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How Alberta’s most powerful women start their day

We took some names from WXN's Most Powerful Women in Canada list and asked about their morning routine

WXN recently released a list of the 100 most powerful women in Canada.


WXN recently released a list of the 100 most powerful women in Canada.

The Women’s Executive Network has unveiled their list of the top 100 most powerful women in Canada. We asked a few of the Albertan female executives from the list how they start the day off right, and they provided more than a few similarities: start early, check email in bed and always take a few minutes for yourself.


Desiree Bombenon

President & CEO, SureCall Contact Centers Ltd

“Generally I get up at the same time every day take a quick look at my calendar, to ensure I am prepared for the day. If I am at board meetings, or seeing clients I dress up, however, if I’m in the office just dealing with my team, I’ll dress business casual. I read over any notes that I would need for the day, look over any project details, and take a look at any reports sent to me. I eat breakfast either oatmeal or a protein shake, grab a coffee to go and head out.

“The most important thing for me is to ensure I am prepared to be of service to my team, to offer suggestions, ask questions, or just give them support. I am generally one of the first people in at around 7 – 7:30 a.m. so I will spend 10 minutes in a mindful meditation before the day begins. This helps reduce stress while enhancing your focus for the day.”


Allison Grafton

President & Partner, Rockwood Custom Homes

“The moment I wake up, I honestly take a moment to take some deeps breaths and be grateful for the day that’s coming.

“I check my phone before I get out of bed for any critical emails and respond so everyone can carry on. I grab a cup of coffee, get my family ready for the day – constantly still managing my phone, as emails and text get very busy from 7 a.m. on.

“I work out with two girlfriends three days a week with a personal trainer who comes to my home – this is a time to catch up and stay in shape, one of the things that brings a good balance to my week. I land at my desk between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. to have my first connection with the team, who conveniently work at the design office that is part of my home. From there we prioritize the day and get things rolling!”


Andrea Fiederer

EVP & CMO, goeasy Ltd.

“I’m a bit of a morning person, but my 2.5 year old daughter is even more so, and she likes us to start our day at 5:30 a.m.! Once our human alarm gets us out of bed, it gives me a chance to spend some time with her before the craziness of the day starts. After balancing morning emails, getting everyone dressed and the odd fight about turning off Paw Patrol on the iPad, I’m out of the house by 7:30 a.m.

“I’d like to say that’s when I have some time to think, but I’m usually on a few early morning calls as I get into the office. I try to leave about 30 minutes when I first get into the office to focus on any key projects and have a few minutes to think before the business of the day takes over. I try hard not to use that time for emails as it can be a bit of a distraction and take you away from the core priorities of your day.”


Susan Brown

SVP, Alberta/NWT Division and Women's Market, BMO Bank of Montreal

“Before I even get out of bed, I reach for my iPad on my nightstand and check the emails that have begun rolling in from Toronto at 5:30 a.m. Alberta time. I like to know what I will have to deal with during the day, as it allows me to re-plan if need be. I also like to check my calendar and reflect on what’s ahead of me that day, when the house is still very quiet and calm, and my husband and our dogs are still sleeping.

“It’s a nice time to plan and get myself ready for the day and, in fact, is almost the only time I have for that kind of thinking every day.  Once our household starts to wake up, I tune in the news to catch the headlines while I get ready for work.  Then it’s out the door with a commuter mug of coffee in hand.  I often take calls in the car (hands free of course!) while I’m en-route to work, so I can maximize the time available in my day. Once I get to the office, I am always immediately into meetings, either face to face, or via conference calls.”


Sara L. Austin

Founder & President/CEO, Children First Canada

“I’m on the road a lot for meetings across the country, but if I’m at home, I wake up to my alarm at 6:30 a.m. and get myself ready. Then I prepare breakfast and lunch. Then I review my calendar for the day and quickly scan my email and social media, and respond to urgent messages. After that, I wake my son up and we have breakfast together, and then I get him ready for the day.

“My husband starts and ends his day later than me, so we wake him up as we’re heading out the door. After the school drop off, I check my messages again before heading to work. Once I’m at my desk, I’m usually taking phone calls or heading off to a meeting.”

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