Leadership Development

Sep 28 2016

Our Association leadership team was in a mall, racing against a clock. Our goal, to accomplish as many random acts of kindness within an hour. As we poured through the list of kindness activities provided through an interactive app, we assessed the most efficient way to be kind to as […]


Jan 07 2016


Have you ever been in a situation where had a cough, your relationship broke-up or lost a love one? You shared with someone that things have been a challenge, and they instantly try to empathize with you. “I remember when I was sick, I…” “I remember when I broke […]


Jan 07 2016


Have you ever been in a situation where had a cough, your relationship broke-up or lost a love one? You shared with someone that things have been a challenge, and they instantly try to empathize with you. “I remember when I was sick, I…” “I remember when I broke […]


Nov 28 2015

With the recent events happening around the world: the refugee crisis, the Paris terrorist attacks, the hostage taking in Mali … I can’t help but wonder how each of us feels we are affected by these events?

Prior to the latter two tragedies, I had posted on my Facebook page […]


Jan 07 2015


As the holiday season comes to an end I can’t help but reflect on what that time of year means. In a word…giving. Giving of gifts, time, love and donations to people and initiatives we care about.

But sometimes, we are just giving for the sake of giving. Often […]

Nov 21 2014

Every morning when I walk into my office, the first thing I see is a painting done by my father. Growing up it was hung outside my bedroom door and in my father’s memory it has moved with me from home, to home, to home. It is always in a […]

Nov 21 2014

Do you volunteer for your professional association or do you professionally contribute?

I’m often vetted by an Association Board of Directors to speak at conferences and I serve on the National Board of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS).

I can tell you, there is a big difference between […]

Nov 19 2014

What a ride the last few years have been. Ignite Excellence Inc. is now in its 12th year of business; we have spoken on five continents to 100’s of clients and audiences ranging from entrepreneurs to fortune 500 companies in over a dozen industries. It’s been exciting and evolutionary.  Whether we […]

Jul 30 2014

For Immediate Release                                                                                Contact:
July 30, 2014                                                                                                              Suzanne F. Stevens +1 416 570-6557


From Leadership and Sales to Conscious Contributions™… Values and Communications are at the core.

 SFS CSPs News Release 2014


Suzanne F. Stevens Earns the Certified Speaking Professional® Designation

July 30, 2014—Suzanne F. […]

Jun 21 2014

TIAW press release Suzanne F Stevens 2014


for immediate release

Suzanne F. Stevens Attends TIAW’s 2014 Global Forum with Leaders from Throughout the World


Suzanne F. Stevens, Founder of Ignite Excellence Inc. recently attended The International Alliance for Women’s (TIAW) Global Forum in Washington, D.C. Held March 26-28, […]

Apr 02 2014

I just returned from the The International Alliance for Women (TIAW)Forum and World of Difference Award ceremony. I was honoured to receive an award for women economic empowerment in education. I was amongst 8 African Women pioneers who were present, along with new friends from 26 countries. One thing all […]
Apr 01 2014


We all know women lead differently than men, but do we know the real implications of its effectiveness?  Below is a good article on how to lead and some lessons we can learn from both genders. I thought I would share insights from Roz Usheroff, good information worth reading […]

Mar 24 2014

Suzanne F. Stevens is off to Washington to interview four African women pioneers, all who are be acknowledged at the TIAW Forum as World of Difference award recipients.

Suzanne is proud to be amongst these women to be receiving this acknowledgement.

Each year, the TIAW World of Difference 100 Award […]

Mar 24 2014

Every organization can benefit from bringing an outsider into their corporation to speak to their team. The problem is most organizations that engage speakers only experience a temporary benefit. What can you do to ensure that an external speaker has a lasting impact?
Here are three ideas:
Higher […]

Mar 08 2014

WisdomExchangeTV.com has a New look!

New Wisdom Exchange TV interview with:
Her Excellency, Nouzha Chekrouni, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco in Canada


Happy Women’s Day!

What better way to celebrate how far women have come than with an interview with a Muslim politician from Morocco.

Many societies have […]

Feb 05 2014

    Stephanie Staples interviews Suzanne F. Stevens about Conscious Contributions™ – check it out!  Your Life, Unlmiited with Stephanie Staples & Suzanne F. Stevens   Todays conversation just made me want to contribute more to my global community.  Suzanne F. Stevens spends 50% of her time making money to finance the other 50% of […]

Nov 27 2013

As I started my Christmas shopping on the weekend, it continues to amaze me the diverse customer experience you can have from one store to the next. The first store I was completely ignored by two staff. The second, treated rudely. The third, engaged in friendly conversation.    The friendly store, which was a retail […]

Nov 13 2013

It was my 42nd Birthday, and by all accounts I had everything. A wonderful home, a great career, good health, good friends and family and a loving husband. Somehow it was not enough. I turned to my husband and I just starting to cry my eyes out. Men may have called this a midlife crisis; […]

Jul 11 2013

  When we were travelling Africa last year we were often in the position of question if we were helping or hurting? We had just come back from hiked in Volcanoes National Park down the Virunga mountains after seeing a family of gorillas; a highly anticipated experience. My husband and my euphoric experience were short […]

Jul 04 2013

In this short presentation at the CCAfrica’s African Women Trade & Investment Opportunity Conference, Suzanne  F Stevens shares pioneering  African women’s strengths – which we all can learn from and opportunities for African women to expand their business impact. In 2007, Suzanne founded the Ignite Excellence Foundation (www.igniteexcellencefoundation.org) which provides tertiary education scholarship to perspective […]

Jun 08 2013

As children few of us dreamt about being a salesperson, but many of us now realize it is a necessary component of any job. Regardless if you are an entrepreneur or work in an organization we need to share ideas, influence outcomes and win over stakeholders.  As a professional, you are good at what you […]

May 29 2013

May 28, 2013 a wonderful event was hosted by  Canadian Council on Africa / Conseil Canadien pour l’Afrique – African Women Diplomatic Forum promoting trade between Canada and  African women. Suzanne F Stevens spoke to approximately 120 women, more than half of which where from 15 African countries. The event was located in Toronto, at […]

May 05 2013

Thank you to our clients for your continued support and sharing our 10 years success with us! On May 5, 2003, Suzanne F Stevens set out to start her own training business with partnering company Environics Communications. Suzanne is the Chief Edge Optimizer & Founder of Ignite Excellence Inc. an internationally acclaimed training company specializing […]

May 01 2013

Suzanne F Stevens and her husband, Michael K. Gingerich founded Wisdom Exchange TV in 2011 and traveled through Africa uninterrupted for twenty months. They have recently returned back to Toronto Canada from backpacking through Africa interviewing women leaders for Wisdom Exchange TV (www.wisdomexchangetv.com). This initiative is self-funded and is an investment in future women leaders. […]

Jan 08 2013


Ernie Els

Golf is a sport I have always found expensive, unphysical, a waste of time, and something you can never perfect. If I was not going to make money at it, win at it, or perfect it, why bother? Ernie Els may not agree with my evaluation […]

Dec 18 2012

Spending a lot of time amongst professionals,  not to mention listening to interview grooming conversations with my nephews, I can’t help but share this blog from Leslie Everett a fellow professional speaker and a brand expert. If you are about to go on interview some things to consider…


Walking […]

Sep 25 2012

Volunteerism: the principle of relying on voluntary action (according to Oxford).


Volunteerism according to Suzanne F. Stevens:

  • Giving your intelligence, insight, and time to a cause.
  • A social phenomenon that provides opportunities to rub shoulders with diverse individuals with similar interests.
  • Exposing yourself to learning new skills, industries, or
  • […]

Sep 25 2012

Wisdom Exchange TV has recently unveiled some compilation of Leading Ladies at a recent REDI Business women event in Swaziland. After completing 41 interviews in East Africa we have ventured to Southern Africa to start interviews in many of the countries again with the same goals:

1. Celebrate African women […]

Aug 23 2012

On August 23, 2012 Wisdom Exchange TV celebrates our Fiftieth interview with African Leading Ladies and Leading Ladies who love Africa – it has been a true honour to interview 41 women from Eastern Africa (Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda) Several from Swaziland and now South Africa. There have been […]

Jul 03 2012

Many of us entrepreneurs have the skill, the spirit, determination and as I said in my previous entry, the helping hand, to grow our businesses to be a profitable thriving enterprise…. Or not.

One of the challenges women have internationally, and has been emphasized in many African countries, is […]

May 31 2012

We are now in Southern Africa interviewing Leading Ladies is Politics, Philanthropy, Business and Education. We want to thank the wonderful Leading Ladies in East Africa who shared their insight, knowledge, determination and spirit with us – and in many cased your hospitality.

We had many highlights including interviewing  Bience […]

May 09 2012

Leah Ngini, Founder, @ St. Christophers School


When I started my business, Ignite Excellence Inc., nine years ago I was a woman with a vision, passion, determination and a helping hand.  Without all four of these foundations of influence I know I would not have had the confidence or […]

Apr 30 2012

Siemen Mountains, Ethiopia

Traveling through Africa for over a year this trip has provided me with more understanding to expectations of societies and how people interact with visitors.

Ethiopia is a country that vastly surpassed my expectations; it is breathtaking particularly in Mescal flowers season (Oct to Nov) when they […]

Apr 10 2012

Time is running out!  Thought I would share this for women who want to enter the business challenge.

Group: Sustainable Development Africa
Subject: 3 Reasons why you should apply to the African Women in Business Challenge
With the mission of increasing the number of female entrepreneurs in emerging markets, the […]

Apr 04 2012

When we look back on our life and we ask the philosophic question: “Why did I turn out the way I did?” Inevitably the answer almost always lies with how we were brought up. More specifically, what our mother did or did not do. Or what they said or did […]

Feb 21 2012

Your voice matters! Do you have an opinion, question or want to share insights on women in emerging countries? Provide your perspective on how they should conduct business, what are their obstacles and opportunities. And possibly, most importantly, how can we make those opportunities a reality? Join the conversation via linked […]

Dec 09 2011

Imagine: you are a very accomplished woman who has built a very well respected organization.  Your efforts produce a marketable business that is eventually bought out by a larger institution. After preparing for the next phase of the company’s development, you step down from your role, and the office moves […]

Nov 22 2011

For the last eleven years I taught the most powerful word a salesperson could ask a prospect or client. ‘Why?.’ ‘Why is that?’ ‘Tell me why that is?’ These questions had two purposes:

  1. To gain a complete understanding of how a prospect/ client makes decisions. By asking why you gain
  2. […]

Nov 14 2011

Dr. Jennifer Riria & Suzanne F Stevens

During my interview with Dr. Jennifer Riria, Group CEO, Kenya Women Holding,  on Wisdom Exchange tv, she spoke of a mentorship program she implemented in Kenya that was unsuccessful. The concept was for a well-established African business to mentor women in […]

Oct 31 2011

Find your purpose and the possibilities are endless

After interviewing 26 women for Wisdom Exchange TV, a web-enabled platform, I am compelled to delve into the fire in their belly that motivates these women to be a trailblazer in their field of expertise. In my pursuit of sharing the […]

Aug 15 2011

Looking out on Kenya’s famous game reserve, the Masai Mara, at the millions of wildebeest, I could not help but be intrigued by their behaviour . To watch the wildebeest  roam the vast open space with no semblance of order, to all of a sudden fall in line behind this […]

Aug 03 2011



Wisdom Exchange TV interview at Africa International University, Nairori, Kenya

Recently I interviewed Katherine Ichoya, the Executive Director of FEMCOM (French for Federation of National Associations of Women in Business in Eastern and Southern Africa), for Wisdom Exchange TV. I couldn’t help but be affected by her enthusiasm […]

Jul 23 2011

Gladys Muhunyo & Suzanne F Stevens after Wisdom Exchange TV interview

In May this year we launched Wisdom Exchange TV, which is a resource to help African women learn, lead and succeed in life, business and community. It is a forum where women of all disciplines will be inspired from […]

Jul 10 2011

Recently on Wisdom Exchange TV, two women I interviewed provided the same advice: “As a leader, you must not take life too seriously.” Some of the leadership gurus, such as Jim Collins, also endorse this sentiment. He talks about Level Five leadership, which is when someone doesn’t take herself too […]

Jun 13 2011

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

I am presently sitting at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. As I watch the sheer volume of water and the power of its force as it crashes down to Batoka Gorge, I am reminded of one of my favourite books, The Power of […]

May 09 2011

Ted Horton & Hanne Howard

At the Hanne Howard and Ted Horton funded community for children, we were watching the children do their crafts, playing, conversing and looking you in the eye when they speak, you quickly recognize that they have been brought up with […]

May 02 2011

As I depart from Kenya I cannot help reflecting on the diversity of the women I have met, and where some of their values intersect and where they are polarized. I came to Kenya from Toronto, Canada to hear the perspectives of Kenyan women from different backgrounds. These perspectives I […]

Apr 24 2011



Leah Ngini & Suzanne F Stevens in Maasia Courtyard at St. Christopher's School

Often when people think of the Sub-Sahara, they conjure up images of starving children, slums, and corruption. Although these images are real, in many places […]

Apr 18 2011

Suzanne F Stevens interviews Lois Shaw www.wisdomexchangetv.com

As my husband I arrive in the middle of the night to Kenya and then to Africa International University, I quickly remember the fresh African air, the monumental potholes, and the Kenyan hospitality. With each Karibu greeting, (Welcome […]

Mar 01 2011

The Women Leadership Blog is honoured to launch with the announcement of the successful summit of a group of 13 Canadian women who climbed Kilimanjaro to raise funds for a women’s leadership centre, Leah Ngini Community Centre, in Nairobi, Kenya. For the last year these women trained rigorously on weekends […]