Mentor Bios

Our MentorHER Mentors are extraordinary women and men in our community with proven successes and a desire for sharing their knowledge to advance women in business and life. Our Mentors understand the challenges women in business face, and keen to pay it forward and share their leadership wisdom.

Our Mentors are female and male leaders in the community with proven success from diverse backgrounds. They are champions for Diversity and Inclusive environments, committed to sharing their wisdom, understand the challenges and barriers and committed to helping a woman succeed!

Our Mentors believe in taking action to SupportHER and align our organizational values of Courage, Confidence, Commitment, and Integrity which are all critical skills to develop as personally and professionally, sustaining a successful business or for leading a motivated corporate team.

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As a mentor, I have had the pleasure of passing over 20 years of wisdom and experience in the entrepreneurial world and see first-hand how it is making a difference. Most notably, I am able to help my protégé avoid some of the mistakes I have inevitably made along the way and that feels great. – Christine Hart

Danaye Maier - Platinum Mentor

Virgin Radio Morning Show Host | 2019 Women of Inspiration Media Maven

Danaye Maier is a morning radio host on 98.5 Virgin Radio. She’s been a broadcaster for 15 years and has spent time on-air in multiple cities before making Calgary home. In the eight years that she has lived in Calgary, she married her college sweetheart, Matt, bought her first house and now has two beautiful toddlers, Violet and Maxwell. Music is a huge part of Danaye’s life. She is the lead singer of a band called “The Barn Burners” with some of her colleagues and other friends from around the city. She recently started “A WOMAN A DAY YYC” where she profiles a different outstanding Calgary woman every single day on Instagram. Witnessing other women lift each other up through this platform has become Danaye’s new joy and passion.

Jamie Kramer - Platinum Mentor

Manager, Consulting, Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion | 2019 Women of Inspiration Millennial Leader

Jamie Kramer, MA, CHRP continuously strives to advance marginalized communities in society and is working towards achieving that through her professional and personal goals. She brings five years of experience working in diversity, accessibility, and inclusion to the role of Manager, Consulting at CCDI. She has presented at numerous international conferences on the ethical considerations of universal accessibility - a topic she feels passionate about. Prior to joining CCDI, Jamie worked for the City of Windsor implementing the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. Jamie was responsible for developing Employee Resource Groups along with innovative ideas including creating Blind Date with a (Diverse) Book to initiate conversations around diversity. In 2018, she received the Exceptional Customer Service Award (Rookie of the Year) for her work on the project. Jamie has worked at every level of government and brings this knowledge of the public sector needs to CCDI. She was recognized as the Millennial Leader of the Year at the 2019 Women of Inspiration Awards Gala. Jamie spends her downtime volunteering to do more of the same within other organizations. Jamie currently sits as a member of the Youth Advisory Group for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and serves as their professional development, alumni relations, and events coordinator on the Steering Committee. With the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA), Jamie is working with a team to assist with recruiting women and diverse candidates for their Board of Directors. Additionally, she volunteers with a non-profit organization that works with marginalized young women entering into STEM programs. Jamie holds an Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Ottawa with a Specialization in Political Science and a minor in Classical Studies, an Ontario Post-Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management from Niagara College, and a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Windsor.

Sam Bell - Platinum Mentor

Holistic Health and Empowerment Coach, Mamaita's Journey - Integrative Health Coaching

"Founder of 'Mamaita's Journey' and creator of the ‘JOY Coaching Programs’

Sam is a Registered Nurse, Registered Midwife, Certified Teacher and an Integrative Health and Empowerment Coach, Published Writer and an Inspirational Speaker.

Sam is the founder of her philanthropic success ‘The Mother Ship’ which serves to ‘grow women from the inside out’ empowering them through the power of Sacred Women’s Circles for which she is an experienced facilitator and has hosted for the last 7 years. Having recently been nominated for the prestigious Woman of Inspiration Award for being a ‘Catalyst for Change’, Sam is finally gaining recognition for her years of dedication to realize her purpose to empower individuals to change their lives, bringing them optimal health and joy. She is a powerful change agent utilizing her unique combination of clinical academia and intuitive gifts to empower her clients to STOP EXISTING AND START LIVING. She’s a huge advocate for women, recognizing the amazing gifts women have when brought together, truly believing ‘Women are Power’ with a sheer joy is to facilitate connection with the Divine Feminine!

Brenda McWilson-Okorogba - Platinum Mentor

STEMscholars Lead & Grant Coordinator, STEMHub Foundation | 2019 Women of Inspiration Youth Advocate

"Brenda is a multiple award-winning Youth Education and Engagement Specialist. A Scholarship Search Strategist, Non-profit Communications Professional, Grant Writer and a Community Builder. She is experienced in diverse sectors, individualized education/heutagogy, facilitating youth programs focused on women and girls’ rights, community sustainability, cultural inclusion, effective storytelling workshops, life-changing journaling, team-building exercises, leadership training, and dialogue circles.

Brenda’s wholly committed to inspiring, motivating and empowering youths to be the best they can be. Brenda is passionate about improving quality of life by promoting access to inclusive education which can equip people with the tools required to develop innovative solutions to the world’s greatest problems. She is an alumna of the Think Big Lead Now Program 2018 with YWCA Canada and a former Active Citizens Social Enterprise fellow on social innovation and entrepreneurship organized by UNACanada and the British Council. Brenda is passionate about amplifying young women’s voices in the movement.

Brenda understands that in order to face the challenges of today's world we need to collaborate in new ways. She is excited to work together with like-minded professionals from all over the world towards a common goal. She is always ready to inspire and be inspired. Brenda is eager to take the lead in creating true impact and making our world future-proof. And she is driven by challenges and new experiences. She uses both her online and offline presence to help youth access/navigate resources and supports, education, awareness building, mentorship, empowerment of youth, or assisting youth in overcoming barriers. Brenda manages two major projects - Momentswithbren Scholarship Series and Skills Training, and a Compassion Fund. She works to foster, inspire and create opportunities for youths and support initiatives focused on tackling systemic inequality on a global scale. Brenda has helped students gain over $1.4 Million in scholarships across Africa and Canada since 2017.

Lindsay Harle-Kadatz - Platinum Mentor

Brand & Content Strategist, The Write Harle | 2019 Women of Inspiration Influencer Award

Lindsay Harle-Kadatz is the owner of The Write Harle, helping small businesses refine their voice and brand message through content. Passionate about messaging, Lindsay looks to create engaging and action-focused content strategies, aligning a company’s marketing mediums with one core message. She is the author of Depression Constipation: How Pooping Saved My Sanity…and Other Stories, a real-life tale of understanding depression in terms of constipation, humour, and mental prune juice. With everything, Lindsay continues to make puns and look for the funny in the mundane. Most recently, she received the 2019 Woman of Inspiration - Influencer award due to her story sharing abilities. When not indulging her love of the big red editing pen, Lindsay spends time with her two “under the desk employee” pups Coco and Chase, and just enjoying life in general (AKA: eating, drinking wine, and making real, genuine connections with people).

Rhonda Goldberg - Platinum Mentor

President, Oh! Naturals | 2019 Women of Inspiration Inspire Award

Over the years, she has pioneered many companies brands to market, and in the past 8years, she decided to create her own product to give lend credence to what she does for others. To this end, she developed a Fruit and vegetable snack company called Oh! Naturals! She saw the need for a healthy, vegan, and naturally healthy snack food in the Canadian market, and within 24 months Oh! Naturals flavoured banana chips and flavoured Sweet Potato fries can be found in major national and international retail locations across Canada. In 2019 Oh! Naturals expanded their snacks into Japan, Korea and working on expansion into Europe. As a result of her successes, she has the honour of sitting on the board on the Health Advisory board at SAIT to help guide students towards a healthy future.

Maria Sofia - Platinum Mentor

VP President of Sales and Marketing, WinMagic | 2019 Women of Inspiration Mentorship Award

Over 20+ years as a woman in IT. Maria has managed sales, marketing, and business operations teams globally. She is experienced in building pipeline, how to set up a winning cold call practice and how to structure your day and year for success. Maria is someone who is driven to excel in team quotas, handle pressure with calm and poise.
Maria believes when women support other women and share our own experiences, it may help inspire others to understand what it means to stand up for your rights, break down barriers and help pave the way for other women and men in the workplace.

Laura Grant - Platinum Mentor

Co-Founder, Swaportunity

In real life, I'm a multi-tasker, idea gal, and strategic thinker who provides unique solutions. Software Product Manager, Process Analyst, Technical Writer / Editor, Educator and Trainer, all combined with genuine politeness and kindness. My superpower is bringing people together, no matter how disparate. Specialties: processes, analyses, technical writing/editing, designing (I have 4 industrial design hardware and software patents), project managing, real science (toxicology - I was the water analyst for AB), anything green without greenwashing - from phytoremediation to GHG. And I smile all the time too. Really. I mentor up to 10 interns every year and was a WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) mentor in university.

Sappho Hansen Smythe - Platinum Mentor

Musician & VR Producer, Canada Music Academy | 2019 Women of Inspiration Cultural Ambassador

My name is Sappho, and I'm a Toronto-based songwriter, performer, and 360 video producer. I grew up in Calgary, studied Digital Audio at SAIT, moved to Ontario to study Musical Theatre Performance at SLC, and I am currently preparing for my album launch in Toronto. Some of my coolest recent projects include: Travelling to Indigenous communities with Near North Media Lab to document their stories in 360 for VR viewing, for the purpose of intergenerational knowledge sharing and cultural preservation. My and my production team were the first people to combine made-in-VR Tilt Brush graphics with live-action in a music video for my first studio single, Get My Shit Together. We went on to win Best Local Project at Toronto New Wave, so stay tuned for more music videos in January! Recording my 9 song album at The Beach Audio in Calgary was an incredible and uplifting challenge. I wrote the songs and produced demos over the course of a year, recorded almost everything in one month, and am now preparing merch for pre-release this holiday season!

Christma Nathali - Platinum Mentor

Beauty Industry Salon Owner, Beauty Addicts Inc. | 2019 Women of Inspiration The Nest Award

Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, Nathali has been a custodian of the Indonesian heritage and supporter of women throughout the world. A proud mother of 15-year-old daughter Bhavna Jaya, she gained the inspiration to create a world where women are celebrated and encouraged to chase their dreams. Through her own hardship, Nathali was able to become a successful businesswoman whilst travelling the world learning 4 different languages. Skilled in fashion design, hair styling, makeup artistry, and acupuncture she has received a number of accolades including Best Business Beauty Salon by Fans Choice Awards in May 2018, Nominated as Lash Artist Integrity and Customer Awards by NALA (National Association Lash Artists) in 2019, Top Beauty Salon in Calgary by Top Choice Awards in 2019, Calgary Beauty Salon of the Year and Make up Salon of the Year by Alberta Hair and Beauty Awards 2019, and the Women of Inspiration NEST Award in 2019. Her passion is to pass on her knowledge and frequently conducts workshops to teach young women her craft and inspire them to explore the world. Nathali believes that culture and community play an important role in developing women as it provides a support network for growth. Part of her journey saw her become the Vice President of a not-for-profit organization, Budaya Nusantara, which promotes the preservation of heritage and culture through community outreach programs. By sharing her story she becomes an inspiration for others to overcome hardship and focus on qualities like resilience, integrity, and confidence.

Karen Stewart - Platinum Mentor

Founder and CEO, Bumble Bees Venture Capital Inc. and Fairway Divorce Solutions Ltd. | 2018 Women of Inspiration Advocate and Catalyst for Change

Karen Stewart is a serial industry disrupter and entrepreneur. She has over 25 years of experience in founding and building businesses that are disruptive and create significant shareholder value. Her endeavors have included: Financial Broker-Dealers in IDA & MFDA, Boutique Brokerage Firms, Real Estate Investment Firms, Insurance Brokerage and Fairway Divorce Solutions, a national Divorce Solutions Company, which has disrupted the traditional Divorce system in Canada. She is also the Founder & CEO of Bumble Bees Venture Capital Inc., a disruptive Venture Capital Company, and she is a past CEO and is on the Board of Directors for Trusted Brand 2016 Inc. (a public company). She is a best-selling author of “Clean Break”, a book disrupting the status quo of the divorce system. Karen has made many media appearances discussing the effects of divorce in today’s society

Heather Erlen - Platinum Mentor

Co-Founder, Virgin Beauty B!tch Podcast | 2018 Women of Inspiration Power Partner

With her partner, Chris Kennedy, Heather has honed her passion for exploring the collective experience of The Feminine. Since the day these power partners met they vowed to work together to break free of social prescriptions of feminine and masculine – and by doing this catalyze change. They wanted to have conversations and hear from persons of all genders to elevate the importance of Feminine. That is how the Podcast – The Virgin, The Beauty and The Bitch was incepted and nurtured. They have hosted a wide range of persons on the show. From a psychologist professor talking about pornography, to a couple battling through changing gender roles, to a woman who gives make overs to women in severe poverty. Heather, along with Chris, is dancing and pulling and pushing in these conversations that tackle some of the greatest social justice issues of our time, and their following is growing.

In our society, all too often, women are discouraged to toot their own horn. In order to see the value of what women bring to the table, both at the board room tables and the family tables, women need to feel the support from other women, men and persons of other genders. The support to feel empowered to share what we’ve accomplished, to be adamant that our views and opinions have a great deal of power in this world, and to love ourselves without feeling guilty for being our fabulous selves!

Dr. Jody Carrington - Platinum Mentor

Psychologist and Chief Happiness Officer, Carrington & Company | 2018 Women of Inspiration Difference Maker

Dr. Jody Carrington is a Clinical Psychologist who has spent the past fifteen years talking about connection and relationships. She is a wife and mother, and Chief Happiness Officer of Carrington & Company, where she manages her private practice, mentors associates, is a speaker, an author, and has created a model of support for people who do some of the holiest work on this planet: our educators. Carrington & Company was born throughout her work with kids and families. Jody has assessed and treated over 1000 kids in our country, and she has never, not one time, met a bad kid. What she has learned, however, is that the kids are only ok if those of us holding them are ok. Jody’s message is for parents, educators, police officers, and anyone who holds people in times of hard things, because we are wired to do hard things. We can do hard things much easier when we remember this: we remember we are wired for connection.

Captain Debora Bergeson - Platinum Mentor

Captain Calgary Fire Department | 2018 Women of Inspiration Unsung Hero

Deborah is the first female captain of the Calgary Fire Department in its 129-year history, appointed in 2014. In 1998, Deb was the third female firefighter hired in the history of the Calgary Fire Department. There were about 1,000 firefighters at that time. Twenty years later, there are now 37 female firefighters. She has advanced through the ranks and exceeded expectations in the face of intense scrutiny. She has shown women and men alike can be amazing firefighters. Both women and men have to accept responsibility and have to unlearn the untruths. Female firefighters in Calgary are gradually increasing in numbers and are slowly making their way to leadership positions. She celebrates 20 years of firefighting and trailblazing and admits to seeing many changes throughout her career. She continues to proudly serve the citizens of Calgary and to empower others to challenge traditionally male roles.

A Woman of Inspiration is a risk taker. She is an activated person with the courage to create a better world for those around her. She is dedicated to the common good, even against great odds. Women of inspiration make decisions based on bringing their inner conviction into harmony with their outer acts.

Cindy Luffer - Platinum Mentor

President and CEO, iPhix Inc. | 2019 Women of Inspiration The Nest Award

Cindy Luffer was a believer in STEM before it was an acronym! It wasn’t a field she sought out to break into as a female; it was just what she wanted to be. Big city girl with big city dreams of becoming an engineer was accomplished with honours and respect. From Montreal, she was educated with a bachelor’s in science in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University and holds professional engineering designations in the state of Maine, and provinces of Quebec and Alberta. Cindy has many years of pulp & paper and oil & gas experience before moving to Calgary. When she broke her personal phone, while on maternity leave with her third child, necessity brought opportunity and a unique business for its time was born. iPhix Inc. established in 2009 is Calgary's foremost out-of-warranty consumer handheld device repair centre. iPhix employs 15 people operating out of iPhix Eau Claire Market, iPhix TD Core, iPhix Avenida, iPhix Sage Hill and the Calgary iPhix Mobile Kiosk Unit. Now a single Mom of four kids and four + stores, her visions are not only on opening more stores but also on growing her corporate program partners and the pre-owned mobile device unit.

#WOI2018 - Women of Inspiration Award - The Nest Award
I believe the example that I portray to people around me is not my ability to lead as much as it is getting what needs to happen in a day, week, year accomplished. I try to lead by example.

Audrey Mascarenhas - Platinum Mentor

President and CEO, Questor Technology Inc. | 2018 Women of Inspiration Global Impact Award

Audrey Mascarenhas has worked in energy for over 35 years with Gulf Canada Resources Ltd. and Questor Technology Inc. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto and a Master’s Degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Calgary. She is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineers. Audrey served as a distinguished lecturer with the Society of Petroleum Engineers in 2010/2011. She is a member of the Schulich Industry Engineering Advisory Council and currently chairs the Canadian Federal governments clean technology strategy table. Audrey was the recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 Prairies Award for Cleantech and Environmental Services and received a national citation for Values-Based Innovation. She was chosen by Business in Calgary as a 2014 Leaders of Tomorrow, is a 2014 Board Diversity 50 cohort and one of Canada’s 2017 Clean50. Audrey is a fellow of the Energy Futures Lab, serves on the Governor General’s Innovation Awards assessment committee and Questor was recently recognized by the Cleantech Innovation exchange (CIX) as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Cleantech Canadian Companies.

"I passionately believe in being a role model to showcase that girls and women can succeed in a male dominated world and be whatever they want to be." #WOI2018 Audrey Mascarenhas

Dr. Laura Hambley-Lovett - Platinum Mentor

President, Owner, PhD. Registered Psychologist - Work EvOHlution | 2018 Women of Inspiration Global Influener

Dr. Laura is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist, a mother of three and a serial entrepreneur based in Calgary, Alberta. She is a sought-after authority and thought leader on workplace psychology in Canada and she speaks, writes, and is regularly interviewed by the media on topics related to workplace mobility/flexibility, career and leadership trends. Above all else, she is a leader and mentor who is passionate about making a difference in people’s lives. Dr. Laura holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Calgary, where her research focused on distributed leadership and teamwork. 2003, Dr. Laura has published extensively on the critical success factors for effectively leading distributed teams, including an authoring book on the topic (Growing the Virtual Workplace, 2008), and multiple presentations at international conferences. Her newest co-founded venture, Work EvOHlution, provides innovative assessment and development support for mobile or geographically distributed workers, leaders, and teams. Work EvOHlution was recognized as one of the 50 most innovative new organizations in Alberta and continues to develop cutting edge tools organizations around the world. The newly developed assessment Distributed Worker Profiler was most recently profiled in Scientific American magazine.

Christina Pilarski - Women of Inspiration

Christina Pilarski - Premium Mentor

Founder and Chief Strategist - CIPR Communications

Christina earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies with honours from the University of Calgary; and achieved a Masters of Arts in Communications Studies from the University of Calgary developing a thesis around the ability to affect policy change through online engagement. Her thesis work took her across Alberta to lead a number of focus groups in order to fully understand what it takes for an individual to become engaged with government and policy online, and take meaningful offline action. Christina is one of the few individuals in Canada who has studied and is committed to understanding why we engage online, and what keeps us coming back.

A proven expert in digital communications including multiple online and social media platforms, Christina’s background includes developing and executing campaigns, managing projects and helping to establish strong online brands for a variety of organizations representing varied industries and sectors. Through these connections, Christina has developed strong networks across the country in multiple industries that are leveraged to ensure her clients' success. Her belief is that stakeholder engagement and effective communications are really about establishing relationships, telling stories and creating messages that connect companies in a personal way with their key audiences.

Mentor Philosophy - Why I mentor...

Mentors encourage, inspire, and lift us up. Mentors are the sounding board for your crazy ideas and your biggest dreams. Mentors give you an outlet and help focus your vision. Women in business have very different paths than men - we need to mentor one another because we have life experiences and pressures that a man would not understand. Those differences don't hold us back - but make us stronger!

Yvonne EL. Silver, CHRP - Platinum Mentor

Founder, Certified Executive Coach, Founder Flourish | 2018 Women of Inspiration Mentorship

Has a passion for helping women FLOURISH - and have more JOY in Business!   Yvonne's focus is supporting visionary women entrepreneurs - especially those with a social enterprise passion, to have a massive ripple effect.  Ultimately her clients have more joy, work-life balance, and quality family time - and FUN in life - to FLOURISH! Professionally, she incorporates over 20 years of success (as an entrepreneur and corporate VP) to Coach and Mentor women to have more confidence and impact.  Professionally, Yvonne holds an Executive Coaching Certificate and a Certified HR Professional designation, as well as completing Business Management (University of Calgary) and being a Certified Reiki Practitioner.  She is a Mentorship Program Chair, past Board member and program developer. Yvonne is a frequent speaker at various conferences, tele-summits, radio shows, workshops and other events - on topics supporting the growth of women in the workplace and as entrepreneurs. 

#WOI2018 - Women of Inspiration Award - Mentorship

Lisa Mundell-Lawrence - President Western Canada, PMA Brethour-Townley, BOSS Chick Mentor

Lisa Mundell- Lawrence - Platinum Mentor

Vice President – Western Canada Division PMA Brethour-Townley | 2017 Women of Inspiration Mompreneur

Lisa Mundell-Lawrence comes to us as a partner in PMA Brethour-Townley with over two decades of hands-on experience in both sales and management.
Lisa’s product knowledge spans the globe; from multiple projects in Panama, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, to over 2700 + individual condominiums and new home sales at home in Calgary. As managing partner of PMA Brethour -Townley for the Western Canadian Division, she has been very hands-on for our Metropia / Knightsbridge project at University City. She is the Co-Founder of Cheap Smokes which has grown to over 24 franchises across Canada since 2017.