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Janet Riopel

Updated: Nov 11, 2021

President & CEO, The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

Episode 86: Why every cloud has a silver lining (COVID-19)


Exploring COVID-19, Business & Women's Leadership, Janet Riopel joins us in The Inner Circle.

It seems like we're living in our modern version of WW2; evidently, the COVID-19 crisis is very different but way maybe worse. The impact in the global economy has been astronomical in just a few weeks.

Is there a silver lining? We need perspective on this and my guest today certainly provides it!

She is the President and CEO of the EDMONTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. She has deep roots in our community and considerable experience in managing complex, multi-stakeholder projects.

She is also the inspiring mom of two children and four amazing grandchildren.

I have the utmost respect for this women, and I'm honored to call her my friend.

Let's dive in.

What You’ll Hear in This Episode:

  • 7:26 - We start with Janet's thoughts about the COVID-19 crisis. "Overwhelmed" was how she described it. Beginning with the pre-factors and how the crisis slowly grew.

  • 10:33 - Janet answers from her business perspective, "How bad is COVID-19 hurting businesses around the world?".

  • 13:25 - She also talks about which businesses are "immune" to the crisis, who are doing "fine" and which are just hanging by a thread.

  • 16:46 - We discuss what other things could businesses do to survive, plus Janet shared fantastic advice and opportunities to take. Additionally, what will be the impact on stay-in-home businesses.

  • 21:01 - If someone lost their job, and decided to follow a passion or dream - Is this the right moment? Janet gives us her point of view.

  • 24:57 - She further answers another frightening question... "How bad is this (COVID-19 crisis) going to get?"

  • 28:15 - Janet gives us a glimpse of how she entered the business world and how she was able to climb so quickly.

  • 31:20 - She also talks about Women's Leadership and "seeing herself as a woman in business." The challenges, the value of being a female, the skillset and things she did to set herself apart.

  • 40:07 - There are a lot of mistakes women make when looking for leadership roles or climbing the ladder. Janet provides us with exceptional advice, and what is the worst thing to do.

  • 49:50 - Finally, Janet shares with us the #1 thing that she has learned throughout all these years.


  • "It seems like this pandemic is very similar to those times right now."

  • "They are trying really hard to maintain some sense of stability or control and calm, in a very chaotic atmosphere."

  • "Nobody thinks this is going to happen."

  • "Businesses are just looking for help."

  • "You spend a lot of time with the people you work with, those people are your family, and you wanna make sure that they are whole."

  • "Take advantage --of the free knowledge-- of that, if there's some time to sit back and think, it's a luxury."

  • "Look at these times as times that you have to be very conscious of how you conduct yourself and what you do, to try to give back to your community. It will matter to you."

  • "I would just run right after it ...I could jump in that hole, and somehow someone would reach out."

  • "Women often have to do the job well before they are recognized for doing the job."

  • "Get involved in clubs cause they make everything more meaningful for you."

  • "If this is my last career stop, ...I'll tell you I really feel like I made a difference in this world."


@Janet M. Riopel - LinkedIn

@Janet Riopel - Facebook

@edmontonchamber - Instagram

Journey Into the Inner Circle:

@CarrieADoll - Twitter

@Carrie Doll - Facebook

@carriedollconsulting - Instagram


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