Message from our president
The WBN runs on volunteer power! Our volunteer Board of Directors is made up of two groups: an executive group managing the organization's administrative and strategic direction and a group of committee chairs representing each of the WBN's volunteer committees with a board seat.
Our volunteer committees are the lifeline of the WBN. They plan, organize and deliver all of the programs and membership services offered by the WBN.
Volunteering with a committee is a fantastic way to expand your network, sharpen your skills and learn more about the organization. And it can be a lot of fun. If you're interested in getting involved, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we look forward to connecting.
Straightforward, honest, and approachable, Christina Nesrallah is a financial advisor with Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network—and has a steady presence in the local Ottawa charitable community.
Passionate about community and the well-being of others, Christina is dedicated to understanding each of her clients on a personal level and takes great pleasure in providing financial security solutions that will help people sleep more easily at night. She brings to her job a legacy of knowledge and experience—much of it inherited from her father, who spent 50 years in the industry.
A self-described “serial philanthropist,” Christina has helped raise awareness as well as thousands of dollars for local charities over several years. She actively participates in many charitable events throughout Ottawa and has sat on several leadership committees such as the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation’s Nordic Walk for Cancer Survivorship Care, Bust a Move for Breast Health, the Jeanne Fuller Red Dress Golf Committee, and the Eldercare Foundation.
Christina is also an avid event planner. In April 2016, she organized and hosted Caring for Caregivers: The Sandwich Generation —a half-day panel discussion featuring expert insights and strategies on being prepared for the inevitability of caring for aging family members.
Social, active, and extroverted, Christina also works as a GoodLife Group Fitness Instructor. She strives for all aspects of her life to exemplify her values – the importance of maintaining physical, emotional, and financial health. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her husband and three beautiful daughters. She also enjoys good food, good wine, and great company.
Christina is a proud and active member of the Women’s Business Network. In addition to chairing the Golf Committee for the past several years, she has sat on the Sponsorship Committee and is an enthusiastic representative of the WBN Ambassador Program.
Kayla Seipp, CPA, CA is a Partner with MNP and provides assurance and advisory services to clients. Kayla leads the not-for-profit audit group in the MNP Ottawa office and Eastern Ontario Region. She manages, coordinates and is a key facilitator providing internal learning development courses on various assurance and financial reporting topics for MNP personnel. Kayla also facilitates external courses to non-profit targeted audiences regarding financial reporting management and responsibilities.
Kayla has worked closely with her clients to deliver strong assurance solutions that help them meet their regulatory, governance and compliance requirements. Specializing in audit services for not-for-profit organizations, Kayla has assisted a wide range of healthcare, educational, social services and other not-for-profit and charitable organizations, as well as Indigenous organizations and other private companies, by delivering relevant, reliable and independently reviewed financial information to help them make strategic decisions about the future. Kayla is currently a Board Member of the Bridgepoint Center for Eating Disorders, and an Audit & Finance Committee Member of the Ottawa Community Foundation.
Kayla obtained her Bachelor of Commerce degree with great distinction from the University of Saskatchewan in 2009 and her CA designation in 2011. She has more than 13 years of experience in public practice and is a member of CPA Saskatchewan and CPA Ontario.
Chair of Events
Jen is the Owner and Registered Massage Therapist at Whole Therapy.
Whole Therapy is a unique and collaborative multidisciplinary clinic comprised of Registered Massage Therapists, Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, and Personal Trainers. We also have Acupuncture (TCM) and Mental Health practitioners!
Together, our team helps shed light on injury and help clients prevent injury from happening again.
Our team employs a "two heads are better than one" philosophy, which means that we all rely on each others' experience and education to solve problems. We believe that there is no one-size-fits-all therapy; every person is unique and should be treated that way.
From injury rehabilitation to prevention to wellness, the Whole Therapy team is a one-stop shop. Come and see us today! www.wholetherapyottawa.com
Chair of BYA GALA
Karen Wilson is the marketing and business strategist behind KCW Consulting. Accidental marketers (aka, business owners) invest in Karen’s services to clarify what they want to do and build a personalized plan to make it happen. Instead of checking off boxes on one-size-fits-all lists that don’t work for them, Karen empowers her clients to share their brilliance in the right places and spaces to reach their ideal clients.
For small businesses and not-for-profits that need support with marketing and communications, Karen is the partner who meets them where they are and provides guidance, insights, and recommendations that move them toward achieving their goals without overwhelming already limited resources.
As a WBN member (since 2012), and past president of the WBN (2015-2018), Karen is passionate about the support the network gives to its members. She’s honoured to have the opportunity to serve as Chair of the BYA Gala committee and be a part of recognizing exceptional women in the National Capital Region for their impact on our business community.
Connect with Karen on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/karenchapmanwilson/.
VP of Operations
Stacey is a part of the KPMG Enterprise team, she works closely with advisors to understand the challenges and opportunities facing businesses, organizations and individuals with the ultimate goal of making her clients’ businesses better.
Stacey is a National leader for KPMG Enterprise’s FamilyShift education program. She helps private family business owners and their families to prepare the next generation through understanding of leadership strategy, the importance of governance, and exploring a variety of succession planning solutions.
Outside of KPMG, Stacey is committed to helping create a prosperous community by working with local organizations in various capacities.
Scout began working with Scotia McLeod in 2018 after completing her Bachelor of Commerce with a major in marketing and a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Ottawa. She has broadened her knowledge of the financial industry by completing her Canadian Securities Course and Conduct Practices Course with the Canadian Securities Institute and is currently working towards her Certified Financial Planner and Certified Divorce Planning Designation. Scout’s primary focus is to develop and deliver educational material to clients and prospects to help them achieve a better understanding of their finances. She works primarily with female clients ranging in demographics from business owners, divorcees, teachers, stay at home moms, you name it. Scout has worked to understand the difference in the way that women approach finances, and is taking strides to change the financial system so it better supports women in finance. She lives just outside of Ottawa, in Carleton Place, Ontario, and in her free time enjoys planning her upcoming wedding, spending time with her expansive family, and hanging out with her dog, Harper.
Chair of Mentorship
Laura is a Partner in KPMG’s Global Mobility Services (GMS) practice. Laura has over 15 years of experience in Canadian and US personal tax and expatriate taxation. Laura is based out of KPMG’s Ottawa office but has primary responsibility for clients all over Eastern Canada.
Professional and Industry Experience:
Laura assists companies and their employees who are traveling cross-border. She works with employees who are on foreign assignments, traveling internationally on business, or relocating cross-border.
Laura has managed the Canadian/US expatriate programs for numerous multinational organizations, including overseeing several programs that have hundreds of Canadian-touching assignees annually. Laura advises on the management of international assignment programs; considers the tax and payroll aspects of international assignments; works with corporate tax colleagues to address the international corporate tax implications of those assignments and works with immigration professionals to consider both the tax and immigration implications of cross-border travel. She also has experience working with international executives in high-touch situations.
In addition to mobility program clients, Laura works with individuals who are US citizens residing in Canada, are Canadians spending time in the US, or have cross-border investments.
Laura also advises on Canadian and US issues related to compensation and benefit plans, including various types of equity and retirement plans.
A graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Master of Accounting program, Laura is a Canadian-trained CPA, CA, and also holds her US CPA designation.
Laura is a member of the Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Council at KPMG. She also leads the KPMG women’s network for Eastern Canada “Thrive”, and is an active member of the Ottawa Women’s Business Network (WBN), including chair of the Mentorship Program Committee. https://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-tippett/
VP OF STRATEGIC INITIATIVES
Katherine Cooligan is a Partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, and is a certified specialist in Family Law. She has held senior management roles within Canada’s largest national law firm, including Regional Managing Partner of the Ottawa office. As a native of Ottawa, Katherine has been very involved in the local community, serving terms on the CHEO Foundation Board, The Royal Foundation Board, and is the current Chair of Women for Mental Health with The Royal. She has been a strong advocate for women in business and women in leadership, writing and speaking on these subjects.
Connect with Katherine on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/katherine-cooligan-37127933.
Chair of Membership
For several years, Dina had supported the network and appreciated the profound impact of the WBN from the outside, looking in. This was through attending charitable events, participating in community initiatives, and listening to the outstanding stories of WBN founding members. Add to that being a firsthand witness to the rise and evolution of her own mother’s journey as a woman business owner and active contributor within the network, it was just a matter of time before Dina decided to “come on home” to the WBN.
Now as a proud member and self-proclaimed “lifer”, Dina recognizes the powerful ripple effect throughout the National Capital Region because of the collaboration, contribution, and actions that occur amongst members within the WBN. The relationships and the unending efforts are a force unlike any other. It is both a privilege and a great responsibility to follow in the footsteps of long-time members and the legacy of what this network represents. Dina believes deeply in acknowledging where we have come from and who has walked before us, in all areas of our lives, and to recognize how we can honour, learn, and carry the torch forward.
Professionally, having worked in marketing, media and HR for 15 years, Dina’s career path is now dedicated to military service and the family business. Celebrating 26 years in business, the Beaudoin family supports thousands of consumers with household and health-related grocery services, providing convenient online shopping and home delivery. As a servant leader in her professional and personal life, Dina’s beliefs and actions are to show up with enthusiasm, compassion, openness and an acceptance that we are always “becoming”. Dina’s approach is to be REAL and imperfect, as life is all about learning, teaching, falling, rising, and growing together. As a favourite quote and personal family motto reads:
“Be patient with me God, I’m a work in a progress …”
Chair of BYA Nominations
Mira is a Commercial Real-Estate Analyst working with the RBC National team to develop and deliver on business priorities and improve the Client Experience through focused financial advice and solutions to meet the clients’ Commercial Real-Estate needs. Mira has over 15 years of experience in the financial industry working with entrepreneurs and real estate investors. Mira is based out of the RBC Ottawa office and is responsible for Ontario’s North and East territories.
Mira has worked with VPs, AVMs, Marketing, and internal and external stakeholders to influence thinking within the organization, reshaping traditional approaches and redefining measures of success. The influence was effective due to developing an implementable strategy that resulted from diverse research, actionable insights, and concise and impactful communications. Mira has also led the strategy formation process of the business development and performance programs by applying functional expertise, creative ideas, and insights to key economic performance indicators. These efforts achieved a sales increase of 15% YOY and an increase in efficiency by 20%, maximizing financial growth. Mira has extensive experience in business development and project management, establishing a reputation as a transformational leader driven by challenge, undeterred by obstacles, and committed to furthering standards of excellence to build consensus among executive teams and stakeholders to promote transparency and influence positive change.
In addition to her passion for Gender Equity and commitment as a Board member of the Ottawa Women’s Business Network (WBN), where she is the Businesswoman of the Year Awards Nominations Committee Chair, Mira is an advocate of equitable education for all children.
Mira is an active member of ABC Ottawa. ABC Ottawa works on the local and provincial levels with individuals, teachers, school boards and the Ministry of Education and Training to increase the understanding of bright children at home, school and in the community. It encourages the development of appropriate educational programs.
Mira is also a member of the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) of the Ottawa Catholic School Board, whose mission is to protect the rights of students with special learning needs. Under Ontario’s Education Act, every student is entitled to programming which best meets their needs. SEAC provides information and advice help to parents/guardians whose children require additional support. SEAC advises the Board on establishing and developing special education programs and services.
By getting involved in a committee, you will have a pedigreed introduction to many members of Ottawa’s business community, but best of all, you will have fun collaborating with a group of positive, successful businesswomen. Contact the chairs of any of the following committees to join.
The Mentorship Committee leads the WBN’s mentorship program for emerging and mid-level entrepreneurs/corporate professionals who are seeking skills, development and personal/professional growth.