on critical environmental concerns especially with the health of water.


Katrina Hadden is a  health and wellness specialist and author of the best selling self-help book, Making It In High Heels. Katrina is committed to many charities and an advocate for positive body image and self esteem in the media such as Dove Self Esteem Campaign workshops in the Ottawa and Toronto area.


Alexandra Orlando is a highly decorated world-class athlete in Rhythmic Gymnastics being a Novice, Junior and a 5 time Senior Canadian Champion including earning a reputation as one of the few non-Europeans at the sports highest level. In 2006, Alexandra co-authored a book about her life and sport titled, “Alexandra Orlando in Pursuit of Victory.” Alexandra has also just published her second motivational book, Breaking Through My Limits: An Olympian Uncovered. Retiring form the sport in 2009, Alexandra has the ability to demonstrate, inspire, and teach. Her love of and support for the athletes moment across Canada and the World is unwavering.

Highlights of the Evening

Success does not come without hard work and dedication. But the most challenging concept, but most well known is sacrifice. What I learnt most from these amazing women was that sacrifice shouldn’t be viewed as negative, but viewed as a chance to make your number one goal become a reality; to just go for it! It doesn’t mean giving up everything but to find a healthy balance between ‘work and play’ while letting no one tell you that you can’t accomplish your dreams!

I find it comforting to know these women, like many before them, experienced the same sort of uncertain times and like me, they were full of questions and naturally worries about their futures. But in the end if you do what you got to do, and as cheesy as it sounds, the universe will guide you to where you’re supposed to be! So go ahead and chase after your dreams, don’t be afraid to hit rock bottom; everyone does at some point! But most importantly I was reminded to embrace everyone possibility and opportunity  open to me and I hope you will to! And remember that so by the time your old and grey, you will be able to look back at the ‘trail’ you created and never be able to say the words, “I wish I did…”, I wish I could’ve…” ~ Nichelle Thomson (a quote I invented)

Written by: Nichelle Thomson Tagged with:

2 Responses to MTC-W Mentor Night: Inspiration Beyond Compare

  1. Rob Campbell says:

    Good work Nichelle Thomson. Im glad the evening had such an imapct on your. I can tell from your pictures approximately where you were sitting. Do you see yourself in this video i made of Dr Archer talking about having kids during Mentor Night? it goes by pretty quick.

  2. Natalie says:

    Nichelle, you have a real gift for writing and I am impressed with your blogging skills. You simply have a lovely style and ability to know how to do it well! Congratulations!

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