How Jacqueline Dixon overcame tragedy to develop into the brains behind the Meet the Motivators occasion

Struck by a collection of tragedies as a teen, Jacqueline Dixon discovered a strategy to pay it ahead to a corporation that modified her brother’s life — and saved her personal.

Within the early Eighties, star athlete and gifted mathematician Patrick Dixon was identified with schizophrenia and hospitalized in a maximum-security psychiatric facility. Quickly after the 19-year-old’s prognosis, their mom died. “My complete household, future and every part that I had come to know was gone,” Jacqueline Dixon says. “This brought about me an excessive amount of trauma and stress. So many (of our) household and pals turned their backs on us. It was essentially the most lonely and hurtful time in my life.”

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Dixon started utilizing medication, and tried suicide twice. In 1992 — in what she describes as “a last-ditch effort to avoid wasting my life” — her father, with the assistance of a Toronto detox centre, got here up with a plan, and Dixon checked herself right into a Centre for Habit and Psychological Well being (CAMH) evaluation clinic.

Now, 30 years later, the motivational speaker, company coach and entrepreneur credit her father and the assist she obtained for serving to her.

In 2014, Dixon based Meet the Motivators, an integrated not-for-profit workshop and speaker occasion aiming to coach, encourage and empower ladies and ladies to pursue management roles inside their communities and careers. Proceeds from the two-day occasion profit two causes near Dixon’s coronary heart: CAMH and York College’s Jean Augustine Chair in Schooling, Neighborhood and Diaspora, which is devoted to advancing entry to — and equality and inclusivity in — schooling.

In her 20-year climb to the heights of the gross sales and advertising and marketing business — during which she’s labored for multimillion-dollar firms and trademarked a seven-step gross sales course of that she’s taught to lots of of execs and entrepreneurs — Dixon, a College of Toronto graduate and proprietor of the skilled coaching group New Period Communications, says she’s been challenged on many events due to her gender.

“If I have been a person, I might have superior a lot additional and sooner in life than the place I’m at present,” she says. “I’ve needed to work a lot tougher than my male counterparts all through my profession, but I’ve achieved extra on a constant foundation.” Even now, she says, “I’m nonetheless having to clarify myself and justify my opinions. My ideas have been scrutinized over greater than three many years of my profession.”

With few feminine position fashions in her occupation, Dixon says her mentors have been all male, which, sarcastically, labored in her favour. “I imagine it propelled my profession,” she says. “If you solely work with males, you get to discover ways to suppose like them — you perceive their decision-making course of. You additionally be taught some very priceless issues, like how you can preserve feelings out of your enterprise selections. You discover ways to suppose bottom-line solely.”

A recipient of each the 100 Achieved Black Canadian Ladies Award and the Metropolis of Toronto Function Mannequin Award, and a volunteer scriptwriter for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential marketing campaign, Dixon began Meet the Motivators as a showcase the place ladies might share their expertise and information. “(Feminine) management works,” Dixon says. “We’re simply as succesful, if no more outfitted, to take care of the robust selections wanted to construct profitable companies.”

This yr’s version, to be held Could 21 – 22 on the Woodbine Banquet & Conference Middle in Etobicoke, options mental-health advocate Margaret Trudeau amongst its keynote audio system, which additionally embody Reelworld Display Institute founder Tonya Williams, YouTube persona and actor Jillian Danford, enterprise chief Claudia Harvey and immigration advisor Mala Sharma-Singh. Dixon hopes to ship attendees dwelling with greater than concepts and inspiration — she needs to match up as many contributors as potential with a feminine mentor.

“Jacqueline has carried out an incredible job of pulling collectively ladies leaders with a great combine of experience,” says Danford. “It is necessary for girls to know which you can meet your objectives and attain your goals at any age.”

As for Dixon, the occasion’s assist of CAMH holds particular that means this yr, as her brother Patrick, who lived the remainder of his life independently as a everlasting ward of CAMH, died in February 2021. “I see worth within the providers which might be supplied to psychological well being sufferers,” she says. “Folks with gentle to extreme mental-health situations can reside a wholesome, impartial life, if correctly cared for and supported.” Dixon says she herself can also be “dwelling proof of what intervention can do at an early stage. And that has allowed me to provide again to (individuals) that fell in poor health due to no fault of their very own.”


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