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Rona Maynard Rona Maynard

Keynote speaker and workshop leader | Rona Maynard

Toronto, ON, CANADA

Inspirational storyteller credits success as dynamic boss at top magazine to tough lessons from difficult people and history of depression.

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Biography


Rona Maynard has been a champion for mental health since 1997. As Editor-in-chief of Canada's leading magazine for women, she shared her history of chronic depression in a landmark editorial that inspired a truth-telling conversation among millions of readers across the country. Rona personally answered countless letters and phone calls from readers struggling with their own or a family member's mental illness. When a suicide call turned up on her voicemail, she knew she had found her mission.

Rona's fearless, energizing speeches have struck a chord from coast to coast. Whether the subject is her own recovery from depression or her lonely struggle with mental illness on her team, listeners recognize themselves and their organizations in her pointed storytelling. Rona lost a talented staffer because neither she nor her company understood how to manage a paralyzing mood disorder. Today she tells the truth about the three things she wishes she'd done differently. Drawing universal lessons from her own experience, she moves her audience to insight, laughter--and action.

Her honesty will come as no surprise to fans of her acclaimed memoir, My Mother’s Daughter, in which she shares her anger as the bewildered child of an alcoholic father, her panic as a new mother stricken with post-partum depression, and her astonishment on discovering that her chronically bleak state of mind was in fact a treatable illness.

Rona's many personal honours include a National Champion of Mental Health Award from the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health. Her pioneering article on children of alcoholics won a media award from the Canadian Nurses Association. Her understanding of emotional health is a signature strength of her award-winning website, www.ronamaynard.com.

Rona's unique one-day memoir workshop guides women to the heart of their own story. Typical comment: "A gift bursting with insight and revelation. I will explore my writing with renewed vigor and excitement."

Topics:

When a star employee breaks down: one manager's hard-win wisdom

From wanting to die to loving my life: how I beat depression

Life-changing lessons from difficult people

Industry Expertise (2)

Mental Health Care

Health and Wellness

Areas of Expertise (2)

Life-Changing Lessons From Difficult People

The Healing Power of Work

Affiliations (2)

  • International Women's Forum
  • Verity Women's Club

Event Appearances (4)

Title

Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation Silver Dinner  Toronto

2008-11-25

Title

Canadian Mental Health Association "Make It Work" conference  Windsor, Ontario

2011-10-05

Title

Life Office of Management Association (LOMA) Claims Conference  Toronto

2011-11-04

Title

The True Cost of Workplace Mental Health (Business Takes Action)  Mississauga, Ontario

2011-10-19

Sample Talks (5)

From Wanting to Die to Loving My Life: How I Beat Depression

Rona Maynard grew up with a nagging, negative tape in her head. It said, "Your needs do not matter. You don't make the grade. Joy is not for you." She grew so accustomed to depression that she couldn't imagine breaking free. Then she started having fantasies involving a bathtub and a razor blade. When a friend of hers was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Rona wished she could be the one facing death. She had just enough clarity of mind to realize that her family would miss her. So she made the phone call that changed her life--to a mental health clinic. Frank, moving and shot with humor, this speech draws not only on Rona's own recovery from depression but on her intimate conversations with people still trapped in its depths. Rona challenges the stigma that keeps so many from seeking help, debunks the myths that still surround mental illness and shares her life-tested strategies for staying well. For Rona, beating depression is not about the tools a therapist gives you, any more than training for a triathlon is about the coach and the gear. You're the one who has to take hold of those tools and make a life of passion and purpose. Rona inspires her audience to do just that.

Renewal: the Key to Success

When everyone wants a piece of you, a deadline looms and you've been cracking your brain on an onslaught of big decisions, it can be dangerously tempting to treat your own powers like a beast of burden. Rona Maynard knows the feeling. As the creative force behind the relaunch that transformed Canada's best-read magazine for women, she learned the hard way that she couldn't revitalize the brand if she didn't take care of her own vitality and set a good example for her strung-out staff. Rona's story proves that personal renewal can be as close as your bulletin board---and that wellsprings of inspiration can turn up in the most unlikely places (would you believe a supermarket checkout line?). Learn how she built a personal think tank to troubleshoot new problems; kept her team focused on the big picture, not the distracting details; and recharged in as little as three minutes. For Rona, success means loving the problems that are part of every mission with her whole heart and mind. When you fall out of love with the problems, it's time to move on. How do you know when that moment arrives? And how do find your next mission? With the honesty, insight and humour that won her readers' loyalty, Rona delivers the goods.

Life-changing lessons from difficult people

Crazy-making people have a knack for sucking up all your energy and power?because you let them do it. Rona Maynard has been there. She has contended with a boss from hell, irate Chatelaine readers, cranky colleagues and rebellious junior staffers. On the personal side, she came to terms with an alcoholic parent, a fiercely competitive younger sister and a strong-minded husband who has been her best friend for more than 38 years. The difficult people in her life became her best teachers, challenging Rona to acquire new skills and confront her own difficult side. After a lifetime of striving to prove she was always right, she learned it was more important to be able to fix what she does wrong. Join her for a no-holds-barred conversation about what it really takes to deal constructively with ego-bashers, nay-sayers and your own inner troublemaker. With Rona's life-tested wisdom, you'll turn conflicts into wellsprings of mastery and inspiration--both professionally and personally.

Renewal: the Key to Success

When everyone wants a piece of you, a deadline looms and you've been cracking your brain on an onslaught of big decisions, it can be dangerously tempting to treat your own powers like a beast of burden. Rona Maynard knows the feeling. As the creative force behind the relaunch that transformed Canada's best-read magazine for women, she learned the hard way that she couldn't revitalize the brand if she didn't take care of her own vitality and set a good example for her strung-out staff. Rona's story proves that personal renewal can be as close as your bulletin board---and that wellsprings of inspiration can turn up in the most unlikely places (would you believe a supermarket checkout line?). Learn how she built a personal think tank to troubleshoot new problems; kept her team focused on the big picture, not the distracting details; and recharged in as little as three minutes. For Rona, success means loving the problems that are part of every mission with her whole heart and mind. When you fall out of love with the problems, it's time to move on. How do you know when that moment arrives? And how do find your next mission? With the honesty, insight and humour that won her readers' loyalty, Rona delivers the goods.

The Healing Power of Work

When we talk about work, the real subject isn't the paycheque. It's a sense of purpose. A place in the world. A chance to put your mark on the world every day—in the company of people who see what you contribute and know why it matters. Rona Maynard survived close to 30 years of depression and found that working was a tonic. Not a go-with-the-flow kind of work but the biggest job of her life. At the helm of Chatelaine, she thrived despite constant demands from all sides. When she shared her story of recovery with her readers—a bold move for 1997—letters poured in from across the country. Rona thought she understood mental illness. Then she faced the biggest crisis of her career: a protégée's disabling depression. And she discovered how little she knew. This fearless, eye-opening speech will challenge, move and inspire anyone who deals with mental illness in the workplace. Rona shows how work awakened her fun-loving side and taught her the meaning of teamwork. You'll also learn the three things she'd do differently if she could revisit her experience with mental illness on her staff. You'll leave with a fresh perspective on one of the most urgent issues in human resources today.

Style

Availability

  • Keynote
  • Panelist
  • Author Appearance

Fees

4000 to 6000