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Edmonton, AB – Yesterday evening Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) announced the recipients of the 2018 Celebration of Achievement and Entrepreneur Awards at a reception in Edmonton. The annual AWE Awards recognize women who have made a significant contribution to the business community in Alberta.

Since it began in 2012, the program has expanded to honour one Celebration of Achievement recipient as well as female business leaders in three other categories: Emerging Entrepreneur, Emerging Innovator and Upsurge Entrepreneur. AWE is pleased to announce the recipients of the

2018 Awards:

Celebration of Achievement Award Recipient: Eveline Charles, CEO, Eveline Charles Hair Salons and Day Spas

This award pays tribute to an exceptional woman entrepreneur who has built a business in Alberta with a significant impact on the economy and the community. This entrepreneur is an inspirational leader and a role model for women in business.

With six successful salons and spas across Alberta and almost 200 employees, Eveline Charles has dominated the beauty industry for over 40 years. Eveline's determination to become the market leader led to the expansion of her business in 2005 to include the EvelineCharles Academy - a state-of- the-art facility where future beauty industry leaders could harness and perfect their trade. The next venture for Eveline was expanding into custom product manufacturing with EC Labs. Founded in 2016, EC Labs is Canada’s newest beauty, health, and wellness product manufacturer. In addition, EvelineCharles Salons | Spas | Beauty MD has now begun franchising locations as a future expansion strategy.

AWE Upsurge Award Recipient: Amanda Hamilton, Founder and Creative Director, Amanda Hamilton Design

This award recognizes an entrepreneur who has a strong vision and passion for growth. The recipient has built a solid foundation for her business, has experienced growth, and has significant expansion opportunities.

Celebrated for her tenacious and vibrant persona, Amanda Hamilton’s bold and unconventional approach to design and business has made her one of the most sought after interior designers in Western Canada. With over a decade of experience, Amanda Hamilton Interior Design has earned a diverse and extensive portfolio including custom residential homes, multi-family developments, restaurant, office and retail design.

AWE Emerging Award Recipient: Sylvia Cheverie, Owner, Chartier

This award recognizes an entrepreneur who has built a strong, scalable business foundation, has achieved early success and market traction.

As an homage to her culture, Sylvia wanted to introduce French cuisine to her hometown of Beaumont, Alberta. She completed a Kickstarter campaign in order to raise a portion of the capital required to open the French-Canadian restaurant named “Chartier,” which to-date is the most successful restaurant kickstarter in Canada. She acts as a mentor and advocate for other entrepreneurs and local businesses in the area.

AWE Emerging Innovator Award Recipient: Dr. Gina Cherkowski, Founder and CEO, STEM Learning Lab

This award recognizes an entrepreneur who has built an innovation-based business and who has achieved early success with strong market potential.

Dr. Gina Cherkowski is an educational game changer on a mission to ensure all students have access to high quality STEM learning experiences, so they are aptly prepared for our technology-rich world. Dr. Cherkowski believes that all kids can and should be proficient in math as well as the other STEM fields and fights to make this a reality through her work at STEM Learning Lab and Million Women Mentors.

Quote from Alberta Women Entrepreneurs:
“We believe outstanding women deserve to be celebrated. The recipients of this year’s awards have made impactful contributions to their communities and Alberta's economy, and we are proud to recognize them as business role models and inspiring members of our community.”
- Marcela Mandeville, CEO, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs

Quote from Presenting Sponsor, ATB Business:
“Congratulations to all of the incredible entrepreneurs who were named recipients of the AWE Celebration of Achievement and Entrepreneur Awards this year. Small and medium sized businesses are essential to driving our economy forward and the diversity of this year’s finalists showcases what a world class entrepreneurial centre Alberta has become. This year’s winners are each helping to grow our province in their own unique way and ATB is proud to support them and other female entrepreneurs in partnership with AWE.”
- Teresa Clouston, Executive Vice President, ATB Business & Agriculture

 

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We sat down with Sonia Egey-Samu, Partner of Clarity Wealth Counsel Inc, to learn more about her business, the journey as an entrepreneur and mother, and her experience with AWE and the PeerSpark™ program.

Sonia, tell us how your journey into entrepreneurship began.
Well, I worked at several of the big financial institutions in my 10 year corporate career and saw every aspect of what financial advice looked like. I learned all the cookie cutter tools and products being used. But all the while there was an internal conflict since I could never develop to the "mold" and constantly needed to learn more to do more for my clients whose financial lives depended on me. At the height of my corporate career my husband and I were flown to Denver to EACH be awarded as one of the top 30 advisors in Canada within the firm we worked at. It was a really cool moment, and we looked at each other and were so proud in sharing that achievement.

Then from there we went on to start our own retirement planning firm and it definitely wasn't an easy decision! Now we look back just a few years later and absolutely cannot believe the tremendous growth that we've had as a company, as individuals, as a married couple, and as parents.

What is the service you provide?
Our specialization is Tax Efficient Retirement Planning. So when somebody comes to see us, they're finished dabbling, and kind of guessing and hoping, and are now serious about not only completing a detailed retirement plan, but also ensuring that they achieve that plan. And the way we approach planning is extremely comprehensive so "no rocks are left unturned". Clients generally leave our office feeling that "weight" or "worry" being lifted about their financial future. It's what we've been doing for a long time, and we absolutely love what we do!

What would you say is the best part of having your own business?
The shaping of our business is the best part by far. I'm so deeply driven to consistently review how we provide value, and then 10x that. But sometimes as business owners we lose sight of what value really is. And it's so easy to lose sight because there's what you think your client values, and then there's taking the time to habitually ask clients what THEY value and so we've been doing this since day one and shaping our business based on their feedback and their needs.

What have you learned from working with others in the PeerSpark program?
It's definitely been one of the best experiences of my life meeting like minded women and sharing our deepest challenges to be able to work through them quickly. My growth today wouldn't be where it is had I not participated in PeerSpark, I'm very grateful to continue to be a part of it.

What are you most proud of in your business?
It was a tear jerker moment for me when we recently had a few of our long time clients volunteer to do a video testimonial. Listening to their words and what they'd experience has been made me the most proud. I had a good cry (laughing)

Would you recommend entrepreneurship to a friend?
I don't recommend entrepreneurship, just like I don’t recommend how to parent, or how to eat. These decisions should all be based on personal values in my mind. If a friend wanted to talk through the idea of it, I'm there!

How do you manage being a mom and business owner?
First things First by Stephen Covey, it's a good read! I schedule each week based on my core values. I get total fulfillment from being a Mama, a business owner, and all the other hats I wear.

Define your work life balance
Hmm, I'd probably say to maintain a level of homeostasis. To keep contributing to my family and my business, I need to make sure I keep my cup full so that I can perform at a high level, be present, feel healthy and organized in my life.

Would you recommend PeerSpark to other entrepreneurs?
I cannot speak highly enough about PeerSpark and the positive impact it has made on my life. If someone out there is thinking about it and needs to chat before making the leap I'm more than happy to share my experience.

To learn more about Sonia and Clarity Wealth Counsel Inc, visit their website at www.claritywealthcounsel.ca.

If you have questions regarding AWE or our PeerSpark™ program, visit our PeerSpark™ page to learn more. 

 

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Beauty tycoon, Eveline Charles, named 2018 Celebration of Achievement Award Winner

Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) is pleased to announce Eveline Charles as the
recipient of this year’s Celebration of Achievement Award, which recognizes an exceptional woman entrepreneur who has built a business in Alberta with a significant impact on the economy and the community.

The Alberta-based Founder and CEO of EvelineCharles Salons | Spas | Beauty MD will be recognized at the 2018 Celebration of Achievement award reception on April 25th at the Sutton Place Hotel in Edmonton, sponsored by ATB Financial.

“We are honoured to recognize such a deserving person with this year’s Celebration of Achievement award. Eveline is a true business leader and inspiration; she aims high and remains focused on achieving her vision,” explains Marcela Mandeville, CEO of AWE.

With six successful salons and spas across Alberta and almost 200 employees, Eveline Charles has dominated the beauty industry for over 40 years. Eveline's determination to become the market leader led to the expansion of her business in 2005 to include the EvelineCharles Academy - a state-of- the-art facility where future beauty industry leaders could harness and perfect their trade.

The next venture for Eveline was expanding into custom product manufacturing with EC Labs. Founded in 2016, EC Labs is Canada’s newest beauty, health, and wellness product manufacturer. In addition, EvelineCharles Salons | Spas | Beauty MD has now begun franchising locations as a future expansion strategy.

“I am very grateful to receive this prestigious award. It is really humbling to be a recipient of this award in the presence of so many female entrepreneurs and leaders. This honour means so much to me, as entrepreneurship runs through my veins. I am so passionate about driving, growing, and reinventing my business every day to be a leader in our industry,” Charles said of her win.

"Growing a business into a successful and sustainable enterprise requires passion, perseverance and a plan. Eveline is a trailblazing entrepreneur, whose vision and leadership has enabled her to grow her business in a lasting and meaningful way. She's an inspiration so many women, and entrepreneurs across this province and country," says Teresa Clouston, Executive Vice-President of ATB Business & Agriculture. "On behalf of the ATB team, I am pleased to congratulate Eveline and all the awards winners."

At the reception on April 25, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs will honour Charles and her role as a leader in female entrepreneurship, as well as announce the recipients of three other award categories including Emerging Innovator Award, Emerging Award and Upsurge Award.

Anyone wishing to celebrate the outstanding women entrepreneurs in our province is invited to attend the reception. Tickets for the can be reserved here.

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Edmonton, AB - Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) is pleased to announce the finalists for their annual AWE Awards which recognize women who have made a significant contribution to the business community in Alberta. There are three categories with multiple finalists named in each, as well as one Celebration of Achievement Award recipient who is recognized for being an inspirational leader and role model for women in business. 

The recipients of the awards will be announced and celebrated at the annual AWE Award Reception in Edmonton on April 25, 2018 at the Sutton Place hotel. 

Listed below are the award categories and finalists who have each demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit through perseverance, the courage to take risks and the ability to seize opportunity.

Awards & Finalists

AWE Upsurge Award

This award recognizes an entrepreneur who has a strong vision and passion for growth. The recipient has built a solid foundation for her business, has experienced growth, and has significant expansion opportunities.

Finalists:

AWE Emerging Award

This award recognizes an entrepreneur who has built a strong, scalable business foundation, has achieved early success and market traction.

Finalists:

AWE Emerging Innovator Award 

This award recognizes an entrepreneur who has built an innovation-based business and who has achieved early success with strong market potential.

Finalists:

Celebration of Achievement

Since 2012, the annual AWE Celebration of Achievement award has paid tribute to an exceptional woman entrepreneur who has built a business in Alberta with a significant impact on the economy and the community. This entrepreneur is an inspirational leader and a role model for women in business.

2018 Recipient: To be announced soon. 

“This is our sixth year hosting the AWE Awards and the resilience and enthusiasm of our nominees continues to amaze me. We are excited to recognize outstanding women who have made significant contributions to our community and economy.” 

- Marcela Mandeville, CEO, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs

Presenting Sponsor

Media Contact

Stephanie Woods
Marketing Manager
Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE)
marketing@awebusiness.com 

 

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On March 8, 2018 we celebrated International Women's Day. Now, more than ever, there's a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. There's a strong call to #PressforProgress motivating and uniting friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

In a recent report on women entrepreneurs and innovation completed by the Beacon Agency, Government of Canada, Carleton University and BMO Financial Group, key facts and trends were identified on how important women entrepreneurs are to our economy and communities.

For example, did you know that women-led businesses today represent 50% of all new businesses? (BDC, 2017). In addition, among all small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), 47% are entirely or partly owned by women (Statistics Canada, 2012). 

In celebration of International Women's Day, we are very excited to announce our new partnership with BDC as a member of Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC) to better support women entrepreneurs. 

The agreement adds on to BDC’s commitments to support women entrepreneurs, namely new targets of $1.4 billion in lending to women-led businesses by 2021 and $200 million in investments in women-led technology firms.

Read the full release here.

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We sat down with Wendy Kerkhoff, President and CEO of Intellidig to learn more about her business, her methodology and her experience with AWE and the PeerSpark™ program.

Q: Wendy, tell us, how did you end up becoming an entrepreneur?

There’s a part of me that just always knew that I would start my own business. While I was working the recruiting industry, I honestly felt there was a lot of dissatisfaction about how the service was being traditionally provided. I knew there had to be a better way, so I went out and started working to fine-tune my efforts.

I knew that eventually, companies would reach a point where they would recognize that all of their prospective talent came from the same data and talent pool. It was becoming a race to see who could get to that person and people became tired of it. 

That’s where research came into play. I knew that we had to find the people who weren’t looking and that the internet was an amazing place to find everything about people. This targeted approach about identifying candidates is what makes us different and is also why we have been in business for 15 years.

Q: Wow, 15 years! That is incredible. How many people do you have working with you now at Intellidig? 

It ranges depending on the size and scope of project we are working on. On some projects, I’ve had as many as 20 contractors. My core team is made up of five to seven people.

Q: What are you most proud of in your business?

There’s a lot of things that I look back on and am proud of, but I have to say surviving in business is something to be very proud of in itself. Many businesses don’t make it past the five year mark, it’s a milestone.

I’m really proud of what I have developed in the business and the high-profile organizations we have served. I’ve built a company that’s both functional and operational while surviving the odds.

Q: Would you recommend entrepreneurship to a friend?

It’s definitely not for everyone, but for me it’s the right thing. It’s something I was always trying to work towards and identify the right time to do it. Eventually, I just took the leap of faith and decided I was going to do my own work.

I would recommend it to people who feel they can think outside the box and wear many hats. I love the freedom and flexibility it provides.There’s really no constraints of job or position. It really is what you make of it!

Q: What would you say you have learned from other entrepreneurs?

Definitely how lonely it can be. You don’t have the same support that you get internally in a corporate job when you’re an entrepreneur. Being involved in entrepreneur organizations, like AWE, really surrounds you with other like-minded people. There is so much value in that. You begin to recognize that everyone has challenges and that regardless of industry, my challenges are not much different than other entrepreneurs.

Q: How did you find out about AWE?

I’ve known about AWE for many years, but became more involved a few years ago. When I found out about the programs for established businesses, like PeerSpark™, I joined right away.

Q: What do you want Intellidig to be know for?

I want us to be known as a trailblazer. We really started with the concept of providing something different, a different model to a traditional industry. The most consistent challenge has been trying to break the mold and let people know that there are alternatives to recruitment. It’s been a challenge, but I’ve stuck with it and paved the way!

To learn more about Intellidig and the work they are providing, visit their new website at www.intellidig.com or visit them on Facebook.

If you have questions regarding AWE or our PeerSpark™ program, visit our PeerSpark™ page to learn more. 

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With the New Year of 2018,  we look back with great admiration for the Indigenous Women who have participated in the NextStep to Success Business Plan Learning Series, which was launched in September 2017. We want to share some of the comments from the Siksika Nation
participants.
 


“AWE is a great organization, which is truly focused on building Indigenous Women’s skills. Thank you so much for the opportunity.”
Sara


“Bev, our facilitator ensured a great environment
for learning. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the sessions
& hope nothing but the best for all of my colleagues”
Tracey


“To succeed in operating your own business you
must take risks. And that is to think outside the box,
always.”

Janis


“With this training, one can plan for a successful
business. The course renewed the dream of owning
your own business. Stay positive, be confident and
be proud of your vision”

Kathleen McHugh.
 

“Informative, Informative, Informative!”
T Yellowfly


“Definitely going to utilize the knowledge that was
planted in my mind and reap what I can from the
soil. Wonderful and inspiring experience working
with these ladies. Nothing but encouragement for
each other, loved it.”
Erin B

In March 2018, AWE will be opening sessions for registration for new and ready to start Indigenous entrepreneurs in Calgary and Edmonton. Please contact Bev Latter, Special Projects at 403-862-3490 or bev.latter@awebusiness.com to register.

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AWE is honouring female entrepreneurs from across the province. Nominated by their peers, these inspirational women are achieving growth and success in business. This year, we had over 75 applicants for our 2018 Awards! Of these 75, 43 nominees successfully submitted their required nominee packages. 

Finalists will be announced at our upcoming nominee receptions happening in March.

On April 25, 2018 we will announce the recipients for this year's AWE Upsurge, Emerging, Emerging Innovator and Celebration of Achievement Awards.

Join Us!

The nominees for 2018 are:

  • Julie Boake, Awedity Creative
  • Colleen Rice, Family Nexus Inc
  • Tracey Einarson, Commercial Food Service Inc. & Sendoa Weight Loss & Health Ltd.
  • Vanessa Hernandez-Munoz, WarBaby Cosmetics
  • Stacy Maurier, Estate Connection
  • Victoria Armstrong, Master Cleaner
  • Charity Callahan, Zen Earth Corp
  • Kimberly Carson-Richards, Forward Momentum Coaching Solutions
  • Lucy Dunne, Dunnebells
  • Florence Murota, Brighter Financial Solutions Ltd
  • Teresa Kiyawasew, Kiy HR Services Inc.
  • Alyssa Lau, New Classics Studios Ltd.
  • Connie Stacey, Growing Greener Innovations
  • Pauline Robinson, Nature’s Arbre
  • Corinna Clark, CorBec Management Group Inc.
  • Sylvia Cherverie, Chartier Restaurants Ltd.
  • Karen Murdock, Your Organized Friend
  • Steffany Hanlen-Francey, SkateTech Ltd
  • Rosanna Fischer, KDM Management Inc.
  • Kirei Yasunori, Evolved Health
  • Diana Frost, Colouring It Forward
  • Shanna Mawer, Scene-Fab Inc.
  • Emma Demaer, Better Thinking Inc.
  • Jesse Szymanski, Modern Muse Media Ltd.
  • Sara Tharakan, Strategic HR Services
  • Chelsea Barlow, KB Benefits
  • Merena Johnson, Halo Headwear
  • Yvonne Irnich, DaVinci Gelato Originale Inc
  • Shani Gwin, Gwin Communications
  • Justine Martinson, Lipstick Empire Ltd.
  • Carina Ludgate, Park Avenue Communications Ltd.
  • Kathryn Kolaczek, Alchemy Communications Inc.
  • Colleen Heidecker, Colleen Heidecker Chocolates
  • Kathy Leskow, Confetti Sweets
  • Sravya Kalyanapu, Seleste Lipsticks
  • Barbara Reppert, Executive impact
  • Caitlin Zietz, CaitlinK Zietz Professional Corporation
  • Amanda Hamilton, Amanda Hamilton Interior Design
  • Anita Dyrbye, From The Earth Naturally Ltd.
  • Nicole Bird, RSVP Design Inc.
  • Gina Cherkowski, STEM Learning Lab Inc.
  • Marwa Hurley, Sugar Coat Nail Salon and Spa Inc.
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Join us for our NextStep to Success for Indigenous Women 2018 Business Plan Learning Series! This training program offers guidance on creating the key parts of a business plan. The first session begins on February 21 in Edmonton, AB. Contact Bev at 403-862-3490 to register! 

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Women play an important role in the creation and operation of small businesses across Canada, yet they often face barriers and a lack of support. To help remove these barriers, Western Economic Diversification Canada established the Women's Enterprise Initiative (WEI) to provide business information and services to women entrepreneurs.

Find out how WEI lending is making a difference!

The WEI has offices in each of the four western provinces. These non-profit centres provide a variety of unique products for women entrepreneurs including advisory services, training options, networking opportunities, business loans and referrals to complementary services.

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