WOI Committees Host Committee

When we elevate women in our network, community, and workplace we create role models for other women to follow in their footsteps.

Women of Inspiration is Canada’s only premier empowerment event with 23 Diverse Categories recognizing women role models and the men who SupportHER.

We believe that elevating and recognizing women paves the path for others to follow in their lead, creates role models for youth, builds confidence and empowers others to DREAM BIG!

By nominating a Woman of Inspiration, you are honoring a woman for her accomplishments, significant strides towards building her legacy and acknowledging her contribution personally and professionally.

Book your tickets to connect with like-minded stakeholders, visionaries, change-makers, entrepreneurs and business leaders from around the globe! Tickets and Details: www.canadainbusinesschicks.com/events

Contact us to Become a Host Committee Member

Calgary, AB - October 3, 2019 - The Westin - Grand Ballroom

Toronto, ON - October 9, 2019 - Metropolitan Centre

It is our honour to introduce our Women of Inspiration Host Committee Members who are committed business leaders, thought leaders, celebrities and influencers committed to elevating role models and Women of Inspiration locally, nationally and globally. Our Host Committee is committed to elevating Women of Inspiration and taking action to embrace diversity and be visible leaders and champion of women.

We believe every woman has a story and look forward to celebrating our role models who take the road less travelled, ignore the naysayers, pave the path for others to follow and DREAM BIG! #WOI2019DreamBig

Joelle Foster

Executive Director, Hunter Hub for Entreprenurial Thinking at University of Calgary | Host Committee

Joelle is known as a spirited activist for entrepreneurship in Canada. In March 2018, she left Winnipeg to lead the new University of Calgary Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking as the inaugural Executive Director. Prior to this, she was a Director for Futurpreneur Canada, overseeing Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Nunavut and NWT. Under her leadership, in Manitoba alone, 325 businesses opened their doors, achieving a 91% success rate over the seven years. One of the biggest startups she helped, was Skip the Dishes. Building the community in the prairies, she affectionately earned the title of “Start-Up Mom”. She supports a wide range of entrepreneurial initiatives; she is a mentor for District Ventures, she sits on the Innovation Pillar Leadership Team for Calgary Economic Development, the Board for the Foundation for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship, North Forge Technology Exchange (in MB) and the Canadian Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (CCSBE). She is also co-founding the North American Innovation Academy, which will begin in July 2020.

Why Joelle is a SupportHER

As women we need to celebrate our successes, inspiring and empowering other young females. Building a pipeline of future leaders, we have to tell our stories while promoting a mindset that anything is possible, regardless of gender. We also need to emphasize the importance of elevating and being supportive of other women. The Women of Inspiration Awards does this and so much more, this is why it’s important for me to be involved in this incredible organization.

Lirim Hajrullahu

CFL, Placekicker, Hamilton Tiger Cats | Host Committee

Born in Kosovo, Europe, Lirim and his family immigrated to Canada from safety of an ethnic cleansing in 1999. Since he was young he has been inspired to make a difference in his life and in the community. He holds two Master degrees in Sport Management from Western University and an MBA from Niagara University. He has also learned the game of American Football when he first came to Canada and due to his hard work and relentless dedication he has become a professional athlete in the Canadian Football League (CFL) where he has succeeded to be a League All-Star and Grey Cup Champion. He is actively involved with the McMaster Children’s Hospital, CFL’s anti bullying initiatives, Track 3 Ski School, and University Special Olympic Games.

Why Lirim is a SupportHER

Having two sisters growing up, Lirim has always actively been involved in supporting them to break barriers; from getting their drivers license to becoming the first females in his family to receive University degrees. He has also recently married his wife Deniza who has graduated from one of Canada’s top business school (Ivey Business School) and she’s in the process of finishing her MBA. He is excited to join the group to help inspire at any capacity.

Zane Novak

President, ZKO Oilfield Industries Inc. | Host Committee

I grew up in rural Saskatchewan working road construction and riding horses. My family owned a road construction company and I have always been driven by the need to try to control my own destiny. At the age of 21, I bought my first business, a redi-mix concrete facility at an auction sale in Prince George, BC. I trucked it back to Saskatchewan and from there I have enjoyed countless adventures in life and in business. I have created or partnered in numerous business opportunities over the years. My life and my businesses have led me to live in many different places. Some as exciting as Las Vegas and Cancun, some as rugged and beautiful as Hinton, AB and Hurricane, Utah or as quaint as Cold Lake, AB. For all of my success's there have been just as many roadblocks, failures and tragedies.

The famous line from the movie Shawshank Redemption, that I quoted above, has a lot of meaning for me. In my life I have lost in very tragic ways, many of the people who I was closest too. Life can and often is very challenging and we can succumb to it or do our very best to rise above it. Hence the reason I often reflect on that powerful line.

I have many goals and aspirations still ahead and they cover a wide range of endeavours; My involvement in the not-for profit community is a significant part of my life, my aspirations in private business and also my growing interest in the political world that has had such an impact on my life. I have very specific goals in all three of these categories and I feel that I cannot rest until I achieve those and no doubt other goals that I will discover along the way.

Why Zane is a SupportHER

Through the course of the life I have led, I have been privileged to meet thousands of individuals. So much can be learned by observance and interaction with others. Almost all my most important life lessons have come from these interactions.

Three of the most influential people in my entire life would be my mother, my grandmother and my daughter. Knowing these three individuals has had more impact on my character, life choices and respect level I have for others, than can be put into words.

With this in mind, I was more than thrilled be asked to be part of the Women of Inspiration team.

The knowledge, wisdom and capability of my mother, grandmother and daughter reaffirm in me that women need to not only continue to reach out to attain whatever goals they want, but that they need to be supported and recognized in that journey.

Laura Dickson

Nominee Ambassador

As an experienced Risk Manager, assessing and mitigating operational risks plus managing insurance, Laura considers herself a Sentry; someone who guards and protects her employer from risks. She earned an MBA, and BFA from the University of Calgary. Further, she has a Chartered Insurance Professional designation. She can work with all levels in an organization to influence them to get buy in, so that the culture is more risk aware. She enjoys Olympic distance triathlons, gardening and cycle trips in Europe.

Why Laura is a SupportHER

In the last year, Laura has been struck by the kindness of absolute strangers to those impacted by the economic downturn in Calgary. She wants to give back by contributing to support Women of Inspiration, Power Partners because acknowledging women’s strengths and the men who support them, which will make for a stronger community.

Ruby Gunna

Nomination Ambassador

Why Ruby is a SupportHer

I started my career as a software engineer, working for large tech companies including IBM GBS and Wipro Technologies in India. In 2012, I decided to break from family traditions and became the first woman in my family to make a solo voyage to North America to pursue an education in business, where I obtained an MBA from UBC’s Sauder School of Business. I am therefore very motivated to elevate the profiles of inspiring women who have broken barriers and lead by example in their respective fields. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be a visible champion of female role models and Woman of Inspiration who are making a difference in the lives of others.