Women of Inspiration

Nominees Women of Inspiration Awards - Deadline to Nominate June 15, 2019

5th Annual Women of Inspiration AwardsCanada’s Premier Awards Gala recognizing women leading by example and inspiring those around them to be more and do more.

Women of Inspiration are entrepreneurs, professionals, thought leaders, visionaries, everyday heroes, game changers, movers and shakers and difference makers in our community. They are everyday heroes and inspirational  leaders and catalysts from all walks of life making an impact locally, nationally and globally.

Why Nominate?

When we elevate women (and men) in our network, community and workplace we create role models for others to follow in their footsteps. When you support Women of Inspiration, you are taking action to embrace diversity and be a visible leader and champion of women. You are honoring them for their accomplishments, significant strides towards building their legacy and acknowledging their contribution personally and professionally.

Embrace Diversity – Nominate a Male Champion – Power Partner

We have recognized the importance to elevate men who SupportHER and champion for women. We are excited to announce 2019 Category Power Partners to acknowledge the male champions who empower women.

Take this opportunity to connect and be inspired by women who are leading by example. Whether you are a friend, colleague, sponsor or supporter, take this opportunity to celebrate you and be inspired to do more and be more.

2019 Women of Inspiration Awards Gala – Calgary, AB – October 3 and Toronto, ON – October 9

Nominate a Woman of Inspiration Click here to Nominate!

See our list of 23 Diverse Categories

Have you been nominated? Congratulations on your nomination. Please click here to complete your nomination package by June 24, 2019. Late entries will not be accepted.

Dr Liza Egbogah

Dr. Liza Shoes - Founder, CEO | BSc, DC, DOMP

Verna Marzo

Verna Marzo - Speaker

Verna Marzo is a true woman of inspiration. Verna moved to Canada from the Philippines in the early 2000s to make a better life for her family. She made a life for herself in Canada, building a strong community with a focus on helping others. She lived life to the fullest taking an adventure trip each year that involved swimming with the sharks, bungee jumping and swimming in devils pool. In March 2017 her life took a dramatic turn when she suffered a medical trauma leaving her a quadruple amputee. She has demonstrated resilience and resolve through the adjustment to her new conditions. She has locked into a new purpose of inspiring others by showing them what is possible in her current condition. As an example, in the short time after leaving the hospital she won an opportunity to meet Ellen Degeneres by sending in a video of her dancing on her new prosthetics, walked in a 5 km race, and has found a sponsor to grant her with some runner blades so she can run a marathon with the goal of inspiring others and showing them what is possible. Verna inspires me and others everyday showing us what is possible with courage, commitment and rising to challenges

Andrea Muir

Andrea Muir - Global Wellness Coach - President and CEO

Andrea Muir acts from a pure heart of service in everything she does - from putting heart and soul into her Zumba classes to her coaching and mentoring of clients in her health and wellness business. And she has done this despite battling with health challenges of her own and while raising two busy children. She has a strong entrepreneurial spirit which is totally underpinned by an unwavering desire to impact people’s lives in a positive way and an unshakeable belief in her capacity to do so. Andrea, to date, has helped hundreds of people to adopt a healthier lifestyle and continues to do so daily. Feedback from the spouse of a client says it all - “You’ve saved my wife’s life”.

Kaitlyn Elford

Lost Artistry Lash - Founder

Kaitlyn is a 29 year old mom of two boys and has just within the past two years opened up her own hair & lash salon and has created Lost Artistry Lash. Lost Artistry Lash is a company that sells fake eyelashes to technicians and she sells them all over the world. Her drive for perfection has allowed her company to sell the biggest PROmade fans in the world made from the highest quality! Not only does she work hard every minute of everyday it seems, she is the kindest, most warm-hearted woman I know. I am so proud of her and I can't think of anyone who comes even close to deserving this as much as she does. I would love it if you would consider Kaitlyn because she deserves to be acknowledged for how amazing she is. She makes me strive to be a better person and I want to give back to her in the most deserving way I know how which is why this nomination means so much to me as well.

Derek Krivak

The Brakemen Foundation - Founder

Derek Krivak is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Shift Resources Ltd. a Canadian based E&P Company focused on the construction of small scale natural gas to diesel facilities. Prior to Shift, he held the role of Director of Unconventional Gas for Hatch Ltd. a private, EPCM engineering firm active in over 125 countries worldwide. He has spent the last 19 years in the oil and gas industry and the last 12 workings in almost every facet of delineation, evaluation, and production from unconventional gas reservoirs. Mr. Krivak started his career with the Gas Research Institute, GRI (now the Gas Technology Institute, GTI), moving them to the Alberta Research Council, where he co-founded the Unconventional Gas Research Group. In 2005 he transitioned into the E&P sector taking over as VP of Operations for Stealth Ventures Ltd. a publicly traded oil and gas company active in Coalbed Methane and Shale gas development. Mr. Krivak has subsequently promoted COO and later President, CEO and Director of the Company. In addition to Shift Mr. Krivak is a Director of Wrangle, a technology company focused on HR recruitment using crowd sourcing and social media and is a founding member of the Brakemen Foundation, a not-for –profit organization focused on providing all Alberta children a fair start at life. He sat on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Society for Unconventional Gas for seven years and was Chairman of their R&D committee.

Daniel Howie

Classroom Champions - Mentor Coordinator

Daniel has been volunteering with Classroom Champions to coordinate our athlete mentors since he moved to Calgary from Oxford, MS in the summer of 2016. Daniel’s professional background has been working in leadership positions with low-income children in a variety of ways and running small non-profits in his hometown. Prior to joining our team, Daniel was a Director of Christian Education for youth and children for 11 years. An avid humanitarian, he also ran his local soup kitchen and regularly traveled to Haiti to help with relief efforts. Daniel comes from a long line of helpers. His mother and father are pastors, and he has traveled the world helping people get access to clean water. In his free time, Daniel likes to fly fish and hike, bike, snowboard, and ice climb all over the mountains. Daniel holds a degree in recreation management from the University of Mississippi.

Patricia Phillips

PBA Land & Development - Chief Executive Officer

Patricia Phillips leads the overall management and growth of PBA Land & Development, including the company’s strategic direction and business development as well as asset and property management. She brings over 25 years of business experience in a variety of high-profile roles to the PBA team. Prior to PBA, Ms. Phillips founded three successful private oil and gas companies engaged in the exploration and development of oil and natural gas in the Western Canadian Sedimentary. She worked in Wall Street as a Financial Analyst for First Boston, managing the energy and sovereign sectors while working directly with corporate finance, capital markets, and merger and acquisitions. Ms. Phillips also served as an economist on developing trade policies for the Tokyo round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in Geneva. She has won numerous awards in real estate including the Maple Leaf ICSC Award for the Strathcona Square Shopping Centre development and gives back to the community by serving as a director on a number of boards and donates her time to charitable organizations. Ms. Phillips attended Sciences Po in Paris. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Magna Cum Laude) in Economics from Mount Holyoke College, and a Master of Business Administration from the McCoombs School of Business at the University of Texas (Austin).

Helen Mix

Boardwalk REIT - Vice President , HR

Helen Mix is Vice President, Human Resources for Boardwalk REIT. Boardwalk REIT is Canada's largest owner/operator of multi-family rental communities. Boardwalk REIT currently owns and operates in excess of 260 properties with approximately 34,000 rental units and employs approximately 1,100 Associates. The Trust's portfolio is concentrated in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec. Helen spent the first 15 years of her career in the accounting profession in the manufacturing sector and started with Boardwalk in 1999 as a Payroll Team Leader. Through hard work and dedication, she rapidly moved from Team Leader to Director and eventually to Vice President in a few short years. She is especially proud of the in-house comprehensive HR/Payroll system that she spearheaded with a team of programmers. The system is designed for scalability, thereby decreasing costs and significantly improving efficiencies. Most importantly, the system significantly raised the level of executive and employee satisfaction by processing payroll both accurately and on time for several companies and provinces. Her current responsibilities include payroll management, system development, change management, policy development and implementation, performance management, employee engagement, compensation, training & development, recruitment and workplace health & safety. She oversees an outstanding team of employees that assist her in accomplishing these responsibilities. As a member of the executive team, Helen is able to contribute to the organizational strategy and ensure that Human Resources remains a clear focus for the organization. Her future plans include assisting Boardwalk to become an “Employer of Choice” across the country by focusing on total rewards, corporate culture and overall engagement measurement tools.

Lyne Castonguay

Sobeys Inc. - Executive Vice President, Store Experience

Lyne Castonguay is Executive Vice President, Store Experience for Sobeys Inc., a leading Canadian grocery retailer and food distributer. Ms. Castonguay is responsible for Sobeys’ store operations, distribution centres and for delighting customers across conventional (non-Quebec) grocery banners nationally. In her previous role at Sobeys, Ms. Castonguay served as Executive Vice President, Merchandising, where she designed and laid the foundation for the company’s national Merchandising structure, was the architect of Sobeys’ success in stabilizing margins and sales and played a key role in the Ocado ecommerce partnership. Ms. Castonguay is a passionate and successful leader with more than 25 years’ experience in both retailing and manufacturing in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. Prior to joining Sobeys in June 2016, Ms. Castonguay spent 14 years in progressively senior roles at The Home Depot in Canada and the United States, including Senior Vice President, Home Services. Before joining The Home Depot, she worked for General Electric in Canada where she held numerous roles including General Manager for the Canadian lighting business. A native of Edmundston, New Brunswick, Ms. Castonguay holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Université de Moncton.

Lourdes Juan

Soma Spas - CEO

Lourdes Juan is an Urban Planner and Calgary based entrepreneur. She is an alumna of the University of Calgary with a Masters in Environmental Design. She shares her time as the Director of Hive Developments, Soma Spa, and doing community work with non-profits she founded, the Leftovers Foundation and Moonlight Market Foundation. She is on the Board of Directors with Homespace, the Calgary Homeless Foundation and Calgary Planning Commission. Her work and career accomplishments have been awarded her as one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 in 2013, a cover feature in Business in Calgary Magazine in 2014, CBC's Top 10 Changemakers in 2017, L’Oreal Paris’ Women of Worth award in 2018 and as a Distinguished Graduate from the University of Calgary in 2018. She continues to be involved with community work and give back to her profession.

Arliss Szysky

Stantec - Principal, Regional Leader Alberta South

An integral part of her people-focused philosophy is the value of diversity in the workplace. Arliss sits on Stantec’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, actively advocating to encourage everyone to bring their unique perspective to problem-solving. Diverse viewpoints inspire innovative thinking, which Stantec strives to foster in our corporate culture. Arliss is proud to be part of a locally-based company that gives back to our communities while positioning them to move forward. Lending our creativity to game-changing projects like the Calgary Cycle Tracks, the Calgary Cancer Centre, and Studio Bell, Arliss is inspired by our opportunity to shape Alberta’s future. As the regional leader for Alberta South, Arliss looks forward to our team’s role in continuing to influence the landscape of the communities we call home.

Sara Pettigrew

Waterous Energy Fund - Director

Before joining Waterous Energy Fund, Sara was the Manager of Business Development for Obsidian Energy (TSX:OBE) an intermediate oil and gas producer. Prior to that, Sara was an Engineering Director with Scotia Waterous for four years, where she was involved in the technical evaluation of numerous oil and gas assets, representing clients on both the buy-side and sell-side. Prior to joining Scotia Waterous, Sara was a Sr. Reservoir Engineer for Apache Corporation for three years, with a particular focus on the Montney and the Duvernay shale basins. After beginning her career at Mobil Oil Canada in 1998, Sara joined British Petroleum in 2000 where she spent 10 years as a reservoir engineer in a variety of basins in North America and the North Sea. Sara is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). Sara holds a B.Sc. in Engineering from the University of Calgary.

Maxine Morrison

Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Real Estate Advisor and Proprietor

Connecting people to resources that solve complex pain points, is what I do. By focusing on innovation, collaboration, and optimization, their vision comes to life. As a trusted advisor, my clients benefit from strategic "smart" spending, heighten employee and customer experience, while reaching new markets. As a trendsetter, within the commercial and residential real estate industry with 20+ years of successful sales, marketing, and business development. I have represented all levels of the real estate industry through development, construction, manufacturing, brokers, and dealers. My entrepreneurial compass and widespread experience include crafting business plans, market analysis, project management, risk assessments, and contract negotiations in leadership roles that often exceed expectations. I pride myself in modeling creative thinking and strategic processes, rendering impressive results for all stakeholders. My passion to make a difference motivates me to apply my expertise for local and global causes near and dear to my heart.

Sheila Musgrove

Tag Recruitment Group - Founder & Finder of Fabulousness

Sheila started TAG in April 2005 with a newly built IKEA desk, a shiny new laptop, a bargain website, some pretty plain business cards and a computer monitor as big as a fish tank, all in a little business center in the NE with blue carpet and pink chairs! Fast forward nearing 10 years later, TAG has grown into a thriving multi-million dollar organization with a strong reputation for finding stellar talent in a myriad of disciplines all from an uber funky office in the NE complete with a disco ball and a gong.

Melodie Creegan

Mosaic Communications - President

My goal is to be a catalyst for positive change and I believe that the smallest of actions can have a profound impact on the lives of others around us. Every day brings a new opportunity to live with purpose and be grateful for the chance to do so. Working with like-minded people, helping them bring clarity of vision to their company or organization is what gets me out of bed in the morning. My greatest interest is in using my craft to influence and engage audiences in promoting products, technologies, and ideas that will enhance the lives of others and create a future where the environment is more than a casual second thought. I believe that we have an obligation to our children and our children’s children to be living sustainably. That by collectively putting our minds to work on finding solutions to live in harmony with nature and each other we can create a better world. Knowing that it is only with intention that the future will be as it needs to be.

Tannis Baker

Culinary Tourism Alliance - Executive Director

I am excited to share the launch of Food Tourism Strategies. It is a very exciting time to be in both tourism and the culinary industry in Canada. The country continues to see increased global visitation, with over 4 million annually, and growth in Canadian "stay-cation" offers strong support culinary initiatives. As Canada continues to develop its' culinary identity, FTS is poised to play a niche role in the development of our Canadian Taste of Place through consultation, industry development and signature events.

Myrna Cobb

Abio Inc. - Owner/Principal

Myrna has been engaged in the world of visual communication for 30 years. Over the last 22 years, in her role as Abio owner/principal and former vice-president of brand identity management at Kent Allan Design Group (KADG), Myrna has led strategy, design, rollout and brand management projects for some of the largest and most respected organizations in Western Canada (and Europe). Key clients include Suncor Energy, Petro-Canada, Norske Skog, Intex Resources, Calgary Stampede, BC Ferries, ENMAX and Catalyst Paper.
Recent high-profile projects include ongoing strategic brand consulting to Suncor Energy following the merger with Petro-Canada as well as managing extensive visual identity requirements resulting from the transition. She is also responsible for the development and execution of the Suncor employment brand. In addition, Myrna managed the visual re-branding of the Calgary Stampede and led major identity changes for Oslo-based Norske Skog in nine countries on five continents.

Shelley Zucht-Shorter

Tourism Calgary - VP, In-Destination and Event Services

I'm a seasoned tourism professional with international experience in event management, business development, marketing, hosting, retail, and communications. I've worn many hats in my tourism career, but I feel most honored when I wear the official white hat of Calgary and welcome visitors to this fabulous city. I am an ambassador for Calgary and my goal is to enhance visitor experience for our guests from around the globe. As the VP of In-destination and Event Services at Tourism Calgary I work closely with the City and our industry partners on sponsorship development, sport & major event hosting, and visitor services. I am passionate about creating remarkable and memorable guest experiences and have had the distinct pleasure to have worked on over 200 high profile events during my career, including my pride and joy: Co-Chair for the Calgary White Hat Awards for the past 8 years.
I am currently active on the following boards and advisory committees: Calgary White Hat Awards, City of Calgary Event Advisory Committee, Breakfast on the Bridge in support of the Calgary Military Family Resource Centre, and SKAL Calgary.

Claire Buffone-Blair

Sundial Growers - Director of Communications & Stakeholder Relations

Sundial Growers Inc. (“Sundial”) is a privately held, Alberta-based licensed cannabis producer. We believe in health, happiness and personal well-being, cultivating cannabis for modern consumers – people who want a natural alternative that fits seamlessly into today’s active, healthy lifestyles. Our focus is on producing consistent, quality cannabis that our customers can trust. Sundial currently operates a 31,000 square foot production facility in Rocky View, Alberta, and has two purpose-built production facilities in various stages of completion and licensing. By 2019, we expect to be one of the leading cannabis companies in Canada with a projected production of over 120 million grams of dry cannabis and the ability to process over 30 million grams of cannabis extracts. Responsible for Sundial's Corporate Communications, Media Relations, Government and Stakeholder Relations, and Community Engagement.

Shannon Bergseth

SunLife Financial - Financial Advisor

Growing up in a small, rural Alberta town and now residing in Calgary, I do my best to understand many of the unique challenges that we Albertan's face. I work to create relationships and spaces that are safe to be vulnerable in. So, what can you expect from me? Authenticity. I'll be real with you and always treat you with openness, honesty and respect. I hope to be treated the same in return. I will never misrepresent the effectiveness of a product to make a quick sale. If you're looking for a quick transaction, we won't be a good fit. Knowing my clients and building a long term relationship is so important to me.

David Robinson

The Techknowledgey Group - Executive Director

David M. Robinson is a strategic business advisor and project coordinator regarding sophisticated advanced technology, environmental technology, outsourcing and commercial project arrangements. Those arrangements include the strategic planning, financial, procurement, contracting and project management aspects of transactions, strategic alliances and infrastructure projects together with related business, legal and government regulatory and policy considerations. Mr. Robinson combines a technical background in digital electronics with more than three decades of experience as a commercial lawyer. He practiced law at the Toronto head office of McCarthy Tetrault, one of the largest law firms in Canada. Mr. Robinson is a member of the legal bars of Alberta and Ontario, Canada. Mr. Robinson has been legal counsel at the Canadian Depository for Securities which operated the national securities e-regulation infrastructure including SEDAR, SEDI and NRD. He has been engaged in the power generation sector with Ontario Power Generation and in the power generation, pipeline and LNG sector with TransCanada Energy. Mr. Robinson has been engaged as an advisor by domestic and international government agencies, financial institutions and private sector corporations in planning, negotiating and documenting commercial strategies and policies. He has been appointed as an arbitrator for domestic and international disputes.

Geoff Rowe

Dark Star Productions - Owner, Operations Manager

My objective is to offer a fair and enjoyable work environment where all team members can effectively contribute and grow. I feel by maintaining absolute open and clear communication / transparency from the field level to upper management is key in contributing to efficient and effective growth and stability. I hope that all members of our organization can feel a sense of being a part of a team while not sacrificing the sense of individuality.

Anila Umar Lee Yuen

Centre for Newcomers - President and CEO

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.

Grace Yan

Coldwell Banker Commercial - Director Sales and Marketing

Grace Yan is your 5 star Agent. With over 15 years of Real estate Paralegal experience and as a former President of the Alberta Association of Professional Paralegals - She is a Notary Public and Commissioner for Oaths in and for the Province of Alberta. Grace has been Board of Directors for many Associations including past NAFTA Alberta Director for Alberta Association of Professional Paralegals. Much of what makes Grace an exceptional agent is her myriad of abilities in real estate listings, sales, master negotiator and paralegal background. Grace's success in this industry can be attributed to protecting her client’s interest and a strong referral base. She adheres to a strict regiment that is a blend of knowledge, experience, hard work, communication, loyal and dedicated service. She has also sold major restaurants, Hotel, businesses and closed many commercial leases. Having extensive international real estate experience, relocating clients all over the world from Asia, Europe and North America.

Phoebe Davis

Work Nicer Coworking - Stage Manager

Sarah Hawco

Hawco Peters and Associates Inc. - Founding Partner

Sarah has an extraordinary wealth of legal and financial expertise that brings a 360-degree perspective to the dispute resolution process. She is a Chartered Accountant with a specialization in tax, as well as a Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional, and holds a Master of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. She is also a member of CPA Alberta, CIRP, ACFE and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Alberta. Prior to founding Hawco Peters, Sarah spent 13 years practicing insolvency and turnaround management at national and international firms. She also provided a wide range of consulting, specializing in due diligence, business reviews and viability assessments, corporate taxation, estate planning, restructuring, and alternative dispute resolution. Outside of her professional commitments, Sarah volunteers her time to teaching financial literacy at various schools and shelters.

Bryan de Lottinville

Benevity Inc. - Founder and CEO

Bryan is a self-described "recovering lawyer" who is constantly dreaming of novel ways to help global enterprises reinvent corporate giving programs to provide better social and business returns, and simultaneously tackle the biggest struggles on the charitable landscape. Bryan is a frequent speaker and blogger on topics relating to social-good programs and a recognized thought leader in the space. He believes that, with the help of our clients, we’ll shape the story anew and build on our aspirations to create innovative and scalable Goodness Programs that strengthen the social fabric of our communities.

Luene LaFountaine

Health Risk Services - President and Owner

Luene is the President and Owner of Health Risk Services. After receiving the Canadian Securities Licensing and Registered Rep Certification she worked as a broker with Gardner Watson Securities in Medicine Hat. In 1983, Luene moved to Calgary to enter into the Insurance industry with a keen interest in the most complex and litigateable product in the business - Disability Insurance. This became her specialty from the perspective of marketing the product and understanding product features and the various applications.
In 1985, Luene was approached to co-establish the Paul Revere Disability Insurance Brokerage Office in Calgary where she would educate and assist brokers to market Disability Insurance to their clients. This developed into a position in 1988 with a well-known National Insurance Company as their National Disability Director and Trainer to assist in building a multi-line Insurance Brokerage operation. In 1990, Crown Life recruited Luene as a Western Regional Manager to build and manage brokerage and general agency distribution systems in Western Canada.
Luene ventured into her own business in January of 2000 as Health Risk Management, focusing on Group Benefits and Corporate Insurance Plans for business operations of all sizes and configurations. Health Risk Services Inc. has since succeeded Health Risk Management and continues to move forward as a recognized insurance provider in Western Canada.

Casar Jacobson

Casar Jocobson - Women’s Empowerment Activist | Author | UnitedNations Women Youth Champion | Entrepreneur/Investor | MS.c | Entertainer | Influencer | Miss Canada ’13

From hard of hearing, and now DEAF; with vocational therapy to verbally speak & utilize Sign Language via CSL/ASL to communicate to the masses; it is her goal to empower others to live above the norms of society personally, professionally, educationally or otherwise. We must not allow what we cannot do, what we have done or been through, or how we have been raised to define us but rather empower us to work differently and become an advocate for others.
Casar is an advocate of diversity, communication, and inclusion to connect on a deeper level to create equality; encouraging individuals to view life from a more meaningful perspective rather than first impression.
Casar has cultivated the ambition, from a very young age, to inspire a new generation of thinking, internationally and cross-culturally, to excel at equality, charitable, inclusive pursuits regardless of the circumstances of their birth or life trauma. She’s a true believer that education is important, however, to be successful in today’s world, varying degrees of success, inclusion, access, perspective and empathy need to be engaged.
Casar has received awards including being named Miss Canada 2013 National, 2013 Global Miss Globe Peace and United Nations WOMEN Youth Champion & Planet 50/50 champion. She continues to work on Gender Equality, Diversity Advocacy, and Deaf Culture.

Beth Diamond

National Public Relations - Managing Partner

Beth Diamond has more than 30 years of experience in communications, taking her from post-secondary teaching to corporate communications and private consulting. Beth leads NATIONAL's Energy practice and is a trusted advisor to many of Calgary's senior oil and gas executives. Actively involved in generating ideas on energy policy, Beth was a driving force behind the creation of the Energy Policy Institute of Canada (EPIC). Under her leadership, NATIONAL also created and administered the Canadian Centre for Energy Information, which provided objective, bias-balanced information to Canadian, U.S. and international audiences on the energy industry. Currently, she is involved with the Conference Board of Canada's Transition Energy Initiative. She has worked with both Calgary Economic Development and a variety of Chambers of Commerce boards across Canada.

Pam Corbett

Cenera - Partner

Pam is a partner at Cenera, one of Calgary’s leading human resource advisory firms with specific expertise in five key areas: Executive Search, Career Transition, Human Resource Management, Privacy & Records Management, and Business Alignment. Pam leads the Career Transition practice where her expertise is critical in successfully addressing complex career management issues, including workforce planning and restructuring. Pam has worked in a number of industries, including private and public sectors with a focus on oil and gas, healthcare and the not-for-profit sectors. For more than 18 years she has provided leadership in career consulting and coaching to management, technical and support staff. With a deep belief in the proven expertise and future potential of her clients, Pam takes a realistic, active listening approach to career coaching which helps clients move through the transition successfully. Pam brings a high level of energy and commitment to every project, expecting and delivering superior results.

Shannon Bowen-Smed

Bowen - CEO

Shannon inspires BOWEN’s mission of making people matter every day.
In 1984, Shannon joined BOWEN as a Receptionist and worked her way up the ranks, becoming the CEO in 1996. She has helped grow the company from an employment agency to an industry leader in recruitment solutions and contingent workforce management strategies, offering a wide array of human capital strategies from coast to coast. Over the past 35 years, she has honed her skills in a variety of roles within the company including administration, recruiting, sales, marketing, HR and operations.
Shannon is deeply embedded in the community. She’s currently a Board Member of Calgary Economic Development, Member of the Board of Trustees for the Calgary Zoo, Co-Chair of YWCA’s Hub Capital Campaign, and is a part of WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Advisory Board.
She’s also highly accomplished and recognized in the Canadian workforce. Most recently Shannon was the recipient of the 2018 Women Business Enterprise of the Year, a 2016 PROFIT/Chatelaine Top 100 Female Entrepreneur and 2015 EY Entrepreneur of the Year.

Shauna Walker

The Spa Ritual - Spa Director

Shauna Walker, an avid spa goer and inspiration behind The Spa Ritual. She is passionate about creating a guest experience and an advocate for healthy lifestyles. As Spa Director of The Spa Ritual, Shauna mentors and inspires her team of professionals to make a difference in the life of each guest – by planting a tiny seed of self-rejuvenation as the cornerstone to wellness during every spa experience. Shauna leads a dedicated team at the Spa Ritual and has a desire to pay it for ward in the community and advocate for women. Shauna was a key supporters of Women of Inspiration program to elevate female role models, empower women to have a voice and pay it forward in the community.

Catherine Brownlee

Catherine Brownlee Inc. - President and CEO

Ms. Brownlee is the President and CEO of CBI, where she brings over 30 years’ experience in executive search and development, marketing strategies and networking around the globe, across all sectors. Her database of over 75,000 contacts demonstrates her capacity to motivate, build and achieve results. Her passion for connecting people and organizations, while nurturing objectives and maintaining focus, is her forte. She was recognized by her peers for this with an award for being among the top five Women of Influence in Calgary and a Paul Harris Award through the Rotary Club of Calgary.
Ms. Brownlee is a recognized expert and speaker on the subject of industry strategies and advancements. She developed and regularly presents the popular seminar, “How to get the job of your dreams.” She co-authored the book Want to Work in Oil and Gas? The book reveals strategies for finding great jobs in Calgary and was recognized as the number one book in Calgary within a few months of its release. In her spare time, Ms. Brownlee is committed to serving her community as Co-Chairman of the Rotary Tom Jackson Stay in School initiative and member of the Rotary Club of Calgary. Her passion is seen in the areas of human rights, serving children and disadvantaged communities.

Rhonda Head

RVH Event Planners - Professional Singer

Rhonda has received 13 nominations in total and won six international music awards since she began her music career in 2010. Rhonda has had the opportunity to perform in some of the most amazing venues – Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Centre, the Viper Room, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 5 Lands Walk Festival in NSW, Australia, and numerous other venues. Rhonda also recently released an autobiography called Mezzo-Soprano – Memoirs of a Rez Girl. It wasn’t always an easy road for Rhonda, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was 22 years old. Rhonda took a year off to recuperate from the 11.5-hour surgery. When she thought her life was back on course, she received devastating news again when she was 30 years old, that the tumour grew back. Once again, she took time off and took care of her health. Despite the setbacks and challenges, Rhonda continued to follow her passion for music.

Jaclyn Genovese

Spaces By Jacflash - Designer & Owner

Jaclyn Genovese is a successful female entrepreneur who got her start in the fashion industry and now runs Spaces by Jacflash, a luxury design and decor firm based in Toronto, Canada. In addition to interior design, Jaclyn created Fitness by Jacflash, a women’s fitness, wellness, and nutrition platform that organizes various workshops focused on everything from yoga to entrepreneurship.

Uyen Ngyun

Synaptic, Spinal Cord Injury and Neuro Rehabilitation Centre - Co-Founder & Executive Director

Recognizing a gap in rehabilitative services for people living with neurological conditions, Uyen co-founded Synaptic: Spinal Cord Injury and Neuro Rehabilitation Centre with forward thinking philanthropists and community partners in 2012.
Created to impact change, Synaptic has raised over 2 million dollars to go towards progressive rehabilitation, advanced therapeutic technology and client centered programs in a cost recovery model of care.
Excited by the possibilities in neuro science, Uyen is driven to create a platform for innovators, change makers and social visionaries to push the limits of rehabilitation and lead the industry in neuro supportive therapies.

Geeta Sankappanavar 

Grafton Asset Management - Co-Founder, President and CEO

Geeta Sankappanavar is the Co-Founder and President of Grafton Asset Management. Grafton is a Calgary-based energy investment firm with ~$1B in capital under management, focused on investing at the asset level in oil and gas and infrastructure that supports the intermittency of renewable energy. Ms. Sankappanavar is responsible for strategy, oversight and execution of all Grafton’s business and operating units. She is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and began her career as a consultant with McKinsey and Company out of the New York office. Prior to co-founding Grafton Asset Management, Ms. Sankappanavar worked at New Vernon Capital, a $3B blue-chip asset management firm focused on India and Emerging Markets, was previously Vice President, Head of Strategic Global Outsourcing for Cambridge Solutions, a leading cross-border financial services outsourcing firm in the US-Asia corridor, and was a founding partner at Marincorp Solutions and IRI. Ms. Sankappanavar also serves on the board of directors for UNICEF Canada, The Palix Foundation, and Jowidana Hotels Ltd. She has been honoured as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People, and one of Calgary’s Top 40 under 40.

Gianna Manes

Enmax - President and CEO

Gianna Manes, President and CEO of ENMAX Corporation, has three decades of experience in the energy industry. She spent the first part of her career in the gas pipeline business in Houston, Texas before transitioning to the electricity industry. Gianna has experience in a number of electricity markets across the United States, Europe and Alberta, Canada. Before joining ENMAX in Calgary in 2012 as President and CEO, Gianna served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer for Duke Energy, a large North American power company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Born and raised in Louisiana, Gianna earned a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering from Louisiana State University, a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Houston, and completed the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program. She also holds the ICD.D designation from the Rotman School of Management. Gianna currently serves as a member of the board of directors for Keyera Corp. and the Canadian Electricity Association. In 2014, she served as Co-Chair of the Calgary and Area United Way campaign and served on its Board of Directors from 2015-2018. Gianna has been recognized for her leadership and accomplishments throughout her career: as Electricity Human Resources Canada's CEO of the Year in 2013, one of Alberta Venture's Top 50 Most Influential People in 2015 and twice-recognized as one of Canada's Most Powerful Women by the Women's Executive Network.

Marnie Grundman

Marnie Grundman - Author and Advocate

Marnie Grundman is using her heartbreaking life experience to help de-stigmatize runaways and people experiencing homelessness. She began running away from home after her mother dropped her out of a 2-story window at the age of 5. After years of running, Marnie ended up living on the streets at the age of 13 where she was sexually assaulted and trafficked for labour. Marnie raised herself and found a way of the streets at the age of 14 1/2. At 53, she now shares her story of survival to help others.

Katherine Deman

Unwrapped Marketplace - Owner

I am nominating Kate because she inspired me to create and grow my business. She has a store called Unwrapped Marketplace that is promoting eco-friendly options and zero waste alternatives. She is an active member of the small business community in London, Ontario and has several businesses and is involved in local theatre. There is no end to the connections she has or things she will tackle. I am so impressed all the time with the new products she is coming out with and supporting other local businesses in her shop. Ask anyone in the small business world in London and the surrounding area and they have heard of Kate, her store, and her mission to eliminate waste. She would be an asset to your line up of nominees and is incredibly deserving of a Women of Inspiration Award.

Lauretta Enders

Emerald Management - Vice President

Lauretta’s passion to inspire, transform and elevate is clearly evidenced in both her business and community projects. The synergy lies in Lauretta’s ability to create networks of opportunity where women are given the tools they need to change their lives, and thereby our community, so that we can all flourish. Lauretta Enders’ philosophy on leadership is based on passion for her work and family business. To be approachable, available, empathetic and engaged – always – are part and parcel of her personal and business standards. These elements are shared with Emerald Management and Realty Ltd.’s clients and team. A mother of two free-minded boys, Lauretta is a collaborative leader. She works to bring people together and seeks synergy and engagement when moving ahead, whether that is building a vibrant and responsive business or inspiring engagement and action to support a variety of women’s initiatives in the Calgary community.

Danielle Smith

QR770 News - Radio Host

Danielle Smith is the host of Afternoons on NewsTalk770 in Calgary. As a University of Calgary graduate with degrees in Economics and English, Danielle has had a lifelong interest in Alberta public policy and finding the right balance between free enterprise and individual rights, and the role of government. Danielle’s public policy experience began with an internship at the Fraser Institute. She was also elected as a trustee for the Calgary board of education and served as the director of the Alberta Property Rights Initiative and the Canadian Property Rights Research Institute. She was also the director of provincial affairs for Alberta with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Most recently she was a Member of the Legislative Assembly for Highwood, leader of the Official Opposition, and leader of the Wildrose Party. Before entering politics, Danielle had extensive experience in the media. She was an editorial writer and columnist at the Calgary Herald, host of Global Sunday, and two programs on CKMX 1060 AM radio in Calgary, Health Frontiers and Standing Ground.

Niha Prasad-Kroliczek

Riddell Kurczaba - Managing Principal – Business Development

Since 1998, Niha has been central to Riddell Kurczaba's strong profile and success in the building industry. She relies on an illustrious Human Resources background and keen business acumen to build and manage relationships with clients and supporters, and for marketing the business. Niha is well-recognized in industry circles, and always works resolutely at reinforcing and improving the solid public image of the firm.

Patricia Lovett-Reid

CTV News - Chief Financial Commentator at CTV News

I'm so fortunate to have had the opportunity in my career to have an entrepreneurial spirit in a corporate environment which has allowed me to do what I love to do and that is to help average Canadians take control of their financial situation. I would like to think of myself as a results oriented public relations and external communications executive, who gained experience by working in the Financial Services Industry and someone who has demonstrated success in developing and executing strategies and programs that directly support educating Canadians about their personal finances. Patricia currently works full-time at CTV News Channel, and the Chief Financial Commentator responsible for discussing the current economic, market and personal financial planning trends.
Patricia has a passion for public speaking and enjoy the various mediums to get a message across such as radio, television and print. If she can just reach one person and encourage them to take control of their finances then she feels she has done her job!

Jill Douka

Global Academy of Coaching - CEO

Jill Douka MBA, PCC is the #1 Awarded International Bestselling Author, Life Coach, Awarded Business Mentor by the European Union and international workshop leader. Jill is a Coach Mentor Accredited by International Coach Federation. She is one of the few Europeans, Official Member of Forbes Coaches Council. Her 2 books, Create Love and How to Create Your Life, co-authored with her husband Nikolas Ouranos, Relationship Coach, have been #1 Bestsellers.She is the founder of Global Academy of Coaching which is dedicated into supporting high achievers to become coaches who support their clients to thrive while at the same time they serve as top leaders within their community. Mrs. Douka was chosen and awarded as a mentor at the European Business Mentors network. She is an active philanthropist. Jill is committed to support over 1.000.000 women to reclaim their lives, to get filled with confidence, let go of their not enoughness and stress ​and enjoy every second of their precious lives.

Tracey Wood

Agents of Change - Co Founder & CEO

Tracey enjoys challenging the status quo and initiating broad, industry-wide change with a view to creating organizations that have a positive social impact. Her strengths lie in asking why and developing creative strategic solutions on a large scale. She thrives in an environment where she can stretch her leadership skills and unite her team around a common vision. It is a gift to watch others to bring your vision to reality. Leading a team that takes an idea and transforms an industry is a privilege she has had more than once. Each time the experience is extraordinary.

Elizabeth Burton

Gowlings GWL - Partner

As a partner and leader of the Financial Institutions & Services Group in Gowling WLG's Calgary office, Beth Burton works with a variety of financial institutions and corporate clients, delivering strategic advice with syndicated and bilateral financing transactions. Beth is an active member of her community, committed to supporting diversity and active living. She is a member of the National Women's Strategy Advisory Committee of Pride at Work Canada and has previously been involved with the Law Society of Alberta's Justicia Project. She has also been a member of the North West Calgary Community Advisory Group for the Rocky Ridge (Calgary) recreational facility which opened in 2017 and participates in the local sports community.

Alyssa Kerbel

Mini Mioche - President and Owner

mini mioche was founded in 2008 by Alyssa Kerbel after the birth of her daughter. At that time, Alyssa found it very difficult to find simple, soft, well-made basics, particularly in neutral colours. Drawing upon her previous fashion industry experience, she set about creating a collection of ethically-made, organic baby and kids' basics. The very first mm orders were shipped out to customers just six months later.

Wendy Coombs

Momentum Health - CEO

Wendy Coombs is the current owner of Momentum Health and Evidence Sport and Spinal Therapy, a growing group of soon to be 8 inter-collaborative multidisciplinary rehabilitation clinics in Calgary Alberta, Canada. She is the current Learning Chair and President-Elect for the Entrepreneurs Organization. She is on the boards of the Alberta Women Entrepreneurs and Calgary Entrepreneurs Organization. Previously she was an owner and CEO of Advantage Health. She has grown fourteen separate businesses from a single sole charge physiotherapy clinic into medical centers offering physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, Physiatry, sport and spinal medicine, psychology, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, kinesiology, personal training, and retail goods. She has developed stand-alone rehabilitation centers as well as clinics integrated into medical centers offering family medicine, dental, and optical services. She is a prior Dale Carnegie trainer. She enjoys educating and mentoring physiotherapy private business owners from across Canada as part of the Private Practice Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. She has been a member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization since 2005.

Eleanor Chiu

Trico Group of Companies - CFO

Eleanor is a seasoned Executive and FCPA, FCA with extensive board experience and expertise in strategic planning, finance, operational excellence, Audit and Risk, and Corporate Governance. Elenor is a respected business leader and philanthropist the community who is driven with a passion to give back through as founder of Trico Charitable Foundation.

Sue Bennett

Bennett Design Associates - Principal and Chief Executive Officer

As Principal and Chief Executive Officer, Sue is responsible for Bennett Design’s strategic focus and business performance. She is directly involved with quality initiatives including design excellence and client relationship integrity. She oversees the growth and diversification of the firm, defines performance objectives and is a thought leader and innovator in her field. Sue served on the ARIDO Board of Directors as President in 2012, is currently on the Board of Governors and is active in the design community. She is passionate about great design, why design matters and how it connects people, space and business. Sue is a champion for families, happiness and the natural world around her.

Sandip Lalli

Calgary Chamber - President and CEO

Sandip has demonstrated that women can hold Executive roles within commerce in her past year leading the Calgary Chamber. With a global career that has taken Dr. Lalli from Alberta to Singapore and many other countries along the way, Sandip solidified her home in Calgary when she started as the President and Chief Executive Officer at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce in April 2018. Since starting with the Calgary Chamber, Sandip has led the launch of a new purpose for the Chamber – to build a business community that nourishes, powers, and inspires the world. Sandip is a staunch advocate for the business of business and is leading the development of a united voice for business. Sandip holds an Institute of Corporate Directors, ICD.D, a Doctorate in Business Administration degree, a Master Business Administration degree and is a Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant. I believe Sandip deserves to be recognized for her diligence and business intelligence and fits within Women of Inspiration category of Game Changer Award.

Karen Ryan

Ryan Murphy Construction - Co-Founder

Karen Ryan is the co-founder of Ryan Murphy Construction Inc. in Calgary, Alberta. While operating as the project manager and site supervisor of a retail construction project in Banff, Karen noticed another project manager on the site was also a woman. After chatting and become fast friends during the completion of that project, Karen knew she wanted to work with Lara Murphy again. Karen had been the project manager with a general contracting company in Montreal that handled retail stores like Quiksilver. She travelled across Canada constructing and opening their new stores until she co-founded Ryan Murphy Construction Inc. in 2008. Prior to that, Karen was the construction project manager for Rogers Video. But it all really started when she was an employee and manager of a Rogers Video store, and she told her manager she wanted to do more. A while later, that manager moved departments and oversaw the construction of new stores. He called Karen to ask her if she wanted to try it out. Karen loved it, learned as much as she could and worked her way up. Karen had always wanted to have her own company. She decided to move to Calgary from Montreal and to work on a few projects with Lara. And it all went well and her dream came true: Ryan Murphy Construction Inc. was born.

Camilla Di Giuseppe

CTV Calgary - Senior News Anchor & Producer

In just over five years I've worked in three different Canadian cities, four different stations, have interviewed numerous interesting and fascinating individuals, and covered some extraordinary events. News affects and impacts the communities we live in and it feels pretty special to know that you are part of that process.

Katherine Emberly

Shaw Communications - President, Business, Brand and Communications

Leading our Shaw Business team, Shaw Brand team including Creative Services and Communications team comprised of Internal, External, Sponsorship and Community Investment.

Karen Soyka

Travel Alberta - Vice President, Business Development

Karen leads Travel Alberta’s global business relations team, including Travel Trade and MICE (meetings, incentive, conventions and events) within Canada and six international markets. Business Development is not new to Travel Alberta, although naming Business Development as a dedicated line of business is a new direction for the organization that ensures a devoted focus on key areas that drive room nights and visitation to the province. The Business Development team works in concert with Consumer Marketing, and the strength of the Alberta brand, to build out awareness of Alberta as a leisure and business travel destination. Karen has been with the Travel Alberta team since 2007 in previous roles responsible for consumer marketing, travel trade and media within North America, Asia and Latin America. She has spent the majority of her career as part of the Alberta tourism industry working in marketing, sales and resort operations.

Susan Eaton

SR ECO Consultants - President

An accomplished professional whose career performance has built upon strong interpersonal, communication and leadership skills, Susan's international experience includes petroleum exploration and production, reserve certifications, financial evaluations, acquisitions and divestitures, and expert witness work in litigation. Susan is president of SR ECO Consultants Inc., a strategic energy advisory services firm. Founded in 1999, SR ECO advises petroleum companies, state oil companies, technology firms, government agencies, investment bankers, equity financiers, and legal and chartered accounting firms. Susan began her media career as an on-camera news reporter with the CBC-TV. Today, she specializes in corporate communications and external relations. She also reports on business, energy, science and technology, water, the environment, space, geotourism and polar travel.

Ben Vendittelli

Laurentian Bank Securities  - Chief Executive Officer of LBS and Senior Vice President, Capital Markets

With a Master Degree (MBA) in Investment Management and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Mr. Vendittelli was part of a top ranked research team at BMO Capital Markets, where he covered industrials and special situations. In 2008 Mr. Vendittelli joined Laurentian Bank Securities as a Research Analyst covering industrial sectors, with a focus on infrastructure and transportation and was quickly promoted to Head of Research. In 2014, Mr. Vendittelli was promoted to Senior Vice President, Institutional Equity, as head of this important division which includes areas of research, sales and trading. Mr. Vendittelli is also a member of the Management Committee.

Darren Martin

Alberta Diamond Exchange - Owner

Our goal is to make the diamond business more transparent and more ethical through our fine jewelry store. This vision of what Alberta Diamond Exchange is today was inspired by our founder and President, Darren Martin. After over 30 years of working in the diamond retail industry with some of North America's largest jewelry chains, Darren saw the need to educate clients about the diamond industry and give them the tools to make an informed decision before purchasing a diamond. As a result, Alberta Diamond Exchange was established and Darren's quest for a transparent diamond purchasing experience was realized when we opened our doors in 1999. Since its inception, Alberta Diamond Exchange has grown to be a world-recognized, trusted and respected jeweler and diamond exchange.

Ilana Grostern

AppleCheeks Cloth Diapers - PRESIDENT

Montreal designer and owner behind the fabulous washable diapering system know as AppleCheeks. Amy is also the winner of the W100 Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs of 2016.

Darren Biedermann

Supreme Menswear - Owner/Creative Director/Fashion Designer

Supreme Men’s Wear has become a lifelong project for Darren Biedermann, from starting as a teenager, to taking over for his father in 1995, to celebrating the store’s 70th anniversary this year. Supreme is a fashion-forward boutique that offers premium men’s garments that can be ready-to-wear or customized. Not content to rest on his laurels, Biedermann also designs his own collection of luxurious, hand-crafted dress shirts.

Sarah Ward

Sarah Ward Interiors - Principal Designer

Sarah Ward Interiors is an award winning interior design studio founded by one of Calgary’s most notable young design talents.
With over 15 years of professional experience in a broad scope of project types, Sarah’s expertise lies in her ability to combine pragmatic thinking with an exuberant passion for design, resulting in fully immersive experiences for her clients. She is committed to offering a process that not only results in great spaces, but also seeks to build lasting relationships that challenge and enrich those involved. A graduate of the Bachelor of Applied Interior Design Program at Mount Royal College, Sarah has served as a Studio Instructor at Mount Royal University, and is a Past President of the MRUID Alumni Association. She is a member of the Alberta Association of Architects, the Interior Designers of Alberta, and the Interior Designers of Canada. She resides in Calgary in a charming bungalow that is under constant renovation with her patient husband, and dog Oliver.

Linda Olsen

Global News - News Anchor/Reporter

Born and raised in Calgary, award winning journalist, Linda Olsen graduated from SAIT Polytechnic in 1988 with Honours in Broadcast Journalism and started her career that same year at Global Saskatoon. She joined Global Calgary in 1995. In her 20 years at Global, Olsen has seen some of the biggest events to hit the city including the 2013 Southern Alberta Floods. Olsen and co-anchor Gord Gillies covered the flood for 10 hours on-air, keeping viewers up-to-date on the significant event. The coverage hit home for Olsen as she watched the events unfold live, impacting the community she grew up in. It was one of the most difficult days of her career. Olsen was also host and producer for Global’s Woman of Vision series since its inception in Calgary in 1998. For 15 years, she highlighted the stories of inspirational women in the community. In 2001, the Alberta Motion Picture Industries Association (AMPIA) nominated the special as Best Public Affairs Program. In 2002, Olsen received the AMPIA Award for Best Anchor and in 2003, she accepted the Best Host award for the Woman of Vision Special. She was also part of the team that won Canada’s Best Newscast at the 2014 RTDNA awards. An advocate for the community, Olsen is a honourary board member of Believe in the Gold, a local charity aimed at raising awareness and supporting research for children with cancer in Calgary. She’s also on the St. Mary’s University communication committee. When not working, Olsen can be found out in the city, hosting a number of charity events or spending time with her three children.

Bob Sheddy

Century 21 Power Realty - Owner Broker, Managing Editor

While the industries Bob works with may vary, his passion remains exclusively focused on connecting people to worthwhile opportunities. Bob's approach to his work is simple: treat people the way they want to be treated by providing efficient, transparent and advantageous solutions to recognized needs.

Carmela Zita Kapeleris

Remax Realty Specialists Inc - Difference Maker Award/Authentic Leader Award/Mentorship Award

Carmela has inspired and empowered thousands of women and youth through her many speaking engagements, Women Mastermind events & Ultimate Networking Events. She spends time training & teaching Positive Mindset workshops. She has an Inspirational multi-media presence & online streaming channel. And is known by her Award- winning status as Real Estate Broker with 31 years experience in the Industry, twice published author, and her extensive volunteering and Philanthropic platforms. She empowers women to have role models/coaches in their business and personal life. She provides valuable educational information for women as the host, writer & Producer of Rogers "Kapeleris Talk TV" introducing Women Leaders in our City and Country advancing female empowerment & elevating women entrepreneurship, together with spiritual wellness and healthy living. Through her mentoring program, young women learn and replicate her success by working hard, paying attention to all details and all opportunities even if there are others in the ring. Her advice is "Give it your all and do it with Passion! Take one step at a time. Do not skip steps. Each step teaches you how to handle increasing responsibilities and hone your skills to perfection". Her Real Estate book( in Chapters, Amazon,etc) was written with the power to make women succeed, to further advance them, despite past challenges. To encourage women to be at the helm of an organization or to start their own businesses and create a workplace that reflects their values. She was recently named by the City Mayor as "an Icon in her Community" creating a culture of Leadership excellence. She is a Female Entrepreneur that has demonstrated excellence, maintained perseverance and ascended the summit of professional accomplishment and entrepreneurship.

Jennifer Carlson

Baby Gourmet - Co-founder

Jennifer is the visionary behind Baby Gourmet, an organic baby food company specializing in nutritious and delicious food for babies and toddlers. Inspired by her 6-month-old daughter, she and her sister Jill launched the brand in 2006 at the Calgary Farmers Market. Today, Baby Gourmet has grown successfully with meals, snack and beverage products distributed in major retailers across North America and in China. She is the mother of two well-fed children, an innovator and inspirational speaker to entrepreneurs and busy mom’s. She has a passion for all things culinary and her first cookbook, “Growing up Gourmet’ hit shelves in spring of 2016.

Jill Vos

Baby Gourmet - Co-founder

Jill and her sister launched Baby Gourmet in a local farmers market many years ago. Today, Jill leads Baby Gourmet’s product development initiatives and ensures each product tastes the same as when she makes it in her own home kitchen.
Jill is the mother of four children and through them, she has come to know what babies, toddlers and kids like and dislike when it comes to food. She is a former teacher with a creative zest for inventing new recipes that kids love and mothers trust.

Lirim Hajrullahu

Hamilton Tiger Cats - CFL, Placekicker

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.

Michael Burns

The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation - President & CEO

Michael Burns brings his diverse background and skills, along with his passion of giving to the community, to his role as President & CEO of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. He joined the organization at the beginning of 2018. Michael has over 20 years of experience in marketing, financial services, technology and entrepreneurship. Most recently, he was the CEO of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017, the largest international adaptive sport competition in the world featuring ill and injured soldiers and veterans. Michael led the execution of the Games in Toronto, building the organization from the ground up, which took more than two years. In 2017, Michael received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Dalhousie University. In 2016, Canada's Governor-General, on behalf of the Queen, awarded him The Meritorious Service Cross for his work with military families. In 2012, he was awarded the Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service, the military's highest honour for a civilian. That same year, he was also awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal honouring significant contributions and achievements by Canadians. In 2010, he was named one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40.

Nicole Bacsalmasi

Dentons Canada LLP - Partner

Nicole Bacsalmasi is a partner in Dentons’ Securities and Corporate Finance group, with a focus on corporate finance, and mergers and acquisitions. Nicole advises public and private companies, as well as investment dealers in all matters pertaining to corporate/commercial transactions, public and private finance, acquisitions, mergers and reorganizations, stock exchange listing matters, and other regulatory compliance matters.

Lisa Dixon-Wells

Dare to Care - Founder, Executive Director

Lisa Dixon–Wells has been working in school systems across Western Canada since 1990. After completing her M.Ed in Educational Psychology (1997), Lisa’s focus has been on Comprehensive Guidance and Bully Prevention. As the founder of the Dare to Care program, her work has focused on early prevention and intervention in elementary and junior high schools. Through professional development, parent information nights, and classroom facilitation (including assemblies, student forums, and role-playing), Lisa has helped hundreds of schools, youth organizations and corporations to create and maintain safe and caring environments.
As well as her expertise in the area of bullying, discipline and community building, Lisa has assisted schools in the development of clear and concise school discipline policies. Lisa is a former member of the Canadian National Swim Team and World Masters Swimming Champion. In 2015, Lisa was inducted into the University of Calgary Sports Hall of Fame.

Nancy Klensch

Summit Kids - Principal

Summit Kids was built on one simple foundation – just OK, isn’t OK – our kids deserve great things. They deserve to be around great people doing great things within great environments. Not just sometimes, all the time. That was in 2009. Summit programs have since grown into 16 out-of-school campuses within CBE and CCSD schools, as well as a thriving community centre serving four different neighboring schools. We now have the opportunity to provide everything from daycare to out-of-school care to safety courses and so much more. We are great people and we are doing great things. We value our communities and our members. We are partners with the Calgary Stampeders – bringing the experience of professional football to more kids & families with discounted tickets. We work with local artists such as mural artist Dean Stanton – many of our locations have a one-of-a-kind mural designed by Dean and created by our kids. We also take the time to be grateful and give back to our communities. Our annual Christmas toy drive is one of the largest supporters of the Calgary Women’s Centre. Our Leadership Team volunteered monthly in the kitchen at Inn From The Cold as well as made over 4000 lunches during the 2015-16 school year for hungry students with BB4CK. We are Canadian Blood Services Partners For Life. We live authentic lives and lead by example – teaching our kids the value in service to humanity. Our mandate is to provide child care spaces where kids can thrive on their own terms! Summit Kids is not just a place, it’s a personality.

Shauna MacDonald

Brookline PR - Principal and Founder

While attending Boston University in the late 1990s, Shauna MacDonald fell in love. With the city and with a man. The problem was the man wasn’t from the city. “When anyone asks me what brought me to Calgary, I say, ‘Two words: a man,’ ” laughs MacDonald, founder and principal of Brookline Public Relations, who has a master’s degree in communications from Boston University. And while the man – now her husband – may have won out, she wasn’t about to give up on her favourite city. So, she brought a little bit of Boston to Calgary. First, she named her public relations firm after an area of Boston where she lived – Brookline. Then she found office digs – the third floor of The Lorraine building on 12 Ave. S.W. – that reminded her of the architecture in the Massachusetts capital city. Finally, she adorned the walls of her smart-looking office space with pictures of the Brookline area. “I would keep walking by this building and it just had that Bostonian feel with the exposed brick and the historical look,” MacDonald says of The Lorraine. “I always knew that I wanted my office to be here.” She even graduated with a BComm degree from Queen’s University before setting her sights on Boston. But once she began an internship at a Boston-area public relations firm, there was no looking back. “I just fell in love with PR and PR agencies,” MacDonald says. Not to mention a man and a city.

Todd Parker

Blue Spark Energy Inc. - Founder and CEO

Accountable and results-oriented executive skilled in strategic planning and implementation across multiple industry sectors and environments. Demonstrated track record of building effective multidisciplinary teams with a focus on revenue growth and profitability. Strong orientation in operations and finance combined with a balanced approach of analytics and big-picture thinking to deliver results. Calculated risk-taker with an engaging and inclusive leadership style, comfortable engaging with small teams or large audiences.

Mike Skrypnek

Big Growth Impact - Founder

He’s an accomplished three-time author & top entrepreneur coach transforming business & personal GROWTH. Stop letting your business run your life…let Mike show you how to GET freedom from your work while you GIVE back to yourself, your family and causes that matter most to you. Mike’s been hired to deliver hundreds of training & motivating presentations to teach his GROW GET GIVE philosophy to thousands of entrepreneurs, business owners, & the millionaire businessperson next door.
In just five years, Mike built a dominant and lucrative financial advisory business focusing on helping others GIVE for their big impact. Excelling at this niche, he made more money, took more time off and made a HUGE impact through his philanthropic efforts. His TEN times growth was based on three key principles:
1. Serve others
2. Be different
3. Build your Mountain of Credibility
Humbly and gratefully, Mike has guided entrepreneurs & affluent families to re-direct over $12 million in Big Impact Giving to charitable causes since 2012. Mike’s next ten times goal is to coach entrepreneurs who care to GROW, succeed and make a $100 million impact. Will you join him?

Debby Carreau

Inspired HR - CEO and Founder

Entrepreneur, Author and CEO and Founder of Inspired HR. Debby is widely recognized as Canada’s workplace expert. Debby was recently recognized for a fourth consecutive year as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women marking Debby's induction into Canada’s Top 100 Hall of Fame as the youngest inductee in history. Debby Carreau is a proven leader helping businesses create great workplaces. Inspired HR was recognized as Canada’s Top HR Consultancy and advises businesses on optimizing the workplace experience and becoming an employer of choice. They provide Human Resources support for over 300,000 employees in many industries. Her book The Mentor Myth teaches people how to take control of their careers and navigate a successful career path. Debby is highly regarded as a human capital thought leader and is recognized as of one the country’s TOP 25 HR LeadersTM. She is often asked to speak and write about workplace issues and developing talent for organizations. Debby is frequently interviewed regarding optimizing human capital, women in the workplace and the importance of diversity. Debby is a regular contributor for Entrepreneur Magazine, CityTV and the popular TV show The Social. Other recent coverage includes: CNBC Harvard Business Review, Fortune, INC, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, Huffington Post, BBC and many others. Debby is a board member of Young Presidents Organization (Canadian Region and BC Chapter) and is an Advisory Board member for Women’s Executive Network, Respect in the Workplace and is the Chair for 1000 Women Rising.
She holds a Masters in Business Administration and a CPHR designation in Human Resources. She resides in West Vancouver with her husband and two children.

Deb Milimaka Miles

Smart Technologies - EVP, Chief People Officer & Global Facilities

Debra Milimaka Miles joined SMART in May 2015 and is the EVP, Chief People Officer. She has more than 25 years of corporate management and consulting experience in the financial, retail and IT sectors. Over her career, Debra led high performance teams with national and international companies such as Scotiabank, BMO, and the Hudson’s Bay Company. Prior to joining SMART, Debra was with Loblaw, Canada’s largest retailer, where she led the global change team for one of the largest-ever SAP implementations. Debra has also managed teams in large organizations as well as built divisional HR teams from the ground up, while driving transformation in business cultures through leadership.

Jennifer Nashmi

Kids & Company - Founder and CFO

Jennifer Nashmi, a mother of three, is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years of varied business experience ranging from auditing multi-national corporations to being the Director of Finance of a high-tech public company.
Jennifer graduated from the University of Waterloo and articled at Deloitte & Touche LLP before moving her experience into the child care industry. Jennifer's expertise drives the company on all operational technical matters.

Haya Stein

Ethos Bridal Group - Founder and CEO

Ethos matriarch, Haya Stein has a passion for all things bridal and a natural talent for designing extraordinary wedding gowns and evening wear. You will find her designs at Ethos under the Anna Rose Label, lovingly named after her mother.
With over 40 years experience in the wedding industry, she has cultivated close relationships with the world’s most celebrated fashion houses and fills her stores their finest collections. Haya inspires her professional bridal consultants to graciously serve every bride and help her find the perfect dress… at the very best price!
Visit Calgary’s historic Devenish Building on 17 Avenue you will find the latest bridal, bridesmaid, mother-of-the-bride, flower girl, prom and evening wear collections.

Victoria Sopik

Kids & Company - Founder and CEO

Victoria Sopik, an entrepreneur and mother of eight, understands the delicate balance between work and life. That’s why she co-founded Kids & Company – to offer working parents supportive child care solutions.
Victoria is a recognized expert in the child care field with close to 30 years of experience. Victoria studied Business Administration at the University of Western Ontario. Her expertise provides strategic direction and leadership for the company. She has developed successful long-term partnerships with numerous private and public organizations, and is active with several charitable organizations.

Almira Bardai

Indian Summer Arts Society - Manager, Communications & Development

A seasoned, senior communications professional, Almira Bardai has almost 20 years of experience creating powerful narratives for domestic and global brands. As an advocate for leadership in business not only is Almira a recipient of Enterprising Woman magazine's 2016 Enterprising Women of the Year Award, PROFIT and Canadian Business W100: Canada's Top Female Entrepreneurs 2016, Business In Vancouver Forty Under 40 2016 Winner and finalist of the 2014 Vancouver YWCA Women of Distinction Awards, but she is a thought leader on issues affecting the PR Industry and frequently appears as a commentator in the media. With an enviable network of influencers and a storied career, her expertise lies in developing strategic communications and social media plans focused on brand experiences, building brand awareness, and user engagement. She's delivered results-driven campaigns for the likes of Granville Island Brewing, Flight Centre, Nike, Best Buy, Future Shop, Molson, and TELUS. Prior to Indian Summer Arts Society, Almira co-founded and was Co-CEO of Jive PR & Digital, one of Canada’s top boutique PR and social media agencies, with offices in Toronto, Los Angeles, and Vancouver. Launching her career as a PR Consultant at one of Canada’s leading PR agencies, Wilcox PR, she spent many years working abroad as Head of Global PR at Cobra Beer, one of the UK’s fastest growing beer brands, and also practiced corporate public relations and communications in Australia and in South Africa. Almira is active as a philanthropist, entrepreneur, and mentor in organizations, such as Room to Read, Starlight Children's Foundation, Aga Khan Foundation Canada, SFU Beedie School of Business, and Entrepreneur's Organization.

Amanda Hamilton

Amanda Hamilton Interior Design - Creative Director

Celebrated for her tenacious and vibrant persona, Amanda Hamilton’s bold and unconventional approach to design and business has made her one of the most sought after interior designers in Western Canada. With over a decade of experience, she has earned a diverse and extensive portfolio including custom residential homes, multi-family developments, restaurant, office and retail design. Committed to continual education and evolution through exploration, Amanda unearths inspiration from significant cultural and social influences like literature, art, music, film and fashion, which are all purposely woven into her work, providing depth to the design narrative. Intimately involved in the creative development and strategic planning of each project, Amanda pursues client inclusion throughout the design process to ensure spaces embody the values and capture the character of each client. She is the current chair of the World of Choices committee for Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta. Notable accolades include Avenue Magazine’s 2017 Top 40 Under 40 Award, Silver Stevie Women Entrepreneur of Canada Award in 2017, “One to Watch” in the 2013 Western Living Designer of the Year Awards, and recipient of the Mount Royal University Horizon Award in 2012. With an insatiable need for adventure, Amanda travels extensively, stumbling upon inspiration and a few glasses of Rose along the way.

Andrea Robertson

STARS Air Ambulance - CEO

Andrea Robertson believes in a very important motto: the more informed you are, the more you realize how little you know. She’s had a life-long commitment to learning ever 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 in Health-Care Administration, to an executive fellowship from Wharton University and Ivey School of Business, to an executive leadership program at Harvard. Her drive is a selfless one. These accolades, as well as her many past leadership roles at Alberta Health Services, Foothills Medical Centre and Alberta Children’s Hospital, were all intended to be 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. In this role she is responsible for the overall direction of our operations and works to build upon our external relationships with donors, governments and key partners. Strengthening these relationships is vital to our ability to provide the best-possible service our communities. Andrea’s commitment to continuing education and dedication to providing the best care possible has also leaded her to be an invaluable mentor to many entering the health care field. Formally, she is part of a mentorship program through the University of Calgary. Informally, she works with as many as five young, energetic leaders at any given time. For the students, the reward is Andrea’s wealth of experience and unyielding empathy for others. For Andrea, mentorship is just another opportunity to learn more about the world, through the eyes of her students. It’s through these relationships that Andrea sees education come to life. Andrea’s leadership and contributions to business and her community have been widely recognized, both 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 2015.

Sharlene Massie

About Staffing - Founder and Visionary

I successfully operate a high profile staffing company recognized for its high level of achievement and inspiration. I continue to take the company to new levels of opportunity through economic challenges and evolving technologies. I manage the vision of the company and ensure that the ultimate objectives are met through process and accountability, the development of internal staff, and customer/candidate relationships. Every day of my career has been filled with change, logic, emotion, development, laughter, and questioning, no two days alike! I am grateful for the very full, busy, and successful life this career has awarded me, and proud to be recognized as an expert in the employment arena. On a personal note, I have many friends, so I have great parties, and I am very involved with my Calgary family! I have enjoyed extensive travel over my long career in the staffing industry, so I am grateful for that.

Eva Friesen

The Calgary Foundation - President & CEO

Widely respected in the Calgary community, Ms. Friesen has an extensive background in providing effective leadership. She has been the President and CEO of Calgary Foundation since 2005. Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Friesen was CEO of the Calgary Health Trust for 4 years, and had a 22 year career with the YWCA spanning three cities: Winnipeg, Yellowknife, where she was CEO for five years, and then Calgary where she was the CEO for 12 years. Ms. Friesen has served on a variety of Boards including the Calgary Police Commission, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, and the Calgary Rotary Club (Downtown). Eva was the recipient of the 2011 Haskayne School of Business MAX Award, an award given annually to an alumni in recognition of outstanding success. She has an MBA from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor in Physical Education from the University of Manitoba. Eva also holds an ICD.D designation through the Institute of Corporate Directors and ICD-Rotman, Directors Education Program.

Jennifer MacDonald

Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra - Director, Artistic Operations

Why she’s a 2017 Top 40 Under 40: MacDonald has helped the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra become more efficient and cost-effective and was part of a group that successfully lobbied the federal government to change policies that restricted orchestras from hiring world-class musicians from other countries. In Jennifer MacDonald’s line of work, no recognition is often the best recognition. “If I’m doing my job well, people don’t notice. That’s how you can tell you’re doing it well, because nothing’s falling from the rafters,” she says. Those would be the rafters at the Jack Singer Concert Hall, home of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO). MacDonald started at the CPO in 2011 as an associate director and has since risen in the ranks. Now, as the director of artistic operations, she and her team manage the administrative details of the orchestra’s 90-plus concerts per season involving 66 full-time and more than 100 additional musicians.

Shane Wenzel

Shane Homes - President at Shane Homes Group of Companies

Shane Wenzel followed his father into the home building industry at a young age, learning the inner workings of the company with a hands-on perspective at job sites. He moved into sales and marketing, ultimately taking on the role as senior vice-president of sales and marketing. Shane is hard-wired into new technologies, and has crafted a high profile for the company on social media and online as well as introduced leading edge innovations to the Shane Homes Group of Companies product line based on customer input. In 2010, he became the company’s president, sharing Cal Wenzel's passion of putting customers first, with honesty and integrity. Shane serves on the board of directors of BILD Calgary Region and is chairman of the annual Calgary SAM Awards.

Steve Mesler

Classroom Champions - Co-Founder, President & CEO at Classroom Champions

Steve Mesler is the co-founder, President, and CEO of Classroom Champions. He oversees the international operations of the organization, while also guiding its long-term strategic direction. A three-time American Olympian™, Steve led his team to gold at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic™ Games in 4-man bobsled. This was the U.S.’s first gold medal in the event in 62 years. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the United States Olympic™ Committee (USOC) where he also serves on the Compensation Committee. Under Steve’s vision and leadership, Classroom Champions has grown from Steve being the only athlete involved in the pilot and working with 200 students in 2009, to today having more than 100 World-Class athletes, Olympians™, Paralympians™, College Student-Athletes and NFL Players mentoring more than 25,000 students across the globe.
Steve is an internationally recognized leader in the world of sport and education programming and philanthropy. He is a sought-after presenter at education and other conferences around the world, including Dubai, Sochi, Tel Aviv, Guatemala, and across the U.S. and Canada. He has also collaborated with the likes of TED, Big Think, and others to increase awareness of the importance of social and emotional learning (SEL) in young students.

Tim Alison

Ignore the Naysayers - Founder and CEO, Screw the Naysayers Productions

The Naysayers laughed when I walked away from a six-figure income, moved to a tiny fishing village, and started my own company. They stopped laughing when my sales topped $10 million. On the Screw the Naysayers Podcast I interview guests from around the globe that have overcome adversity and broken free from a system that encouraged them to settle. We share inspiring stories and practical advice you can use to live the life you want.

Maydianne Andrade

University of Toronto - Vice Dean, Faculty Affairs and Equity

As the Vice-Dean of Faculty Affairs & Equity at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), Professor Maydianne Andrade shows the strength diversity brings to an organization through actively promoting the hiring, retention, and success of a diverse and inclusive faculty. Through her informative and eye-opening talks, she speaks to the harm that unconscious biases have on both individuals and organizations, and provides techniques and solutions to resolve and mitigate those negative effects to create more positive and fair workplaces. In addition, Andrade is co-founder and the inaugural chair of the Toronto Initiative for Diversity and Excellence (TIDE) at the University of Toronto, where she provides education about unconscious bias to academic leaders and search committees across the three campuses of the University of Toronto. She has also conducted workshops and spoken on the topic at several universities across the United States and Canada, to division heads at the City of Toronto, and to Legal Aid Ontario.

Barbara Robinson

Norton Engineering Inc. - President

Barbara A. Robinson, M.A.Sc., P.Eng., established Norton Engineering Inc. in 2015 following a successful 25-year private sector career and highlighted by two years as City Engineer for Kitchener. Norton initiated the ongoing “Addressing Unacceptable Inflow and Infiltration (I/I) in New Subdivisions”, which is currently gaining national attention; she has given dozens of presentations on the topic. She functions as senior QA/QC on Halton Region’s Downspout Disconnection projects and the Fort Erie Pollution Control Plan. She has provided ongoing wastewater engineering services for the Township of Woolwich since 2001. Norton was works regularly with the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) to undertake various projects, including a long-term project to calculate the “Societal Costs of I/I” and “Engineering Data and Flood Risk”. Barbara is currently Chairwoman of the CSA committee to develop a new national Basement Flood Protection Guideline (expected to evolve into a Standard), which was just posted for public review. She sits on the WEAO Collections Systems Committee, ICLR Municipal Advisory Committee, and advises on the Durham Climate Resistance Standard for New Houses and the new BC Housing Standard. She also works for NRC and SCC.

Ruth Fernandez

Concordia University - Change Management Lead

Ruth Fernandez, MAPC, is a Change Management leader and scholar known for her ability to inspire and motivate multigenerational, ethnically diverse, and geographically dispersed teams. She completed a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism at Ryerson University, and her Masters Degree in Professional Communications at Royal Roads University. Her research project examined how technology firms leverage advertising to attract teen girls to STEM careers. Her study uncovered the counterproductive patriarchal discourses hidden in the ads and its potential damaging consequences. As an IBM consultant, Ruth focuses on creating and implementing strategies to enable and empower employees to adopt new behaviors and new technologies. Dedicated to the mentoring of girls, Ruth is an active member of the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization in Montreal where she serves as a local chapter board member and was responsible for the chapter’s first social media engagement strategy. In her free time, Ruth Fernandez enjoys travelling, spending time with family, attending hockey games, and being a role model for her nieces.

Rola Dagher

Cisco Canada - President

Rola Dagher is President of Cisco Canada, an organization that consistently ranks among Cisco’s top country revenue producers globally and which acts as a proving ground for some of the company’s most advanced and innovative technologies. Rola oversees all facets of Cisco Canada’s business including sales operations, engineering, services, finance, and marketing, Rola joined Cisco from Dell EMC where she held a variety of leadership roles in sales, channels, and IT. Most recently, she served as Vice President and General Manager of the Canadian Infrastructure Solutions Group for Dell EMC and was responsible for leading their server, storage, networking, solutions, and systems engineering businesses, delivering innovative and disruptive technology solutions. With over 25-years of technology experience in the server, storage, and networking markets, Rola is a seasoned professional and a highly-respected sales leader. Her successful career can be attributed to the energy and passion she has for people, combined with a contagious “can do” attitude. She believes in only being as strong as your weakest link and considers this the foundation of her management style; one that is inclusive of building teams that are customer-centric, strategic, highly-motivated, and empowered. Her people-first mindset and determination to continuously develop have enabled her teams to drive growth, establish impactful partnerships, and achieve aggressive targets year over year. It's all about the customer as she strives to provide unique solutions which are impactful, innovative, and disruptive.

Mona Nazir

Laurentian Bank Securities - Vice-President, Senior Analyst (Diversified Industrials)

Mona is an Equity Analyst with ~10 years sell side capital market experience. Experience in cross-sectional roles involving multiple skill sets, both quantitative and qualitative. Financial modelling + valuation, in depth company and industry research, report writing, delivering presentations and relationship management (sales & trading and investment banking teams, corporate issuers and buy side portfolio managers). Understanding of various end markets including: energy services, infrastructure + midstream, technology, potash and disruptive technologies.

Madeleine Shaw

Lunapads - Co-founder

Madeleine Shaw is a social entrepreneur known for her longstanding commitment to green products, progressive business practices and women entrepreneurs. She is the co-founder of Lunapads.com, a for-profit venture that manufactures and markets an online collection of healthy and eco-friendly products for girls and women to support them throughout their life cycle.
Thanks to Lunapads, over 1 million pads and tampons are being diverted from landfills every month. She is also the co-founder of Pads4Girls, a social change project that provides sustainable hygiene supplies to girls in developing nations and G Day for Girls, a global social movement to celebrate and empower adolescent girls.

Mandy Farmer

Accent Inns & Hotel Zed - President and CEO

When Mandy Farmer’s father started Accent Inns Inc. in 1987, he didn’t plan on having any of his children go into the business. But Mandy took over as president and CEO in 2008, bringing with her an innovative, lighthearted (and highly profitable) vision. With fun and unique amenities and on-property experiences, big brand personalities, Instagram-worthy decor, and a focus on keeping both guests and staff happy, she’s revitalized the family-owned chain (not to mention the exterior corridor motel market), growing it to eight hotels across BC under the Accent Inns and Hotel Zed brands. Also an Honorary Captain in the Royal Canadian Navy.

Nancy Southern

ATCO - Chair & CEO

Ms. Southern was appointed Chair of ATCO and Canadian Utilities effective December 1, 2012 and has been Chief Executive Officer of ATCO since January 1, 2003, and President of ATCO from January 1, 2003 until February 28, 2018. Ms. Southern has also been Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Utilities since January 1, 2003 and was President of Canadian Utilities from 2003 to 2015. Previously, she was Deputy Chair of each of ATCO and Canadian Utilities from 2008 until 2012, Co-Chair and Co-Chief Executive Officer of each company from 2000 until 2002, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of each company from 1998 to 1999, and Deputy Chair of each company from 1996 to 1999. Ms. Southern has full responsibility for the strategic direction and the operations of ATCO and reports to the Board of Directors. Ms. Southern is a founding director and is a member of the Board of Directors of AKITA Drilling Ltd. She is also a director of Sentgraf Enterprises Ltd. and an Honorary Director of the Bank of Montreal.
Ms. Southern is a member of The U.S. Business Council, a member of the American Society of Corporate Executives, and a Canadian member of The Trilateral Commission. She is also a member of the Business Council of Canada and the Rideau Hall Foundation Board of Directors.

Michael Crothers

Shell Canada - Canada Country Chair and VP, Canada Integrated Gas

In January 2018, Michael took on lead responsibility in Canada for Shell’s Integrated Gas business which includes an interest in the LNG Canada project. Michael has a dual role as both Vice President, Canada Integrated Gas and Shell Canada President and Country Chair. He has led large, complex operations, joint ventures and the development, execution, commissioning, and start-up of mega projects. Michael has led teams across Shell’s upstream and downstream businesses and his assignments have taken him to over 30 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Africa and North and South America.
Michael was born and raised in Calgary and graduated in 1984 as a Chemical Engineer with distinction from the University of Alberta. He and his wife are parents to three now-grown children and recently welcomed two grandchildren.

Teresa Spinelli

Italian Centre Shop Ltd. - Owner

Born in Edmonton in 1961, Teresa grew up at the Italian Centre Shop, taking her first steps in the pasta aisle. By age 13, she was working in the store regularly as a cashier, never dreaming she would one day ascend to the Presidency of the company. With her vision of changing the business from a local grocery store to a major importer and distributor, the company has grown 8 times with 4 stores (located in Edmonton and Calgary), over 500 employees and sales exceeding 70 million.

Dave Mowat

Telus - Board Director

David Mowat is a corporate director. He was President and CEO of ATB Financial from June 2007 to June 2018. Prior to that, he was the CEO of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union from 2000 until 2007. In 2015, he was named Chair of the Alberta Royalty Review panel. David holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia. In 2015, he received an Honorary Bachelor of Business Administration from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and in 2017 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Alberta. In 2014, David was selected by Alberta Venture Magazine as Alberta’s Business Person of the Year. Dave is a Maverick of Change.

Whitney Rockley

McRock Capital - Co-founder

Co-founder and Managing Partner of McRock Capital, a venture capital firm focused exclusively on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). She has over 20 years of investment, operating and strategic planning experience from the power, water and oil & gas industries. She is refreshingly real and passionate about women-in-tech and inspiring girls to get into STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math).

Sona Khosla

Benevity - VP Marketing

Mid-career, Sona decided to make her lengthy work week “mean something to the world,” jumping at the opportunity to lead Benevity’s Marketing team. As VP of Marketing, Sona is passionate about how companies can foster a culture of passion and purpose and hopes that, through her work at Benevity, she can play a small part in helping companies do that. Sona brings almost 15 years of marketing experience, primarily in global e-commerce businesses, with proven success in building high-performing teams, managing $2M+ budgets, and delivering effective promotional strategies and brand campaigns. Sonia is driven by big visions, loves leading small but mighty teams, and feels her best overseeing large integrated marketing campaigns.

Raia Carey

Coach Carey - Life Coach and Motivational Speaker

Raia " Coach" Carey is a Motivational certified professional coach, dedicated to helping people achieve their goals in any aspect of their life. Through the collaborative process, coaching helps people make positive, desired changes in their lives through deep, powerful and meaningful conversation. After being an event planner for over 10 years, as well as studying psychology & marketing in university, she brings a concrete understanding of human behaviour to the coaching relationship. Raia also brings personal self-development triumph and tribulations to the table, after turning her life around, and losing over 300lbs. Coaching allows her to share her gift, to help people find true happiness within themselves, as well as assisting them in moving forward.

Shauna Levy

Design Exchange - President and CEO

An innovative leader with 20+ years of expertise in launching and developing cultural attractions and exhibitions, public events and trade shows within the categories of design, education and popular culture that have raised Toronto’s profile – both locally and globally. Proficiency demonstrated within a range of organizational environments - not for profit/charity, corporate and entrepreneurial. An innovative problem-solver who thrives in challenging environments.

Sandy Kirkwood-Pearce

Baker Tilly Trillium LLP - Chief Operating Officer

Throughout her extensive career, Sandy worked for pillars of the London accounting community subsequently starting her own practice before becoming a founding partner of the firm, EPR Trillium LLP, Chartered Professional Accountants. She is thrilled now to be able to continue to offer her and expanded services to her long-term value clients under the prestigious Baker Tilly Trillium LLP banner. Sandy believes that in today’s increasingly fast-paced business environment, continuing to develop one’s professional skills is critical, however, it is not enough. Sandy believes in developing strong relationships with her clients to better understand their unique requirements and as such is able to offer services that are tailored to their individual needs. Sandy feels that this approach builds a relationship of trust which permits her to help clients with often complex and many times difficult decisions. Sandy strives to always be approachable for her clients whether it is for business or personal matters.
Sandy carries this same level of passion to all aspects of her life including “giving back” to the profession and community via volunteer and mentoring services with various professional bodies. Participation in charitable activities is a natural extension as is her pursuit of a balance in her life. Sandy enjoys travelling, and spending time with family and friends, and attending social events with clients who she considers friends as well.

Jodie Arthurs

Baker Tilly Trillium LLP - Manager

Jodie has been a part of the accounting community for over 35 years and has experience working in both Public Accounting and Industry. She has held both Management and Senior Management positions in both fields. Jodie joined EPR Trillium in 2015 as Senior Manager. After earning her CGA designation in 2001, after completing all the requirements, was granted the authority to practice as a licensed public accountant in Ontario in 2012. Jodie became one of a small group of CGA’s in Ontario to earn this privilege prior to merging with CPA. Jodie can help you with your assurance, corporate and personal taxation requirements. Jodie is highly involved with planning and organizing many of the firm’s team building professional development, lunch and learns and social events, which all team members look forward to and enjoy immensely. Outside of the office, Jodie enjoys volunteering her time in the community, spending time family and grandchildren and touring any wine country.

Elizabeth Neal

Baker Tilly Trillium LLP - Senior Operations Manager

Elizabeth acquired her Professional Bookkeeping Certification from Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada and possesses a Diploma in Business Marketing. She is the Senior Operations Manager, and goes that extra mile to assist the clients, partners and colleagues. Liz works closely with the partner group and is responsible for the firm’s internal accounting, payroll and administrative requirements. In addition to this, Liz overseas the accounting department and supervises the bookkeeping team within the London office. This department works with numerous clients and complies with all the necessary deadlines such as weekly payroll processing, including all electronic deposit deadlines, related payroll government remittances and monthly HST filings. The clients trust and confidence in Liz is demonstrated by their reliance on her to meet all payment deadlines. Liz also has her QuickBooks Desktop ProAdvisor certification and has acquired her QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor certification. Liz works closely with the clients and staff, setting up and training them on these programs. Liz is also experienced with other accounting software programs such as Sage 50, Sage Business Vision, and Costar. Liz is a very social person and has planned and organized many of the company social events over the years; such as the annual Christmas parties, “Taxed Out’ after tax season events and the annual MS Bike Ride weekend in July.

Shez Puri

Harmony Place Support Services - Board Member: Chair, Fundraising

Shez is a Fundraising Professional with experience in Higher Education and Healthcare. Shez has held several Development roles with York University and Hamilton Health Sciences as part of McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation. Currently, Shez works for University Advancement for the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University. Shez’s expertise focuses on front line fundraising, relationship building, strategic planning, managing corporate partnerships, business & community engagement and event planning. Shez joined the Harmony Place Board of Directors in 2018 as Chair of the Fundraising Committee. Shez is passionate about empowering organizations that focus on social inclusion, growth and self-advocacy. Shez hopes to develop exceptional fundraising programs and build lifelong relationships and support for Harmony Place.

Janis Showers

The Car Girls - Owner

In 2013 Janis turned her vision into reality. The goal was to create a group of talented, no nonsense, tenacious Car Girls and bring unique perspective to Automotive dealers. The last 4 years have found Janis dedicating herself to building The Car Girls. Helping dealers sell & service more cars, Janis has done a tremendous job increasing warranty and customer pay labour for her clients. Her expertise and creative approach to Automotive Fixed Operations Business Development is second to none and she is a variable specialist able to drive daily showroom traffic. She has also helped create many unique events and promotions for dealerships. Janis has spent over 25 years in automotive retail, more than 15 of those years on the front lines as a successful high volume automotive sales specialist, leasing manager, sales manager and sales trainer. She is a Certified Adult Educator and has trained automotive sales and business development from Calgary to Florida. Janis is an experienced Automotive Private Sale Facilitator and has traveled to many dealers facilitating successful events. Formally trained in United States by the pioneers of automotive BDC, Janis has had the opportunity to work with many automotive brands on large and small projects. A long time advocate of getting more women involved in the ‘car biz’, you can find her articles around keeping women as employees and customers online.

Belinda Clemmensen

The Women's Leadership Intensive - Founder

Belinda Clemmensen B.Sc., M.Ed., ACC, helps women live and lead to their full potential. As an ICF-certified coach and award-winning designer and facilitator of leadership development initiatives across North America and beyond, Belinda has now turned her focus to helping women lead in whatever domain or industry inspires them. “I know how hard it is to bring a vision to life because I’ve done it. Whether that’s a vision for your career, a business, a charitable or creative initiative. That’s why I developed the Women’s Leadership Intensive, so women wouldn’t have to re-invent the process every time, so women wouldn’t have to do it alone. This is the program I wished I’d had when I was building my own business."

Monica Ospina

O Trade - Founder and Director

For over ten years, Monica has worked on defining new approaches to balancing community development and securing operational productivity in the extractive industry. Her expertise in CSR, Sustainable Development and Supply Chain motivated her to start O Trade in 2007. Monica is the author of the Local Community Procurement Program (LCPP), a Sustainable Supply Chain model awarded by the World Bank among the Top 15 innovations or the World Bank Procurement Innovation Challenge 2012. Monica holds a Master's Degree in Diplomatic Studies from the University of Westminster, and has completed postgraduate programs in Sustainability Management from Harvard University and International Business Strategy, from the London School of Economics. Monica was Professor in Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainable Development and International Sourcing and Procurement, at Seneca College in Canada. Currently, she is Guest Lecturer at Queen’s University in Canada, Georgia College and State University in the US, and Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico. She has been guest speaker at the IFC Sustainability Exchange Conference and guest participant at the Working Session: Procurement and Community Development, at Rio + 20 Corporate Sustainability Forum, organized by United Nations Global Compact.

Neha Charnalia

NBL Foods - Switch Grocery - Founder & CEO

Like many Canadians, Neha had not been able to find a way to be healthy and manage life and work at the same time. The last 12 years of her life were spent working for a Tier 1 accounting firm and a national Canadian not-for-profit. This involved intense travel and late working hours. She loved her work, the travels, her friends and family. She also LOVED food. Neha always told her family that she can gain weight just by breathing air. Add in the unpredictable schedule, travelling, networking events and just life in general and that has caused her weight to fluctuate over the years. In 2014, Neha was diagnosed with high blood sugar. But most importantly, she didn't feel healthy. In 2015, she started working out at New Element Training with the founder, Andrei. He encouraged her to explore the Keto diet; a high fat, adequate protein and low carbohydrate diet. This is when the food education started. Neha started the Keto diet and working out twice a week. Along with other gym members on the Keto and Paleo diet. She searched high and low across so many aisles in grocery stores for products that were low carb, but had high fibre content and clean ingredients.After 6 months of eating a lot of salad, she needed tastier food to stay committed to this lifestyle. So, Neha started cooking with the help of paleo recipe blogs. This is hard to do when you are busy! Neha tried to find keto friendly products in stores but found it hard. Enter SwitchGrocery. SwitchGrocery brings awesome products to Diabetics and Keto & Paleo lifestylers in Canada. Neha and her team helps innovative small to mid size food companies get their products to Canadians faster, especially when compared to traditional retail partnerships. They bring convenience to our busy customers so they can spend time doing life with the people they love.

Michelle Schurter

Millennial Strategist - Founder & CEO

Michelle Schurter is CEO and Founder of Millennial Strategist, is a leadership expert who provides practical, savvy advice to Government Organizations to help attract, lead and grow their millennial employees in a cross generational workforce. Founder Michelle Schurter has been working with youth and leadership for over 25 years. With 2 Masters degrees in related fields, she has held leadership positions at some of Ontario’s largest Government and Educational institutions. Now, she helps organizations manage the cross-generational challenges and leverage opportunities created by the sweeping entry of millennials into their midst.

Teresa Isabel Dias

MenopausED - Founder

Teresa is a registered pharmacist with over 20 years of professional experience in community pharmacy and drug information in Toronto. She was in my mid 40s when she started experiencing perimenopause. She was irritable, impatient, and yelling at her kids. One day her older son asked if she was bipolar. She wasn’t, but that made her seek help. Like most women, Teresa started looking on the internet. With her training as a pharmacist she knew what a science-based website is supposed to teach but most of what she found was marketing disguised as information. Eventually, Teresa found the North American Menopause Society (NAMS*) and it helped her immensely. Teresa realized she could, and wanted to, help other women with similar menopause experiences so she became a Certified Menopause Practitioner. Teresa founded MenopausED to educate and support women in midlife, especially during the menopause transition, to raise awareness about menopause, and to break the menopause taboo.

Alicia Woods

Covergalls Inc. - Creator & CEO

Alicia Woods is founder and CEO of Covergalls Workwear and General Manager of Marcotte Mining. Motivated to improve the underground mining experience for women, Alicia designed the first ever covergalls for women, and then successfully pitched her business on CBC’s Dragon’s Den in 2014.

Shieh-Chi Chen

2Sisters Consulting - Owner

She is a woman, she is Chinese, she is Canadian and a global citizen. The labels that apply to her are diverse — and that is her expertise. Shieh-Chi is a diversity and inclusion practitioner, and a certified executive coach who challenges leaders to cherish differences, reject conformity and harness the power of diversity. As a Chinese woman who grew up in India and lived in the U.S. and Canada, she knows first-hand the challenges that people in a minority face. She's fumbled her way through situations feeling awkward and misunderstood. She's seen what happens when talented people choose to blend in because of their cultural differences: vibrancy is extinguished by conformity. Ignoring language barriers, culture differences, generational gaps and gender sensitivities can immobilize an organization. That is where she comes in. Shieh-Chi coaches high-potential senior executives to create inclusive environments. She delivers programs that educate global organizations on discrimination and its consequences and helps raise awareness of personal biases. Shieh-Chi deepens self-awareness and learning through one-on-one coaching that cultivates an appreciation for cultural, gender and generational differences. In combination, the diversity programs and executive coaching she offers empower people not to hide, but rather to bring 100% of themselves to the table. Over the past 15+ years she has worked as a management consultant for Fortune 500 companies such as CIBC, Intact and The MONY Group; organizations that understand that diversity & inclusion are good for the bottom line as well as the right thing to do. Shieh-Chi is a certified executive coach, the owner of a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) and an experienced conference speaker.

Vera Kevic

Doulas on Bike - Birth Doula and Educator

Doulas on Bikes is a sister team providing non-medical non-judgemental support to pregnant women partners and families. We are compassionate and knowledgeable support for prenatal preparation labour and delivery and the postpartum period. We are experienced in acupressure techniques for labour hypno-birthing and breastfeeding support. Additional services include placenta encapsulation and Mother’s Blessing Way planning.

Laura Mottola

Flow Partners Inc. - President & CEO

Laura Mottola is the President and CEO of Flow Partners Inc., a Canadian consulting company with operations in Chile, and Director of Great Lakes Graphite Inc., a company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. She is recognized globally as a leader in Lean Mining®, Mining Automation, Technology and Innovation in the natural resources sector. Laura is a mining engineer with a Masters of Engineering in Mining Automation from McGill University. A seasoned professional and business leader with more than 20 years of global experience in mining, Laura was named one of 100 most inspirational women in mining by Women in Mining UK. Laura is dedicated to Lean Thinking, Methodology, Lean Mining®, Innovation, development integration of concepts from other industries, and multidisciplinary approach strategies. She is a co-founder of the Lean Institute Canada and the founder of the Lean Mining® Institute. She is passionate about creating value, increasing productivity, social, environmental responsibility and teamwork in mining. Laura brings the multidimensional leadership and vision needed to generate dynamic and diverse opportunities in the mining sector.

Jaswinder Salh

Keep Leaf - Founder/Owner

The founder of Keep Leaf, Jaswinder Salh, developed a love for design at a young age. This was nurtured through numerous trips to India where Salh was inspired by the textiles and colours that surrounded her. Following a degree in Fashion Design, which she completed in Toronto, Salh took her skills abroad, to New York and London. There she held various senior level positions with international companies such as Calvin Klein, Niki Taylor Inc., and American Eagle. Settling for a period in London, England, Salh continued her career path as a Trend and Design Director, gaining invaluable experience in the UK and European fashion markets. After the birth of her first child, Salh decided to follow a different path: to fulfill a longtime dream of starting her own business. With a growing concern for our environment and a commitment to social responsibility the new mother promptly began developing products that facilitate the now imperative, environmentally and socially conscious lifestyle.

Renata Kuprinskiene

RElive Coaching - Founder

Renata Kuprinskiene is a Leadership and Life Balance Consultant and Coach, Professional Behavioral Analyst, Professional Trainer and Facilitator. She supports her clients in producing extraordinary results in their personal and professional lives while enjoying every step along the way. Through her business, RElive Coaching, she provides personal and group coaching and consulting to clients around the world. As a Consultant and a Solutions Focused Coach, Renata integrates the scientific with the intuitive. She incorporates a combination of techniques and processes that facilitate deep understanding, transformation and empowerment. Her clients move quickly to the heart of important, life-altering decisions, drawing from their own customized path to success. Renata always appraises techniques by first testing them on herself. Whether clients enhance their careers, achieve improved leadership skills, or strengthen personal and professional relationships, she thrives on witnessing the extraordinary results her work provides. Fluent in English, Lithuanian, and Russian, she is a globally recognized trainer, team leader, and facilitator, working with individuals and groups. During almost 20 years in her corporate career, she serviced clients from a wide range of industries on business and leadership related issues. As a project manager, team builder, and workshop facilitator, Renata’s client-centered approach established her as a trusted advisor to everyone she worked with.

Dr. Marlyn Morris

Ontario College for Development Training - Founder and Strategic Program Manager

Dr. Marlyn Morris is a trained and qualified Development Policy and Planning Specialist, Community Engagement Specialist, Legislative Reviewer and Drafter and an Educator. She has over twenty years expertise working with various Governments in her fields of technical expertise and largely in public policy development and analysis; advising governments and strengthening public sector institutions throughout the Caribbean and Guyana, South America. She is the Founder and Strategic Program Manager of Ontario College for Development Training( OCDT). She has performed vital roles in the following organizations

Vice President and Program Manager of Centre of Excellence & Business Incubator in Black Business And Professional Association (BBPA). She is also Co-Founder and Program Director of Inspiring Life Solutions and the Founding Partner and Program Director in the Canadian Research Centre for Humanities and Science are now known as the Ontario College of Research and Development.

Gillian Akai

Postmedia Network Inc. - Chief Administrative Officer, Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Gillian Akai was appointed Postmedia’s Chief Administrative Officer in May 2018, adding to her existing role as General Counsel which she has held since December 2016. Ms. Akai is responsible for Postmedia’s legal and regulatory affairs and corporate governance as well as employee relations and HR policies. She joined Postmedia’s predecessor company in 2006 and added corporate secretarial duties to her legal affairs responsibilities in 2010. Prior to joining the company, Ms. Akai was an Associate at Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP (now Dentons Canada LLP) and worked within the Business Law Group with a focus on private mergers and acquisitions, technology and software licensing, and general corporate commercial work. Ms. Akai holds a joint Bachelor of Laws (LLB)/MBA from Osgoode Hall Law School/Schulich School of Business (York University).

Caryma Sa'd

Law office of Caryma Sa'd - Founder

Access to justice is Caryma’s raison d’être. Her life mantra is to learn a lot, play a lot, and care a lot. A major component of Caryma’s current work involves advocacy with respect to human rights and social justice issues. She writes and tweets extensively about race, identity politics, and gender-based violence. Caryma articled at a top-tier Bay Street litigation boutique where she had the opportunity to work under the direct tutelage of some of Canada’s leading litigators. She was selected for a secondment to one of the Big Five banks. An alumna of the University of Ottawa, she received her Juris Doctor with honours while working towards the Master’s of International Affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University.

Karen Baring

BusiWomen - Founder and Principal

As the CEO of BusiWomen Inc, Karen Baring has always believed in the true value of community. She has utilized her dual degrees in Sociology and City Development from McMaster University along with her professional networking facilitation skills, business acumen and mentoring of others in business to create thriving and inspiring communities for 1000s of women entrepreneurs. Recognized for her strong ability to successfully teach others to network and to cultivate a community to grow their businesses, Karen is energetic and results driven. Yet she works to ensure each and every meeting and speaking engagement remains light-hearted and fun. She is often cited for saying, “Just because you are work doesn't mean it has to be boring”. She understands the need to bring creativity, humour and outside of the box strategies to networking, working with clients, speaking engagements and for overall business success. Karen is an influential International Guest speaker, a sought after meeting facilitator and a trusted mentor and advisor for hundreds of business owners and executives. She is devoted to helping ordinary women live extraordinary lives through personal and professional development and economic empowerment. She also works with larger businesses to support them in strategic brand development, team dynamics, leadership and engagement. When she isn't working with entrepreneurs, she is inspired to support her own community as well as work on broader scales initiatives. Karen is a dedicated Board Member of the Halton Multicultural Council and is always developing initiates to encourage younger children to volunteer and be engaged in their own communities. Her philanthropic nature leads to her particular interest in helping women and children to provide a better means for themselves and future generations.

Aziza Zareh

IWB Immigrant Women in Business - Founding Member

Aziza is a women’s right activist, feminist, gender equality advocate, and a self-made leader. She is new in the country, but of course with the intention to make positive impacts in the society, through empowering women and girls to have freedom, with the support of women alike and organizations with same objectives such as “IWB”. Aziza has her master’s in business administration (MBA) and 17+ years of experience on women’ rights and gender-based issues in Afghanistan. She had the privilege to work with some the renowned humanitarian and development organizations such as UN, USAID, GIZ, AKDN and OXFAM and had established a Non-governmental organization (NGO) in Afghanistan to support and empower women and girls in all aspect of life, a special focus on economic independency. She believes that “We are born free and equal” but, why we are having fewer opportunities than our male counterparts? This question made me, to search for the reasons; learn ways and approaches to tackle this issue; advocate for gender equality and be a feminist. Consequently, my journey just starts….!"

Svetlana Ratnikova

IWB Immigrant Women in Business - CEO, Founder

Her passion is positive change, big ideas, business growth combined with proven expertise to build and retain top-performing teams that bring exceptional value to organizations. Svetlana's drive is to make the world more compassionate, innovative and sustainable. Always focus my effort to help people and look for an opportunity to grow personally and professionally. She thinks outside the box. Directly involved in developing supply channels and implementing highly targeted marketing campaigns for specialty items to global markets. Truly believes that inspiring motivation is what gets the best from people, and foster collaborative atmosphere that lets people to stretch their limits.

Dara Eisner Clancy

Future Strategies Inc. - Director Client Services

Dara’s passion has been helping people navigate difficult transitions and barriers of complexity for over two decades! As a passionate coach, mentor and facilitator, her energy, compassion and labour market expertise has helped thousands of people adjust and excel in new business environments. Her work with Future Strategies Inc. (FSI) has helped to expand that influence to larger groups and leadership practices in organizations of all types including Corporations, Communities, Not For Profits and Political Organizations. It has all been about ‘people working with people’ and how to optimize that environment. An avid volunteer, she has been with the Oakville Distress Center (now Distress Centre Halton) since 2000, as both an online volunteer and a volunteer trainer. She has received the Ontario Volunteer Service Award in recognition of 10 years of commitment and dedication as a volunteer in Ontario, and also received the 2012 “Spirit of Volunteerism Award” presented by Ontario Distress Centers Ontario, an organization with over 1,800 volunteers. She has also volunteered with ICTC (information and Communication Technology Council) since 2014 , and in that position she coaches internationally educated ICT professionals new to Canada how to navigate and transition into the Canadian job market and culture. In addition, Dara has been a major part of FSI’s partnership with Arizona State University Project Humanities where the mandate is to demonstrate the power, both financially and socially, of creating more respectful communities and workplaces.

Laura McGee

Diversio - Founder and CEO

Laura is the founder and CEO of Diversio, a technology startup that uses data analytics and machine learning to help companies become more inclusive. She previously worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Co, where she led some of the Firm’s most high-profile economic growth and diversity work. Recently, Laura addressed the G20 Women Business Leaders Task Force on advancing women as entrepreneurs and business leaders, alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Laura is a serial social entrepreneur who has co-founded two viral social media campaigns to promote inclusion worldwide. She is a frequent speaker and author on diversity & inclusion, including seminal research with LeanIn and the Wall Street Journal. She was named one of Canada’s Top 25 Women of Influence in 2017.

Dr. Mandana Attarzadeh

The Flourishing Women - Founder

Mandana Attarzadeh is an Author, speaker, women’s empowerment coach, non-profit leader, and social justice advocate. Born and raised in Iran, Mandana immigrated to Canada in July 2006. Driven by her passion for social justice and her desire to address root causes of ill health, Mandana who was initially trained as a medical doctor, deliberately gave up on her medical career in Iran and embarked in a journey that brought her to Community Development and Social Justice Field. In her current role, Mandana empowers residents of a very diverse neighbourhood in the city of Toronto, to take leadership and engage in collective community action to improve their neighbourhood and their living condition. Using innovative community development approaches and techniques, Mandana has been instrumental in starting and enhancing numerous community building initiatives, including establishing the first ever Friends of Park Group in North York, establishing a community choir, numerous recreational art and sport programs for women, children ,youth and seniors. She has also supported advocacy work for Health care and Neighbourhood Safety. Mandana has worked for about a decade in various Toronto’s non-profit sector agencies. She has coordinated networks and has sat on non-profit boards. Her leadership development work has been featured several times in Toronto Star and other media and conferences. Mandana currently mentors women to connect with their inner beauty and to radiate that beauty and attraction from inside out. She then invites women to use the power of their beauty and attraction in a responsible way and as a force for good in their life and the world. Mandana believes the gift of these women will be more beauty, peace and harmony to a world that is torn apart by violence, war and conflict. She strongly believes that women can change the world to a more beautiful and peaceful place if world invest on them to “Flourish”.

Huria Kiran

Insure Canadian - President

Huria Kiran is the President at Insure Canadian and is a member of the Independent Financial Brokers of Canada. She has a passion for covering current issues affecting the Life and Health Insurance industry in Canada. Huria ‘s focus is to educate, entertain and inspire others towards what financial success means to them.She is Certified Life Insurance Expert based out of Ontario .She worked with families and business owners to develop sound financial plans. She is an expert in her field due to her dedication to the profession, her willingness to learn and adapt, and her continued education through reading and experience. She has a Masters’s degree in Commerce Specialization in Accounts. Her mission is to educate and spread financial Knowledge to help people to make informed financial decisions. Huria grew up in Pakistan and ventured over to Canada as Immigrant at her 20s. She is the oldest of five children. She is the Author of Book "Price for peace”. She been involved In community services and won several awards as recognition

Gila Yefet

Ethnic Channels Group - Advertising Sales Executive

Gila Yefet immigrated to Canada from Israel at the age of 12. She is an Advertising Sales Executive at Ethnic Channels Group and has been a host of her TV show on the Israeli channel for the past ten years. Gila is a pillar of our community; she is a Mediator, a legal support worker and a founder of “Women of Courage and Strength” – a support group for abused women. She is a motivational speaker and a life coach and is currently writing her first book. Her contribution spreads unto many different fields as she passionately dedicated her life to helping those in need. Her Book: “The Conscious Choices” for those that are seeking a journey of self-improvement and self-healing. It’s a story of a woman, who endured many traumatic events, such as domestic abuse, a juvenile delinquent son, incurable illnesses; self-blame consumed her and defined her. As the excruciating pain took over her life, she realized that she was the only one who had the power of choice to heal herself. She found the courage to discover her inner strength and started the journey to healing her soul.

Natalie Colalillo

Happy Healthy Women - Founder & CEO

Natalie is a multi-preneur (many projects with one mission), passionate about empowering women to step into their greatness and move mountains in their lives. In her previous life and business, she followed the all work-no play mentality and very soon came crashing down. A reality check from her accountant and an honest look at the shape of her life dropped her flat on her face. She hit a breaking point personally, emotionally and financially and got pretty cozy at rock bottom. She couldn't figure out why things weren't working when she was working SO hard - and then it hit her. I wasn't working hard at all on the thing that mattered most. HER. This is what Natalie calls the end that sparked the beginning because here's where the magic happened, where she found huge success, and why she decided to build a collective of incredible women, and mentor others. Together, they have started a movement and are empowering women everywhere to live happier, healthier and more successful lives. Our vision for this is global.

Melissa (Crnić) Sariffodeen

Canada Learning Code - Co-Founder && CEO

Melissa is a fierce advocate for providing Canadians (especially women and youth) the critical skills, confidence and opportunities they need to become passionate builders - not just consumers of technology and to inspire everyone to leverage and build technology that has the power to truly change the world. And, she's making that happen with an amazing team across the country at Canada Learning Code. Since 2011, she has taught over 80,000 Canadians code through one of her programs and she's just getting started. Her goal is to provide 10,000,000 technology learning experiences to Canadians over the next ten years through our programs Ladies Learning Code, Girls Learning Code, Kids Learning Code, Teens Learning Code and Teachers Learning Code. Through program design and delivery (like the code:mobile - a travelling computer lab road trip across Canada), strategic industry and public partnerships, educator training, research, advocacy and awareness Canada Learning Code aims to unify coding education in Canada and drive results.

Aniska Ali

Canada Learning Code - VP Fundraising

Unapologetic cheerleader for great causes.

Camilla Sutton

Women in Capital Markets - President and CEO

Camilla Sutton is the President and CEO of Women in Capital Markets (WCM), a national not-for-profit that aims to accelerate gender diversity across financial services. To achieve this, she is focused on building the talent pipeline of women, working towards transforming trade-floor cultures and advocating for change. Camilla's career spans more than two decades in capital markets, most recently as Scotiabank’s Global Head of Foreign Exchange, responsible for the firm’s FX trading desks, electronic trading and distribution, sales teams, and the global strategy. Prior to this role, she was Scotiabank’s Chief FX Strategist, providing global macro commentary and advisory services across the firm’s client base. Earlier in her career, she was part of Portfolio Management at OMERS and Equity Research at BMO Capital Markets. Camilla holds a BA from Dalhousie University and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business. In addition, she is a CMT and CFA charterholder. She is an active member of the global investment community. She is a member of the CFA Society Toronto’s Board of Directors and was previously a member of the Bank of Canada’s Foreign Exchange Committee. She is also a member of several committees within the United Way and CFA Society Toronto and has been a long-term volunteer at Women in Capital Markets.

Katie Squires-Thompson

Women in Capital Markets - Chief Strategy Officer

With a background in writing, video production, web design and social media along with a strong interest in marketing, Katie brings a unique perspective and diverse skill set to the WCM team. She previously worked in film production where she wrote scripts and produced videos and media kits for clients including the Canadian Transportation Agency, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services and Veterans Affairs Canada and worked with Epoch Multimedia to develop the interactive e-book 1812: Who Won the War? for high school classrooms across Canada and the United States. Katie's creativity and interest in web-design drove her to start her own business designing websites for local companies. Katie attended Queen's University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Film and Media Studies.

Amanda Dookie

Heal Her Heart - Founder - Executive Director

Surviving a traumatic experience changes your life forever. For many of us, the most difficult part of coping with our pain is the overwhelming sense that we are alone and the feeling that we should never talk about it. The weight of that loneliness and silence can be crushing. It can often make healing feel out of reach. Heal Her Heart is here to assure you that it isn’t. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to giving women a safe space and a helping hand to continue the work towards their journey of healing. Heal Her Heart is the brainchild of founder, Amanda Dookie, a certified counsellor. After publicly writing about her experience with abortion and the painful reminder of Mother’s Day, she received an overwhelming response from the women in her life. Many of them felt empowered to share stories of their own. The powerful feeling of relief and support inspired Amanda to build a platform to help other women. Out of one story came an organization to support other women as they make their hearts whole again. Through expressive writing therapy, compassionate counselling, and compelling media, we’re working to change the narrative for women living through trauma.

Emily Rose Antflick

Shecosystem Coworking + Wellness - Founder & Chief Community Cultivator

Emily is the founder of Shecosystem: a coworking and wellness community where women thrive. She facilitates women’s workshops, holding space for deep connection with self, others, and the environment. Her work stems from a feminine paradigm that values collaboration, creativity and ‘showing up’​ with your authentic self. With an MA in Education and over ten years in classroom and experiential education in Canada and internationally, She is a versatile teacher and program designer with rich perspectives on learning and community building. I'm the Community Leader of G Day for Girls Toronto, a rite of passage for adolescent girls and their adult champions. Emily is a facilitator of the award winning Dance Our Way Home healing freestyle dance program as well as a certified Permaculture Designer.

Leigh Mitchell

Women in Biz Network - Owner

Looking for more personal meaning in her work beyond just the bottom line, Leigh Mitchell set out to help those in need through her own business activities. She quickly realized that not only could she make a difference in her business but others could also. Her stories of hope and spirit of giving were contagious. This is when the Thrive Movement was introduced to her community. Studying the impact of socially responsible businesses, she found ways in which profitable businesses could find engaged audiences when advocating the benefits of their purpose-driven mission-based business practices.

Kavita Dogra

We Talk Women - Founder

A passionate, global citizen with the skills to inspire, engage and mobilize. Specialties: Social Media Strategy and Engagement, Communication Skills, Donor Relations, Customer Service, Community Event Planning and Public Speaking, Kavita was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick but spent much of her in a suburb of New Delhi in India where she was exposed to rampant poverty, social injustices and human rights violations. As a young child her mother worked for a local NGO that focused on education of children, HIV/AIDS awareness and vocational skills training aimed at creating strong, independent women. Her sense of civic duty, volunteering and advocating for a more just society were born out of her mother’s commitment to helping people. After a university professor connected Kavita to Human Rights Watch, she developed a keen interest in women’s rights. It was at the HRW Film Festival that she attended a viewing of the documentary “The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo”; this documentary had a profound impact on her and pushed her into action. In 2012, she founded an organization called We Talk Women; that works to raise awareness about local and global girls’ and women’s rights issues. She is passionate about many causes and has decided to dedicate much of her free time to the progress of each of them. Kavita believes that everyone needs to do their part in making the world a better place and mobilizes people to take meaningful action in their communities.

Melinda Mattos

Shameless Magazine - Co-Founder and Board Member

When Melinda was a teenager, the mainstream media tried to convince her that her breasts were too small, her brain was too big and her life would be incomplete if she didn’t have a boyfriend. In her twenties, she fought back by launching Shameless, a fiercely independent teen magazine. Melinda has a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University and has worked as a writer, editor and producer at The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Eye Weekly, Strategy and TVOntario. She currently works at George Brown College.

Sharon Pel

Canadian Feed the Children - Chair

Sharon Pel is a corporate director and was Senior Vice President, Group Head of Legal and Business Affairs and Corporate Secretary of TMX Group Limited until 2015. At TMX Group, she was responsible for advising the TMX board and executive management on all aspects of its governance, operations and legal and regulatory affairs. Prior to that, she was a partner at Torys LLP, where she advised clients on a wide variety of legal issues including cross-border mergers, corporate finance and securities transactions, acquisitions and divestitures. Sharon currently provides consulting services through her firm, Inglewood Advisory Services. She is the Vice Chair of OPTrust, the administrator of the OPSEU Pension Plan — a defined benefit plan with over 92,000 members and retirees. Sharon is also a member of the board and of the Nomination and Governance committee of IPL Plastics Inc. (TSX:IPLP). Sharon holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto and a LL.B from the University of Ottawa. She is Member of the Law Society of Ontario and holds the ICD.D designation. Sharon brings her legal and business expertise, plus a strong commitment to children’s and women’s issues, to her role as Chair of the CFTC Board.

Jean Augustine

Office of the Fairness Commissioner - Commissioner

Jean is the first African-Canadian woman elected to the House of Commons. She was elected in the riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore in 1993 and sat in Parliament until 2006. She served as the Fairness Commissioner for the Government of Ontario advocating for Canadians with foreign credentials from 2007-2015. Dr. Augustine led the motion that allowed for the placement of the Famous Five statue on Parliament Hill and the motion that created Black History Month in Canada. She has received honorary Doctor of Law degrees from six universities and has been recognized by having the Jean Augustine Girls’ Leadership Academy, Jean Augustine Secondary School and the Jean Augustine Chair in Education at York University.

Sue Kelleher

Sistering - Board of Directors and Strategic Planning Committee Chair

Sue Kelleher is a community planner with over 10 years of experience in both the public and non-profit sectors. She has experience in the design and implementation of strategic plans and policy, community-based research and programs, and community engagement and public consultation processes. She currently works for the City of Toronto, and has previously worked on a range of non-profit projects focused on newcomers and settlement, accessible housing, food security and early childhood development. Social planner with experience in strategy development and implementation across multiple sectors.
Experienced in community engagement and consultation, government relations, multi-sectoral partnership development, collaborative program design and evaluation. Strong research and writing skills, including statistical analysis, qualitative analysis, policy development and research design methods.

Erin Rochon

Rochon & Associates - Founder and CEO

Having built and sold a successful bookkeeping practice serving small businesses in the Durham Region, Erin Rochon, Founder and Chief Executive Officer or Rochon & Associates, noticed there was a gap in the service offerings for the medical, dental and legal industries. With over fourteen years’ bookkeeping experience for dental and five years’ bookkeeping experience in legal, Erin realized she was uniquely qualified to fill this void with her practice specific knowledge. While many companies offered bookkeeping services to business owners, very few of them knew and understood the sophisticated software programs that most dental and legal offices used for their bookkeeping. Proficient in legal software, such as PC Law and Clio Practice Management and dental software such as Dentrix, Abeldent, Logitech, Tracker, Orthodent and Quickbooks, Erin specializes in working with small to medium-sized practice owners to ensure compliance and growth while also helping them maintain a great work-life balance.

Ibtissam Mustaq

Andalusia Speech Language Pathologist - Founder

Ibtissam is passionate about helping children and adults communicate freely. She is a Canadian-trained Speech Language Pathologist and also works at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto as an Auditory Verbal Therapist. She believes in a holistic and personalized approach to each individual she meets and collaborates with her clients to help them achieve their goals.

Brenda Beckedorf

Launch Strategic Group - Chief Growth Officer

Strategic business executive aiming to increase growth in companies by better sales strategies.
A passionate and driven leader responsible for developing a consultative sales approach and determining the metrics to support the strategy, and enabling teams to consistently deliver profitable net new revenue growth.
Exceptionally knowledgeable in determining the audience targeting, verticals and routes to differentiation from the competition by leveraging solution selling methodologies
Successful collaboration skills with internal business units and partners to influence the relevant solution portfolio and pricing in both mature and competitive landscapes.

Lorraine Mitchelmore

Transmountain Corporation - Director

Lorraine Mitchelmore has more than 30 years of oil and gas experience with more than a third of her career working internationally. Her most recent roles include CEO of Enlighten Innovations, various senior positions in Royal Dutch Shell, including Executive Vice-President Heavy Oil Americas and President and Country Chair of Shell Canada from 2009-2016. Prior to Royal Dutch Shell, she held various positions in BHP Petroleum, Chevron and Petro Canada. She serves on the Bank of Montreal board of directors, Catalyst Canada Advisory Council, is the Chair of the Federal Resources of the Future Economic Strategy Table and served on the Federal Government's NAFTA Environmental Advisory Council. Ms. Mitchelmore holds a Bachelor's degree in Geophysics from Memorial University of Newfoundland, a Master's degree in Geophysics from the University of Melbourne, Australia and an MBA from Kingston Business School in London, England.

Shauna Frederick

Frederick OTG - Principal at Frederick OTG

Shauna has a strong desire to help others achieve ultimate success and the reduced stress that comes with accounting and financial planning. Her creation of Frederick OTG, has helped her accomplish her mission of making a difference in her client’s business; to help them grow stronger than ever. After spending close to 10 years in the Oil & Gas Industry working for both public and private companies, Shauna felt the desire to move into a position where she could help people. This decision led her to the CA School of Business where she worked towards her CA designation. She articled with two accounting firms, the latter being Matthews Group LLP where she was appointed Associate in January 2011 and Junior Partner in January 2012. Working with The Matthews Group gave her the opportunity to work with amazing mentors who encouraged her to ask questions and understand the needs of the client. Shauna's focus was working with entrepreneurs and their internal accountants helping improve their systems, processes and overall reporting. In addition to her entrepreneurial journey, Shauna also dedicated almost a decade of endless hours and passion into the non profit organization, Famous 5 Foundation. After 8 years of amazing leadership and dedication, Shauna Frederick recently stepped down as Chair of the Board. Shauna became a volunteer with the Famous 5 in October 2010 and became Chair of the Board in May 2016. Her passion for empowering Canadian women has played an important role in developing various leadership programs for young girls across the country and her avid commitment to sharing the legacy of the Famous Five has been instrumental in making the Foundation successful.

Holly Atjecoutay

Business Link - Team Lead, Indigenous Services

Holly is Cree and Saulteaux from Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan. As the Team Lead, Indigenous Services for Business Link, Holly leads a team across Alberta in supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs with their the startup and expansion of small businesses. Holly is amazing at connecting entrepreneurs to helpful resources while also providing guidance. In addition to leading the Indigenous Services team in AB, Holly also facilitates workshops and builds meaningful relationships in both rural and urban Indigenous communities.
Holly holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, so it is no surprise that in her spare time she enjoys reading, writing, and collecting books, and also authors a blog on the Indigenous Woman’s Identity. Holly believes the art of storytelling and communication is one of the key factors in building a strong business.

Gwyn Auger

The Magic Assistant - Entertainer & Entrepreneur

Ms. Gwyn Auger (aka The Magic Assistant) is a multi-talented entertainer, social media guru, entrepreneur, model with degrees in cooking and TESOL, who works tirelessly and passionately to push forward her career as a magician’s assistant on top her position as a customer service agent with WestJet. Gwyn dovetails this same passion into all that she does including breaking new ground by applying her extensive background in social media and marketing to assist and promote other entertainers in the magic industry.
Gwyn whose petite size and scoliosis condition can’t contain her boundless energy to inspire those around her by her hard work and dedication whether by helping friends, the community and by volunteering her time for causes such as Movember and the Underwear Affair.
She has been featured in numerous articles, appeared on podcasts and most recently achieved one of her dreams by assisting the famous magician Lance Burton (veteran 15,000+ shows on the Vegas strip) at the opening of the Magic Castle Cabaret in California. She will also be going solo in an upcoming performance with other celebrities of magic in Bakersfield this May. Achieving such milestones is only the beginning for such a talented and inspiring woman.

Mylene Tu

FEM in STEM - Founder

Advocate of the concept of applying intrinsic motivation to all aspects of life. Mylene believes that one's passion and career path should merge in harmony without compromise. Currently she is working towards her Bachelor of Applied Science in Management Engineering at the University of Waterloo with a minor in Entrepreneurship. At the same time, she is a varsity athlete for the Waterloo Warriors track team.

Mylene founded FEM in STEM on April 2018 as a way for young women to support each other and find opportunities to thrive in science, technology, engineering, and math. What started off as an app idea, then a hub of online resources, to in-person outreach, FEM in STEM has grown into a social enterprise. Now FEM in STEM impacts high school and undergraduate females across Ontario through community outreach events, resources, collaborations with other STEM clubs/organizations and the Catalyst program which is Canada’s first personal and professional growth accelerator for young women.

Shirley Sze

C.J. Rocker - Owner

Shirley Sze is an award winning jewelry designer. An advocate for those forced into the sex trade. She has raised over $28,000 for the survivors of sex trafficking. She is a winner of Notable Life’s award for Maker of the year and has been featured as a Notable Young Professional in September 2018 by Notable Life. Shirley is an award winning Marketing Manager with 13 years of direct marketing experience managing multi-million dollar campaigns. She specializes in telecom, cable, internet, content and technology marketing. She was also awarded three CEO team awards for achievements and rated the highest level of personal achievement by EVP.

Tarryn Skuy

Conagra Brands - Assistant Manager Digital Marketing

Tarryn Skuy was diagnosed at the age of 16 with Celiac Disease; She felt along and unstable. Over the years, others have begun to understand Celiac Disease and the severity of it. Now, from all the social and cultural changes, she has the opportunity to eat at restaurants with friends and family. Tarryn started her influential food blog in hopes to help others and teach others how to overcome these struggles and find brands that they are also able to eat so they can live a happy and healthy life.

Lauren McPhillips

The Renegade Love - Founder

Lauren McPhillips is a lifestyle influencer that teaches others to harness their inner renegade and develop their personal brands. She also runs a blog that gives career advice, wellness advice and travel stories!

Cindy Watson

Women on Purpose - Negotiation Expert & Coach for Ambitious Female Lawyers

Cindy Watson fell in love with words from the first book she ever read aloud on her own - Green Eggs and Ham. She's been writing since she ran home with her first original prize-winning poem: ""Oh me, oh my, mother said with a sigh, I just can't catch that fly ..."" You get the idea. Not the most brilliant composition, but her teacher and parents had the foresight to treat her like a child prodigy - and in so doing, instilled a lifelong burning desire to write. She grew up on Nancy Drew books, graduating to Mordecai Richler, Margaret Laurence and other Canadian greats by middle school. As she expanded as a reader she also expanded as a writer. A labour lawyer by day, she burrows away in spare moments to unleash her more creative side. Cindy lives in Muskoka with her husband, three children, computer, and her unruly ideas. She has published numerous short stories as well as two books, Unloved and Endangered Animals, and Out of Darkness - The Jeff Healey Story, for which she won the Golden Oak Forest of Reading award.

Marta Pozniakowski

Polish Orphans Charity - Director of Communications and Entertainment

Marta Pozniakowski was born and spent her formative years in Poland. It is there that she first discovered her passion for film, graduating from the National Film School in Łódź and starting her acting career before emigrating to Canada in 2008 for the happiest of personal reasons: her husband Jack Pozniakowski.
Although she changed her home base, Marta has maintained her professional interest in film by founding the Ekran Toronto Polish Film Festival. Along with her work on the festival, Marta also continues to pursue her acting and modeling career and has recently added real estate sales to her list of professional activities.
Marta’s life is completed by her family, which now also includes two young boys. There is perhaps nothing she loves more than spending time in their company, whether at home in Toronto, nestled in their little red brick “doll house,” or away on a holiday, enjoying new experiences and cultures or the now familiar beaches of Costa Rica.

Kelly Harding

I love my Dog more than my kids - Pet Blogger

Kelly Harding started off with a passion for horses. She soon adopted two pugs named Edie and Edna and these became the focus of her blog. Edie and Edna changed Kelly's life and now she shares the information she learns about different pet products on her blog. She is honest about promoting the pet products and only shares them if she uses them for her own pets. Kelly is a believer that sharing our lives with pets brings happiness, emotional support, alleviates stress, increases our social interactions and physical activity. Looking after a pet also contributes to a sense of purpose. This is why she supports The Farley Foundation. The Farley Foundation is an organization in Ontario that helps low-income pet owners, the elderly, those with disabilities, those suffering from temporary financial hardship, and women at risk of abuse who are entering a registered Ontario Women's shelter and who are participating in OVMA's SafePet Program.

Tanya Chernova

Tanya Chernova Global Corp. - CEO

Awarded Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada (WXN & Financial Post), and Iconic Women Leaders of the Decade Envisioning a United World by the Women’s Global Economic Forum, Tanya Chernova is an engaging and charismatic expert in human behaviour, award winning speaker, business coach and #1 best-selling author who has inspired countless individuals in over 60 countries around the world. She has pioneered the ground breaking global empowerment organization Courageous Living and PNRT (Progressive Neural Resolution Therapy), a revolutionary and proven means of overcoming subconscious barriers and maximizing individual potential.

Tanya began her career in the health and wellness and became an internationally awarded entrepreneur at the age of 27 when she built her own brand of non-surgical facelift products, reaching 1 million dollars in sales her first year. Her degrees in business, neuro psychology and dozens of teaching certificates in business development, combined with her vast expertise in human behavior and the realm of neuroscience, make her uniquely suited to help entrepreneurs and their teams achieve breakthroughs in any work environment. Experience a fresh, engaging and scientifically proven approach to creating change and accelerating success.

Johanne Belanger

Mariott International - Vice President, Field Marketing, US & Canada

Johanne Bélanger is the Vice President, Field Marketing, US & Canada, Marriott International. She is a long-time industry builder, a multiple-award-winning business leader, an international speaker, a Chartered Accountant, and a tireless volunteer and mentor. Johanne Bélanger has been recognized by the Canadian National Exhibition Association as a Woman of Distinction (in 2016), by New York Moves Magazine as one of their top 25 Power Women and by Biz Bash as their Hall of Fame inductee (both in 2017), and – in 2018- by the MPI (Meeting Professionals International) with the Industry Influence Award and by Ryerson University with the G. Raymond Chang Outstanding Volunteer Award. Supporting and mentoring women in business is close to Johanne Bélanger’s heart. She co-founded Freeman Women’s Development, a program aimed at advancing women as leaders and at contributing to an environment where the best talent succeeds, as well as the networking group WITH IT! (Women in Tourism & Hospitality in Toronto). She is a charter member of the Women of InfoComm Network, a global community committed to supporting and empowering women in AV and technology.

Carol Starr Taylor

Creative Publishing Group - Publisher

Carol Starr Taylor is an author, certified life coach, motivational speaker, business consultant, founder of The Travelling Sisterhood, and practitioner of NLP, timeline therapy and hypnotherapy.

She has been an entrepreneurial veteran for thirty years, offering life coaching and consulting services to men and women for personal, professional and business development. She is also a motivational speaker, conducts workshops, and she curates conferences on community building, personal and business networking, relationships and sex, dating after divorce, how to manifest change, self-esteem, self- worth, self-love, how to create your diamond life, Dare To Dream Big, and more. Her book, Life in Pieces: From Chaos to Clarity, centres-in on some of these themes. Carol Starr Taylor’s passion is to ignite, inspire and create experiences to facilitate personal growth of others within themselves and with each other. This guides her coaching work and led her to found The Travelling Sisterhood, a growing global community of heart-centered women aiming to inspire and connect women in the community, without exclusion. Carol Starr Taylor holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours and a specialty in Mass Communications. She has had numerous appearances over the years on radio, television and in articles.

Carol Sheardown

Dekpor School Development Organisation - Executive Director

Carol Sheardown joined leagues with Linda Kordze in 2009 to start the groundwork for Dekpor School Development Organisation. She brings enthusiasm, organisation, and dedication to support the efforts of the project. Carol is responsible for leading the organisation’s growth strategy, day-to-day operations in Canada, correspondence, and is instrumental in fundraising, finding donors and sponsors, marketing and raising awareness of DSDO.

After earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto, Carol worked for a large building firm in both the marketing and corporate finance departments. In 1991, she obtained her Bachelor of Education at York University and taught for the North York Board of Education.

Paulette Senior

The Canadian Women's Foundation - President & CEO

Paulette Senior has devoted her career to empowering women and girls to overcome barriers and reach their full potential. She faced her own set of barriers when she immigrated to Canada from Jamaica as a young girl – an experience that ignited her interest in justice and activism. Paulette began her career on the front lines of social service organizations in some of Toronto’s most economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods. “I realized that the roles could easily have been switched; that it could have been me living in those circumstances.” She saw first-hand the urgent need for social resources and systemic change to transform women’s lives. Through her work and advocacy with shelters, as well as employment and housing programs, she has earned numerous awards and become one of the most respected women leaders in Canada.

Sabrina Rubli

Femme International - Founder, Executive Director

Sabrina is a dedicated advocate for women's empowerment and health rights. As Co-Founder and Executive Director of Femme International, Sabrina is working to promote women's health through education across East Africa, with a specific focus on menstrual health & hygiene. Sabrina is a Blogger for the Huffington Post, a TedX Speaker and an expert in the field of menstrual health education.

Jacqueline Leung

Pressed - Founder and Editor-in-Chief

As the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Pressed, she’s on a mission to make the news easy to understand and follow, from a Canadian perspective. Pressed sends daily emails with the top 5 news stories written in real words - equipping you with everything you need to know to hold your own in conversations.
Jacqueline’s story is the perfect reminder that no matter what hurdles come our way, things will always work themselves out as long as you remain confident, resilient and, of course, willing to do the work.

Carolyn Lawrence

Deloitte - Inclusion Leader, Deloitte Global & Canada

Carolyn is a passionate and experienced corporate executive working to build inclusive cultures in business. After 3 years + leading Deloitte's Diversity & Inclusion Consulting practice in Canada, she is now Deloitte Global's first Inclusion Leader role, while maintaining her leadership position in the Canadian firm. Focused on designing an inclusion strategy, accelerating advancement of women and minority groups in leadership, and all that entails. Carolyn leverages the latest thinking in behavioural economics, diversity of thought, inclusive leadership, design thinking and combines that with building inclusive talent systems and processes right into the operations of an organization to make change work. She made this move after having spent 10 years leading a recognized Canadian company, Women of Influence and realizing, after inspiring women around the world, that the work to be done is not in the hands of women, but in evolving corporate culture. Carolyn speaks regularly on the topic of inclusion in the media and leads clients in Unconscious Bias training, Diversity of Thought methods and integrating inclusion across organizations and embedding it into talent strategies and practices.

Julia Deaver

Impact Summit - Co-Founder/Executive Director

Julia has 12+ years experience directing and producing high impact events that empower, inspire and connect. Including large-scale conferences with Jumping Turtle, LLC, The Women of Light Convention, and Hello Lovely Events. Former PR Non-Profit Director at IMNO.com. Julia partnered with UNICEF, Operation Underground Railroad, Crowdrise, and other charities for International Fundraising events. As a consultant, Julia increases sales, marketing, and media campaigns, directs social media promotions, enhances companies brand and image.

Samra Zafar

Brave Beginnings - Founder and Executive Director

After escaping a decade of abuse living as a child bride in a forced marriage in Canada, and sharing her story, Samra became a beacon of hope for many people facing exclusion, abuse, and gender-based violence. She now engages audiences around the world, speaking about collective resilience, authentic leadership, inclusive workplaces, youth, human rights, mental health and more. In 2017, Samra wrote an article about her personal experience with abuse for Toronto Life, which became the most-read article in Canada that year. In the same year, she delivered a TEDx talk on the topic, which was named an all-time top 10 talk on gender-based violence. Samra’s work has since been featured on CTV, CBC, Global News, Yahoo, Canadian Immigrant Magazine, and more, and she’s delivered talks for Yale University, Amnesty International, ME to WE, Women’s Business Network, and others. Her book, A Good Wife, published by Harper Collins Canada, is available and has been highlighted as a top read by The Washington Post. Samra graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master’s in Economics, earning herself the highest distinction and over a dozen awards and scholarships. Today, she is one of the youngest alumni serving as a Governor for the University of Toronto. Samra is also the founder of Brave Beginnings, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting abuse survivors in their journey to build a life of freedom. Her passion is to motivate and empower all people to believe in themselves – no matter their circumstances.

Diviya Lewis

Hard Feelings - Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Diviya has completed a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology, is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), and is a member in good standing with the OACCPP. In addition to her private practice, she supports a non-profit counselling organization in Bloordale that offers low-cost counselling solutions. She also volunteers at a free walk-in counselling centre in the east-end of Toronto. Diviya is passionate about wellness and provides corporate wellness workshops in organizations. As a former research associate and project manager within the market research industry, she has worked with a wide range of organizations, recognizing the importance of workplace wellness, employee engagement, and resilience in teams/companies. She sits on the Board of a Toronto-based non-profit, and enjoys connecting with a wide range of individuals, supporting growth in the community.

Dana Clark

Heroic Humans - Founder & CEO

Dana Clark and her initiative Heroic Humans does just that by appreciating and emphasizing the importance of vulnerability, bravery, and courage in relating to one another’s experience and recognizing that our similarities far outnumber our differences. You are worthy no matter who you are or what stage of life you are in.

Veronica Green

Elena's Club - Co-Founder

We empower through education. We're building a community. ELENA'S CLUB offers carefully curated courses to young professional women, so that they have the fundamental knowledge, and confidence, to join the conversation. We're teaching you the basics and giving you the background. In our classrooms, no question is a stupid question - we're here to learn. Professional development meets self development. In our classrooms, women will learn and network. After attending our courses, women will feel confident. This is the kind of confidence that is earned through listening to an engaging professional, having a conversation with someone new, and feeling accomplished. It starts with you.

Ashley Holden

Stole My Heart - Director & Co-Founder

Stole My Heart is about celebrating our bodies as they are and embracing different ways of being beautiful, sexy and feminine. So many of us are used to criticizing and comparing ourselves against other people’s standards of beauty — but that doesn’t mean we need to keep doing it. Ashley is inspired by women like Denise Bidot, Ashley Graham and Charli Howard, who are crusaders in the fashion landscape advocating for body diversity and self love. There is no one way to be beautiful and the sexiest people are the ones who’ve accepted their bodies and feel comfortable in their own skin. That’s easier said than done; it takes a lot of work and daily reminders to get to a place of love and self acceptance. Ashley's hope is that Stole My Heart can help with that journey a little bit. She wants women to walk into their shop and feel comfortable trying on any style that speaks to them. And, she wants them to go home with something that makes them feel amazing

Sandra Noe

The Federation of Muslim Women - President

Sandra Noe is a dedicated and compassionate community advocate, who engages with her community. Sandra has spent much of her 30-year career as a law clerk working in civil litigation, administrative and constitutional law. Sandra is involved in human rights initiatives such as access to justice, protecting the rights of women and children and people with disabilities, as well as addressing the issue of racial profiling and faith/creed-based discrimination. Sandra is also a community mediator, having received her education in Peace and Conflict Studies from Conrad Grebel College at the University of Waterloo. She has been involved in several community mediations, some involving the Children’s Aid Society. In addition to her work as a law clerk, Sandra currently sits as Chair of the Federation of Muslim Women and finds time to volunteer with Islamic History Month Canada, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and sharing the many contributions of Muslim Canada, past and present. In the past she has been a panelist with MIST, inter-faith youth day camp facilitator, speaker at interfaith conferences and project manager/focus group facilitator for an anti-racism, anti-violence video game. She was subject for several documentaries; one on women in Islam, as well as one on Sharia law in Canada.

Caleigh Rykiss

BodyLove Inc. - Founder & CEO

Caleigh Rykiss is a powerhouse. A writer, producer, competitive boxer, coach, trainer and now gym owner at BOLO Inc., she’s seeking to empower women by building a gym community where body love is celebrated – where you can spend the whole day at the gym (and not only get a killer workout but also linger after for a coffee with friends, get a blowout, and then head off to a date) all without having to schlep along a hundred bags.

Sarah Wells

The Believe Initiative - Keynote Speaker

The Believe initiative is a movement dedicated to driving success and confidence in youth by teaching the importance of being resilient and the power of believing in themselves. Founder Sarah Wells is an Olympic hurdler, so she is no stranger to obstacles. Every day she pours her heart into training, knowing there is no guarantee she will see the result she is after. Today’s youth are faced with similar problems in a fast-paced world that require them to walk the path of uncertainty and constantly be adapting. Many will encounter obstacles along their journey and some will consider giving up in a moment of adversity. By showing young people that even Olympic athletes make mistakes and fall down, the Believe Initiative will exemplify what will happen when you focus on the process, persevere past the obstacles and continue to believe in yourself and your goals!

Saadia Muzzafar

TechGirls Canada - Founder

Saadia Muzaffar is a tech entrepreneur, author, and passionate advocate of responsible innovation, decent work for everyone, and prosperity of immigrant talent in STEM. Muzaffar has been making both technologists and non-technologists think. She has helped foster opportunities for women, discussed the future of technology and delivered speeches on the relationship between labour laws and online platforms. In 2018, Muzaffar resigned from Google and Sidewalk Labs’ advisory panel involving “smart city” development due to her concerns over privacy and data collection. She continues to be vocal about accountable digital development and ongoing dealings between tech companies and communities.

Judy Feld Carr

Advocate - Retired

With courage, ingenuity, and determination, Judy Feld Carr rescued over 3,500 Jews from Syria. Feld Carr earned a BA in music education and an MA in musicology from the University of Toronto. In the 1960s, she and her first husband became active in aiding Jews in Syria, organizing a Syrian Jewish support community in Toronto, sending care packages of books and religious articles, and secretly communicating with Syrian Jewish leaders. In 1977, she was approached about bringing a sick rabbi from Aleppo to Toronto for treatment and realized that it was possible to bribe authorities to let Jews leave the repressive country. She began raising money and negotiating with Syrian officials on a case-by-case basis, since families were usually not allowed to leave together. She even resorted to smuggling, secretly bringing some Jews across the border to Turkey at great personal risk. In the early 1990s, Feld Carr took advantage of the brief window created by an American-brokered peace between Israel and Syria to help the bulk of the remaining Jewish community escape Syria. For her remarkable accomplishments, she was honored in 1995 by Prime Minister Yizhak Rabin and awarded the Order of Canada in 2001.

Maayan Ziv

Access Now - Founder, CEO

Maayan is an activist, photographer and entrepreneur. From youth, she challenged norms and worked to increase awareness of disability issues and improve accessibility. Living with Muscular Dystrophy, Maayan passionately advocates for creating a more accessible world. Founder of AccessNow, a mobile app that mobilizes communities by mapping the accessibility of places worldwide, she regularly speaks on topics such as disability, diversity and inclusion

Monica Chocron

Bnei Akiva Schools of Toronto - Math and Physics Teacher, and Head of the Science Department

am nominating this woman for having shared with me the following personal account of why she loves what she does:
"Teaching is my passion, and teaching Physics allows me to promote deeper levels of thinking and understanding of the Physical world in my students. Being able to combine Physics concepts, with Mathematical work, and hands on activities is what allows my students to get a complete understanding that goes beyond the curriculum. This is one of the many reasons why, for 9 consecutive years, I have encouraged all my students to participate in the Shalheveth Freier Competition organized by The Weizmann Institute. In this competition, each of the teams of grade 11 and 12 students, must build a safe that can only be unlocked using Physics Principles. Each team tries to break into the other team’s safes and must explain the Physics behind their own safe to the judges. The winner of the Canadian Semi-Final Competition gets to go to The Final Competition in Israel. I am proud to say that my students have won the Semi-Finals 6 times, and the last 3 have been in consecutive years with only girls’ teams. This makes me especially proud, as these girls have demonstrated superb ability not only in their knowledge of Physics, but in team work, leadership, creativity, hands-on building and putting materials together, perseverance, and problem solving. I am also very proud that many of these girls end up pursuing careers in the Physics’ field. The feeling of empowerment, success and achievement that my female students get when they take part in this competition, which is dominated by boys’ teams, is beyond words and accompanies them for the rest of their life."

Rosalynne Gelade

Forgotten Ones Cat Rescue - President and CEO

Rosalynne is an entrepreneur and lover of animals whose story is one of inspiration spanning decades with her compassion and dedication in rescuing cats under duress. She has served both as President and Chair of the Board of several rescue organizations such as Urban Cat Relief and Community Cats Toronto with her latest venture, Fostering Felines. She has undertaken to spay and neuter homeless cats and has worked tirelessly in collaborating with City of Toronto in implementing its first Trap Neuter Return program (TNR). She has conducted workshops on how to humanely trap cats and kittens. She is a leading expert and advisor in humane trapping and caring for homeless and owned cats. Within her consultancy practice, she advises on feline behavioral issues. Her passion in imparting and promoting humane education and in ensuring that cats and kittens are afforded the best possible chance of a healthy and happy life is remarkable. She has worked within a volunteer capacity on behalf of various humane societies and local shelters and has offered consultation to a number of rescue groups. She has been interviewed on radio and has been featured in various local publications.

Amanda Ross

Toronto Lawyers Feed the Hungry - Lawyer and Lead Volunteer of the Lawyers Feed the Hungry Program

Amanda Ross, a lawyer with the City of Toronto, has been volunteering with the Toronto Lawyers Feed The Hungry program since 2000 and serves as volunteer coordinator for the Tuesday and Wednesday dinners. "Being part of a Program whose goal is to serve our guests like family, with warmth and dignity, is a privilege and an honour, both as a lawyer and a member of the community." Her long standing commitment to Toronto's most vulnerable through her volunteer efforts is an inspiration to many within the legal profession.

Jennifer Ladouceur

Women Leadership Nation, A Pozentivity Inc. Company - President and Founder

Jennifer is a serial entrepreneur dedicated to helping organizations close the Gender and Innovation Gaps. Women Leadership Nation™ works in male dominated industries to close the Gender Gap by working with enterprises that attract, develop, engage and retain women leaders. She has been featured as a keynote speaker in TedxVaughanWomen sharing her personal story and speaking on the topic of Finding Your Authentic Self. Her personal story is truly an inspiration. She is a mom of seven, successful business woman, and cancer survivor.

Audrey Guth

Nanny Angel Network - President and Founder

Audrey is the Founder of the Nanny Angel Network. NAN is a registered charity whose Nanny Angels are not paid providers, but caring, trained, fully-insured volunteers who want to help others. For four hours a week, they volunteer their time so mothers can rest, go to appointments, or simply have a few hours for themselves. Moms know their kids are in safe, caring hands, which reduces stress and lets them focus on their own well-being. Audrey Guth is a mother of four, a breast cancer survivor, and the founder of Diamond Personnel, a nanny placement agency. After meeting other moms who were struggling to find childcare while they went to appointments and tried to get the rest they needed, she saw a big gap and decided to find a solution herself. The result is the Nanny Angel Network.

Ingrid Perry

Mackenzie Health Foundation - President and CEO at Mackenzie Health Foundation

Ingrid Perry is currently leading one of the most important 1.2 billion dollar capital campaigns taking place in Canada today. As President & CEO of the Mackenzie Health Foundation, Ingrid is helping to ensure the completion of Canada's newest hospital in Vaughan which is Ontario's fastest growing urban centre. The Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital is expected to be completed in late 2020 and will be operated by Mackenzie Health, which also operates Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital.

Jessica Orkin

Goldblatt Partners LLP - Lawyer

Jessica Orkin has a litigation practice which includes an emphasis on constitutional, human rights, Aboriginal rights and access to information law matters.Jessica appears at all levels of court, including the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada. She is also a frequent speaker at legal conferences and seminars. She has been named in Best Lawyers as a leading aboriginal law practitioner and is a champion in passionately advocating on behalf of the rights of her client's. Jessica received her law degree from the University of Toronto. She also holds an M.Phil. degree in Development Studies from the University of Oxford, and a bachelor of arts and sciences from McMaster University. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 2006, after clerking at the Federal Court of Appeal.

Lisa Myers

Lisa Myers - Curator

Lisa Myers is an independent curator and artist with a keen interest in interdisciplinary collaboration. Myers has a Master of Fine Arts in Criticism and Curatorial practice from OCAD University. Her recent work involves printmaking, stop-motion animation and performance. Since 2010 she has worked with anthocyanin pigment from blueberries in printmaking, and stop-motion animation. Her participatory performances involve sharing berries and other food items in social gatherings reflecting on the value found in place and displacement; straining and absorbing. She has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions in venues including Urban Shaman (Winnipeg), Art Gallery of Peterborough and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Her writing has been published in a number of exhibition publications in addition to the journal Senses and Society, C Magazine and FUSE Magazine. She is currently an Assistant Lecturer in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. Myers is a member of Beausoleil First Nation and she is based in Port Severn and Toronto, Ontario. Lisa Myers is also a musician and chef. These disciplines inform her various practices. She grew up in southern Ontario. Lisa's Mother's family is Anishnaabe and French from Shawanaga and Beausoleil First Nation in the Georgian Bay region, and her Dad is from English and Austrian ancestry who settled in southern Ontario. She plays guitar in Toronto based bands Long Branch and Adaptor 45.

Chloe Wilde

Bell Media - Entertainment Reporter for ETalk

Chloe Wilde is a Montreal native who took a leap of faith and left the McGill world of science to enter an exciting cross-country adventure; the MuchMusic VJ Search. Twenty VJ hopefuls, eight cities, and 4 weeks of sleepless nights later, the stars aligned and she was crowned the newest VJ.

Three short months later, E! Canada scooped her up and offered her the job of a lifetime. Since, she has covered the biggest TIFF red carpets, Toronto Fashion Week and interviewed many of the most talked about figures in Hollywood. Most recently she's added Etalk Reporter to her resume, joining the #1 entertainment show in Canada for their 15th season.

Jessica Zagari

L'Oréal Paris - Integrated Communications Manager

A public relations and social media manager specializing in e-PR and content development with over 9 years experience in the fashion & beauty industry.

Marley Baird

Marley Baird Media - CEO/Founder

Working with top dogs like Cristy Code Red, Alex Charfen, Rachel Pedersen, Stephen Larsen, and having worked events with Gary Vaynerchuck, Seth Godin, Randi Zuckerberg, and Robin Sharma – Marley leads her dream team specializing in their VIP Video Code methodology.

Experts in creating strategically viral content, getting videos to rank first on YouTube and Google and using cross-channel video marketing for maximum reach, Marley Baird Media brings next level video social selling to the marketplace.

Samantha Nutt

War Child Canada - Founder and President

Samantha Nutt is an award-winning humanitarian, bestselling author and acclaimed public speaker. A medical doctor and the founder of the renowned humanitarian organizations War Child Canada and War Child USA, Dr. Nutt has worked with children and their families at the front-line of many of the world’s major crises – from Iraq to Afghanistan, Somalia to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone to Darfur, Sudan. A leading authority on current affairs, war, international aid and foreign policy, Dr Nutt is one of the most intrepid and recognized voices in the humanitarian arena, and is a highly sought-after public speaker in North America. With a career that has spanned more than two decades and dozens of conflict zones, her international work has benefited millions of war-affected children globally.

Alexandra Rainville-Barzey

Alexandra Rainville-Barzey - Entrepreneur

Alexandra helps teach young people how to become their fittest and start their online biz with her.

Dee Boswell-Buck

Digital Marketing Specialist - Boswell-Buck Creative

Dee Boswell-Buck is an entrepreneur who understands the challenges of wearing all the hats when running a business. She has built a team who will help you take care of your social media growth with full expertise, while you focus on what you love to do. They are passionate about teaching small businesses how to be authentic and engaging in their online space for growth, impact and client attraction. Her team will help you choose the right platforms and create your content in your brand voice and manage your social media communities without the tech headaches and lack of time. She is a geek and loves to listen to podcasts in her car regarding marketing for small businesses and creative ways to use social media to grow your brand.

Summer Bellamy

Rodan + Fields - Level IV Executive Consultant

Summer Bellamy is a Self-Care Coach passionate about helping women realize the power of putting themselves first. Small changes in the right direction can have a profound effect on your relationship with yourself and others. When you prioritize your health and wellness everyone who relies on you wins!

As an Ambassador for Rodan + Fields, Summer teaches women how to take care of their skin in a simple and effective way. She believes that this small investment of time can lead to increased confidence which drastically improves one’s quality of life.

Sam Coyle

Sam Coyle Productions - Owner, Founder

Sam Coyle is a film director, writer, producer, known for choosing edgy projects. Sam continues to develop her vision to create unique stories that reflect strong female perspectives with a focus on challenging the norm and highlighting the weird and amazing of the underrepresented. Originally studying as an actress at the HB Studio in New York City, she accesses this training through deep exploration with the actors and finding complex human behaviour and relationships in the writing of her scripts. Sam founded ‘With Wolves Media’ with twin brother Nick Coyle. An independent media collective comprised of innovative, local artists. Born from a desire to push the typical boundaries of creative content.

Andrea Grant-Jones

RBC Insurance - Sales Effectiveness Advisor

Andrea Grant-Jones struggled with fitting in the corporate culture; feeling that she would never be enough and underestimating her true potential. Her days were filled with comparing herself to others from the minute she walked into the office until the minute she left. One day a light bulb moment came and she realized that being her best self was enough. She spent countless hours on professional development, networking and self-study. All her talents were now out for the world to see and she felt great! After realizing the perfect formula for success, she started sharing it with other women, and this is how the movement started.

Andrea Grant-Jones is a certified coach, speaker, consultant and her life has been dedicated to helping women, young girls and millennials lead authentically in and outside of the workplace. She offers a road-map though her “Peak Performance Now” coaching program, 1-on-1 sessions, and workshops. Her clients leave empowered, ready to harness their innate talents, passions and purpose, and strive to reach their leadership goals. When she isn’t coaching, speaking, and working with clients from millennials to middle aged women, she volunteers in her local community, participating in many local charities, leading youth choirs, enjoying cooking up a storm and squeezing in time for kick boxing.

Dr. Deone Curling

Women Health in Women's Hands - Therapist

Deone Curling is a mental health therapist at Women’s Health in Women’s Hands (WHIWH) Community Health Centre in Toronto that provides primary healthcare to racialized women in Toronto since 1998. She holds a Doctorate degree in Counseling Psychology and works from an inclusive feminist, pro- choice, anti-racist, anti-oppression, and intersectional framework in addressing the issues of gender, gender identity, race, class, violence, sexual orientation, religion, culture, immigration status and socio-economic circumstances. A mentor to numerous mental health practitioners, she continues to serve the community and guide the next generations of anti-oppressive therapists.

Luma Awad Qusus

Luma Awad Qusus - Founder and Designer

Raised amongst the distinctive Roman, Greek and Arabic heritages, Luma Qusus Awad brings the best of those worlds in her unique handmade pieces of Inamullumani Jewelry. This Jordanian- Canadian artist is a true lover of fine art in all its forms. Luma discovered her passion for jewelry design while living in Greece. A talented mother of three, Luma is inspired by the outstanding colors of the Mediterranean, the magic of the Jordanian deserts, the rich history of Europe and the beautiful souls she has met through her travels. Her unique collections and pieces are in high demand internationally by clients who recognize her exclusive and timeless taste. Luma combines precious metals, gemstones and mixed media to create pieces that echo stories of heritage in a new flare that guarantees a fashion statement. Luma’s collections have been showcased at international exhibitions, from Paris UNESCO Head Quarters to Athens, Dubai and Amman Design Week. A passionate humanitarian, Luma was one of the first artisans in Jordan to create a collection in support of cancer patients. Her current project helps bring awareness to the refugee crisis, and Luma continually looks for way to help inspire change by empowering women through income-generating projects. Welcome to the world of inamullumani.

Sandra M. Riano

Young Women in Business Toronto - President

Sandra M. Riano is a top performing leader that crafts and implements successful programs that grow businesses, strengthen brands, attract clients, and increases revenue. Her high-energy, creative, insightful and passionate self helps her lead marketing and communication teams for small to Fortune 500 organizations. She excels at helping them supercharge their marketing efforts. Her strong leadership style, strategic abilities and extensive marketing and communications experiences allow her to conceptualize results-focused strategies that connect with the hearts and minds of diverse audiences.

Aisha Addo

Power To Girls Foundation - Founder/Mentor

Aisha Addo thrives on working to make the world a better place for women. Although a graduate in Business Administration Accounting, her true passion and dedication lie in ensuring girls around the world are provided with the guidance and resources that help them identify their true purpose and calling to reach their full potential. Aisha founded Power To Girls Foundation, a non-profit organization to offer young girls the mentors and role models that were absent during my own youth. As a facilitator and director of Power To Girls, she used her personal experiences and knowledge to create safe and engaging spaces for the girls she works with. DriveHER, the ride-sharing service for women by women, is her latest initiative and next step in her journey to continue to empower and protect women.

Emily Rowsell

Parmalat Canada - HR & Communications Coordinator

As a Community Development and Policy Studies graduate with a minor in Communications, a passion for all things creative, a desire for quality engagement with those Emily works with, and a lover of constant improvement – her work in communications and the creative industries since 2012 has been a blast and she is so excited for every new development in content creation opportunities! Every day presents itself with new opportunities and she wants to work with you to accomplish your dreams.

Emily Rowsell currently runs her own free-lance content creation company photographing weddings, group functions and portraits, as well producing print advertising material, written copy and website design! She has a passion for all things creative and worldly, and a strong work ethic that has led her to complete various certificates, get involved in several academic and philanthropic societies, and succeed in academia and various employment endeavors!

Rachel Wong

Monday Girl - Co-Founder

Rachel is an entrepreneurial business development and marketing leader with a strong track record building partnerships at Uber, TopHat and BellMedia. She has experience launching and developing tier-one partnerships for Monday Girl, a local women's empowerment initiative that has scaled to over 1500+ women, as well as a makeup business. She is a life long advocate for young professional women in business.

Rachel Co-founded Monday Girl to help create a community focused on building up other women and celebrating their accomplishments. A strong network that understands the value of female empowerment and hustle.

Lisa Dinh

Lisa Dinh Hair Studio - Hairstylist, Owner and Founder

Lisa Dinh was born and raised in Toronto and currently lives in Mississauga. She’s always had an interest in the beauty industry. At the age of 18, she decided to enroll herself into a hairstyling program & graduated at the Aveda Institute of Toronto. Lisa has been doing hair now for 10 years, since July 2009! It's always been her dream to open her own salon. She made a goal for herself to open a salon before the age of 27 and has worked very hard to build her own brand to be where she is today. Lisa is happy to say that she finally did it! Through all of this, the biggest lesson she’s learned was to always stay true to yourself. Believe in yourself & in your goals & never give up on your dreams. No matter who doubts you or brings you down. You will always have the support if you are genuine & if you stay true to who you are.

Amanda Tyler

Wolfe Co. - Founder + Creative Director

Amanda Tyler is experienced and creative and has demonstrated a history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. She is a strong branding and digital marketing professional skilled in social media, channel management, creative direction and Partner Relationship Management. Amanda has an extensive background in marketing (about 10 years now) and has always been a quick, creative kid who couldn’t seem to follow the rules. She wanted to create her own path. Amanda always knew she wanted to create something great, help like-minded women; she just didn’t know it would be this.

Amanda is the founder of Wolfe Co. which is an online platform, community and academy teaching female entrepreneurs how to build and market their brands. A key component to WOLFE CO. is sharing the inspiring stories of other entrepreneurs who are doing the same thing.

Sarah Rutka

Hustle & Sparkle Lifestyle Design Inc. - Founder

Sarah is a business coach who partners with female entrepreneurs who have the desire to take their life and business to the next level. She collaborates with Boss Ladies to create clarity and focus necessary to reach their business goals. Recently launched, Hustle and Sparkle Lifestyle Design Inc., Sarah shares her tips and inspiration on the blog, leads Mastermind groups, hosts workshops and connects entrepreneurs into a collaborative and powerful community.

Sarah is also healthy living coach passionate for helping others change their life by focusing on small healthy living choices. She focuses on clean eating, supplementation, weight loss and healthy routines. Sarah also created the L.E.A.N. Girls Movement - a holistic program that incorporates whole foods, exercise, Usana's nutritionals and healthy habits into an easy-to-follow, real-food weight loss program. One of Sarah's biggest passions is to help low income families through her charity, Holiday Helpers Canada. Holiday Helpers is a registered charity whose mission is to help low income families with a customized Christmas package. Sarah and her sister, April, started the charity in 1996 by helping one family in their home town of Brampton. Through dedication to the cause and generosity of volunteers and donors, Holiday Helpers helped over 380 families in 2014. Holiday Helpers has been recognized in the Toronto Star, Globe & Mail and Global TV, CBC and many other publications.

Erin Kleinberg

Métier Creative - Co Founder

Exploring the closets of a few hundred (give or take) of today’s tastemakers teaches you a thing or two about what women want to wear. While on set as co-founder of The Coveteur, Erin Kleinberg would continually notice one thing: not the piles of shoes and handbags they’d set aside to be shot, but the pieces they reached for after they wrapped.

As CEO and Designer of her own eponymous line, Erin Kleinberg continues to change the landscape of how today’s tastemakers get dressed. Erin’s collection is a tightly-curated edit of everything she loves: the ease of classic Californian cuts and silhouettes, as informed by the sensibilities of downtown Manhattan.

Designed, produced and manufactured in Toronto, Erin re-launched her line as inspired by her personal quest for the perfect range of elevated, everyday pieces. Erin’s first collection was sold in over 80 stores worldwide and debuted at retailers ranging from Saks Fifth Avenue, Lane Crawford, Neiman Marcus, Holt Renfrew and Harvey Nichols, with Barneys New York being the exclusive vendor to pick up her first season. Her namesake collection quickly gained popularity with Lena Dunham, Jared Leto, Shay Mitchell, Drew Barrymore and more.

Jodi Kovitz

#MOVETHEDIAL - Founder + CEO

Jodi Kovitz is the founder and CEO of #movethedial, a global movement that she launched in January 2017 and is dedicated to advancing the participation and advancement of all women in tech. Leveraging Jodi’s leadership, wealth of experience, pioneering spirit, and passion for advancing the full talent pool in the new economy, #movethedial has attracted more than 85 champions and advisors from throughout North America who are leading the way in the technology industry; has engaged more than 10,000 people through the power of storytelling; and is driving substantive, measurable change.

Arjun Channa

The Westin Calgary - General Manager

Arjun Channa it the General Manager of Westin, Calgary. He is passionate about empowering women in business, provide them with a voice and create opportunities for them to have access to senior leadership roles. Arjun along with his team have launched a Global Pilot program to Advance women in Leadership for Marriott International. Arjun brings his extensive background in hotel operations, strong inter-personal skills as a servant leader with uncompromising character of excellence in service and a record of delivering superior performance in all aspects of the hotel operations. Arjun openly shares his knowledge over 25 Years Global experience spanning: Two hotel openings, in Algeria and United Arab Emirates combined with European, African, Far Eastern, Pacific, Caribbean (Task Force GM) & North American experiences; and one hotel conversion in South Asia. Arjun is a role models in his community, workplace and network as a champion for women and deserving this award.

Eira Thomas

Lucara Diamond Corporation - CEO

Eira Thomas was appointed as the new CEO of Lucara Diamond Corp. Thomas brings more than 25 years’ experience in the mining industry to Lucara, including 16 years with Aber Diamond Corporation (now Dominion Diamond), where she played an integral role as a geologist at its initial discovery and ultimately became Director of the Board.
She was co-founder of Stornoway Diamond Corp., serving as CEO and then as Executive Chairman, leading the acquisition of the Renard diamond deposit. In 2007, she founded Lucara with Lukas Lundin and Catherine McLeod Seltzer. Eira Thomas most recently served as CEO of Kaminak Gold Corporation, which was acquired by Goldcorp in 2016 for $520 million. She is also a director of Suncor Energy. We caught up with her in Antwerp to talk about her new role as CEO of Lucara, and about Lucara’s acquisition of Clara Diamond Solutions, a digital sales platform for rough stones that promises to transform the way rough diamonds are transacted.

Di Zhang

ISA Professional - Company President

Di is an inspiration to all women because of her work ethic alone. She started ISA Professional from the ground up and has since then dedicated herself to growing the business in a way that focuses on not just her own benefit but those who work with her as well. It's thanks to her drive that ISA Professional has thrived so far and will continue to be successful for years to come.

Lisa Lisson

FedEx Express - President at FedEx Express Canada

Lisa Lisson is a trailblazer, best selling author and known for being the first female and first Canadian President of FedEx Express Canada. She leads a team of 6,000 employees coast-to-coast specializing in international and domestic courier solutions. In her spare time, Lisa shares her personal story to help inspire others to find fulfillment embracing a career and family.

Anaida Deti

DentalX - Ceo

Anaida immigrated to Canada from Albania 16 years ago with her husband. They had only a few hundred dollars with them and a big dream of building something theirs but not much else. She spoke no English and her school meant nothing here so she had to start everything from scratch. She worked seven days a week while going to school full time. After a few years of finishing school and getting her licence as a registered dental hygienist, she founded DentalX in 2013. DentalX started with only her, booking appointments in her car and seeing patients in the late afternoons or Sundays after she worked all day for other dental offices. Now she has about 12 staff members and an award winning dental office.
She founded Mission Kind (Kids In Need of Dentalcare), to help children aged 6-16 obtain much needed dental work at no charge. She is a coveted speaker at dental conventions and seminars. Her passion and dental expertise has garnered her media coverage on Rogers Daytime Television, Sirius XM Radio’s What She Said, GlobalTV, CTV, CP24, CTV NewsChannel, Newstalk1010 and more. She has been featured in the Toronto Sun, Toronto Star, Elevate Magazine, Parents Magazine, Focus Magazine and more. She is the dental blogger for Huffington Post, Thrive Global and Inside Toronto. Her blogs are usually featured on Oral Health Group website.
She loves to help the community. Every December our office offers free dental/dental hygiene services to people in need. In December 2017, we offered free services to 30 people from the Red Door Family Shelter. And not only that, we had a whole day planned for them, with lunch, a magic show, Santa made an appearance and gave the kids Christmas gifts and much more. This story was featured on Global News and Yahoo Canada to name a few. This December, we offered free services to teenager moms that cannot afford dental services. We had a whole day planned for them and their kids. She always comes up with great ideas to help the community and educate them on oral and dental health.

Rachel Mielke

Hillberg & Berk Accessories - CEO and Founder

Founder and CEO, Rachel Mielke began making jewellery at her kitchen table. Needing a name for her business, she looked to the strength, resilience and determination of her beloved grandmother Hilda Bergman and loyal, lovable pooch, Berkley. Rachel, is a Saskatchewan-born entrepreneur and mother of 3. Since starting Hillberg & Berk in 2007, Rachel's ambition has created opportunities for Hillberg & Berk with the Oscars, Dragon's Den, the Olympics and even with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Through perseverance, grit and optimism, Rachel has grown the company across Canada and her sparkling character has set the tone for the unique Hillberg & Berk culture. Through business, Hillberg & Berk helps women find their confidence and flourish, from the inside-out.

Teara Fraser

Raven Institute & Iskwew Air - CEO

Teara launched her aviation career as a commercial pilot. Becoming a pilot was transformational, truly giving this young Indigenous woman wings – she loves to see others fall in love with flight. A natural entrepreneur she built an aerial survey operation from the ground up and established the Aviation Leadership Foundation. As the visionary of the Raven Institute, she sees connected hearts, minds, and hands in a united and thriving nation. Rooted in Indigenous ways of knowing and being, Raven is contributing to the development of humans, organizational systems, and community.
Teara is the first Indigenous woman to launch an airline in Canada. Iskwew Air is connecting people with each other and to the land. Iskwew is a Cree word for woman, and Iskwew Air is for EVERYONE. The name was chosen to celebrate all women, and all those lifting women; an act of reclamation of womanhood, matriarchal leadership, and language.

Theresa Redburn

Imperial Oil - Senior Vice-President, Commercial and Corporate Development

Ms. Redburn has worked for Imperial for over 30 years in a range of positions within the downstream, corporate and upstream segments of the business. Within the downstream, Ms. Redburn had various assignments, including refining operations and projects, and marketing roles in lubricants and specialties and retail. Ms. Redburn worked as the risk management manager in 1994 and moved into the role of Canada heating fuel manager a few years later. Ms. Redburn then moved into the corporate group in 2000, assuming management roles in corporate planning and public affairs. This was followed by a move into the upstream area of the business where she became the manager of gas, power and NGL marketing. In 2009, Ms. Redburn undertook global assignments with Exxon Mobil Corporation in Houston, as manager business analysis in gas marketing and then as the commercial manager in upstream ventures, both covering ExxonMobil’s global business interests. Ms. Redburn returned to Canada in 2014 and was appointed vice-president upstream commercial at Imperial. Ms. Redburn is Canadian and holds a bachelor of science degree from Queen’s University in Chemical Engineering.

Dawn de Lima

TransAlta Corporation - Chief Business and Operational Services

Dawn de Lima is responsible for leading Business and Operational Services, as well as Information Technology, Corporate Communications, Supply Chain Management, Corporate Security and Building Administration. She directs the design and successful implementation of standards across the organization, is focused on the execution of a long-term plan that ensures the agility to serve large-scale industrial and utility customers, ensures we maintain strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders, safeguards the company’s reputation and ensures that both our cyber and corporate security practices are best-in-class. Since joining TransAlta in 2006, Dawn has served in a number of leadership positions including Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Human Resources and Communications Officer, Vice-President of Supply Chain and Vice-President of Human Resources. Prior to joining TransAlta, Dawn spent nearly two decades as a business leader in human resources and communications, holding senior positions in Bell Canada and Norigen Communications. Currently, she sits as the Chair of the Board for Junior Achievement Canada and Chair of SheInnovatesAB.

Ildi Arlette

Results Continuum - ildi@resultscontinuum.com

ldi Arlette created RCI in 1994 as a premier consulting, training and HR company. Since 2004 Ildi has specialized in consulting with Canada’s top dermatology, plastic surgery, spas, retail, cosmetic, medical and dental clinics to increase their business results by catalyzing patient service and levels of employee engagement. Ildi has developed a proven step by step approach to shift a clinic’s culture, processes and marketing initiatives to achieve the three pillars of a successful aesthetic business: acquire new patients, build strong teams and retain patients. Included in this approach are strong a focus on leadership and team development, marketing, process improvement, systems implementation and technology enhancement. Through her expertise these initiatives will increase profitability, improve employee productivity and enhance the overall patient experience.
Ildi is an award-winning business leader including Top 40 Under 40 and multiple nominations for the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Awards. Ildi was recently nominated for the 2019 Alberta Women Entrepreneurs Award (A.W.E.). Ildi is an active member in Women Presidents’ Organization and the founder of a 2-day national leadership and business conference.

Joelle Foster

University of Calgary - Executive Director, Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking

Joelle Foster has established more than 50 strong community partnerships in the Prairies and the North, resulting in a culture of reciprocal relationships built on a network of champions. Foster’s placement at the University of Calgary will help build even stronger ties across Western Canada for entrepreneurial initiatives and activities, especially for young people as they build their careers and launch new, innovative ventures. Since 2011, 310 businesses in Manitoba alone have been financed and mentored, establishing Futurpreneur as the go-to place for entrepreneurship in Manitoba.

Dilesha Stelmach

Oui STEM Academy - Founder/CEO

She is incredible. Dilesha leads STEM revolutionary change. Through Oui STEM Academy conducts/facilitates STEM programs to promote equitable education.

Sharilyn Amy

Oceano Patagonia - Co-owner

Sharilyn Amy launched a humanitarian career in 1996 with the Canadian Red Cross. Working first in Southern Alberta, her career quickly expanded: a year later she began managing communications for Western Canada, and then not long after launched an international career in disaster response communications. Her international missions saw her work in the slums of Bangladesh, the flooded regions of China and Geneva, Switzerland to manage communications operations more globally. This time in humanitarian relief work forever changed her views on our personal social responsibility. Returning to Canada to raise her family, Sharilyn then worked nationally to help expand a child abuse prevention and anti-bullying program. She then established Go-To Group, a consultancy that focused on social enterprise development, research, strategic planning, thought leadership and facilitation in the non-profit and non-government sectors. She returned to school to complete her MBA in 2008, and from this experience expanded her client base and the number of other consultants employed in Go-To Group projects. Her goal was always to improve service delivery to the most vulnerable of our society in a way that supported their human dignity and challenged the ‘status quo’ of current assumptions in the sector. After 12 years of making an impact in the Calgary and Canadian NGO landscape, Sharilyn transitioned with her two children to Argentina. There she supported the establishment of a community economic development tourism project benefiting subsistence goat farming families in the Andes Mountains. Not long after, she developed and now runs an award-winning eco-hotel in the heart of Peninsula Valdés, a UNESCO World Heritage site and wildlife reserve. This boutique hotel, Océano Patagonia, was built with investments in the latest technology available to reduce its environmental footprint, and always with an eye to social sourcing that supports the economic development of small family business and local communities. Currently, in addition to commercializing the hotel, Sharilyn provides consulting and coaching support to women-led small business, from start up to business optimization.

Desiree Bombenon

SureCall - President, CEO & Chief Disruption Officer

Desiree has been an inspiration to me, personally and to so many other people over the years. She approaches culture and equality both in our workplace and beyond with a level of passion and enthusiasm that is absolutely contagious! Having won consecutive awards for over 25 years in everything from leadership to employee engagement and service excellence it is evident that her attitude garners results. She was named in the top 100 most powerful women in Canada 2016 & 2017 and won the Calgary Business Leaders award in 2018. Our company SureCall has doubled in size and revenue from 2017 – 2018 and is a recognized champion of culture and diversity. As a woman entrepreneur, she has served on several boards including being the first and still only female Canadian Regional Chair for Young Presidents Organization, a worldwide organization of CEO’s and Presidents. She is improving lives of women everywhere with her program - Hero Girls, which is a project she designed while at Harvard to foster gender equality and education for females in under-served communities. Hero Girls officially launched through HER International with its first group, on Oct 11th 2018 the day of the Girl.

Mike Giannoumis

Paysafe - SVP, IT

I am nominating Mike Giannoumis as a Power Partner as he is a true example of a SupportHER and someone who believes in Diversity and Inclusion and shows this on a daily basis with his support of the women leaders inside our business. Mike is always someone who is lifting those up around him, he goes above and beyond with every initiative he gets involved in (and that's most of them). From participating and leading several fundraising initiatives inside of Paysafe to paying for all the women in his business unit to attend Women in Technology conferences. Mike is an advocate for women in the tech space, he ensures they get a seat at the table and helps them find their voice. Mike has the biggest heart of anyone I know, he will drop everything to make time for you if you need advice, support, or just an ear to listen. Paysafe is lucky to have a leader like Mike within our organization, he is the perfect example of someone who believes in the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes and represents these beliefs daily.

Dana Tessier

Shopify - Director of Knowledge Management

Anyone who knows Dana would easily understand why she is being nominated as a Women of Inspiration. I had the pleasure of growing up professionally along side her and watching her as one of the youngest leaders in our organization, juggle a full time position as Manager of Knowledge Management and then Director of Operations while attending McGill and successfully graduating from their Library and Information Studies program. She changed the way our company managed information and content by implementing KM best practices, often going against the grain and needing to forge her own path, something she's continued to do as the Director of Knowledge Management at Shopify. She is an amazing thought leader, role model and human.

Diane Swiaztek

Banbury Crossroads School - Founder

Diane founded Banbury Crossroads private school. She has a big belief in education and inspires people of all ages from preschool to adulthood.
She started with a vision and has never swayed from that vision and encourages and inspires everyone she meets.

Lara Murphy

Ryan Murphy Construction Inc. - Co-founder

Lara Murphy is the co-founder of Ryan Murphy Construction Inc. in Calgary, Alberta. Lara’s first job in Calgary was with a development company as a project manager. Once she had networked enough trades into her database, she decided to branch out on her own and take on some renovation projects. It was on a retail construction project in Banff that Lara met her future business partner Karen Ryan, with whom she co-founded Ryan Murphy Construction Inc. in 2008. Throughout her university career in the Maritimes, Lara owned a painting business that expanded to maintenance and renovations for homes and yachts. She found herself more of an entrepreneur than a student of history and political science. During and after university, Lara was a competitive soccer player, and she travelled around Europe for a few years before settling back in Canada as a business owner.
Upon returning to New Brunswick, Lara started to buy and renovate old homes and apartments. Having just graduated university, she didn’t have much money to pay contractors and trades to come in and do the work, so she made it her mandate to learn how to do it herself. She did well and people noticed. Her first project became her showpiece and those who visited asked her to take on projects in their own spaces. Her business grew until she moved west in 2005. Each year the business has been operating, its growth has doubled, and Ryan Murphy Construction Inc. is on target to do the same this year. Lara and Karen have purchased a new office space in Calgary’s Inglewood neighbourhood.

Arlene Strom

Suncor Energy - Vice President Sustainability & Communications

Arlene Strom is senior vice president and general counsel of Suncor Energy Inc. In this role, Arlene is responsible for all legal matters across the company and works closely with Suncor’s Board of Directors on matters of corporate governance. Since joining Suncor in the corporate legal group in September 2003, Arlene has held a number of leadership positions within the company. Arlene most recently served as the vice president of Sustainability & Communications. In that role, Arlene was responsible for stakeholder and aboriginal relations, community investment, communications and sustainability, including the management of the Suncor Energy Foundation. Prior to joining Suncor she practiced corporate and securities law in Calgary.
Arlene is a member of the board of directors of the Suncor Energy Foundation, the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation and the Alberta Lieutenant Governor’s Arts Awards Foundation. She is also a member of the University of Calgary Management Advisory Council for the Haskayne School of Business.

Alice Mateyko

Homes By Avi - President, Homes by Avi, Alberta (Single Family Division) and Avi Homes, Texas

With diplomas in Mechanical and Production Engineering, Alice began her career in the oil and gas sectors. She started with Homes by Avi in 1995 in sales management, and having gained invaluable experience in the areas of sales, marketing, land acquisition, banking, and government relations, was appointed President of the company’s single family operations in Calgary and Edmonton in 2012. Throughout her career Alice has received numerous honours and awards, including Marketing Person of the Year for Calgary and Sales Associate of the Year at the national SAM Awards. Under her guidance, Homes by Avi was named provincial Builder of the Year for 2013, as well as Edmonton Builder of the Year for 2014. Alice is recognized as a leader in the industry, and has developed a reputation of being driven and solutions-oriented. She possesses a true passion for leadership and a desire to be a positive force in the homebuilding community.

Peggy Perry

Willow Park Wines - Vice President Purchasing & Marketing

Peggy Perry is the Vice President of Marketing & Purchasing for Willow Park Wines & Spirits and has been the company’s principal wine buyer since the store opening in 1994. A native of Prince Edward Island, Perry received her formal education - degrees in both business and education – at the University of PEI, but her palate was honed in France. She first discovered her love of wine while studying French at the University of Strasbourg, and later while working in Bordeaux for negotiant Peter Sichel among others. She brings her incredible international wine knowledge and buying skills to the Willow Park Wines & Spirits team, along with her innate love of teaching. It’s this educational focus which has helped to grow Willow Park’s business – thanks to Perry there are as many as ten weekly tasting and educational events, drawing 500 customers through the doors every week.
Perry has developed and hosted five educational television series on wine, beer and spirits, which run on networks across Canada and the U.S. Presently she is the wine writer for Flavours Magazine

Dr. Gina Cherkowski

STEM Learning Lab Inc. - Founder and CEO

Dr. Cherkowski is an educational game changer on a mission to ensure all students have access to high quality STEM learning experiences so they are aptly prepared for our technology-driven, dynamic world. Dr. Cherkowski holds a PhD in Mathematics Education as well as in Culture Studies in Education. She has extensive experience in teaching and learning as a remediation specialist, a classroom teacher, and as a university professor for both undergraduate and graduate courses in education both in Canada and internationally. Gina believes that play, exploration and meaning are critical factors for learning for all students. Gina strongly advocates that all students require and deserve opportunities to participate in high-level, hands-on, engaging and meaningful learning experiences so they are able to meet the demands of the 21st Century. Gina and her team believe that STEM Education combined with Arts and Entrepreneurialism provide pivotal learning opportunities that equip children with the skills, tools and mindsets they need for the 21st Century.
Dr. Cherkowski understands that math is a gatekeeper for many students. As a social justice math educator and learning activist, Gina believes that all kids can and should be proficient in math as well as the other STEM fields and fights to make this a reality. Her current research explores teaching math conceptually using spatial temporal reasoning to facilitate a deep understanding of mathematics for diverse learners. Another area of interest is the development of visual spatial skills through interaction in highly engaging, hands-on STEM and STEAM projects like coding, robotics and Maker Education.

Shelley Vandenberg

First Calgary Financial & Legacy Financial - President

As the President of First Calgary Financial & Legacy Financial, Shelley Vandenberg leads a team of more than 350 employees dedicated to making financial lives better for members. She provides strategic leadership to the major lines of business: retail banking, commercial & real estate banking, business banking, wealth management, and indirect lending. Her career in financial services has spanned 25-years and she has held a variety of progressive, senior level roles, and holds a Masters of Business Administration (University of Fredericton).
Shelley has a reputation of contributing to business success through strategic alignment and relationship development. Her proven experience in logical, efficient problem solving, and the development of high caliber, enthusiastic teams, makes her an energetic and dynamic member of Connect First Credit Union’s Executive team.

Lesley Rigg

University of Calgary - Dean, Faculty of Science

Lesley Rigg is an internationally recognized scholar with 20 years of experience in postsecondary education. Before coming to the University of Calgary, she was vice-president for research and innovation partnerships at Northern Illinois University (NIU). She was also the president of the Northern Illinois Research Foundation, which works to advance the educational research, public service and economic development mission of NIU.

Royce Chwin

Alberta Tourism - Chief Executive Officer

Royce Chwin is the CEO of Travel Alberta, an award-winning provincial crown corporation mandated to market Alberta as a premier tourist destination. Royce leads a team responsible for Alberta’s regional, national and international tourism marketing, as well as Alberta-focussed tourism industry development. Prior to joining Travel Alberta, Royce was the Executive Director, Global Brand Integration at the Canadian Tourism Commission. There, he was instrumental in bringing the Canada brand to life for millions of viewers in support of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. Royce brings over 20 years’ leadership experience in the retail and hospitality industries. He successfully led and executed business strategy and operations for organizations including Starbucks, Blockbuster Video, Boston Pizza International and a retail start-up. A graduate of the Queens University Executive Program and CommunityShift, a C-level leadership development program founded by KPMG Enterprise and Ivey Business School, Royce also volunteers as a member of the Edmonton International Airport Business Advisory Committee, the Calgary International Airport Business Development Advisory Council, and the Hospitality and Tourism Management Advisory Committees at both the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Olds College.

Tim Onyette

Deloitte LLP - Senior Manager, Business Development

Account Executive focused on serving major clients in Energy and Airline Industry , representing all Deloitte professional services and solutions- consulting, strategy, process, information technology, human capital, finance, supply chain, operations excellence, major capital project, risk management, security, financial advisory, M&A, accounting, SAP, Oracle, Workday, Salesforce, Adobe, AWS, OpenText, Microsoft, SAS. Helping clients with their digital transformation enabled by analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain and robot process automation.

Janet Annesley

Husky Energy - Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs at Husky Energy

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Annesley is responsible for the development of Husky's strategies and engagement approach with internal and external business stakeholders on sensitive or high profile issues having potential for significant strategic business and reputation impact.
Ms. Annesley joined Husky as Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs in 2017. She is also responsible for developing relationships and communicating corporate initiatives to investors, governments, Indigenous communities, stakeholders, and employees in a transparent and effective manner.
Prior to joining Husky, Ms. Annesley was Chief of Staff to Canada's Minister of Natural Resources in Ottawa. From 1999 to 2009 she worked at Shell in a variety of Corporate, Downstream and Oil Sands communications, stakeholder engagement and government relations roles. She also served as Vice President of Communications at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which represents Canada's upstream oil and gas industry.

Beth Wilson

Dentons Canada LLP - Canada Chief Executive Officer

As Dentons' Canada Chief Executive Officer and a member of the global leadership team, serving on the Global Board and Global Management Committee, Beth is leading the Firm in Canada through an aggressive and targeted focus on exceeding our clients' expectations of value and results, and commitment to an inclusive culture that empowers diverse teams and supports an entrepreneurial spirit and performance based culture. A respected senior strategic business leader, Beth is focused on ensuring that Dentons continues to be a workplace of choice for leading talent in Canada and around the world.
Prior to assuming her role as the Firm’s Canada CEO, Beth served as Managing Partner at KPMG in the Greater Toronto Area, where she led the largest business unit in Canada. Beth served as a member of KPMG's Management Committee in various leadership positions, including Canadian Managing Partner Community Leadership, Canadian Managing Partner Regions and Enterprise with responsibility for 24 regional offices across Canada, and Chief Human Resources Officer. She also held various global leadership roles. Beth is widely known and respected in the Canadian business community and is an accomplished and dedicated community leader. She exemplifies this through her board and community involvement, and her advancement of women in business, and has been recognized by leading organizations such as YWCA Toronto, Canadian Women of Influence and WXN.

Lesley MacDonald

Women of Vision - Founder

Lesley MacDonald is the founder, producer and host of the Global Woman of Vision Television program, a 24-year national award-winning series that celebrates the accomplishments of inspirational women in the Edmonton area. She also writes a blog for Avenue Edmonton Magazine.
Lesley has a strong entrepreneurial spirit. She founded New ViewPoint Communications Ltd. in 1995 to manage a wide range of television, communications and business ventures. She has hosted three national television series, produced and hosted corporate videos, provided media coaching and business consulting services to business and government organizations, and for many years, was the female voice of the national specialty television network, Family Channel. She is also a public speaker as well as a host, moderator and emcee for many local and national programs and events.
Lesley is a recipient of two Paul Harris Fellowships, an Honourary Rotary Integrity Award, a Womanition Superlative Media Award and the Woman of Style award for excellence in the media, She is Chair of the Woman of Vision Advisory Board, a board member of the Downtown Rotary Club, an advisor to the Immigrant Access Fund, and has served on the Board of Governors of MacEwan University and on the United Way Cabinet.

Robert Schulz

Haskayne School of Business - PhD, Professor, Strategic Management Academic Director, Petroleum Land Management

Bob Schulz is a professor in the Strategy and Global Management (SGMA) and Business and Environment (BSEN) areas and is currently the academic director for the Petroleum Land Management concentration. He has been teaching at the Haskayne School of Business since 1973. He received his BA (mathematics) from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., BSc in mechanical-industrial from University of Notre Dame, MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, and PhD in business administration from The Ohio State University. Bob has won 21 outstanding teaching and student service awards and has been named to 7 Who’s Who publications. Bob has coached undergraduate student intercollegiate competition teams to 73 national championships and ranked #1 or #2 overall for 31 consecutive years, won 2 world-level undergraduate titles, and won 3 world-level MBA championships.

Roy Klassen

www.mcleod-law.com - Partner and Honorary Consul for France

Roy is a partner and head of the Wills, Trusts & Estates group. With over 25 years of wealth management and protection experience, he advises high net worth individuals, their families, family offices, and related businesses. His focus is on international, U.S./cross-border planning, trust creation, and compliance.
Before joining McLeod Law, Roy was in-house legal counsel to major Canadian and international financial institutions, including 10 years in Bermuda and Switzerland. Roy is fluent in French and functional in German.

Ryan Townend

William Joseph Communications - CEO and Owner

William Joseph was born on a Thursday afternoon – using middle names for the inspiration. The vision was to create an agency that wielded smart strategy as a foundation for innovative and on-the-mark creative. From humble beginnings, the agency grew to a team of industry experts with clients from around the globe. The launch of the RPM Project allows our agency to help out fellow entrepreneurs. Our Brand Aid program allows not for profits the ability to help tell their story.

As CEO, I manage the key relationships of the agency in all markets and help provide vision and insight for the company. Sharing my story of entrepreneurship and the lessons I have learned in branding and marketing have become a passion. My monthly Global TV segment on marketing allows me to educate the public on trends in our industry. My lunch and learns on the art and science of marketing allow me to share my knowledge in an intimate environment. Being a guest speaker and attending panel discussions allows me to provide my point of view on business.

Arlene Dickinson

Venture Communications - Managing General Partner

Arlene Dickinson is one of Canada’s most renowned independent marketing communications entrepreneurs.
As CEO of Venture Communications, her creative and strategic approach has turned the company into a powerhouse with a blue chip client list. She is also the General Partner for District Ventures Capital, a fund she built in 2017 that is dedicated to investing in entrepreneurs in the food and health CPG spaces. Dickinson also founded District Ventures, a leading-edge national accelerator located in Calgary that connects innovative early-stage companies with top entrepreneurs, investors, and commercialization support. Dickinson is best known as one of the venture capitalists on the award-winning CBC series Dragons’ Den and The Big Decision, as well as a marketing expert on Recipe to Riches. She is the author of two books, the number one bestselling book, Persuasion and her most recent best-selling release, All In. Her success and leadership has been recognized with multiple honours and awards including: Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100, the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, as well as PROFIT and Chatelaine’s TOP 100 Women Business Owners. She sits on numerous boards, including the OMERS Ventures Advisory Board. Dickinson is also an Honorary Captain of the Royal Canadian Navy.

Kyla Lee

Acumen Law Corporation - Partner

Kyla Lee is a leader in the Canadian legal community. Kyla founded the Canadian Impaired Driving Lawyers Association, to unite lawyers across Canada. She is the Canadian Ambassador to the DUI Defence Lawyers Associatio. Kyla is internationally known as a leader in her field. Kyla actively works to advance women in the legal profession. She mentors two articled students, and through the CBA and the WLF, and lectures to the Indigenous Legal Clinic. Kyla organized a women’s suit drive for female law students to try to offset the prohibitive cost of women’s suits. The event was so successful that it is now an annual event at UBC Law. Kyla is working on a Representation Matters project to increase visibility of women in the legal profession by placing visual representations of women in courthouses, and is advocating for free menstrual products in courthouse bathrooms. In addition to being a partner at Acumen Law, Kyla also founded Brazen Bull Creative marketing agency. Kyla hosts a weekly video series, which has recently secured Beverly McLachlin as a guest star, and a weekly podcast with important guests including the BC Attorney General and BC Solicitor General, MLAs, scholars, authors, and legal minds.

Cathy Burton

Willow Park Golf & Country Club - PGA of Canada Head Professional & Level 5 Instructor

As a competitive Amateur and as a Golf Professional, Cathy has attained numerous achievements and awards over her golfing career. Her passion for teaching, has earned admiration and respect from both her students and peers. From the early 1980’s Cathy was playing competitive golf as member of provincial amateur teams at the National Championship before being selected as a member of Team Canada in 1986 and 1987. Her hard work culminated in a sweet victory as a member of Canada’s Commonwealth Team in New Zealand in 1987; a feat that remains unrivaled by any Canadian team since. Cathy continued to have competitive success throughout the late 80’s, winning both the Manitoba and Saskatchewan Women’s Amateur Championships and reaching the semi-finals in the prestigious US Public Links Championship against over 1000 competitors. Her success did not go unnoticed as she was twice finalist for Manitoba Golfer of the Year and also finalist for Manitoba Female Athlete of the Year.
Cathy’s inherent ability to teach others lead her to serve as National Junior Women’s Coach for the Canadian Ladies Golf Association from 1998-2004. One of her proudest moments came in 2009 when she was recognized as the first female inductee into the Manitoba Golf Hall of Fame in both the Athlete and Builder category.

Ed Sims

WestJet - President and CEO

Ed Sims is the President and Chief Executive Officer for WestJet. As President and CEO, Ed is responsible for both the strategic direction of the company and the day-to-day operations. Ed first joined WestJet in May, 2017 as Executive Vice-President, Commercial. Since starting in the United Kingdom travel industry, Ed has enjoyed a varied career spanning more than 30 years in tourism and aviation across the European and Australasian markets. Prior to WestJet, Ed held senior commercial and operational leadership positions within the Tui, Thomas Cook, and Virgin Groups and served for ten years at Air New Zealand where he led the international wide-body business. His most recent role was as CEO of Airways, New Zealand’s air navigation service provider.

Mary Moran

Calgary Economic Development - President & CEO

An innovative and results-driven leader focused on achieving exceptional outcomes in highly competitive environments that demand long-term vision, critical thinking and continuous improvement.
A passionate and collaborative strategist experienced in developing marketing initiatives to strengthen value proposition and build brand equity.
Thirty years’ experience in fast-paced industries including the telecommunications, not-for-profit, hospitality and airline sectors. Known for building and motivating cross-functional teams that exceed organizational objectives. Committed to community as an active volunteer with a focus on children and youth well-being and development.

Dawn Farrell

TransAlta Corporation - President and Chief Executive Officer

Dawn Farrell is President and Chief Executive Officer of TransAlta Corporation, a director of TransAlta Corporation, a director of The Chemours Company and a member of the Trilateral Commission. She also sits on the boards of The Conference Board of Canada and the Business Council of Canada and is a member of The Canada-U.S. Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders.

Callie Elwayns

The Bold and Visible - Founder and CEO

Callie B. Elwayns is a high achieving executive with over 20 years of corporate leadership experience. She is recognized for her success as CEO for the Calgary Regional Partnership.

Callie’s journey from living on the streets as a young teen, to corporate CEO and community leader, was marked with many struggles and triumphs. She is a living role model for how to cultivate the courage to break through our own inner glass ceilings and step up to play our biggest game!

Lilly Singh

Unicorn Island - YouTuber, comedian, television host and actress

In October 2010, Lilly started a YouTube channel under the pseudonym "IISuperwomanII". She has explained that the name Superwoman was prompted by a childhood idea, making her believe she can do anything. Lilly garnered international success amassing over 14 million subscribers. Recognized as one of TIME’s Most Influential People on the Internet, Fast Company’s Most Creative People and Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Hollywood and Entertainment list. In March 2015, Singh began a world tour called "A Trip to Unicorn Island", adapting her YouTube content and including singing, dancing, music performances, comedy, and her parent characters.

In 2017, Lilly Singh was announced as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, to advocate for children's rights. She has led a campaign called "GirlLove", promoting girls to end girl-on-girl hate. In March 2019, NBC announced that Singh would host a new late night talk show, A Little Late with Lilly Singh, which will be premiering in Fall 2019. She will be the only female late night talk show host on a broadcast network.

Andrea van Vugt

Disability Pride Alberta Foundation - Founder

Andrea is a social entrepreneur from Calgary, Alberta. She is the founder of the Disability Pride Alberta Foundation, a non-profit organization with the mission to celebrate and empower the disability community.

In 2004, at the age of 19, Andrea was diagnosed with epilepsy. The onset of her condition prevented her from working; initially, walking across the street to grab a cup of coffee was not possible. It took years for her condition to stabilize, but that didn’t stop Andrea from pursuing her dreams and passions. In 2017, Andrea graduated from Mount Royal University’s Bissett School of Business. While studying at MRU, she minored in social innovation and developed a passion for social justice and advocacy. In 2018, Andrea organized Calgary’s first Disability Pride Parade and established the Disability Pride Alberta Foundation.

In addition to the annual Disability Pride Parade, the Disability Pride Alberta Foundation has a website that shares disability stories. These stories build empathy and understanding, inviting readers to learn about disabilities through first-hand accounts written by members of the disability community.

Julie Boake

Awedity Creative Inc - Owner | Entrepreneur | Leader in the community |

If you live in Okotoks you likely know Julie Boake of Awedity Creative Inc. Julie is known for her creative side and helping businesses find their brand voice and online identity, she has designed and worked with a large number of local businesses (as well as international clients). She not only teaches them but empowers them and helps guide them to feeling confident online. She has become a pillar of the community, known for lifting up women in the area (managing the Okotoks and Area Women Entrepreneur group on Facebook and connecting them with resources , she works with the Town of Okotoks, Community Futures, Bow Valley College and The Okotoks and District Chamber of Commerce providing free training to help business owners learn social media and branding and hosts her own learning sessions for charity purposes. She has been recognized for her innate ability to find opportunities to connect people, build relationships and lead. If there is a female business owner in Okotoks, she will likely know Julie because of the way Julie seeks to lift up others and provide resources and a sense of community for women, and men, in our business community. She opened the first shared business/professional space in Okotoks for emerging entrepreneurs, using her own money to help home-based business owners find, and have, affordable office space in Okotoks. She is motivating, speaking and teaching everyone, guiding people, helping people fundraise and being a sponsor at many local events...she is an example for everyone. if you have not seen the orange glasses, you have likely not been to Okotoks.

Sarah Leamon

Sarah Leamon Law Group - Founder / Senior Associate Lawyer

Sarah is a dedicated criminal defence lawyer, advocate and community volunteer. Born in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Sarah obtained an international education before ultimately settling in Vancouver, B,C. In addition to her Juris Doctor, Sarah has a Masters Degree in Womens' Studies from the University of British Columbia. Sarah was called to the Bar in B.C. in 2011, and called to the Bar in Alberta shortly thereafter. She practices in both provinces and has appeared in courts throughout the country. Her wide-recognized expertise in criminal law matters has caused her to be personally called on as a witness in the House of Commons and the Senate on five occasions to date. Sarah is regularly requested by the media to provide comment on a wide-variety fo legal, political and social matters and writes a regular opinion column for The Georgia Straight. Her writing also regularly appears in publications such as The Huffington Post, The Cannabis Life Network and The Her(b) Life. In her writing, Sarah regularly highlights issues that impact vulnerable, minority groups and deals with complex social, political and legal issues from a distinctly Canadian feminist perspective. In 2018, Sarah founded Sarah Leamon Law Group. Recognizing a distinct need for increased support and visibility of women and minorities in the criminal bar, Sarah exclusively employs women and visible minorities. She also offers mentorship to charities that support minorities groups and youth, such as SOAR Philanthropic Society, and helps high school students prepare for the Law Games Moot Trials in Victoria, B.C. every year. In 2017, Sarah founded the Womens' Association of Criminal Lawyers, which offers support, networking and educational opportunities for women in criminal law. In her spare time, Sarah volunteers as Board Chair as PACE Society in Vancouver's downtown East Side, providing front-line support services for survival sex-workers. Sarah also co-founded The Coven Club, which is a women's support and networking group for professionals and artists throughout Vancouver. Sarah is dedicated to the advancement of girls and women and to empowering those around her. In 2018, she was nominated as one of the "Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers" by Canadian Lawyer Magazine and in the same year she won Business in Vancouver's prestigious "Forty Under 40" Award. Sarah believes in social justice, equality and community awareness. She is dedicated to drawing attention to these issues while making the changes that are necessary to create a better tomorrow for the people of today. Sarah is a woman of inspiration.

Andrea Hood

geoLOGIC systems - Vice President Business Development & Sales

Andrea Hood joined geoLOGIC systems in 1997, after immigrating from Germany, and is currently Vice President Sales & Business Development. Andrea joined as Accounting & Administrative Manager before moving into sales as an Account Manager. She received successive promotions before taking on her current position in 2007 and in 2012 her responsibilities were broadened to encompass all customer-facing groups at geoLOGIC.
Andrea is a member of numerous industry associations including CSUR, CSPG, CSEG, where she held Board and Executive Board positions. She has received several Awards over her 15-year involvement with these associations. Together with her husband David they were Chairs of the 68th Conference of the Canadian Energy Executive Association (CEEA) (formerly the Oilmen’s).

Julia Lim

JCI Winnipeg - President and Life Coach

Julia is driven to empower women to feel strong, confident, and in control of their lives . She believes that world needs more powerful women owning and utilizing their power. It is this belief that gave Julia the drive to become the Life and Empowerment Coach , Speaker, Author, Philanthropist, and Leader for Filipino women. Born of humble beginnings, Julia used what she lacked in resources to become creative and resourceful. Her enterprising abilities, entrepreneurial and multi-passionate spirit, and natural charisma became visible early on. As a child, she sold sea shells to create money; later participating in pageants, becoming a nurse and working 2-3 jobs to support her family. Since then she had immigrated to Canada, and achieved such goals as meeting Jack Canfield & Les Brown , continuing her education and practicing Nursing, speaking publicly, becoming a certified coach and community leader, and recently becoming President of Junior Chamber International. Julia has quickly become a woman to watch for, and the go-to coach and speaker in the Filipino community.

Jenny Gulamani-Abdulla

The Canadian Federation for Citizenship - Founder

I first met Jenny Gulamani-Abdulla when I attended a Business and Professional Women's Club of Calgary meeting, after joining one of my clients (Sophie Serafino) as she gave a talk. Jenny is a dynamo, who is a progressive and educated woman with a huge heart and passion to make positive change in the world. She is an action oriented role model who is the past BPW Canadian President (serving 2016-2018), past Calgary President, and currently serves as the Taskforce Chairperson for Women Migrants and Global Citizenship. She has attended numerous United Nations discussions and conferences in her capacity to serve with BPW. She is a successful immigration lawyer who is also extremely kind in supporting pro-bono clients in need. She is just back from New York City at the International Federation of Business and Professional Women with the United Nations, and is the Founder of The Canadian Federation for Citizenship, and Top 100 Award Winner by the Women's Executive Network (WXN) in 2013. ( Jenny could be considered for a Global Influencer Award, Global Impact Award, or for Diversity and Inclusiveness as her impact is significant.)

Victoria Smith

Stress Less Ladies - Founder

Inspiring others to do more and be more is at the heart of Victoria Smith’s wonderful podcast, Girl Tries Life (https://girltrieslife.com). She believes strongly that “women are capable of achieving incredible things when they have the right tools, strategies and mindset in place.” Her podcast is dedicated to providing those raw materials for greatness, via interviews with remarkable women and coaching episodes where Victoria provides actionable advice based on her own training and experience. Over the past 100+ episodes, she has created an inspiring and valuable body of work, and an authentic document of her own efforts to overcome depression, the struggles of motherhood, and other challenges. She is also in the process of turning this work into a business, called Stress Less Ladies, which is part of the ATB X incubator and will extend Victoria’s ability to equip women to live their best, less-stressed lives.

Thabi Nyoni

Biz With Thabi - Founder and Brand Strategist

Thabi works with female owned businesses in the Montreal Area to grow their passions and turn them into a revenue generating business that provides financial freedom for their families. She is especially drawn to mothers, to help take away the overwhelm and provide much needed support with system automation and use of online tools. She speaks throughtout the city, providing inspiration on her story how as a young immigrant she decided on entrepreneurship to generate her income and inspires others with her story of a $100 PayPal transfer to China in 2006 to what is today a successful company.

Carley Salive

Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation - Assistant to the Director of Sales

I am nominating Carley Salive as she has been a direct leader, mentor, role model and influence in my life for the last 3 years. She embodies everything it means to be a woman of inspiration.
Carley is inspiring others to do more and to be more by providing a safe space to learn, fail and succeed. She is encouraging, supporting and empowering to everyone she works with, works for, and leads through her role as Assistant to the Director of Sales at Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation.
Carley is leading by example both locally and globally in her work with the NFL and CFL, as well as locally by founding the ‘Still Plays with Cars’ Automotive and Social Club. She diligently serves her fellow community by creating opportunities for employment and personal development. As a leader, Carley has crafted crucial relationships with industry and community to continually demonstrate her passion to promote and foster success for everyone. Her commitment to her work, her community and to her staff is unparalleled and served as a vital contribution to each organization’s ability to prosper. Her contributions have been endless, and she has enacted changed within the community to promote an inclusive and positive change. She is working to improve the lives of others everyday through little efforts and big impacts by constantly providing a positive outlook and leadership to her community. She represents women in an industry that historically is a “boys club” and is recognized by her peers for empowering everyone she encounters.
Carley has overcome adversity after losing her brother to a tragic motorcycle accident in 2008. As the founder of the Janson Towers Gift Fund, she has actively worked at fundraising and awareness in Alberta and BC in his honor. She directly contributes to the partnerships established to fundraise for injury rehabilitation as her brother was a football player with a severe injury that he overcame days before his passing. Her continued involvement in the Janson Towers Endowment Fund has directly helped to enrich thousands of lives in her community in her brother’s honor. As a women of inspiration to myself and our entire staff team directly, Carley’s contribution to inspiring those around her to take action is truly insurmountable.

Andrea McTague

Shift Psychological - CEO and Registered Psychologist

Andrea McTague is a true inspiration. She is an owner of a psychology clinic, with two shops in Edmonton, and one in Calgary Alberta. She is a Registered Psychologist, and I have seen her inspire not only myself, but others. Since meeting her, my life has personally been impacted, showing me that I can achieve anything that I want in life. I have completely changed career paths and have been building myself a future. I know that without her support and guidance, I would not be where I am today. I was working a minimum wage job, knowing that was going to be it for me. Now? I am working as an executive assistant at one of her shops, and I am opening a business while putting myself through school to better my future. I have seen her pull her staff into her office, not to put them down, or correct them when they are having difficulties with a client. But just to see how they are doing, if they need help with anything, and to help guide them on their career path. She does not directly supervise any provisional psychologists, but I constantly see her giving advice, sharing her abundance of knowledge, and encouraging people to become a star. She strives to help everyone be the best of the best. And I regularly tell the staff that she wants to see them where she is. Her compassion for her staff goes far beyond what I have seen in any other work place. Andrea McTague is one of the most generous, caring and inspiration women, and person I have ever met. I believe she truly deserves some recognition for all that she does, as she is constantly going above and beyond what her job entails her to do.

Elfriede Holtkamp

Exile Holt Couture (School of Sewing and Design) - Founder

Elfriede Holtkamp is a tough, inspirational, empowering women throughout her life. She was born in Rumania. During ww11 Elfriede and family lost everything and became refugees twice. Bringing with them only a few items and the precious family sewing machine. Elfriede learnt under a master seamstress in Prussia. Finishing her apprenticeship she started her first business in Strasburg. The business helped the family get through the wartime though sometimes only receiving food was a method of payment. Food of course was scarce at the time and appreciated. They later realized friends they left behind in Rumania likely lost their lives. Elfriedes family were just allowed to return to Germany luckily at that time having German decent. After the war she set up a business once more creating one of a kind garments. In 1953 she married and immigrated to Canada to be closer to family which previously left for Canada. Where she once again set up her business from her home in Calgary. Her services in Calgary were commissioned by the Duchess of Kent, cousin to Queen Elizabeth 11, and the Duke as a western suit for the Calgary Stampede. Which the Duchess was later photographed and on the front of a magazine in Australia wearing. Elfriede works can be seen in the Calgary round up Center as you walk the concourse from the train to a concert or hockey game possibly. One client donated a piece from the 1950s to the Glenbow Museum as she considered it as part of Calgary’s heritage worth preserving. Many Calgary Stampede Princess and Queen garments have been designed and made my Elfriede. Her clients have even kept her such a secret as friends and colleagues asked where the clothes are made. One colleague even followed a client of Elfriede to her office home wanting to know how to get these clothes made for herself. Unfortunately, as years passed Elfriede took a fall eventually losing the ability to sew as she once did. Wanting to share her knowledge of couture sewing she created a school in Calgary of the craft, 11 years ago they opened the school. I am submitting this award as a student of the school. The course she made includes a substantial amount of garments and techniques and spans from a two to a 4 year full time program. Yet, as I learn we all see easily it could’ve went on another 3 years at least to get all the knowledge in. It takes at least 10000 hours of sewing to be a true master in sewing and I believe my fellow students would agree. We create more than 18 designs through just a two year course. We pattern draft by a method Elfriede created much of and mastered herself to pass on. Many other government regulated schools offering design courses create only a 3 piece suit on a year with a pre-made pattern given to them. This school is one of a kind on this continent. Unfortunately, we wait to be gifted by her presence since school started as our master couturier lives above our school. Her daughter Jutta Holtkamp took on her moms dream as Elfriede is unable to get around so well anymore. Jutta has created alongside her mom for many years. This much reminds me of my daughter under the table waiting for my attention as I sew for hours.
Elfriede was born in 1925. This award would be so wonderful for so many heartwarming reasons. She is such a inspiration to me as she is to many. This award is well deserving.

Rhonda Goldberg

Oh Naturals - CEO

“Do what you love and love what you do”. Rhonda Goldberg, is the founder of Oh! Naturals Flavoured Snacks Inc.– specializing in flavoured Banana chips and flavoured Sweet Potatoes. Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, she is a branding expert who helps companies craft their brands and turning their visions into reality. All brands start with a story, says Rhonda, and her job is to help tell them. Over the years, she has pioneered many companies brands to market, and in the past 5 years, 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. Making a difference in people’s lives from both a business and customer perspective is what drives Rhonda forward. Regardless of where we are in life or business, she believes we all have three main things in common: we all want to be loved, appreciated and respected.

Natalie Lowe

Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners - President

Natalie was grew up in Slave Lake, Alberta and moved to Toronto to attend Ryerson University. Natalie worked in sales at both Vintage Hotels and Casino Niagara and was on the opening team for the Niagara Fallsview Casino. She opened the first destination management company in Niagara in 2005 after a local hotel General Manager told her it was a crazy idea and would never work. Natalie is constantly organizing and volunteering – from Masterminds and golf trips for women to education events for Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking.
In 2015 Natalie became the VP of Education for the Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners and created an educational strategy to focus on the business of events and the skills and tools needed by entrepreneurial event professionals. Natalie is now the President of CanSPEP and advocates for inclusiveness, embracing failure and risk taking. Natalie has started an enterprise called the Sustainable Planner, directed at helping meeting and event professionals and companies plan events that don’t kill the planet. She knows she will be successful because at least three people have already told her it will never work.

Mariam Momodu

Get In Education Consulting - Founder

Mariam is an entrepreneur, education advocate, lawyer, doctoral candidate and Vanier Scholar at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. She is the CEO of Get In Education Consulting, a social-enterprise dedicated to helping gifted candidates from minority backgrounds access quality education. Mariam is also the founder of Africans in Academia Foundation, a new NGO dedicated to improving the competitiveness of Africans in the global academe through capacity building. Mariam is committed to empowering young women and men and helping them to work together to drive social innovation and change, participate fully in the development of their societies, eradicate poverty and inequality, and foster a culture of peace.

Sasha Reid

University of Calgary - Professor at the University of Calgary

If I were to describe Dr. Sasha Reid in three words I would say she is diligent, inspiring and a great mentor. Some of the things that makes her exceptional among my professors; first that she is a mentor for me and many of my classmates and second she inspires us, her lectures are very enthusiastic, allows students to engage critically with the course materials and learn from her knowledge and experiences. She is an example of an ideal professor who wants her students to not only succeed in her class but to succeed in life too. She proves this by mentoring students with their career paths and advising them what any advising help students might need. In class she is really organize her lectures follow unique format which highlights the important points and most importantly she encourage us to think, by rising various questions and giving us an opportunity to share our thoughts on them which I think this engagement in class has allow me and my classmates to learn these all concepts and ideas in more deeper levels. Outside of the class, she has extended office hours and she welcomes everyone’s questions and helps us out with everything such as class materials and long term career goals through mentorship. There has been time that I have gone to her office hour and spent almost 40 mins and she always welcomed and helped with whatever help I needed. I strongly think she deserves this award and all of her great teaching methods and mentoring must be recognized and awarded. I would like to write more about her excellency but I will end with this that excellent must be awarded excellence and Dr. Sasha Reid is one.

Wayne Cotton

Bath Fitter - Founder

Wayne, one of founders of Bath Fitter’s leads by example. He is very proud that they are recognized as the Best Workplaces in Canada for Women 2019. They celebrated with the men and women, side by side, because they know that gender parity is where it’s at. When you look at their employees pictures on LinkedIn or other social media sites, it is clear that to achieve this award came as no shock. This is likely largely due to the strong company culture and their company vision to be a great company to work for and do business with. Wayne believes in careers that evolve, which is why Bath Fitter is developing learning programs that actively promotes the advancement and growth of every employee.

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper, Broker - Owner

Dan Cooper of Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd. in Oakville, Ontario, is leading the charge and championing women utilizing his incredible visibility, making strides and taking action towards advocating change and raising awareness. He recognizes that he has a critical role to play in diversity and inclusion and has generated many initiatives to eliminate gender bias. Dan has a strong sense of fair play, defined as a strong commitment to the ideals of fairness. He is a male champion of change and is a powerful advocate in his community to promote women. Among the many charitable organizations he supports, in recognition of 25 years in the real estate business, Dan Cooper recently held a celebration evening during which $10,000 was raised by the Dan Cooper Group in support of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. The proceeds were raised through a draw, silent auction and a personal donation from Dan Cooper, 100% of which was donated to Halton Women’s Place. In addition to this initiative, each year he raises $2 Million dollars a year for Sick Kids Foundation.

Michael Hyatt

BlueCat - Co-Founder

Michael Hyatt is the Co-Founder of BlueCat which was recognized March 27th, 2019 the Best Workplaces in Canada for Women 2019. As a a self-made millionaire by the age of 25, he is a mentor and investor in many start-ups, including the Rotman School of Business Creative Destruction Lab and The Founders Institute. He has built two highly successful tech firms valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, and is a recipient of the Top 40 Under 40™ award, while also a commentator on CBC News.
Outside of regular work, Michael chairs his family’s charitable foundation called The Hyatt Family Foundation, which invests in Canadian charities. So far they have focused on education and women’s charities. Michael recognizes that with cultural shifts in the digital economy over the past decade, women age 40 and over struggle to secure work and are unemployed for longer periods than younger women. While they typically have experience and knowledge valuable to organizations, unlike men, they often face age, as well as gender discrimination in the job search process. His clients, as well as their referral agencies, have spoken: they are facing age discrimination/ageism in their job search, which negatively impacts their confidence in their ability to land a job. Michael is leading the charge and is and advocate for change and raising awareness.

Glenn Cotton

Bath Fitter - Founder

Glenn, one of founders of Bath Fitter’s leads by example. He is very proud that they are recognized as the Best Workplaces in Canada for Women 2019. They celebrated with the men and women, side by side, because they know that gender parity is where it’s at. When you look at their employees pictures on LinkedIn or other social media sites, it is clear that to achieve this award came as no shock. This is likely largely due to the strong company culture and their company vision to be a great company to work for and do business with. Glenn believes in careers that evolve, which is why Bath Fitter is developing learning programs that actively promotes the advancement and growth of every employee.

Being nominated as one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures as well just confirmed what they have known all along: that Bath Fitter lives up to its vision of being a great company to work for and do business with. He understands that culture helps sustain a competitive advantage in today’s market.

Brian Cotton

Bath Fitter - Founder

Brian, one of founders of Bath Fitter’s leads by example. He is very proud that they are recognized as the Best Workplaces in Canada for Women 2019. They celebrated with the men and women, side by side, because they know that gender parity is where it’s at. When you look at their employees pictures on LinkedIn or other social media sites, it is clear that to achieve this award came as no shock. This is likely largely due to the strong company culture and their company vision to be a great company to work for and do business with. Brian believes in careers that evolve, which is why Bath Fitter is developing learning programs that actively promotes the advancement and growth of every employee.

Being nominated as one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures as well just confirmed what they have known all along: that Bath Fitter lives up to its vision of being a great company to work for and do business with. He understands that culture helps sustain a competitive advantage in today’s market.

Uche Umolu

The Consent Workshop - Founder

Uche Umolu is an activist, social innovator and community change-maker. She is also an Honors final year student studying Digital Business Management at Humber College, with a previous major in Political Science and Gender Studies. Uche has made her revolutionary mark as one of the leading voices advocating against sexual violence within the African community. With her professional skill-sets in digital strategy and development, Uche leads a global team of over 150 volunteers in over 15 cities worldwide, who share a passion to end rape culture. In just seven months, her movement has seen the support of several prominent bodies including funding from the City of Toronto.

Curtis Stange

ATB Financial - President & CEO

As ATB’s President and CEO, Curtis Stange could have a million priorities, but really he has just one: ATB’s customers and clearly the internal culture. He knows that instilling that focus into all 5,000+ team members, ATB can use its expertise to change the lives of Albertans for the better.

Curtis Stange has more than 30 years of experience in banking, including nine at ATB and on March 27th, 2019 they made the list of the Best Workplaces for Women in 2019. He stated that he was inspired to work alongside team members rich with culture and was obsessed with serving their customers and become more than a bank.

Julian Smit

J.D.Nevins - Owner

Julian is continuously supporting and advocating for women. He actively seeks out to obtain diverse perspectives and connects will all types of women to gain a better understanding of their talents in their respective industries, fostering a network culture that provides genuine and authentic support. He roots for women, has their backs, is encouraging and is supportive of their efforts. He is always available when I want to bounce ideas off him and is authentically in your corner. He is a constant reminder to never put limitations on our abilities and that we are capable of accomplishing anything we set our mind to. Julian encourages the women in his network by showing respect and enthusiasm and easily stepping aside letting these women take the lead and the spotlight.

Don Romano

Hyundai Canada - President & CEO Hyundai Canada

Don is an active supporter who embraces diversity & inclusion. As the President & CEO of Hyundai Canada, his Hyundai Canada team was just recognized for being named one of Canada’s Best Workplaces For Women. He has been very vocal about his industry being slow to change from a predominately male run industry to one that more closely resembles the customers they serve. He has stated that over 80 pct of all auto purchases are made or influenced by women yet little has been done in our industry to ensure women are represented in key leadership positions. Don is very clear in his position that this must change and it to do so it has to begin by creating a workplace culture that embraces diversity and recognizes the significant advantages a diverse organization has over its less diverse competition. With this in mind, and in recognition of their recent announcement on March 27th, 2019, he is confident that Hyundai Canada is on the right road to a very successful future.

Afua Anku

Comforting Queens - Social Justice Advocate

Afua Anku is an intelligent, blunt, and outspoken 26 year old who is passionate about public speaking, social justice and think piece writing. With ambitions out of this world, this bilingual political science graduate, is using her blog to educate the masses about women's rights, black culture, self love and civil rights. Her first two projects have been her non profit Comforting Queens, a non profit she co founded with her sister in honour of their mother, a breast cancer survivor. This non profit gathers communities together in innovative ways to ensure women of colour world wide have access to adequate health care, education, and social rights.
Her second project is #RedefiningTheColourOfSuccess a networking, and mentorship program she has began for black youth in Ontario, with 3 goals in mind. Firstly, to ensure the black youth in Ontario have access to mentorship opportunities at a young age increasing their chances at successful careers. Secondly, giving the black youth access to representation in non traditional as well as traditional career paths, and lastly creating a needed network between the black community in Ontario to increase the social capital, and economy. Afua aspires to work in the UN as human rights lawyer, and aspires to change the face of Africa, economically, politically and culturally. With a YouTube channel in the making she hopes to empower black women to be the greatest they can be.

Ifeni Giwa

IHWGlobal - Founder

Ifeni Giwa is corporate accountant, currently writing her CPA & set to complete and acquire her designation by Sept 2019. IHWGlobal, was launched a year ago. It is a community organization established to connect women to the resources that are essential for success in their unique lifepaths. Her aim is to cater to the everyday woman - the entrepreneur, the corporate woman, the academic, the creative etc. With my slogan being "a world where every woman is empowered", Ifeni is ensuring that no woman is left behind. I do this through various avenues, such as live sessions, blog posts, masterclasses.
The main vision for IHWGlobal is to create a world where every woman is empowered. With almost 2,000 community members across our social media platforms and company network in just a year, she believes we are creating a society of engagement and growth. Her main aim is to connect women to other women that are already doing great things, nurture the part of women that wants to do & succeed and ensure that women take centre stage in the media in the years to come.

Ashley Nelson

Alchemy YYC - Owner and founder

Ashley is not only an inspiration to women but she is an inspiration to everyone she meets! She has gone from being a hair stylist in Saskatchewan to dreaming bigger things in Calgary. She now owns her own studio which she helps and inspires women in the business to grow and enhance their skills. She is always there to help her clients and develops a personal relationship that is not only professional but shows she cares about her clientele and the people around her. She also gives the greatest advice and always makes you smile as soon as you see her. Her studio is full of light and develops a sense of relaxation the moment you walk in the space.
She develops the economy in Calgary by providing people with a safe place to get their hair done but also hires people for her business locally. She also hires local women that have the same goal and aspirations for the studio that she does. She also helps her fellow colleagues by providing them with tips and tricks of the business as she has lots of experience. She inspires everyone to take action by telling all her clients to believe in their dreams and focus on what's important. She is a inspiration to all and it is an honor to nominate her for this award.

Alicia Pereira

Children's Aid Society of Toronto - Director, Communications

When I saw the theme about embracing diversity and showcasing women who inspire others - I knew I had to quickly nominate my mentor, Alicia Pereira. A Woman of Inspiration is an extraordinary woman who leads by example, lives on purpose and inspires others to be more and do more. She is a modern-day hero, game changer, mover and shaker, and role model who leads by example with courage, confidence, commitment and integrity, empowers those around her, and makes an impact in her community and around the globe. These are all things that Alicia both exudes and values as an emerging communications leader.

Alicia Pereira joined the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto in January 2019. She is the former Head of Communications for the Ontario Human Rights Commission of Ontario. Prior to serving under the Attorney General of Ontario, Alicia was a Senior Manager for the award-winning International Development organization, World Vision International. She has her Bachelor’s degree from Ryerson University in Arts, majoring in Broadcast Journalism.

Alicia began her television career working in the newsroom for CityTV and was frequently on CityNews where she was nominated for a Gemini award for an undercover investigative piece on illicit and foreign drugs.

Alicia has travelled the world in her capacity with World Vision and in the summer of 2015, she summited Mt. Kilimanjaro with Canadian celebrities and media bloggers to raise awareness for child trafficking and child labour.
A documentary was filmed of their journey and won an Indie Fest award, in 2016. Alicia has also co-produced a Sundance nominated-short film on the Rwandan Genocide and its child soldiers. Alicia has appeared before the United Nations, and sat on the United Nations Strong Women, Strong World Water Commitment team, to help bring clean drinking water to the world’s most vulnerable.

She is a published author, having her work featured in countless magazines and daily papers. Most recently she authored a chapter in volume 4 of the book “Making it in High Heels” dedicated to her career in the charitable sector as a woman. Most recently, Alicia has been tackling issues of injustice and ensuring human rights are upheld through her advocacy work related to children and women’s issues, reconciliation, poverty and education. What strikes me the most is her unwavering ability to bring out inclusion for all - she transformed the OHRC into a place that truly valued people, never stepping on anyone's toes - rather working with them to bring out the best, always with a smile. She deserves to be honoured for her humble spirit and is a total up and comer!

Candice Mathewson

Elite Dance Academy - Owner and Artistic Director

Candice Mathewson is the proud Owner and Artistic Director of Elite Dance Acad- emy. Candice began her journey in dance at the age of 4. Some major highlights of her dance career include participating in the World Championships in Tap for Team Canada and attending the prestigious National Ballet School in Toronto. Candice spent seven years working with the Calgary Stampeder Outriders, four years as a dancer and three years as their coach and choreographer. She has trained in professional courses in New York, Las Vegas, Vancouver and Toronto. Formal instruction includes her completion of the ISTD (Imperial Society of Teach- ers of Dancing) Associate Exam and Diploma in Imperial Ballet.
Above all, Candice has a love for dance and for teaching. She prides herself and her staff on professionalism, enthusiasm and ultimately creating a positive learn- ing environment for all. Outside of the studio, Candice is ‘Mom’ to three young girls. Her priority (through herself and all staff) is to teach confidence, self-aware- ness, team dedication and excellent dance training to all students.

Lane McKay

Steel Reef Infrastructure Corp. - Executive Chairman

Lane is a Canadian Risk Manager (CRM) and an accomplished entrepreneur. Prior to founding Steel Reef with his two partners, Lane co-founded COSCO Capital Canada in 2001. With his partners, Lane built this New York based private equity investment bank into the leading oil and gas private equity focused investment bank in North America, before selling the company to a NY brokerage firm in early 2007. Prior to this, from 1993 to 2001, Lane co-founded Canada Brokerlink Inc. As director and executive vice president of business development, he completed a total of 42 acquisitions, building Brokerlink into the largest independent P&C insurance brokerage in Canada before selling the company to Alliance Insurance in 2000.
Lane's extensive experience in enterprise risk management, growth strategies, acquisitions, investments and capital management has made him an invaluable asset to the inception and growth of Steel Reef Infrastructure Corp. Lane is a member of the Alberta Metis community with a long history of Metis family roots from the Prince Albert, and Fort Pelly, Sask region. His Metis ancestry includes four generations of William McKay’s having positions of Chief Factor’s and Factors of the Hudson Bay Company. The aboriginal family name being “Little Bear Skin”.

Louisa Ferrel

True Buch Kombucha - Co-founder + Co-owner

Louisa Ferrel is an inspiration for a multitude of reasons including her grit, creativity, and passion to give back to the community. When Louisa was young, her family moved from Romania to Canada to escape communism. It was from this, Louisa adopted her motto of "attitude of gratitude" which has been a driving force behind many of her decisions in life. Four and a half years ago Louisa, with her husband Conrad, started a new industry in Alberta when they opened True Büch Kombucha. True Büch Kombucha is Alberta's first commercial kombucha brewery. Louisa and Conrad Ferrel also brought innovation to the industry in Western Canada by offering draught kombucha, which has now become a staple for all Western Canadian kombucha companies. True Büch has sent multiple girls in financial need to empowerment focused summer camps, diverted over 200 000 bottles from the landfill, and sponsored over three dogs surgeries. As the company has grown, Louisa noticed that many entrepreneurs did not have the same base business knowledge her and Conrad had from their background as CPA's. So, the duo launched their own not for profit (the True Incubator) to support and empower other female entrepreneurs through a business bootcamp.

Rita Orji

Dalhousie University - Computer Science Professor

Dr. Rita Orji is a Computer Science Professor at Dalhousie University, Canada. Her research areas of Human-Computer Interaction with a strong interest in digital health optimization in African nations.

She has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers. Her work has won several prestigious awards and funding, including Canadian Government Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grant, Banting Fellowship, NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship, Vanier Scholarship, the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Government of Turkey funding, and best paper awards.
Recently, she was recognized as one of the Top 150 Canadian Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and also won a digital leadership award as a Women Leader in Digital Economy for her work in advancing technology both in Canada and in her native country of Nigeria. She was also named among the top 50 Young Most Influential Best Brains in Enugu State, Nigeria, in 2017 and the ISRII Rising Star Award in 2019. Dr. Orji has been interviewed and featured in major media, including Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), StarPhoenix on account of her work. She gave an invited talk to the Canadian Parliament and also at a United Nations Commission on the State of Women’s Panel. Above all, Dr. Orji is a Champion of diversity and inclusion in STEM through her numerous activities and using herself as a practical example. She founded the Education for Women and the Less Privileged foundation. She is passionate about inspiring the next generation of female tech. leaders; promoting research excellence; and equity, diversity, and inclusion in STEM." Dr. Rita continues to use her social media platforms and her Foundation to empower and educate young girls and women to pursue STEM careers. She is truly a woman of inspiration in academia.

Maria Sofia

WinMagic - VP of Marketing and Sales North America

I met Maria about 4 years ago when I started working with her at WinMagic and since I have met her she has been a role model for all those around her. Maria has gone through many rough times during the few years I have known her but has managed to come through on the other side with a renewed excitement in making the world a better place. Maria works as the VP of Marketing and Sales for North America while at the same time working on a self-published book for children where children will have a fun way to learn about how much sugar they are consuming. If that weren't enough she then started using Instagram as a platform to help promote love, kindness, and inclusion. Maria truly leads by example on how we should all act to make this world a better place.

Sharon MacLean

Wold Gate Media - President

Sharon A.M. Mclean was publisher and owner of her own business and lifestyle magazine for over 20 years. MacLean sold her company at a time when traditional media outlets were going broke. MacLean’s expertise in public relations, business marketing strategy and social media are invaluable assets to help others sell their business. She understood what it takes to sell a business and has created a step by step tool to help others sell theirs - THE BIZ FIT KIT. The Global program inlcudes step by step online programs, personal coaching as well an EASY PACKAGE - THEY DO IT FOR YOU! Maclean's progrma is helping boomers across Canada get their business in shape to find the perfect buyer. MacLean, serves as an active board member with TechInvest Alberta and Gro Your Biz International.

Trish Ronan

ENJO Canada - President

As President of ENJO Canada, Trish Ronan inspires hundreds of small business owners, all with the same mission - to help Canadians rid their homes of harmful chemicals and to keep their family, and the earth, healthy. She works tirelessly with small business owners (predominantly women) to overcome their own fears and limits, gain confidence and skill, and make a difference in their local communities. Trish has also introduced and promoted the Helios Projekt to ENJO countries around the world, which is a project dedicated to building homes and bettering the lives of the extreme poor.

Shelly Elsliger

Linked-Express Coaching / Training - Authentic Leader

Shelly is one of the most inspirational women I know. She is known as a LinkedIn Super-Woman and is on the list of Globally Recognized LinkedIn Trainers. Her goal is to help build online confidence to find your voice and #besociallyfearless! Shelly has spread "LinkedIn Goodness" in well over 300 (workshops, talks, keynotes) for executive teams, entrepreneurs, students, & women leaders! Her passion is to empower women through her inspirational talks and her signature workshop "LinkedIn in High Heels: Rise Up and Lead Online ". Most recently, Shelly was a speaker at the RCWIB Women's Leadership Symposium 2019 celebrating their 10th year anniversary where she facilitated a workshop on "Owning your Space and your Personal Brand" to both celebrate and empower women! Shelly never stops working to empower and support women by leading by example. She is very deserving of this award.

Ashley Mielke

The Grief and Trauma Healing Centre Inc. - Owner, Founder, and Registered Psychologist

Ashley is an incredibly inspiring, heart-driven leader, with a deep passion for service. Ashley was called to her purpose in the wake of a number of painful losses in her life, including her father’s drug and alcohol addiction and eventual suicide in 2010. Ashley’s personal healing fueled her passion to empower other women to move beyond the pain caused by loss. Her company, founded in 2013, was born out of pain. Not only does she give back to our community through her one-on-one and group work with clients, she speaks internationally on the topic of Grief, travels across the nation training other professionals in Grief Recovery, donates and volunteers for The Stollery Women’s Network, and facilitates corporate workshops for multi-million-dollar corporations, non-profit organizations, small businesses, the Government of Canada, and the City of Edmonton. Additionally, Ashley co-authored a book, is a frequent media contributor for Global TV and CTV, and has been featured in Canadian Funeral News, Canadian Living, and Edmonton Lifestyle News. Ashley has developed a powerful team of professional, purpose-driven women who have collectively served over 3000 clients over the past 5 years. Ashley leads with love, courage, and vulnerability and deserves to be recognized for her contributions.

Ejibola Adetokunbo-Taiwo

W.E Hustle in Heels - Founder

Ejibola is a three time Start-Up entrepreneur – She is the Founder and Owner of Made by Africans Inc., the Ejibola E.AT Collections and the new clothing sleepwear collections Amos Smith, a project specifically for women by women under her social impact initiative W.E Hustle in Heels. Ejibola is a role model, an influencer and a women leader who constantly advocate for the women empowerment through entrepreneurship. She believes women are agent of change and great things happen when women come together especially when successful women share their stories. Ejibola carries with her the message of enterprise and leadership to inspire hope and faith in women; her empowering slogan to women everywhere she goes is "See you at the T.O.P - the place where we all belong". Her empowerment platform W.E Hustle in Heels provides a tribe of diverse women (with significant emphasis on immigrant women within Grande Prairie and area including also Calgary) a safe haven via their monthly W.E Connect meetings where selected successful immigrant women are invited to share their stories of how they were able to utilize the resources in Canada to strive and to succeed. Ejibola believes that when women share their stories, great things happens -stories she said brings comfort, assurance, warmth, empowerment to others for them to believe in themselves, start discovering more of themselves and thereby maximizing their full potential.

Andrea Twizell

HomEquity Bank - Director National Partnership Mortgage Brokers

Andrea started her career in the financial industry over 30 years ago and held a variety of positions with some of Canada’s most prominent players in the mortgage business.
Andrea is a proven sales leader with talent selling quality and service over price. Comprehensive knowledge of financial products including banking, mortgages, investments and insurance. Exceptional communicator with a consultative sales style, strong negotiation skills and problem solving abilities.
For the last 11 years Andrea has balanced family life and my career, as a mother of 2 boys (young men now) and now raising them alone. Her priority is family first and seeing her boys grow up into young men and both have completed their post secondary education has made her proud. The balance between work and family is not easy, finding and manage takes discipline, dedication and a lot of hard work.
A strong work ethic and drive is a major key to her success in family and career. Currently she is a National Director at HomeEquity Bank and has grown the mortgage broker market 40% year over year for the last 3 years. Andrea has also maintained her life license by education and working with friends and family.

Tara Jefferies

Salt Staffing - Founder

As the founder and CEO of LX Events Inc, Tara identified a gap in the typical sales process through extensive market research and data analysis. She took that knowledge and built a powerful sales prospecting and client retention model that utilizes luxury, VIP experiences and "white glove" concierge programmes that successfully launched start-ups in the financial services, technology and hospitality industries. With a natural sense of innovation that defies conventional thinking, Tara is determined to make a difference and raise the bar in her industry.

Tracy Schmitt

Unstoppable Tracy - Inspire Award (Women with disabilities)

Tracy is one of the most inspiring women I know. She is a canadian para-olympic gold medal winner. An author, speaker and a coach. More importantly Tracy is a leader who inspires women and men around the world. When you are with Tracy you truly feel Limb-itless. She is a dear friend, colleague and powerhouse.

Debbie Ross

Womens Travel Network - President

Debbie Ross, founder of Womens Travel Network has been making dreams come true by compassionately providing her travel expertise to aspiring wanderers for over 35 years. Formerly the owner of a successful travel agency she now operates her niche tour company. Through her love of travel and desire to have life changing experiences abroad Debbie realized solo travel isn't always for everyone and there was a need for women to have group travel options with other like minded individuals. Debbie has developed a catalogue of once in a lifetime trips to join as part of a group with other women travellers hoping to delight in it all.
In June of 2004 Debbie lead her first trip to Tuscany, the original group of women from this premier tour (affectionately called the 'babes on the bus') still meet annually to celebrate their friendships. Sixteen years later and there's been many trips taken, many wonders seen, and many friendships formed! The Womens Travel Network tours are still led by Debbie and she has hand selected a group of fantastic tour leaders ready to deliver enriching and unforgettable experiences with the best private guides ready to enthusiastically share their country and culture with you.

Sydney Cowling

SEEUniqueness - Inspire Award (Women with Disabilities)

Sydney is a beautiful young woman who has chosen to shine her light as a soul with Down Syndrome. I have known Sydney, and her mother Loree, for a number of years and have been inspired on a number of occasions by Sydney's ability to see the world and every person she meets as perfect just the way they are. My son travelled through Junior and Senior High Scool with Sydney, and was profoundly influenced and inspired by her. In preparation for an event I was hosting where Sydney was one of my guest speakers, I asked him, 'How would you describe Sydney?' His answer says it all.... 'Pure love mama, pure love'.
Sydney has faced adversity head on and overcome the odds. At the age of 3 she underwent intensive treatment for Leukaemia. Due to the days and months of isolation required she spent hours watching and memorizing musicals and movies of magic that sparked her love of being on stage. Sydney’s passion for singing has led her to participate in various Provincially recognized school choirs as well as different local venues and she brings sheer JOY to audiences wherever she performs. This young lady encapsulates everything the human race should be... sharing her truth, shining her light and touching hearts all along her way.
On World Down Syndrome Day, 2018, along with her friends, she decided to spread the message that being unique is beautiful! Her vision is to have 1 million people the world over share their UNIQUENESS and so was born her SEEUniqueness Campaign. I am very proud to say I am one of
'Sydney's Million'! Her powerful messages of acceptance, kindness, and seeing through the eyes of love has deeply impacted me as she does every audience she stand before.

Jackie Rafter

Higher Landing Inc. - CEO Higher Landing Inc.

Jackie is a pioneer in the world of career transformation. Through her company Higher Landing Inc., Jackie helps women and men in the City of Calgary find their highest purpose, reclaim their confidence and redefine their career contributions after major job losses. Jackie has helped hundreds of Calgarians prepare for the future of work where the rules of the past no longer apply. She helps people learn how to pivot and manage their career like a business. Jackie treats her clients like family. She creates a safe and nurturing environment to grow and shift. The changes her clients experience go beyond career success, to build stronger families and community.

Vanessa Vakharia

The Math Guru - Founder & CEO

Vanessa Vakharia is the founder and CEO of The Math Guru, a support system for youth experiencing stress or difficulty with math. Vanessa takes an innovative and holistic approach to math education and has built a business that provides kids with educational support, higher grades, and helps them build the confidence they need to find success in all areas of life.
Vanessa’s vision for a new approach to math education inspired her to write Math Hacks: Cool Tips + Less Stress = Better Marks in 2018. Last year, launched XAM Study Lounge, Toronto’s first pop-up study space. XAM invites high school students to de-stress and prepare for exams in a supportive environment. She also shares her philosophy of STEM education and best practices with educators across Canada and The United States and encourages others to understand how issues of mental health affect young students and create inclusive learning spaces. She helps those intimidated by math excel in STEM and access the opportunities it affords them.
Vanessa is a role model for female entrepreneurs, her growing team at The Math Guru, and the youth she mentors.

Brenda McWilson-Okorogba

Ephphatha Transformation Academy - STEMscholar Coordinator and Grant Writer

Brenda is a multiple award-winning Youth Education and Engagement Specialist, Scholarship Search Strategist, Grant Writer and a Community Builder. She is experienced in diverse sectors, self-paced education/heutagogy, facilitating youth programs focused on women and girls’ rights, community sustainability, cultural inclusion, mental health and strategic intervention coaching, effective storytelling workshops, life-changing journaling, team-building exercises, leadership training, and creative wisdom circles. 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. She is an alumna of the Think Big Lead Now Program 2018 with YWCA Canada and a 2017 Active Citizens Social Enterprise fellow on social innovation and entrepreneurship organized by UNACanada and the British Council. Brenda currently serves as a youth ambassador in 4 international organizations. Throughout her experiences she got the opportunity travel and network which has helped be share ideas and skills.

Carrie Kalmakoff

Chinook School of Music - Founder and General Manager

Carrie Kalmakoff is a driving force in our community and a pillar of our arts scene. She founded and directs the Chinook School of Music in Calgary, AB, where she offers music education to almost 1,000 families. Her infectious enthusiasm for education has led to the students of her Music School attending the worlds most competitive schools and winning world class competitions,She has developed the love of teaching in other students, and makes international news with the development of the careers she has nourished. Chinook School of Music is by far Calgary's most successful music school receiving the Consumer Choice award in Business Excellence this past year. Carrie's leadership in our city has greatly influenced my musical career as well as hundreds of others with the largest music faculty, and highest calibre of employed artists in the city. Music education in our city is alive because of this incredible woman of inspiration.

Kaiya Gamble

Kaiya - Singer, Songwriter, Philanthropist, Social Entrepreneur

For several years Kaiya has been an inspiration to those around her. Her teachers have said she is “one of a kind”,a quiet leader who supports others to be their best selves. A top fundraiser at her school, she is also in the leadership program. She combined her love of arts with her desire to make change when she wrote and acted in a play for her entire school on their annual Pink Shirt day. In recognition of her hard work, Kaiya was chosen by her school to attend WE Day. In her personal time, she has spent summers raising funds for charitable organizations, most recently for the Tom Baker Cancer Centre’s Intensive Palliative Care Ward Musical Therapy Program. Her cheque presentation day was combined with homemade cookies and a music concert performed by Kaiya for the staff, patients, and their families. As a singer - songwriter in 2018 she graced the stage at the #WOI 2018 Gala, the Bella Theatre, and the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Kaiya has realized that music can heal, can inspire and can bring us together. Her hope is that through her music she will bring light to as many people as she can.

Aja Horsley

Drizzle Honey - Founder / Queen Bee

Aja runs a female owned and operated company as well as mentors other women and women-run companies in Calgary. She is supportive of work-life balance, inspiring her female employees and ensuring that she encourages everyone around her to find their passions and work towards success. Aja is adding excitement to an age-old industry with first to market raw and superfood flavours, bee-friendly sustainability initiatives, and trending branding/social media - all in celebration of the everyday luxury of honey! Sustainability has been an issue close to her heart since the beginning of Drizzle. Not only does her honey capture the seasonal beauty of Canada, but every jar purchased contributes to the long-term health of our environment, beekeeping farms, and the local economy. By setting high standards for sustainability in honey production, she is contributing to the transformation of the honey industry. Aja and Drizzle support local farmers, fair wages, creating jobs and bolstering Canada’s agricultural sector. She also strives to support and collaborate with other local businesses and is proud to contribute to the exciting entrepreneurial landscape of Canada.

Rochelle Laflamme

EPIC Alliance - Co-Founder

Rochelle Laflemme is a dynamic woman from Saskatoon and co-owner of EPIC Alliance; a successful Real Estate fund that currently holds 30 million dollars in real estate acquisitions. When Rochelle sees an opportunity to grow professionally or personally, she seizes it. No task is beneath her and no obstacle is too great. She works as close to 24/7 as she can, and there’s a reason for it: Rochelle leads a life that she doesn’t want to vacate. Every day, she encounters new, exciting challenges. Every day, she gets to solve them in a strategic, creative way. In addition, Rochelle is in the process of attaining her electrical Journeyman certification from Saskatchewan Polytechnic. As a First Nations Woman in Saskatchewan, Rochelle aims to represent females and Aboriginal persons' on a global scale.

Christine Nielsen

Contrast Consulting and Coaching - Founder

With over 20 years of experience in transforming and driving a variety of businesses forward, Christine is a master coach and an expert at helping organizations and individuals achieve greater levels of performance and success. But more importantly, she is a wife, mother and a friend who is committed towards growing a meaningful and impactful consulting business on a global level. After taking a break from the corporate world to focus on her family of 3 young children, she was reminded of her passion for consulting and rejoined the working world as an entrepreneur, starting her own consulting business allowing her to grow a global empire while still making her home life and family her primary focus. Although Christine is travelling around the globe and juggling a busy work/life schedule, she always operates from a stand point of giving back. She is always offering support to other entrepreneurs and providing valuable connections and insights helping other people grow their businesses'. Although she has fiery red hair, she also has a heart of gold and deserves to be honoured and recognized.

Shawn Solomon

Thornhill Skin Clinic - Founder/CEO

Shawn Solomon is the owner of Thornhill Skin Clinic but she is so much more than that. She is a mother of four, mentor and leader who sets an example for others around her. She advances the women at TSC by making sure they are consistently training, learning and growing. She sends her employees on courses, provides in house training and provides ongoing coaching and mentoring. She gives back to the community by collecting donations of toys for sick kids, raising money and awareness for local charities and does all of this while running a very busy business and household. Her entire business is about improving the lives of others because she helps women feel their very best. Shawn asked me the first time she saw me “what are your concerns and what will make you feel better about yourself?” I told her and we began our journey together. I asked her at one point “why don’t you tell me what will make me look amazing?” And her reply was “because you’re beautiful and my job is to address your concerns to help you be the best you can be.” She is kind, caring, considerate and unbelievably smart. I inspire to be like her because she’s hardworking, compassionate and always remains positive.

Liza Hanna

Liza Hanna - Founder

Liza Hanna is Toronto-based beauty influencer, professional makeup artist, certified micro-blading artist and businesswoman who has racked up a massive following on social media . If she isn't posting photos of your favourite looks for her subscribers, she's running her own company Lizee Cosmetics that sells her own line of lashes after only 4 years. Her goal is to make my clients feel beautiful inside out when they step out of her chair. She is enthusiastic and dedicated professional.

Cassandra Nordell

William Standen Co. - CEO, Co-founder

Cassandra Nordell is a Canadian entrepreneur, designer, and a columnist. She is a driving force behind three thriving businesses in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.
In 2016 Cassandra was named one of the TOP FEMALE Entrepreneurs in Canada on the W100 list, ranked by Profitand Canadian Business Magazine as well named a PROFIT 500 CEO for leading the 4th fastest growing company in Canada in consumer services and construction.

Cassandra’s leadership also steered William Standen Co. into a prestigious position amongst Canada’s top new-growth companies: the 48th slot on the 2013 PROFIT HOT 50ranking. Just 11% of the companies who were recognized in 2013 had female CEOs, and Cassandra is proud to be part of this small percentage. She was also named one of the NKBA’s “30 Under 30” exceptional young professionals in the kitchen and bath industry and asked to participate at the 2014 Kitchen & Bath Industry show in Las Vegas. Locally, Cassandra has been honoured with business leadership and entrepreneurial awards.

Kimberley Dicianna

Plasmatology Group - Founder

Kimberley Dicianna has over 20 years of medical aesthetic experience. She is highly skilled in the areas of aesthetic lasers and advanced & non-invasive technologies. Her experience as a Consultant & Trainer in the medical spa field gives her a unique perspective on evolving technologies and techniques. As a skin care expert and medical aesthetician Kim strives to enhance the beauty and self-image of her clients with sincerity, respect and world-class care. Kim has traveled frequently across the globe to stay on trend with the latest technology devices, procedures products. Her advanced technology and commitment to excellence has helped her clientele achieve the youthful appearance and inner-confidence they deserve.

Wendy Black

Wendy Black Interiors - Founder

Wendy got her first taste for what the future would hold when as a stay at home mom in 2006 she was approached by a neighbour to help stage their home for an upcoming open house. The home had been on the market for 3 months and the homeowners had grown tired of uprooting their young family for various showings. After Wendy selected new paint colours and showcased the home it sold for full asking price at the open house. Soon neighbours and friends caught on to Wendy’s talent and she began to decorate and stage their homes. Wendy has staged homes, cottages, condos and offices, working with individual homeowners, top realtors and builders. She has appeared on Rogers TV Grand River Living, CTV's Quick Fix At Five and been interviewed on New York Empire Radio. She has also been published in Realtor.ca Living Room, Fine Homes Magazine, Neighbours of Grand River Magazine and CSP Staging Standard Magazine.

Victoria Bourque-Adler

Victoria Bourque Beauty Boutique - Founder

With 14 years’ experience in the beauty industry, Victoria has an obvious passion for everything beauty. From a young age her goal has always been to open her own salon. Once graduated Bradford district high school, Victoria enrolled in George Brown College to study Makeup Artistry. Once she had completed her certification she realized that she wanted to offer more services and proceeded to become further certified in esthetics. Working in the field and gaining the experience she needed, she had the opportunity to grow as an artist and expand her clientele base over the years. As a makeup artist and brow artist, her plan was to expand her team to all kinds of beauty specialists catering to her clients every need and create a one place for everything beauty to accommodate the busy lifestyles of society today.

Deborah Kerbel

Deborah Kerbel - Founder

Deborah is a recognized book author of novels for middle grade and young adults including picture books and essays. Deborah novels have been shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award, the Canadian Library Association's YA Book Award, the Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award, and the Vine Award for Canadian Jewish Literature. Her picture book, Sun Dog, is a finalist for the 2019 Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award. In 2011, she was the recipient of the City of Vaughan's R.A.V.E. Award recognizing her work as a Mentor and Educator in the Literary Arts. Deborah has been a guest speaker at both national and international literary festivals across Canada including Wordfest, Word on the Street, and Luminato as well as judge and juror for provincial book awards and national youth writing competitions.

Trudy Trinh

Trudy Trihn - Founder

Trudy Trinh is a prominent microblading expert based in Toronto, Canada. Trudy’s reputation for crafting natural eyebrows designed to each person’s unique facial features is what distinguishes her from the crowd. Her professional and courteous manner combined with meticulous execution has amassed a growing population of satisfied return customers and requires new customers to book months ahead for her popular microblading sculptures. She is constantly helping women feel better about themselves through her craft. Trudy has advanced the microblading artistry through deliberate and constant practice, and in 2016, Trudy won third place in The International Permanent Makeup Conference (TIPMCC) Championship for the category of microblading. At the 2017 TIPMCC, Trudy was given a certificate of recognition for her “commitment, dedication and outstanding performance in the field of permanent make-up”. Trudy has also been featured for an article about microblading for Permanent Knowledge Magazine, which is a leading resource developed in collaboration with the best artists within the PMU industry.

Nusrat Malik

Hennabynusrat - Founder

Nusrat has been engaged with henna for most of her life, working first on family and friends. Once word spread of her artistry, skill and patience, people couldn’t get enough of Nusrat's work. In 2005, she decided to make her henna business official, and launched Henna By Nusrat to make a more concerted effort to reach out to new clients. Nusrat is from Pakistan, a country where henna isn’t just an art form, it is a fundamental part of the culture. Nusrat has managed to infuse Eastern cultures into Canadian self-expression. Instead of solely being something brides do when they get married, Nusrat has realized that people in Canada want to use henna as a way of showing the world their personality, She also adapts henna to help women feel better about themselves physically. For example, she’s adorned henna on women who have recently given birth or have had a tummy tuck and want to start wearing bikinis again. Nusrat can use henna to disguise parts of their bodies that they may be uncomfortable with so that they can leave feeling empowered and beautiful.

Tracy Valko

Valko Financial Ltd. - Owner

Tracy’s been in the finance and banking business for over 15 years and is currently a leading expert in mortgage brokering for the past 8 years. Tracy was recognized by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation as a leading mortgage expert in her market as well as with 3 leading lending institutions that have awarded her with “status levels’ as a result of her high volume of mortgage productivity. Tracy consistently places in the Top 40 on Dominion Lending Centre’s National, Top Performer’s report. Tracy prides herself on her high level of mortgage knowledge, integrity, professionalism and experience. In November 2018, Tracy was honoured with the Broker of the Year Award of Excellence from Mortgage Professionals Canada. This is a huge accomplishment for Tracy and The Valko Team as this award is given to those who are truly outstanding in all areas of our industry. Tracy and her team’s commitment to her clients is her number one priority. She is very proud to have been recognized by the industry, her clients, and peers! In September 2018, Tracy and The Valko Team were awarded the Consumer Choice Award for Favourite Mortgage company in the Waterloo Region for the third year in a row! The Valko Team are the only recipients of this award since it’s inaugural year in the Region in 2016. Aside from these incredible accomplishments she is also a strong advocate of giving back to her community in which she works and is committed to working with a number of charities and raising funds for great causes.

Monika Jazyk

Real Property Investments - Founder

Monika Jazyk, co-founder of Real Property Investments, author of ‘Real Estate Mistakes- Our Mistakes, Your Success‘ and mother of four cute kids. She is passionate about helping other people create wealth through real estate and alternative investments so they can reach their personal and financial goals. Monika has accumulated an impressive portfolio of single and multifamily units across Ontario and US, she is very surprised to have survived the real estate journey without any guidance. She shares her knowledge to help others avoid the mistakes that she has made, while providing guidance helping move others forward in their real estate journey.

Laura McCulloch

Lara McCulloch - Founder

A renowned, results-driven marketing expert with over 20 years as a Brand Consultant for multinationals like Cadbury-Adams, Unilever and Shell, Lara brings ‘Big Brand Thinking’ to small business in the events industry. Her consulting firm is focused on building growth, reputation and evangelism for event companies around the world. She’s been touted as a pioneering force in the marketing revolution, founding one of the world’s first twitter communities, #eventprofs, featured in The Twitter Book by Tim O’Reilly. She’s travelled throughout Asia, Australia, the US, Canada and the Caribbean as a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator, changing the way that event companies think about their brands. The culmination of Lara’s passion and experience has heralded leadership posts on numerous industry Advisory Boards, a monthly column for an international magazine and recognition with three National Awards for dedication, spirit and leadership as well as the esteem of Industry Innovator. She has also graduated from Ivy Business School’s prestigious Executive Program, but it’s the title of Mom that brings her the most pride.

Sonisha Paul

Juice Wealthy - Founder

Sonisha Paul started Juice Wealthy as an accidental entrepreneur. It all started in 2014 while she was finishing up her education in Business Administration Marketing in Toronto at George Brown College. Sonisha was always seen on campus carrying a glass bottle with her personalized homemade cold-pressed juice. At that time the idea of a juice being a healthier alternative was still unfamiliar to the masses. She later started helping individuals with their health related problems by researching and creating customized juice programs for them as a means to an alternative holistic wellness approach. Sonisha’s passion for health and nutrition is a desire that has been embedded in her as she has discovered juicing as a healing source. She is an avid juicer and after spending years experimenting (which includes her personal 60 day juice fast) Juice Wealthy was born. She continues to advance herself and grow in her industry as she completes her studies in Culinary and Nutrition Management. Juice Wealthy’s slogan “changing the perception of food” means that if we can reprogram our minds on what “food” is and how we choose to nourish our bodies, we can help reduce the amount of deaths as a result of food-related preventable illnesses.

Maryanne Terzis

Bikini Haus - Founder

Maryanne Terzis started Bikini Haus project with the idea of bringing swim wear to Canada that was previously unavailable. Bikini Haus is a Toronto based swimwear store. Currently running through their studio and online store, Bikini Haus provides a service oriented approach to swim shopping.
Inspired by her love of travel and sun, Maryanne found that buying swim was not only difficult, but unpleasant. “Swim wear is the most important thing to pack” she says, “we all have busy schedules.” She believes that the combination of late shopping, low availability, and poor customer experience is part of the reason people dread bathing suit shopping. She decided to open her own store, “one year we were away and began to have to the conversation.” After doing her research and understanding the industry more Maryanne reached out to various brands, including Boys + Arrows, and went to Miami Swim Week in order to begin building her own store. It was important to Maryanne that there be “space for them to try on swim. Not everyone likes to buy online.” Additionally, Bikini Haus carries many new brands that people aren’t familiar with, Maryanne wanted to be able to guarantee customers a comfortable buying environment, both online and offline.

Yolanda Balatbat

TMB Cosmetic Surgery - Registered Nurse

Yolanda Balatbat R.N. is the full time nurse of the TMB practice. She has been working with Dr. Born for almost 17 years, and in that time has assisted Dr. Born in the operating room, and TMB day clinic. Yolanda provides all of the day to day follow up care for our surgical patients who always rave about her honest approach during consultation, and her caring and sensitive demeanor. Yolanda ensures your results and experience are the very BEST they can be. She spends a lot of time with her 2 daughters who give her the greatest joy!

Patricia Curto

Vaughan Moms - Owner

Patricia is an influencer, radio host and energetic local entrepreneur! She is the owner of Vaughan Mompreneurs, the City of Vaughan's #1 Influencer. The Vaughan Moms brand has the extensive social media presence to help connect any business or brand with the community of Vaughan and surrounding areas. Patricia is passionate to connect with brands and businesses to help create great social media campaigns. She is a Social Media expert, brand advocate, small business advocate, blogger, influencer and now a radio host on 105. Patricia shares her extensive knowledge of motherhood, family-based products, local businesses, entertainment, events, dining, and education for kids with everything she works on and does during her amazing social media lifestyle.

Dr. Debra Henderson

VCA Canada - Western Veterinary Specialist & Emergency Centre - Internal Medicine Specialist and Medical Director

Deserving a lifetime achievement award, as an, Internal Medicine Veterinary Specialist and Medical Director of one of Calgary's largest emergency animal hospitals, Dr. Debra Henderson has dedicated herself to her profession. Dr. Henderson is passionate about the health and well-being of our ‘furry family members’ and is a true advocate for their owners. Discipline and perseverance contributed to Dr. Henderson's success. Excelling in her profession for over 3 decades (in 'what was' a male dominated field), her outstanding commitment and results driven leadership, Dr. Henderson INSPIRES new generations of women in the veterinary industry,

Dr. Melissa Hershberg

Dr. Melissa Hershberg - Founder

Dr. Melissa Hershberg, MD CCFP is a medical physician, author of two diet books – The Hershberg Diet and The Rebel Diet, and the founder of U Health Clinic, a preventive health and weight loss clinic in midtown Toronto. Since graduating from the University of Toronto Family Medicine program in 2006, Dr.Melissa has enjoyed practicing in both preventive and urgent health care facilities and has helped countless patients improve their health through her combined knowledge of medicine, fitness and nutrition. As a former national gymnast and competitive fitness champion, Dr.Melissa knows firsthand the benefits of a healthy diet and regular exercise for the prevention of disease and promotion of optimal health. Her experiences in competitive athletics coupled with her training in science and medicine have afforded her with a unique and highly respected knowledge base. She is a freelance writer having contributed medical consultation and health and wellness articles to many well-known publications across North America such as Chatelaine, Flare, and Glow. She is a dynamic public speaker and appears regularly on The Marilyn Denis Show as a resident health expert. Through her books, medical practice, articles and speaking, Dr.Melissa hopes to inspire people to make positive lifestyle changes.

Lorena Mitchell

Evolve Green - President / Owner

Lorena is a power house and always trying to help people with energy security. She is an inspiration to other and mentors all she meets. Just recently she completed a project for a community to light an area so the children could have light to skate in that community. She designed and worked to install in -20c temperatures till 630pm on a Friday night so the kids could skate Saturday morning. Lorena worked with the community donate solar panels and time and allowing them to do a payment option to make this work for them. They have not had power to that arena in 17 years. Bringing back a outlet for more then 70 local kids became a mission. Lorena started Evolve Green 11 years ago and is well recognized in Canada for her work in the Renewable Energy sector. She has created training courses and taught many electricians how to install and design solar. She currently has 10 staff all committed to the environment. Also not well known is she has a YouTube channel she started to help empower people to overcome MG and Multiple Immune disorders with a great attitude. This Mother of 6 never stops and always looks at the glass half full.

Kris Yeo

#EFFTHESTIGMA Mvement - Founder

Kris Yeo is an international model, blogger, and mental health activist, founder of the #EFFTHESTIGMA movement. Along with modeling, fashion, travel and charitable work, Kristina’s a fierce advocate for body positivity. All this has jump-started her charitable work as a founder of #effthestigma, fighting the stigma around mental health and creating awareness. She has also started a social media movement that empowers women of all sizes to be confident with their bodies, and embracing and loving who they are.

Colleen Kennedy

Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation - Employment and Economic Development Officer

Colleen is currently the Employment and Economic Development Officer for the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation. She graduated with honors and received a B.A. at Trent University for Native studies. She always had this driving force and desire, to serve Native Communities, and after almost 17 years with the Bank of Montreal she finally made the decision to leave BMO and to be part of something bigger and influence change. She works directly continuing to honor the vision of the founders of the Native Women’s Resource Center of Toronto by providing a welcoming atmosphere for all Aboriginal women and their children. She is dedicated to offer life- enhancing resources, cultural ceremonies and teachings, skill development, and programs to build their collective capacity and celebrate their cultures and deserving of recognition as in inspiring women who leads by example.

Jamie Kramer

City of Windsor - Human Resources Assistant

As a Woman of Inspiration, Jamie Kramer, MA, CHRP embodies the criteria for the Millennial Leader Award. She works for the City of Windsor overseeing the implementation of the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative that aims to maintain an inclusive culture for those employed, or seeking employment, at the City. Jamie has been 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).

Jamie received her Master of Arts in 2017 from the University of Windsor, completing her thesis as a policy analysis of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 which received accolades for best presentation in 2017 and will be presented at the New England Political Science Association’s 2019 Annual Meeting.

Christma Nathali

Beauty Addicts Inc - Owner

Women empowerment on business, family, personal improvement and ethnicity culture.

Karen Sherbut

Safe Haven Foundation - President

Karen's childhood was coloured by a missing mom and an abusive father such that she ran away from home at 16. Determined to make something of herself, she rose through the world of fashion and modelling and on into the business world of marketing. At 37, she decided it was time to give back to girls in similar situations as herself, and has made it her life's work to inspire and encourage other young women to rise above their beginnings, get an education and make their lives better.. This is Karen of Safe Haven Foundation and she inspires me and her team of employees every day to make the world a little better for one young woman at a time.

Ana Cruz

City Mortgage Group - Mortgage Agent and Team Lead

Ana is one of the hardest working women I've ever met. She is a mother of two kids, now in their 20's, she sacrificed her career early in life to take care of the kids and is now an award-winning mortgage broker. She is an inspiration to her kids, friends and family. Her goal is to help others achieve their goal. She has been on the local BIA board, a WOMEN OF INFLUENCE in her industry 2 yrs. Anyone who meets her feel inspired.

Jari Love

Get Ripped - Personal Trainer and Founder, Get Ripped

Jari Love is a certified personal trainer and the creator of Get RIPPED!®, the five-phase, no-nonsense, full-body workout system designed to help people of any fitness level shed unwanted pounds in weeks. The hot-selling and critically acclaimed Get RIPPED!® series enables individuals to burn up to three times more calories than the traditional weight-training program and has received rave reviews from fitness critics throughout North America since the first title debuted in late 2005.

Tessa Lerbekmo-Joyes

StandOUT Publications - Founder and CEO

Tessa Lerbekmo-Joyes is a deaf mother of two young daughters, a loyal wife, a natural comedian, and an inspiring CEO of a publication and creative services company, StandOUT Publications. Watch her and be encouraged as she builds her empire by documenting everything from struggles to success through blogs, docu-series, magazine, design work, social media, and many more.