2020 Women of Inspiration™ Nominees
2020 Women of Inspiration™ Nominees
Congratulations on being nominated as a Women of Inspiration™ who leads, inspires and motivates others to greatness!
Nominations Deadline – June 30 | Nominee Package Deadline – July 8
NOMINATE A WOMAN today!
By nominating her, you are honouring her accomplishments, contributing to her legacy, validating her hard work and her contribution to the workplace. You are helping her see her worth and unknowing impact. You are taking action to SupportHER™, elevating role models to be recognized on a local, national and global level.
Your nomination empowers an inspiring woman through:
- Local, national, and global exposure
- Additional media and PR coverage
- Connections with other like-minded, influential leaders
- Opportunities to create change on a larger stage
- Elevating her business, building her legacy as a leader in her industry
- Recognition for her achievements and journey, and
- Increasing her circle of influence, inspiring the next generation of leaders.
When you nominate, the ripple effect is far-reaching!
Diana Benitez - Real Estate Investor, Entrepreneur
Colleen is a role model, a leader, visionary and an inspiration. I haven’t known her too long but that doesn’t matter since it is the impact she has made and seeing how she continues to strive for the best for her and her family to continue to grow her business and helping others achieve that same success.
She is smart, hard working and always finding a better way. She doesn’t settle for average and continues to learn to further develop herself and business to excel. She has always known her goals and takes risks to achieve them.
I met Colleen as a fellow real estate investor myself where we joined a small monthly call among 5 women to help us stay accountable to our goals. Colleen’s shared her wisdom, her valuable insight as a seasoned investor and made sure we were on top of our goals.
She has become a friend and truly blessed to have met her. I look forward to what she will achieve and she will because she has the drive to succeed and bring to fruition her vision.
Gurjot K. Singh
Youth Activist / Community Leader
I am nominating Gurjot K. Singh for the following awards: Advocate and Catalyst for Change Award, Inspire Award, Integrity Award and the Millennial Leader Award.
If there is anything that this girl is, she is an inspiration. At only 24 years old, she has accomplished so much in the community, in the field of human rights and social justice, charity work, gender equality, animals rights activism and being a youth leader in her constituency council for Brampton West. Her achievements are endless; whether that be becoming the first duo-female presidents of the largest South Asian club at Western University, being one of many selected to participate in the Women in House Initiative at the Parliament of Canada, raising thousands of dollars each year for causes she is passionate about, starting petitions to raise awareness and being one of the many role models selected to participate in the Young Women's National Leadership Program. (YWCA). Recently being accepted into law school and starting an instagram page dedicated to amplifying oppressed voices, she has continuously tried to make the world a better place, is the most positive and kind individual, and she deserves the recognition of being known as a Women of Inspiration.
Loblaws - VP, Merchandising, Supertstore, Western Canada
Lisa is an amazing leader who has evolved her career in many different areas in the corporate world. She is an influencer and builds tremendous relationships both inside the company and in the retail industry. Her focus and drive are second to none. She works tirelessly travelling in her role across Canada in a high level leadership role with Loblaw and leads her teams to success year over year. She has a high level of loyalty to the company and her integrity is a key attribute. She is an authentic leader who does everything she can to support her team. She runs an amazing household to take care of her family and is very much a perfectionist at heart. She is someone that all women leaders aspire to be like. She is a financial wizard and a merchanising guru and has influenced and progressed many careers around her. She is a true leader.
Loblaws - EVP, Discount Operations
Jocyanne is a leader that is courageous, intelligent and influential. She has built an outstanding career at Loblaws and she is one of the most truly admirable women leaders that I know. She truly cares about the people she works with and has an amazing business sense. I remember when we first were part of women @ Loblaw many years ago and her support continues to this day. She supports her team in every way a leader should and when people report to her, their loyalty and the commitment they give back is insurmountable. She builds teams to succeed both personally and professionally. Her drive and her accomplishments are truly admirable. She builds outstanding long lasting relationships and her interactions are truly genuine. When I think of a leader of transformational change, Jocyanne is the first one who comes to mind.
Susan de Ryk
Lakeridge Health - Interim President & CEO
Susan is an inspirational woman leader in the health care industry. She is the utmost professional and truly cares about the people she works with as well as all the patients in the health care system. She consistently goes out of her way to assist in vital and critical situations. Her job never ends and is truly committed 24/7. She seeks to always improve her skills and ensure she is doing the right thing. She is very intelligent and one of the most committed leaders I know. I really don't know where she gets all her energy as I don't think she ever sleeps. She is well connected and builds tremendous relationships with her colleagues. She is a very humble leader who inspires those around her to be the best they can be. I don't think anything could ever stop Susan as she would find a resolution for any problem that exists and work tirelessly until she knew it was on track to resolution. When you are dealing with Susan, you are the specific focus of her attention and she will do anything she can to help. Being in the industry she is and with the COVID right on her door step, there is nobody I know that puts everyone else first like she does. She is one to always give recognition and this is an instance at this stage of her career, where she deserves to receive the recognition. She is a transformational change leader who makes a difference everyday in this world. When I think about an inspirational authentic leader, Susan immediately comes to my mind. I can only aspire to live up to what she has accomplished in her career.
The Profit Room - Co- Managing Director
LaToya Smith has been encouraging women of colour in urban communities to be financially literate and independent from relying on outside forces for financial freedom. She has a track record in reaching out to single mothers and and women of colour to be business minded and entrepreneurial in their mind set for social mobility.
Chloe Shingoose Music - Singer Artist
Chloe Shingoose is 16 year old and is just finishing up Grade 10 in Stettler, AB. She loves to excel in everything that you put in front of her. She keeps herself very busy musically with Vocal Lessons from Tamara Beatty and weekly Guitar lessons. She has a passion for Country Music but loves all genres and ages. She has competed in many Festivals and Talent Shows played on stages with Brett Kissel for Brett W. Wilson Garden Party and performed at Women of Inspiration Gala with Michelle Minke. Chloe is also an athlete that enjoys every sport. This past year she played Bantam Elite Hockey out of Red Deer and is currently playing Softball with the Elnora Eagles. Somehow with all of this going on she still manages to keep her grades up and is always looking for the next adventure with STARS in her eyes. Chloe is an inspiration and role model to our youth. She continues to work passionately towards building her career, following her dreams and inspires all who meet her!
Loblaws - President
Sarah is an inspiration to all women in leadership. She is truly an authentic leader. She is pragmatic, intelligent, and can hold her own in all business environments. She has had an amazing career and continues to promote women Loblaw where she has inspired not only women within the company but externally as well. When I think of an inspiring and influential woman, Sarah immediately comes to mind. She is an inspirational role model for all leaders in the corporate world and really makes everything seem so easy. Sarah will make changes and pave the path for other women leaders.
RBC Insurance - Senior Insurance Specialist – Wealth Advisor
OMG is this lady on top of things! She is brilliant being a pianist, music manager, Award Winning Insurance Advisor and a Real Estate licences and a master of anything she puts her mind to. She is an enormous connector who loves to put people together regardless of their needs. She would even refer people to others in her industry if she feels they would be suited better for something she does not offer directly. She looks at people in a holistic fashion and acts accordingly.
Eni has a heart larger than earth and is always there for her family, friends, clients and associates, regardless of the situation. She loves to network and get to know people and has a heart of gold. She is truly deserving of an award!
Rachel Meckling - Owner, Illustrator
Rachael Meckling is a Canadian based illustrator & designer who completed her studies in Fashion Communication with her Bachelor of Design at Ryerson University. She is now a freelance fashion artist, muralist, graphic designer & digital + LIVE fashion portrait artist. What is so inspiring, is her passion to harness her brilliance to showcase and bring to life the feminine energy. She is multi-talented and empowers women through her illustrations to love their individuality, feminine energy, and beauty. If you have not heard d of Rachel, you will be mesmerized by her ability to capture the beauty of every woman's essence.
Boluwatife "Bolu" Adefewi
Bolu - Singer Songwriter Age 13
Bolu is quite possibly the most inspiring person I met this year - and that is saying a whole lot. Not only an incredible student hoping to advance her studies ...but at only 13 years old, she has made a significant national impact. Not only is she a wonderful, singer- songwriter - who writes her own material and plays guitar - but she is a poised public speaker and performer who came to the world's attention when sharing the thoughts of her heart set to music. With the plaintive words "2020 What have you become.. why are people so cruel..it's time to make it right" her gentle call to action has touched the hearts of many. As a result of playing one small local event she was asked to perform at two bigger ones, was interviewed by Global news and was asked to play her song on two major Toronto radio stations - all this before it was ever professionally recorded. Her voice truly has power, and it is a life lesson for her and young people watching her that will never be forgotten - if you raise your voice up, you will be heard. And you can change the world.
Modern Knotter - Founder, Clinical Practice Director
Nicole is an incredible woman. She is a business owner, nurse, health advocate and mother of three wonderful children. She is always thinking of others and leading initiatives to help women in need across Canada. She currently runs her own craft business, Modern Knotter. She is also the Clinical Practice Director for Options for Sexual Health British Columbia, and is Faculty in Perinatal Nursing at BCIT. Finally, Nicole is a nurse with the Vancouver Sexual Assault Service. Nicole is constantly giving to make the lives of other women better, and healthier.
Century 21 - Sales Representative
A hard working Women of Inspiration who is passionate about her community and business. She is a realtor who puts her clients first. She inspires communities by uniting everyone and also teaches others about how to increase the value of your property. Best Selling Realtor
Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre - Chief Executive Officer
As CEO of Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre, Jeanette is re-vitalizating the cleantech ecosystem in Canada and across the world. Jeanette’s team has supported over 500 entrepreneurial companies, generated over $250M in funding, and created over 5000 jobs in the cleantech sector. Jeanette is a network builder and a true game changer and innovator in advocating for a clean economy. It is a pleasure to nominate Jeanette Jackson for this award. She believes in, often talks about, and fully advocates for the UN Sustainable Development goals, which form a framework for the new model of cleantech innovation she is building. She is one of the hardest working and most focused people I know, and I truly believe that the work she does day in and day out is making a difference and helping to build a better and more sustainable future for all of us.
I nominate Connie Jakab for the following categories; Health & Wellness Advocate, Difference Maker, and Catalyst for Change
Connie and the people she inspires to work alongside her make a positive and significant impact in the lives of children and adults everywhere.
Whether she's speaking to kids in school about how to thrive (mentally and emotionally), to adults at her National Hope Talks conference about mental health and staying resilient, or to corporations on the Wellness Innovate webinars... Connie's message is consistent, caring, and compassionate, about the ROI of collective wellness.
I don't know who said the phrase, "Hurt people hurt people," I see Connie Jaka as this mental health warrior, this Cultural Rebel, who is committed every day to ensure that people who are hurting feel seen, heard, and safe to navigate this journey we call life in the most physically and mentally healthy way possible... so that hurt people hurt fewer people.
RBC Insurance - Senior Director Mass Undeserved Markets
I am nominating Jean because I believe she is a great candidate for this award. Whether it’s through running the Genoa Labs team at RBC Insurance or coming up with new and innovative ideas to support more people through insurance, she is constantly putting others before herself. She is a true role model and someone who leads by example and with purpose. She goes out of her way to include everyone no matter who they are or what role they hold in the company. She uses her platform and position to help others and to help make RBC an even more inclusive and welcoming place for all. Jean is one of the most kind and hardworking people I have ever had the pleasure of working with and she is extremely deserving of this nomination. I hope one day to be half the leader, business person and innovator that Jean is.
RBC Insurance - Project Manager
I am nominating Tracey because I believe she is very deserving of this award. Tracey is an extremely hard-working, creative and talented businesswomen. At her role at RBC Insurance, she is constantly encouraging and supporting other women. She is a natural leader and in within a few weeks of starting her new role led a massive project with stakeholders from all areas within the bank. Tracey works hard to make RBC a better place for all members. She never complains and is a role model to all women. RBC Insurance is lucky to have such an amazing person on our team.
RBC Insurance - Director, Portfolio Management and Integrated Tools & Solutions at RBC Insurance
I am nominating Rebecca because I feel that she deserves a nomination for this award. Rebecca is a natural leader and works hard to help empower our team at RBC Insurance. She is very hardworking, kind and inspiring to many people on the RBC team. Rebecca is always looking for ideas and ways to make employees more comfortable and engaged at work. She is extremely generous with her time and listens to the ideas and opinions of everyone regardless of their role. She makes RBC a better place and I am grateful to be on her team.
Agilis Executive Consulting - Founder & CEO
Reena Sharma is an inspiration to women globally as an entrepreneur who has successfully launched 2 consulting firms upon successfully leading roles in the legal industry as an HR executive. Reena continues to persevere and persist through unprecedented challenges, which include gender, diversity and age discrimination; creating a legacy for women to be inspired to lead others and following generations to become successful in today's world.
AS Consulting and Art - CEO
Amanda Shatzko possesses every attribute that you have described as a Women of Inspiration. In fact, she carries the values and has documented successes making her a high-level contender for multiple awards that you have listed.
Amanda is a strong, charming, and intelligent young woman who builds bridges across sectors and is breaking barriers in her community, across the country and internationally.
Black Law Students' Association (Calgary Chapter) - President
Keshia Holloman-Dawson has been my peer since we were both undergraduate students at the University of Calgary, as we both majored in Law and Society and attended many of the same classes. From the first time I met Keshia I was impressed to meet such a bright and thoughtful student, and she always demonstrated maturity and accountability above and beyond that of most of our peers. We have both pursued a career in law, and I am proud to that she is in my cohort at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law. Keshia is pursuing a joint JD/MPP (Juris Doctor and Master of Public Policy) degree. Only a handful of our cohort has endeavoured to advance their education in a joint program, and this speaks to her ambition and dedication to make waves in the realm of law and to impact emerging policy, equipped with this additional degree. Keshia is a passionate advocate for human rights, which is evinced by her current leadership in the Black Law Student's Association of Canada, of which she is the President of the Calgary chapter.
Over the years I have watched Keshia truly blossom. More recently, however, I have been in awe of this woman's dedication to the Black Lives Matter ("#BLM") movement, and her tireless commitment to social justice both on and off campus. The impact of her "Calls for Action" to the Faculty of Law, and collaboration with policy planners, in recent months has the potential to make a lasting impact to the legal community and the community as a whole. I have watched her stewardship of this impressive, well-considered research, and her representation - of the grossly underrepresented - Black community within the student body, faculty, and current practising lawyers. She has been at the forefront of instigating important, high0level discussions with the Faculty of Law to create a viable path to diversity within the legal profession, starting at the law school level. Her advocacy has not gone unnoticed: she has recently been featured in CBC news, and her messaging has gained public support from faculty members in universities across Canada. Because of Keshia's leadership, I am proud to see the University of Calgary taking meaningful steps toward a more equitable entry point into the legal profession, and enthusiasm among our peers to embrace diversity. Keshia Holloman-Dawson is a true inspiration, and I cannot think of a more deserving person to nominate for this award.
RBC Insurance - VP Life, Health, Travel Insurance
I am nominating Cathy Preston as I believe she is truly deserving of this award. Cathy is an extremely hard-working and passionate executive at RBC Insurance. She puts others before herself and is consistently encouraging other women in the company to be their best selves. She is always looking to come up with new and innovative ideas for RBC Insurance to try and provide more options for larger groups of people and populations to help support Canadians all over the country. She is very kind and an inspiration to so many. Even after all these years as part of the industry, she has not lost sight of what is important. She is 100% in this business for the right reasons and has impacted so many lives as a result of her strong leadership and advocacy.
Viral Nation - Group Account Director
Vanessa is the definition of a rising star, this young professional has made a huge impact not only on the people she leads but the company as a whole. Vanessa has successfully created a set of proactive processes within Viral Nation and within a short 5 years, she has worked her way up to Group Account Director. She single-handedly built and now runs a team of 65 employees. With the right mix of positivity, the ability to tap into others’ strengths and thinking outside the box, Vanessa has created and sustained a set of widely successful implementations that have created a more efficient, productive, and happy workforce. Vanessa puts her loyalty and the passion for the betterment of her colleagues and stakeholders ahead of her own career. Vanessa has also led campaigns both domestically and internationally, helping to expand the reach of our company beyond borders.
IBM - Director, Global Digital Sales Development
I am confident in the future of our nation when I meet an individual such as Rakhi Voria. I am the former US Ambassador to Bahrain and former Colorado State Senator and have known Rakhi for over 15 years. I knew from the day that I met her (when she was a business intern for the National US India Chamber of Commerce where I was the Chairman of the Board) that she was a visionary and would make a significant impact on the world. She chose to work in technology for this very reason – to change the world. As the Director of IBM Global Digital Sales and one of the youngest executives at IBM, Rakhi is responsible for several hundred digital sellers. Her work has empowered over 30,000 businesses to achieve more using technology. It is no surprise to me that publications regularly reach out to her for expertise on topics around technology, sales, and millennials She is an influential and inspiring young leader and has demonstrated that transformational businesses can be built even within large corporations. Rakhi’s contributions to building this business were significant, but I’ve been most impressed with her dedication to advancing women and millennials. At only 29 years old, she’s leading Women@IBM and representing IBM at at events all over the world. The work that Rakhi is doing is extremely impactful not only in furthering the fields of digital sales and technology, but also in developing women and millennials. She’s written multiple publications in Forbes on why we need more women in sales and why women should consider roles in sales and is becoming a sought-after speaker internationally. Her work in this space has influenced women around the world to explore careers in sales, a function where women are underrepresented across all levels. It is great to see someone so young drawing light to such an important topic!
Helle Bank Jorgensen
Competent Boards Inc. - CEO & Founder
I nominate Helle Bank Jorgensen because she is an authentic leader with an extensive background in business, law, and accounting; a very impressive combination. She is a Board Facilitator for the UN Global Compact Board Program. Helle is a global leader and making change globally!
Helle Bank Jorgensen is the CEO of Competent Boards which offers the global online ESG focused Competent Boards Certificate Program. The program is highly praised for its unique global dialogue and how it empowers Boards of Directors, Investors, CEOs, and executives to learn from each other about ESG and Resiliency. Based on her 30 years of experience as a strategic and operational ESG adviser, Helle built the program with the help of an extensive network of global leaders which she has engaged with over her career. As a board facilitator and member, she serves on His Royal Highness Prince of Wales A4S Global Expert Panel as well as WBCSD Governance & Internal Oversight High-Level Advisory Group. A business lawyer and state-authorized public accountant by training, Helle also advises global companies and investors on turning sustainability into strong financial results. She has been at the forefront of value-creating ESG and sustainability issues since she created the world’s first Green Account in 1991 based on lifecycle assessment, as well as the world’s first Integrated Report in 2002. Helle has written numerous articles on emerging best practices, is a keynote speaker for sustainability and ESG issues and has been interviewed by global media outlets for her extensive knowledge on these topics.
Bottomline Marketing Inc. - President
Lisa Genovese is the President of BottomLine, an avid Calgary Business Contributor and incredible mentor. She is a true champion of the underdog. Over the years, she has been an instrument to grow BottomLine into a thriving, globally renowned company, supporting brands as they evolve their business to create more impact in their markets. Her leadership of her team is compassionate, caring, and empowers her people to rise to their own innate awesomeness. While she has come up against challenge time and time again, she always conducts herself with the highest of integrity, grows from each challenge, and continues to lift those around her. I cannot wait to see all the amazing things ahead for her.
Nourish Lactation Consulting - Founder
Leanne is simply an inspiration. Not only to me, her husband, but to her 3 beautiful Daughters, Kayla, Alyssa and Maya. Her Family, friends and co-workers. We get to experience, every single day, her heart, her care, her love. But even more than that, Leanne helps new mums connect with their children through her business Nourish Lactation Consulting. Throughout Covid, she has has worked at the Alberta Childrens Hospital during the day to help mums and babies in severe need, and after work travels all across this city to help mums in their homes, by visitiation or online to ensure their babies are well fed, happy and healthy.
She has developed a way to help mums who may not be able to afford quality breast pumps to access them for free through her own intiative, Project Angel Pump. She offers free clinics, free assessments and countless products she has developed to ensure mums have the best care they can at the most important stages of the mother and child bond. She inspires her daughters daily to care for other women, and she inpsires me daily by always trying to do more. She is my inpiration and a worthy candidate to carry on the title of Woman of Inspiration.
Nnineteen Ai - Entrepreneur
Victoria Lennox is one of Canada and Britain's leading proponents of innovation, entrepreneurship and technology to foster a more ethical, sustainable and safer future for everyone. Her more than 15 years in the start-up community, including investor and government relations, keeps us all on track and focused on building a nimble, responsive, AI-based technology platform for the short and long-term. Victoria is motivated to inspire other leaders through sharing a journey but also through discussing critical trends and opportunities using advanced digital technologies, including AI, for the future.
Lisatalksdivorce - Founder, Divorce Specialist
I am nominating Lisa McCallum because of her drive, her vision, and her determination to help women overcome some of the most difficult times in their lives. Her dedication to working with, and creating solutions for women in divorce is an inspiration to not only those women she is helping, but to her co-workers who trust her to help their clients through some of the most difficult times in their lives. Her continuous efforts, and heart, are evident on a daily basis. Her creativity in solutions and creating additional solutions for different situations really leave no woman behind. She is an inspiration to us and is therefore my nominee for Calgary's Woman of Inspiration.
Conscious Equality Inc. - Founder & CEO
Karen is a leading go-to expert for organizations that are serious about ‘getting equality work RIGHT’.
A proud Kenyan Canadian, Karen Craggs-Milne is a recognized global expert with over 20 years of international experience promoting equity, diversity, gender equality, and inclusion.
Karen is an Obama White House recognized Gender Equality Changemaker (2016) and a Global Goodwill Ambassador for Sustainable Development Goals (2018), “LinkedinGlobalSuperHero (2020) and a Top 100 Caanadian Professional (2020).
As Founder and CEO of Conscious Equality Incorporated, Karen works globally with NGOs, Corporations, and Governments to deliver on their equality mandates intentionally and with real impact.
Karen’s passion is to educate and equip others on this work. She offers mastermind groups for leaders, organizational assessments, 1on1 coaching, and training on topics such as workplace sexual harassment and bullying, creating inclusive respectful workplaces, dismantling anti-racism in business, using your privilege to be an effective ally, walking the talk on diversity and inclusion, how to address system discrimination, among others.
Whether it is under a tree in a rural village in Ghana or in a boardroom with C-Suite Executives, Karen’s authentic and engaging approach promises to educate, transform and inspire you into
Karen is currently advising organizations on how to navigate the current Black Lives Matter issues. She educates and guides them how to become truly meaningful allies in the global fight for racial justice.
Senior Consultant at UN Women
Vilupti Corlis is a seasoned international advisor with more 25-years' experience internationally building, leading and managing highly successful game changing, award-winning initiatives. She has worked extensively on addressing issues of poverty, financial inclusion, health access, entrepreneurship, indigenous rights and women's economic empowerment. She is currently a Senior Consultant with UN Women; the Strategic Advisor to the Governor of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; and, and Adjunct Faculty member at Vancouver Island University Her most previous role was as Vice President at the Asia Pacific Foundation Canada's leading think-tank on the Asia Pacific Region. Amongst other initiatives, Vilupti has led: Canada's APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership Initiative; and for the United Nations she conceived and led the "Sanap Wantaim" movement; the "One Million Men One Million Promises to End Violence Against Women" campaign; and, the highly acclaimed "2005 International Year of Microcredit". Vilupti has worked on the antecedents to poverty such as malaria, championing a focus on malaria at the 2008 G8 Summit; and, in the same year, convening 17 heads of state, along with business leaders such as Bill Gates and celebrities such as Bono in an event that raised more than $3 billion for the issue. In addition, she designed and oversaw the she designed and oversaw the award-winning "United Against Malaria" campaign for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Jully Black - Singer, Canadian icon
Known as “Canada's Queen of R&B,” Jully Blackis an award-winning R&B and soul singer-songwriter. In 2013, CBC Music named her one of the 25 Greatest Canadian Singers Ever. Her rich and soulful alto voice has garnered comparisons to Tina Turner and Amy Winehouse.Jully has an incredible story and inspiration for women around the world. Julir black is a true Canadian icon. Jully’s music career has yielded multiple singles reaching the top 10 pop, R&B and dance music charts. She has taken home multiple Juno Awards, earned many industry accolades and was hand selected to sing for the Queen of England.
Mosaic Partners and Piikani Investment Corporation - Partner and Chair of the Board
Bettina is a Community Leader, an Executive and a proud mother who has mentored and assisted many people to reach their potential. She is a highly successful and influential Entrepreneur with a dedication to Alberta and Canada. She is a co-founder of Mosaic Partners, an organization that bridges economic development opportunities with Indigenous partners; an owner of Luxeum Renewables Group Inc and Phasis Consulting.
Bettina is currently on the Board of Governors for Bow Valley College, is the Chair of the Board and Managing Director for the Piikani Investment Corporation, is Chair of the Fundraising Committee for Soccer Without Boundaries and Secretary of the Board at Prospect Human Services.
Bettina is the proud mother of her 3 beautiful children, has 2 cats, 2 budgies and is an avid political volunteer.
Randi Goodman - CEO Toronto Women's Expo
Randi is a true humanitarian and advocate for acknowledging and empowering women and men . She is a 8 X #1 International Best-Selling Author, Publisher, and International Speaker. Randi’s passion for helping others lead her to produce several charity galas. Her strong business sense and experience operating a manufacturing company, prompted her to create business to business events including the Toronto’s Women’s Expo, Empowering Women to Succeed Conference and the Wealth Summit. Randi has produced nearly 200 #1 International Best-Selling Authors with her book series, Empowering Women to Succeed and 365 Empowering Stories, which have become major success' internationally, with six volumes in total. She has affected change in thousands of people's lives both personally and professionally helping others to build confidence, a strong sense of self all while giving them a platform to share their life stories in the world. She empowers women to become the true version of themselves, is a community builder, a 2nd Dan in Karate, and a 4th level CMA.
She is a true professional with a listening ear and compassionate nature which has made her a sought after top choice real estate professional in the world of buying one's dream home, commercial real estate investing, networking, marketing, social media, email marketing, digital marketing, building sales funnels, podcasting, book writing, publishing, and monetizing, She selflessly helps others step up their game. Her goal is to provide the best possible experience for those interested in purchasing or selling real estate as well as helping small business owners and entrepreneurs with useful knowledge offering them a platform to connect, She adds priceless value to help others enrich their self esteem, confidence, business sense (real estate and otherwise) and is truly the go to female extraordinaire. She is a health conscious woman (mind, body soul) who cherishes her family, and the proud mother of 4 wonderful boys.
Sr Vice President, Portfolio Manager
Tina is unique and outstanding because she takes everything above and beyond and still has time for family and friends. Tina makes a point of sending hand written cards in the mail just to say she's thinking of you. Tina exudes confidence but is never afraid to tell the truth, to advise a friend that it isn't always easy being a wife, mother or career women. She is an example to her children and both of them have been active volunteers along side their mom. Tina also has a passion for working with the Raymond James Canada Foundation, she is a member of the advisory committee, actively volunteering and helping clients create a legacy of giving that is important for those with a philanthropic desire. Each May Tina spearheads the “May Cares” month for her branch actively organizing volunteer hours for her co workers. Annually Tina has organized and sponsored for her team to volunteer at St. Mary’s Church for the Feed the Hungry program. Tina won the first award in the country for Community Leadership given out by the Raymond James Canada Foundation. There is so much more to say but not enough space!
GTE Productions - Founder / CEO
Mariah is a powerhouse who always finds the time for those around her and beyond. She started her award-winning production company when she was 21 years old and has gone on to produce features, television and festivals. In addition, she tirelessly volunteers with numerous organizations and is always the first one to help. She inspires those around her with her sense of humour, work ethic, drive and kindness.
Pluck Tea - CEO & Founder
Jennifer is an inspirational leader that has the drive, passion and proven track record that has made a meaningful difference. The brand and business she has created has been rooted in a meaningful purpose of bringing an exceptional tea experience and doing good with ethical sourcing, sustainability and a passion for local ingredients. Jennifer's passion for excellence and quality is best expressed through her creative and innovative products that have inspired the love for the brand. I was so impressed with her formula for success that I recently had the privilege to join the company and contribute to the future growth.
Centre Street Church - Choir leader/ Conductor
I’m nominating Becky because of her incredible work. She a choir leader/ conductor at Cenre Street Church. She is very hardworking to give hope to us . Especially during this challenging time. Sending out comforting messages and she has been involved in the Choir online while people can’t go to church any more. Encouraging women not to give up for their dreams. We are so fortunate to have her around us. I’m pleased to nominate her as one of our woman of inspiration. Thank you so much for your time reading my message. Stay save. . Olivia Sonntag.
Shelley Uvanile -Hesch
Womens Trucking Federation of Canada - Chief Executive Officer
Shelley is an inspiration to so many people not just the women that she meets, but all people, garnering admiration from all walks of life.
Shelley has become a great friend and I get to see how tirelessly she works to shine a light on the causes she believes in, leading the way for others to follow.
Her determination knows no bounds as she strives to bring women together, to build each other up. She leads by example, she inspires us to raise each other up building a better tomorrow for the girls who will follow.
She has an amazing resilient outlook on life, bearing her personal burdens without fanfare, her willingness to be there for others in their hour of need is unwavering.
Shelley has a ready smile, she is quick to laugh and joke. She is the kind of friend a friend would want to be.
Kinzoo - Director of Customer Experience
Blair is the head of the Customer Experience department at Kinzoo and holds a prominent role on the leadership team.
Kinzoo - CGO
Britt is leading the Chief Growth Officier at Kinzoo and holds a prominent leadership position in the company.
Restaurants Canada - President and CEO
I would like to nominating Shanna Munro as a Woman of Inspiration...
Shanna came into the association at Restaurant Canada, that was not in a strong financial position and, one with a weak cultural and low moral.
She was able to development and implement a 5 year plan that lead the organization and Board through a seismic shift. Today, the Association is financially strong with a much improved culture and reputation in the industry.
One of the biggest challenges was to revamp the makeup of the industry representative Board itself. She recruited women and diversified the Board to better represent the industry.
Shanna has a keen eye on all our publications ensuring women are front and center and promoted. This is often a challenge in the Foodservice business, as women are under represented at senior levels.
Her strong vision of profiling women even permeated down to the level of selecting panel participates at our national trade show. The RC show is Canada's largest Foodservice and Hospitality event. Management could not proceed without women participating on all key discussion groups.
Shanna is a strong women leader (women not even needed here) A strong leader... She represented the 4th larges sector in the economy.
Her passion and desire for success has inspired the Board/the team and ultimately the entire sector.
Love Good Fats - CEO and Founder
Suzie has made a tremendous effort to use her visibility and success to give back to the LGBTQI community. She is a proud gay Mom and entrepreneur who gives back through being visually gay in her social media posts, but has also donated a significant amount of money ($50, 000 this year) to LGBTQI charities.
Wealthy Woman Warrior - CEO & Founder
Andrea is the kind of person who fills a room with optimism while bridging the gap between where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow. She genuinely cares about helping women ignite their potential and stands by you, even when you think you have nothing left to give. She does so because she's been there, she knows what it's like to "go it alone", to feel "not enough" and to "struggle to believe that you are worthy". Her work in using neuroscience as a way to handle the pressure that prevents women from advancing has been instrumental in my career advancement and my ability to overcome adversity. She is a Woman of Inspiration who needs to be recognized.
Shannon Smith Photography - Founder
I am nominating Shannon Smith because she is an agent for change and a true champion of women.
Shannon is the founder of Shannon Smith Photography, and specializes primarily in boudoir photos. She works with women of all genders, ages and sizes. Her clients have often experienced immense trauma and helps them to see their true inner and outer beauty.
Shannon is a champion for size acceptance and inclusion of all races, sexes and gender. Often boudoir photographers don’t feature plus-size or trans women, and Shannon breaks down through these stereotypes through her art and social media.
Prosh Marketing - CEO
Roshni is a Chartered Marketer and leader with 15 years of progressive experience, having launched almost 50 products and brands in over 10 global markets, and helped companies attain 9 figure investment rounds. She has built her reputation by bringing creativity and strategic insights to leading global technology companies such as Microsoft, Sony Mobile (where she managed Consumer Marketing in North America) and Kobo (where she eventually led Global Product Marketing). She then built out Marketing teams and programs at domestic technology leaders, Juice Mobile, Thinking Capital, Benecaid and Foxquilt, and has founded Prosh Marketing specializing in Marketing Strategy and Planning. Her involvement in the community extends to mentoring and speaking with an array of audiences including American Marketing Association, Schulich Start-ups and the Foxquilt Entrepreneurship Summit, and most recently, she was accepted into the Forbes Communication Council.
Farmbucks - CEO and Founder of Farmbucks
I am nominating Lynn Dargis because she inspires me and so many others everyday to go after your dreams and to keep pushing through adversity. Lynn is a farmer in North Eastern Alberta and she set out to create a site and app, called Farmbucks, to help farmers like herself quickly identify grain pricing opportunities. The site collects, sorts and displays the best prices for farmers according to their location and grades. It's concept originated out of necessity for Lynn after many hours, even days were spent searching for the best grain prices. You see, not only does she manage and run a 4500 acres grain farm, and a custom feedlot which she took on at a young age after her parents passed away suddenly but she also have 3 kids and a husband! She is such an inspiring hardworking female in a field where it's certainly not typical to have a female run operation. There is so much more I feel I could say but I'll leave it at this for the time being and would really love to she her nominated for such an extinguished Gala.
Jasmine Daya & Co - Founder, Managing Principal
If you open the dictionary up to the word "Inspiration," Jasmine's photo would appear. Ever since she was a law student she has created a road that has led her to establish one of the few female only owned law practices in the country. Moreover, she is now writing her 4th cookbook, a passion project she has been working on with her mother. Thanks to Jasmine creating Indian cuisine is accessible to anyone with a skillet and some skill. She has also penned a recently released novel. She is also a mother of three, a mentor and more. She is an inspiration to many younger women as well as her peers, both male and female.
I am honoured to nominate her for the Inspire Award!
PCF Souvenirs - Chief Executive Officer -
Michaela Krizkova is the CEO of PCF Souvenirs. PCF is one of North America's largest souvenir companies.
Total Duration 4 yrs 8 mos
Title Chief Executive Officer
Dates EmployedOct 2019 – Present
Employment Duration9 mos
LocationCanada & USA
Bathurst Walk-in-Clinic and Family Practice - Medical Director, Founder and CEO, M.D., C.C.F.P.
Dr. Rajinder Atwal is the medical director at Bathurst Walk-in-Clinic and Family Practice. As a physician Dr. Atwal has been true to her passion of helping people as a frontline worker during Covid. She is also the Founder and CEO of Covid 24-7 Canada and the Founder and CEO of Covid Kids Canada. Dr. Atwal is involved in Covid clinical research trials with the University of Health Network to test a promising treatment for Covid-19 using Peginterferon Lambda. She is the recent winner of Top Doctor of the Month from Doctors Choice Awards. Not to mention, she was named in the 2018 Leading Physicians of the World Directory. Dr. Atwal is also a clinical supervisor for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and a physician supervisor for Remicade Clinical Infusion trials. Furthermore, she is a leadership mentor and teacher. She is also a proud mother of three children.
Curacion Group of Companies / Nadiya Manji Brand - CEO and Founder
Nadiya Manji is a thought leader in the area of utilizing emotional intelligence in leading your life and business. Originally from Pakistan, Nadiya has worked with numerous clients over 3 continents, for over 15 years and has decided to make Canada her home. Through many adversities, she has powered through to create a place for herself on the emotional intelligence and leadership stage. She strongly believes that emotional intelligence and leadership skills can be utilized in both our personal and professional lives. Nadiya is also a 2018 TEDx Speaker, Author and is currently completing her designation as a clinical hypnotherapist. I believe Nadiya is a prime candidate for this award as she has worked with many people helping break through their inner blocks and barriers to attain the best life possible. There is no one more deserving than Nadiya Manji.
Newleaf Total Wellness Centre - Owner- CEO
LISA MACDOUGALL, RMT AND OWNER OF NEW LEAF TOTAL WELLNESS CENTRE
Lisa’s own story of grief and healing has meant that NewLeaf is a strong supporter of Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Ronald McDonald House and local children’s organizations including Abbotsford Judo Club.
SheWorth - Co-founder
Adversity to Lara means opportunity. Twice I have witnessed her take extraordinary challenging circumstances and create positive change. The first time when she found out her sister had breast cancer and the side effects of her treatment caused horrendous night sweats. It took 2+ years but Lara created a line of sleepwear that manages night sweats, which 80% of women experience. The second time was when Lara co-founded SheWorth, a multimedia platform for women to empower women to realize their worthiness. This was created partially out of Lara's experience with a toxic/abusive partner (ex-hushand). Sheworth like Lusome is helping women feel like a better version of themselves.
Fullscript - Director, Strategy & Business Operations
As the operational lead, Christy White is a vital contributor to all company milestones and achievements. She understands the functions of every Fullscript department and continuously optimizes operations to drive business growth.
Christy is a key player in the growth and success of Fullscript. She facilitates growth by empowering teams to maintain visibility into how their contributions are performing, advancing company goals, and affecting the efforts of other departments. With this level of understanding, all departments are able to make decisions that foster growth which can be tied back directly to Christy’s efforts.
Christy accomplishes all of this by facilitating cross-functional reporting and collaboration across the commercialization team, including Marketing, Sales, Fullscript’s Integrative Medical Advisory Team, Data, and Merchandising. Christy’s scope of responsibilities is relied upon from the executive leadership of Fullscript. She keeps a pulse on the operational functions of the company and makes reports which influence decision making.
headveristy - Founder and Chief Product Officer
To be completely honest, it was recommended that I submit a nomination for this award, but not completely comfortable with self promotion. However, I think that is the point. As women, we need to celebrate our contributions and the impact we have on our community and the World. To me, it is not about the recognition but rather the collective celebration of what women had and can accomplished... thus inspiring other women to rise. My "WHY" is to be a difference maker. To pull together an application reinforce ways that I am able to live this will strengthen my resolve to have an impact and make a significant difference.
The Corner Salon - Founder
Naomi is a Calgary woman that is completely resilient. She had a tough upbringing and always found the light at the end of the tunnel to guide her. She is the founder of The Corner Salon which opened up 18 years ago.
Her personality warms the room when you walk into her funky comfortable creative salon. She transforms your physical and emotional well being after you leave her salon. It is not just a hair cut or colour you recieved it is a whole experience. You feel like a million bucks.
Calgary Pride, Calgary Spoken Word Society, and Aspen/Boys & Girls Club of Calgary - Board President, Board Treasurer, Director of Philanthropy, Certified Fundraising Executive, Artist and Storyteller
Shone Thistle is a woman who does it all. She is the Board President for Calgary Pride, the Board Treasurer for the Calgary Spoken Word Society, the Director of Philanthropy for the Aspen/Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary, a Certified Fundraising Executive and an Artist and Storyteller. Shone is a proud activist and advocates for change, even when faced with extreme resistance. She has had to make many unpopular decisions in her career, all for the greater good of our communities, including the LGBTQ2S+, children and youth. A few examples include her tenacity to handle Pride in Politics, brokering Calgary’s first permanent rainbow crosswalks and leading Calgary Pride’s successful campaign to ban conversion therapy. As a successful leader, Shone has been professionally fundraising for the arts, culture and social sectors for more than a decade, leading teams to raise more than $100 Million.
Western Law and Ivey Business School - Western Law/MBA Student (former Management Consulting Analyst at Accenture)
My sister Chelsea is the embodiment of the quote “be the change you want to see in the world”. Despite being one of the busiest people that I know, she has always supported me in the pursuit of my goal to become a Civil Engineer, a heavily male-centric field. My sister inspires me for a number of reasons. She is an aspiring lawyer concurrently completing her MBA and prior to law school, she had a successful career at Accenture. However, her defining characteristics are her extreme kindness, resilience and pursuit of equality. Chelsea has founded 2 mentorship programs to provide career and economic opportunities for women and underprivileged youth. She also led 2 corporate partnerships with non-profits dedicated to delivering educational services and career advancement of youth in Canada, India and Kenya. This summer, Chelsea is conducting research on using the law as a tool for Indigenous economic advancement.
Faces of Wendy - Owner
Wendy has always pushed the limits for herself and for the equality for Women. She is with the Swan Lake Band, Manitoba. She is the only Aboriginal athlete ever to compete in Alpine Ski racing in the Olympic Winter Games and she has become one of the few Females to ever Coach at the World Alpine Championships. In a Male dominated environment, Wendy is a fearless leader, mentor and role model in the ski racing community for young Female Coaches and has brought her passion to the big screen. As a single Mum, her entrepreneurial spirit guided her to starting her Talent Agency. "Faces of Wendy" is one of the most respected in the business due to her honesty, integrity and hard work in advocating for her clients. Wendy is very proud of her Indigenous clients. She enjoys sending them all over the World and empowers them in achieving their acting dreams.
Humber River Hospital - Vice President Clinical Programs
Carol Hatcher is an authentic leader who inspires all to be at their best, and has a deep passion for improving care and outcomes of patients in her duties as the Vice President of Clinical Programs. She is known for her sincere regard for others, and humility in interactions creating a positive environment for growth and innovation. She is a thought leader in healthcare awarded the 2019 Women Leader in Digital Health by Digital Health Canada.
Carol is highly revered within the hospital and regionally, and is frequently seen as a mentor developing emerging leaders. I have had the privilege of receiving her mentorship, holding progressive leadership positions, and was awarded the Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL) 2020 Robert Zed Young Leader Award. All who know her have a deep admiration for her approach and leadership.
I can think of no one more deserving for this prestigious Award.
Loblaw Companies Ltd. - Sr Director, Finance
Angie is a leader who stepped up and put herself on the frontlines during COVID. Having heard her on the UWN Virtual Series, I wanted to nominate her based on her story and everything she shared. Her more professional bio for why I’m nominating her is: Angie Kim is a finance lead for Loblaw Companies Ltd., Canada’s food and pharmacy leader, with a network of over 2,000 stores employing close to 200,000 Canadians. Angie received her B.Sc. with Honours from the University of Toronto and experienced various roles in sales, operations, and category management in her career. Since the drop of the pandemic, she has been volunteering to serve at the frontlines and has recently been featured on both Forbes and National Post in recognition of her servant leadership.
Fashion Group International- Toronto Chapter - Regional Director
It is my distinct honour to nominate Klaudia Capalbo for the Women of Inspiration Award. Klaudia has had a varied career in the Fashion Industry and has shown herself to be a passionate and fearless leader in all of her endeavours – including teaching at a number of colleges and working in senior positions at a few media operations.
After serving 2 years on the board of Toronto’s chapter of Fashion Group International, she was elected as the Regional Director. At the AGM in January 2020, Klaudia presented an exemplary calendar of events including themes and venues. Sadly, due to Covid 19, only one event was held before everything was shut down but she and her board have run some creative online activities. Klaudia has secured a number of very high profile sponsors and once the pandemic is safely behind us, everyone is anticipating a fabulous 2 years under Klaudia’s leadership.
SunOpta Inc - Sr.Food Safety and Quality Manager
I am nominating Darshita Patel for the Millennial Leader Award. She has been an incredible leader. She has been very dedicated to what she does and always looking to take extra responsibilities. She leads a team from 15 other plants where she is continuously mentoring her team in achieving the goals as well as company's success.
HearVue Inc. - Founder & CEO
Lorin MacDonald is a human rights lawyer and Founder and CEO of HearVue, a social enterprise dedicated to increasing communication inclusion at in-person and online events via captioning. For decades, she has demonstrated her leadership, passion, and commitment to accessibility and inclusion in her volunteer and professional activities, all informed by her lived experience as a woman born with profound hearing loss. Recognized as one of Canada's top voices in accessibility and disability issues, Lorin's approach is grounded in evidence-based research and a desire to challenge communities and organizations to be more inclusive. Through education and as an in-demand speaker, Lorin continually strives to ensure those who are misinformed or unconscious of cross-disability accessibility barriers are equipped with the tools to create inclusive communities for all. She was recently featured in a Canadian Press article that was picked up nation-wide discussing the challenges of living with hearing loss during COVID-19.
Stephanie Massman Massman
bamconnections.com - owner
Stephanie makes winners. She brings out the best in others, inspires everyone she comes in contact with to become better. Her energy is infectious, the light in every room. I believe other women will be inspired to follow her lead to become great. Stephanie leads by example and is a fabulous role model for women young and old.
heyHUMANTIS - Founder and Principal Consultant
I have had the privilege of knowing Jodi for 25+ years, seeing her growth from a curious university student to a compassionate and wonderful mother of two children, wife and human resources professional. Jodi pushes boundaries, takes risks and inspires those around her to speak about the delicate issues impacting humanity. She is on a mission to create solid human connections focusing on human rights, social justice, and self-awareness. In her desire to keep conversations going she founded her own company in 2018. Jodi also volunteers her time in the not-for-profit sector and with her parent advisory council advocating for how “we are all connected”. She encourages self-reflection, growth, and empathetic impact via her theory of change, Intentification™. While she is not diligently working in these roles, she has two new ventures: writing her book for creating meaningful employee experiences, and championing voices of women by co-founding Leverage26, a learning network.
The Terminator Foundation - Founder and Executive Dirextor
Vanisha is like no other women I have ever met! If any one deserves an award for inspiring it’s Vanisha!
She has faced challenges like no other and is still standing strong while
Fighting to make a huge difference in the lives of community members.
She encourages people to be open with their stories, to feel no shame and she teaches strength by showing up and being there to support and help people through their journeys
She is the founder of The Terminator Foundation, and repeats daily
“the truth is you can recover”
*The Terminator Foundations vision is to reach all youth and young adults who are impacted by addiction and mental health and radically transform their lives through sports coaching, peer support, team training, endurance and triathlon participation while supporting efforts to terminate the shame and indignity of addiction with education,awareness and understanding. (Copied from the Terrminator website!)
Vanisha is strong, and inspiring! I am honoured to know her and privileged to learn from her!
Monica is a pilot for Kenn Borek Air - Pilot
Monica is an accomplished Twin Otter Polar Pilot! Over the last 20 years, she has developed her considerable piloting skills flying missions around the North Pole and Arctic circle and the South Pole and Antarctic continent delivering such diverse cargo as: explorers, scientists, doctors, surveyors, equipment, fuel and supplies to various locations in the dramatic and extremely harsh climates of the far north and far south. One of few women in her field, she has competently and capably built her strong reputation through her incredible work ethic and remarkable skill set. She consistently demonstrates that there is a space and a place for women in this challenging work environment that is typically occupied by males. Monica is a tremendous advocate and mentor to other women working in this exhilarating and demanding industry. She is making a difference every day with her confident and sunny smile.
National Latina Businesss Women Association -IE - Executive Director
Maria is a humble and dedicated women dedicated to serving the community She is the current Executive director for the National Latina Business Women Association inland Empire. Maria has been a community champion helping Women all across Southern California build their Dream. She is very hardworking, dedicated to serving others. A game-changer for Women across the country. I have met many women leaders and Maria is by fare a trailblazer. She starting with NLBWA-IE from the ground floor and has built and grown a women organization that helps give women of color a platform to become successful. What makes her an exceptional candidate is she never complains, she is so dedicated and gives of herself for help others. I have personally seen her work and for this reason, I am proud to nominate Maria Solano as one of your awardees
Women CyberSecurity Society (WCS2) - Founder & CEO
Lisa is a tireless advocate for positive and enduring change. In a male-dominated field Lisa has devoted herself to create a more equitable cyber security industry. Working hard to overcome gender bias Lisa through her organization Women CyberSecurity Society has empowered countless women to be able to carve out successful cyber security careers.
Lisa is truly inspirational and I am very blessed and humbled by her friendship. she has inspired me to do more and to do my part in creating a more equitable tomorrow within the cyber security industry and for greater gender diversity.
Countless women (and men) owe their cyber security career success to Lisa. She is truly a Women of Inspiration.
The Women's Place (TWP) Fitness - Co Owner + Personal Trainer + Social Media Lead
Being a great leader requires you to be in good shape, physical and mentally. The COVID19 pandemic has made this more important than ever. I’m nominating Taylor Kolar, as she has inspired me and hundreds of other women to push their personal limits in an inclusive environment, all while having fun and maintaining important social bonds.
Her pivot was so inspirational. TWP switched to a virtual platform seamlessly overnight, being able to deliver fitness instruction. She worked tirelessly designing and delivering a variety of workout routines that were at-home-friendly. She coordinated expert sessions for physical and mental health and virtual coffee hours to build a community and much-needed social network for women. It took perseverance and very long hours. But, she never stopped smiling. If you watch any of her online content, you’ll see how much she cares and how hard she worked to keep her staff employed.
So many businesses are suffering huge financial impacts and many of them are shutting down. Thanks to Taylor’s passion and ingenuity, TWP Fitness Kelowna will not be another statistic!
Clean Club Calgary - CEO
My line of work allows me to meet a lot of people who overcome adversity, and Judith Virag is one such inspiring human.
Why? Relentless perseverance.
Judith immigrated from Hungry. Learning English isn’t easy. Adapting to a new country and culture isn’t easy. Discrimination isn’t easy. Finding employment, let alone starting a business isn’t easy, and yet despite all the challenges Judith has faced in life, never, not once, have I heard her make excuses.
While everyone experiences challenges, setbacks, roadblocks, hardship, etc, not everyone perseveres through it. Not everyone learns from it. Not everyone willingly shares their lessons learned from it.
This is the Judith I know. Not only is she the epitome of everything above, Judith is incredibly kind, compassionate, and generous with her time, energy and wisdom. She is consistently encouraging and supporting others in her community, inspiring them to be the best version of themselves... and as such, inspires me.
Michaela Renee Johnson - Be You Find Happy
Raised in a 27 foot fifth wheel with no electricity or running water, Michaela has gone on to blaze the path for women to learn to live a courageous life of authenticity and speak their truth with grace. In her award-winning memoir and debut book, Teetering on Disaster, she shared what it's like to create empowerment for yourself. Today, she's the author of several books, including her latest Empowered, a Motivational Journal for Women (Rockridge Press June 2020) and host of the top iTunes podcast, Be You Find Happy. She epitomizes the idea of inspiring from within.
Better Medical - Medical Director
Dr.Natasha Iyer has devoted herself to helping others . A superwomen is what I like to call her ! I don't know how she does it all but from Being at the office and looking after patients Full-Time Dr.Iyer then leaves town on Friday's and works at an Emergency room on the weekends ! She is also a wonderful mom to her two beautiful sons and a dog mom to her two dogs . We are so grateful to have a doctor like her she is inspiring, extremely hard working and she cares about everyone else first before she gets to even think about herself sometimes she forgets she has to sleep !
IT Leader/Project/Program Manager
Anastasiia was born a Leader. Being a child she already knew how to engage people around the ideas. Never forced, but inspire. Being a student she proposed a solution to help family doctors in her country. Being mom of three, full-time employed, having three University Degrees and volunteering in different non-profit educational programs, she continues to inspire people in Cybersecurity and Software Development for more than 16 years. Innovations and technology are in her blood.
TEC Canada / HighStreet Insurance - Chair / Chief Operating Officer
Deb is a daily inspiration to all of those around her. She is an entrepreneurial, visionary leader who leads with authenticity, charisma and integrity. She is passionate about the growth and success of people and businesses within her touch and is wholly giving of her time and energy to grow and mentor both. She is a business woman who consistently fills you with the motivation and tools for you to do something worthwhile and be the very best version of yourself.
DarkSpark - Director and Co-founder
Melissa Larkin and her husband D'ari own DarkSpark and have presented to the Obama group...Wonderful cultural ambassadors. Working with individuals, schools and communities, Darkspark combines intergenerational and multicultural experiential learning with the pervasive power of pop culture.
Their team of recording artists, music producers, educators, and filmmakers guide youth to explore the history of a polarizing issue from many perspectives using storytelling and experiential education, then to write, record, and release pop songs with a social purpose.
Darkspark puts youth at the centre of positive social change.
Aitken Frame Homes - Founder
Aitken Frame Homes are the world's first hybrid building system that combines the benefits of prefabrication, with the flexibility of onsite construction. Áccording to the website, Aitken Frame Homes (AFH) Advanced Frame Housing System
is the World’s first Hybrid building system. Combining the benefits of prefabrication with the flexibility of on-site construction, AFH’s Advanced Frame Systems are build at local manufacturing facilities already building components for the construction industry, allowing full house frame systems to be produced in under a week and delivered locally using the manufacturers existing supply chain. The technology, covered under a 152 PCT Patent Filling, is a Canadian Solution to a Global Problem!
MacPhee - Co-Founder
Linda MacPhee, is one of Canada's foremost sewing experts. She is co-founder of MacPhee Workshop (along with her husband Harris), one of Canada's largest design houses and pattern manufacturers. Linda, with teaching and Home Economics degrees, in her capacity as Creative Director and Chief Fashion Designer, has been instrumental in developing and producing the over 150 different patterns currently carried by MacPhee Workshop. She is a highly motivated, energetic and talented individual who has been involved in shaping the outerwear fashion industry for many years.
Kathryn Parrotta Music - Composer and Choir Leader
In addition to Kathryn's amazing accomplishments in the international world of choir, she has been leading a virtual choir of women doctors helping the doctors across Canada to stay mentally healthy and make beautiful music during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kathryn's skills are a gift to the world. kathrynparrottamusic.com
Aomega Group - Owner and Founder
Aomega Lodges, Margaret has been named one of the top 25 immigrants making a difference in Canada. Her Credentals include:
BSc. Dip. P.G. Arch
Owner and Founder of Aomega Group Inc.
President of the Ghanaian Canadian Association of Calgary
President of the PCH Council of Calgary
Margaret Adu, a highly accomplished architect, has gained significant experience in the areas of human resources, finances, planning and program delivery. Her combined experience in the areas of architectural and health service delivery ensures a solid and forward thinking individual for the future of PCH service delivery both in the city of Calgary and in the rural communities of High River and Airdrie.
Catalina van der Raadt
Catalina was one of two Alberta students chosen to present their science fair projects in Abu Dhabi in September 2019 . Catalina's interest is stem cell research. Catalina is an ideal candidate for a Woman of Inspiration Award.
Bano eeMee - Founder and Designer
Bano eeMee is a socially conscious fashion company based in Toronto, Canada. Aleem, the founder of Bano eeMee, employs fashion to make a difference by creating fair-work opportunities in disadvantaged communities around the world. Sale of a Bano eeMee jacket translates into fair paid work for two days for three artisans. Aleem is making a difference not only in the world of fashion but also in the way his business model changes the lives of the women who sew the garments he designs.
Prairie Manufacturer Magazine - Publisher
Ronda is Publisher of Prairie Manufacturer Magazine. In addition to being an influencer in a sector dominated by men, Ronda is one of the most charismatic and connected people I know. She is continually going out of her way to boost others- especially women and where many people kind of play at networking, Ronda is a thoughtful connector. She listens, she shares, she cares. She never expects anything in return and is consistently publishing an incredible magazine that supports the local and Canada-wide manufacturers and industry, she is a true leader- generous and gracious and brilliant.
Raising Humanity - Founder
Ashley has made a huge difference in my life and those of my family and community. I have had the pleasure of being in several conversations with her; Ashley's vision, words and compassion for humanity is immeasurable. She plants the seeds of a higher self that she knows and acknowledges is within each of us. She gives space and honours our individual journey while helping us rise up alongside her. Her gentle strength is unwavering, as she is determined to make a difference in this world. Ashley's words and work have moved me, inspired me and continue to make me re-think the choices I make on a daily basis. I am truly honoured and grateful for knowing her and the work she does at Raising Humanity.
tellent - Founder
Jenny has a steadfast commitment to changing the way that work works for women. She started a company that connects professional women with professional flexible work because she had big career goals and big lifestyle goals and didn't like being told she couldn't do both. To know it is possible… to have the kind of career that I want and to be the kind of parent I want, inspired me to start my own business. She inspires so many of us with her unwavering commitment and passion to follow our dreams. She brings people together with a shared vision to change to the world!
Spragg's Meat Shop - Co-Owner
Bonnie is co-owner of the family-owned and operated farm and business, Spragg’s Meat Shop, which is focused on ethical, sustainable, local farming practices and is passionate about feeding Albertan families like their own. Bonnie has a thriving business that has survived the ups and downs of the Alberta economy, and she has adapted her company for the ever-evolving COVID-19 world to continue to bring her customers high-quality meat products. As a farmer and producer of meat products, this industry is typically dominated by men, but Bonnie has successfully run her business with her husband and daughter for over 15 years. Bonnie’s entrepreneurship skill has earned her many awards, including the 2019 Women Entrepreneurship Fund from the Canadian Government, a grant committed to supporting women entrepreneurs.
DLA Piper (Canada) LLP - Associate Counsel
Nomination: Authentic Leader Award
It's truly a gift to know a corporate lawyer who brings a sense of empathy into the Board Room.
Samantha Kernahan combines legal skills with her vision for a community anchored by a strong economy with a soul.
I first heard Samantha speak on the need to identify Intellectual Property (IP).
This is especially important for women who sometimes undervalue their bank of knowledge and reputation.
Samantha is an Associate Counsel at DLA Piper (Canada) LLP, where her areas of practice include corporate/commercial
law, intellectual property, technology law.
She's also on the Board of Directors for MacEwan University hit doubly hard by Alberta's financial balance sheet and COVID-19.
Samantha’s commitment to her community is demonstrated by her wide-ranging volunteer positions, including on the boards of Little Warriors, Women in Occupational Health & Safety Society, and Elevate Aviation.
She's an inspired and authentic leader.
16WeekInvestor - CoFounder
She is an amazing person and boss. Colleen values her team, volunteers in the local community.
Colleen is also the founder of 16WeekInvestor and thetsikiras.com. They are successful business owners and real estate investors looking to educate others to do the same.
Raising Humanity - Ceo
She is awesome and has created an incredible place where people are seen, heard, and supported being who they are. Their true selves. she shows up in this world as a true leader and advocate of a better world
Sinclair (Elizabeth Saucier)
Sinclair - Singer, Songerwriter
Based in Waterdown - Singer/songwriter SINCLAIR is new to audiences, but she's been writing music for a lifetime - and with her absolutely stunning voice, incredible range and lyrics that make you sit up and take notice, this incredible new artist is getting the attention of some big industry names - and inspiring many as she beats many obstacles tearing a path to the stars!
CannaWrites - Founder
Anne-Marie Fischer, M.Ed. has been a lifelong educator, writer, standing behind successful cannabis companies and entrepreneurs since 2016 through her education, research, and content work in the U.S., Canada and abroad. Anne-Marie spent many years as an academic, earning a Combined Honours BA in English & History, a Diploma in Human Resources Management, and a Master of Education, where data, information, and learning became her focus. Anne-Marie has been involved in building research and engagement partnerships locally and across Canada, The U.S., Central America, and East Africa. She turned to full-time writing in 2016, and began to focus on the cannabis industry filling the need for professional, accurate writing and research. She built her company now serving over 200 clients and brands. Anne-Marie currently resides on Vancouver Island in BC yet is a true digital nomad.
Calgary Economic Development - Trade, Business Development & Client Excellence
Shona is a breath of fresh air. She truly cares about your direction in life when it comes to business and will go the extra mile to help a Calgary Company out be successful. She is a great connector and her passion for helping others will take her to the next level in life
Alexa Carr - Singer Songwriter
Alexa Carroccia is an 18-year-old, up and coming artist based in Windsor, Ontario who has already released two EP albums. She began singing at the age of 11 and also began writing her own music shortly after. The Pop and R&B singer released her first EP titled “Years” In July of 2017, followed by her 2nd EP album titled “Clementine”, just this past October 2019. She has traveled as far as Germany to perform for audiences and intends to keep sharing her love for music with fans across the globe. Her songs have been played on CBC Radio, Hear & Now, and 93.9 FM the River, which are all local radio stations and are also available on all streaming platforms.
Gigglez - Founder
I have helped Geetika a few times as a volunteer for her business, Gigglez. I have to say, Geetika’s drive really inspires me. She is one of the most hardworking people I know, and she never gives up until she reaches her targets. Geetika is very determined, talented and extremely passionate about Gigglez. I’m honoured to be a part of this brilliant journey of hers and I wish Geetika the best of luck for the future!
Nothabo Ncube "Dr Thabo" - Speaker, Coach, Mentor
Nothabo Ncube “Dr.Thabo” is an Inspirational TEDx Speaker, A Coach To Women and A Millennial Mentor To Young-Girls. Having overcome her own personal and professional obstacles, her powerful story encourages this generation to face their challenges and conquer them. Her story led her to meet the media mogul, Oprah Winfrey and just recently she shared her life journey on the TEDx platform. Through a whirlwind of inspirational lectures, round table discussions and media appearances on stages such as Global News TV, she positively influences, challenges and reconnects youth with their passions. She uses incredible wit and candor to empower young girls and women. Dr.Thabo envisions a world where all people are given the opportunity to become the best versions of themselves, not only to dream bigger dreams, but to create and shape the world they have always desired. Having lost her mother at the tender age of 14, at her mother’s death bed, she made a promise to her to be a doctor in Zimbabwe. Destiny led her to Canada where she and her family found themselves living in Community Housing in Toronto, subjected to social ills that could have deterred her from her path, despite these circumstances she rose from the ashes. Her journey leading to the fulfillment of the promise has been one filled with loss, pain, failures, mistakes, resilience, courage, faith, hope, grace and overcoming adversity. Through her dedication to make global impact, she was nominated by Women Of Influence and Royal Bank Of Canada for the 28th Annual RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards/Inspiring Group for the 2nd year in a row, selected as Top 4 Immigrant Women of Inspiration in Canada by Canadian Immigrant Magazine. She is now on a mission to empower, to educate, to encourage, to enlighten, to inspire, to uplift and to motivate this generation to use pain as a pedestal toward the pinnacle of purpose.
Subway Developments 2000 Inc. - Chair & CEO
Margot is an inspirational woman who I look up to in the Food and beverage. She is an entrepreneur and investor. Margot Micallef co-wrote a book on bouncing back from life's disasters and how to find opportunity in the rubble. It's the Landing that Counts also reflects her investing style, which is to find companies that need fixing up or can grow with some financial encouragement.
Kolmeta People & Culture Partners Inc. - Chief Executive Officer & Founder
When I think of the word inspiring I immediately think of my good friend and mentor, Kimberlea Kozachenko. A fellow born and raised Albertan, Kim has provided support and encouragement to countless professionals with poise and grace. She is a sought after local and international speaker, writer, and advisor on talent practices across the globe. No matter what Kim pursues, she does it with her whole heart, allowing her true, authentic self to shine through. Her eagerness to help to make the world a better place through her work, permeates through everything she does. Her most recent endeavor in starting her company, Kolmeta People & Culture Partners Inc, does just that. Kolmeta helps individuals and companies achieve their most audacious goals through implementing intentional leadership practices that have a lasting impact at the team level. Kim’s genuine passion for relentless innovation, connection, transparency and ultimately people culminates as the epitome of inspiration and leadership. I wholeheartedly believe that Kimberlea Kozachenko deserves to be named one of the Women of Inspiration for 2020.
Lynne McIntosh, Author & Coach - Author & Coach
Lynn McIntosh is truly a woman of inspiration as well as a thought leader in her field whose example and guidance helps other women - and men - regain their confidence and thrive after leaving a toxic relationship. Lynn is both a certified coach and hypnotist with several years of experience dealing personally with narcissistic personalities. She is also a co-author of two books on empowering women to succeed. Lynn regularly speaks on overcoming toxic relationships, dealing with narcissistic personalities and increasing personal confidence.
Scotia Bank - Associate, Investment Banking
Lindsay Jones is an Investment Banking Associate at Scotiabank based in New York City. Lindsay began her career in Calgary and recently relocated to New York where she works with corporate and financial clients in the evaluation of merger and acquisition opportunities covering a wide variety of industries and jurisdictions in Latin America. Lindsay holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance, with Distinction, from the University of Calgary, graduating in the top ~1% of her business class. Lindsay continues to stay involved in her in community where she commits to championing support for women in finance. She designed and piloted a mentorship program that aims to partner with, develop and empower women interested in finance, creating a community of determined young women who support each other’s successes. She later worked with Scotiabank to roll out the program across 5 universities Canada wide. Scotiabank’s “Rising Leaders Mentorship Program” provides resources, hosts honest conversation and actively supports women while challenging them to take their seat at the table. She has also been involved for the over eight years with L’Arche, an international organization that supports individuals with disabilities. She has personally raising nearly $28 thousand dollars for L’Arche and most recently named to the Board of Directors as their youngest board member. Lindsay also loves to travel, visiting over 20 countries to date, and to hike, where her favourite treks include Mt. Everest Base Camp in Nepal and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Howbsy - Co-Founder
Pan co-founded and built a viral website to help her community during COVID19. Howbsy.com helps you find store wait times during and has surpassed 100,000 users.
Howbsy - Co-Founder
Mae co-founded a website to help her community during COVID19. The website went viral and has already passed 100,000 users. Howbsy.com shows store wait times during COVID19.
Allstream Canada Immigration - Founder
I am pleased to nominate Simran Dhillon for this award. She is well known for her loyalty, dedication and hard work in community.
She is entrepreneur and professional in her own field. She has generated positive and long-lasting changes that open the way for growth and development. She has earned the respect to her business and clients in Canada and overseas and become a role model in her field.
She is actively engaged in social media and her work to promote bringing families together and has inspired many women’s in her field and has been a role model in her peer’s eyes. She is tireless promoter of her business and she should be recognized for her outstanding contributions to the community.
Simran Dhillon has my full confidence and endorsement for this award.
SureCall - Chairman
Marc has been a supporter of women in leadership roles since the day we met. His genuine interest and authentic belief that female leadership in an organization or anywhere leads to a more collaborative and healthy environment has been key in enabling me as the CEO of our company to create a diverse and inclusive team. As a major cheerleader of women's empowerment I don't know any other partner more deserving of this award!
DASCH - Chief Executive Officer
Karen is an inspiration to all who encounter her. My own leadership journey really started when I met her. Over the last 17 years she has guided my professional growth, through formal education and real life learning situations, tough conversations and personal epiphanies, her support is always personal and engaged. As CEO of one of Canada’s largest NPOs, Karen oversaw its growth from a $1 million budget to a $24 million budget. She is a strong believer is community engagement – most recently she has been involved with Children Believe, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada Foundation, The Winnipeg Football Club and Safe Haven Foundation. Because of this passion, Karen received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal of Honor for contributions benefiting Canadians. Karen truly does inspire and motivate others to greatness.
Kelly's Green Lounge - Founder, Owner
Kelly Addison is an inspiring and innovative female business leader in her local community as well as in an emerging industry where she has built an incredible network of supporters. With the challenges of covid she quickly pivoted her in person lounge to an online education and entertainment space that has had major international attention. She's been featured in local media, provincial media, media stateside and was recently even interviewed in Australia, bringing positive attention to the small town of Orono where the Mayor supports her work and emerging as a credible influencer who always has her communities best interests at heart.
Casa Flores Custom Cabinetry/Sencillo Cabinets - Co-Owner/Founder
Jolanda is co-owner of Casa Flores Cabinetry and the founder of Sencillo Cabinets, a sustainable business and brand that has persevered in the ups and downs of the Alberta economy. Jolanda consistently evolves her company for the needs of her clients, including founding a new brand of affordable cabinetry with a focus on simplicity and improving the client’s day to day lives. Additionally, she continues to adapt her business during this ever-changing COVID-19 world. Men typically dominate the cabinetry industry, but with her husband and her children, Jolanda had thrived and has become a leader in her industry, bringing unparalleled quality to clients. As an entrepreneur, Jolanda has received many awards for her business, including multiple repeat HomeStar and Houzz awards for her customer service and satisfaction. Jolanda was also a recipient of the 2019 Women Entrepreneurship Fund from the Canadian Government, a grant committed to supporting women entrepreneurs.
MightyHive - Managing Director, Canada
As MightyHive’s Canadian Managing Director, Tessa has long recognized that an organization is nothing without its people. Balancing the organization’s changing needs with her team’s needs for development, self improvement and continual learning is an art that Tessa has cultivated over years as a manager and figurehead in digital and business industries. Tessa is recognized across the industry as someone who is trustworthy, ethical, and who works tirelessly to be fair and equitable in business practice and in team management. Tessa continually works to create strong teams and healthy businesses through personal connection and empathy. She has developed a reputation as a successful leader by taking this approach, and is known in the industry as a trusted peer. Tessa exhibits leadership to her team and colleagues through respect and care for employees, and by taking a stand against unfair or disrespectful treatment with a focus on inclusion and diversity.
Marissa (Morettin) Teeter
IG Wealth Mangagement - Senior Vice-President, Financial Services Message
I nominate Marissa Teeter because she is in a position of leadership in the financial services industry; where it is mostly male dominated. Marissa is a Senior Vice President and I know that she has arranged many small groups of powerful women to discuss financial well -being. She is very firm and yet very pleasant to deal with. She is an inspiration to many.
Tigris Events Inc - President & CEO
Serena is a deserving, inspiring and forward-thinking professional. It would be hard to choose which award would suit her best, as she exemplifies many inspiring qualities. If I had to choose, I would nominate Serena for the Authentic Leader or Customer Experience Award. She is the President and CEO of a national event staffing, planning & XM agency, that has been in business successfully for 16 years. She is a dedicated leader and mentor. Her business is her passion and she truly believes in building up brands, and furthermore, the people that work at them. She believes in transparency, accountability, respect and positive culture in the workplace. In addition to being dynamic and creative, she always adds her own flair to everything she does. Her work and reputation in the industry speak for themselves. I sincerely couldn’t think of anyone better or more deserving of either of these awards.
Fashion Group International Toronto - Regional Director
Klaudia has been a leader in the Canadian fashion community for as long as I can remember. What makes her inspiring is her selfless commitment to not only the existing industry, but to the next generation of young leaders. She is currently the Regional Director for FGI Toronto (Fashion Group International) which is the only chapter in Canada.
Mimi Cannabis - Founder
Michele Parrotta - aka Mimi Cannabis was recently featured in The Chicago Tribune in an article about shifting careers. After decades-long career in Hospitality at an age when others are thinking retirement, Michele entered a whole new industry becoming the much-loved influencer and head of the mimicannabis.com brand. Her focus is on counselling and consulting with boomers and seniors seeking cannabis medicine. Recently she attended an exclusive VIP Party with Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong in attendance, and he was extremely supportive of her work, telling her; "Don't stop!" She says she never will!
CUPS - Executive Directory
Carlene Donnelly is a fearless leader with a big vision of supporting vulnerable populations across Canada as they manage adversity, reach their potential and end the cycle of poverty and trauma for themselves and their families. By redefining the way non-profit organizations approach these challenges, she is setting a new standard of care and a new benchmark for measuring impact in the non-profit sector.
Susan Bassett - Founder of Opening Hearts
Susan Basset better known as POSITIVELY SUE has a passion and calling for uplifting and motivating people. She helps people overcome emotional blocks and rise above challenges - reaching their peak potential. Sue is the proud mother of two children : a daughter with DiGeorge Syndrome, a life-threatening genetic condition that has presented numerous challenges. Raising her daughter inspired Sue to co-found Opening Hearts; a Hamilton based charitable organization serving the families of children with special needs. Sue has also delivered over 30 keynote presentations speaking to audiences up to 3000, and has done numerous media interviews discussing her work as an educator, peak potential coach and charity director. Sue is a practicing reiki practitioner, and an author. In addition, she is an educator who lectures on ECE at two Ontario colleges.
Civility Experts - CEO
Dr. Lew Bayer (MCCT, ESP, CICC, HON. DOCTORATE) is an author, speaker, entrepreneur and the world’s foremost expert on civility. Many years ago, she made a personal and professional commitment to choose civility every day. For 22 years Dr. Lew Bayer (hon.) has been internationally recognized as a leading civility expert. She suggests “in choosing civility, people find their best self, and in doing so, they experience the grace, courage, generosity, humanity, and humility that civility engenders.” A 14-time published author, two of her books, The 30% Solution: How Civility at Work Increases Retention, Engagement and Profitability and Golden Rule Civility: An Action Plan for Building a Global Culture of Honour, are international bestsellers. Lew is one of only 14 master civility trainers in the world.
Holistic Diabetes Solutions - Global Wellness Authority, Dr. Holistic Medicine - Acupuncture, Speaker, Coach, 5 X Bestselling Author
Having survived serious health challenges, Cheryl set her sights sharply on mastering a Holistic Way of Living so she could serve health professionals, business professionals, colleges/academia and those with Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes. For over 28 years, Cheryl has shared her experience, education and expertise in Holistic Wellness, the Power of Mindset, Leadership Skills and Wealth Building Strategies internationally. She is a Global Award Winning Author also co-authoring books with some of the Top World Thought Leaders including Jack Canfield (New York Times Best Selling Author of Chicken Soup for the Soul Series), Les Brown, Dr. John Gray, Brian Tracey and others.
Scarlett Deva Antaloczy
Scarlett Deva - Singer-Songwriter, Pianist, Arranger/Composer, Conductor and Producer.
Hamilton based recording artist Scarlett Deva packsthe house at her annual end of the year show in that city filling the venue with her big voice and her huge talent. Well known for her tribute to famous women singers - from one iconic artist to another - Scarlett’s voice can embody them all. But it’s her originals that have been making the biggest impact over the last twelve months. In 2019 a song she recorded in the Hamilton area made it’s way all the way oversees - hitting #2 on the influential EURO INDIE MUSIC CHART, Interestingly, in addition to her incredibly accomplished musical journey this entertainer also spent a little time in Springfield! She once did the voice of Marge Simpson singing in Season 1, episode 4 of The Simpsons. She is also a respected healer and public speaker, merging music and healing in unique and wonderful ways.
Patricia Karen Gagic Art Enterprise Inc. - President
Patricia Gagic has been internationally lauded as one of Canada’s most exceptional artists, author and successful entrepreneur. It is her work in human rights which defines her as an impactful Canadian woman on the world stage. She built a school and library for poor children and monks in Angkor Wat, Cambodia, an advisor to Help Heal Humanity (Haiti), a Board Member of Sir Edmund Hilary Foundation, Ontario Cabinet for Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Patricia received the Gold Medal at the SNBA in Paris for Photography. In 2017 she was presented the Excellence in the Arts for courage and commitment to human rights, dignity and freedom Award by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. In 2018 Patricia was inducted into the WXN Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada Hall of Fame. She has presented on the stage of the Harvard Club of Boston, Carnegie Hall and NASDAQ.
Saron Legal Professional Corporation - Principal of the law firm, attorney
Saron Gebresellassi is celebrated attorney, the Principal, Saron Legal Professional Corporation. She is often called the people's Lawyer and was a previous Mayoral Candidate for the City of Toronto.
Talent 2 Design - Owner
This woman inspires every person she meets. She had a car accident, which lead to diagnosis of brain tumor. She spent years recovering. Today she owns a bakery in downtown Welland. Employs others with disabilities. And always giving to her community. She is a role model for her 3 kids. Continues to overcome obstacles.
Schmooz Media Ltd. - CEO
I am nominating Zoe Share because she has been an incredible leader in 2020. I see in Zoe a purpose and drive to change the world. On top of being the CEO of a growing marketing agency and a mother to her 2 year old daughter, she has started a volunteer organization to help meet the needs of Front Line workers, and has published a children's book ABC Stay Home with Me (with all the proceeds going to Front Line Workers). Zoe has taken the time to connect with her team and to build community and value - this is clearly who she is and not a show she is putting on. She deserves to be recognized and celebrated for leading in this way.
Canadians for Properly Built Homes - President
Dr. Karen Somerville is a woman of inspiration. Recognized in business and academe as an expert in organizational change, a certified board director, an accredited coach and more, Karen has overcome adversity and gone on to help people in so many ways. In addition to her many successful pursuits, Karen is the President of Canadians for Properly Built Homes, the only national, volunteer, non-partisan, not-for-profit consumer advocacy and protection organization of its kind in Canada. There, Karen brings people together and inspires them to contribute to positive outcomes in the service of others. As an advocate for social justice and a catalyst for change, Karen has made a real difference in the lives of thousands as she fights for their rights and well-being. Generous with her time and as a mentor, Karen is a true leader whose example inspires both women and the men who support them.
Nominating Dr. Karen Somerville for the Advocate and Catalyst for Change Award is a natural fit, and an opportunity for others to learn from her journey.
Cyber.sc - Founder & Chief Strategist
Dominic is a consummate cybersecurity professional based in Vancouver, BC and is dedicated to supporting, promoting, mentoring, and inspiring women in the technology field. He is actively reaching out to new contacts to build his business network and learning how he can help them be successful in their careers. Dominic is incredibly passionate about connecting professionals in his network with one another for mutual business success and has been a fabulous champion for women wanting to advance their technology careers.
Creative Coaching - Founder & CEO
Inspiration is a force that works beyond itself. The most inspiring and influential people challenge us to aim higher, to seek different perspectives and demand the best of ourselves. Christine Dagenais is this force.
Christine leads and inspires through example with integrity, courage, and an unwavering passion to develop others. She founded Creative Coaching with a tireless work ethic and commitment to excellence that has attracted a team of dynamic experts equally committed to her vision and creating a new model for consultancy firms built on the strength of team, rather than individuals.
As an executive coach and leadership development expert, she has coached thousands of senior and executive-level leaders, many of them with Fortune 500 and 100 companies. She has developed proprietary coaching and leadership development assessments and curriculum and has authored the upcoming book, The Intentional MBA.
Despite winning numerous leadership awards herself, Christine continues to define her success by the success of those she coaches and mentors. I am inspired by her everyday.
Lucy Ruth - CEO
Lucy is a bestselling author , motivational speaker and Guinness world record participant. Lucy's personal story is an inspiring one : The trajectory of her life changed at the age of ten when she lost her mother to suicide in her native, Zimbabwe. For years, Lucy struggled with depression and felt alone because depression was not a topic people discussed in Zimbabwe. This birthed a desire to connect with people. Having lived and worked in three continents: Africa, Europe and now North America, Lucy has been exposed to different cultures and experiences. While customs vary, she has seen a common thread in every place she has lived; the challenges people face are the same. Lucy has a vision to empower young people to believe in themselves and chase their dreams. Now a mother of three who works full time, she is also the founder of an online business selling African heritage products, a part of the Toronto Women’s Expo 2020 organising committee. Lucy is often called a voice for those who cannot stand up for themselves and has racked up an incredible and varied list of accomplishments
Clean Club Calgary - Owner
Judith is one of the most courageous leaders I have ever met. The care in which she leads her team of essential workers is the kind of leadership that builds legacies. The definition of a leader willing to do the work, lead by doing, and inspire by kindness, Judith takes on every single challenge presented and rises to excellence. Her ability to pivot and understand how to further support her customers is a unique gift that other business owners look to as an example. Her commitment to growth and investment in herself, her team, and her clients in a time when care and safety are top priorities inspires so many to do the same. Judith inspires others to act.
The Jakab Co - Owner
Connie is starting and growing the conversations that need to happy around mental health & parenting through her Bring them Closer Speaking and coaching, as well as with wellness in the workplace. The work she is doing inspires so many to listen, connect, and truly grow. She is clearly leading the way in changing the conversation around mental health and is lifting so many to do the same. A crucial leader in a time when connection is desperately needed. Connie Jakab is a Woman of Inspiration. Period.
Knix - Founder and CEO
I nominate Joanna because she is an inventor. She launched Knixwear in 2013 and since then it has become the leader in performance intimate apparel. Knix is one of the fastest growing companies in Canada and globally in the intimate apparel space. Joanna has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, the WSJ, Dragon’s Den and hundreds of other media outlets.
In addition Joanna holds an MBA and is a multiple award winner in Business Venture Competition, Women’s Award for Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneur of Year at the Women of Influence Award, the prestigious EY Entrepreneur Of The Year, and the Disruptor Award in the Shopify just to name a few.
CBC - Reporter
Angela Sterritt is an amazing Indigenous reporter who is breaking boundaries for Indigenous people. She recently broke an important story about racial profile in banking, but is always on the cutting edge of sharing stories about Indigenous women in Canada and how they are achieving success. Angela is a catalyst for change for the better and is a role model to Indigenous women everywhere.
Acumen Law - Partner
Paul Doroshenko is an amazing SupportHER. He is the owner of Acumen Law but he allows the women to take the lead. Paul listens to the numerous woman that he works with and defers to their ideas. I would not be where I am today without the support offered by Paul. He has been a champion of women and continues to be one.
Wanawake Violence Prevention Team - Founder
She has turned her trauma and adversity into strength and inspiration. She shares her experience and wisdom, her hope, her incredible courage with others with such generosity and love. She truly leads by example, from the heart, and by being of service to those in need. She is dedicated to shining a light on violence against women and girls and on mental illness to bring about awareness and positive change. She is truly a champion of social justice and an example of the victory of the human spirit over pain and hardship. I am so grateful for her love, friendship, and leadership. She is a light in this world.
Moreover,she's a most amazing woman who has worked tirelessly advocating for human rights, children's rights, creating awareness of mental health issues, depression. She's faced personal challenges and used every one of them for positive outcomes. She's a motivational speaker who gathers an audience wherever she goes. She's travelled to a lot of cities to do so and has met with many well-known people, Bill Clinton, for Governor General of Canada Michaelle Jean and many more.
Bulk Barn - Buyer
She has been a buyer for Bulk Barn bringing in new ideas and products into the bulk category eliminating packages.
CIBC Capital Markets - Director, eFX Trading
It is with great pleasure that I nominate Mélanie. She is not only deeply committed and highly motivated to succeed in her career, but she is also an exceptional contributor in her community. Her drive and dedication are unparalleled. She is forthright, articulate and passionate, always inspiring others to step well outside of their own comfort zone. Both through her day to day job and with an assortment of external organizations, she displays her leadership in a variety of initiatives dedicated towards the development of young women within the industry. She wants to be the motor of change and see everyone around her reach their full potential. Mélanie sets a great example through her poise, maturity, professionalism, competence and her highly interpersonal approach to business in general.
Salam Sudduf - Founder
Sudduf is an influencer and an inspiration. She created the Muslim Entrepreneur Association, a space in which muslim women have the support, community and resources made available to them to allow them to become successful, intentional business leaders. Sudduf is courageous, kind and encouraging and her mission is to empower muslim women the world over. She is professional, hard working and full of integrity, and balances building her legacy with mothering her triplet toddlers, making her a total badass.
Incito Executive & Leadership Development - Founder, Executive Leadership Coach & Consultant
Jenn Lofgren helps executives across Canada and worldwide unlock their leadership potential and grow into inspired, authentic leaders. She is one of only 60 recipients of the esteemed Master Certified Coach (MCC) designation in Canada and 5% of coaches worldwide. She is a partner with the Women’s Executive Network (WXN), and was named to the 2019 WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100. Jenn has engaged in numerous mentorship relationships with women from diverse industries and backgrounds. She has mentored a female MBA student each year for the past six years, advised through the WXN Wisdom Mentoring Program, and currently mentors a female leader in the aviation industry. Jenn also serves on four boards, supporting struggling youth, the arts, the community, and local business. Jenn is a champion of local enterprise, an ally to women in business, an actively involved citizen and a passionate member of the global business community.
Komo Consulting - Founder
Kelsey is an incredible educator and businesswoman who has worked tirelessly for years to create the innovative and first of its kind, Framework for Academic Management. This has made essential, life-changing skill-building training, coaching and support accessible to families all over Canada and North America for the first time. Her energy and boundless belief in her dream of eradicating school struggle, empowering kids everywhere to become confident, motivated learners and support families in a journey towards a lifelong love of learning is truly inspiring.
She inspires me to want to become a better educator. She inspires her team to dream bigger, just as she has done, and to work towards the shared ideal of every child having the support and resources that they need to thrive.
Mahon Litigation - Lawyer
Frances is an amazing lawyer who is leading in the legal field. She has created her own firm, which has had exponential growth in its first few years of operation. Frances has been counsel in numerous high-profile serious criminal trials. She is a fearless advocate for her clients and for good in the justice system.
Joan Nwosu Coaching - Founder
Joan Nwosu has always made it her duty to encourage, push, inspire, and motivate people to discover their hidden talents and ultimately achieve their purpose in life. She has helped lots of people become entrepreneurs by giving advice on how to start up, build, and sustain small businesses as well as coaching and dishing out those important tips on how to position yourself in the labour market in order to get the right job. She has been such an inspiration to me. An intelligent and purpose-driven lady anytime, any day.
Lamourie Public Relations - Founder, Creative Director
Tracy Lamourie is a well known long time advocate on a myriad of important worldwide issues and an award-winning international publicist working across industries from major entertainment projects to small businesses. Tracy is passionate about amplifying important messages and being a voice for those who most need one. Recognized by media around the world for her 20-year campaign that ultimately helped free an innocent man from death row to her work getting clients major media attention and for her local community work, Winner of the FIRST PLACE PLATINUM award Hamilton Spectator Readers Choice for PR 2018, Diamond 2019. She also won the MARKETING award at the MAGNETIC ENTREPRENEUR and AUTHOR AWARDS 2019 in Toronto and has been frequently quoted in the media including in an AUTHORITY magazine article "Rockstar Publicists - Be Real, Be Authentic, Don't Be Cookie Cutter with Tracy Lamourie." Tracy truly is inspirational in many ways and deserves this nomination!
FedEX Canada - President
I nominate Lisa Lisson because she is the first Canadian and first woman to hold the post of president. She is a great leader and under her leadership, Fed-ex was placed, as top 50 ranking company on the Aon Hewitt Best Employers in Canada list. Currently due to COVID 19 as her team continue to support the global supply chain, they are also taking all the necessary steps to protect their customers and team members. Lisa is a widow with 4 children who lives each day with focus, gratitude and positivity. She is also the author of 'Resilience' Navigating Life, Loss and the Road to Success.
STEM Minds Corp. - Founder & CEO
She is a visionary who is committed to making a global impact on education and foster leadership in today's youth.
Sustainable Strategies & Solutions - Founder
Sabine Weber worked in fashion production in Europe and had a budget that rivalled some small countries. She was incredibly influential in Europe in the fashion industry. Her commitment to sustainability in the industry was unparallelled and ahead of its time. She was advocating for sustainable solutions in fashion before it was cool. She left Europe and came to Canada where she worked on a PhD and became one of the leading experts in textile waste And hosted the first ever symposium of its kind bringing together public officials from across the country to study the subject and create solutions. She has changed laws. She is considered one of the most integral professionals in this industry and now shares her wealth of knowledge as a professor at Seneca college. She is often described as a woman who cannot be bought – her integrity is unparallelled
Muskoka Post - Founder
Agatha was a journalist for a major news outlet and when she had to make the choice between career fame and integrity, she chose integrity - a decision I have seen her make more than once in her life. Her integrity and moral principle is unshakable. She is unabashedly confident and exudes inspiration in that regard to everyone who follows her on social media. When she decided to leave the stability of a major news job, she started her own Newspaper which was an immediate success. She has innovated the way other news outlets have failed and as such is a massive success and is the modern-day solution to an outdated news platform. She doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk and gives other professional women the platform to do the same.
Regional Councillor Leanna Villella - Regional Councillor
Leanna has been politically active for much of her adult life. Prior to that she was incredibly active in local charity and community events and was already a local household name. In the last municipal election she was elected as regional counsellor of Welland and has been the most transparent, spent the least amount of money in expenses, and has advocated for the most vulnerable every day since the election. She works tirelessly and is one of the most honest politicians I’ve ever met in my life. She is committed, integral and passionate about poor, mentally ill, and the elderly. The length she goes for her constituents I have never seen before in politics. Most importantly she spreads love and light everywhere she goes and uses her public platform not only to advocate for the vulnerable, but to inspire everyone who comes close to her
Small Scale Farms - Founder
Renee started off very poor, and as a single mother struggling with food insecurity, she learned to grow her own food which turned into a passion. Not just the gardening, but food insecurity. She studied the local food supply and created her own parallel economy. Through a community center she founded a social enterprise that not only offers prepared healthy meals with produce she grows herself, but for every meal purchased she donates a meal to people struggling with food insecurity. When Covid happened many of our local farmers got stuck with meat and produce they could not sell. Within days she mastermind an online ordering process that partnered people seeking grocery delivery with local farms and arranged for a whole delivery program. She deservedly was on the cover of every local newspaper. Her social enterprise is thriving as is anybody that comes in contact with it
Black Ram Media Group Inc - Cofounder/Producer
Maria Gagliardi is a creator that started in the film industry at a very tender age in production and left because of how horribly the industry treated women. She became a Celebrity photographer photographing the likes of even Prince Harry. She photographed the iconic series The Architects Of Change project in an effort to artfully raise awareness of the mental illness. Her love of film has never died. She has since used her success to found a film company with another strong female leader where award-winning productions take place in an equitable and safe environment for all. Aim High -a Short film she recently produced won both an award of excellence and best picture in local film festivals. She has also recently founded a nonprofit - The Know Collective which is committed to free public education on personal and professional development.
Crossroads Medium - Founder, Psychic, Empathetic Medium
Tayarna is a very special person not just because of her gifts, but because of her willingness to share her insights and inspirations with the world for free. She goes on social media weekly with a worldwide audience that is growing every day and inspires people to reach their fullest potential for happiness and fulfilment both personally and professionally by teaching free classes as a growing public figure. Her life’s mission is to help everyone find purpose and happiness. The momentum around her is growing to such an extent that she was discovered by a television/film production company that have decided to make a show out of her. The differentiator between her and many others in her field, is when negotiating the show she wasn’t advocating to show off her prowess, but wanted to use it as a platform for teaching and healing for her audience.
Lamourie PR - Founder
Tracy started as a civil liberties activist -work that got her featured in a multitude of publications including Rolling Stone magazine. She has championed causes both inside and outside Canada most notibly in advocating for innocent people on death row and medicinal cannabis legalization where she met with our now Prime Minister who made it a major part of his election platform. She now works as a publicist bringing international attention to professionals that bring much positive value to the world. She is integral, motivated and uses her vast social media audience as a force for good. She is a sought after presence at professional conventions around the world and is name dropped by celebrities and corporate/political leaders alike
Modlocks and Noggin Oil - Owner Operator Modlocks / Co-founder & Creative Director Noggin Oil
Karen Wallington for the GameChanger award - The founder of two companies - Modlocks, based in Toronto was especially opened not only to do something no one else in the marketplace was offering professionally - dreadlocks for all hair types - and she has become well known for educating the industry, customers, media, and other interested stakeholders not only on the process but on the possibilities making new service, techniques and even groundbreaking industry products. Modlock's has an incredible industry reach - educating students and speaking at natural hair conventions, and seminars across North America. Over the last two decades, Karen literally spearheaded a new international market as she developed and evolved proprietary techniques in order to create, maintain and repair dreadlocks for all hair types bringing it to a level of industry professionalism. Noggin Oil, the company she co-founded, compliments this work offering unique hair products unlike any other on the marketplace.
Indigenous Entrepreneur | Writer | Speaker
I had the pleasure of seeing Gabrielle’s incredible keynote address at the CANHEIT conference. Over the years I have seen hundreds of presentations and seeing her speak was the only time I can recall being so moved and inspired that I actually shed tears (and I wasn’t alone!). It took immense courage and vulnerability for her to share her story with all of us, for which we were all grateful. She has had to overcome some immense hurdles, which has made her so strong. Gabrielle is a proud member of the Hatchet Lake First Nation and does amazing things for the Indigenous community. For example, she co-founded the Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada, which offers services and programs to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit professionals. She is an accomplished leader doing so many great things for society!
City of Fort Saskatchewan / Divineity Fashion Inc. - City Councillor / Founder and CEO
Jibs has been an inspiration to me and I believe her story would inspire many people to action. She immigrated to Canada from Nigeria in 2012 and immediately started volunteering on various boards and committees. Five years after she became the first black city Councillor serving in Fort Saskatchewan and is serving a 4 year term till 2021. Last year, she started a fashion line and 3 months after was in the prestigious New York Fashion Week to showcase designs from her fashion. Through her fashion business she has empowered low income women in Africa and supported organizations supporting victims of domestic violence in Alberta. Because of this work, she has been on 3 TV stations and numerous media outlets. She also mentor youths through her church and is a wife and mum of 3 kids, 5 years old and younger.
Iskwew Air - CEO / Founder
For Teara, CEO of Iskwew Air and the Raven Institute, becoming a pilot was transformational, truly giving this young Métis woman wings. Teara’s feisty entrepreneurial spirit led her to be the first Indigenous woman to launch an airline in Canada – Iskwew Air. Iskwew is a Cree word for woman - the name was chosen as an act of reclamation of womanhood, matriarchal leadership, and language. Teara is the visionary behind the Raven Institute. She values love and liberty, courage and community.
Ananda Devices - CEO
Margaret has a BSc Pharmacology and a PhD Biochemistry from the University of São Paulo. She was a Professor of Medical Biochemistry at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and has over years of experience in biopharmaceutical research. Tired of the slow, expensive and inefficient process of drug development, in collaboration with researchers from McGill University, she developed a new product to accelerate drug development. Recently, she launched a company called ANANDA Devices to commercialise this product and stimulate other scientists to achieve reproducible and impactful results faster. Dr Magdesian’s innovation has the potential to dramatically accelerate the drug development cycle of new therapies for people that need it.
Terranova Security - CEO
Lise is a visionary and a true entrepreneur who has dedicated the last two decades of her career to cybersecurity awareness. Her company, Terranova Security, is recognised by Gartner as a Magic Quadrant leader in Security Awareness. Working in partnership with clients, Lise and her team recently published The Human Fix to Human Risk. 5 steps to masterminding an effective security awareness program.TM, which shares lessons learned from helping clients all over the world. The book helps security leaders mastermind their own security awareness and phishing simulation training and change user behaviors. Lise surrounds herself with top strategic thinkers and has ongoing plans to scale up her company so that she can continue to support all organizations and security leaders in their security awareness journey. She continues to be inspired by women who persevere and make a positive impact in business and in people’s lives.
Girl Talk Empowerment - Founder, Creative Director
Katie is a social entrepreneur, author, blogger and motivational speaker who has spoken across North America, including on the TED Talk international stage in Vancouver. Katie is the founder of GIRL TALK Empowerment-an organization that provides life-changing experiences, a multi-platform support network, ethical merchandise, and leadership opportunities that give girls the tools they need to overcome personal challenges and make their mark on the world.
During the Covid 19 health crisis Katie created & is host of a daily live show on instagram called Together We Rise. The 30 minute interview series includes women guests who share their self-isolation experiences as well as share some general inspiration from their own life & career. The last few mins of each episode is dedicated to learn which books, television shows, at-home workout routines and more are keeping these women inspired!.
Katie hopes to use her leadership background to empower an entire generation of youth to make their mark on the world.
The Economic Club of Canada - CEO, Owner
Rhiannon is the CEO, and owner of The Economic Club of Canada and Founder of The Jr. Economic Club of Canada. Rhiannon is redefining what it means to be a corporate leader in this country. She is passionate about highlighting the most important issues our nation is grappling with – from Truth and Reconciliation to racism and exclusion on Bay Street, Rhiannon is challenging corporate Canada to see its role in creating a more prosperous and equal future for everyone. Rhiannon has hosted countless thought leaders and change makers at The Economic Club through the years including President Barak Obama, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Former First Lady Michelle Obama, and human rights advocate, Amal Clooney. Rhiannon has been a tireless advocate for youth, developing seven national programs under The Jr. Economic Club banner that have impacted over 50,000 young Canadians and provided over $150,000 in academic scholarships. Rhiannon may mingle and do business with the C-suite crowd, but she definitely shouldn’t be confused with the establishment. Inspired by her own lived experience with child poverty as the daughter of a single mother, Rhiannon has become a warrior for women and youth facing barriers.
Women's Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc. - Board of Director
Sheila re-joined the board in January 2007 following a brief hiatus. She brings vast experience in governance, race relations, policing and quality assurance to the organization. Sheila’s expertise has been sought throughout the community and province. Her past Board and professional affiliations have been with the United Way, CMHA, The Distress Centre, labour organizations, as well as the VON and W-E Health Unit. She was seconded to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, Ministry of Labour and Solicitor General to work on special projects focusing on racial relations and police services
Gemma Grey - Hall
University of WIndsor - Faculty of Science
Gemma Grey-Hall joined the Board of Directors in 2005. After nine years in pharmaceutical sales, Gemma is currently working in Advancement with the University of Windsor specializing in forwarding the strategic priorities for the Faculty of Science. Gemma is studying towards a CPA designation has completed a MBA and is a graduate of Leadership Windsor Essex class 2010. In addition to her board position at West, Gemma is active in the community in areas surrounding Women’s issues and non-profit capacity building. Gemma is passionate about the programs and services that WEST offers to help ease the transition to “Canadian work experience” for employment disadvantaged women.
The City of Windsor Corporation - Registered Professional Planner
Justina has been a member of the WEST Inc. Board of Directors since 2001, and a two-term WEST Board President (2003-2007). She is also active with many other community groups and has served on other boards locally and internationally. She was the Board President of Peaceway Counseling Centre, Detroit Michigan for four years (2010-2014), and remains an active member of Issele Association of North America (IANA) Inc. since 1999. Justina is a Registered Professional Planner employed by The City of Windsor Corporation. She was the 2007 Frances Horvath Memorial Equal Opportunity Award Recipient. This award, endorsed by City council, is presented annually to the employee who best exemplifies the principles of Equal Opportunity. She was also the 2007 Female Volunteer of the Year Award recipient, 6th Clarence Williams Social Activist Awards.
Windsor Regional Hospital - Primary Care Coordinator/Decision Support for the Cancer Screening and Prevention Program
Priyanka is currently with the Windsor Regional Hospital’s Regional Cancer Program as Primary Care Coordinator/Decision Support for the Cancer Screening and Prevention Program. She has a Bachelors (Hon.) Degree in Biochemistry-Biotechnology and a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A), both from the University of Windsor. Priyanka is a recent graduate of the Leadership Windsor/Essex Program (class of 2015). Passionate about community involvement and leadership, in her spare time, Priyanka is actively engaged in our community through various volunteering opportunities and specifically in her current role as a member of the Board of Directors for Cystsic Fibrosis Canada, Essex-Kent Chapter, member of the Board of Directors for the Windsor International Film Festival (WIFF) and more recently WEST.
Helena Palma - Kurek
Syncreon - Plant Accountant
Helena Palma-Kurek came back to the Board of Directors as a treasurer in 2016, after a period of 3 years. Helena is a former client for WEST, she participated in the LINC, ELT and MTP programs. After participating in the MTP program, Helena obtained her CPA-CMA accounting designation with other WEST clients. Helena has strong experience in the accounting field she held a position as an Assistant Controller in Telefonica (the largest telecommunication provider in South America) for over 7 years, she also worked in banking, public administration, non-profit and manufacturing industry. Currently, Helena is working as a Plant Accountant at Syncreon for over 3 years. Helena is passionate about the programs and services that WEST offers to women to achieve their employment goals. Helena is married to her husband of 12 years and they have two children.
Nadine Manroe - Wakerell
Women's Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc. - Board of Director - Vice President
Nadine joined the WEST Board of Directors in March 2009 and was elected Secretary June 2013 – 2015. Nadine is a nurse, with an (Hons) BA in Developmental Psychology from the University of Windsor, and a MA in Leadership from the University of Guelph. Nadine has worked for over seventeen years in health care in various roles encompassing gerontology, chronic disease management program development and access to community health care. Nadine has a passion for finding innovative solutions to holistically address needs in community health care. She currently works at the Erie St. Clair Community Care Access Centre. Nadine’s passion for mentorship, research and education in health care has led her to act as a clinical preceptor, mentor to young professionals and sit on various committees to impact change. In addition to her board position at WEST, Nadine has been a past member of WEST’s IWD , Human Resources and Board Nominations Committees. Nadine is currently the Chair of WEST’s Strategic Planning Committee, and a consultant in emotional intelligence and leadership development. Nadine is active in community capacity building, research-involving empowerment in the workplace and advocacy for mental health resources in the community.
Maria Ford Conliffe
Ford-Conliffe & Associates - President
Maria Ford Conliffe is president of Ford-Conliffe & Associates, a Human Resources consulting firm. Maria has over 30 years of human resources experience and has worked for Ford Motor Company, in addition to her own consulting firm. Maria is from Windsor and presently resides in Farmington Hills, Michigan with her husband Darryl.
Board of Director, Women's Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc. - Board of Directors
Lisa Shulman has worked at Bell Media Radio & TV since 2007, where she puts together marketing & advertising plans for businesses in Windsor & Essex. In 2001 Lisa launched the WEST Childminding program from ground-up, and since she has had a passion for the organization. In her spare time, Lisa attends many community events and represents AM800 plus the sister stations. Lisa is married to her husband Jeff of 9 years and they have two young children, Max and Talia.
City of Windsor - Planning & Building Department
Jessica Watson is the Legal personal for Streets and Alley closures and conveyances in the Planning & Building Department at the City of Windsor. In 2018, Jessica received the Fran Horvath Memorial Equal Opportunity Award and is currently a Leader of the City of Windsor’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative as well as, 3 Employee Focus Groups. Currently, she is the President of the Latchkey, Daycare and Learning Centre, Board of Directors. As a community mentor, Jessica loves being a part of the dynamic not-for-profit organization WEST, where she has the opportunity to bring forth her own personal and professional experiences. Jessica’s interests also include poetry and mentoring single moms to aid them in achieving personal success.
Chintan Virani Architect Inc. - Owner, Project Manager
Anuja Virani has a degree in civil engineering and works as a project manager & officer at her own company Chintan Virani Architect Inc.
•Anuja Sharma-Virani is a realtor since 2013; Member, OREA & WECAR; She has demonstrated commitment to community service; Awareness and interest in regional and social issues; Active with many other community groups and has served on other boards locally and internationally. Mentor for entrepreneurs at EPICentre, Odette School of Management, University of Windsor; Member, Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC); Member, Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC); Member, Windsor Construction Association (WCA); Member, Windsor Gujarati Samaj (GSW); Served as committee member; Board of Directors, Women's Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc.
Women's Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc. - Program Coordinator
For over ten years, Joan Simpson worked in the community providing support to vulnerable groups in Windsor-Essex. She is currently the Community Engagement and Settlement Coordinator at Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor (WEST) Inc., where she work diligently with staff to develop and implement programs that enhance the professional skill set and employability of women, youth, newcomers, seniors and individuals with a disability. Joan has also worked for Community-University Partnership (CUP) as the Program Coordinator, where she worked alongside residents in four low-income housing communities to address their needs and developed initiatives that promoted community revitalization. In her role as Program Coordinator for CUP and WEST Inc., she provided learning opportunities, supervision and support to social work interns, nursing interns, music therapy interns and high school co-op students; and has assisted with several grant proposals.
BMO Bank of Montreal - Commercial Account Manager
Ann joined WEST Board of Directors in 2011. Ann is a graduate from the University of Windsor and more recently; a graduate of Leadership Windsor Essex Class 2015. Ann is employed with BMO Bank of Montreal as a Commercial Account Manager. She believes WEST serves as a great resource offering vast programs to support for newly immigrated disadvantaged women to enter the Canadian Workforce with skills and confidence. Coming from a family who immigrated into Canada over 40 years ago; she understands and values the commitment and dedication new immigrants carry into Canada to establish a livelihood for themselves and families. In addition to her Board position at WEST; Ann is active in promoting awareness and need for inclusion and proper services for children with intellectual disabilities.
Jacqui Childs - Author/Social media personality
She is honest and kind. She works tirelessly to help #endthestigma of plant medicine. She donates her time and money to causes that protect the rights of marginalized communities and homeless youth. She's an international best selling author and has an online following into the millions. Jacqui doesn't have a team or PR she only works for and with brands and causes that are meaningful to her. She's a leader in her industry and despite serious challenges, she's not going anywhere, but up.
Adelheide (Heidi) Exner
Exner Foundation for Academic Excellence in Law and Business - JD/MBA Candidate and Executive Director
I have known Heidi since she was an entrepreneur and trader – always 100% self-taught. In 2016 she forfeited a lucrative role trading commodities to chase her dream of practicing law. She earned her entire BA in just 2 years, with near-perfect grades. Now she is a JD/MBA candidate at UCalgary, the Chair of the Faculty of Arts Alumni Advisory Council, on the Board of Directors and Chair of Fund Development at Calgary Legal Guidance, the Executive Director of her own foundation that encourages contributions to the study of white-collar crime. Heidi is also a mentor and workshop facilitator to help women of color start businesses, and she mentors undergraduate students on campus too. Heidi has touched the lives of so many people that she has been nominated for Arch and Culbert Philanthropy awards, and she is also currently nominated for Avenue Magazine’s Top Under 40.
Schultz Frost LLP - Partner
Kadey is not only a powerful female litigator, she runs her own business and is a volunteer and advocate for childrens' health. Kadey has used her professional excellence to build up others in her industry as an educator in law and insurance matters. She is engaged, inspiring and juggles all of life's challenges masterfully and gives back to make the world a better place.
Government of Canada, Liberal party - MP, Peterborugh-Kawarthas Minister for Women and Gender Equality & Rural Economic Development
Maryam MonsefMaryam Monsef MP is an Afghan Canadian politician. Minister for Women and Gender Equality & Minister of Rural Economic Development. a passionate volunteer, she has sat on boards and committees of several high profile organizations. Monsef is the co-founder of the Red Pashmina Campaign, which had risen over 150k dollars to support women in Afghanistan. During the pandemic Minister Monsef has worked tirelessly to inform the public of government updates and policies, using social media to stay connected. She is easily accessible and helpful to all.
Canadian Life Immigration Consulting - Entrepreneur, Founder of Canadian Life Immigration Consulting
Lola Kushakova is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC), a registered and licensed member of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) in good standing. She is a proud member of the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC) and a Commissioner for Taking Affidavits and administering Oaths for Ontario appointed by Attorney General of the Province of Ontario. Lola holds a Certificate of Achievement in Immigration Consultancy with Honours from the institute of Technology and Advance Learning, Humber College, in Toronto, Ontario, as well as two bachelor degrees with Honours, one in English and Arabic Philology from Uzbekistan State World Languages University and another one in Banking and Credit from Uzbekistan State Institute of Finance, Tashkent, Uzbekistan as well as Masters Degree in Banking and Credit from Uzbekistan State Institute of Finance, Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Lola is fluent in English, Uzbek and Russian with good knowledge of Arabic, Turkish, and French. Lola follows a boutique-like approach ensuring every client is given the personal attention they deserve. A unique and customized solution is developed for every client depending on their needs. Her firm takes pride inability to provide tailor-made solutions to every client. These vision-driven goals along with regularly updated knowledge of the Canada immigration laws have earned her firm a strong reputation among individuals, businesses and organization. Her cost-effective and high-quality consulting services are delivered in a timely fashion.
Canadian Government, Liberal Party - MP, Oakville, Minister of Public Services & Procurement
Anita Indira Anand PC MP is the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Member of Parliament representing the riding of Oakville in the House of Commons of Canada. She is the first Hindu to become a federal minister in Canada and is the first female Hindu Member of Parliament.
Prior to her political career, Anand was a Canadian law professor at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law
The Change Foundation - Executive Lead, Strategy and Innovation
Jodeme’s passion is convening spaces for those in health and social are systems to work together around common goals to realize the potential for transformative improvement. The Change Foundation serves as a backbone to support large scale transformative change and ensures change opportunities are designed alongside patients, their families, and the providers.
The case for a more connected health and social care systems has never been stronger as it is with the global pandemic. It shows the cracks and fragmentation where integration, working as one team, was in place the response to the pandemic is stronger. Whereas the systems that are fragmented and disconnected, the response is tougher and people are suffering. Jodeme and The Change Foundation team has been working locally and globally to drive the imperative. Jodeme has been creating virtual communities of patients and families to inform health and social care responses so that they are people-centered.
Ontario Truck Training Academy - President
After a successful 2 decade career in Insurance Underwriting, I decided to utilize acquired business sense to a greater cause. In 1998, with my husband, Dennis, we opened the Ontario Truck Training Academy (OTTA) and combined our working knowledge to influence and create quality entry-level drivers. Ontario Truck Training Academy is an asset operation registered under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005, with 5 branches located in Mississauga, Oshawa, Peterborough, Belleville, and Kingston. OTTA has an EXCELLENT Safety rating with the Ministry of Transportation, a rarity in the truck training business.
With a corporate eye, we cater to training “right fit” for the ”right job”, embrace technology with driver simulators to assess that “fit” and analytics to maintain the “fit”. In 2019, I was honored from by Women In Trucking for “Top Women-Owned Business Award, recognizing my commitment to encouraging the employment of women in the trucking industry”.
International Market Development | Alberta Agriculture and Forestry | Government of Alberta - Trade and Relations Officer | USA
Manisha has been an inspiration to work within the government sector. She promotes and supports Alberta agriculture companies.
Viva Hair - Partner
Rana's family owns Vivo Hair. She has helped me through the Covid19 offering unique ideas for hair and nails to keep everyone looking beautiful during this hardship of changes.
Royal Bank Of Canada - Business Account Manager
Asawari supported me and my business ECC when I got my Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100™ Award 2019 and went above and beyond to try and help me get funds for my education consultant business (ECC Inc.) She is a big supporter of woman in business.
Christy Turner Photography - Founder
Christy Turner is one of those women who always finds a new way of doing business and helping out others at the same time. She owns an incredible photography company where she specializes in the Aurora lights, weddings, special events, and product photography. Making a difference through photography is a passion of Christy's.
CB rescue - President
Belinda gives her wholeheartedly to rescue dogs from various parts of the USA, Mexico, and Dominican. Her love for animals and her passion drives her to make that difference every day in the dog's lives and the people who help to adopt. Her company is called CB rescue.
Cambria USA - Vice President, Marketing and Business Development
Linda Leatherdale is an award-winning journalist and financial commentator, who was Money Editor of the Toronto Sun, host of Money Line TV Show and Linda’s Money Show, and a regular financial anchor on City’s Breakfast TV and Global TV. In 2009, Linda joined Cambria as Vice-President, Marketing and Business Development. Cambria is a privately-held, family-owned U.S. manufacturer of superior quartz surfaces, founded in 2000 by the Davis Family and now a North American enterprise that is exporting its product globally. In her role, she is responsible for branding, marketing and business development of Cambria in Canada. An advocate of a healthy, wealthy Main Street, Linda was awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her tax crusades and for fighting back for hard-working entrepreneurs and Canadian families. She has sat on numerous boards, including Credit Canada, Southside Shuffle, and is Chair of the Board of the Bronte Business Improvement Area (BIA). She also established a Reach for the Skye fundraising campaign for the Hospital for Sick Children, in honour of her daughter Skye, a three-time cancer survivor, and has worked on a number of charitable events, such as the Make A Wish gala and Steven Tyler’s Janie’s fund for abused girls.
Sonia Vieira - Global Trade Manager
Sonia is a woman that is a real connector. She works for a great company called EDC which helps businesses with funding to Export around the world. She recently helped to arrange a mission in Mexico to connect Canadian food business to export. Because of all the connections, she makes a real difference in helping Canadian businesses.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Centre - Founder
Aditi is an inspiring woman who has taken her own tragedies and tough emotional journeys and turned them into supporting others to go through their own journeys. She has provided support as a doula and mindfulness coach whose friendly, empathetic, kind and down to earth nature is a huge aid in bringing a baby into the world and coming to terms with the new person you become as a parent. However, she also has a quiet strength and drives that she used along with her passion for helping people to seize her moment last year and created an amazing support center for those that have suffered from pregnancy or infant loss. She has enabled an amazing safe place and a team of people to allow families to have the opportunity to grieve and continue their lives with the correct support. She has used her vulnerability to help and inspire others.
UNICEF - Health and Nutrition specialist
Dr. Najwa Al-Dheeb is one of few female public health experts in a male-dominated country and field. Despite her high level of technical capacity, in a time of increased skilled immigration due to the security situation in Yemen, she stayed and served Yemen in its worst era of two decades. She empowers her staff and believes in them. As one of her staff, I can say that Dr. Najwa is an emotionally intelligent leader. She deserved her leadership award for her management style and achieving high quality and level work in health and nutrition in Yemen. She has guided several CSOs and NGOs and supported with technical guidance. She has encouraged many young females to pursue their dreams and even female doctors to pursue public health and community medicine field. She is currently mentoring 16 people(13 females and 3 males).
Hawkston - Director
Wanda Hawkins is the wife and driving force behind the Canadian music icon, Ronnie Hawkins. Wanda is a woman of inspiration and deserving of this recognition.
Scotia Bank - Small Business Advisor and Mutual Funds Representative
Lingxiao supported me when I got my nomination award and went above and beyond to try and help me get funds for my Oh! Naturals business, She is a big supporter of woman in business.
Inclusifyy - Founder
Amanda has been a tremendous advocate and instrumental "informal" mentor and continues to selflessly go above and beyond to provide encouragement, facilitate introductions, and offer guidance. Amanda acknowledges the vulnerability required as an entrepreneur and makes a conscious effort to support, encourage and empower the women within her network. Amanda is a true inspiration for the community and the perfect testament to the phrase "Empowered Women Empower Women". It is truly heartwarming and admirable that Amanda continues to dedicate tremendous time and effort to support other women entrepreneurs, whilst delivering groundbreaking results with her own business, inclusifyy, which is committed to driving diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Youth Leaders in Law - Founder and President
At 17, this young lady is a force to be reckoned with and an inspiration to everyone around her. For years, she has championed the need for diversity and inclusion in the workforce beginning with youth empowerment from a young age. She is very passionate about ensuring that youth from all backgrounds access resources for success in their future careers, shattering stigmas on culture, gender, race, and religion.
Youth Leaders in Law was founded when Jolie herself began to feel there were limited opportunities for her dream job. After experiencing these effects first-hand, Jolie took up the challenge to advocate for freedom and choice without stigma and providing opportunities for others. Personally, I believe this is a beautiful mandate that Jolie embodies wonderfully. For the Youth Excellence Award, I cannot think of a better candidate than her.
Wings of Hope - Founder and CEO
It is my great honour to nominate RENEE MENDONCA an Exceptional Youth Leader, Changemaker and Humanitarian who is making a humongous impact through her ANTI VAPING CAMPAIGN which has helped 2,00,000 youth from 100 NATIONS addicted to vaping. Due to her strong letters to E-CIGARETTE COMPANY, JUUL withdrew all its SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING CAMPAIGNS and FLAVOURED E-CIGARETTES directed towards youth. She raised $ 1,50,000 and donated to ST JUDE HOSPITAL for the treatment of vaping addicts. She wrote letters to Presidents of 195 NATIONS to ban flavored e-cigarettes due to which 20 NATIONS have banned to date.
NSTEP- Nutrition Students Teachers Exercising with Parents - Founder & Director
Deb is the Founder of NStep, a nonprofit organization devoted to educating and ensuring young children learn about the importance of good nutrition and exercise in developing healthy lifestyle habits for themselves and their families. Deb has worked tirelessly for the past 10+ years in developing and delivering the curriculum in partnership with school boards and has been the organization's chief fundraiser- mostly through donations and grants. Her program is now delivered in Alberta, B.C. and I believe, Ontario. Deb is based in Calgary.
ATB Financial - Managing Director, Leadership, Learning & Change
Meriya brings her best to everything she does and inspires others to become their best selves. Meriya is a mother of two and believes strongly in community and giving back. She is Chair of the Board of Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids, a not for profit that feeds over 5000 kids a day. She volunteers at the Network of Empowered Women as a mentor to young women in business. Meriya is a leader in the People & Culture team at ATB financial and has been recognized year over year by Chief Learning Officer for being an Innovator, Trailblazer and Strategist in the learning industry. Meriya is currently completing an EMBA through Queen’s and Cornell and was the recipient of the 30% scholarship as a recognition for her leadership. Meriya demonstrates to us all that we can do more than we ever imagined, she is truly a Woman of Inspiration.
Karlene Millwood International - President
Karlene Millwood is a Best selling author and an inspiring Speaker. Karlene is an award-winning author, screenwriter, playwright, speaker and life strategist who, through her company, Karlene Millwood International, is passionate about empowering others to SOAR to new dimensions of living. She has two published books, wrote, produced and directed a play in 2014 titled, Forgiven, and produced two short films, one of which she wrote and directed.
St. Paul's University College - Director, Shatitsirótha’ Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre
Lori Campbell is a 2-Spirit Cree-Metis woman who has overcome many barriers to arrive where she is today. I am nominating her for this award because she is a mentor and inspiration in my life and many other Indigenous people within our community. I would not be where I am today if it was not for Lori.
Lori is director of the Waterloo Indigenous Student center, a Ph.D. candidate, and most recently ran in the federal election. Lori truly is wonder-woman and I do not know how she keeps up! Lori leads with integrity, focus, humility, courage, and passion. She is an activist, who continually devotes her time to bettering the lives of those around her and inspires people to make the world a better place. I am grateful for everything she has brought to my life and truly hope that she gets the recognition that she deserves.
Adele Spraggon - Owner/Founder
I am nominating Adele because I feel she has the gift in supporting Women and Men in Personal Empowerment, Adele is an award-winning author from the book Shift, 4 steps to personal empowerment. Adele has supported and coached many individuals across the world. Adele is a leader and has supported me with my transition from the corporate world to opening and running my own business.
TCLI Foundation - Founder/Executive Director
Towunmi Coker is the Founder of TCLI Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides educational and social programming with three core foundational pillars - financial stability, quality education and safe health practices, to vulnerable members from low-income and under-resourced communities. Towunmi is also a Public Health Practitioner and a Community Builder with a MBBS, University of Lagos; MBA South Wales University, and MPH University of Liverpool. Towunmi is wholly committed to inspiring, motivating and empowering vulnerable youth and women to be the best they can be. She is passionate about improving quality of life by promoting access to inclusive education, financial literacy and socioeconomic empowerment which can equip people with the relevant tools required to live a meaningful life while achieving their set goal. Towunmi has provided over 20 programs in Nigeria and Canada with 30,000 beneficiaries and volunteers.
Jabbar Al Janabi
Jabbar Al Janabi - Visual/ Multi-disciplinary artist/ director in theater, film making/acting and screenplay writing.
I nominate Jabbar because he is a very talented and accomplished artist who always supports women. He is involved in many artistic projects and always appreciates and empowers women in the workplace. Jabbar has a lot of ties to the Middle Eastern community in addition to the Canadian and other communities. Jabbar has an open mind and is always interested in ideas that pushes the envelope.
Osez L'harmonie - Coach et enseignante certifiée
Di-Anne is a very generous and knowledgeable woman. She is kind and she has been through very difficult times however she never stopped learning. She is an excellent coach who helps people overcome their challenges and mental blocks. She loves dancing and has zest for genuine connections.
I nominate Di-Anne because I think she plays an important role in shining her light where there is darkness.
4Seasons Transportation Ltd. - President and CEO
Brooke is the President and CEO of 4Seasons Transportation Ltd,, a special-needs school bus company that is transforming the market sector. Still in her thirties, she has built the company to a level of 450 employees by creating a kind and caring environment where the focus is on the children. 4Seasons is the only company in Canada that only provides school transport for cognitive, behavioral and physically-challenged students. She has created a school that includes an expert behavioral team, and always puts the well-being of her valued staff first.
Kawartha Lakes Food Source - Community Food Market Coordinator
Kate is an excellent example of someone who always puts others before herself. She exemplifies this as a friend and in her career, where she works tirelessly to keep our local food bank operating through this hard time. When the number of donations brought in recently declined, she found herself faced with empty shelves and 350 clients in need. She acted fast and organized a “Drive-thru Food Drive” where people could bring in their food donations while still maintaining social distancing. She spread the word through social media where over 300 people shared her request for help. Hundreds of donations came in that stocked the shelves, meaning no one had to go hungry. This is just one example of the commitment and creativity that she brings to her work every day. With a limited word count I can only add that she always looks fabulous when she’s getting things done!
Finger Food Advanced Technology Group - Business Development Director
With her background in Engineering, Sara has a personal goal of getting more women and minorities excited about engineering and STEAM careers and believes that women need more positive role models – male or female. Sara’s has worked with a diverse group of organizations – including the Red Cross, Doctors without Borders and the World Bank in countries including Afghanistan and Gaza – and has even run for local office. Her background and experiences as an Afghan refugee, humanitarian aid, and engineer has provided her with strong sense of altruism and kindness that has made her not only a strong leader but an amazing mentor to young and aspiring engineers of all ages. Sara continues to inspire and motivate those around her to help younger generations pursue careers in STEAM and does so selflessly – This is why I am nominating her for the 2020 Women of Inspiration Awards.
Abundant by Design - CEO
I am nominating Angele because through hard work and perseverance she has and continues to build her businesses internationally. She has helped other businesses launch and reach their potential in the Canadian market as well as starting her own brands while expertly juggling her work with being a mom at the same time. Angele has become an inspiration for many women to the point where they seek her out for the opportunity to collaborate with her on projects.
Paradigm Esteem - Owner Operator
Amanda Welliver is a businesswoman making a prominent difference by teaching others from her heart and with the passion of a changed life. Amanda was known as an ‘uncool’ youth who grew up in a broken family, ongoing emptiness, which overall contributed to her lack of self-worth. Amanda was taunted, teased and bullied severely by school peers that included always being picked last. Her lack of self-esteem and overall human worth eventually ended with a speech impediment, that caused her to retract herself from any social situation, greater severe stuttering, isolation, depression and self-harming low self-esteem. Amanda has now made a successful business out of inspiring others to be the best that they can be. Developing a mental health curriculum, textbooks, and workshops has allowed Amanda evident success. Today she is the proud Founder/ President of Paradigm Esteem. With her work recognized by multiple government and social agencies including first nation communities, has contributed to Amanda the ability to mentor, teach and love herself ‘As Is’.
AltaGas - Director of Digital Transforation
Jil is an incredibly intelligent, high achieving leader, mother and cancer survivor. Her professional recognition speaks to this: she is a Top 40 under 40 recipient in Calgary, the youngest VP ever at the Alberta Energy Regulator, recipient of the Young Women in Energy Award, to name a few. Jil excels in optimizing the corporate process and building more efficient organizations. She successfully accomplishes this by optimizing processes and streamlining corporate input, data, and workflow. Jil incubates efficient, forward-thinking teams, revolutionizing the way companies operate digitally in the energy sector.
She is strong, brilliant, adaptable, and multifaceted; drawing on her training as a Geophysicist, an MBA and a Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt Jil transforms every corporate business team she joins. She is also able to do all this while being an amazing mother to her son Benjamin and a loving wife. Jil Macdonald is a truly outstanding woman.
Phoenix Labs - Marketing Manager
I am nominating RuthAnne because she is a force to be reckoned with in gaming. She empowers women, encourages diversity, and holds everyone around her to a high standard of transparency and accessibility.
03 Ozone Spa - Founder and CEO
Jelena is the Founder of 03 Ozone Spa. This unique technology heals people with many ailments. She is being pursued by private equity investors. A very well educated woman that is highly respected by her clients and community.
2113801 Ontario Inc., Silver & Gold Publishing - Founder and CEO
Suzanne Soto-Davis is the founder of a very successful Lifestyle online Magazine called Silver and Gold Magazine. She is an icon in the communities she serves. She is an author, developer of health products and a highly respected person. A great mother and wife.
Afro Women and Youth Foundation - Founder
I am nominating Adebola because she has demonstrated resilience and helps other women and youth to also build resilience. She is a social entrepreneur, mother of 3, a full-time student at the college, works part-time and still finds time to do community development work on campus and outside the campus. She is a mentor to other students, she works as a tutor, helping students who struggle with courses she has taken to understand course content better. She runs the Resilient Individuals through a Supportive Culture (RISC) club on two campuses of Seneca College and she is the founder of Afro Women and Youth Foundation (AWYF) where she advocates for women and girl child empowerment and mentors her focus group.
Immigrant Women In Business (IWB) - Founder and CEO
Svetlana has created a movement of women who meet all across Toronto to network and assist each other. The groups are made of Immigrant women and men. IWB is a non-profit social enterprise association. IWB specializes in integrated multicultural joint ventures that help organizations, governments and private corporations engage and connect with Canada’s diverse ethno-cultural communities to build profile and brands. Our members are committed to improving the world through positive leadership, compassion and dedication to learning, growing and giving.
Kalex Valuations - Founder and CEO
Melanie is likely the most important woman in the world of business valuation. She is highly respected and one of the great minds in valuation and complex business issues. Melanie is the founder of Kalex Valuations Inc. and began professional practice in 1985, which includes several years of industry experience. Throughout her professional career she has been involved in many assignments for a variety of public and private companies of various sizes and across many industries, obtaining her training at two of the largest international accounting firms in the industry. Melanie placed second in Canada on the CICBV membership examination. She founded Kalex Valuations Inc. in 1996. Ms. Russell has been active in teaching business valuations and related topics since 1987 at various universities and professional organizations, and runs the premiere preparatory course for CBV students in Canada taking their national Membership Qualification Examination.
Outdoor Lighting Perspectives - President
Pamela Vanston is a serial entrepreneur - She and her late husband started the largest coupon company in Canada. Val Pak was sold to a large institution in the United States. She is the President of Outdoor lights and the Chairwoman of Rio Welding.
She is a great woman entrepreneur.
Cambria USA - Executive VP OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Summer Kath is a designer of world-class Quartz kitchen and other counters. Her designs are world-famous. They are tantamount to art. Cambria Canada has a Gallery at 91 Parliament Street in Toronto. Cambria USA owns one of the largest Quartz mines in North America. They process quartz in Vaughan Ontario and other locations in Canada and the USA.
Unity for Autism - Founder and CEO
Kathy Carsley is the Founder of Unity for Autism, an extremely efficient charity with less than 2% total annual administrative expenses and likely one of the most significant charities for Autism in Canada, providing significant support to dozens of organizations each year across the country. Kathy has raised millions of dollars single-handedly for thousands of Canadians touched by this cause and vitally important, raised the much needed awareness of the plight of families struggling to access services to enhance their child’s development and well-being. A very impressive Board of Directors, including Mayor John Tory.
Free them - Founder
With an Associate in Marketing from Hawaii Pacific University and a Bachelor of Arts from The University of British Colombia, Shae joined the Invidiata Team in 2009 and has had the privilege to work alongside her father, Christopher Invidiata who has been servicing the Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga and Toronto community since 1984. Shae has helped to develop the Invidiata brand into some of the most elite luxury markets and continues to grow the company with her father and brother. In January 2010, Free-Them was founded by Shae Invidiata; an initiative dedicated to raising awareness and funds to end human trafficking in Canada by partnering with all levels of government, law enforcement, front-line organizations, and businesses to stop exploitation and Human Trafficking in Canada. Today Free-Them is a registered Not-for-Profit organization. Invidiata has been recognized in the community and in Canada for her philanthropic work.
Little Warriors - Founder
Glori Meldrum is the founder of Little Warriors, a national charitable organization focused on the awareness, prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse. As a survivor of child sexual abuse herself, in 2014 Glori opened the Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch, a first-of-its-kind, world-class, evidence-based treatment centre to help children across Canada who have been sexually abused. Glori believes “it’s one thing to discover your life’s purpose; it’s another to do something about it.” Her commitment to this cause is unwavering. By rallying her community, she raised $30 million for the Be Brave Ranch through thousands of donations, work in kind and grassroots fundraising. Under Glori’s guidance and leadership, the Be Brave Ranch offers unique research-based programming – with 11 different types of therapy, children receive more than 200 hours of trauma-informed therapy during their year-long program. The ranch has helped nearly 400 families and provided over 80,000 hours of therapy.
The BridgGroup of Companies - President & Chief Visionary Officer
Vision Builder Award -Natasha had a dream that she turned into a plan, that grew into a passion from a young age. Her foresight is apparent to the people around her, which influences them to bring their dreams into reality. Owning her own company to help her family, community and anyone in between, has been her mission. Educating the community about financial literacy to lead them to be financially confident, and make their own dreams & visions come to fruition, is at the top of her list. Offering a yearly student scholarship adds to fulfill her cup. Natasha has many accolades and accomplishments that she is proud of, but recently one of her many achievements is, collaborating on a book which is of inspiring stories of female immigrant entrepreneurs. Inspiring millennial's to have a vision through her financial literacy classes, encourages her to keep pushing higher.
Sanskriti Arts - Artistic Director
Puja is the Winner of Global Excellence Award 2019 for the Best Dance & Entertainment Studio in Canada, presented by Bollywood actor Madhuri Dixit. Her Mission through her company Sanskriti Arts is to bring together people from all ages and diverse cultural backgrounds through the expressive-art-form of dance. They at Sanskriti Arts strive to create a universal platform where health and wellness can be enhanced through dance, yoga and movement, and where boundaries are dissolved to create cultural inclusion. In order to further her motive in 2010, she embarked into a new realm of dance and pushed forward into dance-fitness to launch the new dance-fitness program, BollyCORE, teaching at various locations across the GTA. And now ‘Dance Diaries‘- a global Initiative to promote cross cultural exchange through borders. She hopes to dissolve boundaries and bring to our local Canadian talent, pioneers within their field to enhance their knowledge in performing arts.
Mom2mombiz - Connector
Bella holds a BA degree in Political Science & International Relations and has worked at European, Canadian and US financial institutions for 20 years in the international banking relationship management area. She had the chance to travel and expand her network with connections from diverse cultures. Bella believes in the importance of trust-building and considers that networking is about planting relations. Her passion of connecting with like-minded business women led Bella to found Mom2Mom Biz female entrepreneur networking group. In November 2017, Bella started facilitating face-to-face meet ups called NET(WORK)SHOPs. With this concept, she gathers female entrepreneurs for networking and learning at local Mom2Mom Biz member-owned venues, while featuring experts and professionals who present variety of topics related to business as well as self-development.
Boring Little Girls Club - President
Kira is a trailblazer and gifted leader. When she realized at age 22 that her alcohol and drug use were taking her down a dark path she became sober and subsequently lost all of her friends and her hangouts. Instead of getting bummed out, she founded the Boring Little Girls Club in November 2018. She is focused on growing a community that provides safe spaces while proving to all that you can have fun and still be sober. One of her personal missions is to connect with other sober or trying-to-be-sober women, non-binary and trans individuals and ensure they know they are not alone in their quest to live sober lives. She is a powerful voice for change and insists on challenging the expectations around the use of alcohol in our society as well as ensuring that safe spaces are always available for those who swim against the current.
D.C. Global Talent Inc. - C.E.O/ Founder
Daniela has recruited over 100 people to work in the Caribbean since started her business 4 years ago. She is an advocate for hotels in the Caribbean to hire locally and is working with government officials in Jamaica and St. Thomas (USVI) to promote hospitality as a career for students and highlight the career trajectories so locals can benefit from the growth of the hospitality industry in their community. Daniela also is always positive on Instagram, sharing inspiring quotes, stories and leading by example so other women can have the confidence to build the life of their dreams. Daniela owns and operates a hospitality recruitment agency and also works as an HR consultant for hotels in the Caribbean. She is inspiring because she works hard everyday, takes care of her body through exercise, her mind through meditation and is always sharing her secrets. I've learnt to have mantras and affirmations through Daniela. She is an active reader and just an over all friendly, inspiring person.
Terra HDD Solutions - Caroline Sangret
Caroline Sangret is one hard working mama I tell you. Caroline is extremely determined and puts in so much effort into everything she does, especially relating to business. No detail ever goes unmissed. Despite working full time as a Project Manager for Terra HDD Solutions she also volunteers weekly for the Association of Administrative Professionals as a Program Coordinator. She has put in a lot of time and energy volunteering and planning events for the board of administration which have all been known to be a HUGE success! On top of this, she is balancing caring for her five year old son. Caroline is an extremely success driven individual and hopes to become an entrepreneur of her own business too. She makes time for everything that is important to her whether that is her son, family, health and overall well-being. Caroline is the type of woman that will show up for her team no matter what and will always ensure things are done meticulously.
Womens Millionare Magazine - Founder and CEO
Maureen is the Publisher and Editor of Women's Millionaire Magazine.
Mental Health Advocate
Raffela is an amazing mental health and body positive advocate and one of my best friends. She is always helping people learn, feel better about themselves, and improve their allyship.
Eye Health Centres - Owner
Dr.Monea is bold and has the fortitude and courage to push through her fears, and take a stand on what she believes. She is a warrior, and courageous fighter for what she believes in and how she sees herself and the world. Dr.Monea is someone I would like to emulate because she changes the world with her positive message — I see one consistent theme: she uses all of herself (her past pain, her “quirks” and idiosyncrasies, her raw experiences, her unique voice, and her past and current struggles) to uplift the world.
Middle Aged Renegade - Writer
Jenna is the strongest, most resilient woman I have ever met. She has successfully completed her PhD and MBA while single handedly raising two children. She moved her entire life from Toronto to Calgary to accept a job in the Environmental Sector in Oil and Gas, a completely male dominated environment. When she found the sector to be too toxic for her mental health, Jenna had the strength to speak out against those who were negatively affecting her through harassment and gaslighting. She chose herself, Her happiness. Jenna left O & G and is now making a name for herself as a freelancer technical writer and happiness blogger.
DLA Piper LLP - Counsel
Karen is a leader and mentor to all women she encounters. She has used her role of senior lawyer, which includes being recognized as a QC lawyer, to help so many other women, both in Canada and around the world. She has volunteered in Nepal and other third world countries training young female lawyers on how to advocate for themselves. She is on the international board of IWIRC (International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation), and is on the board of PBLA (Pro Bono Law Alberta). She not only believes in but fights for equality and inclusion. Above all of this, Karen is kind, incredibly funny, creative and adventurous. I am privileged to call her a colleague but more importantly as friend.
5 Elements Martial Arts - Owner, Head Instructor, President WKU Canada
Renshi Maeghen is a trailblazer in not only the martial arts community but in the sports community. She is an 11 time world champion in kick boxing and karate, and is currently the president of the World Karate Union Canadian chapter, making her the first female president of WKU worldwide. She spends an extraordinary amount of time speaking about mental health, sitting on boards, and fighting for inclusion, equality, and safety of females in sport. Renshi (a title granted to a 5th degree black belt) sponsors many low income students to train for free at her school, which is Canada's largest and founded by her. She is currently lobbying government to amend legislation related to equality and safety for women in sport.
RBC Dominion Securities - Investment Advisor
Sibel is an extraordinary single mom, who immigrated to Canada from Turkey to create a new life for her and her daughter. She is a leader in the wealth management industry, an engineer, an artist and a woman of inspiration on so many levels. Her passion for helping other women grow and build their wealth combined with her talent for visual art is so unique. Sibel holds many high level distinctions in her field internationally as well as in Canada.
Knitted Knockers Alberta - Manager/Director
Donna has almost single handedly organized over 200 volunteers (knitters, Lingerie Shops, Yarn shops, cancer clinics) to provide free knitted prosthetics to any Canadian breast cancer survivor. These free light weight, comfortable knitted prosthetics (daily & for swimming) replace the hot, heavy and expensive silicone medical breast prosthetics. She maintains the website, Facebook & Instagram page and sends personal notes to all requests, vacuum packs and mails out. To date almost 6000 knitted knockers have been sent and sadly the requests continue to flood in. She is a tireless caring "behind the scene" lady that deserves recognition.
de Sedulous Women Leaders - Founder
Ejibola is an astonishing, selfless and fearless leaders who inspires and empowers women through entrepreneurship; her desire is to die empty of all the skills and potentials she’s got within her by impacting the lives of women around her. After facing a life-threatening sickness years back that almost took her life, she become even more committed to motivate women around her to reach for the best in their career and enterprise. Ejibola is a trailblazer and would go ABCD (above and beyond the call of duty) to celebrate and encourage all her women, she’s the exact type of woman that makes you believe your impossible dream is actually possible if only you can dare to pursue it, she is indeed a role model for every immigrant women especially those of us in the rural Canada. She is the Founder of “de Sedulous Women Leaders” in Canada with City chapters in Grande Prairie, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Toronto (and more to come).
SSC Family Restaurants Ltd o/a McDonald's - Owner/ Operator
She has accomplished something pretty amazing. She has built the current market to an excess of 16 million in Edmonton and is 1 of 6 female operators out of a total of 91 in all of Western Canada. This is astonishing to me. Less than 10% of all Canada wide operators are female. She makes the time to take part in monthly fundraising for the community and sit on various boards in Edmonton while encouraging her 200 some employees to also give back. Many are immigrants and first generation individuals, she guides them in ways not only to have fun in life but always give back no matter how big or small.
My mom. She is mentally tougher than anyone else. She battles cancer and is beating it. She needs more love. This would mean a lot.
Margot Grant Witz
Elizabeth Grant International Inc. - Vice President
Margot embodies the true spirit of an entrepreneur through her tireless work with her company and various board appointments, striving to make positive change. She is a leader in her field but also an ambassador for her family’s company, travelling the world to spread the word of the Elizabeth Grant brand. From a very young age, Margot has been “in training heels”, garnering invaluable tutelage from her President mother, Marion, and Founder and grandmother, Elizabeth Grant. Through hard work and forward thinking, Margot has been able to make the brand a recognized name around the world. Nevertheless, it’s not all business and networking for Margot. She also has a keen sense of the real world around her and a deep need to give back. This she does through running ‘EG cares’, the charitable division at Elizabeth Grant International and through volunteering with Look Good Feel Better.
Fashion Group International - Regional Director
Klaudia is heavily involved in the fashion industry with over 12 years experience as a professor, mentor and contributes on several advisory boards. She joined Fashion Group International 2 years ago as a member on the Board of Directors and has recently been chosen as the new Regional Director of this global organization. She is passionate about supporting our fashion industry by creating a FGI "family" that elevates, educates and empowers one another so that our Canadian talent continues to be promoted and celebrated and helps others achieve their business goals through her programs and initiatives. In her short time in this lead role since January, she has already brought on 9 sponsors for the first time in history and hosted incredible events that have broken records in attendance and generated buzz and excitement. She is a game changer that has already begun to shake up the fashion industry and deserves to be recognized for her contribution over the past 10+ years.
ATB Financial - Senior Manager, Fraud and Anti Money Laundering
Aisha is a full time working mother of two small children, but continues to grow within her professional career, while inspiring other women to follow their dreams and passion. In addition to her flourishing career, Aisha helps her husband with day to day operations at Inclusive Energy Ltd., a company started by both Aisha and her husband. Aisha exceeds expectations in all categories of life including being a mother, a professional, a friend and entrepreneur. She has assisted many of her friends with start ups and has provided consultation to many young entrepreneurs to help put them on the right path and gain access to the right resources. Aisha is truly an inspiration to many.
Canada Mortgage and Financial Group - CMFG - Broker and Owner
Ameera is an award winning Mortgage Broker who over her established career has had countless accolades speaking to her accomplishments. These have come via clients, lenders and other professionals who choose to speak to her professionalism and endless efforts. She has been nominated this year for the Community Trust Award for Alternative Broker Specialist of the Year, Brokerage of the Year (Fewer than 25 Employees) and Home Trust Award for Woman of Distinction. Often times you find that professionals excel in one particular area but Ameera has maintained a balance between the success of her business and humanitarian work. Her purpose is to be the voice for those that are vulnerable, empowering women to take on leadership roles, providing care and education to orphaned children, building affordable housing, educating others about financial literacy, eradicate elder abuse and human trafficking. She believes to have change, we must become agents of change.
Nuscreen Inc - CEO & Co-Founder
Meg is an influential leader in the tech community and is constantly trying to lift other women up and get them involved in the industry. She hosts a weekly online event #WOMENXWORK for women who are self-employed.
Luxy Hair - CEO
Lulu Liang is the CEO of Luxy Hair, an 8 figure global beauty business and the #1 rated hair extension brand in the world. Lulu grew the team from 2 to 20 and has taken Luxy Hair to be one of the Top 50 Best Places to work in Canada. She is also the co-founder of Evergreen Journals, the creator of the Habit Journal - a product helping people build positive and lasting habits. Prior to Luxy Hair, Lulu was a Management Consultant at Accenture where she consulted on Strategy for Fortune 100 Tech Companies and Retailers. Lulu holds a degree in Commerce and Mathematics from Queen’s University where she graduated in the top 10% of her class. Lulu is passionate about continuous self and business growth.
Karen Seward Adams
Snapclarity - Chief Commercial and Health Innovation Officer
Karen has spent her career as an advocate for mental health. As the executive leader of shepell.fgi (warrenshepell, morneau shepell) she created awareness amongst corporations of the existence of mental health. She developed programs that offered the ability to cope with mental health and has been recognized as a pioneer by benefits Canada. She is the chair of the Ontario Shores Foundation for mental health. She coaches young women in business to ensure they overcome obstacles and barriers.
Merhan Keller, KissyK - CEO of KissyK
Merhan Keller is one of the bravest women who changed the way women are perceived in the middle east and specifically in Egypt. Egypt is ranked number 2 in sexual harassment and violence against women. Merhan Keller spoke up against the sexual harassment she was subjected to, in addition to the death threats she received from a famous and powerful football player in Egypt. As a result, Merhan has been bullied, mocked, threatened and she suffered a lot throughout her battle especially after deciding to fight him in court. Many women in Egypt created a twitter thread similar to #metoo movement and spoke up against the same football who has been terrorizing women for years. he has been accused of rape, sexual molestation and violence. After so many women supported Nerhan, the court finally ruled in her favor. she has sent a clear message to everybody in a male-dominated society that there is still hope and that women should stick together and support each other. Merhan is a model who is also a very active humanitarian.
Ehi Ade-Mabo Empowerment Media - Mindset Coach
Ehi is a Phenomenal and selfless leader, she goes above and beyond for everyone around her, having been bullied in her teenage years because of her unusual physical traits, she is now determined to make sure no little girl or woman goes through the same painful experiences of a low self esteem. Ehi not only empowers women to push through their limiting beliefs, she also does this internationally with little girls in 3rd world nations, she believes its important to start mending a person's beliefs much earlier. I am nominating her because she does for the mind what a heart surgeon does for the heart...changing paradigms and limiting beliefs
WE Charity - Youth and Family Engagement Specialist
Veronica supports young people and their families each and every day to make a difference in their community. Veronica works with children one on one to ensure she knows exactly what their goals are and will do everything in her power to help them achieve them. She is a mentor to hundreds of young people around the world and inspires people of all ages to give back through her dedication to service. Having led several international volunteer trips and facilitated dozens of social justice workshops, Veronica's reach is nothing short of astounding. There is no one more deserving of a Women of Inspiration Award.
WE Charity - Director of Youth and Family Engagement
Lauren Fox is a fearless leader in the non-profit world. She is a trailblazer and has created new roles within an evolving international organization. Lauren dedicates herself to empowering young people to reach their goals, be their true selves and most importantly to create positive change in the world. She is always looking for ways to help others and inspire them to do the same.
Styleworthy - Founder
Jennifer take the time to produce events that are unapologetic conversations about style and self amongst a diverse group of individuals. She is relateable to women who are on their journey of self love. A shining light she is approachable and loyal.
YYC PRINCESS - Owner/Fairy Godmother
Every day Caitlynne wakes up with the dream to inspire more children. She believes they are the future of our world and deserve to be seen, heard and told they can do anything they put their mind too - of course, anyone can nurture a child in that way, but the creative and hands on ways that Caitlynne does it are what make her special. Caitlynne runs summer camps, teaches art, writes original musicals, plans events all over the city, runs charities and works with Dreams Take Flight, Make a Wish, Children's Wish, Children's Hospital, Enmax, Calaway Park, Storybook Theatre, Calgary Public Library and more - all while maintaining a strong acting career in film and theatre! She played Ewan McGregor's daughter in Fargo Season 3, and won the Betty Mitchell award for Outstanding Actress in a musical for Billy Elliot at Theatre Calgary.
Miller Thomson LLP - Law Partner, Social Impact Group
Natasha is a partner in Miller Thomson’s Social Impact Group, a practice dedicated to providing legal advise to charities and non-profits. Natasha is a member of the Black Female Lawyers network, the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL) and participates in many other organizations. Natasha is a regular mentor of black law students looking for career guidance and professional development, particularly as it pertains to securing employment on Bay Street. Natasha is a co-founding member of Miller Thomson’s Black History Month Committee, established in 2019, which aims to highlight the successes of black Canadians both internally and externally as well as bring awareness to matters surrounding diversity and inclusion. Natasha has worked diligently to achieve her "partner" status and at the age of 33 is the youngest black female partner on Bay Street. She is compassionate, fearless and loyal, a true woman of inspiration!
Ottawa Hair Loss Clinic & Wellness - CEO
Mikaella is making a massive difference in Canada with Trichology. She is the first black owned operated Trichology clinic in Canada. She been helping peoples regaining confidence and growing their hair back by applying only holistic approach. She also an incredible business woman managing different businesses.
Virago Network - Founder & CEO
Mani has been doing exemplary work in the field of women empowerment through her initiative of building a community of women professionals. The initiative is called- "The Virago Network". Her vision is to build a supportive international community of professional women, industry leaders and corporates from diverse industries to strengthen and improve the status of women in our society. She has been working hard to build a platform for Mentorship, Professional Guidance & Support that includes emotional support as well. She is putting efforts to connect with industry leaders and shine a spotlight on Female leaders & Entrepreneurs in order to create the Archetype of Women as Leaders who can then turn role models for the generations to follow.
She has taken initiatives towards women empowerment during her stay in United States and she was noticed and featured in media for doing so.
The Extensionist - Owner
Megan Ledarney is the CEO of The Extensionist. A well known Extension salon founded in 2014. Megan's own experience with hair loss and bullying in school ignited a passion to help others restore confidence. Megan was only 24 when she opened the doors to her first Edmonton salon, she created a non damaging extension technique (Voguepearl) that quickly gained National exposure because of its seamless application. Megan’s true passion is working with men and women to help them understand hair loss and find solutions that work for them no matter their situation. By sharing and expressing her true self, she has reached out to and encouraged women to achieve the unimaginable and reach their full potential. She exudes positivity and confidence, she celebrates and encourages her peers accomplishments and she works endlessly to keep growing both personally and professionally.
Ary - Singer/Songwriter
Ary is an excellent role model. She sings in English, French, Hindi, Tamil, and can hold her own with Italian and German as well, Her live performances are remarkable, and I think she really shows young people that they can do anything with enough hard work and determination! We have performed in multiple shows together, she has raised the bar for all the performers each and every time, and I think she absolutely deserves a Woman of Inspiration Award!
CEO, President Canadian Center for Women’s Empowerment, Maternity Today and Owner Nacre Organics
Meseret Haileyesus is an entrepreneur, ambassador, founder, humanitarian and advocate for gender equality. She is the Director of the Canadian Center for Women's Empowerment, an organization that supports domestic violence survivors and homeless through mentorship to achieve long term safety’s financial stability in Ottawa. She is also the Founder/ Executive Director for Maternity Today and Nacre organics. Meseret has assisted pregnant women through the amazing journey of pregnancy, childbirth, and new motherhood in rural areas. She has more than 14 years of experience working in NGOs, global corporates and United Nations agencies as a midwife and public health expert. Meseret advocates for non-toxic, plant-based, fair trade, and zero-waste personal care products. Meseret was recently named one of the 100 Most Accomplished Black Canadian Women. She was also a nominee for Canadian Excellence in Global Women and Children’s Health. She mentored women-owned businesses, domestic violence survivors, emerging leaders and provided opportunities to marginalized groups.
Sabina Wex Consulting - Founder and CEO
Sabina has dedicated herself to promoting women in business as her career. She's only 24, but she has created a PR consulting business that is successful BECAUSE it uplifts other women in the process. She works so hard to make sure that the women she works for are seen as they truly are, whether that be women in STEM, women breaking barriers in tech or women entrepreneurs. She helps all her clients reach the people they need to speak to through her excellent relationship with media, like CP24, Refinery29 or The Globe and Mail.
SMRT POP UPS and SMRT WOMEN - Founder and CEO
Selene works tirelessly to lift up business women in Northern Canada, thanks to her work of creating SMRT Women, a community of female entrepreneurs that help each other get unstuck so they can create profitable and sustainable businesses they love. Selene does her work out Whitehorse, but she is now bringing it to women across Canada with her online academy to help women across Canada (and around the world!) start, grow and love their businesses.
Simply Nurtured - Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant
Jenna Lessner is a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant who goes above and beyond for her clients. After her own 130-pound weight loss Jenna became passionate about nutrition and helping other individuals improve their health and longevity. Jenna focuses her work around emotional eating and body positivity coaching which allows her to help her clients get to the root of their issues with food. Many of Jenna’s clients see the positive effects of her nutrition coaching ripple out into every facet of their lives, empowering them to live their very best life.
Women Who Explore - Founder
Lindsay is an inspiration. The kind of woman that makes you believe in following impossible dreams. Lindsay has built a community and inspired thousands of women through her message of, “ you can, we can, together.” By founding Women Who Explore Lindsay has opened doors for countless women to pursue their dreams and follow their hearts. I am nominating her because I believe, as do numerous others, that she deserves recognition for the work she has done to build and grow a powerful and positive female presence in the outdoor/travel industry.
Jaime Moore (Jaime Moore Photography) - Founder
Jaime Moore is an incredible woman who has dedicated her career to inspiring young women across the world with her BOLD and INSPIRING photography. She has taken the world by storm with her portrayals of her young daughter in poses and ensembles that resemble the world's most inspiring women, showing that every girl can accomplish great things like the women who have paved paths to inclusion and innovation.
SureCall - CEO
Desiree is the epitome of a woman supporter. She has taken an industry and made it into something completely different in how we view what we do. Desiree has also taken on global efforts in helping women and young girls in areas that would not normally have the support through her Hero Girls program. She lifts other women up within the organization and is always wanting to better the world wherever she can.
Restorative Sports Therapy - Founder/Phyisotherapist
Gina Perrault is a Living Inspiration to all who are blessed to be a part of her mission: To aspire to be our healthiest by accepting and loving who we are by nourishing our lives with Self Care, Self Love, Self Compassion and Self Passion. Gina’s strong calling to empower our youth has also led her to become an integral team member of the Orenda Society and a passionate mentor to her youth clients. As a physiotherapist, Gina is an integral part of the formation of many young athletes and her direction and guidance has allowed our youth to navigate through the highs and lows of competitive sports which has allowed them to grow into confident young men and women who serve as positive role models for their peers. Gina’s inspirational seeds will only keep growing in the lives of so many.
Remote Law Canada - Principal Lawyer and Founder
Tara has been a role model to women in the legal industry and beyond throughout her career. In 2019, she was featured in Forbes as she championed the remote work movement and encouraged women aspiring to attain leadership positions to achieve work-life balance, through the use of technology, and effective remote work arrangements. Through numerous speaking engagements alongside Microsoft, Datto, and RBC, Tara has drawn significant attention to the use of technology and artificial intelligence in business and law practice. In 2019, Tara was interviewed across every CBC news station in Ontario, with respect to her innovative approach to litigation. In 2018 and 2019, she was nominated for Canadian Lawyer's Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers. Tara has been an influential force to young lawyers, and remains active in her community as a mentor to the SAWL program and through publishing articles for Canadian Lawyer, HR Insider, and The Lawyer's Daily.
Capital City Condors - Co-Founder and General Manager
She’s tireless, she gives and gives, and sacrifices for the benefit of others. She Co-founded and is the General Manager of what has grown to be the largest adapted hockey program in the world! Young people and adults with special needs, and their families benefit each day from her extraordinary dedication and compassion. In addition, while having four kids of her own, she adopted two young sisters, providing for them a home and loving family. So as a Mom to six kids, from 5-32 years old, Grandma and consistent baby-sitter to 4 little ladies 4 years old and under, wife, daughter, sister, sign-language interpreter, there’s not enough room to explain why she deserves this!
Linda Lefebvre - Mother
Linda is an amazing lady who helped her son, Tysen, raise over a million dollars for Make A Wish of Eastern Ontario! She has worked tirelessly, behind the scenes to enable and support her son to achieve this incredible goal. She is truly an unsung hero.
Discovery House Violence Preventation Society - CEO
Monique Auffrey leads with a big heart and a sharp mind. As CEO of Discovery House Family Violence Prevention Society, a social profit agency in Calgary and a survivor of domestic violence, she is laser focused in eradicating domestic violence and ending the traumatic cycle by focusing on building resiliency in traumatized children. Monique is recognized nationally and internationally for her achievements. From the very beginning of Monique’s career, she has been a global pioneer in developing programs to help vulnerable people. After graduating with a Masters of Social Work from Dalhousie University, she worked with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Canadian Red Cross and Mines Action Canada and Oxfam to deliver a mandated program of landmine awareness in the Atlantic Region. Monique is an active member of the Alberta Council of Women Shelters and has most recently been nominated to the Alberta Family Violence Death Review Committee (FVDRC).
Front door investments - Mentor
Shelley is one amazing woman. She mentors women through her business front door investments and helps them achieve great things. She runs a real estate business and teaches others how to do what she has done. She has raised her two children on her own and has been thrown some major tragedies in her life and shares her stories to help others. She is the first to step up when others need help. She is one in a million. Shelley goes above and beyond every single day. Currently, she is going out of her comfort zone and starting her own podcasts/videos and they are not only inspiring but help others with many different facets of life.
Self Love Renovation - Owner/Founder
Candice leads by example. She goes above and beyond with every event she plans and supports women in business creating courses and meeting with women to build their business. She lives what she teaches. I am grateful for all she does.
PTPA Media Inc. - CEO
For creating a program that is based on positively impacting the lives of the communities that we work within. Sharon has changed the way consumers make purchasing decisions but has also made sure to positively change the idea that you don't get something for nothing. With Sharon's company, in fact, you do.
Maya Corona Art & Design - Owner, Magic Colour Maker
Maya is an amazing woman who, at the age of 27, moved to Canada not knowing any English, to attend school in BC. Since then, she has started a successful graphic design and branding business with her husband. However, it is her most recent commitment to being her true self that inspires me every single day. This is her commitment to building her watercolor painting workshops and career as an artist. She is unlike anyone I've ever met - committed to her work, her children, her students. She is creative beyond belief and always willing to lift someone's soul when they are doubting their own artistry. She is pure light and helps other people discover the power of their own colors.
Evio Beauty - Founder/CEO
Brandi Leifso is the CEO and founder of Evio. Launched in 2019, Evio’s line of cosmetics and skincare products are affordable, inclusive, vegan, cruelty-free, toxin-free, gluten-free and paraben-free, as well as ethically and consciously produced with thoughtful, sustainable packaging. Leifso created the concept for the company when she was 21 and living in a women's shelter. Since then, she has raised millions through strategic alliances and has won the support of a coveted board of directors and advisors while growing Evio into a successful direct to consumer brand with distribution across North America. Leifso secured a spot as an alumni member of the esteemed Sephora Accelerate program (2018), and has spoken at Forbes Under 30’s first-ever Global Women Summit in Israel (2019), Cosmetic Executive Women’s Future of Cannabis in Beauty in Los Angeles (2019), and the CAFA Fashion & Retail Forum in Toronto (2019).
Spartan Delta Corp. - Chief Financial Officer
Geri’s ambition, intelligence, network and significant accomplishments complement precisely the stellar community of potential recipients. Geri has demonstrated strong female leadership and made incredible contributions to the business community (across multiple sectors including energy, technology, finance and political), providing significant impact to many organizations and boards, and making her highly deserving of the honour and opportunity bestowed by the Universal Womens Network. Geri currently is the Chief Financial Officer of Spartan Delta Corp. Prior thereto she co-founded and was a Portfolio Manager at a wealth management firm. She is also currently an Independent Director on Kelt Exploration’s Ltd. Board (a publicly traded energy company) and serves her community as a Director on both Discovery House Violence Prevention Society and Providence School boards.
Stradigi AI - Chief Scientific Officer & Co-Founder
Coming from Venezuela over 10 years ago, Carolina Bessega, has had a meteoric rise as the co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Stradigi AI. Carolina has established Stradigi AI as a Canadian leader in the AI field. She leads a team of over 30 PhDs, having developed over multiple algorithms and published papers. She presents from the unique perspective of being a female CSO and co-founder of an AI solutions provider, developing a cutting edge AI platform for enterprises and governments. Carolina’s role in building a diverse and inclusive workforce at Stradigi AI is a true example of her impact as a trailblazing leader. More than 35% of the team at Stradigi AI are women, which is above average in the tech industry. The research team’s high percentage of women is a result of and testament to her focus on women in STEM.
Social T. - Founder & CEO
Tara Clark is the CEO of Vancouver-based social media agency,
Social T. She established the company in 2010 and since has made her mark in digital marketing by helping professional services and the food and beverage industry improve how they use social media. Tara's mission is to guide her clients and network on how to use social in the most effective and efficient way. In addition to her business ventures, Tara speaks to audiences of all sizes on how to elevate their interactions by empowering attendees to be more authentic online and off.
CGI - Cybersecurity Service Delivery Manager
Priscilla believes that supporting women through their educational and professional paths is the road that will lead them to progress to leadership positions in the business world. In 2016-17, Priscilla founded and led Carleton Women in Business (CUWIB), a not-for-profit organization that seeks to empower women by bringing awareness to the discrepancies present in women’s rights, equality and social justice. She articulates issues in health, education and entrepreneurship in both public and private sectors as they relate to economic and social development. Today, Priscilla oversees the allocation of the budget and provides advisory services to the executive team as the Chair of board’s association. She is also well-versed in translating the company’s missions and goals into operating plans with clear benchmarks and annual objectives. Priscilla also oversees two additional not-for-profits as a board member.
Sexy Brilliant Global Revolution - Founder/CEO
Devina Kaur is the founder of The Sexy Brilliant ™ Global Revolution. A fun-loving, flamboyant straight-talker born and raised in India, she’s a North America based author, filmmaker, researcher, philanthropist, and media personality. As a full time student of life, Devina the relentless optimist is out to share the teachings through the trademarked K.A.U.R. process with the world and empower herself and others in loving their bodies and themselves from the inside out. She currently resides in Montreal, Canada with her clever eight year old and various fur babies. You can find her and her powerful message of self-love, empowerment, and confidence anytime at www.sexybrilliant.com. The mission of SEXY BRILLIANT™ Foundation is to remove toxic shame and create a world of more happiness.
Chelsea Buns Cross Stitch - Owner
Chelsea Fournier has quickly established herself as a great small business owner in the Ottawa Canada area. Through her love of her hobby she is trying to inspire other women to become their own badass selves through her Stitch Mafia logo and designs. She is also attempting to make crafting, which is traditionally not very avante garde to be current and "cool" again.
The more significant part of her mission is to keep needle arts relevant and interesting so that future generations can benefit from these crafts.
Honors Psychology Student - going into final year @ UOttawa
Melissa has an incredible story of resilience, determination, and courage. She continues to move through her journey, transforming the tragic situations she has experienced in her short life. In the face of rare adversity, which included the loss of her beloved son, and followed by a severe and life threatening decline in her health which led to many interruptions of her pursuit of higher education, she refused to allow depression or negative influences to make her choices for her. With a positive attitude, Melissa worked very hard to redirect her life after each experience, choosing not to succumb to these tragedies but to get through each one. Melissa is able to use her exceptional inner strength to draw on these lessons in order to offer inspiration to others: one-to-one informal discussion or in front of an audience. She is passionate about mental health awareness and Missing and Murdered Indigenous women.
Bow River Solutions Inc - CEO & Sr. Predictive Analytics Professional
Jen has become a leader in the IT community in regards Business Intelligence, Predictive Analytics and Artificial Intelligence. Jen has become a icon on how smart solutions are applied to companies and how those solutions can help companies Jen started Bow River Solutions since 2005 and has delivered hundreds of dashboards, reporting solutions, planning and forecasting projects, data warehouses and data integrations, and more. Jen fell in love with Business Intelligence, before the term was even coined, in the era of basic data display and drag-and-drop reports. Now, many years later, the possibilities are endless for enabling business with self-serve data visualization and predictive analytics and we are delighted to be among the leaders in our industry. Jen's team is proud to be known for going the extra mile to make sure our clients’ expectations are exceeded, not just met.
Emergenetics Canada - CEO
For years Emergentics has been in the US, Asia and Europe but they were never able to find someone good enough to carry their brand in Canada… that is until they met Deanna. She had to go through an intensive, arduous interview process and only then were they confident enough to have her purchase the rights. Deanna is a born leader and very successful entrepreneur and philanthropist. She simultaneously runs Emergenetics, the registered charity Empowering Minds, attends and donates to numerous other charities in this city all while also being a part-time student at AU Arts (Formerly ACAD) in glass blowing. Deanna is an innovator, imaginative, intuitive about ideas, a visionary all while being relational, socially aware, empathic and intuitive about people. She is also a well rounded business women by having the qualities of being a clear/practical thinker and logical problem solver. She is a woman of inspiration.
Travel off the path - Global influencer award
Kashlee has it all “seemingly” she was a successful realtor, lived in an amazing home, drove an expensive car had crazy expensive clothes and lived a lavish lifestyle but something was missing from her life. She was young successful and had life in the Palm of her hand. Then it unravelled bit by bit. She dug her way out - met the man of her dreams and they ended up selling 90% of what they own and started traveling the world. She started a hobby travel blog which ended up becoming a business because she found a niche that people needed. Her honesty and down to earth attitude and light hearted approach to writing has made her a author of a best selling book. She now works for BOSSBABE in California but gets to travel the world and is a sought after by many travel companies for her uncanny skill for telling what the tourist needs to know. She is a force to be reckoned with. Plus she is willing to share with anyone and everyone and wants to give back.
INCUBSENCE - Founder & CEO
Diksha is the Founder, CEO at INCUBSENCE and serves on its Board of Directors. She is a renowned technology and motivational speaker and has given 300+ talks. Awarded as Exceptional Woman of Excellence 2019 by Women's Economic Forum. She leads the development of Infrastructure platforms, analytical decision model & algorithms. The responsibility of delivering the software in INCUBSENCE’s innovative products. Diksha is a brain on INCUBSENCE’s efforts to minimize its impact on the environment by banning plastic on INCUBSENCE campus. She is also geared up for setting up a renewable energy roadmap on INCUBSENCE campus. She is ethically responsible for INCUBSENCE’s pledge policy programs for INCUBSENCE foundation. With 10+ years of experience, Diksha held several roles in many International and national organizations. Diksha holds a Master and a Bachelor of Computer Application degree from prominent Indian Universities. She won many prestigious awards during her Masters inclusive of Best All Rounder.
Jake’s House Charity - Chief Executive Officer
Jennifer Joseph is an extraordinary woman who leads by example. With So much courage, confidence, commitment, and integrity, she inspires all who work with her to go that little bit further, She works helping individuals affected by autism reach their god given potential. As a friend in the same type of work she inspires me to do go that extra bit and do as much as possible to help these children I deal with. She is a true role model to myself in making this world a better place.
ReBLOOM - Founder/CEO
Kalynn Crump is working to reduce waste from the Canadian event industry, and is quickly becoming one of Canada’s top sustainability entrepreneurs. Kalynn is not only giving event florals a second life, bringing joy to 30,000+ people in seniors living homes, shelters and hospitals, she has also diverted 43 tons of floral waste from landfills to date. In 2014, Kalynn launched ReBLOOM - Canada’s leading innovator in re-purposing and composting event florals + greenery that would otherwise end up being improperly thrown out. Servicing all of Canada, ReBLOOM converts event florals into bouquets of happiness by donating them to a charity of choice in a company/person’s name; they then re-collect the bouquets to compost them properly in order to reduce environmental waste.
Michaela Alexis - Owner / Speaker
Michaela is an extremely extraordinary woman! She has been shaking up a professional social media platform called LinkedIn as one of the FIRST millennial viral creators. She has shared her wild journey as a budding marketer, hungry for success, with all of the highs and lows which provides the world with the authenticity it seriously needs.
Camp Ohana - Co-Founder/Director
I'm nominating Jessie Lawrence for the Youth Excellence award because of the significant strides she has made for LGBTQ+ youth locally, provincially and nationally. She began at the age of 13 by founding a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) group in her junior high school. Jessie then went on to co-found the first ever LGBTQ+ camp for youth ages 14-18 years on the West Coast of Newfoundland. The creation of Camp Ohana has helped support many youth, it has been a huge success and is well attended each summer. The camp is entering its 3rd summer, in 2020, each time bigger and better to meet the needs of LGBTQ+ youth. Jessie has spoken at provincial LGBTQ+ conferences, as well as presenting nationally, at OUTshine. She shares her personal story of struggle, harassment, and bullying, showing how to channel those experiences into action and ensures other youth get the support they need.
Love & Nudes - Founder
Chantal is a woman of colour who exemplifies the meaning of don't let anything stop you on your path to empowerment! She saw a need for all women of colour, to have the basic undergarments needed for their skin tone, so they may dress with confidence and style, and then put her idea into action. Chantal researched and traveled to find the best materials needed to create the garments she visioned. She had worked as a single mother for many years, in the fashion industry as a stylist. Chantal is a woman who knows what she wants, and knows how to go after it, all the while inspiring those around her to do the same! Her vision for Love & Nudes has grown substantially and brought her to be on Dragon's Den. Chantal inspires women of colour to not be afraid of their colour, but to embrace it and show it off to the world!
Dr Caroline Makaka
Ladies Of All Nations International - Founder ceo
Dr Caroline Makaka is a well determined & vigorous individual, yet pleasantly calm, She reflects a varied personality including ambition and the qualities of generosity & thoughtfulness. Her mission is to connect cultures and help underprivileged communities. She is very dedicated to unite cultures under one roof for a great cause & fund initiatives that empower the most vulnerable women and children around the world. She is a Founder of Ladies of all nations international. Ladies Of All Nations International is a global organisation operates world wide chiefly to bring nations together under the umbrella of humanity with the ultimate goal being to support and uplift the under privileged in various communities. LOANI is now covering 88 Countries Worldwide promoting Diversity & Inclusiveness covering ALL aspects of Equality & Diversity - including age, race, gender, sexuality, religion, disability etc
Seed Leadership - Founder / Owner
Nancy is an incredible woman that leads with love and helps to support, empower, and coach women to succeed in their career goals.
Community Now! Magazine - Publisher
I'm nominating the Founder, Publisher of Community Now! Magazine. From the moment we met her passion and commitment has been unwavering. Krista loves people and their stories. Community Now! Magazine focuses on Community, Education, Business & Innovation. Personally, as the Community Connector for We Are Calgary these elements are key in our city. Highlighting and bringing more awareness to how this is happening around us and the value of its contribution, needed more attention and she is bringing us the stories This improves day to day life, and our economy. She is grassroots with a focus to expand globally taking on content to expand in her first year of publication. It inspires me to continue to connect Calgary and learn more about the stories in our own backyard and how they contribute globally.
Caravan Counselling - Psychotherapist, Trainer, Author, and Master coach
Giti Caravan has changed so many people's lives for better, she has been able to make rapid changes. She has been able to take people out from clinical depression in an amazingly fast way. she is an author, and she has been to treat stature in one session.
The Golden Crown Group of Canada - CEO & Founder
Sheri is a phenomenal woman who not only owns Canadian businesses such as The Golden Crown Group of Canada, she is the chair of the United Nations Foundation, as well as the silent auction leader for the McMichael Canadian Art Exhibit annually. Sheri is the founder and chair of the Iranian Canadian Business Expo, where she works with thousands of business owners and leaders to integrative business solutions. Sheri is an incredible example for woman all over the world in creating and reinforcing women in business and giving back to the community.
The Consulting House - Consultant
Anna Khan, renowned speaker and consultant at The Consulting House. Anna helps women in business understand how to create more wealth and power for themselves and their family. Anna is a mother, and entrepreneur, and still finds time to help integrate people in the business community. She is inspiring, and loves to connect other powerful business owners in Canada.
Ripple Creatives - Director of Client Services
Kirsten is a driven entrepreneur and business woman. She left her comfort zone of living in Winnipeg to move Toronto and follow her dreams of making an impact in the corporate world. She had a steady job in the print industry but took a leap to design a company that focused on corporate wellness - hosting workshops in many different corporate offices. She now has another self made business, that has gone through the twists and turns that many entrepreneurs endure, and works in creative design to a ad development company. She has always been an inspiration to me, because of her drive, her sense of humour and her ambition.
Alberta Health Services - Logistics Coordinator
Isis is a brilliant woman who works in our Health Care system, she was brought in to clean up a file that had become a bit of a mess - she was diligent in making the necessary changes and now manages the logistics needed for supporting the health of children in Calgary. I had the pleasure of getting to know her in high school, but more deeply in university. As the VP Communications of the Women of Leadership Club at the University of Calgary, Isis effectively engaged universities students in breaking news around issues that affect women. She also oversaw the e-newsletter and social media of this group, with her leadership this club reached thousands of students and shaped the outreach of the club. This passion has continued in her work today, she is a stand up colleague and a friend that I have always been able to turn to for support - both professionally and personally.
Louise H Reid - Coach, Radio Host, Author
Louise focuses on uplifting other women and creating an environment that leaves them and others in a positive manner. With her internal global radio station, she high lights ordinary people doing extraordinary things, coaching and empowering women, to become the true version of themselves. She also leads panels or has been a guest on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Co-Founder of the 'Feminary' in Ottawa. A place for business women. She also volunteers to help new immigrants coming to Canada to find work and help with the cultural barriers that might come. A spokeswoman for young girls for equality in sports. With all this, she is a loving mother of four boys and an equal partner in her marriage with her husband. Always looking to help others and make the world a better place for this generation and the next one to come. This woman lives by example.
Sex Up Your Brand - Branding Strategist
Sharon immigrated to Canada after her house was bombed. She moved on her own and created a business here. She is now an international speaker and coach and she has her own TV segment. She just won an award for her chapter in the internationally best selling book series "Empowering Women to Succeed". She volunteers in non-profit organizations in Canada and in Europe. She is the most motivating and creative woman I know. And she is also a mom to an almost 2 year old baby!
Alberta Bike Swap - Founder
Alberta Bike Swap is a private non-profit founded by Laura Grant and her husband Chris. They provide a safe, affordable and accessible alternative to buying or selling bicycles online. Alberta Bike Swap has always donated more than half the profit back to the community to fund other cycling-related non-profits, provide transportation security, and fund safe cycling. As a Software Product Manager, Laura designed the software for the bike swaps events and is designing a unique white label platform to take bike swap to the world market as Swaportunity. In 2021 Canada will ban single use plastic, so Laura got an industrial design patent on a dry cleaning garment bag (usefulbags.ca) and turned that into a social enterprise that pays farm women a living wage to sew textile produce bags from fabric that would typically end up in the landfill, the fabric waste is then vermicomposted.
COME TOGETHER WIDOWS AND ORPHANS ORGANIZATION (CTWOO) - FOUNDER
Dianah has continuously and relentlessly advocated for widows rights in Kenya and made sure they are economically empowered. Through her organization, she has used her experience as a gender-based-violence survivor to advocate against gender based violence.
Lose it Nigeria/9jafoodie - Owner at Lose it Nigerian
Ronke is amazing in what she is doing in the fitness and wellness industry. She is changing lives one meal at a time. She is very creative and knowledgeable about food combinations that are nutritious and keeping the weight off. She is helping lots of people get their health back and on track. She makes her clients understand that carbohydrates are not the challenge in a weight loss journey, but its the combination with other ingredients and the quantity. She works this all out in her meal plans. I would like her to be recognized as a game changer. She is changing lives one meal at a time. Building a community of healthier people. She is very passionate about helping her community with her time and knowledge through creative and nutritious meal plans.
Sandy Rao Therapy and Sandy Rao Events - Owner/CEO - Registered Psychotherapist
A firecracker for vibrancy, energy and ability to shine light on the issues that matters, Sandy wears many hats with compassion and integrity. Expert in Mental Health and Addictions, Consultant, Researcher, Preceptor, Clinician and CEO of her two businesses, her signature “good karma sessions” are noteworthy for people get access to care regardless of their financial status, and to have technology enabled options. To reduce health inequities for marginalized groups both home and abroad helped set up charitable fund for girls’ education and a small clinic for women in rural India. Her artisan Events business focus on celebrating milestones in one’s life that we often don't celebrate in order to change the discourse around what really matters in a life well-lived. Recipient of Leadership, Creative Disruptive, Innovator awards and nominations for Notable Young professionals, Women Achievers of Canada, UWN and DDS, at DDS, Toronto, Sandy was recognized as Women Achiever.
INKAS® Armored Vehicle Manufacturing - Chairwoman
Margarita is the co-founder of INKAS® Armored Vehicle Manufacturing. Over the past 25 years, she has built numerous successful businesses from scratch and continually brings strategic expertise to all companies under the INKAS® brand. She has professionally orchestrated INKAS® scalability to the international market, resulting in exponential growth in capital. In 2000, she expanded INKAS® Financial’s ATM operations into the United Kingdom. Within five years, INKAS® Financial was acquired by TRM Ltd, and all the revenue from this operation was reinvested into developing the INKAS® brand in Canada. Under Margarita's leadership, INKAS® has gone global and established mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders in the African, Southeast Asian and Latin American markets. However, she prioritizes remaining a Canadian company, creating jobs within Ontario, and benefiting the Canadian economy with 80% of revenue coming from export markets. She sits on numerous boards, and actively advocates diversity and gender-equality full-time, both within the company and externally.
Green Chair Recycling - Owner and operator
Liliana’s sheer determination as an entrepreneur has shown that ethical waste management companies owned and operated by women belong in our economy. In 2009, Liliana began Green Chair Recycling (GCR) with the dream of ensuring community events did not negatively impact the environment. She had the foresight, courage and enthusiasm to ignore the many nay-sayers telling her it was impossible, that no one would pay for such a service and in the beginning they were right; Liliana faced many events who would not pay. To demonstrate responsible waste management was possible for large events, Liliana and volunteers delivered their services for free. She was determined to change the event industry and she did! Presently, most municipalities in the Lower Mainland now require a thorough waste management plan and a handful of healthy competition has joined the industry. She created a market where there was none and brought the educational and behavioral change our community needed.
Fempreneurs - Business Coach
Lyndsie has created a fempreneur group, where she connects like minded women who are entrepreneurs or thinking about starting their own businesses and helps them reach their business goals. She is offering her time and expertise for free. She is creating a community and building relationships as well as holding people accountable and a space for women to explore and see what is possible for them.
Hindi's Libraries - Founder and CEO
Leslie is co-founder of an international nonprofit organization called Hindi's Libraries which donated new/gently used children's books to recipients around the world. Leslie hasn't had it easy, and she has showed all of us who know her just how easy it is to make a difference and an impact on the world. The organization was formed after a former coworker, English Teacher and mother of 5 little ones suddenly passed away in the summer of 2018. She convinced newly widowed dad Dovid (cofounder of the nonprofit) to channel his energy into this project and quickly they went on their way to create awesomeness. The organization has collected 80,000 books, partnered with 385 organizations spanning across all 50 states and internationally and joined forces with major companies such as Disney Publishing Worldwide, Avery Dennison, Barnes and Noble and more. Leslie is a force to be reckoned with and inspires EVERYONE she knows.
Sanchari Sen Rai
Education Consultants Canada (ECC) Inc. - Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer
Sanchari Sen Rai is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of EDUCATION CONSULTANTS CANADA (ECC) INC. She is a mother, and a woman entrepreneur leading an all-women team that has helped thousands of international students work through the onerous process of applying to study in Canada. Being an immigrant herself, Sanchari believes it is vitally important and a social obligation for businesses to give back to the community all that one has learned and earned when one is in a position to do so to create empowering teams and individuals. Recently she has been awarded as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award winners (Entrepreneur Category). She has also been featured by Humber College alumni. She is making an impact on inspiring other young women who come here as international students and aspire to make a career for themselves and live the Canadian dream.
White Rose Home Healthcare Agency - President and CEO
Jody Prendergast is an inspiration to women. She is the current CEO/President of White Rose Home Healthcare Agency and is leading with tact and diplomacy. She is the founder of the conference, Essence of a Boss, where she provides resources for women to excel in business and beyond.
JT Foxx Organization - Owner
JT Foxx travels internationally every week inspiring and motivating women to create and build their own wealth. In the past 3 years since I have known JT, he endeavours to lift women up and rise in 56 countries around the world. From Canada, USA, South Africa, India, China, Israel, and so many other international countries. JT alone helped 4 of WOI 2019 award recipients build and create their businesses and their wealth. JT is Canadian, and he is a force to be reckoned with.
Royal LePage - Broker of Record at Royal LePage Your Community Realty, Brokerage
Vivian is a powerhouse, her story is one of incredible strength and resilience. She is the owner of Cananda's largest Real Estate Brokerage. Vivian is a mother, grandmother, speaker, author, advocate, philanthropist. You want Vivian your team!!
Ellie Bianca - President and CEO Founder
Evelyne, a professional in the Oil and Gas Industry changed career paths in 2016 when the downturn in the sector effected her opportunities. She followed her passion and launched Ellie Bianca, an all natural skin oil which sells in retail stores throughout Canada and online. She established an education scholarship for women in Africa from the proceeds of her business and continue to educate and speak at forums about natural skin health and healing the body from within. She has made her own way from Kenya to Canada as a young student and succeeded with education and career. Truly an inspiration to all immigrants and empowerment to women that success is possible no matter the challenge.
Modern Concierge - Principle & Founder
Tina in a powerful Canadian entrepreneur and mother. She is a catalyst for growth and loves connecting people. She has an extraordinary vision. Her company, modern concierge, is leading edge in the service industry.
University of Cambridge - PhD Student
Krittika is a Gates scholar and Computer Science PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge. Her PhD research focuses on machine learning applied to spatio-temporal mobility models to predict changes in cities over time. Previously, she completed double degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science and worked at Microsoft Research and Google. In 2018, she worked at the United Nations Pulse Lab in Indonesia, an innovation lab formed to harness data science insights for policy. Her work modelled internal migration to support future resource allocation efforts in the South Pacific. She also worked with NASA FDL to utilize AI for astronaut health monitoring in deep space missions. She has received the Outstanding Senior Award in Computer Engineering, Presidential Scholarship, and Computer Laboratory Wiseman Award for her work. Her focus for the past decade has been to use technology to support the lives of people worldwide, particularly those in developing countries.
Canadian National Railway and also Unifor National - Aboriginal Relations Ambassador, Unifor National Shop Steward and Unifor National Women's Advocate
As an Aboriginal Relations Ambassador at Canadian National Railway, a Unifor National Shop Steward and a Unifor National Women’s Advocate, Delreene passionately commits herself to empower and support women and indigenous women in the workplace and in life itself. Delreene has faced distressing challenges in her Indigenous childhood that she continues to overcome through paying it forward. Delreene is a loving mother to her beautiful son and a gentle wife to her husband. She has been a monumental force toward her achievement of building the family she never had. Today, Delreene’s self-taught ethics and tenderness graces those she works with, those who are lucky enough to call her a friend and she is actively involved in communities that believe in enhancing partnerships with our Indigenous people. In addition, Delreene has enthusiastically taken part in non-traditional workplace roles that very few women have before. Overall, she strives to enhance inclusiveness and embraces cultural challenges.
StreetDog Marketing Inc. - Entrepreneur/ Manager
Stephanie is a very inspiring entrepreneur who set out to follow her dreams. She has always had a passion for dogs and had the ability to turn what she loves into a successful business. Her passion shows through her work as she is extremely dedicated to her work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It has been an honour to be a part of the StreetDog Marketing team and to watch it grow everyday. People are naturally drawn to Stephanie and enjoy working with her. Stephanie's kindness and helpful personality are what bring her new clients continuously. I would not be where I am today if Stephanie did not take a chance with me and help mold me into my career. Stephanie is exactly what comes to mind when I think of a Woman of Inspiration.
Distech Controls AND Sierra Club Canada Foundation - Director, Marketing (Distech Controls) AND President, Board of Directors (SCCF)
I specialize in communications, with a focus on translating climate initiatives into strong action to deliver on commitments to the building and renewables sectors. My marketing and communications background is leveraged to promote social and environmental responsibility as an approachable, yet critical part of business operations. While completing my undergraduate, I founded and implemented the institution's first association for commerce undergrad and MBA students focused on sustainability. Since that time, I established roots in the non-profit sector, having served as a spokesperson for an international animal welfare organization, then managing the communications for two of Canada's largest cancer fundraising events. I also volunteer as the President of the board of directors for Sierra Club Canada Foundation, one of North America’s leading environmental non-profits.
Spread the Word - President and Founder
Mahnoor Ali Syed is the founder and president of a non profit named Spread the Word in Pakistan. She founded the non profit when she was only 16. Mahnoor’s vision is to implement a feminist vision in sustainability. Her non profit has benefited over 5000 lives. Mahnoor is also a student of International Development and Economics at McGill University and her main areas of research are also a feminist vision of sustainability, legislation and women empowerment in South Asia.
Exvera Communications Inc. - CEO
Brittany is not only a successful and passionate entrepreneur who has founded a great PR business, but she also puts a tremendous amount of her energy into supporting the community, especially women. She won BC Business top 30 under 30 and was also recognized by Langara College as an outstanding alumni. She founded TEDxGastownWomen and produced two sold-out conferences that each featured lineups of women speakers with important stories to be told about things like women in politics, menopause, choosing to be child-free and cultural gender challenges. She also regularly mentors and speaks for youth and women for organizations such as Young Women in Business and Her Campus. She leads by example and sits on the advisory boards of technology startups. Her PR firm works in the technology industry, which is very male-dominated. She has hired women to support her business and does what she can to help them flourish.