2021 Women of Inspiration™ Nominees
2021 Women of Inspiration™ Nominees
Congratulations on being nominated as a Women of Inspiration™ who leads, inspires and motivates others to greatness!
2021 VIRTUAL AWARDS – Stay Tuned for More Details!
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.
NOMINATE A WOMAN OF INSPIRATION 365 DAYS! NOMINATE A WOMAN today for 2021!
Benefits of your nomination:
- Validate her worth, build confidence, elevate leadership.
- Local, national, and global exposure.
- Additional media and PR coverage.
- Connection with other like-minded, influential leaders from diverse industries across Canada.
- Opportunities to create change on a larger stage.
- Elevating her business, credibility personally and professionally.
- Contribute to her legacy.
- Recognition as a leader in her industry.
- Recognize her achievements.
- Increasing her circle of influence, inspiring the next generation of leaders.
When you nominate, the ripple effect is far-reaching!
Since our inaugural awards on September 26, 2015, we have recognized over 1,000 women and awarded 200 Awards.
A Woman of Inspiration™ is an extraordinary woman who leads by example, lives on purpose and inspires others to be more and do more. She is a modern-day hero, game-changer, mover and shaker, and role model who leads by example. With courage, confidence, commitment, and integrity, she inspires others to go further, making a ripple impact across her community and around the globe. We are moving the needle to recognize the achievements of women making an impact locally, nationally and globally. Recognize the leaders within your organization and champion to advance women in business.
“Being nominated for a Women of Inspiration™ Award was an incredible experience. At first, I felt imposter syndrome and that good ol’ voice shame saying, “Who do you think YOU are?” I was hesitant to accept, but after the first gathering of all the nominees, I knew I made the right decision to let my name stand. These women were different. They were so supportive! I felt seen and valued by other nominees who I personally look up to! This was an incredible experience that exceeded my expectations and made me feel like I was a part of something so much bigger than me. It will remain a highlight for me for many years to come, and the relationships with the other nominees are now lifetime friends.” Connie Jakab, Health and Wellness
Winning the 2020 Women of Inspiration™ Influencer Award has been such a beautiful experience. It has provided me with the space to own the spotlight and celebrate the impact of my message. This platform truly champions women. It has been glorious to witness the confidence birthed from myself and the other nominees from being seen, heard, and appreciated for the work we are doing. The most profound takeaway has been the unbridled support and encouragement from everyone in The Universal Womens Network™. Let us continue the ripple effect of elevating one another and nominate a Women of Inspiration for 2021! Blaise Hunter – Influencer 2021
The Vegan Popcorn Company - Owner.
Tracy is the epitome of both positive attitude and that it is never too late to chase your dreams. A life longer dancer and later personal trainer, like many women she put her career on hold to support her family and her husband as his work required travel and significant time away from home. Around 50 Tracy decided to reengage with fitness and became passionate about CrossFit and Aerobics. Tracy became certified as a High Fitness instructor and has been teaching group fitness for the last couple of years. More recently, Tracy purchased The Vegan Popcorn Company! This business is allowing her the freedom to run her own business, engage with community, and do something in alignment with her values. Tracy exudes pure sunshine, she quietly mentors many women through their health and weight loss journey and provides a safe place for them to lean into themselves. And she'll even make you some popcorn and all the burpees are done.
My Health Journals - Founder and Executive Director
Like many women, Shelley wears many hats. She is a licensed practical nurse, a COVID frontline, and an entrepreneur who is hands-on in operating two businesses. She has a heart for improving our healthcare system, especially in giving our dear seniors a better quality of life. She inspires me to nurture a sense of purpose in everything I do. She keeps me motivated and grounded during this challenging time.
Elizabeth ("Beth") Burton
Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP - Financial Services Practice Group Leader
Over the past seven years, Beth has helped turn the Gowling WLG lending group into one of the top financial services team in the Prairies. Beth is a patient, knowledgeable leader and a mentor to students, associates and even many of her partners (myself included). Beth always has time for a call to discuss business or personal matters and she genuinely cares about her clients and colleagues. She consistently receives recognition for her legal abilities (most recently as a Lexpert Rising Star Award winner for Canadian leading lawyers under 40), but it's only appropriate that this inspiring woman receives a 2021 Woman of Inspiration award to properly thank her for all that she does - not only for her law firm, but for everyone she's helped and continues to help along the way.
Beth is certainly not one to seek out recognition for her efforts (she may kill me for doing this), but it's important for her to know that we all recognize and appreciate all that she does.
Dunamus OCM Inc. - CEO and Founder
Janet is an extremely inspiring woman. Through the process of finding herself she logged here daily journey and then published the experience along with some great stories in her new book, “Lost & Found”
Acumen Law Corporation - Barrister and Solicitor
Emma inspires me every day with how hard she works. Emma is a lawyer in Vancouver, running a busy practice defending people charged with serious criminal offences, driving prohibitions, and traffic tickets. She has distinguished herself as someone who is able to be compassionate, calm, but also cutting when she needs to be. In early 2021, Emma was called to the Yukon bar as well. Emma also publishes a blog called the Sexual Assault Blog where she writes about developments in the law of sexual assault from an intersectional feminist perspective.
Nunova Wellness - Doctor of Acupuncure, Registered Herbalist, Founder/Owner of Nunova Wellness
Devonne is a peaceful, uplifting and healing energy that is a great support for the community she is apart of. She supports other small businesses & community events. She always has a listening ear & continually goes above and beyond for her clients - doing more research, providing other means of healing/help etc. She facilitates a space where her clients feel safe and welcome, even through hard times. She accommodates and inspires all levels of yoga in her studio as well. She was raised in this small town community in Alberta and now she is giving back to it and the people of the area - and she deserves recognition and support.
Anna Christine Sgro
SGRO Consulting - President
Anna has had an incredible presence in the male dominated construction industry. She has been a Senior Executive Leader with over 25 years of expertise in domestic and international marketplaces.
Business leaders in the road building industry know Anna through her role as Vice-President of Ritchie Bros Auctioneers, a Canadian based, International Company, dominating the sale of used heavy equipment. Today Anna has embarked on a career as President of SGRO Consulting.
As a senior executive, Anna has sat on many industry association boards, including that of the Ontario Road Builders’ Association where she was an active and valued representative and industry participant.
Anna has been a keynote speaker at various universities for 'Women in Business’ and ‘Woman in Construction’ groups. In 2018 she was honoured with the 2018 Premiere Global Award – Silver Stevie Award Winner in the Female Executive of the Year category at the Women in Business awards celebration held in New York City.
Lightstone Mediation Services - L.L.M. (DR), Chartered Mediator, Qualified Arbitrator, Licensed Paralegal
Helen Lightstone is a passionate Mediation Practitioner, an unsung hero, a champion who has an unselfish desire to share her knowledge, while establishing a polished business enterprise and making the world a better place.
Former Mayor of Mississauga - Madame Mayor
Hazel Mccalion is a true Canadian hero and a true inspiration for many. She’s an awesome leader who has empowered many and doesn’t tolerate anything but what is right and fair.
Greater Than Gifting - Registered Nurse / Business Owner
I am nominating Mercedes because she works as a full time Registered Nurse and created her business, Greater Than Gifting, as another way to help her other and her community. Through her business, she sells items and donates proceeds to various organizations and meaningful causes. On top of this, she holds fundraising initiatives that she uses through her business' platform. For example, she recently did a pajama drive for a local children's hospital. She inspires us all and reminds us of the importance to do good and to give back. She has brought the community together!
BlueSkys Life - Founder
Kristina Shea lived her whole life in the corporate world, and while she has been very successful, it was not an easy path. The single mother of a daughter attending university, Shea was twice widowed, dealt with excruciating health issues that led to her literally collapsing in Toronto’s financial district one day. In spite of all her challenges, Kristina never has been one to crumble. When asked what got her through it all, she smiles and says “It’s a BlueSkys Life…” And she means it so much she named her new business endeavor and passion project after it. She shares what she learned about change, challenges, resilience, and coming out on top with others who need that message, now more than ever. This is only the beginning for BlueSkys Life, we will be not only adding beautiful, natural, mindful products — but education on how to live YOUR BlueSkys Life™.
Municipal Property Assessment Cooperation - President and CAO
I have never felt connected to or trusting any Leadership figure like Nicole made us feel, especially during the pandemic. Employees' and communities’ health, wellness, and safety are always on top of her priority list.
She is the pioneer in giving business updates and communicating transparently and openly. Recognizes all accomplishments big or small and most importantly her door is always open for support and encouragement.
She taught us how to be brave and confident, and to even talk about sensitive topics that could be uncomfortable, and embraces these topics.
She always brings new topics to the table that are critical, inspiring, and important to employees and communities.
Her dedication, passion, courage, care, and resilience inspire us to keep going. Never felt this proud to be a part of any organization like I feel in MPAC. A visionary in every way as she always envisions what we could achieve through innovation and creativity.
Mincher Koeman Family Law Chambers - Founding Partner
Lynsey is a true force of nature, in the very best way. Lynsey is a family lawyer who works from a starting point of compassion and empathy. She is shockingly smart and strategic and not afraid to back down. Like many family lawyers, she will look to negotiate first. She is efficient, effective, and practical, but more than anything she is kind and wickedly funny. Lynsey began the practice of law in the UK, where she is from, working in criminal law and later a crown prosecutor. She is well trained in domestic violence, mental health challenges, and addictions. After moving to Canada in 2005, Lynsey began to practice in Child Protection. All of this training has made Lynsey the very best family lawyer I have met. She combines her knowledge, extensive trial experience, with every situation to create a safe environment for her clients. Lynsey is able to guide her clients through a difficult process, navigating them through what may be the most challenging time of their life. Lynsey is exceptional in everything she does and is a true inspiration to anyone lucky enough to know her.
Hawco Peters and Associates Inc. - Co-founder
Kent Peters is a SupportHer in the truest sense. As co-founder of Hawco Peters, Kent started this company with Sarah Hawco. Kent sees all people on equal footing, regardless of gender or any other qualifiers. As a father of two young women, he wants to create space where they feel safe and limitless in what they can accomplish. Kent is incredibly hard working, managing his primary business with secondary ones as well as making time to still manage his family farm in Manitoba, going out for seed and harvest every year. He holds an MBA and worked with RBC managing their Western Canadian credit risk group prior to taking early retirement. Throughout his career, Kent has continuously supported and championed the women around him, doing whatever he could to see them succeed on equal footing with their male counterparts. He is unconcerned abut gender, rather character. As his business partner, I see Kent as my other half, we are interchangeable in our work ethic and abilities, though he has a number of greater strengths than me in several areas! I could not have envisioned a better partner and trust him completely.
High Fitness - SupportHer High Fitness
I am nominating Hank Nelson as a SupportHer. I have never met met Hank, and maybe that is part of his magic in being such an amazing SupportHer. Hank is the strong supportive man, behind his incredibly successful force of a wife, Emily. Hank fully supported his family, but also his wife's vision to create and co-found High Fitness. I have seen Hank at High Fitness events where Emily is clearly the "star" and he proudly watches on and is her loudest cheerleader. His commitment to his wife and family has allowed Emily to travel non-stop (pre-Covid) and grow this incredible company. He was, and is, instrumental in the business end of things and guiding the company through its pivot during Covid to bring High Fitness to the masses via live streams and now a subscription app. Hank works tirelessly behind the scenes to see not only Emily succeed, but High Fitness as an organization. Seeing Hank and his unwavering commitment to his wife and family has changed my perspective of what a strong man can truly be.
Stylelabs Inc. - Managing Partner
Salina is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Stylelabs Inc. Salina and her husband realized that in order to best serve their clients, advertising and website design is not enough, to be of true value, the best value, they needed to act like partners with their clients, an extension of them. Salina, as Managing Partner of Stylelabs is a force, overseeing the full spectrum of marketing, advertising and a keen eye to forecast and financials. She isn't playing a supporting role to her husband, rather an equally contributing and valuable partner. In addition to this more than full time role, she is also CEO of the home where they are raising 3 young children.
High Fitness - Founder
Emily Nelson, along with her fellow nominee Amber Zenith, is a true inspiration to women North America wide. She has followed her dream and her vision to bring not only fitness to the masses, but fun and self acceptance. She and her partner, Amber, met in Calgary, both working at a local gym. They loved teaching group fitness but thought there was a better way, a non judgmental and accessible way to bring together women and fitness. They had a vision to bring aerobics back! Emily and her husband moved back to the US but kept the vision and business plan of what became High Fitness alive. As 2 female business owners, with no previous business experience they created what is now a North America wide phenomena called High Fitness with approximately 3,000 certified instructors under their banner and tens of thousands participants. What started as simply a dream has become a massively successful business that has changed thousands of women's and a growing handful of men's lives.
Polemical Zine - Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Rebecca is a talented, young social entrepreneur and visionary who is leveraging creativity to empower people around the world. After founding online arts collective: Polemical Zine, in mid-2017, Rebecca has grown her team to a total of 15 volunteers across 4 continents, and the magazine has published the works of an impressive 800+ contributors in 65+ countries. Rebecca’s innovative, free publication has challenged the status quo of traditional, juried magazines and has created an experimental platform for people of every race, sexuality, geography, and skill set to connect with one another and celebrate their talents. On top of her volunteer work with Polemical Zine, Rebecca has a full time job in public relations where she applies the same passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion to both her agency’s groups and her day-to-day work.
Road Coffee Co. - CEO and Founder
Alisha has an extensive background in international development. Using her strong character and the stance she takes for strong values, she is highly involved in both the local and international communities. A first-generation Canadian, Alisha is born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and is passionate about building communities wherever she is. She had a thorough understanding of emerging markets from a young age. This is a driving force behind her mission to empower people to move from poverty towards independence and freedom.
Her international development experiences exposed her to the opportunities for change within the coffee supply chain industry and she began Road Coffee in her hometown of Saskatoon. Alisha quickly became a strong influence in the Canadian business scene, with both industry and business leaders reaching out to her to aid in finding problem solutions and to use Road Coffee as a case study for the future of Canadian business.
Heather M. Reisman
Indigo Canada - Founder & CEO
I nominate Heather M. Reisman as she has been awarded officer of Order of Canada for changing the face of bookselling in Canada. Heather is highly regarded for her business acumen and she is the founder and chief executive officer of Indigo Books & Music Inc., and co-founder of the global e-reading company Kobo. She is also the founder and chair of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, which provides millions of books to high-needs public schools across the country. Heather is a true leader and a dedicated community builder who lends her talents to numerous organizations, including Right to Play and the Mount Sinai Hospital. Heather is a lover of books and music which are essential to advancing knowledge and well-being in our human lives. Her 'Well Said' Podcast by Indigo connects the listener to the trusted voices in well-being to help them live with purpose and intention. Heather Reisman is a celebrated entrepreneur who has been inducted into Canadian Business Hall of Fame.
Minhas Breweries, Distilleries & Wineries - Co-founder & CEO
I nominate Manjit Minhas because I love her tenacity, passion and intelligence as a successful Canadian entrepreneur.
Manjit is a star Dragon (Investor) on CBC Network's show/series “Dragons' Den”. Manjit is the Co-Founder and CEO of Minhas Breweries, Distilleries and Winery which sold in excess of 8 billion pints of beer world wide. In addition she hosts a Top 10 Apple Podcast interviewing remarkable Canadian business leaders, entrepreneurs and visionaries.
Manjit Minhas is a true leader with high profile business and community awards including Canada's Top 40 Under 40 and Canada's Top Woman Entrepreneur.
RBC - EVP, Personal and Commercial Banking
Katherine is a truly inspirational woman. She has had a personal journey that few will be able to understand, yet will inspire the world. In her role as a very senior leader at RBC, she has broken glass ceilings for all genders and done so in a way that shows true leadership, mentorship, compassion and grace.
Pamela Morgan - CEO
Pamela is a leader of leaders! A believer in people! And what she does for mental health is INCREDIBLE! Not too mention she is a business leader BOSS and a huge #supporther
Featuring Inspiring women - Owner/creator
Emily is a strong fearless lady who has over come many gender stereotypes in becoming a licensed automotive technician. Not only does she make waves in her industry, she has also been shattering stereotypes online by creating an Instagram and website that showcases other strong women in male dominated industries. She has been gaining quite a bit of popularity by featuring inspiring women. She is an amazing role model for her two little girls to look up to, as well as her younger sisters and an inspiration to women everywhere. She’s making sure that women know all of the different routes they could take for a career. That the “unconventional” route is actually just another normal option. That just because it’s a male dominated industry, that that doesn’t mean it’s not waiting for some strong females to make their mark. She is reminding people that you don’t need to look or act a certain way to succeed in whatever you put your mind to. Her website is http://www.featuringinspiringwomen.ca there you will see how much she cares about her cause and get a genuine feel for the kind of person she is. She has worked her butt off for everything she has ever gotten, and building towards an “unconventional” career has her working harder than ever; and she is loving every second of it. With this nomination I hope that we can bring the spotlight to her hard work, just as she has done for so many others. She deserves it.
Canada Mortgage and Financial Group - Mortgage Broker
Ms. Ameerullah is known for her transparency, generosity and resilient attitude. She’s a woman who is not afraid to challenge anyone to include the government on matters that requires immediate attention for the improvement of our community and the well being of others. She’s a strong advocate for human rights, an award winning mortgage broker, business entrepreneur and a social service worker who has been paving the path and making a difference not only in Canada but being a resource to emerging communities aboard.
Ameerullah coordinated the CMFG feeding program in 2020 even while she was battling cancer and COVID herself but had to ensure the homeless, seniors, families in need and frontline workers were fed and taken care of. On a daily basis, over 350 meals was donated to the hospitals. Also she’s been raising money to help keep the doors open at Covenant house Toronto so youths who are victims of trafficking can have a safe place to be, she’s also helping those affected in Texas by partnering up with Our Calling organization to help the disaster that disrupt many lives in Texas. Recently, she’s in the process of launching an online store where 100% of profit will be donated back to helping those that are vulnerable in the community. There’s a lot more to say but I’ll conclude by saying that Ameerullah lives her life by “ One day you’ll be just a memory, do your best to be a good one”.
Ameerullah migrated from Guyana, South America to Mississauga, Canada in 1999 and began her career in 2001 in the mortgage industry while working other jobs simultaneously before stepping up and founding Canada Mortgage and Financial Group — a multiple award winning brokerage that quickly expanded to covering many markets with innovative products to meet consumers demand.
Ameerullah is also a cancer survivor, covid survivor, and a founding member of HCS Innovative Healthcare Services Inc. , an organization that focuses on providing care for seniors especially those with Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
NL EATS Community Outreach Inc. - Director of Operations
Mehnaz is an exemplary social entrepreneur and an inspiring individual. She started her first social venture at the age of 14 years old named Astha Foundation that provided basic education and entrepreneurial training to underprivileged women. Her journey continued to St. John's NL where she focused on finding opportunities for Youth. When the pandemic started, Mehnaz led a team to start a mobile foodbank to deliver essential food hampers to those in need. Mehnaz made significant impact in her community through various projects. For her tremendous contributions, Mehnaz received the 2020 Woman of Distinction Award by YWCA St John's for her outstanding contributions to her community. To date, Mehnaz's organization provided food hampers to over 1300 families and created 45 youth employment. NL Eats also created many volunteer opportunities globally. Mehnaz have significant contribution to the growth of NL Eats as Director and founder of the organization.
Isabey interiors - founder
Trisha is an incredible leader of woman and her team at Isabey interiors. She is funny, beautiful and kind, but she is strong, an incredible mentor, determined, energetic and a force to be watched. Trisha has designed an interior Design company after her stock broker background and is attracting incredible talent because of it. She has started a home building division as well as a store so that Isabey interiors can be your full service team from floor plans to landscape and everything in between!
Liquid Glamour Spa - Founder
Tatjana Beocanin has a background as a Corporate Recruiter specializing in Talent Acquisition with eighteen years of leadership in the areas of Recruitment and Selection, Program Development, Strategic Planning, Project Management and Public Relations sectors. In addition to her impressive professional experience and proven track record of impacting many individuals to succeed in their own career goals, she has expanded her creativity into a new passion. She has taken the plunge into trades and after dedicating herself in this new venture for almost 5 years is now a skilled Red Seal Cosmetologist operating her very own "Liquid Glamour Spa". A true multifaceted "jack of all trades!"
She has mentored myself as a young professional woman as well as dozens of aspiring young women to push past any and all barriers and glass ceilings in regards to race, religion, cultural and gender stereotypes. She roots for the underdog and stands behind them as their greatest cheerleader.
As a single working mother who came to Canada as a teenager and refugee from former yugoslavia in the mid 90's, she has grit and tenacity to achieve and sets her best foot forward embodying the example of class and relentless drive to succeed not only for herself but to inspire the community around her.
I am nominating her because I believe more people should have the opportunity to hear her story and be inspired by her, it is my duty to now share what she has instilled in me, and I feel strongly that this is one way to do so.
Baskits - President and CEO
Working under the incredible leadership of Robin Kovitz has been instrumental to the growth of myself and the other fantastic women on our team at Baskits! I am nominating Robin to acknowledge her leadership skills and goals to constantly support and uplift the women in her community. Robin Kovitz is the President & CEO of Baskits Inc., one of Canada’s fastest growing companies.
TripleJ Consulting - Founder/CEO
Nnenna Uboma is founder TripleJConsulting. She is also the co-author of Beyond math, an analytical workbook for kids. She also works as a Director in Scotiabank. She refers to herself as the Corporate Entrepreneur.
Nnenna Uboma is a woman that is very inspiring, she is a consistently hard worker, who is also compassionate and empathetic and a go-to-person.
Her love for youth is unquestionable which has led to her organizing events to improve kids, teaching them different aspects of life in entrepreneurship, career to other topics.
She strives to be an example to her family, someone that they look up to. Balancing her work and home life, and showing the dedication it takes to become an influential person to those around her.
Ultimately, all her efforts to champion those around her are significant to her community, and makes an impact on many, which makes her completely deserving of the title, Woman of Inspiration.
Star Quality Private Investigations - Founder
Adrianne is a pioneer within the private investigation industry, tackling the under-serviced and emotionally charged sector of infidelity, child custody, family law, and divorce. She is one of the first women to run private investigations and security businesses in Ontario; and holds the longest tenure in the role to date.
Her career started in Public Relations within the entertainment industry; quickly expanding into Executive Protection. This resulted in working alongside legendary celebrities like Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bono, and Samuel L. Jackson. Adrianne’s business savvy made her the choice to manage executive protection for World Tours with The Rolling Stones, U2’s 360 Tour, Canadian Idol, The Molson Indy, WWE, the G8 and G20.
Adrianne’s passion for helping others grow and heal led to her certification by Anthony Robbins, as a Life Coach. Her experience and leadership culminated with stepping into a male-dominated industry; and launching Star Quality Private Investigations.
Canadian Center for Women Empowerment - CEO
Meseret Haileyesus is an award-winning entrepreneur, social justice advocate, a community leader with more than seventeen years of experience, and a founder of the Canadian Centre for Women’s Empowerment. The first kind of organization addressing economic abuse in Canada through education, mentorship, policy change, advocacy, mentorship, and economic empowerment. Her project focus on working with survivors and help strengthen their resilience to improve their financial knowledge and behaviors for better financial safety and security in the future.
Meseret has identified a huge gap (unmet needs) and established a grass-root movement to address economic abuse and its impact on mental health. Economic abuse has been defined as a hidden and deliberate pattern of control in which individuals interfere with their partner’s ability to acquire, use, and maintain economic resources. This may include not receiving access to money, being excluded from financial decision-making, taking on relationship debt, and being unaware of the consequences or not being allowed to work or study. As the COVID 19 crisis continues to wreak havoc on communities, the need for accessible, culturally affirming mental health support services has never been more acute. However, even before the pandemic, the mental health services for racialized survivors were already failing to meet people’s needs.
CEE Center for Young Black Professionals - Executive Director
Agapi has been a tireless leader in the Black community and underserved communities. She has devoted her entire career to meet the needs of young people to reach their true potential. Coaching, mentoring and developing those young people, she has developed trust and respect and has led organizations and corporations to think differently about how they do business. Keeping in mind that solving the problems of those most disenfranchised will benefit us all. Her unwavering leadership as the Executive Director of CEE and the former Executive Director of POV is proof by these organizations' impact that her work has made a significant impact and is worthy of acknowledgment. Women of colour are not often applauded for their contributions, and this young woman is a powerhouse worthy of being seen, heard and more than ever VALUED. Thank you in advance for considering my nomination to recognize Agapi Gessesse.
Pam Ivey International - President
Through her companies, Pam is truly an inspiring leader. I have traveled with her on several occasions with her Adventurous Life travel company (www.adventurouslife.io). She takes business owners, aged 40+ around the world for a month at a time to work, explore and live in community. Totally empowering, and the only company of its kind to focus on this age group. I'm also working with Pam on Flourish + Grow to CEO. We help women entrepreneurs learn how to run their business like a CEO and grow into 6-figures and beyond, through podcasting and coaching/training programs. For as long as I’ve known her, Pam has been a fierce advocate for women in business and I feel is an ideal candidate for the Women of Inspiration awards, particularly in the following categories: Difference Maker, Game Changer, Global Impact, Influencer, SupportHer.
SOCAN - Executive Director, SOCAN Foundation
Ms. Charlie Wall-Andrews is committed to helping diverse artists and entrepreneurs reach their full potential in Canada's music industry.
In 2018, the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative study reported that for every one woman, there were 47 men in the role of a music producer. Being alarmed by this study, Charlie rushed to create the the Equity-X-Production program to empower women and non-binary artists to access tools, resources, and training to become music producers. Since the program launched in 2019, over 100 Canadian artists have been provided music production training. In her commitment to gender equity, Charlie also created the HER Music Awards in 2019 to celebrate female-identifying music creators in Canada.
In her ongoing pursuit to help diverse artists in Canada, Ms. Charlie Wall-Andrews created the Incubator for Creative Entrepreneurship (powered by TD and SOCAN Foundation - http://www.creativeincubator.ca). The program provides various artists across Canada with mentorship, start-up funding, and specialized training in addition to being part of a peer-supported community of other high-potential artists.
Ms. Charlie is a leader that takes action and that leads with creativity, sensitivity, and collaboration to challenge the status quo.
Excelerate Consulting - Managing Director
Naila grew up in a small, rural town in Pakistan and studied at a parochial school in an impoverished setting but was always a hardworking and breaking the barriers type of girl. From the most antagonistic circumstances to distinguished accomplishments in educational, professional, and personal endeavors, she has come a long way. People talked and they did it unapologetically. She was told again and again that ‘you can't' and she countered with her share of achievements. She believed in herself and tried everything that took her to stand out.
Naila has coached and inspired me and hundreds of other girls and women to achieve their goals. She is an advocate of self-belief and teaches women that what pulls them back is the lack of confidence and fear of failure. Naila’s mantra is “when women belief in yourself and the world will start believing in you too.”
Feghali Group Inc / GECDSB - Investor, Educator, Philanthropist
Natasha E. Feghali, an award winning Canadian for her philanthropy in community and strong dedication to education. She is the recipient of the 40 Under 40 United Way/ Leadership Windsor-Essex Award 2018 as well as numerous awards and recognitions; most notably the Sovereign Canadian Medal in 2015 for her dedication to education and the future of entrepreneurship and youth. She is an international educator working overseas throughout her career while giving workshops, seminars and conferences Nationally and Internationally. She has taught in China, France, Kuwait and Ontario for 10 yrs. Feghali is also a distinguished media personality acting as MC in her community events, hosting events in the GCC as well as a journalist since 2012 and has written for magazines such as Bazaar Kuwait and City Pages Middle East. Most recently she has received the Odyssey Award from the University of Windsor and has been published in a book on Women and Leadership in Ontario with the Elementary Teachers Federation. She is a 2x graduate from the University of Windsor with extensive expertise in Second Language Education. She has worked in 3 continents mastering their educational laws and systems. She has traveled across the world giving presentations and working with educational personal for student success.
Yvonne De Kruyf
THE FLORAL EXPRESS INC. - Accounting Assistant
Yvonne is my Accounting Assistant as well as my left arm! She works full time as well as does school full time. She has worked here since she was 12, and has been involved in every area of the operations of a very successful business. She is an inspiration to all those around her. Many customers have said it lifts their spirits and makes their day just by hearing her voice when answering the phone. She is always positive, and uplifting. She never has a bad word to say. She is always there for me, and it is a complete honor and pleasure to work with Yvonne. I hope to work with her as my team for many years to come.
Yvonne also lives on her families farm and helps her family with making dinners, and working out on the farm with the chores. She has already purchased her own first vehicle and is working on saving for University. She is such a hard worker. She most definitely is most deserving of the award. I would be so proud to have a daughter like Yvonne. She is a spark of light in the dark.
The Floral Express Inc - Account Manager
Rachel is one of the most generous people I have ever met. She is a very strong independent woman and devoted single mom. She accomplishes so much in her day, and never expects anything in return for all she does and gives. She would be there for you in an instant anytime she is needed. She is always working overtime at work or even from home. She is loving and kind and always a laugh to spend time with. She is a star coworker and friend.
Founder of Women's Empowerment Group
Lisa gives to everyone around her every day. She has put on huge free thanksgiving dinners to our community and served hundreds of meals! She is the founder of a Women's Empowerment Group and has Inspired so many with her compassion and strength. Her kind giving spirit is strong, unique and very rare. She has the strength of a Lion and the gentleness of a Lamb. I am extremely honored to know her & call her friend.
Floral Express Wholesale - Head of Accounting
Teri Pate has the biggest heart. She helps others, volunteers, and outs everyone above herself. She is the head of the accounting department at Floral Express. It is a Floral Wholesale Company.
At the end of each week, all of the flowers that are left, Teri brings to an old age home, so they can enjoy the joy and beauty of the flowers and greens.
Teri is constantly doing extra courses and programs to further her skills and knowledge. She is very committed to learning as much to exceed the goals she sets for herself.
Teri thanks everyone in special ways with treats, slippers at Christmas that she knitted. Every Wednesday she always checks up on everyone working from home and here at the office since covid has started.
She is professional, calm, genuine and whole hearted.
Original Joe’s - Owner
Ally Stone is the ultimate support to a vast community of people she has constructed in the past 20 years. She gives selflessly and with unrelenting effort to bring the best out of everyone around her. She puts other’s growth and opportunity as the highest priority in her career, helping and supporting others find their way, which has left a wake of people living rich fulfilled lives and pursuing their passions behind her. She has been the ultimate catalyst in building loving team culture in her restaurants she is partnered in at Franworks. All while doing her best to share this remarkable recipe she produced there with the world through her work at Original Joe’s, with the purpose of hoping others will enjoy the rich life that wonderful connection in the workplace can bring.
HIGH Fitness - Co-Founder
Amber is a woman who has grown a business from a single fitness class in a community centre to a network of over 3,500 trained instructors across North America. Over the last year, she also did the ultimate pivot and took the format online by launching HIGH Fitness Live - quickly growing to over 3,000 subscribers and forever changing the business. She is innovative, supportive of her team, and encourages countless men and women to 'work off the emotional weight' of the day (instead of talking calories, pounds, food, etc).
Floral Express - Director of Sales
Suzy is a driven, hard working, genuine, caring woman. I have worked for her for two years. She sets a goal and makes it happen. She stays organized, calm and collected. She also is caring and supportive. She is a woman that would do anything to help someone in their time of need without hesitation. She is an amazing woman. Words can not express her driven determination professionally, and her genuine kind heart toward others.
Town of Okotoks - Town Councillor
Tanya is a devout proponent and inclusion advocate. She is a Town Councillor, a Board Member with the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, the Interim Chair of the Alberta Police Advisory Board and the Vice-President of the Alberta Water Council. She works tirelessly to engage the community and to genuinely represent the interest of residents. She has been invited to sit on panels addressing such vital matters as women in politics, design of healthy communities, effective water management and water policies. In addition to all of this, she finds time to mentor female candidates wishing to run for any level of government. Not only does Tanya bring a considerate and thoughtful approach to leadership but her devotion towards fairness and transparency are to be admired. It is without hesitation and with much pride that I support Tanya’s nomination for a Women of Inspiration award.
ARBI - Association for the Rehabilitation of the Brain Injured - Executive Director
I have never met a soul quite like Luanne. She is an inspiration in how she leads as Executive Director of ARBI (Association for the Rehabilitation of the Brain Injured), along with running her own consulting business as a Certified Professional Consultant on Aging. She is all about doing what's right while allowing people to show up exactly as they are. In this, she is a dedicated person who lives her life as an opportunity to advocate for individuals who society often forgets to include. Her curiosity and spunk for life inspire everyone with who she comes into contact. The truth is, Luanne is someone who changed my heart, my mindset, and my commitment to being an advocate myself. Without a doubt, Luanne is the definition of a Woman of Inspiration!
Chic Geek - Founder
Kylie Woods is one of the most determined, inclusive, and focused individuals I've ever had the pleasure of working with. She is the founder of Chic Geek - a non-profit dedicated to increasing diversity in STEM. She leads with compassion, empathy, and inspires hundreds of volunteers in the Chic Geek (and beyond) community. When COVID hit, she and her team took a step back to understand how to effectively pivot the organization from a primarily in-person event based foundation and recently launched a career mentorship/pathing program, connecting women interested in building a career in STEM with other women who are leading the way. Kylie is a fierce leader who is just starting to leave her mark on the world...and she has left an amazing one already!
Absolute Combustion - CEO
Koleya is an inspiring entrepreneur and has built a successful business with Absolute Combustion. In addition to this she is a champion for women in business across the board and a vocal supporter in doing so.
National Reporter with the Canadian Press
Teresa Wright is a fearless news reporter who has been holding government officials accountable, exposing corruption and educating the public on issues of provincial and national importance for almost 15 years. From the beginning of her career, she has been lauded for her excellent and unbiased reporting, her staunch attention to every aspect of a story and her ability to connect with readers. As the Chief Political Reporter at the Charlottetown Guardian for over ten years, she was a two time silver finalist at the Atlantic Journalism Awards and the winner of the Hartwell Daley Journalism Award.
Since 2018, she has worked as a Parliamentary reporter with the Canadian Press and has been extensively featured in virtually every news publication in Canada, as well as interviews on radio and television nation-wide. In the past three years, she has extensively covered refugees and immigration issues, the Rohingya Genocide, women’s and human rights issues in Canada and abroad, systemic racism, and, most recently, indigenous rights issues. Her journalism exploits have taken her across Canada during the 2019 Federal election, to Nunavut and Latvia with the Prime Minister, as well as to Brussels, Belgium and Biarritz, France to cover G7 Summits.
Her steadfast quest for the truth is tempered only by her loving husband and two sons, who she inspires every day to be better versions of themselves. Teresa is, undoubtedly, highly deserving of this honour as she is truly a role model to so many women and the last person to know this about herself.
Minto Communities - Canada - Director of Marketing
Alexis is an industry veteran when it comes to real estate! She started at Colliers International, then became Director of Marketing for Freed Developments, and now works as the Director of Marketing at Minto Communities. She is always innovating and changing the face of real estate as we know it. At Minto, Alexis is responsible for delivering against sales objectives for all Minto Communities GTA projects by applying knowledge of the current real estate market, the target buyers, and an understanding for what draws and motivates the average GTA home buyer and investor groups to everything she does. Alexis is an incredible role model for women looking to break into real estate and has a passion for the industry that is absolutely contagious.
Legal Aid Alberta - Director, Communications & Public Relations
The pen is mightier than the sword. Advocacy in story-telling is what Laurie does. Whether it's PTSD research for first responders or emergency protection orders for victims of domestic violence, Laurie has dedicated her life to protecting the most vulnerable--with words. Currently leading the communications and strategy for a $100 million non-profit, Laurie's work has impacted Albertans directly, providing access to justice through affordable legal services, including duty counsel and lawyers for mental health court, drug treatment court and Indigenous court. Though she's a Forbes Council member and featured on multiple Forbes expert panels, Laurie will take her own personal time to also advocate on behalf of Edmontonians for safer roads and school bus systems for children. A mentor to young women who go on to become McKinsey associates and U of A Students' Union candidates, she will always take time for people because she believes in building leaders of tomorrow. Their stories will in turn inspire the next generation of women, including her own daughter.
Masooma Sayed Hashim
ACSA - CEO
Founder & CEO biography: Masooma Sadat Hossaini
1. Graduated of Physical Education as a bachelor degree in Higher Education at Kabul University on 2008, 2. Diploma of Business management in American university of Afghanistan on 2011, 3.Diploma of Mathematics in Samayan high school 2002 4.Certificate of a personal trainer in American Council on Exercise( ACE) on 2020 5.Student of marketing management in BCIT college in Vancouver, BC 2019
• Certificate: 1. Dan 2nd certificate from world taekwondo federation 2014 2. sports educator certificate from Sport Sans Frontiers (SSF) 2009
Rodan and Fields - Level V Independent Consultant
Shawna Magence is the CEO of her global skincare company. She's also the mother of four amazing children, the Leader of the FemCity Thornhill chapter, and she is also a bestselling cookbook author. She has regularly volunteered her time at her children's school over the past decades, as well as, at Emunah Women of Toronto.
Shawna is a heart-centred individual who is always looking at opportunities to connect others to create win-win solutions. She loves to service others, and to lift them up by offering a partnership in her successful company.
Her latest contribution to others' happiness is her professional matchmaking business, to help individuals find their true love.
Old Firehall Confectionary - Co-Owner
Natasha Usher comes from a line of kings and queens and chiefs from the beautiful continent of Africa.
She was 9 years old when her family emigrated to Canada, Natasha faced many ups and downs growing up and as an adult, but nothing could weaken the light and the fire that was burning inside her: she wanted to create a heart-centered business empowering women - and making women, man and children happy. With sugar and chocolate!
Yes, your fun-loving Sugar Diva is the Co-Owner of Old Firehall Confectionery, a sweet culinary experience.
Natasha is a mother of two empowered children. Today, she is mentoring high-school girls on how to go after their dreams and passion and supports many charities both as a volunteer, as well as, a philanthropist.
Delara India Assistance Society (DIAS) - Director
Jabeen is an exemplary individual whose commitments are proven out by her actions. Her strength of character and willingness to help others has been a fundamental component of her legacy. It is echoed in her community involvement for not-for-profit organizations by serving as Ismaili CIVIC-Lead to improve the well-being of the broader Canadian community. Over the past 3 years, Jabeen has led 40+ events that have included 45,000 volunteer hours for over 3,000 volunteers. She has supported numerous initiatives through her to the food banks, homeless shelters, YWCA and Habitat-for-Humanity amongst others
Upon a visit to India, Jabeen engaged in community work and discovered a desire to give back towards educational development. She sought out a role as a Director for Delara India Assistance Society (DIAS), a not-for-profit organization which supports continuing education in Goa, India. Her commitment has made a difference to over 150 students annually.
Avid Apparel - National Sales Manager
I'm nominating Alyssa because she is the epitome of what it means to be a true leader & inspiration! Not only does everyone look up to her & she crushes it at her day job but she somehow found the time to launch a side hustle that is already THRIVING. So proud of her and all of her accomplishments.
WYMBIN - Founder/CEO
It's rare for me to see women taking charge and leading the way all while having a warm heart for everyone involved within the team and community. Her being the founder of Wymbin, I nominate Jenna for the "Women of Inspiration" as she is the epitome of exceptional game changers in today's era.
Kelly's Green Lounge - Founder
Reverend Kelly Addison is the founder / Managing Director of Kelly’s Green Lounge , a cannabis-friendly establishment drawing international attention to the tiny community of Orono, Ontario. Kelly brings a wealth of experience as an educator, and counsellor, to her work..Also Vice President of PACC, an important industry advocacy organizaton. Also a Certified Reiki Master, she is studying plant medicines and other healing modes. Motivated by the spiritual aspects of the plant, Kelly was ordained as a Minister in 2020, and holds “The Cannabis Church of KGL” as a celebration of unity, community, and respect for the cannabis plant and her divine properties. For her role in advancing cannabis and advocacy for the eventual inclusion of cannabis lounges under The Cannabis Act, Kelly has been recognized in several media publications on the international stage across Canada, The United States, and Australia.
RBC - Financial Doctor
Eni Oszlai is a Financial Doctor, RBC’s TOP Financial Specialist. She is a true inspiration.
Eni is a Leader, a Role Model, an Educator, a Connector, a Mother, a Philanthropist, a True Friend. Everything she does, she does from the space of Love, Contribution and Gratitude. Her life purpose is to empower others, and help everyone whose life she touches to make their dreams and passion a tangible reality.
She regularly educates others not just about financial matters, but also how they can use different mindset techniques to overcome adversity and get on the path of true success.
Eni regularly volunteers her time and provides financial support to various charities, effectively empowering women, children, the sick, and third world countries to reach their fullest potential.
Her book “The Waterfront Awards: Powerful Success Stories” became a Bestseller in 2020; and her online show “The Financial Doctor Show” has attracted trailblazers, mindset-gurus, TEDx speakers, musicians and business people to be featured and connected with thousands of Eni’s audience, effectively connecting them with collaborators and new clients, but also to show the light and opportunities for others to be empowered and to rise.
Eni brings Hope, Light and Love into this World, as she dedicates herself to make a difference in other’s lives. She definitely deserves the award, as she will use it to empower even more people around her!
Gift from the Heart - President/Founder
Bev Woods is the Founder and President of Gift from the Heart, a Canadian non-profit charity that connects dental hygienists/oral health care professionals to vulnerable Canadian by providing essential barrier free oral health care.
Bev’s contributions to our society are vast and cannot simply be summed up in a letter. She has always advocated for those who are unable to advocate for themselves. She tirelessly and continuously gives back to her community by donating her time, supplies, food, oral health care treatments and her expertise to better the lives of the underserved or anyone who faces barriers.
Bev always continuously strives for changes to our present health care system to allow all Canadians the right to crucial oral health care services. She believes it is a right not a privilege to receive this care.
DentalX - Ceo
Anaida is an inspiration to whoever knows her. She, better than anybody, can be called a woman of inspiration. Her humble beginnings start with her and her husband coming to Canada 19 years ago with pocket change and no English. She worked 7 days a week while going to school full time. She started everything from scratch. Now she has a very successful business, an award winning dental office and in the process of opening her second one. Her story has been considered a success story not only by everyone that knows her, but also by a lot of national and international media. She has been featured in many Tv shows, radio shows, magazines, newspapers, online platforms and more to share her amazing journey and her dental expertise.
Anaida has won many local, national and international awards. Even though, she is a very successful business woman, Anaida is a very humble and simple person, which makes everyone that knows her, fall in love with her. She is a very beautiful person inside and out. She has worked very hard to be where she is and she deserves to be a Woman of Inspiration.
Centurion Property Associates Inc. - Director, Student Operations
When considering extraordinary women who lead by example, I mind immediately goes to Christa. Firstly, I am blown away by Christa’s dedication and commitment to hard work, and her tenacity, for climbing the corporate ladder and succeeded so well professionally, despite her lack of formal education. Christa never gave up, and tackled all challenges head on. Today, she sits on the executive board for an asset mgmt organization, her days spent driving the business, and leading others to succeed as well. Christa has a passion for people, and is often commended for her ability to lead others to be their best selves. And I can speak from experience, I have learned so much from her. She is honest to a fault, authentic, and kind. The number of people who have attributed their success to Christa’s dedication to their growth is too high to count. Aside from professionally, Christa also wrote and published 2 novels, both reaching Amazon bestseller in many countries. Reviews of the books mention that she (via her novels) ‘changed their life’, ‘helped them find the courage to reach for more’, and ‘to never stop reaching for their dreams’. I admire Christa so much - not only for her achievements, but also because she’s simply a wonderful human being.
Nature Bee Holdings Ltd. - Owner
I am nominating Katie Gamble of Nature Bee Holdings Ltd. for this award. Katie started this company in 2018 as a way to help make sustainable products more accessible to all.
Katie is truly an entrepreneur at heart and managers her company with kindness, creativity and efficiency. She is an incredible boss; the perfect mix between guiding others and letting them learn and create on their own. Katie shows us grace in our mistakes and excitement in our successes. Seeing Katie’s own passion in her business and the happiness it brings her is inspiring to all those around her and has influenced some of her employees to venture out and follow their callings.
Hobart Canada - Business Process and Compliance Specialist
Yana is a single mom, who is successful in her career, contribute a lot to the Russian community, develop her skills and knowledge by taking courses and certificates in the University of Toronto, running her own small business on the side, working out, following the healthy living, great supporter, advisor, and motivator for the girls who face the challenges on the divorce in Canada. She works as a Business Process and Compliance Specialist, and her job is to review, analyze, and implement changes into the processes that have a significant positive impact on the company’s KPIs, performance, reputation, and customer service. She spends lots of time with her son who at the age of five reads and writes in both, English and Russian, attends swimming lessons, judo classes, and break-dance studio, strong at math and logic. Yana is an inspirational leader, motivator, and supporter of other girls!
Special Compass, - Founder, Keynote Speaker, Workshop Facilator, Educator
Shakira Rouse is the founder of Special Compass, keynote speaker, facilitator, and yoga instructor. She has an incredible passion for connecting people to understand that learning disabilities shouldn't deter one from accomplishing their goals. As an adult with a learning disability, Shakira regularly experiences emotional frustration and stress but, at twenty-five, this ambitious young woman decided to turn her setback into a comeback to help other students with learning disabilities. Special Compass is an organization dedicated to helping students with learning disabilities achieve success in and outside the classroom. Merging her personal experience and education, Shakira Rouse creates and facilitates workshops for students, parents, and educators. Speaking and presenting at events in Canada and stateside. The recipient of the Black Female Role Model award has been interviewed in nationally and internationally outlets, sharing her story of how she overcame challenges with her learning disability in her education.
Crazy Water Girls - Founder Crazy Water Girls, Ex Toronto Police Officer
I am Kim Ledgerwood, previously a Toronto Police Officer for 30 years, happily retired now. I have 2 daughters, 23 and 25 years old. I am happily single. I am writing a chapter in a book to Empower Women To Succeed and overcome any challenges. I want to leave a legacy to my children and be the best I can be and live life to its fullest while being fulfilled in what I do professionally and personally. I am blessed that both those entities are one and I am truly living my passion and my income is a result of me just living life and telling my story to people. I would love to be a guest speaker at venues where my story would resonate with people and help them. I have suffered from mental health issues where I was removed from my career and both shocks took a very large mental toll on me. It led me to addictions and urges to end my life. I overcame these challenges with help from professionals and God. I feel like I have had another chance to excel at life and live my best one. I am currently growing a business with my best friend. We call it Crazy Water Girls, and we endorse water ionizers that are medical devices that change people’s lives. This is my passion and what I feel is my service to those that need a change in their lives by changing their water. I changed my drinking water 2 years ago and it helped with my mental health issues and I want to help everyone I can experience this mental health freedom like I have. I retired early so I could pursue this dream of becoming successful so that then I can give back even more to my community and make sure everyone has clean drinking water. My relationship with God has led me to this pivoting point in my life. His will has led me back to servicing the public to assist them with their mental, physical and financial health and well-being.
Infinite Virtual Admin Solutions - Founder, Virtual Assistant, Spiritual Counsellor
Kandace LaRue has spent 30 years supporting entrepreneurs and executives with experience in administration support, customer service, sales administration, and accounts receivables and payables. Her experience in supporting small businesses and also large manufacturing companies will be a vital and reliable tool which will help your business excel.
Growing up as a Canadian Forces Army child she moved over 20 times during childhood.
She said she felt like counselling helped her but she needed something more. She says it was faith that helped her get through the sadness of her difficult childhood and the loss of her marriage. Today Kandace LaRue is a spiritual counsellor, after overcoming abuse and alcohol in her family. She says her spirituality is a gift that “helps me get through this thing called life.
She says in 2021 she is “starting my new adventure helping customers make lots of money while looking after their back office needs in all aspects. I came up with the name “Infinite Virtual Admin Solutions” because all things are possible if you put your heart and soul into what you want to do. I’ve also decided to enroll in a Life Coaching program to add to my services so I can help others achieve their goals in business and in life as a whole. My mission in life has had many bumpy roads but I got through it all with learning to accept we all have our stuff to endure in this world but what makes it better is to support one another and make this world a better place to be in because we are all in this together.”
Canada East Spine Centre's Director of Research Erin Bigney - Director of Research
I would like to nominate Erin Bigney, Director of Orthopaedic and Neurosurgery Research at Canada East Spine Centre for the WOI Mentorship Award. She has been a mentor to her staff and medical students since starting in her present position 6 years ago. Erin embodies the true definition of what a successful mentor should be. She is experienced, trusted, kind and patient. I feel truly honored to be working with such a strong female leader and mentor in medical research. I strongly believe that every current and former staff member would be in agreement that Erin is not only a supportive mentor, but a truly wonderful boss and friend. Erin has overseen 17 medical student research projects to-date. Through facilitating the research training of students, Erin makes major contributions to improving the quality of care and quality of life of spine surgery patients both in New Brunswick and across Canada.
Forever Young Laser Skin Rejuvenation - Owner
I am nominating Sheetal Sareen because since having the pleasure to work side by side with her over the past year I have been nothing but amazed. Not only has she created a beautiful, professional, huh end salon in Edmonton, but she has been in business for 10 plus years and has the client list to prove it. She has created this business on her own at the age of 27 and over the past ten years manages and oversees a staff of 13 women. She is the epitome of a strong business women who supports other women. She not only runs an all female staff but she also owns 2 other business and a very high end, desirable Air BnB location here in the heart of the city. She is the most supportive, innovative, humble person I have ever met and the most amazing leader and mentor. I am beyond blessed to work side by side with this some. She is the ultimate yes woman and provides nothing but the absolute best for her staff and clients. Since I have started I have watched her dump countless dollars back into her business during a year that most places had to close the doors. Instead of being deterred she used this time to invest back into her staff and business and make her company better. In the past year I have seen incredible growth in this company in both business model and sales. All while we were shut down due to covid. She has used this scary and uncertain time to be innovative and change her business to compliment the path the world is taking. I can't say enough good things about her. She is truly an inspiration to myself, her team and we are so lucky to have her.
ThoughtExchange - COO
As COO of Enterprise Discussion Management company ThoughtExchange, Jessica successfully navigated the company through the global pandemic to deliver growth beyond market averages in challenging marketing conditions. Prior to joining ThoughtExchange she was named Sweden's most Innovative leader and she is a frequent speaker and a Forbes and Inc Magazine contributor on topics like the Future of Leadership, Innovation in Management practices etc.
DanDeeLion Publishing - author, poet, founder
Denise Byers is an author, poet, and co-founder of a publishing company. Her award-winning poetry book, Shattered, is comprised of over 50 poems written over the past 40 years about her issues with maintaining good mental health. Shattered, both dark and deeply personal with insightful and inspirational messages of hope, courage and strength, caught the attention of the prestigious Book Excellence Awards and won. The Book Excellence Awards is a competitive literary academy that honors notable authors every year and is sponsored by Literary Excellence Incorporated. Ms. Byers has suffered from various forms of mental illness for most of her life. She has attempted suicide and fights suicidal thoughts on a regular basis. In addition, she has struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) stemming from past abuse and currently receives treatment for depression and anxiety. While continuing to work on being healthy both mentally and physically, Ms. Byers is a successful business owner, multiple award-winning authors, and a mother to three adult children. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA - National) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI - the US), statistics show that one in five North Americans has had, have, or will have, some form of mental illness in their lifetime. It should be noted that mental illness is a disease that goes largely unreported due to the stigma attached to it. Shattered is available in paperback and electronic format globally wherever books are sold. Denise Byers is a graduate of York University in Toronto, Canada with her BA in Sociology. A professional writer in public and government relations for over 25 years, Ms. Byers has also written and published three books to date.
Author, public speaker
Zimbabwean-born World-Changer,Francisca Mandeya, living in the Canadian archipelago is a powerful voice on paper and on stage. Her influence crosses continents and her vitally important message is creating an international movement of mothers who understand that the lessons they impart to the next generation can change the world. She is a double winner of Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Gender Equality award. Her best seller Mother Behold Thy Son and Upcoming book Racial Equality convey messages of equality, love, and freedom. As a result of the Mental Fitness coaching and empowerment she teaches, mothers and individuals take care of themselves first; and create healthy family relationships, leading to peace in their homes. She is the CEO of Transformational Call Coaching & Consulting Inc and Founder of Mothers United. She has been featured on CBC North, CBC Winnipeg, Authority Magazine USA, Ticker TV Australia and podcasts in Asia, Africa and America.
A valued longtime member of activist and artistic communities she brings a wealth of experience together in her offerings - from classrooms to auditorium floors to stages and screens. People find comfort in her music because it's appealing, and they listen to her words because they are revealing, uncovering thoughts and emotions which many of us would like to express. The power behind her words is a singing voice that subtly expresses the spirit of varied authenticities, that touches each and every individual heart in an intimately personal way. Her performances are like no other. Described as “original soundscapes that blend traditional with original songs, poems, stories which mirrors our collective souls. Freely fusing rhythm, word, and sound, “It's an ITAL ting, carries a culturally conscious sting, after 50 years knowing it's noSistah Lois (pronounced “Loyce”) is an incredibly talented singer, actor, creatrix across disciplines. She is, she says “a muddah, dawtah, sistah, afrikan princess, is a dymanmic Edutainer and musical messenger.” Born in Trinidad, she lived in the Caribbean and in the UK as a child. She has lived in Canada since she was eight years old. Reverend Kelly Addison, of KGL TV near Toronto, Canada, calls her “a national treasure.” Those who are lucky enough to spend time in the presence of the wise and wonderful Sistah Lois,would heartily agree. Known for decades in Toronto for her strong voice, both when she rises it in song and when she speaks out as an activist and as an artist. “I explore spiritual, musical, creative, rebellious journey and lifestyle experiences from these diverse cultural challenges coupled with non-traditional labour logistical backgrounds,” she says, explaining the scope of her work. “I wish to expound about the experience of a black feminist and how I survived varied assaults all along and how and why our cause goes still ignored in the age of the me-too movement.” She did all of this while raising a son as a single mother, and working in a field not traditionally open to women - blazing trails working for the Canadian National Railway for decades where she operated specialized equipment (lathes, mills, grinders, hand tools) and disassembled, repaired and replaced defective diesel engines in tanks, locomotives, backhoes graders and various off road vehicles. Today she “intergrates” a lifetime of experiences -the heartbreaks, the struggles, the love, the joys - and her talents, energies, and passion, in all her creative expressions three-fold. Sistah Lois awakens, inspires, Educates, Entertains, and Energizes Audiences…Everytime.
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) - www.sickkidsinternational.ca - and Boomerang Health powered by SickKids - URL listed below. - Director of International Education, SickKids, and Managing Director of Boomerang Health
Lara is a "one-of-a-kind" healthcare leader, who happens to also be a nurse, a mother of 2 teenagers, a devoted wife, daughter, sister, friend, and philanthropist. She is the type of human being who leads authentically with courage and impacts the professional and personal lives of everyone she meets. She is a healthcare entrepreneur who has very innovatively generated healthy alternative sources of revenue, outside of public funding, for her organization. She is also an educator at heart, which is quite evidenced by the many undergraduate and graduate students she's mentored over the years (at least 50). Her philosophy has always been to "start the way you want to finish" which means "don't cut any corners and always aim for the best and quality solution". Her standards are high and this trickles down to the people she leads. They respect her for her honesty and high level of integrity and they, in turn, aim to be the same.
Lara has a very strong and positive influence on her colleagues, peers, students, family, and friends. With her very busy professional and personal chedule, she is still able to find time to help others. She doesn't wait to be asked - her extreme empathy and emotional intelligence allow her to genuinely understand one's needs and offer to help where she can. More formally, as the founder of the Emma-Rose Fund, she has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to financially support families of children with Muccopolysaccharide diseases which has made a huge difference in their lives. In summary, Lara has been leading for over 25 years and has created many impactful masterpieces throughout her career and life. The ability to have multiple contrasting roles within such a complex organization, one of international education and one of entrepreneurship, is not an easy task; however, Lara does it with such grace and finesse, that it truly makes it look easy. Lara truly deserves this leadership award.
Afro Cannada Bud Sistahs - Founder
Natalie Cox has spent the past 30 years raising a wonderful family of four children with her high-school sweetheart. At age 49 Natalie underwent a major life pivot when she went to college for the first time; enrolling in the Horticulture Technician program at Durham College in Whitby, Ontario. “Quite simply, I went back to college to learn to grow better weed”, she says with a grin. In 2020 Natalie founded Afro Cannada Budsistas with her business partner Khadisha Thornhill.
Their mission is to provide a safe space for Black women to offer one another support while also normalizing cannabis through education, information, and exposure. She also started Growing With Natalie; a company focused on organic cannabis and vegetable cultivation and teaching others to grow their own as well. A lifelong tropical plant collector, she boasts a 30-year-old Epipremnum aureum or Pothos, she affectionately calls “Mother”. In the summer you can find Natalie in the garden with her dog Leo, tending to her prized heirloom tomato collection. She is well known for raising her voice to bring about more diversity in not just cannabis but agriculture.
Afro Cannada Bud Sistahs - Founder
A Black Canadian woman and single mom to a 14yr-old hockey fanatic, Khadisha is fluently bilingual after being born and raised in Montreal before moving to the GTA in 1994. She’s a 20+ year property & casualty insurance industry professional with a background in teaching insurance courses, staff unit training & development and litigation management of complex bodily injury files from serious car accidents. For fun, Khadisha played touch and flag football recreationally for 15 years before coaching her son’s flag teams, allowing her to pass down her love for the game to another generation. She’s also been certified in the past as a spin instructor.
While Khadisha’s journey into cannabis use is not novel, her path towards its advocacy is unique. Khadisha and her business partner Natalie Cox are co-founders of Afro Cannada Budsistas, a private online space created for Black women to discuss and normalize cannabis use. Founded only this past March 2020, their group has already grown to 400 members, primarily in Ontario and Quebec, with members joining daily from all across Canada. Through specified theme days, informational videos, live video feed interactions and virtual smaller group chats, they manage to provide a safe space for Black women to discuss everything from how to roll a joint for beginners, to where to buy cannabis and most importantly, how to grow your own. Slowly but very intentionally, they are reversing the negative and racially-motivated stigmas associated with cannabis use in the Black community. This couldn’t happen at a better time given that many of the women members first became acquainted during the very early and scary days of the covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. It’s now a bond they share, and the cannabis is what helps to get them all through relentless uncertainty, together.
Guelph Family Martial Arts - Owner
Nathan Skoufis is a 23 x world champion and member of Team Canada. He is one of the most accomplished martial artist. He is active in promoting females in the martial arts world and advocating for equality. He is involved in helping the community through a variety of community innovations including women in crisis and many more. He is a community champion!
Guelph Family Martial Arts - Owner
Sophie Skoufis is a mentor to so many throughout the area including youth and adults. She is a multiple time world champion, 5th degree black belt and a member of Team Canada. She is heavily involved in several charity innovations and has had a huge positive impact on the community as a whole. She is very deserving of this award. She makes everyone believe they can, an amazing leader and mentor.
Pregnancy & Infant Loss Centre - Board Vice Chair and Director of Operations
With over 20 years of working with non-profits, Danyelle Kaluski has a passion to be in service to her community.
Through the loss of her second daughter, Emelina in 2012, at 38 weeks, Danyelle is a strong voice in normalizing the journey through pregnancy loss, grieving, and pregnancy after loss.
Danyelle has been instrumental in the growth of the Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Centre growth. She is the one working diligently behind the scenes to provide vital support to the community and advocate for the healing of bereaved families.
Philopateer Christian College - Principal
Phoebe Wasfy, Principal of Philopateer Christian College (PCC), was born in Egypt and immigrated to North America at the age of nine. She is an active member of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) and the Ontario Principals Council (OPC). Her love for academia and her active involvement in the field has earned her the Arab Women of Excellence Awards in Academia from Life Transformation Academy (Calgary, Alberta - Canada).
Phoebe is a board member of ACSI-Eastern Canada. She is an adjunct Faculty for the Youth Ministry Certification Program (YMCP) offered by the Canadian Coptic Center in affiliation with YouthTrain, New Zealand. Phoebe enjoys interacting with other educators, students and parents and is committed to fostering leadership and professional development amongst her staff. Phoebe heads many initiatives and is responsible for the school youth missionary trips globally while partnering with other governments, worldwide charity groups, and global aid organizations
Holistic Wellness Strategist
Cheryl Ivaniski is a Global Wellness Authority, Dr. Holistic Medicine - Acupuncture, Speaker, Coachr , 5 X Bestselling Author Diabetes Thriver for OVER 24 YEARS, host of the NO BS Podcast About Diabetes and the author of Having A Life of More
" Having watched her grandma struggle for 40 years with loss of vision, mobility, independence and eventually the shutting down of her kidneys and heart, until one day Diabetes took her life. CherylI was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (and Hashimotos disease) over 24 years ago. Specialists said she should expect the onset of scary complications and told her to prepare for a grim future. SheI took a stand that her life was not going to be the same. She mastered the Holistic Lifestyle and has since been living a very vibrant life! Her mission brought her from teams of health professionals using the traditional approach, to going back to University and studying alternative methods to wellness - how to heal from the inside out, to be proactive rather than reactive, and how holistic self-care can elevate your wellness leaps and bounds! She's gone on to co-authoring books with big names like Jack Canfield, Les Brown, Dr. John Gray and Brian Tracey.
Magna Carta Legal Services. - Founder, Paralegal
Amanda Richards has always had the desire to help others. Her path to self-employment seemed like a natural evolution – she faced some struggles, but she took each of them on with ferocity and strength. On top of working full-time as an employee for 15 years, Amanda has raised two children as a single mother, while at the same time gaining academic experience and growing multiple businesses’. Amanda has ventured into many avenues of business, from managing multiple high-end retail locations to working at law firms on Bay Street. She also has a passion for hair and makeup as she went to the Professional School of Makeup. She worked for an agency that provides hair and makeup for television, magazines, etc., while more specifically she worked with the Miss Universe pageant and Sports Centre. After going through these ventures, Amanda decided to go back to the law, by going back to school and getting licensed as a paralegal, while at the same time starting her business, Magna Carta Legal Services. Bringing Amanda’s passions together of fashion and the law, she takes an interest in professional attire and workplace outfits and how COVID-19 has made a new normal in this aspect. Amanda taught at Humber College for the Paralegal Program. She enjoys teaching and molding young minds. Amanda’s best advice is to never give up and never take no as an answer. Find what you are passionate about and run with it.
Noble Body Care Inc and Black Ram Media Group - Co founder, Author
Daniela is an award-winning business leader, corporate and political strategist, lobbyist, industry advocate, and Creative Director. A leading expert on the second-hand economy, she often consults and guest lectures on economic development, green tech advancements, as well as mentors business builders in personal, professional, and brand development. She was recently nominated for an Order Of Ontario in part for setting a new standard in her industry and for her commitment to public education. She also serves on the Board of Directors for several charities and research/industry collaboratives.
Well versed on municipal affairs and regulations, she often represents industry and municipal stakeholders seeking outside the box solutions for industry shifts and limitations. Disaster PR is her superpower. She is the author of In Loving Denial: Stop Saying I Beat Cancer. She co-owns Black Ram Media Group Inc & cofounder of Noble Body Care Inc
Life Spark Holistic Coaching & Wellness - PsychoPractitioner/ Trauma Sensitive Yoga Instructor
Katie is a PsychoPractitioner who has pioneered the connection of mental health & yoga/wellness for hundreds of veterans, first responders & individuals in trauma recovery.
This has been demonstrated in first-ever long-term collaborations with military services, first responders, hospitals, nonprofits & schools.
She is a regular speaker across Ontario Canada on the healing evidence of holistic interventions.
She was nominated for 10 awards across Ontario for her work in the mental health forum last year.
Shop the Curvy - Owner
Aymie is a positive leader in the Calgary community. She is a voice for those living in plus-size bodies. She advocates for the needs of fashion for those in plus size bodies continually. She advocates for women empowering one another, and she also lives that in her everyday life. She is a heart centric business and it’s easy to feel connected to her. Her passion for community and fashion is palpable.
EMBRACE - President/Founder
Michelle is an inspiration because she is passionate about what she does. I believe that she is intentional and motivated to advocate for those who may not be able to advocate for themselves. She has been championing and training inclusivity and accessibility for many years. This is not a fleeting exercise du jour for Michelle - but a deep-seated belief in ensuring that we see people with disabilities as being able to contribute in many ways. She believes in providing support in an equitable manner having lived and living through certain stigma. Michelle devotes herself to this work and is ever-ready to provide others with the knowledge and resources needed for awareness and action. She is a kind, detailed-oriented, driven phenomenal leader and entrepreneur with advocacy at the core.
Canadian Western Bank Financial Group - Director, Procurement
Rachel is a strategic and highly results-oriented procurement leader with over 20 years’ experience in international companies in the North and South America. Rachel has a diverse background, experienced in large organizations, well versed in various processes associated with private and public procurement, strategic sourcing and supply chain operations management.
In Canada, Rachel has worked for public corporations both in the Provincial and Federal levels, has led staff in complex environments, including unionized settings. Nevertheless, she has stand out as an inspirational leader, closely coaching and developing her teams.
Rachel holds Professional Designation as a Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM), has MBA in Purchasing and Logistics, Bachelor in International Relations and Business Leadership Certification.
Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Centre - Founder, Loss Coach
Aditi is a trailblazer in the non-profit sector. During the covid-19 pandemic, she leads the pregnancy and infant loss support center in creating Canada's first national pregnancy loss support line. This support line has been a successful endeavor, supporting people across Canada and the USA, who have lost a pregnancy or infant during the isolating times that we currently face. It would be hard to imagine a world without Aditi's bright shining light. She is truly an inspiration.
Digital Finance Institute - Executive Director & Chief AI Officer
Ellis Odynn is a trailblazing woman in tech. Her leadership and commitment to championing innovation and digital transformation in the banking sector has helped shape the Canadian FinTech ecosystem. Ellis is one of Canada's most recognized voices in finance, and has become a frequent speaker on Innovation, AI, FinTech, Payments and Inclusion.
Ellis acts as a mentor to young women and girls in high school and university who are looking to explore career opportunities in STEM.
He Changed It Enterprises Inc - CEO/ Co-founder
Candace is a shape shifter and calls herself an agent of change. For over 4 years she dedicated over 50 hours per week, voluntarily, to a women and children's non for profit, to help combat poverty. Upon exiting, she noticed there was a distinct hole in the market when it came to men's health, primarily mental health. She has, for over the last 2 1/2 years, once again dedicated her time and energy building a tech company to bring to market one of the world's first, gender specific, mobile apps for men. As a mother of 2 sons, she is determined to move the needle on what WHO deems a silent crisis, that of men's health. Recently, she saw her vision come to light as they have now entered the app stores, and have men all over the world downloading the app. She receives messages daily thanking her for her role in helping break the stigma. She firmly believes that for true equality for women, there must be a coming together, and an understanding on how to work together and build sustainable families and navigate the ever changing landscape.
Fierce Mom - founder
I am nominating Jennifer because she is a fierce mom! Not only is she a fierce mom but she is a fierce community connector! She is always willing to help those around her, she encourages people to look at every day as a new day and helps everyone get organized! With a focus on empowering women and encouraging growth and change Jennifer is a women of inspiration!
Home Life Luxuary - Owner
She is a very active and energetic person.
- She accomplished most of her goals in a very short time.
City of St.Albert - Manager, Corporate Planning, Risk and Insurance at City of St. Albert
I would like to nominate Darija Slokar for the women of inspire award. Darija has worked really hard this past year in completing her MBA while working as a full time professional for the City of St. Albert and being a full-time mom and wife to her kids and spouse. Darija has come really far in her career and education and influenced many young professionals around her. She has also been very active with her Health and Wellness goals that she has influenced many other women to join fiton which is a global app that allows you to work out from the comfort of your home and office at anytime with professionals around the world. She has done a fantastic job in maintaining her goals and inspiring her community. She is also an active member of the Rotary club and a member of the Board of Directors. Way to go Darija and keep up the excellent work! You are an inspiration to all the women around you!
Reena Khullar Sharma
Agilis Executive Consulting - Founder & CEO
Reena is an atypical woman entrepreneur who changed the landscape of management consulting in 2020 by launching a global consulting firm that is leading with her advantage. I nominate this extraordinary woman for paving the path to ascertain everyday people’s lives through journalism that evokes emotion, admiration, and thought-provoking realization that the world is closer to us than we know. This nomination only touches the surface of what Reena has embarked on. She is a game-changer in her quiet but powerful presence, helping people succeed in their professions and opening their eyes to possibilities they never knew they were capable of achieving! Her play on the word extra(ordinary) is not surprising for her creative mind, nor her ability to critically strategize best outcomes for clients like me. Her articles in Forbes support her ambitious entrepreneurial path, and yet she remains grounded! She is a woman of inspiration, watch out world!
RBCRoyal Bank of Canada - Business Account Manager at RBC Royal Bank of Canada
Asawari goes above and beyond the requirements of an account manager and is extremely liked by her customers. she is a strong advocate of female entrepreneurship. Her strength is client servicing and going above and beyond. She owns their issues and challenges and comes back with solutions.This is also the reason she has been recognized, honoured and awarded the 'RBC Convention Award 2020' for Business Markets.
Anita Erskine Holdings Limited. - Broadcaster, Actress, Advocate
Anita Erskine was educated in Canada, built her brand helping women and becoming a broadcasting powerhouse in Africa.
Now back in Hamilton splitting her time between McMaster University, making appearances on international television and expanding her media profile in North America, Anita has risen to the forefront of the African broadcast industry to become a powerful Award-Winning voice seasoned by experience as well as talent, and aimed at uplifting and inspiring women around the world. She has almost two decades in the broadcast industry focusing on Music, Lifestyle, Maternal Health, Social Impact, Education, Entrepreneurship and Empowerment. She hosted The One Show; +233 Discovery; and is the host for the female edition of Making of a Mogul. Anita is also the Executive Producer and host of Sheroes of Our Time and Host /Advisor of the 2020 edition of the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative. Named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Africa, the 100 Most Inspirational Women in Ghana and 100 Most Influential People in Ghana, Anita truly is a global powerhouse who is making Canada home and working here on the international version of her show SHEROES. Anita truly is a woman of inspiration, who like WOI shines the light on the work of other women with her platforms..
Nick J. Kyte Team - Client Experience Officer
Serena Lynch is the Client Experience Officer for the Nick J. Kyte Team, an internationally acclaimed Ottawa real estate office. She Featured in Authority Magazine's Meet The Female Leaders Of Real Estate for her brilliant work. She has been an activist with BIPOC and LGBTQ+ issues. Travel has exposed her to matters of cultural and socio-economic significance. In South Africa, Serena observed the vast difference between classes and was enlightened at the Apartheid Museum. In the Netherlands, she learned more about the effects of the holocaust. In the Amazon, she acknowledged that education was a privilege and for many, life was a struggle. In the Galapagos, Serena learned about the delicate balance between man and nature, how we have a responsibility to participate in the stewardship of our planet.
First 30 Inc. - Founder and CEO
Amy launched First 30 in 2019, a virtual 30-day outplacement and onboarding program allowing companies to help restructured employees land new roles, and also to fully 'on board' newly hired employees. As First 30 gained momentum in 2020, Amy continued to provide free webinars and one-on-one services to individuals who had lost their jobs. Even while consumed by the constant challenges of managing a new business, she's devoted countless hours to sharing her services at no cost to individuals who need help. The inspiration she exudes in this regard is truly is deserving of recognition.
Dr Paola Lake
Lake Professional Psychology Services - Psychologist
Dr. Paola Lake, a registered psychologist who has dedicated her adult life to studying resilience and healing, with a focus on healing from trauma. Serving her communities for over 20 years working with first responders and the military, she is also well known for her empowering work with people in all walks of life as she helps individuals rise past adversity, uncovering their potential, and dissolving barriers that stand in their way to personal success.
As part of that lifelong mission to help people realize their potential, Dr. Lake hosted a local community radio show, “The Dr. Lake Show,” interviewing interesting experts like Dr. Bruce Lipton, cell biologist, Dr. Anat Baniel, brain scientist, and Dr. Lee Pulos, clinical psychologist /international speaker. A fascinating host, she pivoted to the podcast world and now hosts the popular “The Dr. Lake Show,” focussed on engaging in conversations for change about any area of life that affects our well-being, including emotional, physical, relationship, financial, and community aspects of life.
Biomedicine Holistic Healing Clinics - Founder, Osteopath, an Integrative Medicine Practitioner and Registered Nutritional Therapist
Hanna Ormanczyk is an Osteopath, an Integrative Medicine Practitioner and Registered Nutritional Therapist with an international reputation. People come from around the world to get one on one specialized care from Hanna's two Biomedicine Holistic Healing Clinics in Oakville and Mississauga. As she puts it "I specialize in integrative medicine,
epigenetic approach, and advocating for its usage in correction, improve, and normalization in contemporary medical practice. I am one of the very few practitioners offering these particular forms of treatment and clinical trials to investigate root causes of dietary issues ranging anywhere from weight management, nutritional tracking, and other health issues like sleep apnea, diabetes, and leaky gut. I specialize in combating today’s issues in dietary consumption such as obesity and malnutrition with an overall success rate of 86% and climbing. I offer all of me services in person and online for anyone who need my help. I excel at being able to connect and empathize with all my clients, employing an empathetic approach and recognizing the underlying personal motivations and drives of my patients to use to achieve their goals of self-betterment and personal growth." Hanna makes a huge difference in peoples lives and inspires them to live their best life !
Security Partners' Forum - Co-Founder and Executive Director
Bonnie is a world leader in the empowerment of women in the security & resilience disciplines. She has developed networks across the globe for women to network as well as awards recognizing women in various regions across the globe.
Bombardier Aviation - Chief Operating Officer
Nancy is an accomplished leader and the first female in the role of Chief Operating Officer at Bombardier Aviation. She has shown incredible resilience, strength, discipline, and heart, inspiring so many around her in her journey. She is an enthusiastic leader who truly cares about her team and enables them to channel their own enthusiasm and grow in their roles. Even during challenging times, Nancy has a way of instilling confidence through her positive approach. Throughout her career, she has always been generous of her time and enjoys coaching young women. She actively promotes gender parity both within her organization and through speaking events. What inspires me most about Nancy is not only what she does, but how she does it.
HS Advisory Inc. - Director and Co-Founder
Simran's heart for her community continues to push her forward to help out, even during the pandemic. She ran for Orangeville council during the last election, a major part of her platform was her passion for being a positive force in the community. She has been extremely helpful in supporting individual businesses as well as local not-for profits through numerous initiatives.
Along with providing advice on marketing and fundraising strategies, she has assisted in fundraising for initiatives like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dufferin, organized an auction with over 25 local businesses, assisted in locating sponsors for 198 free meals, and organized giveaway items for "Celebrate Your Awesome".
She was also recognized for her continual efforts to bring awareness and civil discussion on topics of diversity, inclusion, and equality through social media.
Her work resulted in being chosen as a recipient of the Town of Orangeville’s Community Recognition Awards for community leaders during the pandemic.
Additionally, she is an educator with the School of Marketing in Seneca College.
Marilyn Barefoot - Owner, President, CEO
Marilyn’s the most inspiring leader/innovative thinker I've had the recent honor of working with. She’s helped several of the biggest brands/companies in the world jump their biggest hurdles. Yet this success never detracts from her humble, consistently kind, good-humored, down-to-earth attitude; the bedrocks of her personality. Her unmatched expertise in Creative Problem Solving makes her an ideal collaborator. I'm certain that MB’s embodiment of true leadership is one we need more examples of in our current world. Especially in this extremely tumultuous time. One that’s seemingly defined by a lack of true, honest, exemplary leadership. Another pertinent reason to nominate Marilyn. Most remarkably, M’s built her outrageously successful career/fostered innovation at highly advanced levels by teaching leadership/empowering others to lead. As cliche as it sounds, it’s true: Good leaders create followers. Great leaders create leaders. And this is what Marilyn does; without ego, hesitation or compromise.
Dana Francoz, The DanMar Group - Owner, President, CEO
Dana is a truly remarkable, inspiring, generous human being. Aside from her astonishingly successful career in media/publishing, she’s given back consistently, without limit, through her work with non-profit organizations. During Dana’s media career, she’s represented several of the world’s most iconic brands & Canadian advertisers/marketers, across all platforms. Throughout that time, she’s always been an active volunteer/board member. Currently, Dana’s a board member at Spinal Cord Injury Ontario. An organization intact since 1945, when its founders, having sustained spinal cord injury, returned home after WWII and rejected institutionalization as their lot in life. That spirit of moving boldly forward, of living the life you choose in spite of overwhelming challenges, characterizes SCI today, thanks to people like Dana who spearhead their caring community. In addition, Dana was an active board member of the Clarendon Foundation, seeing its eventual integration into PACE, allowing people with disabilities to live independently.
RBC Global Asset Management - District Vice President
Alison Gaudet is a District Vice President of the Central Toronto Region with RBC Global Asset
Management (RBC GAM).
Prior to joining RBC GAM in 2010, she was an investment specialist with RBC Royal Bank.
Alison has over fifteen years of experience in the financial services industry including ten years
consulting with financial advisors on RBC GAM’s suite of investment solutions. As a woman in finance
and a mother of two, Being a millennial Alison is incredibly passionate about educating and engaging women on the financial literacy and wealth management.
L&T Infotech - Head of Technology and Operations
Yasemin Sezer has been working in the technology sector as an influential executive leader for more than 20 years. She is a pioneer in providing digital technology solutions and transforming organizations by implementing automation and robotics solutions. Being a successful trailblazer in STEM, she sponsored Women4Women; networking for women in technology, both in her global organization, (where half of her team was operating out of India) and in the industry. She has been given the Top 100 Powerful Women Award in light of her achievements in the tech industry.
Kween No Last
Guelph Black Heritage Society - Executive Director
Kween ran the largest protest ever seen in history in this area and in Guelph. It brought over 8,000 with a viewership of 20k. Every day she inspires others through her two businesses or her role as Executive Director for a nonprofit called Guelph Black Heritage Society. From her social media to her constant everyday life. She is exquisite. She makes monumental strides for the Black communities.
Always Saturday Marketing - Co Founder
Rayne is an incredible leader and entrepreneur in our community. Rayne co-founded successful marketing businesses 2 years ago, and sits on the board of a local Animal Shelter, she continues to dedicate her efforts to seeing both organizations grow & scale each year.
The marketing agency was created with a shared idea to do more than just make a profit - Always Saturday Marketing is dedicated to purpose-driven and sustainable businesses, they contribute 1% of their revenue and volunteer time to organizations with One Percent for The Planet and working with other local nonprofits.
Second, is a nonprofit focused on providing compassion, protection, placement, and education to community members, to ensure responsible and respectful animal welfare.
Rayne is a hard worker, who has always been passionate about doing good and this shines through her business journey.
Flora Terah - Young school girl
As the youngest council member at HeartLake united church Nina Nyakio 15 year old motivational speaker, poet, artist, and environmental activist from Toronto, Canada is a role model among the young black community trailblazers across Canada.Very bold in giving inspirational speeches at schools and community events. Young Nyakio has been supporting UN Sustainability Development goals especially keeping our environment. She is a leader of ecosystem school project students who advocates for single use plastic ban. She has volunteered to plant trees organized by Credit Valley Conservation Authority.
Am extremely happy to nominate this young girl because I know I too looked upon several older women who hit the glass ceiling in to pave way for my generation.
Because school comes first,Nyakio doesn't have social media handles as required by UWN.
Jane Bond BBQ - Chef, Proprietor & CEO
Jenny has an indescribable passion and commitment to her business, her staff, and her friends and family. She works tirelessly every day, on minimal sleep or time off, to create BBQ magic. Creating her business from the ground up, Jenny has taken on construction, electrical, finance, marketing, and cooking to ensure she could get her new location up and running while in the height of the pandemic. What started as a small food truck business, has now grown into a large location with a staff of over 10 people, who are treated like family. When organizations are in need of help, she leaps into action, offering her services without hesitation and without fees. Jenny Burthwright is a strong, bi-racial, and independent woman who deserves all the success in the world.
Catherine is a true leader in her community and a role model for other Realtors. In addition to being on the Board of Governors for the CREB® Reator® Community Foundation, she is the Chair of the CREB® Community Investment Standing Committee. She is a 16 year Senior Associate Shareholder of the Calgary Stampede Committee, promoting Calgary and Western Pride. Catherinehas also helped fundraise and volunteer for several organizations such as: Kids Cancer Care Foundation, RMHC, is a founding member of the CV&Me committee with the Libin Cardiovascular Institute and was nominated as a "Hero of the Flood" by the Government of Alberta in 2013 for flood relief efforts. She is an inspiration to all women.
Filmmaker - Program Coordinator - Speaker
I'm nominating Hannah Yohannes as a Woman of Inspiration because she uses her filmmaking gifts and talents to educate and advocate for her community. For example, as a program coordinator, she transformed the Ve'ahavta Skills Academy (VSA) program which is a 9-week essential skills program from an in-person class to a digital online training program due to COVID-19 being announced as a global pandemic. This is one of the several moments in which Hannah shows her adaptability and dedication to her community members. She also uses her platform as a filmmaker to advocate for those who feel voiceless and mentors youth in the Presenting Our Vision film program on the power of storytelling and highlighting the importance of representation in the media industry.
Shanta has been in Canada for about 10yrs. In that time, she has started a social justice group for youth called The Giving Tree. The children in this group have initiated and run many social justice initiatives including helping/learning about First Peoples and environmental concerns. There are many youths who have gone through this program and come out with insight that will shape their future. When Covid started, Shanta helped pull together a small group of people to sew fabric masks. She helped source materials and sew. Her porch was the central pickup and drop off for materials and finished products. The porch has also been used for Purse for a Sister, Love boxes for the local hospital pediatric unit and many other things. Shanta has been instrumental in helping the Town of Markham understand the marginalized within their borders as well as that outside. She has done a lot to educate and press those in the local chambers.
Dr. Stephanie Estima
Hello Betty - Chief Betty, CEO
I am nominating Dr. Stephanie for her exemplary work in women's healthcare. In her podcast, book and 1:1 clients she reveals her message to empower women through informed consent. It is her belief, if you can educate a woman in a holistic, nonjudgmental way, she will make decisions regarding her health and her family's health which are aligned with her core values.
Jamie Loreth (J Lynn Ady pen name) - Author
Jamie Loreth is the author of The Pink Blanket, the first novel in the forthcoming series, and the Founder of The Pink Blanket Campaign — a campaign intended to help women fleeing domestic violence. Jamie, since a young child, has carried the desire to be a writer and she has forever hoped to one day be able to offer some form of “positive hope or change in the world.” Fortunately, those two passions collided when she made the decision to chase her dream of becoming an author. Caught in an unhealthy marriage herself and watching those close to her suffer in abusive relationships, the story line for The Pink Blanket started to blossom. Today, she has now published her first novel and is working to create a platform that will provide Pink blankets and essential necessities and assistance to shelters for women fleeing domestic violence.
Lite Technology Solutions, LLC - Cio/Ciso
Leader, Entrepreneur, Mentor, Visionary, Innovator, Chief Information Security Officer, Founder of LITE Technology; Teri Green, a Chicago native, has been an example of not allowing a troublesome start to dictate your end. Teri has gone from Orphan to CIO/CISO with her combined life lessons and experience in the field of technology. She recently started a scholarship called the change begins now to help bridge the gap between minorities and women in technology, beginning with the first 10,000 from her pocket.
Rosemary Mupambwa - Author, Speaker, Life Transformational and Relationship Expect, CEO
Rosemary Mupambwa is an Author, Speaker, Life Transformational, and Relationship Expect, CEO of Roseslifecoaching Healing Inc. She has transformed a lot of women’s lives through her speaking and retreats about healing. A Widow
herself is one of the most courageous, resilient, and powerful women I know, who got tired of crying herself to sleep after her loss, decided to use her pain to change people’s lives. This strong woman got separated from her children for 6 years when she migrated to Canada from Zimbabwe, but she is still standing. The acclaimed Relationship Expect, went through failed relationships before realizing that people needed to heal from their past before getting into new relationships. Now she helps a multitude of women worldwide, to reset, reignite their groove and get back into the dating scene. Rosemary believes crying without taking action is self-destructive behavior. Her motto is, “Healing Is A Choice.”
Reveal Cannabis - Founder
After struggling with crippling depression for months, Andrea Meharg reluctantly tried cannabis to help her symptoms and the results were truly life-changing. Not only was she able to thrive again, she decided that other women needed to know about the healing properties of this plant and so she started Reveal Cannabis, a place for women to get support and education around using cannabis for better health and wellness. As a certified Cannabis Coach and Educator and a teacher with almost 20 years of experience, she's breaking down stigmas and challenging the status quo with her YouTube channel, the website, and her successful Women's Cannabis Club. Because she's willing to talk openly and honestly about her mental health struggles and the non-traditional way she went about dealing with them, she's changing the lives of women daily.
Dr. Janét Aizenstros
Ahava Group Global - Founder & Chairwoman
Dr. Janét Aizenstros is a signatory with the United Nations Business Action Hub (UNBAH) for the United Nations Global Compact Network. She is an award-winning businesswoman with several leadership awards such as the Top 40 under 40, the Top 10 Inspiring Women in Canada, 2019 Conscious Company Media’s Top 22 Business Leaders, 2013-2014 YMCA-YWCA Woman of Distinction of Business and Entrepreneur, a recipient of the 2020 WXN Canada's Most Powerful Women Entrepreneur Award: Top 100, the Stevie® Award winner for Female Entrepreneur of the Year Canada; Employer Of The Year for Canadian Business which ranked her company 12th on Canadian Business 2020 Growth List -- making her the first Black Canadian woman in history to scale a 9-figure organization and sole female founder to be featured on the list. Janét is also a member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO), a participant with Concordia Leadership Council and a Global Goodwill Ambassador for the Global Goodwill Ambassadors Foundation.
Startup Canada - CEO
Kayla Isabelle has demonstrated incredible resilience and noteworthy leadership during 2020. Faced with taking leadership of both Startup Canada, Canada's Entrepreneurship Organization, on March 1st, 2020, and of the Innovators and Entrepreneur Foundation during a global pandemic, Kayla has not only sustained, but grown an event-based non-profit, and provided an extended reach to Canada's entrepreneurship community during one of its most challenging years on record. Kayla began her journey as Executive Director getting a crash course in crisis management in her first two weeks as the new leader of Startup Canada. In the span of just a few days, she went from meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during Startup Canada's International Women’s Day event to discuss women's entrepreneurship, to dealing with perhaps the greatest economic crisis this country’s small businesses have confronted in generations. Startup Canada was able to retain 100% of their corporate partners by shifting traditionally conference-based events, digitally. By developing strategic partnerships with organizations like Google, Kayla led the charge on national digital programming, reaching the highest cohort of entrepreneurs on record. Kayla also amplified the organization's focus on social impact, sharing the stories, and providing resources for entrepreneurs aligning to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Ottawa Hair Loss Clinic & Wellness - Founder
Mikaella is an extraordinary individual she is very knowledgeable and has expertise in the Domaine of Trichologist. She has been helping hundreds of people with hair loss and scalp conditions. She is the first Trichologist clinic in Ottawa. She also formulated and developed a line of products to help the clients especially during those hard times. She deserves to
Be recognized for
All the good she has been doing for her clients.
Samantha Outhwaite - Co Founder of Saskatoon Dog Rescue, Founder of Kita's Promise
Despite growing up in poverty, and facing extreme abuse, Samantha has risen above her past to become one of the most influential young women in our community of Saskatoon, SK. As the founder at age 20 of one of the largest animal rescues in Saskatchewan, she now is working on her second non profit which focuses on the relationship between people with complex needs and rescue animals. She has also worked as a support worker/care aide in various orgs for the last 6 years, all while working on her degree in Therapeutic Recreation.
Green Hope Foundation - Founder President
Winner of the 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize, 20-year-old Kehkashan Basu is an iconic youth leader, global influencer, environmentalist, champion of women and children’s rights, TEDx speaker, Climate Reality Mentor, author, musician, peace, and sustainability campaigner. A Forbes30under 30 for Education and the first-ever Voices Youth Gorbachev-Schultz Legacy Award for her work on nuclear disarmament, Kehkashan is a United Nations Human Rights Champion, a National Geographic Young Explorer, an UN-Habitat Young City Champion, and the youngest ever Global Coordinator for the UN Environment Program’s Major Group for Children & Youth and one of Canada's Top25 Women of Influence. Kehkashan is the Founder President of the global social innovation enterprise Green Hope Foundation, which works at a grassroots level in 16 countries, empowering young people, especially those from vulnerable communities, in the sustainable development process and she has spoken at over 200 United Nations and other global fora. Through Green Hope, Kehkashan has directly empowered over 130,000 young people, mostly from vulnerable and marginalized communities in 25 countries.
Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC) - Vice President, Performance Excellence and Information Sergices
Jennifer has been a visionary leader in the Canadian healthcare sector for over 20 years. Jennifer has overseen countless, system-wide changes with a commitment to nurturing people and advancing patient safety while at the same time keeping performance, innovation, and sustainability at the forefront.
As Jennifer’s career has progressed, she has had a focused commitment to mentoring women (students, peers and colleagues). Jennifer has always made time to contribute to accelerating growth in others and helping create joy at work. She has inspired and supported many colleagues and mentees across the system in achieving their vision, by bridging their strategic functional expertise with landscape navigation to support them in obtaining their professional goals, all while improving value across the system. She was recently named as a Top 10 Women Leader in Digital Health by Digital Health Canada and continues to support women across the country in achieving their goals.
Black Mentorship Inc.. Black Mentorship Inc. (BMI) - Founder
Evangeline Chima is the driving force behind Black Mentorship Inc.
Black Mentorship Inc. (BMI). An organization that strengthens leadership opportunities for ALL People by connecting Black youths, professionals, and entrepreneurs at different stages of personal and professional growth with experienced mentors through a unique mentoring program.
She is the perfect example if lifting others through support and mentoring!
Auto Market Inc. - Founder, CEO
Kiruthika is 21 years old. She’s an entrepreneur, the founder, and CEO of AutoxMarket Inc, it’s an online marketplace for automotive shopping. Also, the founder of Aram Foundations which helps children in third world countries with their education needs. She’s a law student and very interested in global issues. She also received the award for Emerging Leader by CSPN 2020.
Window Dreams Productions - Creative Director
Model turned writer, filmmaker, actress, and mental health advocate, Shreya Patel a voice to empower the voiceless. , she has dedicated her life to not only a professional career in film and the arts but also in social work. She is an honoree of the Women’s Achiever Award 2020 for Youth Leadership and CSPN’s Emerging Leader Award Under 35. She is also nominated for Forbes 30 under 30. A natural storyteller, she uses many of her diverse interests and impactful activism work in film projects. Her directorial debut, the documentary “Girl Up”, brings light to domestic violence and human trafficking in Toronto and has been partnered with TIFF to showcase at Civic Action Summit. During this pandemic, she has gathered over 65 countries on 6 different continents with over 100 casts and made a documentary called Unity showcasing the plight of the human spirit.
Women On Purpose - Founder
Cindy is a true Woman On Purpose. As a successful social justice attorney, she dedicated herself to uplifting, empowering, and promoting women to rise up together. While many people hid during the pandemic, Cindy shone. She showed up doing daily FB lives to uplift and inspire and had people around the world tune in to hear her messages of hope. She used her platforms to share free content, doing intensive free workshops and even offered much of her programing for free. She inspires women worldwide, empowering them to find and live into their purpose and passion. She helps women leverage their innate power to get what they want and deserve through her Art of Feminine Negotiation programs (because all of life is a negotiation). She’s an international speaker, award-winning author, master negotiator and world-class women’s empowerment coach, known for her passion, commitment and ability to inspire.
Tolko Industries Ltd. - VP, People & Services
Tanya is a passionate and authentic leader. She consistently relies on her strong values to guide her in all that she does. Her commitment to diversity and inclusion has earned her the respect of the forest industry. Her industry peers see Tolko (Tanya) as the industry leader and reach out to her regularly. Tanya openly shares with competitors, because it's not about being better as a company, it's about just being better. She is a role model at the company and beyond, fiercely advocating for women at every opportunity. The push for D&I in this traditional male-dominated industry is because of Tanya.
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.
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!
Unstoppable Tracy - 2019 Women of Inspiration Change Agent Award
Unstoppable Tracy - Expert on Disarming Limiting Beliefs, International Award-Winning Leader & Speaker, TV Host & Bestselling Author
A Woman of Inspiration fosters understanding and conviction. those around her know what’s expected of them and others and in this world and are compelled and influenced to agree because they feel a meaningful value to jump on board and activate change together. Unstoppable Tracy
You are going to be blown away …not only is she a powerhouse from an inspiration and motivational standpoint after over 50 million views 2019 this woman is also a powerhouse in business. TV Show host Unstoppable Tracy is a #1 international mega-success and TEDX speaker who spoke in 40+ countries. She has shared the stage and events with Dr. Phil, Jane Fonda, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Douglas, Mel Gibson, John Travolta and dozens of more A-listers! Her mind-blowing story always gets standing ovations pushing audiences out of their limitation zones to taking action.
Tracy has been in magazines such as in OPRAH’s “O” and Chatelaine and on covers like Thrive and in Business Booster Today as well as seen on ABC, BBC, CBC and many more globally around the world … As 2018/19's #1 Transformational Leader Global Female by the John Maxwell Team out of 160 countries… she has represented companies such as Air Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Uber in times of crisis …where Tracy became a major disruptor of normal, resulting in out-performing the stock market.
She has climbed the Himalaya Mountains and captained tall ships in the Eastern Atlantic and a decorated world cup athlete in a male-dominated sport of sailing who has lived as a Premier Awarded Humanitarian in developing countries such as Uganda, Nepal, Mexico and Jamaica to name only a few!!!
Tracy is both a Best-Selling Author on Amazon and with her Publisher of the book ‘Unstoppable YOU; Delivering the Limitless Secret’ endorsed by Cup of Chicken Soup for the Soul!
To top it all off... if she is not incredible enough in Business, as a Humanitarian, as a World Cup Sailor and a mountain climber … she was also born a 4-way amputee with no hands and no legs, no problem.