Ambassadors North America
ARE YOU COMMITTED TO DRIVING CHANGE?
The Universal Womens Network™ is a global platform committed to equality, diversity, inclusion (EDI) and belonging to advance women in their network, community, and workplaces. We recognize the achievements of women through the Women of Inspiration™ Awards. We are championing female entrepreneurs along with allies who SupportHER™!
Our global network promotes the advancement of women. We recognize and celebrate thought leaders, business leaders, entrepreneurs, executives, and professionals from diverse industries and backgrounds and work with organizations committed to being visible champions to move the needle to close the gender gap! We are Stewards of Diversity™ and dedicated to the unity of humanity by acknowledging our differences, asking questions, and valuing voices at all levels. We do not tolerate bullying, hatred, or racism at any level.
UWN Ambassadors are dedicated to UWN™’s vision for championing women, raising the bar for greater equity, diversity, and inclusivity, to advance women in business across North America and the globe.
Our Mission is to empower, inspire, and connect 1 Billion women!
UWN Ambassadors, are highly influential leaders who lead by example, dedicated to breaking the "concrete" ceiling and driving change in their network, workplace and community.
APPLY to become a UWN Ambassador across North America.
Donna Dahl, B.Ed., M.Ed. | Chair, Selection Committee
Empowerment Coach | 2016 Women of Inspiration™ Lifetime Award | Chair, WOI Selection Committee
Donna Dahl, Empowerment Coach and Author, was awarded Woman of Inspiration for Lifetime Achievement in 2016. She currently serves as the Woman of Inspiration Awards Selection Committee Co-Chair and is honoured to do so. She is considered a thought leader and a coach’s coach by her clients. While most of her work is behind the scenes coaching writers to become authors and leaders to inspire others to lead, her passion drives her voice to make a difference through speaking engagements and writing. Donna’s next book is in the works. In her mind, her lifetime work is still in progress. Donna reports, “When I accepted the award, that was my invitation to accept the challenge to continue my work but with more conviction than ever before.” In her book, Lessons I Learned from the Tortoise, she wrote, “Challengers inspire us to take giant steps long before we might ever become giants.” Recognition from one’s peers matters.
Owner, The Write Harle | 2019 Women of Inspiration™ Influencer | WOI Selection Committee
Being a National Ambassador is so important – to show that you can be “normal” and still influential. That you don’t have to have a number of accolades or best sellers or money raised to be seen as someone who can have an impact. For me, being a National Ambassador of Women of Inspiration means that I can also give back to an organization that transformed the way I started speaking to myself. And that is a gift I can never repay.
Lindsay Harle-Kadatz is the owner of The Write Harle, helping small businesses refine their voice and brand message through content. Passionate about messaging, Lindsay looks to create engaging and action-focused content strategies, aligning a company’s marketing mediums with one core message. She is the author of Depression Constipation: How Pooping Saved My Sanity…and Other Stories, a real-life tale of understanding depression in terms of constipation, humour, and mental prune juice. With everything, Lindsay continues to make puns while looking for the funny in the mundane. When not indulging her love of the big red editing pen, Lindsay spends time with her two “under the desk employee” pups Coco and Chase, and just enjoying life in general (AKA: eating, drinking wine, and making real, genuine connections with people).
Co-Founder, Hawco Peters and Associates Inc. | 2019 Women of Inspiration™ Nest Award | WOI Selection Committee
As a National Ambassador, I feel that I am aligned with the vision of Universal Women's Network in that I want to create space for women to succeed and thrive. There is value in what women bring to the table and a need for them to feel supported and understood. If I can act as a mentor, peer, student to other women, sharing my knowledge and learning from theirs it creates a village of empowerment. Together we rise.
Sarah has an extraordinary wealth of legal and financial expertise that brings a 360-degree perspective to both dispute resolution and financial distress and restructuring. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant, a Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional, holds a Master of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School, is a Certified Fraud Examiner and is a Qualified Arbitrator. Prior to founding her own firm, Hawco Peters and Associates, Sarah spent 13 years practising insolvency and turnaround management at national and international firms. She provides a wide range of consulting and business coaching, specializing in debt refinancing, due diligence, business reviews and viability assessments, restructuring, succession planning, and alternative dispute resolution. As an expert in her field, Sarah has published numerous papers, lectured at the University of Calgary Law School, and has presented across the country as a keynote speaker. Outside of her professional commitments, Sarah volunteers her time to teaching financial literacy at various schools and shelters, as well as sitting on a number of non-profit boards. Finally, and perhaps the most fun she has, Sarah is a group fitness instructor trying to spread the joy of movement and community.
2019 Women of Inspiration™ Nest Award
Barrister And Solicitor, Acumen Law Corporation | 2019 Women of Inspiration™ Indigenous Leader
Kyla Lee is Metis. She is a partner at Acumen Law Corporation. Kyla routinely appears in all levels of court in BC, and has presented impaired driving and roadside prohibition cases at the SCC. She is known for her tireless advocacy, often succeeding in seemingly unwinnable cases. Kyla is passionate about legal education and awareness. Kyla writes regular opinion columns for Vancouver Is Awesome and Huffington Post. Kyla’s legal education activities also include her weekly podcast, Driving Law and her weekly video series, Cases That Should Have Gone to the Supreme Court of Canada, But Didn’t!
Patricia Karen Gagic Art Enterprise Inc. | 2020 Women of Inspiration™ Lifetime Achievement Award
Patricia is an award-winning, International Contemporary Artist, Author, Humanitarian/Activist/Speaker. President of the CYO at the age of 13, breaking the barriers for women in banking and staying steadfast in the male-dominated art world. Her passion to inspire people has been seen in her multiple award nominations and acceptance to bridge minorities and the less fortunate. Travel has been mystical and deeply important from climbing desert sand dunes, trekking across Nepal and Tibet, and driving thru the lavender fields of France. An entrepreneur who built a retirement home, managed medical practices, medical building projects, and support sustainable projects sponsoring a LEAD Canada cohort. She has prestigious recognition as the first female awarded the SNBA Gold Medal at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris in December 2018. She has been recognized with Excellence in the Arts for Courage and Commitment to Human Rights, Dignity, and Freedom by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association In 2013, Knighted as a Dame of the International Order of St. George Grand Prior of Canada, recognized by WXN (Women’s Executive Network) as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada inducted into the WXN Hall of Fame in 2018. and 2020 Women of Inspiration Lifetime Achievement Award. Patricia changed lives in Cambodia and Haiti.
Director of Talent Management, LCBO | 2019 Women of Inspiration™ Diversity and Inclusiveness
Being a National Ambassador will provide me the opportunity to connect with talented women, grow, share experiences, and inspire other women to develop their leadership. I am humbled to be recognized as a Women of Inspiration Award recipient for Diversity and Inclusiveness and will continue to empower other women to value differences work together to create endless possibilities.
Siobhan Calderbank is a keynote speaker, recognized Learning Leader, consultant, and award winning author. She has over 20 years of progressive experience in transforming businesses, leading change and developing leaders. She has spoken internationally to diverse groups and to thousands of people from over 70 countries at conferences, events, seminars, and planning sessions to motivate individuals to work more collaboratively. Siobhan is the Founder of Butterfly Ladies - a Mentoring Program committed to helping develop the careers of women and youth, especially visible minorities. She was also voted Top 10 Inspirational Female Entrepreneur 2019 by Women Entrepreneur and recognized as one of The 10 Most Influential Businesswomen to Follow in 2020 by Insights Success. At LCBO, Siobhan is an experienced Director of Talent Management and focuses on talent development, learning, change management, and diversity and inclusion.
Founder, Start Up By Sophia | 2017 Women of Inspiration™ Millennial Leader
I would like to introduce you to an amazing young leader .... Sophia. She is a very interesting leader and award winner in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). She is a Board member to AWSN.org, a Policy Influencer, an Entrepreneur, and an Inventor. Sophia's online presence can easily be found on Google by Googling Sophia Fairweather, going to Twitter / LinkedIn, or her Site StartUpBySophia.com/products. She has won 6 Awards and many other recognitions: Canada 150 Women of Inspiration Award, ASTECH Award, Manning Innovation Award Alberta, TECVenture Award, ATB BoostR Award, and Alberta's Leaders of Tomorrow Award. For her efforts, she has been recognized in both the Alberta Legislative Assembly, the Canadian Senate, and the Parliament of Canada; as well as being invited to speak and present!
Co-Founder, President and CEO, The Safehaven Foundation | 2019 Women of Inspiration™ Inspire Award
A less than ideal childhood ultimately prepared Karen Sherbut for the role of her life as a role model, mentor, and humanitarian. In this capacity she provides what she so desperately had once needed; ultimately improving the lives of many young women, their families, and loved ones. Karen’s dream of providing for homeless girls came to fruition in 1996, when Karen and her husband founded Safe Haven Foundation of Canada. In a volunteer capacity at the helm of the Foundation, Karen’s steadfast commitment continues to shape a better and brighter future for all of us.
With 40 years of senior management and leadership experience, Karen has been extensively involved in the development and implementation of business plans at both grassroots and national levels. An engaging and innovative leader, Karen’s focus on results-oriented programs, financial accountability, public relations, and award-winning campaigns have provided an enviable advantage to the Foundation. Karen’s passion remains visible and reflective through the time she dedicates not only to the Foundation but to the many boards and advisory roles she has undertaken over the years.
In addition, for the past 22 years, Karen has been employed as the Vice President of Marketing at Britgary Properties. In recent years, Karen’s expertise has expanded to include operations and strategic planning of some of the Britgary’s newest endeavors.
Founder, On Natural Snacks | 2019 Women of Inspiration™ Inspire Award
Rhonda is the founder of Oh! Naturals Flavoured Snacks Inc. Being recognized as a Women of Inspiration means the world to me. I look up to a woman who is inspirational and to be chosen as one of those women is a dream come true. Making a difference in people’s lives from both a business and customer perspective is what drives me forward. Growing up I was a very sick child fighting for every breath I lived in and out of oxygen tents as asthmatic. I struggled to try to fit in as a girl growing up knowing I was a bit different. I always tried to fit in with other children with activities but, had my limits being asthmatic. Giving up was not part of my life so I joined different teams just to fit in. The turning point of my life was when someone very special to me passed away suddenly. I try to inspire others how we should all live the life we want and not waste time. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it with the right support system. That is where my story begins.
Unstoppable Tracy, MBA, BEd, BRLS
Motivational Speaker, Best Selling Author | 2019 Women of Inspiration™ Change Agent
Feeling uncertain is no excuse for inaction. Take action in-spite of the fear." Through role modelling the Women of Inspiration [WOI] nominated, these women consciously invite and impact women to be better, bigger versions of themselves than even they imagined. WOI are the voice of those who can't be the voice for themselves, and then support disarm their limiting beliefs and become the catalyst to their own voice. Proud member of this committee honouring those who drive others to push out of their comfort zone of settling after life has beat them down. Success depends on perseverance. With humor and motivation, you can crush your obstacles and soar to the top! No matter where you are in life, sometimes you just need to be inspired. Women are great leaders pushing to drive their inner power. That’s never easy. And sometimes you will feel like you can’t do it anymore, any better, or any other way. Well, WOI helps you see that you can conquer your impossible. Proud to be part of this lifeline team.
TV HOST, #UnstoppableTracy is an expert on Disarming Limiting Beliefs, Seen in Oprah Magazine with 100 million ++ viral video views, #1 International Award-Winning Business Leader & Speaker with the stars, on TedX, seen in over 40+ countries, impacted over 160 countries, has an MBA, Decorated Athlete as a World Cup Sailor, the 1st 4-way amputee who climbed the Himalaya Mountains, Bestselling Author, whose foreword is written by Cup of Chicken Soup for the Soul, and this year’s Canada Hall of Fame Inductee as an Honoured Humanitarian .
TV News Personality | Founder, On the DL
I am very honoured to have been chosen as a National Ambassador. It is an incredible opportunity to connect with other like-minded women from different industries that I would not have had the opportunity to do so. As well, it is exciting to be a part of a team that will seek the most inspirational women in the country.
Dana Levenson is a Television News Personality with 20+ years working in broadcast TV news and information programming. Since 2000, Levenson worked as a news reporter and anchor at CTV News in TORONTO. Her role varied but, namely as a general news reporter and weekend weather anchor.
Levenson has interviewed some of the biggest names in politics, entertainment, sports, and health & education. Including, Kawai Lenoard, Wayne Gretzky, Sarah Jessica Parker, Martin Short, and Richard Branson. Levenson was also an on-air contributor to CTV’s Canada AM, Your Morning, News Channel, and The Social. Levenson interned in New York City at CBS News with Dan Rather before joining the CTV team.
Administrative Professional | Community Supporter & Philanthropist
Dixie Dayka is an experienced administrative professional with 25+ years working in corporate administration supporting executive leadership individuals in Oil & Gas, Engineering, Aviation and Food Distribution. She is also very passionate about volunteering in the community and has also worked in the non-profit sector for many years. Dixie is a supporter and philanthropist in the city of Calgary and is engaged with many different charities and agencies, devoting time and resources to several causes.
Since 2012, Dixie has been a member of the Association of Administrative Professionals and most recently held the position of Vice President of the Calgary Branch. Dixie obtained her professional designation CCAP, (Canadian Certified Administrative Professional) through the Association, after graduating from the University of Calgary in 2014 with a Certificate in Professional Management.
What excites me about being a part of the UWN team? I am extremely excited to be part of the UWN team, for several reasons. To be included in a group, on a team, a Universal Women's Network is truly an honor. Together, we are a growing movement of like-minded women, supported by our families, friends, our places of employment and the leaders we work with. I am excited to bring my years of administrative, funding and philanthropy experience to this role, to assist and build up the funding opportunities and support the execution of the UWN fund development strategies.
CEO, AM360 Sphere Inc. | Making Fashion
Inspired by colours, contours, and dynamics that shaped her fashion entrepreneurial processes, Amelie is a fashion entrepreneur and AM360 Sphere Inc. puts forth what she knows to be essential for a successful and fulfilling life while dressing the world. For more than twenty years, Amelie has worked in the fashion and textile industry, developing, manufacturing, and designing innovative products with international brands. She was based in Shanghai, one of the world’s fashion industry hubs from 1996 to 2020. While her core business remains in garment manufacturing, she is also co-founder of a few brands such has Kandymask and invests in prominent startups that promote sustainable and circular businesses. Now here in Canada Amelie is the Ambassador for Waste2Wear and presently is building an online manufacturing capacity builder for fashion entrepreneurs. Making fashion processes and tools to enable fashion leaders to better approach manufacturing and make smart(er) decisions for their business, people and the planet.
Founder and Owner, 5 Elements Martial Arts | 2019 Women of Inspiration™ Nest Award
Maeghen Cotterill is an Elite Martial Artist and entrepreneur with a long track record of helping people achieve their goals and dreams in the Martial Arts. Maeghen has 30+ years of Martial Arts experience, holds multiple different Black Belts (5th Degree in Karate), and is an 11-time Gold Medal World Champion. Maeghen started martial arts at the age of 8 and now owns and operates the largest martial arts school in Canada. She has been the WKU Western Canadian Regional Director for the last 6 years, she has been on Team Canada and coaching Team Canada athletes since 2005, and as of 2018 is Canadian President of the World Kickboxing & Karate Union for both Ringsport and Matsports. Maeghen also was the founder and now World President of the Global Women in Martial Arts Initiative, which includes 70 countries worldwide.
Adding to Maeghen’s Martial Arts achievements, she has also been awarded 2016 Avenue Magazine Top 40 Under 40, Impact Magazine’s Canada’s Top Trainer and Canada’s Top Instructor, and Women of Inspiration Award. Maeghen is also the mother of a young autistic son, has been working with the autistic community for over 25 years and is on the Board of Directors for Pacekids. Maeghen is also an ambassador for S.T.A.N.D, Fast & Female, and Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Her passion and commitment to her community, business and her son keeps her motivated and inspired to continue to grow, level up, and continuously pursue goals.
Founder and Chief Strategist - Cyber.Sc | 2020 Women of Inspiration™ SupportHER
Dominic is a consummate cybersecurity professional based in Vancouver, BC and is dedicated to supporting, promoting, mentoring, and inspiring women in the technology field. He is actively reaching out to new contacts to build his business network and learning how he can help them be successful in their careers. Dominic is incredibly passionate about connecting professionals in his network with one another for mutual business success and has been a fabulous champion for women wanting to advance their technology careers.
Elizabeth Blake Thomas
Film Director, Founder Mother and Daughter Entertainment | UWN Global Ambassador
The entirety of celebrating women and empowering them is what draws me in. As a single mum who has worked her way up through her own hard work, I resonate with so many of the other inspirational women that you have highlighted. I would be honored to tell my story and hopefully inspire other creatives and women in general.
Director ELIZABETH BLAKE-THOMAS is a British award-winning filmmaker and philanthropist based in Los Angeles, having recently completed her 8th feature film. Her latest feature Evie Rose, starring Oscar-nominated actress Terry Moore, follows the heartwarming story of an unusual friendship during the final day of a 100-year-old woman’s life. Elizabeth is the founder and resident director of entertainment company Mother & Daughter Entertainment, whose motto is “Making Content That Matters”, putting focus on each project starting a conversation amongst viewers.
An Official Ambassador of Awareness Ties for Human Trafficking, Elizabeth hopes to raise more awareness to the horrific nature of human trafficking and help put a stop to it. Her award-winning short film UNSEEN, which addresses the role technology plays in the facilitation of child trafficking, was awarded "Best Short Film" by Film Threat's Award This! and is currently available on all platforms. Being a female director, Elizabeth strives to make projects with at least a 50/50 female cast and crew. A regular on panels at Sundance, Cannes and Toronto International Film Festival, Elizabeth mentors wherever possible, ensuring she sends the elevator back down to all other female directors and filmmakers.
Founder and Principal, Loretta Soffe Consulting | UWN Global Ambassador
Loretta Soffe is an accomplished retail executive with over three decades of experience in retail operations, merchandising and buying, organizational planning, and leadership development. She has served on multiple private and public boards as a non-executive director.
In 2012, Loretta founded Loretta Soffe Consulting, a consumer-centric consulting agency specializing in the development of growth strategies for early-stage and mature consumer brands, and identifying new business opportunities that align with a brands’ core mission and vision. Loretta works with a broad spectrum of international business leaders and investors providing global perspectives, insights, and strategic direction at both the premium and luxury levels. Simultaneously, she works with entrepreneurs as a coach and mentor combining her foundation in retail and branding, with a clear understanding of innovative technology to help them launch and succeed in today’s challenging market.
Linda Cruse - United Kingdom
CEO, Frontline First Global Humanitarian | Authour | UWN Global Ambassador
The Dalai Lama, HRH The Prince of Wales and Sir Richard Branson are just three of the influential figures who have supported Linda Cruse in her mission to solve the most critical social, environmental and humanitarian problems around the world.
Described as a pioneer and entrepreneur, Linda is a leadership expert, inspirational speaker and successful author. Working in extreme conditions for over two decades, Linda has dedicated her life to finding creative and sustainable economic solutions that have the power to lift communities from the grip of poverty and from the depths of disaster.