2019 Women of Inspiration Award Recipients - YYC
Congratulations to our Women of Inspiration Award Recipients who lead, inspire and motivate! Our Women of Inspiration are leaders committed to support a woman on her journey as MentorHER Mentors! Apply for 1:1 Mentorship for a 1-year MentorHer Mentorship Program with a Woman of Inspiration Award Recipient committed to leading by example and sharing their knowledge and expertise. MentorHer Mentorship starts in January 2020!
Alison 2019 - Women of Inspiration Difference Maker Award
Executive Director - Young Women of Power | MentorHER Mentor
Alison Springer has been working with youth based out of Calgary for over 20 years and she loves it. She travels across Canada as a professional youth speaker inspiring teen greatness. Alison knows how to captivate and inspire hope in her audiences. Her MISSION is to build a generation of CONFIDENT youth who will make positive choices that will change and shape their world.
Alison is also the Founder and Executive Director of Young Women of Power (YWOP) a non-profit organization that is transforming female culture by educating and empowering teens and young adults. Alison’s passion for seeing the negative reputation associated with female culture transformed has inspired her to write curriculum for teen girls called PivotFWD that is now being used in schools and agencies throughout Canada including Calgary’s judicial system. Ten years ago, she started an annual conference that helps girls grow in confidence by redefining beauty and equipping girls in their personal safety
Alison volunteers her time and resources to run this organization, empowering schools and community groups to run gender-specific programs to see an increase in female pride and a value of women across the genders.
Amanda Hamilton - 2019 Women of Inspiration Game Changer Award
Founder & Creative Director | MentorHER Mentor
Born and raised in Edmonton, Amanda moved to Calgary in 2002 to pursue her Bachelor of Applied Interior Design at Mount Royal University. After graduation, Amanda simultaneously worked full-time at a local Architecture + Design firm while balancing a part-time second job and freelancing during evenings and weekends. In 2009, Amanda Hamilton Interior Design (AHID) was launched.
AHID holds an intentionally diverse portfolio of residential and commercial projects across Western Canada. Projects range from custom homes, multi-family developments and large-scale renovations to commercial projects in hospitality, restaurant, health & wellness, and retail.
An evolution of the studio inspired the 2014 launch of self-titled home accessories and custom furniture collection. In 2017, Amanda launched multi-use retail, events, and design consultation space, The Loft. The Loft also hosts its own Speaker Series and is available to the public for elevated engagements.
In 2018, Amanda launched Palette Archives, an e-commerce based business democratizing Interior Design by providing accessible finish, material and specifications packages right to a client’s front door.
A Woman of Inspiration is someone who can see pieces of themselves in others that need to be lifted, and instead of using this knowledge as an advantage to get ahead, they use it to inspire, encourage and nurture growth in other women. Women of Inspiration aspire to inspire the lives of others, every single day.
Andrea Muir | 2019 Health and Wellness Award
Founder and CEO - The Fierce Fempire Corp | MentorHER Mentor
Andrea Muir is a Transformation and Lifestyle Coach, Self-Care Advocate and mom of two. She champions a holistic approach to thriving in life through physical well-being, a success mindset and emotional fitness. Like a phoenix through the ashes of her own trauma, Andrea had to learn how to rise through her darkness of depression and anxiety, feelings of failure and lack of fulfillment. Through the tools and systems that she teaches today, Andrea created her own destiny and now feels healthy, energized and unstoppable.
In sharing her story, she is committed to inspiring people to unleash their best life so they can stop surviving and start thriving. Today she helps others live healthy lives and thrive in all areas of life.
Andrea lives in Calgary, with her husband, kids, and two fur babies. In her spare, you can find Andrea on the dance floor. She is a passionate Zumba Instructor; dance is the on-button to her soul.
Andrea Robertson - Difference Maker Award
President and CEO, STARS Air Ambulance | MentorHer Mentor
Andrea Robertson has been committed to life-long learning since she was a young nurse, and that drive carried her through many academic achievements, from a Bachelor’s in Nursing, to a Master’s, to an executive fellowship from Wharton University and Ivey School of Business, to an executive leadership program at Harvard.
These accolades, as well as her past leadership roles at Alberta Health Services, Foothills Medical Centre and Alberta Children’s Hospital, were all in service to her community. For Andrea, there is no greater service than helping someone survive a critical illness or injury. Which is why, as president and CEO of STARS, she is right where she belongs. She is responsible for the direction of our operations and works to build upon external relationships with donors, governments and key partners. Strengthening these relationships is vital to provide the best possible service to our communities.
Andrea’s leadership and contributions to business and her community have been widely recognized, as a member of the board of directors of both Bow Valley College and Calgary Airport Authority and one of WXN’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada in 2014.
Anila Umar Lee Yuen - 2019 Women of Inspiration Authentic Leader Award
President & Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Newcomers | MentorHER Mentor
In her role as CEO for the Centre for Newcomers, Lee Yuen has helped new Canadians settle into the city, while also helping bring the organization out of debt. When she was 23, Anila Umar Lee Yuen received a Governor General’s award for her work with the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth and the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association, where she advocated for women and children’s rights. At the awards ceremony, the husband of another recipient brashly suggested that she had “peaked.” He couldn’t have been more wrong. Since then, Lee Yuen has received an Alberta Centennial Medallion for Community Service, volunteered with the Calgary Stampede‘s International Agriculture Committee and completed a degree in behavioral neuroscience.
Angel Guerra - 2019 Women of Inspiration Cultural Ambassador Award
Director & Co-Founder - Market Collective | MentorHER Mentor
Angel Guerra has spent over a decade contributing to Calgary's arts and culture through her work with Market Collective. Co-founded by Guerra and former partner Angela Dione, Market Collective was among the first artist markets in Calgary. Over ten years later, Market Collective is recognized as one of Calgary’s most vital platforms for local artists, artisans, designers, musicians, ensuring that these artists keep 100% of sales as a sustainable support for their practices and small businesses. Guerra currently holds the title of Director at Market Collective. Within this role, she is responsible for the strategic direction of the organization, as well as logistics and on the ground management of each event, media relations, social media, community development, and employee growth. Guerra is also a substitute teacher with the Calgary Board of Education and an outdoor education leader with Westmount Charter School.
Angie Ostojic - 2019 Women of Inspiration Go-Getter Award
Founder and Owner, AOGiving Heart | MentorHER Mentor
I am a visionary leader, entrepreneur, simple loving wife, mother, and a successful life coach. I was born and raised in the Philippines from a humble upbringing. My determination allowed me to pursue a university education. When I was 19 years old, I worked as a domestic helper in HongKong and the Middle East before moving to Canada to support my family. I have over 19 years of experience as CEO (Champion Elevating Others). One of my greatest achievements is retiring my husband Tony from his job and coaching him to become an entrepreneur. For 5 years now, we have worked together building our business with our Unstoppable team in Sales with over 100 business partners in the insurance industry. I have been blessed to be recognized as Top Organizational Leader, created most Team Growth, and became a Top 5 Income Earner in the first 2 years with the current company I am working with. I use my success story to inspire others to pursue a meaningful and fulfilling life while achieving financial success. I have been a guest speaker at various business conventions and currently, deliver weekly personal development and coaching. I am passionate about enhancing the lives of others and helping them reach their full potential. I find fulfillment in seeing others succeed and attain their goals.
Anne Sellmer - 2019 Women of Inspiration Innovation Award
Founder & Head Chocolatier, cōchu chocolatier | MentorHER Mentor
Anne Sellmer launched cōchu chocolatier in February 2017 - the most recent stage of a life dedicated to creating wonderful things to eat. Anne is a University of Calgary grad (psychology). At heart, she’s a fun-loving and curious adventurer and traveller, a skier, mountain biker, sailor, a kind listener, a generous friend, a loving mom to 3 rambunctious boys, a proud partner to Rory. She revels in their successes, as they do in hers.
Her design aesthetic shows in her exquisite chocolate products. Her extraordinarily fine cooking skills, her finesse, her distinguishing taste and her creativity with flavour combinations sets her apart from many chocolatiers, as proved by the abundance of international awards she has earned in her first 2.5 years of business. She loves to cook, and you can taste the love.
Anne grew up in Calgary (nee Van Rosendaal) and strives to exemplify Calgary’s entrepreneurial character and generosity of spirit.
Arjun Channa - 2019 Women of Inspiration Power Partner
General Manager - The Westin Calgary | MentorHER Mentor
"Here lies a man who followed his Bliss, until his last breath" - That is what I imagine will be the written words on the tombstone and the spoken words long after I am gone. After having worked in 11 countries, 13 destinations, in a hospitality career that spans over 25 years, speaking 6 languages, married to the love of my life now over 24 years, 3 teenagers and a beautiful blue-eyed husky - I truly feel this has been a Blessed life so far.
I have always followed by bliss, all my life. Understanding Bliss was very key at a very young age. I have truly believed, always, that one should be measured by their intentions and not just the outcomes they produce. Intentions are always connected with the Soul. By recognizing one's intentions, one understands their true nature and culture. I have always sought and found good intentions in all people.
One of the biggest barriers I have confronted is when I was not offered a promotion because of my nationality (Indian). Even then, I thanked the General Manager of the hotel for his honesty. Even though broken-hearted, I felt proud that this discrimination was due to my origins and not because I lacked talent. Over the years to follow and many countries later, I have mentored anyone and everyone on the importance of Inclusion and Diversity in everyday decisions.
Probably the biggest challenge of my life was when I took over as the proud GM of The Westin Calgary back in September 2015 when the oil price was crumbling and every one of us woke up to job losses. The largest hotel and probably one of the most celebrated hotels in the City with over 37 nationalities working with tenures touching 46 years of the history of 54 years of the hotel. I made the decision not to let go of anyone - that we were family and in a family, we don't throw anyone out because of a bad patch. We cut expenses where we could with full knowledge and transparency of our Associates - broke down seniority so everyone could get a shift - these were just a few of the many measures we took and sailed the stormy seas.
A year later in 2017, the hotel won the Financial Excellence award for Marriott International West Canada. My inspirational message to all I come in contact with is - "Give, Take, Share" - Keep Giving back, Take all the risks you can for the greater good of others and share what you learn each day so others can grow.
Arlene Seymour - 2019 Women of Inspiration Millennial Leader Award
Client Service Representative - Arthur J. Gallagher | MentorHER Mentor
I am a Client Service representative at Arthur J. Gallagher and manage a book of clients, help them asses their businesses risks and the appropriate risk management strategy. This includes getting to know their business operations, putting adequate coverage in place, negotiating terms and pricing with markets, and managing my client’s changes throughout the year. I believe people are our richest commodities, treating each of them as the most important person in the room, no matter if their account is the biggest or smallest in my book, is the level of service I strive to achieve. I grew up in a small town with many family-based business and their needs, while different, are no less than the needs of a multi-million dollar company. If they have an un-insured loss, it could mean going out of business and losing their home. My favorite part of my job is getting to make a difference in someone’s day, make their life easier, because I fought for them; whether it be with a claim, on price, or for better coverage. Outside of work, I spend much of my time with my family and I thoroughly enjoy reading, writing, hiking, camping and generally being outdoors.
Brenda Beckedorf - 2019 Women of Inspiration Mentorship Award
Chief Growth Officer, Launch Strategic Group | Men
Brenda is the Chief Growth Officer for Launch Strategic Group. As Chief Growth Officer Brenda offers companies the consistent leadership needed to facilitate the changes that are necessary to achieve strategic sales growth and improve the company’s future growth prospects.
With 20 plus years in business development and sales strategy, Brenda’s success has been the ability to build sales teams recognized for their performance excellence and accountability. She has strong business acumen and many years of experience understanding the business issues of clients across a multitude of industries. Over her many years in building sales teams, Brenda has demonstrated leadership with both her teams and her strategic partners.
With a strong belief in social giving, Brenda volunteers regularly with the Drop in Center, Soup Sister and participates in the CIBC Run for the Cure. She is VP of Calgary Women in Energy- a nonprofit focused on professional women in the oil and gas sector with a purpose to continuing education in the energy sector as well as community involvement.