WBN News


WBN’s Businesswoman of the Year: The Gala is just around the corner!

The BYA Gala Committee along with Nextwave Events is in the final most exciting stages of executing the 30th Anniversary BYA Gala at the Hampton Inn and Conference Centre on Wednesday, April 17th. This is the premiere event celebrating women’s business awards in the Ottawa business community. The nine finalists will be presented, each with a remarkable story of professional accomplishment. Join Ottawa’s business elite, network in a fun atmosphere, meet colleagues, peers and friends. Let Michelle Valberg our Master of Ceremonies, 2002 Businesswoman of the Year and international photographer guide you through this fabulous evening.

Be the first to know the recipient of the awards in the Entrepreneur, Professional and Corporate category.


Who likes free stuff?

There are many great events going on in Ottawa, and we are feeling generous! Our first Facebook contest was held mid-March, and we gave away 3 pairs of tickets to the Home & Garden Show (March 21-24). And that’s not all! We will continue to give away a pair of tickets to the Breakfast Circles via Twitter…follow @WBN_Ottawa and watch for the next contest starting April 15.


A big thank you to our 30th BYA Gala Sponsors!

Thanks to our sponsors, the 30th BYA Gala is promising to be one of the best yet! There are still sponsorship opportunities available!  Buy an ad in our program and showcase your business to some of Ottawa’s top female businesswomen.


The WBN at the National Women’s Show!

WBN will once again be at the National Women’s Show! Join us April 13 and 14 at the Ottawa Convention Centre.  If you have been wondering what the Women’s Business Network is about, and whether it should be part of your marketing mix – then come out and meet us!  Member volunteers will be ready to answer your questions and tell you what WBN can do for you.

For the membership: if you are looking for a volunteer opportunity, we are still in need of a few member volunteers to promote the network at the Show, and ‘man the booth.’ Or if you prefer, you can donate an item to fill our basket of goodies that we will be giving away.

We will also need volunteers to help with set up on Friday, April 13 and teardown on Sunday, April 15.

If you are able to help out with any of these initiatives, please contact Loreto Cheyne at loreto@loladesign.ca or 613-371.3281.

We look forward to seeing you!


Thank you from the Nominating & Awards Committee

The Nominating & Awards Committee would like to thank everyone who participated in the nomination and selection process for the Businesswoman of the Year Award in each of the three award categories: Professional, Entrepreneur and Corporate.

The Finalist Luncheon was held on March 5th at the Sala San Marco Banquet Hall where the BYA Finalists were announced.  We would like to congratulate the Finalists in the Professional Category: Dr. Cheryl Cooper of Vitallife Integrative Medicine, Elisabeth S. Preston of McMillan LLP, and Kimothy Walker of CTV; the Finalists in the Entrepreneur Category: Marilyn Henschel of Henschel Business Services Inc, Bronwyn Mondoux of Cinnamon Toast Creative + Strategy, and Rebecca Page of Concierge Home Services; and the Finalists in the Corporate Category: Heidi Hauver of Pythian, Shannon Lambert of Vertiaaq, and Frances Mannarino of BMO Bank of Montreal.


Meet this year’s scholarship recipients!

In the early 1980‘s, the WBN held a successful event called Action Auction.  Due to its success, the WBN was able to establish a scholarship fund with the mandate to recognize female students for their scholastic and leadership achievements.  The Nominating & Awards Committee is proud to manage this process.

Each year the proceeds from this investment are distributed to three women. One to an applicant of the Master of Business Administration program at the University of Ottawa.  The second to a third or fourth year student in a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Carleton University.  And the third to a graduating student in a two year program at Algonquin College

We are pleased to announce this year’s recipients and would like to tell you a little bit about each of these inspiring women. The recipient from the MBA program at the University of Ottawa is Arpana Singh.  Arpana was born and raised in India, completed her Bachelor of Engineering in 2001 and Master of Technology in 2007. She is currently a student of Master of Business Administration at University of Ottawa.

Arpana is an experienced team lead with three years of experience in engineering consulting and one year in embedded systems design. She has kept her interests diversified through accepting wide varieties of opportunities such as working with a telecommunication company, a technology development center, and a major oil and gas company ‘Shell Oil’.  A management study at this point of time has provided her an insight of the various facets of management, theoretical foundation as well as the practical exposure. Equipped with technical and business skills, she is confident to be successful in accomplishing her career goals of providing sophisticated level of consultancy. In her leisure time, she enjoys running, photography and volunteering in the community.

The recipient from the Bachelor of Commerce program at Carleton University is Xenia Nei. Xenia is a 4th year Bachelor of Commerce student pursuing a concentration in accounting. Her main interest is in audit, and she hopes to attain a Chartered Accountant designation in the future and gain experience working for a reputable accounting firm. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering at various events, as well as playing volleyball.  She is honoured to have received the Women’s Business Network scholarship.

The recipient from Algonquin College is Victoria Freeborn.  Victoria is twenty one years old, fluently bilingual, and has worked in customer service since age 13. She is currently enrolled in the Business Administration-Accounting Program at Algonquin College and working towards her BComm specializing in Accounting and her CGA designation. Right now, Victoria is just starting an 8 month co-op at Smith & West, CGA where she will continue to hone her skills and experience in her chosen field. Prior to this, Victoria attended Ottawa U in International Studies and Modern Languages (Dean’s List 2010) and she graduated with Honours from Ecole Secondaire Louis Riel.  She likes to travel, read and enjoys yoga and fashion.

Congratulations to each of the scholarship recipients!


WBN 19th Annual Golf Tournament: Join the Game!

Join the Game and Make a difference, one swing at a time.  Any level of golfer should come out to The WBN 19th Annual Jill Brown Golf Tournament!  It will be held at the Carleton Golf & Yacht Club on June 25th, 2013.

Each ticket includes:

  • 9-holes of golf with shared power cart
  • Unlimited access to the practice facilities (Driving Range balls included) prior to event
  • Boxed Lunch Buffet option: Will be a buffet of lunch items in the banquet room, and will also include boxes for those who arrive late and want to eat on the run!
  • Bottle of Water for all participants included on all carts
  • Freshen-up Facecloth Service at the Halfway House
  • Use of the locker rooms, showers and towel service for all participants
  • Cash Bar service as of 4pm, with a Ladies’ Drink Special
  • Dinner served via ‘Action’ stations and Passed Hors d’Oeuvres beginning at 4:30pm, by Head Chef Peter Veit


Tweet to Win!

Congratulations Isabelle Franche (@WorldDesserts) who is last month’s (Re)Tweet to win contest winner!  She and her guest Susan Fahel (@CafeLatteCino) joined us at the March Breakfast Circle at the urban element.

Stay tuned for this month’s contest, and keep tweeting!

Follow us on Twitter! @WBN_Ottawa


Membership has its Privileges!

For just $500 (or less) YOU can be a Member Sponsor. This is what you get:

  1. Your logo on our website year round, linked directly to your website,
  2. Your name or logo in lights, included in the slideshow at the Businesswoman of the Year Awards Gala which runs throughout the event,
  3. An honourable Mention in the WBN Annual Report.

Contact our Sponsorship Chair, Tracey Pagé for more details.


WBN Upcoming Events


Welcome to the WBN New Members!

We are happy to welcome the following new members to the Women’s Business Network:

We look forward to meeting you at a WBN Networking event!


Member Spotlight: Irene Thomson, C.A., C.P.A.

 irene_thomson.jpgIrene Thomson studied at University of Ottawa, graduating with an Honours Business Degree with a concentration in accounting.  She obtained her C.A. in 1985 after articling at Ernst and Young.

The journey to accounting happened as a natural extension of working in her family’s business.  Irene was 12 years old and loved using the large adding machine to tally figures in the manual ledgers.  By age 14, she was reconciling receivables and payables and was responsible for payroll. The external accountant relied on her work and planted the seed of becoming a C.A.

After Irene obtained her C.A. designation, she worked in the Corporate Tax Department at Mitel Corporation in Kanata.  She left there to start a career in the automotive industry. For the last 28 years Irene has been the Secretary Treasurer of the dealership owned with her husband.  Hunt Club Volkswagen is located in the south end of Ottawa.

Irene has been married for 30 years and has two children.  Her 24 year old daughter, Kacie, graduated from the Radio and TV program at Ryerson University and plans a career in film.  Jamie, her 21 year old son intends to work in the family business.  At Georgian College, Jamie is in his third year of a four year business program that has a concentration in the automotive industry.

If you want great service for your Volkswagen or want to drive an amazing vehicle, give Irene a call.

Email:  ithomsonca@gmail.com
Home office:  613-521-3993
Website: huntclubvw.com
Check us out on Facebook
or tweet us