Women of Inspiration

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

5th Annual Women of Inspiration Awards

Canada’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 A Woman?

When we elevate women in our network, community and workplace we create role models for other women 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 a woman for her accomplishments, significant strides towards building her legacy, and acknowledging her contribution personally and professionally.

Embrace Diversity – Nominate a Male Champion

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 Gala3 Day Inspire Summit  Calgary, AB (October 2 – 4) and Toronto, ON (October 8 – 10).

  • Day 1 – VIP Opening Soirée Reception
  • Day 2 – Bliss Day Experience
  • Day 2 – Women of Inspiration Awards Gala + After Party
  • Day 3 – Media Brunch | SupportHER Round Tables | Keynote

Nominate a Woman of Inspiration. Click here to nominate!   NEW Categories for 2019 Women of Inspiration Awards:  22 Diverse Award Categories:

  • Innovation Awards
  • Youth Excellence (under the age of 18)
  • Rural Leaders
  • Aboriginal Leaders
  • Inspire Award (Women with Disabilities)
  • Power Partner (elevating our male champions).

Alicia Pereira

Children's Aid Society of Toronto - Director, Communications

Ifeni Giwa

IHWGlobal - Founder

Afua Anku

ComfortingQueens - Authentic Leader Award

Rita Orji

Dalhousie University - Computer Science Professor

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.

Marie-Claude Bertrand

Skin Science Clinic - Founder & CEO

Marie has a vibrant personality and is incredibly passionate. She has built and top skin clinic in Calgary and recently launched her own skin care line. When I asked Marie to be a speaker at this year Women and Wealth Gala in Calgary she jumped on the opportunity.

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 an emerging scholarship search strategist; undaunted gender equality advocate; education and youth engagement expert who is very passionate about mental health and quality education for youths and women. She moved to Canada as a young student on a full ride scholarship and has been recognized with multiple awards for her leadership, academic excellence and community service. She runs a capacity building, personal development and mental health focused initiative called Ephphatha Transformation Academy (ETA). ETA is dedicated to personal growth, healing, cultural exchange, leadership development and community building for youths across Canada and Africa. Brenda educates and empowers young women and men through effective storytelling workshops, life-changing journaling, team-building exercises, leadership training, cultural exchange opportunities, and dialogue circles.

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.