Meet our Mentors

Mentors can provide not only practical insights about the nuts and bolts of running a business, but emotional support as well. A Mentor knows from experience what knowledge might be missing and how it feels during the first years to believe in the business and keep moving forward in spite of the challenges. Each of these women volunteers her time to pass on her knowledge and experience to help other women in business succeed.

Barbara Newton, Springboard Works, Victoria

An entrepreneur for 28 years, Barbara Newton has built a successful business through her hard work, problem solving and relationship building skills. Though she started her career as a teacher, once she got a taste of running her own business, she knew...

Elaine Weiss, Weiss Consulting, Vancouver

Throughout her professional career, Elaine Weiss has been drawn by high-tech innovations and the entrepreneurs who bring it to the consumer. After pursuing a career in technology transfer at UBC, she was inspired to launch her business Weiss Consulting in...

Lisa Sliwowska, Figs & Honey Organic Beauty Therapy and Healing Arts

Lisa Sliwowska gets very thrilled and excited when she is stopped by people on Salt Spring Island who thank her for her healing skin care products. She owns Figs & Honey Organic Beauty Therapy and Healing Arts on Salt Spring Island. It is a holistic...

Connie Viszlai , ClearPoint Coaching and Facilitation, Vernon

When Connie Viszlai was asked about what motivated her to start her business and make a success of it, she responded with a smile, “Being a catalyst for people’s “ah-ha” moments is so energizing. I am delighted when a client says...

Amber Hayes, Lift Business Coaching, Rossland

An avid entrepreneur, for the past fifteen years Amber Hayes has enjoyed the thrill of “Aha” moment which comes with the launch and success of start-ups. A technology specialist, she fell in love with the opportunity to help others discover...

Deborah Richardson, Business By Design, Vancouver

An innovative business strategist and coach, Deborah Richardson has always been drawn to entrepreneurship as it gives her the opportunity for constant personal and professional growth. For the past twenty five years, she has invested her time and...

Debbie Palmer, Debbie Palmer Presents, Vancouver

Twenty five years ago, Debbie Palmer started her career in sales knocking on doors with determination and persistence. A concrete plan and a great attitude were her keys to business success. An avid entrepreneur, she has owned and managed several successful...

Caledonia Fred, Nuu-chah-nulth, Port Alberni

Caledonia Fred has always enjoyed solving problems and assisting others. In her work with the Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation ( NEDC), she has assisted micro and small businesses within the region offering aboriginal business financing,...

Angela O’Brien, Esteem Lingerie Inc, Kelowna

Angela O’Brien, co-owner of Esteem Lingerie Inc. is no stranger to the world of entrepreneurship. During her teen years she was always creating business ideas and tried to...

Sarah Campden, Made to Measure Consulting Group, Victoria

Sarah Campden could have stayed comfortably in a corporate job at a large engineering firm but she wanted to spend more time with her young daughter and also grow her own business. Three years back, she started Made to...

Alison Ludditt, The Room Collection, Vernon

A passion for design encouraged Alison Ludditt to leave behind the security of a corporate career in a law firm and become an entrepreneur. Along with two partners, she purchased “The Room Collection,” an inspiring furniture and...

Michelle Kelsey, Nannies on Call, Vancouver

Michelle Kelsey showed promises of her entrepreneurial spirit even when she was very young. Always exploring different business ideas, she was clear about her goal - she wanted to be her own boss. Ten years ago, she started “Nannies...

Tracey McGinnis, Blinds Billiards and Baubles, Comox

Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, Tracey McGinnis always knew that she wanted to be her own boss.  She gained valuable experience from her self employed family which owned a chain of Window Coverings stores in Ontario. Eight...

Cathy Kuzel, The Connected Woman, North Vancouver

A dynamic speaker, author and business expert with a deep knowledge of the art of human connections, Cathy Kuzel has been networking and building successful business relationships for more than 25 years and is increasingly sought after as an...

Jennifer Hawes, ColdStar Freight Systems Inc., Victoria

There are very few people who look at bad business practices and decide to do something about it. Jennifer Hawes and her husband, who was working in food transportation, were horrified at some of the practices in the transportation of food...

Pauline Daniel, Coaching Connections, Nelson

Pauline Daniel has always enjoyed making connections with others and the positive impact it has on their lives. In 2008, she turned this passion into a personal life coaching business “Coaching Connections” in Nelson. A...

Elizabeth Vieira-Richard, People Dynamics Inc. (PDI), Prince George

What better reason to start a business than to create and realize your personal vision for your life? Elizabeth Vieira-Richard, CEO of People Dynamics Inc., feels this is the best reason of all to become an entrepreneur, and she works with...

Cathy Goddard, Lighthouse Visionary Strategies, Whistler

Cathy Goddard’s first experience with self-employment coincided with her first experience receiving mentorship: a former employer saw the entrepreneurial spirit in her and encouraged her to learn all about the different aspects of running a...

Terri Knox, Service Enhanced Training, Kelowna

Terri Knox accumulated a wealth of experience while dealing with the public in her 22 years in the airline industry. When she left that industry she took the one...

Cynthia Roney, Executive Passage, Vancouver

Cynthia Roney took the leap to entrepreneurship when she realized it was the only way to pursue her passion to make a difference; in doing so, she left a successful corporate career and devoted her energy and determination to launching her own...

Gale Anson, Gale Force Management Ltd., Campbell River

As a young, single mother trying to support her family, Gale Anson made the tough decision to step away from the security of employment in order to become an entrepreneur; she felt it was the choice that would better benefit her family in the long run....

Janon Hamel, JH Coaching and HR Solutions, Vancouver

Once Janon Hamel got a taste of running her own business, she knew that self-employment was the only career path for her.

“I first became an entrepreneur with my husband, running a food equipment service, which was an industry he knew well...

Mary Eshenko, Change By Choice Coaching & Consulting, Victoria

When asked about her greatest strengths as an entrepreneur, Mary Eshenko says without hesitation that it’s her ability to establish, build and maintain positive relationships. With that response in mind, it’s no wonder she’s had such...

Mila Lansdowne, Art for Happiness & Mila’s Bed & Breakfast, Tumbler Ridge

Mila Lansdowne is a wonderful blend of entrepreneur and artist, a combination made successful when she launched Art for Happiness: art products and supplies, and Mila’s Bed & Breakfast in Tumbler Ridge, BC, more than ten years ago...

Shirley Higgins, Shirley Higgins Event Planning, Vernon

Shirley Higgins has always found herself drawn to entrepreneurship by the challenges, the responsibility and the opportunities it presents. To put it simply, she’s just not a nine-to-five kind of person!

Located in Vernon, BC, since 2008, her...

Sue Adams, Bevendale Enterprises Inc., Whistler

Like many entrepreneurs before her, Sue Adams went into self-employment with no training or experience in business; in fact, she was drawn in by her energetic, independent and creative nature.
A strong interest in food and wine provided the...

Trisha Miltimore, Contagious Leadership Training, Kelowna

For over 12 years, Trisha Miltimore has been inspiring people to find their true passions, to step “outside of the box” and to realize their own sense of greatness. As a national speaker and entrepreneur, she spreads the message that...

Jill Earthy, momcafé Network Inc. & Forum for Women Entrepreneurs Vancouver

JillEarthy_Lrg.jpgThroughout her career, Jill Earthy has been fortunate enough to work with many strong and successful women who have inspired her. In fact, her very first employer was a female entrepreneur who quickly became a mentor, offering her advice and guidance that would...

Sandy Herle, Close To You, Parksville

SandyHerle_Lrg.jpgSandy Herle has played many different roles in her community; from President of the Rotary Club of Parksville to Mayor of Parksville, it seems as if she’s done it all! However, when Herle speaks about her business experience, it’s easy to see that...

Angie Barnard, Painted Turtle Guesthouse, Nanaimo

AngieBarnard_Lrg.jpgIt might very well have been fate that led Angie Barnard and her husband Bruce to open the Painted Turtle Guesthouse in 2004.  During an extended round the world trip, they came across Nanaimo and instantly loved the city.  With an obvious gap in...

Betty-Ann Thomson, B.A. Thomson Consulting, Victoria

When Betty-Ann Thomson first launched her consultancy, she was excited about the prospects, but couldn’t have envisioned where the business would take her. All she knew was that she had the skills and experience to start projects, bring them to completion and be...

Tami Reilly - Go Get Organized, Lower Mainland

When small business owner, Tami Reilly was tired of using the same inefficient tactics to get through her weekly sea of paperwork, she came up with a solution. As it turned out, the solution was not just a means to an end; it was a brilliant...

Julie Breton, Blend business + design, Nelson

Julie Breton first became an entrepreneur in 1999 when she decided that she had way too much creativity bottled up inside to be constrained by a career in forestry. She took the leap and left her job and education behind to become the owner and creative director of Trillium Soaps...

Karen C. Mason, CFP, CLU, RHU, Mason Financial, Sooke

Karen C. Mason is all about the numbers. Since 1983 she’d been working in financial services in a variety of roles, including training financial...

Kathline Holmes, Gailforce Resources, Castlegar

Growing up in an entrepreneurial family meant that it was only natural for Kathline Holmes to one day become an entrepreneur herself. When the timing was...

Pauline Penner, Simply Solutions, Victoria

Having the courage to care is what rests at the heart of Pauline Penner’s entrepreneurial career. Long before others focused on environmental impact, she stepped into the largely male-dominated world of waste management by founding Penner Recycling — a million-...

Jennifer Deane, Coaching, Training & Consulting, Squamish

When an entrepreneur finds inspiration it will push them to build their business to success. Jennifer Deane found the inspiration she needed to take her...

Beth Garrish, Life! Uncorked Coaching Services, Oliver

From operating a refrigeration business, to running a real estate office to becoming a personal coach, Beth Garrish has pretty much been an entrepreneur her whole life. The only things that have stayed the same as she changed industries have been her...

Madeleine Shaw, Lunapads International Products Ltd.

Questioning the status quo has always been a way of life for Madeleine Shaw. In fact it was for that very reason that she says entrepreneurship was a natural fit for her. “I have always been a bit of a contrarian and have had issues with authority in the past, so having my own...

Sandra Wright, Accupro Trademark Services LLP, Lower Mainland

Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, Sandra Wright was never very far away from the realities of being self-employed. “I have always been very independent and a bit of a control freak!” laughs Wright. “In most companies, your success or growth is dependant...