Building Mentor Leaders – A Fresh Perspective

I’ve been moving about from one mentorship network to another over the spring. I continue to be inspired by the skill sharing I see, and the mentor leaders who are stepping up to help people shape their goals for mentorship and contribute to the overall occupational wellness in their industries.

Many of Pollinate’s mentorship for leadership programs, as well as several of programs where we cross-pollinate people into peer and learning groups, are in the Food and Agriculture Industry. People who are feeding the world! It is inspiring to see progressive associations turn their focus to connecting people before, during, and after events in a way that is sorely needed as the work world continues to try to find a way through our hybrid world.

IFPA's mentoring program kicked off with a general session hosted by Christy Pettit, CEO of Pollinate Networks Inc.
IFPA’s mentoring program kicked off with a general session hosted by Christy Pettit, CEO of Pollinate Networks Inc.
(Photo: International Fresh Produce Association)

An excellent example of a program that creates ideal conditions for inspiration, knowledge transfer, and building mentorship networks is the International Fresh Produce Association Fresh Perspectives women’s mentorship program that blended virtual mentor matching and support with a live kick off at an annual event where people who were ready to start could get matched and meet their match in advance, and those who were considering the timing and fit of the program could get information and inspiration from the one hour learning and information session that was worked into the conference agenda.

The Women’s Fresh Perspectives Conference was a fountain of inspiring mentorship quotes. One of my favourites from mentor Lori Taylor, CEO of Produce Moms, reminded us “there is no balance, just balancing.” Along with valuable advice and hands-on learning about resilience, having a growth mindset and bringing one’s own value to the table, practical topics were also on the table during the conference and beyond. Some mentoring pairs have set their sights on amplifying knowledge and practice around finance, retail management, and strategy. The value of sponsorship as well as mentorship was something the most senior mentors at the conference gave advisement on to the group. Sponsorship is a hot topic not just for knowledge transfer and career development, but also vital for programs that encourage widely representative leadership.

It was a joy to participate and see this mentorship network grow strong!


To Learn more about how Pollinate Networks Inc. works with industry associations to build mentorship into their engagement strategy, please visit our Use Case for Membership Associations.

May 2023 Webinar Announcement!

Join me in May for a conversation with HR Managing Director Stephanie Messier who has a wealth of insight into current leadership and mentorship challenges in our workplaces. Stephanie’s organization, HR à La Carte is a National HR consultancy that supports businesses of all sizes and shapes, and she’s just completed a graduate program where she focused on research about immediate issues, like the evolution of hybrid work.


Christy Pettit is Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Pollinate Networks Inc.

For 25 years, Christy has developed new approaches and best practices for agile, effective organizations worldwide. She is an expert on matching people and organizations for applications including knowledge transfer and mentorship programs, flexible virtual and hybrid teams, and productive organizational and business ecosystems and networks.




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