Inspiration Point part 2

Hey Brucesters!

Before I get started this week. I wanted to first wish everyone a Happy Easter!

And now As promised part two of Inspiration Point, my blog on Ruth Mead Author and Finance Exec who has inspired many in her field and beyond. I wanted to spend a bit more time on her best selling book, though to be clear it’s not Ruth’s main focus currently as she now runs her very own business venture in Financial Consulting and Planning.

In fact, Ruth has managed to transition herself into a seasoned leader of the ilk she once sat alongside for over two decades! Head of her own Wealth Management Practice and mentor to other Consultants; she puts into full force the power of all her past international experience in business coupled with the operational swiss-like efficiency capability borne from her years as UK’s award winning Executive Assistant and Chief of Staff. The combination and effect of all this has catapulted her success to the almost “unheard of” category leaving many pondering her “secret sauce”

In Ruth Mead’s international bestseller Jewel in the LEADER’s Crown, Ruth shares her over two decades of experience working with some of the highest-ranking leaders of global industry. This includes FTSE 100 & Fortune 500 corporations in the UK, Europe, Middle East and North America including some global businesses you may know quite well: PepsiCo, McDonald’s, O2 plc, Canadian Tire, and BMO Financial Group.
What Ruth offers in her book is an up close and professional look at what she describes as lessons from her own highs and lows that helped Ruth discern the secret of her success. The catalyst being politicians, members of royalty, and executives the world over. If your goal is this type of success, these would be most definitely the people to pay attention to.
“It’s often hard to detect the many layers of unspoken traits.” she explains. Ruth asks how and why the finest gems sparkle. “It’s that “aha” moment as you break down the science behind the workings of magnificence”. Ruth adds.
In a world where being successful, even for a glimpse of a moment is more difficult then ever before, Ruth’s book seems to be the bright light of inspiration to those who may find themselves business bruised.
You’ll find a treasure trove of tools from practical tips to prepare you for those unwanted negative surprises in your day. This read just may be the guide to living your best life. There is no doubt Ruth is one of the most positive women I’ve spoken to in years. She’s open, strong, commands a room I’ve no doubt, and yet with all her ability and talent, surprisingly gracious and approachable. Here’s a quote from one of her previous UK “bosses”, a “Sir” no less! which I found most impressive.

“….there has been little attention paid to the role of the executive assistant in lifting organizational performance. Jewel in the LEADER’s CROWN rectifies this omission….”
Sir David Varney, Former Permanent Secretary HM Treasury, London UK

Not a bad resume I’d say! Certainly this book is a gift worth taking a look at.

The executive assistant role and how it can be the stepping stone to some of business greater achievements seems to be the silver lining here. Anyone looking to climb their own personal business or personal mountain should check out this jewel.

“…to this profession, I gave my lifetime – it gave me, the time of my life. ~Ruth Mead

Perhaps a further clue to figuring out her own fine personal brand, she says:

“Be the Picasso of your art, the Ferrari of your field.
Be the exclusive, Hermes Birkin of your industry and
As distinctive as Christian Louboutin red soles”!

…and those very fabulous red soles have become her signature and claim to fame – perhaps it’s no wonder she was first in line to meet their maker during his visit to Toronto’s Holt Renfrew!

And that my friends is simply, Ruth Mead!


Edited by: Mary Ellen Monk


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Badass B.I.T.C Beard #13

Hey Brucesters!

March has closed in and we have one more feisty beard to vote for! All the voting takes place on my Instagram account @bruceinthecity just hit like on the solo pic or the bio that goes with this blog. Sounds more confusing than it is. Check out my Instagram after reading my blog. Anyway we’ve got ourselves another John! With the March beard already chosen, John will be our first contestant for April! Good Luck!

1. I’m a double Taurus from California
2. I’ve spent my adult life living in Brooklyn
3. I build software for a living
4. I liked ARTPOP — don’t bottom shame me!
5. I identify as a bossy sub cub who sometimes likes to top, just not in a dom way!

There you go people! Now see you on Instagram! Time to vote!


edited by BWC


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Badass B.I.T.C Beard for March!

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Inspiration Point part one

Hey Brucesters!

As Women’s Month winds down I feel it is the perfect time to spotlight an author/wealth/financial advisor because her story is simply inspiring. So sit back, relax, enjoy your cup of joe and get ready to be inspired! Ladies and Gents my guest this week! Ruth Mead.

Bruce: Before we really get going here I’d love to break the ice by asking you a personal question. Your eyes widen! Don’t be scared! With everything you have achieved, which we are going to get into, I’m just curious what you do to help you remain balanced with the challenges of your very successful career and your personal time.

Ruth: Great question! You know I love playing my grand piano. It balances me. It gives me that all important grounding. I love it!

Bruce: It is a great instrument. My partner plays. I can picture you lost in the keys. So my first question with regards to your career is usually the last question an interviewee will ask, but in speaking with you it became abundantly clear you get a special energy from the thought of inspiring people, men and woman alike. Would you say that’s an accurate statement?

Ruth: I do enjoy sharing my story to inspire those who wish they could have the courage to move internationally to another country, or to leave that dead end job that no longer inspires them, start that business to do the thing that really sets their soul on fire, write that book that’s been inside them for decades or to even change their career path altogether even at an older age. My story is one of courage when I moved from London, England to Toronto to live as a family (at a slightly less frantic pace). We then moved out of the city altogether, I wrote a book and now I run my own Financial Planning Practice going back and forth between Toronto (again) and cottage country (best of both worlds!). Although I am an author with my book on Amazon, my focus is very much on my Financial Planning Practice (Ruth heads up her own Financial Planning Practice with Investors Group) and improving my clients’ financial well-being.

Bruce: Well as they say when approaching a hot fudge sundae, best to start at the top.

Ruth: Yes. As a young girl I lived in Africa where my parents were Missionaries, then we moved to Wales! One of my earliest memories was picking fresh mangoes from my garden and juice running down my face!

Bruce: Can you believe I ate my first mango just the other day? It was fabulous. Please continue!

Ruth: I relocated internationally to Canada from London, UK over 10 years ago. For over two decades, I worked alongside captains of the industry in the UK as their right hand (PepsiCo, McDonald’s, O2). It was the most amazing job which took me from organizing a private concert at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor (where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are about to wed!) to Geneva, Switzerland, from interactions with royalty to co-ordinating a commercial with the Spice Girls!

Bruce: Okay, I’m sorry, Stop Right Now!! The Spice Girls? Okay you had me at Two Become One. You are now my best friend! Okay, right now I’m saying for the record you’re coming back to fill me in on that in much more detail! I understand you were awarded the National UK Role Model for your work the Consultant’s Choice Award, 2017″and featured in the Press from the BBC to Japan Radio?

Ruth: Yes. One of my most surreal moments was being asked on live Japan Radio, “What is your message of inspiration to the women waking up in Japan this morning?”

Bruce: That’s exciting. Seriously, I’m very impressed with that. I mean I’m lucky if my partner asks, “turquoise or cerulean?” for a tie let alone inspiring people on a national level.

Ruth: In Canada, my professional career reached new heights supporting the Board of Canadian Tire followed by BMO Bank of Montreal.

Bruce: I bank at the BMO. You and I are just like two peas in a pod! I understand you also became a fashion image consultant? I love fashion and worked for Holt Renfrew for six years as Sales Supervisor and Fashion Sales Ambassador. I loved it!

Ruth: As for my personal passion for fashion, to clarify I only studied image consulting as a hobby purely as an interest to enhance my own understanding, as style is a passion of mine. I left the smoke of the city entirely to realize my dream of raising my son in a more rural setting. Making our “cottage” a full time home.

Bruce: When did the passion for writing began?

Ruth: It was at that point I decided to embark on the book I was always encouraged to do “one day”. Just over a year later, I launched my book on Amazon: “Jewel in the LEADER’s CROWN” (powerful strategies to shine as an Executive Assistant & beyond)

Bruce: And it was featured as a best seller in its category, with rave reviews I understand. Then things kind of came full circle for you?

Ruth: Very. Following the launch of my book I stumbled across an opportunity which took me back to the University classroom to finally follow in the footsteps of my father teaching financial planning.

Bruce: All of this experience in international business, were you satisfied being confined to the four walls of a classroom? Even though I have no doubt those students learned much.

Ruth: Thank you. You’re correct, my passion drew me to a vocation I LOVE; My own Financial Planning practice where I thrive upon making a transformational difference in people’s lives.

Bruce: I want to come work for you! You’re a rockstar in the financial industry! I’m no rock star but I did win CNE Rising Star in 1998! I can tell you about that later. In your first year you were awarded a coveted place in the President’s Circle and has since earned much acclaim with a long list of awards. Where does your inspirational edge come from?

Ruth: Working alongside senior leaders along with having worked alongside high net worth leaders for most of my career, I gained a unique understanding for clients of this ilk and an innate ability to tailor my planning to delight.

Bruce: When she’s not helping her clients become financially fit, you’ll find her on the dock of a bay with her family, wasting time.

Wealth Management & Financial Planning
Consultant of the Year, 2016 & 2017 – Ontario Northeast
President’s Circle Award, 2016
Investors Group Financial Services Inc.
Cell: (705) 303.5155| Fax: (705) 497.1566

Our Practice advises clients in:
Investment Strategies, Tax Planning, Corporate Strategies, Retirement Planning, Estate Planning, Risk Management & Debt Solutions

To be continued…

Next Sunday I take a closer look at Ruth’s successful book and those signature shoes!


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March for Our Lives

Standing in solidarity with the kids of Parkland Florida and all affected by gun violence.

Enough is Enough 

Bruce Christopher

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Badass BITC Beard #12

Hey Brucesters!

Who doesn’t melt for a handsome Ginger fellow with a sexy beard? Even my heart skipped a beat! Ladies and Gents here’s Dan!

Um. Five fun facts? 1. I’m passionate about anything food related. Baking is my strong suit. I auditioned for MasterChef and bake off. And I love trying out new recipes. 2. I’m not so secretly obsessed with the world of Harry Potter. 3. I adore Marvel comics, especially X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy. The films are great but the villains are so-so. 4. My current record for downing a pint of Guinness is 2.9 seconds. 5. I remember song lyrics pretty damn easily!

Thanks Dan! The blogs on fire with your adorable bearded selfie! Good luck with the March contest!


edited by BWC

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If These Walls Could Speak


I’d love to give a shout out to my Murdoch Mysteries friends! Murdoch Mysteries has been renewed for a 12th season and that’s pretty cool in a time when shows come and go so quickly. I’ve had the exciting privilege to meet a few of the actors from the show. Yannick Bisson twice, first at a local breakfast spot and second at the 100th episode where he was kind enough to let me get a selfie even though he wasn’t really doing that that day. I met Helen Joy after that same event with the show’s composer Robert Carli. She was wonderfully engaging and actually chatted for some time with me about her work and allowed a few photos. My biggest thrill was landing an interview with Arwen Humphreys for my blog. She got me involved with Wounded Warriors when nominating me for a push ups challenge! She is stunning and super cool. Obviously the show is brilliant and relevant even with being set in the early 1900’s Toronto. I can’t help but wonder which area of my city they will be filming in next.

In Season 6 episode 7, Queens Park was featured in “The Ghost of Queens Park”. I decided to stroll through Queens Park on Thursday last week. My mind has been much more aware of politics over the last couple of years due to the heated political climate we seem to be facing. I walked up to the door of the Ontario legislative building and asked an armed security constable if visitors were allowed in the building. He was definitely intimidating but cordial to me and smiled and said yes the lobby is open to visitors. Since the terrible incident in Ottawa parliament in 2014 when we lost Corporal Nathan Cirillo in a shooting, there have been armed constables employed to protect Ontario’s legislative building. Their presence was not amiss however as they were very engaging and sergeant Kathryn (not sure how she spells her name) was amazing and informed me about a free tour. I was pretty excited. I love tours and I really love free tours so I signed up for the one running at 5 o’clock. The men in blue were all stunning and built like brick houses. I felt totally safe and giggly like a school girl. It was just myself and a really nice woman from Chicago. She works at a government office in the United States and apparently is travelling the world checking out other government buildings. Our tour guide was Danielle and she has been involved in the historical world for many years working at places such as McKinsey House and Black Creek Pioneer Village, just to name a couple. I’d love to do that. She took us around and shared her knowledge about this stunning historical building. The Ontario Legislative Building is a structure in central Toronto, Ontario that houses the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, as well as the Viceregal Suite of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and offices for members of the provincial parliament. First Nations people now have a higher profile at Ontario’s historic legislature, where two large meeting rooms have been named the “Gathering Place” to showcase aboriginal art and culture which to me makes perfect sense since it sits in aboriginal lands.
Edward James Lennox was a Toronto-based architect who designed several of the city’s most notable landmarks in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries including Old City Hall and Casa Loma along with restoration of part of the grand Hall that was destroyed in a fire at the legislative building.
Along the tour stunning looking guards quietly protected the halls, smiling as we passed. I got to see the door to Kathleen Wynne’s office. I thought that was pretty cool.
Richard Alfred Waite designer of the main wing was in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. The stunning wood work is called timber framing, a traditional method of building with heavy timbers, creating structures using squared-off and carefully fitted and joined timbers with joints secured by large wooden pegs. It is popular in wooden buildings from the 19th century and earlier. You never see that type of detailing and construction today. If these walls could speak, the stories they would tell. The tour was really wonderful and again free! The public can take in a seating of the legislature Monday through Thursday from 10:30-11:30 unless scheduling issues and events occur.
There will be a Throne Speech on March 19 so there will be no legislature that day. Every city and town has its historical components. Get out there and investigate your city you just might be surprised at what you may discover.

Bruce in the City

Edited by Mary Ellen Monk

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Badass B.I.T.C Beard #11

Hey Brucesters!

It’s Beard time! I gotta say I heard this fellow beard sing on Instagram and I thought he was really good! Meet Will.

Okay, I’m an Artist, 23, fun fact about me is I once won a game of snap blinded folded, seriously, proudest moment of my life haha. I’m also a dog person, although certain cats have started to grow on me so I’m no longer completely anti feline.

Thank you and good luck on our monthly Beard contest! To vote for this talented bearded bloke just visit my Instagram @bruceinthecity and click like on his pic or his bio!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!


edited by BWC

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Surprise Me

Before I get started I want to welcome back my wonderful editor Mary Ellen. You were missed. I hope you had an amazing trip. I was creeping your posts and it looks like you had a blast and your family too! So, yes, welcome home.
Today’s blog, I have to admit, has become one of my favourites. I was at my therapist’s office on Friday (yes, I have a therapist. I think everyone should have one) and after my hour with her I felt like I needed to take a nice long walk and mull around the get together. Toronto is a great place to roam around. It was a little cool but I had my favourite Roots sweater on and so I was ready to walk. I took a few photos along the way of Dundas Square, this cool looking condo just off Queen Street with the CN Tower in the distance, and a few other pics that I posted on my Instagram @bruceinthecity. It’s so relaxing just site seeing like a guest in this old city. It was in the middle of this stroll that I passed by an interesting looking restaurant. I had wandered into Queen Street West and this part of the city seems to have a lot of fabric places and sewing shops. It seems to be where clothing designers go to get the fabric supplies they need.
A little further west I passed by La Pallette. Oh so French. I checked out their menu which was displayed on a lectern. I peeked in the window. It had a relaxed French bistro feel to it. Maybe it was the colours? Maybe the window dressing? The sprawl of black and white photographs that seemed to be floating along the east wall? The kitchen was right out there in the open with it’s heavy metalled accessories. It felt a bit “Alice in Wonderland” to me. The bearded fellow behind the bar invited me in and to sit where I like. I chose a window seat which I actually regretted because it didn’t allow for me to admire the decor very well. The bearded fellow approached me and enthusiastically shared how the menu worked and what were some highlights and then he asked me about a beverage. I chose a Pinot Grigio. When he returned I hadn’t yet decided. I didn’t want to have to think to be honest. I looked up at his impressive beard and I just said surprise me. He looked a little surprised but I guessed that wasn’t the first time he heard a statement like that. He asked me if I had any allergies or if I was squeamish. I said no, but I lied. I was a little squeamish. After he walked away I thought okay, go big or go home. I was enjoying my pinot as I rolled around how bad could it be? The place looked pretty harmless. What could he bring me that would make me squeamish? You know when I review places, I like to be inspired. Either by the impeccable customer service or the food. Since my background deals in customer service that tends to be what affects me the greatest. But this day I just wanted to be orally satisfied beyond measure. Bring me something that would take me out of my body and spin me across the universe of flavours and savourings. I think it may have been his girth of beard that had me feeling so wide open to something perfectly new. He returned with plate in hand, placed it in front of me and began to explain the contents. It sounded like a bunch of pretty words from a bearded baritone and I was certain he said horse. Then he smiled and walked away. Did I hear him correctly? The plate looked wonderful. A lovely salad, side of fresh bread, thin fries lightly seasoned and the vinaigrette dressing was lovely. Little kisses of mustard on the plate and an egg yolk sitting on top of a lovely round of what appeared to be the “piece de resistance”, but oh my god, did he say horse? I’m certain he did. I did say surprise me, didn’t I? Okay, well I had to go for it. I wanted a brand new experience and this friendly man just put his best meat forward for me to try. I had to put it in my mouth. There was just no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I had to put it in my mouth. I’m adventurous. I can do this. I want to do it. I asked for it. I took my fork and took some yolk that burst over the top of this signature dish. I overheard reactions to him by other patrons. He’s a genius! He’s the best! He knows just what his customer needs! One woman pleaded with him to bring her back to life with the perfect drink. He did. It was called Hail Satan, some espresso based alcohol beverage! That seemed to give this woman that meg Ryan moment from When Harry Met Sally, I kid you not. This guy, whom the patrons called David, was like a local celebrity and as I placed that piece of meat into my mouth I knew I was experiencing something extraordinary. It was mouth watering and gentle as it kissed my tongue. My mind was having a moral struggle but my mouth said, “Oh yes, give me more of that outstanding piece of meat”. I found myself mixing the flavours going between the mustards and the leaf of the perfect salad and complimented by perfect thinly cut fries. The experience he gave me honestly inspired me to continue writing and to be even more brave in the future when I visit the restaurants in this amazing city and maybe once again dare to say, “surprise me”.

The actual menu items:

P.S. I would have never tried this dish on my own and I’m so thankful David shared it with me. The entire experience had me floating home recalling every moment on La Pallette.

6 kisses out of 5


Edited by Mary Ellen Monk

A note from Mary Ellen

I’m much more nervous than you about food. I would have heard horse and there would have been no way that it was going in my mouth. Dave on the other hand would have tried it. The man is a food connoisseur and will try anything once.
Good for you for being brave though!


Posted in Check it Out!, Hmmm Good, Really?, Restaurants, Try It! | Leave a comment

Badass B.I.T.C Beard #10

Hey Brucesters!

Ive been really enjoying meeting all you bearded folks on Instagram and other social media platforms! The beard contest roles on with growing popularity! Of course I’m flogging it as much as possible and it’s cool all you beards are responding! Here’s this weeks Badass B.I.T.C Beard of the Week! Say hello to Burke!

I travel a lot. I’ve  been to 16 countries. I do landscape photography on my Instagram. I just finished my math degree and I love to cook! 🍑
Hey thanks Burke and good luck maybe you will be chosen as Beard of the month! Voting happens on my Instagram. @bruceinthecity Just click like on Burke’s solo photo or on the blog write up that is also posted to my Instagram.

Good luck!


edited by BWC

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