WBN News


WBN’s Businesswoman of the Year: what does it take to become a finalist?

Do you know what it takes to become a Finalist in either the Corporate, Professional or Entrepreneur categories for the WBN’s Businesswoman of the Year Awards?

This year marks the 30th year that the WBN has held the BYA Awards. The Businesswoman of the Year Awards recognize the accomplishments of women who live, work and play an active role in a business operating within the National Capital Region. Nominees are forwarded by members of the Ottawa business community and Finalists and Award Recipients are selected based on a written resumé of the nominee’s abilities in the areas of proven business acumen, outstanding leadership qualities, notable achievements in her particular area of expertise and community engagement.

Nominations open on September 25th at the WBN’s Annual General Meeting. Nominations are assessed using a 100-point system:  5% for presentation; 5% for brief personal history; 10% introduction; 30% proven business acumen; 25% outstanding leadership skills; 10% notable achievements; and 15% for community engagement.

The judging is often so close that in many cases, nominees simply need a few more points to be successful. It is not uncommon that some people apply two or three times before receiving the honourous award.

In the last WBN Newsletter, we provided suggestions that nominees should keep in mind as they prepare their written submission for consideration by the BYA judges in the areas of presentation, brief personal history, and introduction. In this issue, we will provide suggestions in the areas of proven business acumen, outstanding leaderships skills, notable achievements and community engagement.

Proven Business Acumen

This section is broken into three parts which include:

  • Business Operations 
  • Marketing, Sales and Business Promotion
  • Business Success and Financial Risk

The judges are looking for facts and figures, marketing and sales language, and financial measures related to financial risk.  

For example, a CEO might reference a successful merger and how it impacted the company. A VP Sales might point to year-over-year revenue growth. A human resource manager can talk about the staff retention rate. A marketing manager might explain how a marketing campaign boosted the bottom line. An entrepreneur might reference how specific business strategies increased overall revenue as compared to the year before. A lawyer might explain how the success of a particular legal case has increased her profile in that area of law and reference the growth of her practice.

Judges are seeking to learn about nominees’ achievements that can be backed up with facts and figures.

Outstanding Leadership Skills

Judges are looking to assess how nominees have influenced others through effective leadership and hence, contributed to the well-being and vitality of their professional environment or business.

Judges want to understand what leadership means to a nominee and how she has demonstrated those qualities within her business to her colleagues, staff, clients, etc.; her vision or guiding principles and how this has influenced her team; the impact her leadership skills have had upon the culture of her organization; or how her leadership is demonstrated through her communication skills and the development of the people around her.

The ability for nominees to demonstrate their leadership skills by providing specific examples will enable the Judges to have a clear and precise understanding about their aptitude in this area.

Notable Achievements  

Judges are looking to assess whether the nominee is outstanding in her field of expertise.

Nominees can demonstrate this by providing specific information related to their educational credentials, years of experience, awards and distinctions, speeches and presentations, service on industry committees, etc.  

Community Engagement  

This element of the BYA should not be overlooked by nominees! It often separates finalists from non-finalists.

Judges are interested in learning about nominees who actively participate in the community, not simply hold membership in various groups. More specifically, judges are seeking to learn how nominees take leadership roles in community projects. Once again, information about how much time was given to the cause and the results of the volunteerism should be noted in the submission.

An example of how this could be addressed is as follows: “I acted as volunteer co-ordinator and doubled the number of active volunteers. The influx of volunteers has allowed the organization to expand its services. In total, I have donated over 100 hours of my time in 2012 to this cause.”

How To Nominate

Nominating is as simple as providing the name and contact information for the exceptional woman you wish to nominate. Once nominations open on September 25, 2012, they can be submitted online. Nominees do not have to be a WBN member to qualify, nor are nominations required to be made by WBN members. 

Let’s celebrate the accomplishments of women in our community. Help us recognize their contributions and the success they have achieved across the diverse demands of women in business today. 


Program Committee Update

Looking back over the past year, our events profiled many of our members and provided a good balance of inspiration, education, networking and enjoyment. Our summer events kept this spirit alive…

In July, special guest speaker and author Kathie Donovan shared insights from her upcoming book: “Inspiration in Action, A woman’s Guide to Happiness”. Kathie’s presentation was both inspirational and empowering, keeping our audience fully engaged. Education and entertainment at its best!

A great time was had by all who attended our August 22nd “Sails and Sunset” event at Britannia Yacht Club!  We were blessed with perfect weather conditions: blue skies, puffy white clouds, sufficient wind to fill the sails! A networking dinner followed with sunset views over the Ottawa River. A great time was had by all with a big thanks to Kathy Brown, WBN and Britannia Yacht Club member who made this happen!

If your creative juices are flowing and you want to get involved – join our Program Committee today! Contact Kathy Brunelle for more info.

In the works: New bi-monthly networking breakfast meetings this fall… stay tuned

Upcoming events:

Tuesday, September 25th

Enjoy an evening of “Networking” at the Annual General Meeting and celebrate the kick-off of the Nominations for the 30th  “Businesswoman of the Year Award”.
Hear Erin Crotty share her techniques on effective networking and creating your “elevator speech”.

Click here for more info and registration.

Thursday, September 26th

Breakfast Circle meeting at urban element

Click here for more info and registration.

Tuesday, October 16th

“Speed Networking”
Enjoy a fun filled evening of networking “speed dating style”

Tuesday, November 20th (evening event) 

“Sustainable Beauty” 
Get ready for Christmas with hair and fashion ideas at Rinaldo’s Salon & Spa

Thursday, November 28th

Breakfast Circle meeting at urban element

Click here for more info and registration.

Tuesday, December 11th (after work cocktail reception)

“President’s Christmas Reception” 
In the works…  details to follow


Are you ready to blog?

The Marketing & Communications Committee is looking for members to contribute to WBN’s blog, W2W. If you are a WBN member, we want to hear from you!

If you’re not sure what to blog about, or how you can contribute, check out this post:


The links included are great articles to help get you started.

For more info please contact Loreto Cheyne.


And the winner is…

Our Twitter contests are still going strong. On September 1st we drew the winner for the September Breakfast Circle tickets…and the lucky winner is: Kasey Boudreau.

Congratulations, Kasey! We look forward to meeting you and a friend on September 26.

Rumour has it our Twitter contests will continue… so stay tuned for the next one! In the meantime, connect with us online, and follow us:



WBN Member Minute:

The Member Minute features one member per month, giving us the chance to ‘get to know’ her if we haven’t had the time to meet her in person yet.

So If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeing Erin Crotty, please read on and find out more about her.

 erin_crotty.jpgErin Crotty is the Founder and Director of BloomStra Consulting. BloomStra is a corporate etiquette, international protocol, professional image and business management solutions consulting firm based in Ottawa, Ontario. 

Through the provision of leadership seminars, workshops and coaching, Erin helps individuals, businesses and organizations master their skills in business etiquette, dining etiquette, international protocol, professional image, networking, and presentation skills. She helps her clients stand out from their competition and soar to new levels of success.

Erin’s programs enable participants to improve their job performance, enhance their business relationships, polish business interactions, enhance their professional image and increase their bottom line.

Erin provides individual and group coaching, 60 to 90 minute interactive workshops, half-day to full-day workshops and seminars, as well as customized presentations or programming based on client needs.

For further information regarding Erin’s services visit her website at www.bloomstraconsulting.ca, email her at ecrotty@bloomstraconsulting.ca, or call 613-614-4540.


Welcome to the WBN New Members!

We would like to welcome our newest members:

  • Jennifer Bewick
  • Laura Gibbs
  • Christy Griffin
  • Jennifer Hood
  • Kellie Howe
  • Sandy Lalonde
  • Ashley Lawrie
  • Francine Roy
  • Marlene Thicke
  • Lilly White

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