2020 Women of Inspiration Nominees

2020 Women of Inspiration Nominees

Congratulations on being nominated as a Women of Inspiration who leads, inspires and motivates others to greatness!

Nominations open January 1, 2020, across Canada!


By nominating her, you are honouring her accomplishments, contributing to her legacy, validating her hard work and her contribution to the workplace. You are helping her see her worth and unknowing impact. You are taking action to SupportHER™, elevating role models to be recognized on a local, national and global level.

Your nomination empowers an inspiring woman through:

  • Local, national, and global exposure
  • Additional media and PR coverage
  • Connections with other like-minded, influential leaders
  • Opportunities to create change on a larger stage
  • Elevating her business, building her legacy as a leader in her industry
  • Recognition for her achievements and journey, and
  • Increasing her circle of influence, inspiring the next generation of leaders.

When you nominate, the ripple effect is far-reaching!


Marc Bombenon

SureCall - Chairman

He has been a supporter of the women not only in his organization but also in other organizations to help build and teach them all they need to know about business. He also is a support of the Hero Girls program which is a program specifically designed to help women and young girls to help them achieve an education. His support and advocation in women entrepreneurs is the reason why I would like to nominate him.

Caitlynne Medrek

YYC PRINCESS - Owner/Fairy Godmother

Every day Caitlynne wakes up with the dream to inspire more children. She believes they are the future of our world and deserve to be seen, heard and told they can do anything they put their mind too - of course, anyone can nurture a child in that way, but the creative and hands on ways that Caitlynne does it are what make her special. Caitlynne runs summer camps, teaches art, writes original musicals, plans events all over the city, runs charities and works with Dreams Take Flight, Make a Wish, Children's Wish, Children's Hospital, Enmax, Calaway Park, Storybook Theatre, Calgary Public Library and more - all while maintaining a strong acting career in film and theatre! She played Ewan McGregor's daughter in Fargo Season 3, and won the Betty Mitchell award for Outstanding Actress in a musical for Billy Elliot at Theatre Calgary.

Natasha Smith

Miller Thomson LLP - Law Partner, Social Impact Group

Natasha is a partner in Miller Thomson’s Social Impact Group, a practice dedicated to providing legal advise to charities and non-profits. Natasha is a member of the Black Female Lawyers network, the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL) and participates in many other organizations. Natasha is a regular mentor of black law students looking for career guidance and professional development, particularly as it pertains to securing employment on Bay Street. Natasha is a co-founding member of Miller Thomson’s Black History Month Committee, established in 2019, which aims to highlight the successes of black Canadians both internally and externally as well as bring awareness to matters surrounding diversity and inclusion. Natasha has worked diligently to achieve her "partner" status and at the age of 33 is the youngest black female partner on Bay Street. She is compassionate, fearless and loyal, a true woman of inspiration!

Mikaella Celestin

Ottawa Hair Loss Clinic & Wellness - CEO

Mikaella is making a massive difference in Canada with Trichology. She is the first black owned operated Trichology clinic in Canada. She been helping peoples regaining confidence and growing their hair back by applying only holistic approach. She also an incredible business woman managing different businesses.

Mani Mukhija

Virago Network - Founder & CEO

Mani has been doing exemplary work in the field of women empowerment through her initiative of building a community of women professionals. The initiative is called- "The Virago Network". Her vision is to build a supportive international community of professional women, industry leaders and corporates from diverse industries to strengthen and improve the status of women in our society. She has been working hard to build a platform for Mentorship, Professional Guidance & Support that includes emotional support as well. She is putting efforts to connect with industry leaders and shine a spotlight on Female leaders & Entrepreneurs in order to create the Archetype of Women as Leaders who can then turn role models for the generations to follow. She has also been interviewed and recognized for her women empowerment initiative in United States on a TV show called Queen City Fame on the ONCHANNEL.(Episode 9 features her.)

Nikki Woodlief

Gauss Surgical - Market Development Manager

Nikki Woodlief is a Market Development Manager for Gauss Surgical. She is an inspiring leader and has placed a much needed spotlight on Maternal Health in her field. Gauss Surgical’s Triton is the technology she represents that monitors blood loss in real-time. The system allows us to recognize postpartum hemorrhage early and provide rapid intervention leading to better patient care. Her dedication is unrivaled in the field of healthcare. I am proud that she is a partner for our facility and has been with us every step of the way to revolutionize how we take care of our patients.

Megan Ledarney

The Extensionist - Owner

I am continuously amazed at the commitment and dedication Megan puts into her business. It is extremely contagious listening to her positivity about life and people. When Megan was in Junior High she was diagnosed with Trichotillomania, also known as hair pulling disorder or compulsive hair pulling. It is a mental disorder characterized by a long-term urge that results in the pulling out of one's hair. Megan’s case was extreme, and caused her to pull out all of the hair on the top of her head. Megan experienced extreme bullying in school because of this so she decided to leave before she could graduate. At the age of 24 Megan opened her first extension salon in Edmonton, She developed an amazing unique extension technique (Voguepearl), which would later gain national exposure in the beauty industry. Megan received her Trichology license at the US Institute of Trichology, governed by the American Medical Association in 2019, she is dedicated to helping men and women understand their hair loss issues and provide solutions to help restore confidence. There is no stopping this lady, she has ideas and is constantly planning her next moves. In the near future she is taking her organization on the journey of community involvement through working with animal adoption agencies, cancer victims and empowering women.

Ariane Roberto

Ary - Singer/Songwriter

Ary is an excellent role model. She sings in English, French, Hindi, Tamil, and can hold her own with Italian and German as well, Her live performances are remarkable, and I think she really shows young people that they can do anything with enough hard work and determination! We have performed in multiple shows together, she has raised the bar for all the performers each and every time, and I think she absolutely deserves a Woman of Inspiration Award!

Meseret Haileyesus

CEO, President Canadian Center for Women’s Empowerment, Maternity Today and Owner Nacre Organics

Meseret Haileyesus regarded as a pioneer and innovator as well as a passionate advocate for gender equality, safe motherhood and social justice. She has made a measurable impact over the past 15 years as a passionate advocate for all those affected with domestic violence survivors in our community. Meseret has had the honor of assisting many pregnant African women through the amazing journey of pregnancy, childbirth, and new motherhood. She is an advocate for universal, equitable access to high-quality midwifery care, reproductive health rights, and strategies to reinforce the reproductive health components of health sector reform programs in developing countries. She has also frequently been asked to speak at presentations to the community as well as to appear as the subject of a variety of women empowerment initiatives – Her contribution to others becomes all the more impressive when you consider the many challenges that she ha self has endured over the years. She mentored women-owned businesses, emerging leaders and provided opportunities to marginalized groups in the Edmonton and Ottawa communities in Canada. She is one of the 100 Most Accomplished Black Women In Canada. She has also directly and personally raised money for domestic violence survivors and homeless in Ottawa, Canada.

Sabina Wex

Sabina Wex Consulting - Founder and CEO

Sabina has dedicated herself to promoting women in business as her career. She's only 24, but she has created a PR consulting business that is successful BECAUSE it uplifts other women in the process. She works so hard to make sure that the women she works for are seen as they truly are, whether that be women in STEM, women breaking barriers in tech or women entrepreneurs. She helps all her clients reach the people they need to speak to through her excellent relationship with media, like CP24, Refinery29 or The Globe and Mail.

Selene Vakharia


Selene works tirelessly to lift up business women in Northern Canada, thanks to her work of creating SMRT Women, a community of female entrepreneurs that help each other get unstuck so they can create profitable and sustainable businesses they love. Selene does her work out Whitehorse, but she is now bringing it to women across Canada with her online academy to help women across Canada (and around the world!) start, grow and love their businesses.

Cindy Gray

5 Quarters Investor Relations - Managing Director, CEO & Founder

Cindy is an inspiring female entrepreneur and community leader. Cindy founded and has built a successful Investor Relations business utilizing her more than 18 years’ experience in investor relations and capital markets. In addition, to founding her firm she has held senior and executive positions at a number of public companies, and globally led business development for one of the TSX & TSX Venture Exchange practice groups. She has been involved in the design and execution of tactical and strategic communications programs across multiple industries, including technology, natural resources, real estate, and financial services. Cindy holds an MBA from the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business, is a member of TEC Canada and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Discovery House, a Calgary-based non-profit organization that offers integrated residential and community services for abused women and children.

Jenna Lessner

Simply Nurtured - Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant

Jenna Lessner is a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant who goes above and beyond for her clients. After her own 130-pound weight loss Jenna became passionate about nutrition and helping other individuals improve their health and longevity. Jenna focuses her work around emotional eating and body positivity coaching which allows her to help her clients get to the root of their issues with food. Many of Jenna’s clients see the positive effects of her nutrition coaching ripple out into every facet of their lives, empowering them to live their very best life.

Lindsay MacNevin

Women Who Explore - Founder

Lindsay is an inspiration. The kind of woman that makes you believe in following impossible dreams. Lindsay has built a community and inspired thousands of women through her message of, “ you can, we can, together.” By founding Women Who Explore Lindsay has opened doors for countless women to pursue their dreams and follow their hearts. I am nominating her because I believe, as do numerous others, that she deserves recognition for the work she has done to build and grow a powerful and positive female presence in the outdoor/travel industry.

Jaime Moore

Jaime Moore (Jaime Moore Photography) - Founder

Jaime Moore is an incredible woman who has dedicated her career to inspiring young women across the world with her BOLD and INSPIRING photography. She has taken the world by storm with her portrayals of her young daughter in poses and ensembles that resemble the world's most inspiring women, showing that every girl can accomplish great things like the women who have paved paths to inclusion and innovation.

Desiree Bombenon

SureCall - CEO

Desiree is the epitome of a woman supporter. She has taken an industry and made it into something completely different in how we view what we do. Desiree has also taken on global efforts in helping women and young girls in areas that would not normally have the support through her Hero Girls program. She lifts other women up within the organization and is always wanting to better the world wherever she can.

Gina Perrault

Restorative Sports Therapy - Founder/Phyisotherapist

Gina Perrault is a Living Inspiration to all who are blessed to be a part of her mission: To aspire to be our healthiest by accepting and loving who we are by nourishing our lives with Self Care, Self Love, Self Compassion and Self Passion. Gina’s strong calling to empower our youth has also led her to become an integral team member of the Orenda Society and a passionate mentor to her youth clients. As a physiotherapist, Gina is an integral part of the formation of many young athletes and her direction and guidance has allowed our youth to navigate through the highs and lows of competitive sports which has allowed them to grow into confident young men and women who serve as positive role models for their peers. Gina’s inspirational seeds will only keep growing in the lives of so many.

Tara Vasdani

Remote Law Canada - Principal Lawyer and Founder

Tara has been a role model to women in the legal industry and beyond throughout her career. In 2019, she was featured in Forbes as she championed the remote work movement and encouraged women aspiring to attain leadership positions to achieve work-life balance, through the use of technology, and effective remote work arrangements. Through numerous speaking engagements alongside Microsoft, Datto, and RBC, Tara has drawn significant attention to the use of technology and artificial intelligence in business and law practice. In 2019, Tara was interviewed across every CBC news station in Ontario, with respect to her innovative approach to litigation. In 2018 and 2019, she was nominated for Canadian Lawyer's Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers. Tara has been an influential force to young lawyers, and remains active in her community as a mentor to the SAWL program and through publishing articles for Canadian Lawyer, HR Insider, and The Lawyer's Daily.

Shana Perkins

Capital City Condors - Co-Founder and General Manager

She’s tireless, she gives and gives, and sacrifices for the benefit of others. She Co-founded and is the General Manager of what has grown to be the largest adapted hockey program in the world! Young people and adults with special needs, and their families benefit each day from her extraordinary dedication and compassion. In addition, while having four kids of her own, she adopted two young sisters, providing for them a home and loving family. So as a Mom to six kids, from 5-32 years old, Grandma and consistent baby-sitter to 4 little ladies 4 years old and under, wife, daughter, sister, sign-language interpreter, there’s not enough room to explain why she deserves this!

Linda Lefebvre

Linda Lefebvre - Mother

Linda is an amazing lady who helped her son, Tysen, raise over a million dollars for Make A Wish of Eastern Ontario! She has worked tirelessly, behind the scenes to enable and support her son to achieve this incredible goal. She is truly an unsung hero.

Monique Auffrey

Discovery House Violence Preventation Society - CEO

Monique is a trusted national leader in the non-profit sector and a significant contributor to international advisory Boards. Monique sits on the Alberta Family Violence Death Review Committee and was invited to participate in the National Housing Strategy Round Table in Ottawa. She is the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Organization of Social Workers and an Advisory Board Member of the Global Institute of Social Workers. As a published author, Monique’s work influences policy on social work, housing and homelessness. Monique completed her Masters of Social Work degree at Dalhousie University in 2003, receiving several awards for her commitment to social justice, human rights and bettering the lives of women and children. Monique’s early career began in Halifax in progressively responsible positions of social worker, master field worker, crisis team worker and Executive Director at Family Services of Support. This lead to a move to Alberta in 2013, where she joined The Alex Community Health Centre in Calgary as Program Manager. She also initiated a successful transformative change management program. Monique joined Discovery House as Director of Programs in 2015, overseeing Canada’s first Housing First program in the domestic violence sector as well as the shelter program for women and children. Monique has brought her dynamism and passion to the role of Executive Director since April 2016.

Shelley Visser

Front door investments - Mentor

Shelley is one amazing woman. She mentors women through her business front door investments and helps them achieve great things. She runs a real estate business and teaches others how to do what she has done. She has raised her two children on her own and has been thrown some major tragedies in her life and shares her stories to help others. She is the first to step up when others need help. She is one in a million. Shelley goes above and beyond every single day. Currently, she is going out of her comfort zone and starting her own podcasts/videos and they are not only inspiring but help others with many different facets of life.

Candice Bell

Self Love Renovation - Owner/Founder

Candice leads by example. She goes above and beyond with every event she plans and supports women in business creating courses and meeting with women to build their business. She lives what she teaches. I am grateful for all she does.

Sharon Vinderine

PTPA Media Inc. - CEO

For creating a program that is based on positively impacting the lives of the communities that we work within. Sharon has changed the way consumers make purchasing decisions but has also made sure to positively change the idea that you don't get something for nothing. With Sharon's company, in fact, you do.

Maya Corona

Maya Corono Art - Owner, Magic Colour Maker

Maya. Maya is an amazing woman who, at the age of 27, moved to Canada not knowing any English, to attend school in BC. Since then, she has started a successful graphic design and branding business with her husband. However, it is her most recent commitment to being her true self that inspires me every single day. This is her commitment to building her watercolor painting workshops and career as an artist. She is unlike anyone I've ever met - committed to her work, her children, her students. She is creative beyond belief and always willing to lift someone's soul when they are doubting their own artistry. She is pure light and helps other people discover the power of their own colors.

Brandi Leifso

Evio Beauty - Founder/CEO

Brandi is an incredibly inspiring entrepreneur, and her journey is filled with resilience, hustle and kindness. At the age of 21, Brandi was living in a women's shelter where she founded the concept for a beauty company. Now she is one of the youngest female CEOs in Toronto (Canada) with a company valued in the millions. She started the company with just $15 in her pocket, taught herself Photoshop (via YouTube) to create a catalog of her brand and products that didn’t event exist yet. Through this she secured thousands of orders, and was able to start her first company. Since then, she has raised millions through strategic alliances to launch Evio Beauty in 2019. Evio is a judgment-free zone where beauty builds community fueled by kindness to encourage everyone to do the right thing, even when no one is looking. Evio’s line of cosmetics and skincare products are affordable, inclusive, vegan, cruelty free, gluten free and paraben-free, and that are ethically and consciously produced. The company also works to create a kinder future with products and packaging that use good-for-you, sustainable ingredients including cannabis sativa seed oil, avocado, rosemary, rosehip and elderberry, in order to eliminate animal by-products, increase ingredient transparency and reduce the use of plastic.

Geri Greenall

Spartan Delta Corp. - Chief Financial Officer

Geri’s ambition, intelligence, network and significant accomplishments complement precisely the stellar community of potential recipients. Geri has demonstrated strong female leadership and made incredible contributions to the business community (across multiple sectors including energy, technology, finance and political), providing significant impact to many organizations and boards, and making her highly deserving of the honour and opportunity bestowed by the Universal Womens Network. Geri currently is the Chief Financial Officer of Spartan Delta Corp. Prior thereto she co-founded and was a Portfolio Manager at a wealth management firm. She is also currently an Independent Director on Kelt Exploration’s Ltd. Board (a publicly traded energy company) and serves her community as a Director on both Discovery House Violence Prevention Society and Providence School boards.

Carolina Bessega

Stradigi AI - Chief Scientific Officer & Co-Founder

Coming from Venezuela over 10 years ago, Carolina Bessega, has had a meteoric rise as the co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Stradigi AI. Carolina has established Stradigi AI as a Canadian leader in the AI field. She leads a team of over 30 PhDs, having developed over multiple algorithms and published papers. She presents from the unique perspective of being a female CSO and co-founder of an AI solutions provider, developing a cutting edge AI platform for enterprises and governments. Carolina’s role in building a diverse and inclusive workforce at Stradigi AI is a true example of her impact as a trailblazing leader. More than 35% of the team at Stradigi AI are women, which is above average in the tech industry. The research team’s high percentage of women is a result of and testament to her focus on women in STEM.

Tara Clark

Social T. - Founder & CEO

It is my honour to recommend Tara Clark, Founder and CEO of Social T., for the Canadian Business Chicks Woman of Influence. Every day that I am a part of Tara’s powerhouse team of creative women, I have been continuously learning from her. Even when I make mistakes, Tara turns them into valuable learning opportunities and guides me back on track. As a female entrepreneur, Tara’s passion for empowering those around her has been the driving force in everything she does, from collaborating with other female founders to mentoring future leaders. In addition to her knowledge and expertise in all things social media, it is her determination and positive attitude that inspires me the most. Even with her extensive list of to-dos, she is always more than happy to offer genuine guidance and honest feedback, whether it’s a team member brainstorming new content ideas or a client seeking marketing advice. Without a doubt, anyone who has worked for Tara before can see that she is truly passionate about and committed to the success of her clients and team. A dedicated, empowering, and inspirational mentor and leader, I am confident in recommending Tara Clark for this esteemed award.

Priscilla Kosseim

BDO Canada LLP - Senior Consultant

Priscilla believes that supporting women through their educational and professional paths is the road that will lead them to progress to leadership positions in the business world. In 2016-17, Priscilla founded and led Carleton Women in Business (CUWIB), a not-for-profit organization that seeks to empower women by bringing awareness to the discrepancies present in women’s rights, equality and social justice. She articulates issues in health, education and entrepreneurship in both public and private sectors as they relate to economic and social development. Today, Priscilla oversees the allocation of the budget and provides advisory services to the executive team as the Chair of board’s association. She is also well-versed in translating the company’s missions and goals into operating plans with clear benchmarks and annual objectives. Priscilla also oversees two additional not-for-profits as a board member. The first, OurWrite, strives to build, maintain and support female-centric schools and community centres. These centres focus on providing young girls in developing nations the opportunity to learn. Specifically, girls get the chance to build basic skills such as, reading, writing, and comprehension. In the future, these basic building blocks ensure their long-term employment and economic well-being. The second, United World Alliance, serves to facilitate the harmonious integration of immigrants into our multicultural society by fostering friendships between young people from here and elsewhere. UWA further believes that helping young immigrants to participate in recurring group activities, sportive or cultural, is an excellent way to foster their integration into our mores and into our way of life.

Devina Kaur

Sexy Brilliant Global Revolution - Founder/CEO

Devina Kaur is the founder of The Sexy Brilliant ™ Global Revolution. A fun-loving, flamboyant straight-talker born and raised in India, she’s a North America based author, filmmaker, researcher, philanthropist, and media personality. As a full time student of life, Devina the relentless optimist is out to share the teachings through the trademaked K.A.U.R. process with the world and empower herself and others in loving their bodies and themselves from the inside out. She currently resides in Montreal, Canada with her clever eight year old and various fur babies. You can find her and her powerful message of self-love, empowerment, and confidence anytime at www.sexybrilliant.com. The mission of SEXY BRILLIANT™ Foundation is to remove toxic shame and create a world of more happiness.

Chelsea Fournier

Chelsea Buns Cross Stitch - Owner

Chelsea Fournier has quickly established herself as a great small business owner in the Ottawa Canada area. Through her love of her hobby she is trying to inspire other women to become their own badass selves through her Stitch Mafia logo and designs. She is also attempting to make crafting, which is traditionally not very avante garde to be current and "cool" again.
The more significant part of her mission is to keep needle arts relevant and interesting so that future generations can benefit from these crafts.

Melissa Gilpin

Honors Psychology Student - going into final year @ UOttawa

Nestled in the beauty of the boreal forest, in sub-arctic Quebec, lies the ancient village, Waskaganish. From this historic location is an outstanding young lady, Melissa Gilpin. She has an incredible story of resilience, determination, and courage. Melissa continues to move through her journey, transforming the tragic situations she has experienced in her short life. In the face of rare adversity, which included the loss of her beloved son, and followed by a severe and life threatening decline in her health which led to many interruptions of her pursuit of higher education, she refused to allow depression or negative influences to make her choices for her. With a positive attitude, Melissa worked very hard to redirect her life after each experience, choosing not to succumb to these tragedies but to get through each one. Melissa is able to use her exceptional inner strength to draw on these lessons in order to offer inspiration to others: one-to-one informal discussion or in front of an audience. She is passionate about mental health awareness and volunteering. In addition, she is interested in Indigenous issues -Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and girls, quality education, and clean drinking water for Indigenous children.

Jen Hamlin

Bow River Solutions Inc - CEO & Sr. Predictive Analytics Professional

Jen has become a leader in the IT community in regards Business Intelligence, Predictive Analytics and Artificial Intelligence. Jen has become a icon on how smart solutions are applied to companies and how those solutions can help companies Jen started Bow River Solutions since 2005 and has delivered hundreds of dashboards, reporting solutions, planning and forecasting projects, data warehouses and data integrations, and more. Jen fell in love with Business Intelligence, before the term was even coined, in the era of basic data display and drag-and-drop reports. Now, many years later, the possibilities are endless for enabling business with self-serve data visualization and predictive analytics and we are delighted to be among the leaders in our industry. Jen's team is proud to be known for going the extra mile to make sure our clients’ expectations are exceeded, not just met.

Deanna Werklund

Emergenetics Canada - CEO

For years Emergentics has been in the US, Asia and Europe but they were never able to find someone good enough to carry their brand in Canada… that is until they met Deanna. She had to go through an intensive, arduous interview process and only then were they confident enough to have her purchase the rights. Deanna is a born leader and very successful entrepreneur and philanthropist. She simultaneously runs Emergenetics, the registered charity Empowering Minds, attends and donates to numerous other charities in this city all while also being a part-time student at AU Arts (Formerly ACAD) in glass blowing. Deanna is an innovator, imaginative, intuitive about ideas, a visionary all while being relational, socially aware, empathic and intuitive about people. She is also a well rounded business women by having the qualities of being a clear/practical thinker and logical problem solver. She is a woman of inspiration.

Kashlee Kucheron

Travel off the path - Global influencer award

Kashlee has it all “seemingly” she was a successful realtor, lived in an amazing home, drove an expensive car had crazy expensive clothes and lived a lavish lifestyle but something was missing from her life. She was young successful and had life in the Palm of her hand. Then it unravelled bit by bit. She dug her way out - met the man of her dreams and they ended up selling 90% of what they own and started traveling the world. She started a hobby travel blog which ended up becoming a business because she found a niche that people needed. Her honesty and down to earth attitude and light hearted approach to writing has made her a author of a best selling book. She now works for BOSSBABE in California but gets to travel the world and is a sought after by many travel companies for her uncanny skill for telling what the tourist needs to know. She is a force to be reckoned with. Plus she is willing to share with anyone and everyone and wants to give back.

Diksha Deo


Diksha is the Founder, CEO at INCUBSENCE and serves on its Board of Directors. She is a renowned technology and motivational speaker and has given 300+ talks. Awarded as Exceptional Woman of Excellence 2019 by Women's Economic Forum. She leads the development of Infrastructure platforms, analytical decision model & algorithms. The responsibility of delivering the software in INCUBSENCE’s innovative products. Diksha is a brain on INCUBSENCE’s efforts to minimize its impact on the environment by banning plastic on INCUBSENCE campus. She is also geared up for setting up a renewable energy roadmap on INCUBSENCE campus. She is ethically responsible for INCUBSENCE’s pledge policy programs for INCUBSENCE foundation. With 10+ years of experience, Diksha held several roles in many International and national organizations. Diksha holds a Master and a Bachelor of Computer Application degree from prominent Indian Universities. She won many prestigious awards during her Masters inclusive of Best All Rounder.

Jennifer Joseph

Jake’s House Charity - Chief Executive Officer

Jennifer Joseph is an extraordinary woman who leads by example. With So much courage, confidence, commitment, and integrity, she inspires all who work with her to go that little bit further, She works helping individuals affected by autism reach their god given potential. As a friend in the same type of work she inspires me to do go that extra bit and do as much as possible to help these children I deal with. She is a true role model to myself in making this world a better place.

Kalynn Crump

ReBLOOM - Founder/CEO

Kalynn Crump is working to reduce waste from the Canadian event industry, and is quickly becoming one of Canada’s top sustainability entrepreneurs. Kalynn is not only giving event florals a second life, bringing joy to 30,000+ people in seniors living homes, shelters and hospitals, she has also diverted 43 tons of floral waste from landfills to date. In 2014, Kalynn launched ReBLOOM - Canada’s leading innovator in re-purposing and composting event florals + greenery that would otherwise end up being improperly thrown out. Servicing all of Canada, ReBLOOM converts event florals into bouquets of happiness by donating them to a charity of choice in a company/person’s name; they then re-collect the bouquets to compost them properly in order to reduce environmental waste.

Michaela Alexis

Michaela Alexis - Owner / Speaker

Michaela is an extremely extraordinary woman! She has been shaking up a professional social media platform called LinkedIn as one of the FIRST millennial viral creators. She has shared her wild journey as a budding marketer, hungry for success, with all of the highs and lows which provides the world with the authenticity it seriously needs.

Jessie Lawrence

Camp Ohana - Co-Founder/Director

I'm nominating Jessie Lawrence for the Youth Excellence award because of the significant strides she has made for LGBTQ+ youth locally, provincially and nationally. She began at the age of 13 by founding GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) group in her junior high school, Corner Brook intermediate. Upon meeting similarly minded youth she found that the west coast of Newfoundland was lacking in support and resources for LGBTQ+ youth, so she and 2 of her peers endeavored to create the first ever LGBTQ+ camp for youth ages 14-18 years on the West Coast (held in Gros Morne). The creation of Camp Ohana has helped support many youth who may have been struggling with their gender identity or sexual orientation, it has been a huge success and is well attended each summer by youth from across Newfoundland and Labrador. The camp is entering its 3rd summer in 2020, each time bigger and better to meet the needs of youth. Jessie has gone on to speak at provincial LGBTQ+ conferences across Newfoundland, as well as being a presenter at the OUTshine conference held in Fredericton. Jessie shares her personal story of struggle, harassment, and bullying, showing how she has been able to channel those experiences to ensure other youth do not experience the same type of negativity simply for being themselves.

Chantal Carter

Love & Nudes - Founder

I would like to nominate Chantal, whom I believe is worthy of being recognized as a Woman of Inspiration. Chantal is a woman of colour who exemplifies the meaning of don't let anything stop you on your path to empowerment! She saw a need for all women of colour, to have the basic undergarments needed for their skin tone, so they may dress with confidence and style, and then put her idea into action. Chantal researched and traveled to find the best materials needed to create the garments she visioned. She had worked as a single mother for many years, in the fashion industry as a stylist. I was fortunate to work with Chantal for a duration of time as she explored a different path, to help with her finances. I even had the pleasure of coordinating her wedding day 9 years ago! Chantal is a woman who knows what she wants, and knows how to go after it, all the while inspiring those around her to do the same! Her vision for Love & Nudes has grown substantially and brought her to be on Dragon's Den and even won over a few of the Dragon's. Chantal inspires women of colour to not be afraid of their colour, but to embrace it and show it off to the world! In my heart, I believe Chantal is a fantastic candidate for the Women of Inspiration Awards.

Dr Caroline Makaka

Ladies Of All Nations International - Founder ceo

Dr Caroline Makaka is a well determined & vigorous individual, yet pleasantly calm, She reflects a varied personality including ambition and the qualities of generosity & thoughtfulness. Her mission is to connect cultures and help underprivileged communities. She is very dedicated to unite cultures under one roof for a great cause & fund initiatives that empower the most vulnerable women and children around the world. She is a Founder of Ladies of all nations international. Ladies Of All Nations International is a global organisation operates world wide chiefly to bring nations together under the umbrella of humanity with the ultimate goal being to support and uplift the under privileged in various communities. LOANI is now covering 88 Countries Worldwide promoting Diversity & Inclusiveness covering ALL aspects of Equality & Diversity - including age, race, gender, sexuality, religion, disability etc

Nancy John

Seed Leadership - Founder / Owner

Nancy is an incredible woman that leads with love and helps to support, empower, and coach women to succeed in their career goals.

Krista Malden

Community Now! Magazine - Publisher

I'm nominating the Founder, Publisher of Community Now! Magazine. From the moment we met her passion and commitment has been unwavering. Krista loves people and their stories. Community Now! Magazine focuses on Community, Education, Business & Innovation. Personally, as the Community Connector for We Are Calgary these elements are key in our city. Highlighting and bringing more awareness to how this is happening around us and the value of its contribution, needed more attention and she is bringing us the stories This improves day to day life, and our economy. She is grassroots with a focus to expand globally taking on content to expand in her first year of publication. It inspires me to continue to connect Calgary and learn more about the stories in our own backyard and how they contribute globally.

Giti Caravan

Caravan Counselling - Psychotherapist, Trainer, Author, and Master coach

Giti Caravan has changed so many people's lives for better, she has been able to make rapid changes. She has been able to take people out from clinical depression in an amazingly fast way. she is an author, and she has been to treat stature in one session.

Sheri Majdpour

The Golden Crown Group of Canada - CEO & Founder

Sheri is a phenomenal woman who not only owns Canadian businesses such as The Golden Crown Group of Canada, she is the chair of the United Nations Foundation, as well as the silent auction leader for the McMichael Canadian Art Exhibit annually. Sheri is the founder and chair of the Iranian Canadian Business Expo, where she works with thousands of business owners and leaders to integrative business solutions. Sheri is an incredible example for woman all over the world in creating and reinforcing women in business and giving back to the community.

Anna Khan

The Consulting House - Consultant

Anna Khan, renowned speaker and consultant at The Consulting House. Anna helps women in business understand how to create more wealth and power for themselves and their family. Anna is a mother, and entrepreneur, and still finds time to help integrate people in the business community. She is inspiring, and loves to connect other powerful business owners in Canada.

Kirsten Ashe

Ripple Creatives - Director of Client Services

Kirsten is a driven entrepreneur and business woman. She left her comfort zone of living in Winnipeg to move Toronto and follow her dreams of making an impact in the corporate world. She had a steady job in the print industry but took a leap to design a company that focused on corporate wellness - hosting workshops in many different corporate offices. She now has another self made business, that has gone through the twists and turns that many entrepreneurs endure, and works in creative design to a ad development company. She has always been an inspiration to me, because of her drive, her sense of humour and her ambition.

Isis Argote

Alberta Health Services - Logistics Coordinator

Isis is a brilliant woman who works in our Health Care system, she was brought in to clean up a file that had become a bit of a mess - she was diligent in making the necessary changes and now manages the logistics needed for supporting the health of children in Calgary. I had the pleasure of getting to know her in high school, but more deeply in university. As the VP Communications of the Women of Leadership Club at the University of Calgary, Isis effectively engaged universities students in breaking news around issues that affect women. She also oversaw the e-newsletter and social media of this group, with her leadership this club reached thousands of students and shaped the outreach of the club. This passion has continued in her work today, she is a stand up colleague and a friend that I have always been able to turn to for support - both professionally and personally.

Louise Reid

Louise H Reid - Coach, Radio Host, Author

Louise focuses on uplifting other women and creating an environment that leaves them and others in a positive manner. With her internal global radio station, she high lights ordinary people doing extraordinary things, coaching and empowering women, to become the true version of themselves. She also leads panels or has been a guest on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Co-Founder of the 'Feminary' in Ottawa. A place for business women. She also volunteers to help new immigrants coming to Canada to find work and help with the cultural barriers that might come. A spokeswoman for young girls for equality in sports. With all this, she is a loving mother of four boys and an equal partner in her marriage with her husband. Always looking to help others and make the world a better place for this generation and the next one to come. This woman lives by example.

Sharon Zehavi

Sex Up Your Brand - Branding Strategist

Sharon immigrated to Canada after her house was bombed. She moved on her own and created a business here. She is now an international speaker and coach and she has her own TV segment. She just won an award for her chapter in the internationally best selling book series "Empowering Women to Succeed". She volunteers in non-profit organizations in Canada and in Europe. She is the most motivating and creative woman I know. And she is also a mom to an almost 2 year old baby!

Laura Grant

Alberta Bike Swap - Founder

The Alberta Bike Swap, founded by Laura Grant and her husband Chris Grant, aims to provide a fun, safe, affordable and accessible alternative to buying or selling a bicycle. This non-profit organization disrupted the status quo by providing a novel approach and much-needed venue for the reuse of quality bikes. On one end, as a very intelligent analytic techie with a great passion for cycling, Laura was able to see what type of infrastructure and education Alberta needs from a technical perspective. On the other hand, Laura’s kindness and selflessness have caused a rippling effect to inspire many more to participate in and organize bike swaps locally and globally. They donated bikes and funded organizations like Women in Need Society (WINS) and Bicycles for Humanity to increase accessibility to ready-to-ride bikes in communities in need in Canada. Alberta Bike Swap envisions a sustainable future where Albertans are cycling more. The business model will continue to evolve to match what Albertans need. They will continue to fill the gap between the current knowledge of cycling safely, education and law enforcement, as well as providing the necessary infrastructure and skills training needed to achieve a green and healthy future.

Dianah Kamande


Dianah has continuously and relentlessly advocated for widows rights in Kenya and made sure they are economically empowered. Through her organization, she has used her experience as a gender-based-violence survivor to advocate against gender based violence.

Ronke Edoho

Lose it Nigeria/9jafoodie - Owner at Lose it Nigerian

Ronke is amazing in what she is doing in the fitness and wellness industry. She is changing lives one meal at a time. She is very creative and knowledgeable about food combinations that are nutritious and keeping the weight off. She is helping lots of people get their health back and on track. She makes her clients understand that carbohydrates are not the challenge in a weight loss journey, but its the combination with other ingredients and the quantity. She works this all out in her meal plans. I would like her to be recognized as a game changer. She is changing lives one meal at a time. Building a community of healthier people. She is very passionate about helping her community with her time and knowledge through creative and nutritious meal plans.

Sandy Rao

Sandy Rao Therapy and Sandy Rao Events - Owner/CEO - Registered Psychotherapist

A firecracker for vibrancy, energy and ability to shine light on the issues that matters, Sandy wears many hats with compassion and integrity. Expert in Mental Health and Addictions, Consultant, Researcher, Preceptor, Clinician and CEO of her two businesses, her signature “good karma sessions” are noteworthy for people get access to care regardless of their financial status, and to have technology enabled options. To reduce health inequities for marginalized groups both home and abroad helped set up charitable fund for girls’ education and a small clinic for women in rural India. Her artisan Events business focus on celebrating milestones in one’s life that we often don't celebrate in order to change the discourse around what really matters in a life well-lived. Recipient of Leadership, Creative Disruptive, Innovator awards and nominations for Notable Young professionals, Women Achievers of Canada, UWN and DDS, at DDS, Toronto, Sandy was recognized as Women Achiever.

Margarita Simkin

INKAS® Armored Vehicle Manufacturing - Executive Chairwoman

Margarita is the co-founder of INKAS® Armored Vehicle Manufacturing. Over the past 25 years, she has built numerous successful businesses from scratch and continually brings strategic expertise to all companies under the INKAS® brand. She has professionally orchestrated INKAS® scalability to the international market, resulting in exponential growth in capital. In 2000, she expanded INKAS® Financial’s ATM operations into the United Kingdom. Within five years, INKAS® Financial was acquired by TRM Ltd, and all the revenue from this operation was reinvested into developing the INKAS® brand in Canada. Under Margarita's leadership, INKAS® has gone global and established mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders in the African, Southeast Asian and Latin American markets. However, she prioritizes remaining a Canadian company, creating jobs within Ontario, and benefiting the Canadian economy with 80% of revenue coming from export markets. She sits on numerous boards, and actively advocates diversity and gender-equality full-time, both within the company and externally.

Liliana Segal

Green Chair Recycling - Owner and operator

Liliana’s sheer determination as an entrepreneur has shown that ethical waste management companies owned and operated by women belong in our economy. In 2009, Liliana began Green Chair Recycling (GCR) with the dream of ensuring community events did not negatively impact the environment. She had the foresight, courage and enthusiasm to ignore the many nay-sayers telling her it was impossible, that no one would pay for such a service and in the beginning they were right; Liliana faced many events who would not pay. To demonstrate responsible waste management was possible for large events, Liliana and volunteers delivered their services for free. She was determined to change the event industry and she did! Presently, most municipalities in the Lower Mainland now require a thorough waste management plan and a handful of healthy competition has joined the industry. She created a market where there was none and brought the educational and behavioral change our community needed. As a social enterprise, GCR visits approximately 120 schools per year to discuss waste minimization and recycling with students free of charge. Liliana is a mother of four boys and still managed to recycle over 170,000 kg of materials since 2011.

Lyndsie Barrie

Fempreneurs - Business Coach

Lyndsie has created a fempreneur group, where she connects like minded women who are entrepreneurs or thinking about starting their own businesses and helps them reach their business goals. She is offering her time and expertise for free. She is creating a community and building relationships as well as holding people accountable and a space for women to explore and see what is possible for them.

Leslie Gang

Hindi's Libraries - Founder and CEO

Leslie is co-founder of an international nonprofit organization called Hindi's Libraries which donated new/gently used children's books to recipients around the world. Leslie hasn't had it easy, and she has showed all of us who know her just how easy it is to make a difference and an impact on the world. The organization was formed after a former coworker, English Teacher and mother of 5 little ones suddenly passed away in the summer of 2018. She convinced newly widowed dad Dovid (cofounder of the nonprofit) to channel his energy into this project and quickly they went on their way to create awesomeness. The organization has collected 80,000 books, partnered with 385 organizations spanning across all 50 states and internationally and joined forces with major companies such as Disney Publishing Worldwide, Avery Dennison, Barnes and Noble and more. Leslie is a force to be reckoned with and inspires EVERYONE she knows.

Sanchari Sen Rai

Education Consultants Canada (ECC) Inc. - Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

Sanchari Sen Rai is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of EDUCATION CONSULTANTS CANADA (ECC) INC. She is a mother, and a woman entrepreneur leading an all-women team that has helped thousands of international students work through the onerous process of applying to study in Canada. Being an immigrant herself, Sanchari believes it is vitally important and a social obligation for businesses to give back to the community all that one has learned and earned when one is in a position to do so to create empowering teams and individuals. Recently she has been awarded as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award winners (Entrepreneur Category). She has also been featured by Humber College alumni. She is making an impact on inspiring other young women who come here as international students and aspire to make a career for themselves and live the Canadian dream.

Jody Prendergast

White Rose Home Healthcare Agency - President and CEO

Jody Prendergast is an inspiration to women. She is the current CEO/President of White Rose Home Healthcare Agency and is leading with tact and diplomacy. She is the founder of the conference, Essence of a Boss, where she provides resources for women to excel in business and beyond.

JT Foxx

JT Foxx Organization - Owner

JT Foxx travels internationally every week inspiring and motivating women to create and build their own wealth. In the past 3 years since I have known JT, he endeavours to lift women up and rise in 56 countries around the world. From Canada, USA, South Africa, India, China, Israel, and so many other international countries. JT alone helped 4 of WOI 2019 award recipients build and create their businesses and their wealth. JT is Canadian, and he is a force to be reckoned with.

Vivian Risi

Royal LePage - Broker of Record at Royal LePage Your Community Realty, Brokerage

Vivian is a powerhouse, her story is one of incredible strength and resilience. She is the owner of Cananda's largest Real Estate Brokerage. Vivian is a mother, grandmother, speaker, author, advocate, philanthropist. You want Vivian your team!!

Evelyne Nyairo

Ellie Bianca - President and CEO Founder

Evelyne, a professional in the Oil and Gas Industry changed career paths in 2016 when the downturn in the sector effected her opportunities. She followed her passion and launched Ellie Bianca, an all natural skin oil which sells in retail stores throughout Canada and online. She established an education scholarship for women in Africa from the proceeds of her business and continue to educate and speak at forums about natural skin health and healing the body from within. She has made her own way from Kenya to Canada as a young student and succeeded with education and career. Truly an inspiration to all immigrants and empowerment to women that success is possible no matter the challenge.

Tina Iaquinta

Modern Concierge - Principle & Founder

Tina in a powerful Canadian entrepreneur and mother. She is a catalyst for growth and loves connecting people. She has an extraordinary vision. Her company, modern concierge, is leading edge in the service industry.

Krittika D'Silva

University of Cambridge - PhD Student

Krittika is a Gates scholar and Computer Science PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge. Her PhD research focuses on machine learning applied to spatio-temporal mobility models to predict changes in cities over time. Previously, she completed double degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science and worked at Microsoft Research and Google. In 2018, she worked at the United Nations Pulse Lab in Indonesia, an innovation lab formed to harness data science insights for policy. Her work modelled internal migration to support future resource allocation efforts in the South Pacific. She also worked with NASA FDL to utilize AI for astronaut health monitoring in deep space missions. She has received the Outstanding Senior Award in Computer Engineering, Presidential Scholarship, and Computer Laboratory Wiseman Award for her work. Her focus for the past decade has been to use technology to support the lives of people worldwide, particularly those in developing countries.

Tamara Becker

Project Nightlight - Founder

Tamara began project nightlight in 2018 to provide a community platform for anyone to share their personal stories about mental health and wellness. This platform has provided a safe forum for these individuals to not only tell their stories but to engage others in discussion, collaboration, healing and encouragement. Project Nightlight gives people of all ages a chance to remove the stigma of mental health discussion with the realization that there are more people out there who are willing to listen, care and provide support to anyone who needs to talk, in essence, this community is very much a family. Tamara commitment and continued motivation comes from the sheer number of people who are willing to share their story of hardship and healing. At every event, workshop and social media campaign there are names added to the long list of features in the hope they can be heard and in turn help others to do the same. Tamara through project nightlight is providing these individuals an opportunity that may have not been an option without this platform. I am proud to nominate her for a Women of inspiration award.

Delreene Derewońko

Canadian National Railway and also Unifor National - Aboriginal Relations Ambassador, Unifor National Shop Steward and Unifor National Women's Advocate

Without doubt, Delreene could be nominated in a number of categories. As an Aboriginal Relations Ambassador at Canadian National Railway, a Unifor National Shop Steward and a Unifor National Women’s Advocate, Delreene passionately commits herself to empower and support women and indigenous women in the workplace and in life itself. Delreene has faced distressing challenges in her Indigenous childhood that she continues to overcome through paying it forward. Delreene is a loving mother to her beautiful son and a gentle wife to her husband. She has been a monumental force toward her achievement of building the family she never had. Today, Delreene’s self-taught ethics and tenderness graces those she works with, those who are lucky enough to call her a friend and she is actively involved in communities that believe in enhancing partnerships with our Indigenous people. In addition, Delreene has enthusiastically taken part in non-traditional workplace roles that very few women have before. Overall, she strives to enhance inclusiveness and embraces cultural challenges. Through her tenacious ability to tackle adversity and with her advocacy of family, building relationships and learning, Delreene will forever continue to make our world and our workplaces more dynamic.

Stephanie Dumont

StreetDog Marketing Inc. - Entrepreneur/ Manager

Stephanie is a very inspiring entrepreneur who set out to follow her dreams. She has always had a passion for dogs and had the ability to turn what she loves into a successful business. Her passion shows through her work as she is extremely dedicated to her work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It has been an honour to be a part of the StreetDog Marketing team and to watch it grow everyday. People are naturally drawn to Stephanie and enjoy working with her. Stephanie's kindness and helpful personality are what bring her new clients continuously. I would not be where I am today if Stephanie did not take a chance with me and help mold me into my career. Stephanie is exactly what comes to mind when I think of a Woman of Inspiration.

Lauren Scott

Distech Controls AND Sierra Club Canada Foundation - Director, Marketing (Distech Controls) AND President, Board of Directors (SCCF)

I specialize in communications, with a focus on translating climate initiatives into strong action to deliver on commitments to the building and renewables sectors. My marketing and communications background is leveraged to promote social and environmental responsibility as an approachable, yet critical part of business operations. While completing my undergraduate, I founded and implemented the institution's first association for commerce undergrad and MBA students focused on sustainability. Since that time, I established roots in the non-profit sector, having served as a spokesperson for an international animal welfare organization, then managing the communications for two of Canada's largest cancer fundraising events. I also volunteer as the President of the board of directors for Sierra Club Canada Foundation, one of North America’s leading environmental non-profits.

Mahnoor Syed

Spread the Word - President and Founder

Mahnoor Ali Syed is the founder and president of a non profit named Spread the Word in Pakistan. She founded the non profit when she was only 16. Mahnoor’s vision is to implement a feminist vision in sustainability. Her non profit has benefited over 5000 lives. Mahnoor is also a student of International Development and Economics at McGill University and her main areas of research are also a feminist vision of sustainability, legislation and women empowerment in South Asia.

Brittany Whitmore

Exvera Communications Inc. - CEO

Brittany is not only a successful and passionate entrepreneur who has founded a great PR business, but she also puts a tremendous amount of her energy into supporting the community, especially women. She won BC Business top 30 under 30 and was also recognized by Langara College as an outstanding alumni. She founded TEDxGastownWomen and produced two sold-out conferences that each featured lineups of women speakers with important stories to be told about things like women in politics, menopause, choosing to be child-free and cultural gender challenges. She also regularly mentors and speaks for youth and women for organizations such as Young Women in Business and Her Campus. She leads by example and sits on the advisory boards of technology startups. Her PR firm works in the technology industry, which is very male-dominated. She has hired women to support her business and does what she can to help them flourish.