Renee Lalonde, International Marketing and Communications

Renee Lalonde, International Marketing and Communications

Renee manages international PR, communications and sales for culinary forums and tours.

What is your morning routine?

I generally wake up between 7:30 and 8, make my tea and check my emails. Then, depending on what the emails dictate, I go from there – sometimes a gym class or morning meeting, or sometimes I stay in my jammies until I answer everything. During crunch time, I’ve sat in front of my computer until late in the afternoon. I don’t advise it though; it kills the back.

Tell us about your career path.

I work with Terroir Hospitality. It’s a dream job where we curate immersive educational and community networking programs to bring the world’s most respected gastronomic minds together in Toronto. We also produced a forum in Berlin last spring and we’ll be in Budapest and Balaton this November. We’re working on Tel Aviv, possibly Shanghai – the sky’s the limit. I also do a bit of freelance PR. Right now I’m working on the Toronto Garlic Festival, which happens on September 17. Everyone should come, it’s such a fun day!

What challenges do you or women face in your industry?

My biggest challenge is myself. I grapple with my own doubts or insecurities, and I think many women get in their own way in terms of achievement. The way I see it, we either stand back or are too aggressive. There’s a fine line between knowing when to push and when to ease off. I’ve worked with strong women who have mentored and inspired me in both directions. But challenges that women typically face are the balancing act of work and parenting, and the imbalance of the male-dominated corporate world, to name a few.

What advice would you give to young girls who want to be the NEXT you?

Be kind, patient, observe and learn all you can. Be careful not to come across as a know-it-all, because you can’t possibly know it all; you don’t have the life or work experience yet. Ask questions – after you’ve tried to find the answers yourself.

How do you separate work life from your personal life?

My work and personal lives are very intertwined. I’ve met some of my dearest friends while working. We travel the world sampling its best gastronomic delights, learning and networking with incredibly talented and influential people; why would I want to separate from that? I also spend quality time with great friends at home, who are not in the culinary world, over drinks or quiet dinners. My adult son is a great equalizer for me too. He brings me back to earth with all he has going on in his life.

What inspires you?

People inspire me most. People who are creative and talented. People who are smart and fun (and funny). People who are kind and thoughtful. People who are generous.

When you’re off the clock, what are your indulgences?

Netflix and playing the piano.

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