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Spotlighting successful women in the Central Okanagan for 27 years



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Women in Business 2019 |

4 Dr Juanita Crook, radiation oncologist and professor of radiation oncology at UBC Okanagan 6 Roz Huber, co-leader of November Project 8 Florenda Pickett and Angela O’Brien, mother-daughter duo founders of Esteem Lingerie 9 Meghan O’Mara, first woman in the Okanagan to specialize in commercial real estate 11 Laura Pelletier, owner of Kwikfit4u Canada 12 Christy Lovig, marathon runner and lawyer 13 Joanna Bernath, founder of Fresh Dental Hygiene 14 Anne Leistner, first senior financial planner of CIBC Imperial Service in the Okanagan 15 Pomme Salon, empowering its salon clients 16 Wendy Ord, international award-winning film director 18 Helping women entrepreneurs grow stronger together Capital news 19 How to turn your creative ideas into a business concept

Creative Touch Interiors Inc. is a full-service residential interior design and renovation firm. We are proud members of a local Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) and nationally with Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB). Our core services provide clients with design solutions while working with a network of trusted professionals to complete your project. Our focus is on building relationships with our clients as well as with our suppliers and contractors. Following our core values of Honesty, Integrity and Communication we strive to develop strong working relationships with all our partners. With four Gold Tommie awards we are dedicated to excellence in all our projects.

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4 | Women in Business 2019

Kelowna doctor is making huge strides A Kelowna oncologist is changing the nature of breast cancer treatment and the success rate is staggering. Dr. Juanita Crook, radiation oncologist and professor of radiation oncology at UBC Okanagan, has used brachytherapy to treat breast cancer in about 75 B.C. women. These 75 women are now cancer free. “The results are great, 100 per cent cancer free,” said Crook. “In the period of time I have been doing this nobody has had a recurrence of the tumour in the tumour site where it was treated.” Treatments have been so successful that her surgeries are now viewed as teaching moments for doctors who fly in from all over North America to learn the treatment technique to take home. Brachytherapy is beneficial over traditional radiation or chemotherapy as it delivers a smaller, more targeted, dose of radiation that produces fewer side effects. “Instead of external radiation where the treatment is given from the outside and beamed in, brachytherapy is a form of internal radiation where we are applying the radiation sources directly into the tumour or the tumour bed to deliver treatment from the inside out,” explains Crook. “It is more accurate, it can be given over a short period of time and you can be given a higher dose as you are not beaming through the rest of the body, you are putting it right where it needs to be.” It is also a one-time in-hospital treatment that could save cancer patients around the province countless hours and dollars travelling to and from treatment centres that provide traditional chemotherapy or radiation. “In Kelowna especially, we have women coming from six, seven or eight hours away and if they are having radiation

to the breast they have to be away from home. It is too far to travel back and forth everyday, so they have to be away from home for a month to get the radiation,” said Crook. “If they are a candidate for this type of treatment, they’re excited because it means just coming for half a day for a one-hour procedure and they can go home the same day. It makes quite a difference for them. The women are very pleased.” “Brachytherapy has been a cancer treatment for decades and this type of brachytherapy has been used widely in the treatment of prostate cancer but Dr Crook is the first doctor to treat breast cancer with it in BC” “The technique that were using here was first developed for prostate cancer 25 years ago,” says Crook. “We use this all the time now and have treated thousands of men in British Columbia with this successfully, it is a curative treatment, but aiming and delivering this radiation to the prostate is different than to the breast so the treatment had to be adapted. “This treatment was developed by a colleague in Toronto about 12-14 years ago, I worked with him and when I moved to B.C. I wanted to adopt the program here.” It is a treatment that she estimates could be used on 20 per cent of breast cancer patients. With approximately 3,700 B.C. residents diagnosed each year, that’s 740 people that could benefit from this treatment option. “Only some tumour sites and locations are appropriate for this but when it can be used it is quite a benefit for the patient,” she adds. This treatment could also be the difference

for whether a woman has to make the tough decision to have a mastectomy or not. “Surgeons working in communities far from Kelowna often have to do a full removal of the breast, a mastectomy, because their patient cannot travel to Kelowna for radiation treatment,” says Crook. “If they can offer to this patient to come to Kelowna for the procedure and be home the next day, they can make it happen and save their breast. That is important.” Crook reiterates that this treatment is a form of partial-breast radiation that has less toxicity and is done quickly. “I cannot imagine it would be easy for any woman to have a mastectomy. They live with it, and adjust to it, but it is a very difficult thing to go through,” adds Crook. “Given a choice, I’m sure the vast majority of women would prefer to keep their breast.” Since 2012, the permanent radioactive seed implants for breast cancer have been offered in Kelowna for selected women following lumpectomy. While Crook says most surgeons in B.C. are now aware of this option, she hopes breast cancer patients will talk to their surgeon to ensure this treatment option has been considered. “Discuss it with your surgeon before surgery,” urges Crook. “Tell them you would like to have this treatment if it is possible. Many surgeons know about it now and many have phoned me and asked what they need to do differently in their surgery to ensure their patient is suitable for this.” Crook has spent her career in cancer treatment, calling Kelowna home for the last nine years.

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6 | Women in Business 2019

Kelowna woman creating spaces for locals to move By Marissa Tiel The sun is far from rising as thick flakes of snow fall on downtown Kelowna. A small group has gathered in front of the Spirit of Sail sculpture on Bernard Avenue. It’s quiet as the snow continues to fall, accumulating on nearby benches and sidewalks. The group of fitness enthusiasts has gathered for their weekly outdoor workout. A tall silhouette walks up. Bundled up in a winter parka, co-leader Roz Huber greets the group with a large smile. At 6:29 a.m., the November Project begins. Huber hasn’t always been a morning person. But after years of teaching group fitness before the sun rises, she’s gotten used to them. “It’s such a funny thing because people

think that somehow I love mornings and sometimes I just want to sleep in,” she says. “I love the hard sleep in and just have a good coffee and slow mornings but I feel like I air quotes ‘got better at mornings’ when I started teaching group fitness and yoga.” Those 6 a.m. bootcamps meant being awake hours earlier, so her body could adjust to moving, her brain and mouth could coordinate lefts and rights, and she had the energy to motivate people to physically push themselves before their day really began. “I realized that it was really inspiring for me too to not only lead people in those early mornings but also to give myself the space to wake up early and do that,” she

says. Huber has always been on the move, so it’s not a huge stretch that she finds herself fulfilled by helping others get moving. Growing up in Joe Rich on Black Mountain, Huber has always been on the move. From exploring around her childhood home to spending time on the ski hill at Big White, Huber is a natural athlete. But as a fitness enthusiast, she’s not just aiming to help people get physically stronger; she’s helping build better communities through movement. Born and raised in Kelowna, Huber, now 28, attended school in Rutland. She was first introduced to basketball in middle school and dove right in. Her height and reach made her a natural on the court and she excelled with the Rutland Voodoos and straight into university ball at UBC Okanagan, where she played for five years.

“I like to be moving,” she says, “and I’m now learning that sitting still is important too.” Huber graduated with a degree in human kinetics and immediately started work as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. She liked helping get others to move. In 2014, she also began teaching yoga. A few years ago, on a mission to create something for the community, not just a oneoff experience, Huber and then co-leader Keith Lanouette Wells brought November Project to Kelowna. The free weekly workout is attended by dozens of people every Wednesday morning– weather be damned. “I feel like it’s kind of invigorated the city,” says Huber, who now co-leads with Steve Morrison. “Then there’s all these excuses all

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the time like ‘oh it’s too early,’ or ‘oh it’s too cold’ or ‘oh it’s too whatever.’ But the whole thing is you’re meant to do it before you start the day.” On a particularly snowy Wednesday last week, the group begins to run towards the Visitor’s Centre, doing a warm-up. The workout will see them run from point to point, doing body-weight exercises at each location. “It’s just meant to be a good time and supportive and there’s the opportunity to grow and push yourself if you want,” says Huber. The November Project is now in almost 50 cities across the world. “I’m not a morning person. That comes out of people’s mouths a lot,” says Huber. “And they’re like, but I will wake up for this. I think that says something too. It gives them energy it doesn’t just deplete your energy. Yes it’s a hard workout, but there’s so much more it gives you like energy.” As some people join November Project to get outside their comfort zones, Huber is venturing outside of her own. This summer, she stepped away from her recurring teaching gig at Modo Yoga (formerly Moksha Yoga). She’s now working fully for herself offering personal training, group classes and coaching through her website, She was ready to get uncomfortable again. “It’s definitely cozy. I had an awesome schedule. I love what I do. I still love it. I just wanted to know what it would be like to go all in on me,” she says. “I was never two feet in my stuff, doing my work, creating what I want to do. So I was like, what would happen if I put all my energy into that?” The journey hasn’t been smooth, but Huber is rolling with the punches and learning more about herself. “I saw it as an opportunity to get even more purposeful with what I want to offer,

how I want to offer and things I want to be involved in,” she says. She’s learning to trust herself to deal with the bumps and understanding that she’ll come out on the other side better for them. Fully her own boss, Huber is fine-tuning some new projects, but is also fostering old favourites, like her retreats. They offer the opportunity for people to get out of town for a few days and just be pampered in nature while spending time with like-minded people. This past fall she hosted her fourth retreat. “If you give me a cozy bed to sleep in, some nature and really great food, I am the happiest,” she says. The retreats also give her a chance to hang out with her mom who caters them. “You can do your work and have your titles like the mom or the sister of the caregiver but there’s somebody underneath there that I want people to get to know and I think that bringing people together helps people understand that part of them,” says Huber. “There’s a whole world out there bigger than you. Not getting so caught up in that’s who I am.” Huber is bringing that attitude to all her motion-filled pursuits. “I want to bring more people together more often. I have kind of a unique ability to bring people together in a really positive exciting and fun way,” she says. “When you’re in motion, you can adopt new ideas more effectively. You can put yourself literally in motion towards a new goal and I think that it’s almost like an icebreaker in a way.” Still in love with Kelowna, Huber doesn’t see herself moving away anytime soon. She still has plans to get the community in motion and connected. “I really love it here. Everything is here. My family is here my work is here,” she says. “I don’t want to move. I love it here. It’s four seasons in Kelowna. We have a really great life here.”

Linda Szerepi I started creating Dare to Dream 22 years ago. The idea was to do something that I love while helping people improve their life by supplying products and services that are especially for them. We carry something for everyone, including jewellery, crystals, new age self-help books, incense oils, Feng Shui and Colour Energy products, tarot/oracle cards, salt lamps, singing bowls and unique gifts. Services offered are: Reiki Healing, Reflexology, Massage, Life Coaching, Counselling and Psychic / Channelled Readings. Classes are available in Reiki and Personal / Spiritual Development programs. I have enjoyed meeting and getting to know those of you who have come into the store over the years. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my customers for supporting me and allowing me to help you and introduce you to the world of Dare to Dream. I welcome others to come and experience all that we have to offer. Come in to relax, learn, grow spiritually and heal physically, emotionally and mentally.

E TO DREAM R DA Body, Mind & Spirit Centre

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RED FOX CLUB Come visit us for a new perspective on a truly Canadian Experience Modern Native Cuisine 778-755-6360 open year round free parking Indigenous Food & World Class Wines Chef Andrea Callan breathes inspiration from foraging in the forest and sourcing small local farmers. Utilizing nature and respect for the Aboriginal history creates the delicious ever changing menu.

Bernice Louie, a proud woman in business, is the President and co-owner of the first fully Indigenous privately owned winery in BC. One of her desires was to celebrate the women in her family by introducing a sparkling wine program using two special Charmat method tanks. Visiting Indigenous World Winery introduces you to great Okanagan wines as well as the rich culture of the Okanagan Syilx people. The first sparkling wine release was named after her youngest daughter, the second after her eldest and finally Bernice will have the third sparkling wine named after her.

Diane Wiebe Diane began her studies 42 years ago when she was inspired by her father’s encouragement to learn the art of reflexology. This was the first step on a long journey of study that includes many modalities. Diane currently practices Professional Kinesiology, Herbalism, Iridology, EFT, BodyTalk, Quantum Touch, Yuen, Access Consciousness and others. Find your personal road to transformation – breaking through creative blocks, speedily reaching life goals, excelling in learning, discovering your hidden talents, reaching your true potential, increasing or regaining health are just some of what you can achieve with Diane’s potent combination of natural techniques. Diane works with people who desire to overcome personal issues and limitations; business professionals, parents, children, athletes, those with chronic or acute pain, have had great success with these techniques. Diane has been able to transform the lives of the people she coaches. She uses muscle feedback, behavioral techniques, mental patterning and quantum level alignments. She uses these skills and applied techniques to help people break through barriers and radically improve their lives. At home, where she lives with her husband, she gardens organically. They have two grown sons. Diane loves to travel, study, read and spend time with her grandson. Diane has relocated to unit #202 2040 Springfield Rd, the Invue high rise- a block and a half away. Diane is sharing space with Connect Autism. The entrance is from Barlee, the next block over from Ambrosi - toward Orchard Park. The phone number remains the same (250) 763-2914

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Florenda Pickett and Angela O’Brien are the owners of Esteem Lingerie.

Empowering women with bra fittings Available at:

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Florenda Pickett and Angela O’Brien take a different approach to bra fitting, ensuring the bras fit the women, the women don’t fit the bras. The mother-daughter duo started Esteem Lingerie 13 years ago, and their message revolves around education about breasts and bras and empowering women to feel confident, hence the name of the company. Pickett was in the insurance business with O’Brien, before deciding that she wanted to take the plunge into business ownership. O’Brien knew they always wanted to work with women. O’Brien’s corporate nemesis was getting bored in the corporate world, but

with this company, she’s always doing something new, she said. They started with a single bra, and one customer. Now, Pickett said their biggest accomplishment is their reputation for bra fitting. O’Brien said there’s a lot of pressure on women to perform in the career world, and look after families, so she wants to give women that confidence in themselves. Women need a good pair of shoes, a quality bed and a quality bra, she said. Working with Look Good Feel Better, the pair offer fittings and bras for women after they’ve undrgone a mastectomy. The pair are certified professional bra fitters, and their staff are, too.


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Meghan O’Mara is the vice president of sales and leasing with HM Commercial

First in the Okanagan to specialize in commercial real estate With 10 years of business experience under her belt, Meghan O’Mara is an inspiring business woman. Being recognized as the first woman to specialize in commercial real estate in the Okanagan was an empowering moment for her in the industry. Coming from an entrepreneurial background, with 10 years of business experience, the vice president of sales and leasing with HM Commercial, said you don’t grow without pushing yourself. “I’m also excited to have a platform to inspire other women, with my story and how I’ve managed to find a place in a male dominated industry,” she said. ”I sincerely love what I do for so many

reasons, and being a part of shaping this amazing community has become a mission that is close to my heart.” Commercial real estate came with responsibility and a pressure to perform, she said. “Sometimes that pressure gets to me, however I do my best to use is as my fuel.” Her biggest accomplishment would be seeing the Innovation Centre to 100 per cent leased. “That project has changed not only the tech industry, but downtown Kelowna – having a small hand in that success is, and always will be a career highlight,” O’Mara said.

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10 | Women in Business 2019

202-3935 Lakeshore Rd, Kelowna | | 778.477.3488

Nicole Begrand-Fast has grown her boutique-stle design firm from a small studio into the thriving company it is today. With over 20 years of experience and a never-ending interest in exploring new directions in design, Nicole brings passion and a keen eye to all her projects. Her love of culture, architecture, and art from around the world lends itself to her ability to create unique and innovative spaces. Her experience and understanding of the construction world make her firm a go-to for many developers, general contractors and custom builders who look for professionalism and experience. The professional team at Begrand Fast Design Inc focuses on connecting with clients to understand their needs and help bring their vision to reality. With her deep understanding of the principles of design and her attention to every detail, Nicole designs inviting, sophisticated spaces. Never contrived or stuffy, she combines her creativity and vision to form unique, functional & beautiful environments. Nicole supports the Okanagan community through her involvement in programs such as the Centre for Arts and Technology, the Children's Advocacy Centre Kelowna, Opera Kelowna and the Okanagan Sustainability Leadership Council.

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Women in Business 2019 |


Kelowna woman turns adversity into business opportunity Laura Pelletier was able to overcome challenging medical conditions by exploring a new fitness business venture. Twelve years ago, Pelletier owner of Kwikfit4u Canada was suffering from a broken ankle, fibromyalgia and developed carpal tunnel syndrome from working at her spa. She suffered from depression, she said, and was on various medications until she received a phone call. It was a Kwikfit4u representative looking for someone for a sales rep in Kelowna. At first, she skeptical but gave it a go. She ended up losing weight, and was able to cut out her medications after she tried the machine, she said. Over the next five years, she began selling the fitness machines to friends and family. Eventually, she was asked to look after the business, which she agreed to because it was something she believed in, she said. “They had a few other businesses on the go and they just couldn’t do it all, and this guy said it’s our baby and we want you to look after it,” Pelletier said. “I supply across Canada and the US,” she said, adding she supplies to clinics and gyms. “I was selling quite a bit, because I believed in it. I used to own a real estate company, I had spas and I’m a little bit ADD and so, I’ve done numerous things but my health was failing.” She said she’s 63, but feels like she’s 10 years younger. She goes on hikes and uses her Kwik Fit. Pelletier works mainly with customers who can’t go to the gym. “I’m not going after people who are fit, I’m working with people with chronic conditions. I target those people because they can’t go to the gym.” “I hear every day in and out about people’s aches and pains.” She called it rewarding to see the progress people have made. “The more people I work with and help, basically it’s a lot of referrals from people, a lot of it is word of mouth.” she said. Laura Pelletier is the owner of Kwikfit4u Canada



12 | Women in Business 2019

Embracing business and fitness in Kelowna Kelowna’s Christy Lovig doesn’t think much of the idea of “balance.” As a full-time lawyer, a running coach, and a professional marathon runner, one would think that balance would be something Lovig would find necessary. “It’s a myth that we sell people,” Lovig said. “For me, the reality is that it’s more about being comfortable with a certain level of imbalance.” It’s the same attitude that has served Lovig so well in her experiences in both the business world and in her marathon world. Her dad said, “everything is a race for Christy,” and she’s embraced the imbalance of new challenges. Lovig will soon be welcomed as a speaker at the Women In Business in Kelowna

at the end of February, and has been accepted to compete at the New York City Marathon, where only 50 women get to race, in November 2019. Lovig said she always loves sharing her experiences. “I loved when I was asked to speak because I got to share what it’s like to be a professional lawyer and also an athlete. I love sharing my passions, and speaking beyond things other than business,” said Lovig. “Everybody has their little stories about challenges they’ve faced along the way,” said Lovig on her experiences of being a woman in business. “I’ve been fortunate. I’ve had fantastic female role models in my life, like my grandmother, and I was raised in an environment where it never

occurred to me that I couldn’t do something because I was a woman.” She’s moving on to her fifth of the six major marathons with her acceptance to the NYC Marathon and has been using her running to keep her sane. “My lives coexist so much, that without my running, there would be no Christy the lawyer. It’s a necessity for me to handle all the aspects of my life,” she said. She takes her passion seriously, but there’s no doubt that she often holds back the levels of excitement when it comes to that passion. “It’s going to be so cool running through the four Burrows (of NYC) and celebrating with the best athletes,” she said. “It may not be my personal best, the challenges are good. Running with 55,000 people with challenging size and weather.” Lovig’s running has also helped her implement herself into the community via coaching. She’s been training Kelowna runners in preparation for all types of runs, including the Vancouver Sun Run, for the past seven

years. “We have such a great and unique community in Kelowna. It’s exhilarating to be a part of other peoples’ journey, and cheering a fellow runner as they cross the finish line,” Lovig said. “I’m supporting our communities in my work, and that’s important to me.” Being in the best shape of her life, and both working in her desired field and running as much as she possibly can puts a smile on her face as she not only represents Canada in her work and at her marathons, but also Kelowna. She’s long been happy with the life she has. “It’s not always going to be this way for me, but I’m going somewhere and I’m excited about that,” Lovig said. “I can put up with the imbalance.” Lovig calls it “imbalance” — but she accepts every challenge that comes across her path. Whether it’s in business or in fitness, Lovig has come to recognize and accept those loving words of her father, as she’s embraced facing everything like it’s a marathon.

Christy Lovig

Laura Pelletier Shandi Schwartz is the very proud owner of Strut Footwear & Apparel in the Mission Park Shopping Centre. Strut celebrates its 2nd birthday on March 1st, and during these first two years we have had the privilege of meeting some of the most interesting and wonderful people! Strut Footwear promises to bring the women of the Okanagan beautiful,

handcrafted footwear that are not only stunning to look at, but offer incredible comfort features. We pride ourselves on making our customers feel welcomed and appreciated, and hope that each Strut experience is truly enjoyable and lots of fun. Come by and say hi, we’d love to introduce you to your new favourite pair of shoes!

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Regain, maintain your health and fitness in 10 minutes per day

Laura has been involved with Kwikfit4u Canada for 12 years and owner for the last 6 years. She is a Certified Natural Health Consultant, and WBV Trainer in West Kelowna. Kwikfit4u Canada is a whole body vibration (WVB) equipment supplier in Canada and U.S. Whole Body Vibration has been the hottest workout trend on the market as per ‘Muscle Magazine’. Laura started using WBV for her own health and fitness issues 9 years ago, and has been so grateful that WBV came into her life - “I can’t be without it!” She works with people who want to lose weight, the physically fit, people with little or no Starting mobility, and the wheelchair bound. at $997 Studies have shown good results for suffers of MS, M.D, F.M. Parkinsons, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, pain control, Lupus, circulation problems and the list goes on… Supplying both Canada and the US, Kwikfit4u will be at the Women’s Fair at the Parkinson Recreation Centre on March 17th from 10am to 4pm; visit our website for more information. Kwikfit4u Canada is the supplier for YMCA, Dancing with the Stars, PGA, senior residences, medi spas, health, wellness, fitness centres, tanning salons, weight loss clinics, health practioners, and homeowners. Try It! | | 778-754-7400

Women in Business 2019 |


Dental clinic owner puts smiles on faces of those in need Joanna Bernath loves to put smiles back on the faces of those in need. Bright, clean and healthy ones. Every year, Bernath offers a cleaning service that helps those in need with a free dental service. Called The Gift From the Heart, Bernath’s dental clinic, Fresh Dental Hygiene, offers the service for those who may not be able to afford it. Held April 6, “anybody can come. I believe in people’s honesty so I don’t check their income taxes or anything, but if they tell me they can’t otherwise seek dental hygiene care, we book them,” she said. Working with immigrants, and those in marginalized communities, she’s also offered dental cleanings at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission at the John Howard Society. “Those people, despite their greatest efforts, they cannot afford sometimes with basic care. They live with pain and disease, so for patients like that I provide temporary fillings free of charge,” Bernath said. The temporary fillings last for five years, which allows them to save funds for the filling, she said. “I love my job, I’ve been doing it for over

20 years, and I see so often that a very simple treatment like teeth cleaning can actually bring you back to health. It changes their quality of life, I feel so fortunate to be able to live in Canada and raising my children in Kelowna, it’s those little acts of kindness that goes both ways,” she said. Bernath immigrated from Poland to Canada when she was 19. After being a dental hygienist for 20 years, she decided to open her own business two years ago. “I recognize the enormous need for services like that because unfortunately, dental care is becoming more and more of a luxury for people, especially with people with no insurance.” Since opening, her next step is to hire another practitioner. “I try to run my business and (take) clients from all walks of life.” She’s hoping to connect with other dental clinics to encourage them to get on board with The Gift From the Heart. When she started two years ago, she gradually grew her clientele from a handful of clients.



Joanna Bernath’s dental clinic Fresh Dental Hygiene offers a free cleaning once a year to those who otherwise couldn’t afford it. - Contributed

Does it sound like people are mumbling? Come meet our Kelowna team and get your hearing checked by a local expert. If you are experiencing hearing loss you’re missing out on the small but important sounds that allow you to fully enjoy life. Your Kelowna Connect Hearing Care Professionals understand this and will work with you to find a solution that fits both your lifestyle and budget. “Keep in mind – over the years, you will most likely miss out on some very important parts of your life if you don’t do something about your hearing loss. That is why we encourage everyone to come in for a free hearing test so that you can better understand your hearing needs and we can help you stay connected.”

Book your FREE* hearing test today.

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Your Kelowna Connect Hearing team Kelowna Glenmore • 250.712.0994 • Stacie Larsson AUD, Bobby Mills CCR Kelowna Mission • 250.861.4727 • Susan Metzger HCP, Kerri Visnjak CCR Kelowna Rutland • 250.765.7510 • Abby Brackett HCP, Sherry Delmar CCR West Kelowna • 250.707.3488 • Sarah Marriott HCP, Karen Pickett CCR

Barb Dumbovic started her business making perogies and cabbage rolls in May 1995. For many years you could find Barb and her truck serving breakfast and lunch from May to October at the Farmers Market, and also on Sundays at the Rutland Hall. Barb has grown from those days to her own restaurant, Barb’s Delights, located in the Blue Heights Complex. Barb is serving up “food done right” Monday thru Saturday. Her menu has expanded to include many delicious dishes, soups, salads, and sandwiches and, of course, her amazing breakfasts. As well, frozen perogies and cabbage rolls are available for take home. One taste of her perogies and cabbage rolls will have you coming back for more! *Look out for the Perogy Eating Reunion Contest in 2020!!*

Sharon Black Serving all Real Estate Needs, through Knowledge, Experience, Transparency and Integrity.

YOUR VALUE MATTERS! What people say about their experience working with Sharon: Sharon just helped my husband and I buy our first home and we could not be more satisfied with the experience! She was so knowledgeable and kind throughout the whole process and made buying our first home so easy! Best realtor in the Okanagan!

Lake Country woman earns top spot with CIBC A Lake Country business woman has earned a top financial planning spot with CIBC. In early December, Anne Leistner was promoted to be the first senior financial planner of CIBC Imperial Service in the Okanagan. Leistner is one of two senior financial planners in B.C. and one of eight across Canada. “I was stunned, so my initial reaction was no reaction. I was stunned. There are some senior financial planners in large cities like Vancouver and Toronto, I did not think it was going to be possible ever for the Okanagan, and to be named and to be really carrying the name…it’s an amazing feeling,” she said. “I was pinching myself every day for a couple of weeks.” Leistner heard the announcement at the end of November, and started her new role in January 2019. “I think it’s a fantastic career (for) anyone who loves numbers or helping people,” she said, adding she helps families feel good about their money. Leistner grew up in Germany, studying math before she immigrated to Canada when she was 19. “People seek me out when they have some really difficult wealth or tax planning issues,” she said. She has a degree from UBC Okanagan and is also a certified financial planner. Leistner specializes in retirement planning, is a divorce specialist and is working on earning the title of Chartered Investment Manager. “When I sit down with a family, there are multiple situations. Nowadays there

Available at:

Let’s connect!

Happy to “talk Real Estate” with you! Sharon Black Real Estate Professional Kelowna

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@sharonblackreal estatekelownabc

REALTOR® • • 250.878.5533 100-1533 Harvey Avenue, Kelowna, BC, V1Y 6G1 • Each office is independently owned and operated

#23- 2484 Main Street Westridge Mall West Kelowna, BC (Corner of Hwy 97S & Elliott Road)


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a ton of blended families and the financial picture becomes quite complex and to help clients you have to be quite diverse. My speciality is the wealth and tax planning…I touch on all quadrants of financial planning,” she said.



Anne Leistner was promoted to be the first and only senior financial planner of CIBC Imperial Service in the Okanagan. - Contributed

Women in Business 2019 |


Pomme Salon builds brand by educating its customers Five years ago, Nicole Pidherny traded in her hair clippers for a set of business keys. The owner of Pomme Salon, a unique hairdressing salon located on Ellis Street, said she wanted to try something different in Kelowna when she opened her business. “I worked at a salon for seven years… but I always wanted to own my business,” she said. “I wasn’t one of those people who dreamed of being a hairstylist.” Pidherny knew she hairdressing was only a start, and she quickly realized she could use her experience to her advantage. While working as a hairdresser, she attended business classes and worked with others in the industry to find the magic touch in developing a profitable business. “I saw a market in Kelowna that we were missing. I loved working for a salon, but it got to the point where I had all the knowledge I needed,” she said. “There was nothing in Kelowna at that time that was doing what I wanted to be doing.” At Pomme Salon, they focus on educating the clients, so they can create their own styles at home. Each stylist also has their own speciality, she said. “We create the experience so we can educate the client while they’re in the salon.” When she first opened in 2015, she was seeing a shift in the industry, from large salons to smaller boutiques. Despite advice from other stylists telling her it wouldn’t work, she had a vision. “I opened in May of 2015 and we’ve been very successful and what we’ve done and made our name for ourselves in Canada,” she said.

The Pomme Salon The Pomme Salon group

Pidherny also created a brand for the salon, calling her clients “Pommeshells.” “I was just lucky to work with very incredible people in the industry,” she said, adding she absorbed everything from the experts she worked with. “I saw clients were doing it and I saw they were doing it in larger cities.” She made it her mission to have people coming to Kelowna to do their hair.

These days, everyone knows it’s smart to use a mortgage broker… but not all mortgage brokers are created equal! If you need someone who can actually answer your questions, and explain things in an easy to understand way, call me. I’ve been in the business for 25 years. Mortgages are what I know. I don’t care about ‘lender incentives’ and ‘volume bonuses’… I care about what’s best – and right – for you. That’s why I became a mortgage broker in the first place.

1-877-221-3893 Curious about reverse mortgages? Call me! Don’t need a mortgage, but interested in investment opportunities in mortgages? Call me!

“I feel like my work is never done and I’m never satisfied,” she said. Pidherny said Pomme is working on creating a hair community, where salons can work together to develop educational classes for stylists. For anyone wanting to break into the business side of the industry, you need to be prepared and understand there’s a difference between being a hairdresser

and an owner, she said. “Make sure you actually take business and leadership courses and make sure you have systems in place to be repeatable and profitable, and create a team that fits your brand.” “You have to have passion and be self motivated… and look for inspiration everywhere, hairdressing is definitely a lifestyle and not a career,” she said.

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As your personal mortgage broker, I care about getting you the right mortgage product that suits your specific needs. Your mortgage is possibly the largest financial decision you will make in your lifetime, so professional mortgage advice is key to discovering all the financial options available to you. Having been in the financial industry for over 14 years, I have the skills and knowledgebase needed to help you navigate the mortgage process with confidence and ease. Whether you are purchasing, refinancing, or your mortgage is up for renewal, I work on your behalf to find the best deal for you. I Make Living Affordable! Let me help make living affordable for you today. | 778-215-4334

denise martell Wendy

Is money controlling you? Or do you control your money?




Knowledge is power, and WFG is determined to provide people throughout North America with a financial education that empowers them to have a better future. Contact Denise to attend a Business Presentation Meeting to learn about WFG’s mission to build and protect wealth for families.

Landmark financiaL centre | 410-1708 doLphin ave. keLowna, Bc v1Y 9S4 | 250-212-1780

Wendy Ord and Glen Samuel on scene filming their documentary Fight or Flight in Rock Creek after a devastating wildfire in 2015. - Contributed

Marion Lahey & Nicole Joakimides

Smart decisions. Lasting value. Audit / Tax / Advisory


Meet our

Marion has enjoyed a successful career in real estate, finance and marketing for many years, specializing in single family homes, re-location and community lifestyles.

Women Who Lead A’Lana Rains, Angela Bailey, and Lynn Wong are Partners who mentor and inspire. They are committed to the betterment of our corporate culture and community. Their diverse range of experience and dedication to the CPA profession has made them true leaders in the accounting industry. Enthusiastic and driven, with a steadfast focus on client care, we introduce you to the women who lead Crowe MacKay LLP.

In 2017 Marion was recognized in the top 10 in Canada for total units and for the fourth consecutive year, received two prestigious awards: Ultimate Service Representative (#1 in Canada 2016) and International President’s Premier Designation. Marion is now partnering with Nicole Joakimides, providing expert service to Kelowna and surrounding area. In 2017 Nicole was awarded both Ultimate Service Representative and International Diamond Society. Visit Listings, contact Marion or Nicole for an appointment to view!


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Women in Business 2019 |


Lake Country director’s star has risen Wendy Ord has worked on Beowulf and Grendel, which starred Gerard Butler, A Score to Settle with Nicolas Cage, as well as her own award-winning documentaries. “I never relax ever,” she said, with a laugh. Her latest documentary, To The Worlds, aired on CBC a few weeks ago and was met with success. It follows the stories of older Lake Country figure skaters and is currently in the number one spot in CBC Docs POV. Hailing from Ontario, Ord entered the film industry in her early 20s. Now 59, she said the industry was male-dominated at the time and she had to develop a strategy to work within that environment. “Everybody would look at you like ‘oh no,’ and they’d give you a really hard time. You had to prove yourself on every new film,” she said, adding that she tried to do that with humour and grace. “It took a long time, I had to learn how to not be a yeller or a screamer because if you did that as a woman, you’d come across as a b****. Men come off as tough when they’re yelling and screaming, women come off as b****y. So I had to use my feminine wiles to get things done.” Ord had a tenacity that came from youth, but she was lucky to work on productions around the world over the years. Ord said the film industry is on the cusp of a major change that she’s happy to see. “Right now is the time for women. I’ve had very little opportunity to direct, for example, and now there are rules in place where they have to have 20 per cent women. For any kind of people of diversity in

any way, it’s a wonderful time to be entering the industry,” she said. “I can’t believe the last three years. When you’re on a film set now there (are) usually a lot of women. This was unheard of when I started.” One of her most memorably difficult sets was filming Beowulf and Grendel in Iceland. “We were shooting in Iceland in November and it was bloody cold. We sailed that viking ship in an iceberg lagoon and it was an old viking ship that was in a museum and they put it in this iceberg lagoon and it was literally sinking as we were trying to film it. All the cast and all the crew we on board and if you fell in that water, you’d be dead in like 60 seconds.” Ord called actor Gerard Butler a “doll.” “He was a real trooper. He was a lot of fun. He was always smiling no matter how cold or damp. Horses would throw him off their backs and he (was always laughing.)” Ord loves working in the film industry as it provides something new all the time. “You’re in a different place every day. I loved working with the people and the aspect of travel and never were two days the same.” As a first assistant director, she gets the script months before filming takes place and determines where the shots will be filmed and how. When she was working in that role, she’d have few months off between stints. But she said now she only occasionally takes an assistant directing job, preferring to direct more on her own projects. In 2003, she directed her first feature film, Black Swan — not to be

“It was gratifying to work with a small crew and be in charge.”

confused with the ballet focused film that came out in 2010. “I’ve always wanted to direct, I’ve directed short films throughout my career. It’s not something new, I’ve been directing shorts since I was 30, so branching into long documentaries was something I always wanted to do,” she said. She said it was easier than running a set of 100 guys. “It was gratifying to work with a small crew and be in charge.” Ord also filmed her 2010 award-winning documentary Tora in Lake Country, which featured David Suzuki. The film delved into the history of Japanese internment camps in the Second World War through the eyes of a city

woman who is haunted by the spirit of a young girl. Ten years ago, Ord went through a divorce. After meeting her significant other, Glen Samuel, they fell in love with each other and with Lake Country, where she ended up moving to. The pair worked on Tora together. While she’s not ready to announce what she’s working on next, she said hopefully CBC will be pleased with the success of To The Worlds. ”I’m hoping that will grant me future documentary possibilities,” she Ord. In the meantime, she wants to continue creating inspirational documentaries about people. “I just feel super lucky to be able to do what I do,” she said.

Chantelle Devost

Scrubs Kelowna is a family owned and operated retail store that specializes in medical uniforms and accessories for healthcare workers. Owners Chantelle and Lorraine are a mother/daughter duo who decided to further pursue their passion for healthcare and utilize their combined wealth of knowledge to make this dream a reality. Lorraine Devost

Chantelle received her Diploma for Practical Nursing in 2011 and Lorraine has been a Veterinary Assistant for the past 10 years! As women who have worn scrubs day in and day out for many years, they are very excited to be sharing their firsthand expertise with their clients. Whether you wear all black or express your personality with an outrageous printed top, Scrubs Kelowna is your source for scrubs! 1793 Harvey Ave, Kelowna, BC V1Y 6G4 250.860.0055 | Open Tuesday - Sunday 930-6PM



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"By supporting the local economy, creating jobs, and mentoring young entrepreneurs, our women in businesss are building a better community."



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18 | Women in Business 2019

Helping Women Entrepreneurs Grow Stronger Together Brought to you by Half of all new businesses in Canada are started by women. For International Women’s Day, Angela Nagy, owner of GreenStep and a BDC client, reflects on the benefits of making connections with other women entrepreneurs.

Maxine DeHart Maxine DeHart is a Kelowna City Councillor. She was originally elected in 2011, re-elected in 2014 and recently re-elected for a third term in 2018. As a result of this, she has been appointed as a Director on the Central Okanagan Regional District Board and is the City appointee on the Board of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce. She is also an alternate appointee on the Downtown Kelowna Association. Maxine is the Director of Sales at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Centre where she has held that position for over 30 years. She is also celebrating her 21st year with the Kelowna Capital News in March/2019, writing the popular Business Column “Straight from DeHart”. Recently, Maxine has received the honour of an appointment as Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of The British Columbia Dragoons. This is a community service position. She has received many awards over the years including the United Way Award of Distinction; Toastmasters International Communications and Leadership Award; YM/YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for Community Leadership and Enhancement; Commemorative Medal Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; Community Citizen of the Year; Kelowna Chamber of Commerce President’s Award and the Mayor’s Spirit of Kelowna Award. Maxine is the founder of the hugely successful Maxine DeHart – United Way, Ramada Hotel Drive-Thru Breakfast that celebrated 20 years in October/2018. This event has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the United Way.


Terry Simpson “Lexi & Lake Home offers a complete lifestyle in one place” For the past 6 years Terry Simpson and her staff have had the pleasure of bringing beautiful contemporary, sophisticated furniture and accessories to Kelowna. Lexi & Lake Home is still carrying all their great lines. New to the store recently are Barter Design and Mud Austrailia. Terry Laurie & Barb are excited to show our 2019 spring & summer product arriving daily. Lexi & Lake Home | 3937 Lakeshore Road | 778-477-4787

BDC: Tell me about your business? AN: My business,, is my passion come to life. We help businesses reduce their environmental impact and increase their profits. Most business owners don’t realize that when done right, sustainability can improve their profits by 50-80 per cent. BDC: How has networking with other women entrepreneurs helped your business? AN: Women face unique challenges when it comes to entrepreneurship – particularly women with children - so having the peer support and advice of other women who have been in your shoes is invaluable. BDC: Is there a particular instance that stands out? AN: In my early twenties, I sought out the advice of a senior executive of a multinational organization. Not only did she meet with me, she became one of my first mentors, and gave me a plaque on our

first meeting right off her wall that says: Only she who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible. It still hangs on my wall today. BDC: You recently attended BDC’s WE Talk Business Bootcamp. How was it? AN: The program was awesome. It provides great business advice and more importantly, it’s a safe space for women entrepreneurs to ask questions and not feel judged. You leave the session and feel extra confident knowing you are not alone in your journey. Someone has been in your shoes and is willing to share their advice. BDC: With limited time to balance work and life, how do you stay connected to other women entrepreneurs in your network? AN: I keep a close circle of fellow women entrepreneurs as friends who are great for advice, and whenever possible, I get out to networking events to grow my network of other amazing women. BDC: What’s your best advice for a woman who is considering starting a business? AN: Make sure that it’s something you are passionate about because when it gets hard it’s the passion and fire that keep you going. And, don’t give up! Especially if it’s something you believe in. Follow us online •

A calming experience in getting your teeth cleaned!





Women in Business 2019 |

How to Turn Your Creative Ideas Into a Business Concept Contributed by If you’re like many creative types, you have a ton of ideas sprouting like seeds inside your head and new ones burst out on a daily basis. One of the first steps to creating a business is to get those ideas out of your head and down on paper. Writing ideas down makes them more concrete and doable. Don’t be afraid to do this! There’s a flip side – just because you wrote it down, doesn’t mean you can’t change it later. HOW TO CREATE A FOUNDATION STATEMENT FOR YOUR BUSINESS A foundation statement that describes the reason why your business should exist provides a good starting point – it’s the hypothesis you need for further exploration. 1. My business concept is… 2. The customers I’m serving are (who and where)… 3. The problem I solve for them is… Here are some examples: • For a freelance fashion writer: “Fashion-related businesses in the Okanagan want creative, savvy web content updated in a timely manner to reflect

their seasonal offerings.” • For a human resources consultant: “There is a substantial need in Kelowna for an executive search firm that specializes in the financial services industry.” Knowing what you intend your business to be and whose need it will meet helps you to not only set a foundation but a clear business path. You really can’t be all things to all people so you need to identify what’s important to both you and your potential customers. Then, you can build your business concept around those things. It’s never too early to start getting clear about what you do and why you do it because, down the road, your ability to articulate your concept will allow potential customers to understand exactly what you have to offer and how you are able to serve them. Women’s Enterprise Centre is a non-profit organization devoted to helping BC women launch, lead and scale their own businesses. Our full range of services includes business loans up to $150K, business advice, skills training, mentoring, resources and a supportive community to help women entrepreneurs realize their business potential. Get connected today at


Find us at our new location, 2780 Richter St. in summer 2019!

I purchased Smooth Effects Kelowna almost 2 years ago, when I was 23 years old. I am extremely passionate about the benefits of hair removal, and skin care services. I went to school to get my certification in Laser Technologies and Advanced Dermal Skin Care in 2013, and after graduating I immediately started working in the industry. After working for Smooth Effects for 3 years, I had the opportunity to purchase a Smooth Effects Franchise. I jumped at this opportunity, and it was definitely not easy, especially with being so young, but it was so worth it! Kelsey Raber, Owner of Smooth Effects Kelowna

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VALMONT SKINCARE W180MD is an exclusive purveyor of Valmont’s luxury Swiss anti-aging skincare products in the Okanagan Valley.

W180MD is so proud to welcome patients to our new, expanded location. We’ve worked so hard to ensure that our comprehensive approach to health and beauty is reflected in our carefully chosen roster of services. From hormone replacement therapy to manage menopausal symptoms and body contouring treatments like EMSculpt®, to anti-aging and rejuvenation services including IV therapy, JetPeel, Vampire Facial®, Valmont skincare and facials and more, each service has been selected to provide the best possible aesthetic outcomes to our patients. We look forward to providing individualized, discrete, and professional care to women in our new, luxurious space.

EMSCULPT® The world’s first and only procedure to simultaneously build muscle and burn fat for next-level body contouring results. A single treatment session is equivalent to 20,000 sit ups or squats!


Profile for Black Press

Special Features - Women in Business 2019  


Special Features - Women in Business 2019