Moderators


Moderators

Angelika Vance

Director Corporate Development, Ondine Biomedical Inc.

Angelika Vance is the Director of Corporate Development at Ondine Biomedical Inc., the global leader in photodisinfection, a revolutionary approach to rapidly eliminate infection-causing pathogens without adverse side-effects or generating antimicrobial resistance.  She made the switch from telecom to biomedical early 2018 after learning of the urgent need for an alternative to antibiotics and powerful efficacy of Ondine’s photodisinfection.  Angelika is an inspirational leader and creative problem-solver who translates vision into reality through intense outcome-focus, customer-needs understanding, and strong relationships and close collaboration with stakeholders. Her background spans leadership positions and expertise across customer and product marketing, strategy, business planning, product development, and analytics.  She has a passion for supporting small and medium-sized businesses, which she focused on during her 20 years at TELUS: developing bundles, marketing programs, and customer experience improvements specifically for small and home-based businesses.  Prior to joining TELUS, Angelika was involved with marketing in the industrial product development industry and also spent a number of years in the shopping centre retail industry with Bentall Property Management.  Angelika holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from University of Phoenix.


Angela Heit

Founder & CEO, Crysalis Consulting Group Inc.

Angela Heit divides her time between Vancouver Canada and Washington State. She lives with her husband John and their “fur baby” Finnigan.  They enjoy hiking, gardening, golfing and travelling.  Angela also loves painting, photography and yoga.  After graduating University, Angela started her career in Human Resources for a fortune 500 company.  When she turned 30 she took a leave of absence to travel.  That life changing adventure changed the direction of her career.  Soon after her return, she left her corporate job to start her first business.  Angela currently runs her third business.  Over the years, she’s learned a few things about …
TEAMS  Not only has Angela been helping entrepreneurial business owners build better teams for more than 25 years, she’s also built and managed her own teams both in the corporate setting and in her own businesses.
ENTREPRENEURS  Her second business, a recruitment agency, serving medium to large businesses, grew to 7 figures and a team of 25 people in just 4 years before she sold it.  In 2004, Angela started her third business, Crysalis People Solutions, where she applies best practices gained from her experience with big companies to help entrepreneurs and small business owners grow.
PEOPLE  Being a lifelong student of human behavior, she has post graduate education in Behavioral Psychology, Change Management, and Human Resources.  She created her People Solutions based on that knowledge and the direct experience of 100s of her clients.
BUSINESS  Having served clients from small businesses with less than 20 employees to Fortune 500 companies, she’s seen what works and what doesn’t.  She applies that knowledge to all her services and programs. Some of the bigger clients Angela has provided solutions for include:  AT&T, Sprint, Honeywell, Spar Aerospace, CIBC, BMO, Merrill Lynch, Sunlife, and Rogers.


Carolyn Cross

CEO & Chair, Ondine Biomedical Inc.

Carolyn Cross is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ondine Biomedical Inc., a Vancouver based MedTech company that is the global leader in Photodisinfection based therapies for the treatment and prevention of multi-drug resistant infections. Ms. Cross is a Board Member and Treasurer of the International Photodynamic Association. She has published research in peer reviewed journals.

Carolyn has over 25 years’ direct experience with early stage companies and 30 years’ experience with public market securities. Earlier in her career, Carolyn was responsible for managing pension, pooled, mutual and private client funds as a Vice President with Royal Bank Investment Management Inc. Carolyn is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and has an MBA from York University and an HBA from the University of Western Ontario (Western University).

She has corporate governance experience having advised and sat on a number of boards and audit committees including Regina-based Greystone Capital Management Inc., Periowave Dental Technologies Inc., Sinuwave Technologies Corporation, and Cayoose Creek Development Corporation, a First Nations company based in British Columbia. Ms. Cross sits on the National Research Council of Canada. She is a past Board Member of the Government of Canada’s Crown Corporation, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and served on its Audit and Finance Committee. She sits on the Advisory Council of the University of Windsor’s Odette World Health Innovation Network (WIN) and has recently concluded an 8-year term serving on the Advisory Board of McGill University Dental School. She is the Chair and Founding Board Member of the Women’s Economic Business Advisory Council and a Founding Member of the EY Global Women in Business Advisory Council. She served on the Federal Government’s task force on Women’s Entrepreneurship and Mentoring and continues to advocate for Small and Mid Sized Enterprises (SME) and the economic advancement of women.

Carolyn is a member of several organizations including the Women Presidents’ Organization, the International Federation of Women (IWF), UnitedSucces and the CFA Society Toronto. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross by the Governor General of Canada and is a recipient of awards including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award from the Government of Canada, the President’s Award from the Women Presidents’ Organization, the Wendy MacDonald Entrepreneurship Award from the Vancouver Board of Trade and the Innovation and Global Growth Award from The BMO Financial Group.


Catherine Gardiner

President, CG Marketing & Communications

Consistently drawn to aligning brand, user experience and financial goals, Catherine Gardiner has spent her career building out sustainable commercial initiatives and moving concepts out of the lab and into the world.  Her broad cross-industry perspective comes from senior strategic marketing and business development roles within various sectors:  technology, wireless, professional services, sport and fitness wearables, environmental, aboriginal wellness, oil and gas, agriculture, and not-for-profits seeking sustainable and scalable revenue options.  Catherine recently spent over a decade immersed in the dynamic world of international innovation. With a Canadian subsidiary of Garmin Ltd, she developed a global brand for an industry-leading wireless protocol and helped foster Business to Business and Business to Consumer partnerships worldwide.  She also positioned disruptive consumer and OEM products (4iiii Innovation) to a global customer base and built a new company (BrightonApps) mandated to commercialize a licensed mobile app for the Canadian market.   Prior to her work in tech, Catherine managed an equally-innovative, grass-roots wellness facilitation initiative sponsored by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.

Catherine’s current company serves as a champion for businesses intent on positioning their new and mid-size ventures for increased profitability.  Clarity, ease and strategic foundations are at the core of their commercialization offerings.  A life-long volunteer, Catherine intentionally engages with local and international initiatives and is a zealous mentor to students and new grads.  Three ‘wiser-than-me’ children taught Catherine that life and business are not mutually exclusive and keep her committed to living life on the joy side of the ledger.


Crystal D’Cunha

Chief Experience Officer, The INSIDE View Inc.

The INSIDE View’s Chief Experience Officer, Crystal D’Cunha is an innovative Customer Experience Engineer. Her purpose and passion is to IGNITE leadership teams to inspire excellence, EXCITE Employees to be consistently committed, and DELIGHT Customers to be loyal for life!  Crystal spent nearly two decades in the corporate world leading sales forces valued more than $50 million. As an award-winning entrepreneur, accomplished Senior Executive, and Customer Experience Expert with more than 22 years of success in the retail, construction, non-profit, and e-commerce industries, Crystal can invigorate any business.  Through Exploration, Experimentation and Examination Crystal designed The INSIDE View’s Signature Sales System: the 7 steps to Customer Experience Excellence (CXE)! Crystal was honoured with the 2016 “40 Under 40” business achievement Award and was nominated in 2016 and 2017 for the Women in Business awards. Humbly winning dozens of Sales Leadership Awards, she set new standards during her 13-year tenure with Danier Leather as a National Trainer.

In 2012, Crystal lead a sales team to achieve the Avid Ratings Award, where Mountainview Homes was recognized to be among the top 25% of builders nationwide for customer experience. It was a proud moment in her career when over 93% of their homebuyers said they would recommend Mountainview Homes to family and friends. Using innovative tools to engage her team of sales professional, and maximize sales opportunities, Crystal lead Mountainview homes to be the number one home builder in the Niagara region by achieving a 120% increase in sales in 2015.

Crystal attended York University and Brock University for Business Communications. She is a Certified International Keynote speaker and leadership coach with the John Maxwell, a human behaviour specialist trained by Tony Robbins, and an experience engineer trained by the Disney institute, just to name a few. Crystal contributes to her industry by engaging as a board member for the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce. Crystal also sits on the board of Customer Experience Week Canada. As proud football mom, her son and she enjoy making a committed contribution to the YWCA of Niagara and to the community in which they live.


Emma-Jane Taylor

CEO, The Works Company & Co-Chair, GroYourBiz London, UK

Emma-Jane Taylor is an Entrepreneur running a series of lifestyle businesses. She is the Founder and Managing Director of 3 companies in the UK and is the face of the Wellbeing Show on That’s TV. She currently develops professional and personal lives as a mentor and offers management training to her own team in the UK of 40+ employees. She has evidence-based leadership skills for women in all areas of business life and does not hold back on any opportunity. She speaks regularly at Leadership Events and networks her way around the world. She launched SHEnetWORKS Empowering Women Events in the UK to encourage women to collaborate. She is well known for her sharp focus to giving better opportunities and higher platforms for women all over the world. With her laser like attention to detail she ensures her ambition is driven by her passion to give those in her network opportunities.

Emma-Jane is publishing her motivational tool book, Don’t Hold Back, in 2018. The publication is to guide those feeling stuck in the web of life back to a strength that will give more than just possibility. Her client list is hugely extensive. She uses her own personal journey to educate and strengthen those around her and loves Co-Chairing GroYourBiz in the UK.


Jennifer Cooke

Corporate Lead | Women In Trade, Export Development Canada

Jennifer Cooke is the Corporate Lead for EDC’s Women in Trade Strategy, joining EDC in 2010. She is focused specifically on helping more women entrepreneurs export to grow their business and with Canadian companies to help them succeed in international markets.  Working directly, as well as through key partners, EDC offers specialized trade knowledge, facilitating trade with financing and insurance, and providing connections to enable companies to go, grow and succeed globally.

A graduate of University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business, Jennifer has enjoyed a variety of experiences working both in large multinational corporations, and as part of an entrepreneurial start-up as well as international work experiences in the US, the UK and Mexico.

Jennifer is also a busy mom of two active girls who loves creating, trying new things, and learning about new cultures.


Laura Reinholz

Director, BMO For Women

With 20 years of experience in the financial industry, including sales, marketing, strategy and customer experience, as the head of the BMO for Women program, Laura leads the team that delivers the BMO Women’s Segment Strategy for Commercial Banking and Wealth Management. Laura and her team are advocates for gender equality, and of reducing the challenges women face in their careers, businesses, and finances.

Laura is an Advisory Board member with GroYourBiz, Emmy Noether Council at Perimeter Institute and Femmebought Board member. Laura holds her MBA in Finance and Accounting through the University of Liverpool and is currently completing her graduate diploma in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability with the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto. In her spare time you can find her photographing or filming her travels via planes, trains or motorcycles at www.by2wingsor2wheels.com.


Leann Hackman-Carty

Partner, Hackman Carty & Associates

A leader and entrepreneur at heart, Leann has been involved with multiple leading organizations such as the British Columbia Economic Developers Association, Economic Developers Alberta, Organization of Women in International Trade, International Economic Development Council, Red Cross, US Consulate in Calgary and even partnered up with the Government of Alberta regarding Innovation and Advanced Education.”

Leann worked as an Executive Assistant, Community & Economic Development to the Mayor of Calgary for over 10 years; managed several federal, provincial and municipal election campaigns; developed and lead key initiatives in the corporate, public and not-for profit sector; provided business development services to the States of Mississippi and Georgia; provided leadership for the Organization of Women in International Trade; hosted numerous high level international trade delegations; initiated greater working relationships with provincial and international economic development groups; developed business and marketing plans for small-medium sized enterprises; and worked on a number of high profile community investment projects.

Since 2009, Leann has served as the Chief Executive Officer for Economic Developers Alberta which is Alberta’s economic development network. It has over 250 members, who are involved in economic development activities including business retention & expansion, business and investment attraction, opportunity identification, project management, site selection and supporting industry sector development. A well-respected professional in her field, she has lead public, private and non-profit organizations through eras of change to new levels of growth and stability. She is a sincere advocate with an aptitude for bridging conflicting interests, motivating staff and volunteers, and influencing key stakeholders.


Marg Hachey

Managing Director Eastern Canada, GroYourBiz Ltd.

Margaret Hachey was previously the owner of Duocom Canada Inc. She founded the company in Toronto in 1980 and with organic growth and acquisitions expanded coast to coast. Its success earned it recognition as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Private Companies, by Arthur Andersen, CIBC and the National Post two years in a row. Chatelaine and Profit magazine recognized her over a 10 year period as ranking in the top 10 of the Top 100 Women business owners in Canada.

Previously, she has been on the Steering Committee of Step Ahead, and a mentor for six years with the program, helping women entrepreneurs whose businesses were in the second stage of growth. She was also Special Advisor to Youth in Motion Education Foundation a non-profit organization to help youth gain access to higher education and as a board member helped launch Top 20 under 20. A sought after keynote speaker, Margaret has addressed audiences across the country on various topics. She is a regular guest lecturer at the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management and York University’s Schulich School of Business. As a founding member of WPO (Women Presidents Organization) in Canada, Margaret has an opportunity to network and support other women in like roles.


Marla Kott

Chair, GroYourBiz Executive Advisory Board

Marla Kott is a Chartered Accountant and Chief Executive Officer of Imprint Plus. She was the 2013 winner of the WeConnect Canada WBE Ambassador award, the 2012 winner of the Bank of Montreal Global Growth Award, and a 2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist. Marla’s relationship with Imprint Plus began a $20,000 angel investment and a personal bank guarantee, needed to keep a 7 year old start up afloat for a childhood friend. When the bank called the loan in 2000, she gave up her Chartered Accounting practice, moved across the country to Vancouver, British Columbia, and became the full time CEO of Imprint Plus. Marla arrived to face an unproductive management team, thin capitalization and a balance sheet that sported a debt of $700,000. In the thirteen years that Marla Kott has operated as the CEO of Imprint Plus, she has built the company into a thriving international exporter of name badge systems with a goal to becoming a category leader in this niche market. IP operations head office is in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company also has offices in Florida, Ontario and the UK. Imprint Plus has been listed in Profit Magazine’s as one of Canada’s top 100 women owned businesses for 7 consecutive years. The company today has over 35,000 customers in 75 countries.


Patricia Muir

Founder, Maestro Quality Inc. & Chair, GroYourBiz Mississauga, ON

Patricia is a veteran businesswoman who thrives on working with women business owners to develop and implement best practices that are good for business and people.  As a standard-bearer and an astute interpreter of standards and legislation, Patricia is well-versed in Quality Management and business legislation to help business owners increase performance, compliance, and profitability. Combining her entrepreneurial experience and knowledge of legislation, Patricia provides a high level of expertise in best practices for women-led businesses specific to business structure, finance, human resources, and transition/change management.  She examines gaps in systems and challenges myths that affect business excellence and women’s economic development. Challenging the status quo is a key element of her overall success while being known for her disciplined vision and professional composure. 

Patricia champions women business owners from start-up to “keep-going; keep growing” aka scale-up. Her connections and resources are ever-expanding to include funding and mentoring programs for women businesses of all sizes and women business owners of all ages and diversity.  Patricia is a former WBE Canada Assessor, a recipient of the 2014 WBE Ambassador Award, and lead assessor for the CGLCC Supplier Diversity Certification Program.  Patricia is an accredited ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and holds certifications in Emotional Intelligence, Occupational Health and Safety, and Quality Management. She is the creator of an emotional intelligence coaching program for women returning to work during and after cancer and the producer of the YouTube series The Joyful Entrepreneur and The Joy of Working After Sixty – Plus.


Patricia Ross

Councillor, City of Abbotsford & Chair, GroYourBiz Abbotsford (Fraser Valley,) BC

Patricia Ross has been a councillor in the City of Abbotsford for 25 years and is also Vice-Chair of the Fraser Valley Regional District. In her career, she has served on a wide variety of committees, providing her with a good knowledge base representing all sectors.  Patricia’s philosophy toward government is to fully embrace sustainability principles, considering the environmental, social and economic impacts equally in all decision making. For 14 years, she ran one of the first Recycle pick up services for business and multi family in the lower mainland.

In 1996, Patricia was chosen to represent Canada in the 5th cohort of Leadership for Environment and Development International, a research and training institute committed to fostering leadership in sustainability worldwide. She graduated from the program in 1998 and has gone on to help train subsequent cohorts. Patricia is a motivational keynote speaker and guest lecturer at events and conferences locally and internationally, including the 2004 International Climate Change conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on the rewards and challenges of environmental work in local government. 

Patricia has consistently been named one of the Abbotsford New’s Top 100 Most Influential People in Abbotsford and has been voted “Favourite Politician” by their readers two years in a row. She has won many awards for her community work including Abbotsford’s 2009 “Woman of the Year,”  “Newsmaker of the Year”  from the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, “Green Leader”  from the Abbotsford-Matsqui Rotary Club, “Paul Harris” Rotary club Fellowship and Queens Diamond Jubilee award. Patricia is excited about using her expertise and experience to help mentor women achieve success in business and politics through GroYourBiz. 


Susan Kabani

CEO, Ugenie.io & Co-Chair, GroYourBiz London, UK

Susan Kabani is a graduate of the School of Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University.  After university, spent two years as a legal paralegal at a top New York Law firm before attending Tulane University Law School from 2006-2009.  At Tulane, Susan received a Sport Law certificate and certification in alternative dispute resolution which includes skills such negotiation, mediation and arbitration. During law school, Susan worked as a legal intern for the National Football league in their London office.  Her role began with working on contracts for sponsors, but went on to include working on commercial pitches for European sponsors.  Upon graduation, she accepted a role as Legal Affairs and Business Development for a growing laser manufacturing company based in London who wanted to expand to the US market. Within the first 2 years, she moved into a business development role which included sales and marketing, all customer engagement work and operational management. During her time at the company, sales tripled and a new product was added to the company’s portfolio.  In 2016, Susan launched Ugenie, which provides organisations with tailored digital platforms to more effectively engage their membership. Ugenie focuses on small to medium sized organisations that have an existing membership or customer base to which they deliver regular content. The platform also allows enables the organisation to build a stronger community in private and customized digital space.


Susi Graf

Owner, SusAble Consulting

Susi Graf is the chair of the Vaughan GroYourBiz board. GroYourBiz is an organization that builds peer-to-peer advisory boards for women entrepreneurs.  Under the banner of MyBusinessMyBoard™, GroYourBiz offers training, support, advisory services and strategic alliances for women ready and committed to take their businesses to the next level.

Susi is a dedicated and passionate marketer who specializes in brand building, content creation, planning impactful corporate events and developing strategies for business growth. She brings 25 years of experience in corporate business, sales, coaching and working closely with executive leaders. During her long tenure in the accounting and consulting industry, Susi advised and worked with some of Canada’s top privately managed and entrepreneurial companies.  While at Deloitte, she ran the acclaimed Canada’s Best Managed Companies Program nationally, interviewing and coaching companies to highlight their strengths and enabling them to shine among their peers. In addition, she was responsible for the Women of Influence Luncheon Series and worked with the Women Entrepreneur of the Year Program.

A graduate of the Ivey School of Business at Western University, Susi is quite engaged in her Vaughan business community working with both the City of Vaughan’s Economic Development Group and as a member of the Women’s Committee of the Vaughan Chamber of Commerce.  In 2015, Susi started working with the global angel investment network, Keiretsu Forum, helping early stage companies find viable funding alternatives paving the way to game-changing innovations across industries and borders. Susi is passionate about connecting people, ideas and innovations.  She inspires leaders and entrepreneurs to think creatively and focus tenaciously on building relationships to help their businesses grow.


Vania Sakelaris

Principal, VAS & Associates Inc.

Vania Sakelaris is a seasoned executive with over 25+ years of experience in healthcare administration, governance and government relations.  She is the founder of VAS & Associates (VAS) a management consulting firm which provides customized advisory, coaching and training services to corporate executives, their boards and their teams. As a solution catalyst, the firm supports systems, organizations and people in managing growth and impactful change using a values-based approach and building on decades of experience developing and implementing regional strategies.

Vania’s lifelong passion for capacity building has been reflected throughout her career and inspired her coaching work and the launch of her business.  Vania shares her extensive experience as a public speaker, as an adjunct university lecturer and as a case writer with a focus on strategy, leadership, operations and entrepreneurship. 

Vania chairs two GYB Chapters (Toronto and Markham/ Richmond Hill).  She also provides business coaching for University of Toronto student entrepreneurs.

Vania holds an MBA from the Ivey Business School and is a graduate of Rotman’s Executive Leadership Program, and Not-For-Profit Governance Program.  She studied at the Coaches Training Institute and is Certified through Ivey Academy’s LIFT Advanced Coaching Program.