A couple of months ago I was having lunch with my friend and fellow member, Karen Wilson. We were talking about branding, specifically, the branding task force we’ve assembled to take do a refresh of the look of the WBN. It was during this conversation that I volunteered to take-over the reigns of the task force from Karen, as her plate was already quite full what with being our new president and all.

Last year's graphic - dated and stale (nothing like the actual women in our network)

Last year’s graphic – dated and stale (nothing like the actual women in our network)

Anyhow, before you know it, our deadline to launch the nominations for the Businesswoman of the Year Awards came barrelling down at us. What followed was a frenzy of hard work to bring together a new look and feel for the BYAs that we could carry through from year to year. We were absolutely NOT going to be recycling our “business ladies with file folders” of years past, and if we didn’t move fast we were going to be stuck launching the BYAs with the same stale look that has kept the BYAs (nominations especially) as an “aside” mentioned once a year via the WBN.

With a very short time to bring together something in time for our deadline, Chantal Lancaster and I bashed our heads together and worked with our noses to the grindstone to bring together what you see today when you visit http://theBYAs.ca and with all of the official media that will come out to promote the awards. I’m going to take this time to give a serious “shout out” to Chantal. She was a super hero through all of this. From day 1 she has held the vision and made it easy to get this done as quickly and beautifully as she has. When I came to her with an incredibly short timeline and giant vision for this brand – she delivered. I know for a fact, that she spent many late nights above and beyond her demanding client work to make this happen. So, thank you Chantal, you are a superhero.

The Goal

Our goal was to create a look that would have the BYAs stand apart from the WBN. Something that would tell the entire business community of Ottawa that this is an award that stretches beyond the confines of the WBN. This award is for ALL women in the Ottawa business community. You don’t have to be a member of the WBN to nominate and you don’t have to be a member to WIN!

With that in mind, we set-out to build a brand that is bold! modern! strong!


As you may or may not know a brand is more than just a logo – it’s a feeling. It’s the first thought that pops into your mind when you interact with any touch-point that relates to your business/organization/person and in this case “awards”. It is represented through the words you choose, the quality of your media, and through the imagery you choose to use in your communications. With that in mind, here is the photography that we are using in this year’s campaign.

These evoke an emotion – can you feel it?

These are photos of actual women in our network and finalists/recipients of the BYAs. They were taken at awards ceremony by Valberg Imaging. Of these women, they say “We are strong, modern, beautiful women. We are women to be applauded and admired. We are women you know!”.

Your Mission

Another one of our goals, was to make “The BYAs” a household name in Ottawa. This is something that is going to take some time. With that in mind, I’m going to sign-off with a mission for the women of the WBN, and for any woman who sees the value in recognizing the accomplishments of women in our business community: