This month, many of our stories and messages have centered around the Businesswoman of the Year Awards nominations. Today, we are very happy to bring you a short interview with Rebecca Page, founder of Concierge Home Services. Rebecca was the winner of the Entrepeneur category in 2012. But Rebecca has also been on the “business end” of the Awards, as she was part of the selection process a few years ago.

Thanks Rebecca, for sharing your experience with us.

What was your reaction to being nominated in the Entrepreneur category?
I had been nominated at least once before I became a Finalist. I am grateful to have a wonderful support network of friends and colleagues in the small business community. Being a Finalist was thrilling and a huge surprise. I remember well making those first couple of calls to tell people the exciting news.

What was the process like? Was it what you expected?
I’ve been on the BYA process on both sides now – as a Finalist and as a member of a selection committee. They were very different experiences. As a BYA Finalist I basically did zero work and just got lots of attention. The committees work with a very high level of diligence and ethics to ensure that the process is fair and balanced. It made me appreciate fully the honour of being a Finalist and a Recipient. There is a huge amount of care and detail which goes into every stage of the selection process.

Two years later, we are opening nominations for this season’s awards. Why do think it’s important for the businesswomen of Ottawa to nominate their colleagues?
It is important for women and men to recognize the achievements of business women in our community. The Women’s Business Network is very special for having such a strong recognition program in place. Not long after I started by business, Michelle Valberg won the BYA and I learned about her success story. It was an inspiration to me and I thought it would be amazing to win the BYA one day myself. It truly is one of the recognitions I am most proud of.

How have things changed for you personally as a result of winning this award?
After the BYA Gala I received so many congratulatory messages and cards. My alma mater even featured me on their website! As an entrepreneur and as a mother, my life is very focused on my business and my family. It was a treat to have a break from that and feel recognized for all that I’d worked on. It really felt like a validation of my skills and abilities, which has given me more confidence.

We know that winning this award was a very special experience for Rebecca. Ottawa has a wealth of talented, hard-working, extraordinary businesswomen. Now it’s their turn to shine.

Who will YOU nominate for the Businesswoman of the Year Awards this year?

Loreto Cheyne
loreto@loladesign.ca