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The Canadian Women Entrepreneur Industry Gala -2024 Press Release


Canadian Women Entrepreneur Gala Celebrates Second Successful Year 

Empowering Connections: An Evening of Vision, Passion, and Inclusivity 


TORONTO, June 11, 2024 - The second annual Canadian Women Entrepreneur Gala (CWE Gala) drew 350 attendees, captivating the audience with an electrifying celebration that continues to solidify its crucial role in fostering the impactful movement of diversity, equity & inclusion in the business landscape, particularly for women entrepreneurs. 


This year's theme, "Ascend," encapsulates the essence of empowerment, symbolizing rising together, reaching new heights, and embracing the futuristic notion of elevating culture into the realms of space. The venue (Rebel) was graced with universe-inspired design, Max Andranov’s (Theta Realms) creative AI-powered artist visuals and interludes, technology and sounds to bring guests a feeling of ascending into space. An inspirational video message was shared from Dr. Sian Proctor - American commercial astronaut, geology professor, artist, author, and science communicator who became the first female commercial spaceship pilot on the all-civilian Inspiration4 orbital spaceflight. 


The evening was dedicated to elevating women in business, uniting prominent corporations, esteemed C-suite executives, visionary entrepreneurs, and influencers to get inspired to continue using their voices and platforms for impact with a celebration of industry collective achievements, merging the realms of space with the journey into the future of technology, beauty, connectivity, and beyond to inspire, ignite conversations, and create a lasting impact on the path toward a more inclusive and empowered future. 


Anna Sinclair delivered a motivational address expressing gratitude to the women who extended their arms to raise her up and a sentiment of what’s possible when we give women an opportunity to shine bright in this universe. Hosts Nkechi Nwafor-Robinson and Sonia Mangat brought their vibrant energy and empowering voices throughout the evening as many inspirational leaders took to the stage to share their visions and journeys. A special performance by Canadian singer-songwriter Martina Sorbara (Dragonette) elevated the evening with her electro-pop flair.


Honourees: 


Community Women's Health & Wellbeing Category 

  • Andrea Gunraj, Vice President of Public Engagement Canadian Women's Foundation 

  • Branden Cleary, Country GM, Benefit Cosmetics Canada

  • Mandy Mail, Executive Vice President, Head of Marketing, Communications & GreenShield Cares, GreenShield 

  • Nikki Hill, Director, Labour Participation Environment, United Way BC


Empowering Women in Business 

  • Tonie Chaltas , CEO, Achev 

  • Rose Ghamari, Manager, Entrepreneur & Talent Development, DMZ ● Tiffany Callender, Co-Founder & CEO, FACE Coalition 

  • Sarah Steele - Senior Director, Small Business, Visa Canada


Gender Equality in the Workplace 

  • Letecia Rose, VP, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, Canadian Tire Corporation 

  • AnnMarie Mercer, Chief People Officer, Walmart Canada

  • Stephanie Veyrun-Manetti, President & CEO, Sanofi Canada

  • Michelle Grocholsky, Founder & CEO, Empowered EDI 


  • Salma Dhanani, Inclusion & Belonging Leader (DEIB & Social Impact) Sephora Canada 

  • Alison Bradley, Director, Supply Chain Strategy Procurement, Ontario Power Generation Inc. 

  • Maya Kane, Executive Director, Communications, Marketing and Branding, CBC/Radio-Canada 


Creating Young Changemakers 

  • Brandy Ryan, Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Canada Post

  • Tanya Mruck, Vice President, Community Engagement & Social Impact, MLSE Foundation, MLSE 

  • Jennifer Flanagan, CEO, Actua


As women-owned businesses contribute over $117 billion annually to the Canadian economy, investing in their success is a moral imperative and a strategic economic opportunity. This year, Canada's Total Mom Pitch, presented by Intuit QuickBooks and powered by Bell Canada showcased the astounding passions and talents of finalists Siobhan Hamilton of Safe, Maria Lind of Sanamaria Inc., Hai Nguyen of The Shed Coffee and winner Miki Talebi of oomé who pitched their business live on stage in consideration for a $50K grand prize of funding & business resources. 


“Intuit QuickBooks is proud to champion Canadian small businesses, including the inspiring women who are trailblazing a path forward in entrepreneurship. The extraordinary strides made by these businesses in the face of constant change underscore the critical role they play in powering the innovation and health of our economy. At Intuit QuickBooks, we are committed to ensuring we are providing this community with the tools and resources they need to succeed. As I join my esteemed peers in judging this year's Total Mom Pitch, I am honoured to support and propel forward the remarkable Canadian and women-owned small businesses that continue to inspire us all.” - Kelly-Ann Massingberd, Group Marketing Manager at Intuit QuickBooks 


“At Bell, we empower small business owners so they can do more through our world-class fibre and wireless networks.  I was very pleased to be a judge and presenter for Canada’s Total Mom Pitch and see the innovation behind some of Canada’s most inspiring entrepreneurs.“ - Helena Cain, VP, Atlantic Enterprise and National Midmarket Sales


Additionally, Helena Cain presented the Bell Digital Innovation Award to Payal Singh co-founder of YoGPS, for their excellence in digital transformation, technological innovation, and connecting Canadians globally through outstanding digital services. 


Brandon Sinclair - EVP of Partnerships & Strategy, CWE, presented the Total Mom Tech For Good Award, recognizing Dr. Shari Van De Pol, CEO of CATTLEytics, for her company's innovative use of technology to create positive impacts, optimize resources, and provide robust data-driven solutions, thereby empowering stakeholders and promoting sustainable growth.

Sponsorships further funded 150 women in attending a pilot of a national Tech & CPG founders networking breakfast called the “Self-Made CEO Series”. This initiative was set to break down financial barriers, fostering connections, and empowering a new generation of business leaders across Canada. Hosted by Hotel X, Food Dudes, and Epiq Vision. 


“The #cwemagic is what happens when we bring decision makers, investors and influential minds in the room to walk the walk. We are on a mission to do whatever it takes to unite those with the platform, reach and resources to bring women entrepreneurs to new heights. Investing in women leads to broader societal benefits, including educated and healthier generations, economic growth, and social progress, but most importantly, It allows women to contribute meaningfully to their communities and the world at large.”- Anna Sinclair, Founder of the CWE Industry Network and Awards Gala. 


About the CWE Gala 

The Canadian Women Entrepreneur Industry Gala (CWE's) is a national dynamic industry event experience that acts as a super-connector to leading companies & and changemakers on a mission towards a more inclusive & and empowered future. An extraordinary one-of-a-kind industry event experience that recognizes and honours top leading Canadian companies and their influential programs, campaigns and CSR initiatives that have paved the way for a more equal and diverse ecosystem. The in-person industry event creates the space for possibilities to forge new partnerships, industry connections and introductions to heart-centred and mission-driven business leaders, agencies, influencers, aspiring entrepreneurs, creators and media in one place. The program showcases and connects Canada's leading brands and companies committed to driving impact and fostering great relationships. This year’s sponsors included: Total Mom Inc. (presenting sponsor), Intuit QuickBooks, Bell, Hotel X, Oliver & Bonacini Catering, Google, PARO, Rakuten, Vistaprint, Roots, Smart Sweets, FLOW Water, Sahajan, Tommee Tippee, Dove, National Post, NKPR, Morange, Atriani, Glamic Beauty App, Magnetic Staffing + Photobooth, Dean Davidson, Baskits, Oxygen Botanicals, Sinclair Creative Agency. 


About the Total Mom Inc. 

Total Mom Inc. is a professional community network helping ambitious women founders start and grow their businesses while juggling motherhood. Established in 2017, Founder & CEO Anna Sinclair started Total Mom Inc. after discovering a need for more valuable support offered to busy moms like her. Total Mom Inc. is a 100 percent women-owned company helping women across Canada access education and connections to break down barriers and build a profitable, sustainable business. Total Mom is the fastest-growing professional community of mom entrepreneurs, serving over 20,000 moms and growing. It does so through its award-winning programs and partnerships with North America’s largest brands. 


About Total Mom Pitch 

Canada’s Total Mom Pitch is an award-winning entrepreneurship, business pitch and awards program produced by Total Mom Inc. that aims to support women to start and grow profitable and sustainable businesses. It empowers real women with an ambitious vision to overcome the barriers they face as modern moms in today’s unpredictable economy. The grant and awards program helps Canadian women who are growing their businesses and raising families to access entrepreneurship support, new opportunities and funding as well as education, mentorship and community support. Currently in its fifth year, Total Mom Pitch is Canada’s largest small business pitch grant and awards program for mom entrepreneurs. The judges are comprised of some of Canada’s most successful women executives from major brands, as well as influential coaches. The program helps applicants see potential gaps in their start-up businesses, giving them an advantage in their business journeys. Total Mom Pitch partners with companies supporting equality, diversity and inclusion. It does so through recognition, awards, scholarships, and partnership opportunities for business growth. 


For more information, contact NKPR: pamela@nkpr.net

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