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Annual N.B. networking conference puts collaboration at the forefront


With around 400 people gathered in Moncton this week, an annual networking event puts collaboration at the forefront.

“I think people need to learn from each other,” said Alene Holmes, minister and conference coordinator for the New Brunswick Career Development Association. “They want to know tools and strategies, ‘What are you doing?’ They don’t want to work in silos. They really want to have tips and strategies and take away that and go back to their clients and their other colleagues and share them with them as well.”

The 2023 New Brunswick Career Development Association conference’s theme is making connections.

Holmes says the conference brings people from “all walks of life” under one roof and gives people the chance to spend three days working together to find future success.

“One of my favourite advice ever was, ‘If it’s not working, go networking,’” said Peace by Chocolate CEO and Founder Tareq Hadhad. “It’s really exciting to see people who are networking and really getting advice from experts on developing careers and really making sure that they’re giving this advice to people who are looking for new start ups.”

Hadhad was the first of three keynote speakers for the event this year.

Starting off the conference on Tuesday, he planned to share his story including resiliency through diversity, how the community helped with his success and how peace, inclusion and love are at the centre of his business.

“Before the pandemic, it was so different than now and I really want to make sure that everyone in the audience understands that what we do is we do it with love, we do it with passion, and that’s how actually we over come all the challenges that might arise,” he said.

For him, networking is an important component to being an entrepreneur and he was excited to play such a big role in the 2023 conference.

“I really understand the role of networking in a different lens because when I came here I didn’t know anybody, my family didn’t know anybody. We were thinking that we were going to arrive here as strangers. We were thinking that we were going to arrive here as new comers, but the fact is we arrived here as new Canadians. Everyone welcomed us with open arms,” said Hadhad.

Covering every sector, the event also features exhibitors.

Holmes says the exhibitors are a huge part of the conference and have already brought a lot of success this year.

“During the breaks people can start walking around and learning about the different organizations that are here and to take away, have that in-person chat with someone from another organization: ‘What do you do and what can I learn from you?’ I’ve heard a lot of great, great feedback this morning when I was walking around,” she said.

Neil Squire is a company that helps people with disabilities find employment or education opportunities with the help of technology.

“A lot of our staff are considered employment specialists, they need to get educated in the field, learn about the new advancements and any new techniques that we can use to help do the networking and find employment for the people we work with. So we get that at this conference,” said regional manager Charles Lavasseur.

They’re also a long time attendee of the conference.

“We believe that the collaboration is an important aspect,” he said. “In New Brunswick, being such a small province, we all know each other, we all work together and participating in these events is a form of networking. We get to know the partners, we get to know the people who are doing the same job and we can help each other.”

Holmes says there are people from across the country attending the conference this year including Montreal, Ottawa, and Alberta.

Overall, it’s designed as a way to prove that career development works better with everyone working together.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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