League of Extraordinary Young Women: Carly Silberstein

Carly is the CEO and driving force behind Redstone Agency Inc. She is a devoted entrepreneur, focusing on her passion for connecting with others. Her ongoing commitment to client experience has set a precedent for the quality of service that Redstone clients have come to expect. She has years of experience leading marketing and event teams that service corporate clients, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations in a variety of industries. Carly is a self-proclaimed foodie, enjoys a full body of red wine and when not working, she is jet setting, trying to see as much of the world as possible.

Describe what you do, why it's important to you I am the co-founder of Redstone Agency, a full-service event and association management company. I find that most people know what event management is, but as an industry, I believe we still need to educate people on what association management is.

Essentially, we provide management services for membership-based organizations that are predominately run by volunteers. Redstone manages the day-to-day operations and reports directly to the Board of Directors. We provide the professional staff, administrative support, office space, technology, and equipment an association needs to operate efficiently. We work with different associations from our physical office here in Toronto, providing a wide range of benefits to our clients including shared technology systems, access to specialized staff, and shared purchasing power.

How does your role empower you? The most empowering part of being my own boss is being able to put ideas into action. Some ideas have been incredibly successful, while others have needed to be fine-tuned. I think the process is incredibly rewarding especially because you learn so much along the way.

What advice do you have to other young women looking to get involved in your field of work? The advice that I would give to any young person is to start building your network! I strongly recommend joining a professional association (such as YWiB) to create professional ties.

I would also stress the importance of volunteering and getting actively involved in the professional association(s). Taking your membership one step further and volunteering one’s time is a great opportunity to learn from others in the industry.

Another piece of advice is to say “yes” to everything…you won’t know what you’re going to love (or hate) until you try.

Who is your biggest role model, why? I consider my dad to be my biggest role model. I practically grew up in the association world. My dad has sat on the board of many industry associations, sector councils and charitable organizations (both in Canada and the US). He instilled in me, from a very young age, the importance of giving back to the community and helping find solutions to challenges that we are passionate about.

He has taught me some incredibly valuable life lessons that continue to serve me well. Some of these lessons guide me, as they have become my core values.

A few of these include: “your word is everything – say what you mean and mean what you say”, “always be fair”, “if you don’t ask, you don’t get” and “it’s not always what you know but who you know, so your reputation is important”.

What book do you recommend every young professional should read?Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg. It’s about women, work and the will to lead. It shows you that women can “have it all”, with hard work, determination and a collective effort to achieve gender parity.

If you could go back to your 16 year old self, what would you say? Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Why do you think groups like YWiB are important? I think YWiB is important because it fosters community amongst young women in business. As I mentioned above, getting involved in an association or community group such as YWiB is incredibly valuable both personally and professional. I think we are all better and stronger together. We need to boost each other up and support one another.

What can our readers do to help you?Join an association. I am a proponent of young people getting involved in associations. I have found them to be incredibly valuable in my life/career. With LinkedIn and other such online platforms, I find the value of associations have become diluted or misunderstood amongst young professionals. I am an advocate for keeping these organization so I want to educate people on their value

If you know of anyone who is a member or volunteer of an association that could use management services, please share the love www.redstoneagency.ca.