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Powerful Women Magazine Waterloo-Wellington Edition

Ignite Your Passion for Success

Men can be nurturing too

Inspired to walk for ALL women

Creating style for your man’s workspace

Page 11

Cover photo by Carin McCowan, Smiling DragonFly Photography

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For more information, to register as a guest, or to join this dynamic group of female entrepreneurs, visit

Judith Harrison


Tri-Cities POWE Director Coach for Vibrant Living • cell 519-221-1212

Joyce Hopkins


POWE is a national networking organization that helps women grow their business. Meet some of the members from local chapters. K-W POWE (KW) meets the first Tuesday of each month. Tri-Cities POWE (TC) meets the fourth Wednesday of each month. Stratford (S) meets the third Wednesday of each month.

Natascha Voll KW Nutritional health coach with Isagenix 519-743-1656

Penny Jamieson


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519.650.2288 •

Janet Benedict

Carolyn Drummond


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Other Area Networking Groups for Business Women

Cambridge Women In Networking

Guelph Women In Business

Monthly Lunchtime Networking

Monthly Lunchtime Networking

The third Thursday of each month

Kitchener-Waterloo Business Women’s Association Visit website for event dates 2P Powerful f l Women W Su mmer 2011

The second Wednesday of each month

Company of Women Various locations & dates

Visit website for more information

Powerful Women Ignite Your Passion for Success


Men in a Woman’s World

What’s Inside

When I first had the idea to publish Powerful Women Magazine, it mainly ca me about when I realized that, as a group, business women with whom I networked didn’t have a print mediu m in which to promote their companies locally. What I didn’t expect, on talking about or showing the first issue of the magazine, was the reaction of some men I networked with. “What about us?” they asked. As I wracked my brain for topics for 2011, I decided to include one issue for the guys. The Spring issue, entitled “Women in a Man’s World,” would be followed by “Men in a Woman’s World.” I then set about trying to find men who work in roles that I thought of as traditionally for women, or whose target market is primarily women; men who would be willing to share their experiences and knowledge with a mainly female readership. People suggested male nurses or hair stylists and even male admin assistants whom they knew, but these roles seem to be less uncommon for males now. Roles such as florists that I ascribed to women, often turned out to be occupied by men. It seems we’re living in a changed world and, with changing attitudes, it’s no longer unusual to see men in jobs we used to think of as being only for women. Added to that, some of the men I asked either felt their writing skills were not adequate or didn’t feel the urge to share their experiences. Determined to publish an issue especially for men and help promote male business owners whose target market is predominantly women, I decided to include a home improvement and real estate section. It’s a wellknown fact, that when it comes to decisions for the home, the woman is often in charge. And so, in this issue, you will find tips for buying, selling or improving your home or home-based business as well as articles by men, about men and for men. And since this one’s for the guys, be sure to leave a copy where the man (or men) in your life will find it! Karen Coleman, Publisher

Su mmer 2011

So what do you want to be when you grow up? .............. 4 A man with a mission ............... 6 Invest in your health ................. 8 Working with women to help sell to women ......... 10 Inspired to walk for ALL women .............................. 11 Men can be nurturing too ...... 14 Working g in a woman’s world .. 22

Special Feature Why you should hire a professional .................... 17 Finding money for your new or expanding business venture . 18 Hiring the right contractor for the job ......................... 19 Creating style for your man’s workspace ......................... 20

Regular Feature Recipes R i ffor success: Chicken on the run............... 9 To advertise or submit an article in the next issue of Powerful Women call 519-267-5050 or email Designed and published by Karen Coleman, Kaz Design Works g

Available online at Publisher’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the individual writers. If you have any concerns about any of the content, please write to the publisher at

Su mmer 2011 Powerful Women 3

Roblynn Hunnisett Touchstone Event Management

So what do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be Queen Elizabeth. Designer clothes, a dia mond tiara, a royal wave and a mechanic are all part of who Queen Elizabeth is. Did you know during WWII she trained to be a mechanic to help the war effort? This little piece of information ca me from my friend, Sally Huffman-Brown, as we were sitting down over lunch discussing traditional roles.


hen I was asked to write an article about men in traditional women’s jobs, I started to ask myself, What does this mean? What are traditional jobs for men and for women? Who decided they were traditional for each sex? And has a traditional job changed? Tradition means it is the same year after year without any changes. To truly address this issue, we must look through time because tradition is based on history. During the pioneer years, women did everything and men worked outside plowing and moving forward to settle-

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ments. Women were teachers for their children and nursemaids and doctors when anyone got ill. During the Victorian era, social classes were newly reforming, and fomenting. The upper classes’ composition was changing from simply hereditary aristocracy to a combination of nobility and an emerging wealthy commercial class. The definition of what made someone a gentleman or a lady was, therefore, changing at what some thought was an alarming rate. Within those definitions, who did what job began to change as well.

If we look at Charles Dickens’ The Christmas Carol, we can see Bob Cratchit working as a clerk, along with his fellow male clerks. During this time, my own great, great grandmother was running a saloon and inn on the Isle of Skye. Are these traditional roles? Or would her sister who was an opera singer be more traditional? She sang for Queen Victoria and then married a farmer and moved to Saskatchewan. Was this more traditional? During the 20s, 30s and 40s, there was a major change occurring with each decade. In the Roaring 20s which lead into the depression, people went from extravagance to practical. Jobs went from having the upperclass not have to work and the middle and lower classes doing anything to make ends meet, it didn’t matter what the job was. Traditional roles started to change. In the late 30s and early 40s men started to become designers and seamstresses as they brought out the Zoot suit for the urban man who had money. When the war began, the jobs changed again and women were called into the factories to work, making missiles and other items to help the war effort. As we move into the 50s, 60s and 70s, these were times of freedom, and the women had returned home to give the factory jobs back to the men. Stepford Wives is an excellent example of this time where dresses and skirts were seen once again. This was the time of James Bond, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Cold War, The Mickey Mouse Club, Martin Luther King Jr. and hippies. Farming in the 1950s and 60s had serious challenges, and millions of farmers left for jobs in town or the city. The work force was full of hard-working people and banking hours prevailed. Women worked as secretaries and the men were the bosses. As with everything, there were exceptions. This still holds true today. The 80s and 90s brought change to such things as income tax, and other taxes became commonplace. Although the upperclass still had the option of not working, day care became a tax deduction, so more women would go out to work. Education became widely available and supported by

government, although after college, the jobs were not high paying. Entry-level jobs were hard to find and retail and other similar jobs were fiercely competed for. Where before there had been only female clerks in a store, there was now a combination of male and female clerks. Third world countries had a great influence on jobs in the 1990s. Technology is great in a lot of ways and it influences many job experiences, but it can be smothering us in the 2000s. The new jobs that technology has created have kept the world going forward. There are three components that create traditional roles, age, culture and economics. In this new age of technology, traditional roles do not really exist because if they did we would have to define what a woman is and what a man is. Tradition is part of our mindset and through the ages, it comes down to the value of money and who controls it. As I put on my-not-so-diamond tiara, I realize every role we have comes down to choice. So as the writer in me is my choice, what do you want to be when you grow up?

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A man with a mission to change society from ill health to joyous health By Elaine Elias, Nature’s Nurture

Dr. Paul Blaser, a Ca mbridge chiropractor with a 25-year practice, tells his clients the story of nature’s bounty. Learning this from the Bible, Romans 1 2:1-2, a message of how to handle our bodies, he combined that with nutritional information drawn from his parents’ Shaklee business. That early pathway to knowledge is one he still walks today. 6 Powerful Women Su mmer 2011


e now adds to those teenage habits a variety of other healthy choices. His wife, Sharai, encourages his decisions having always practised good nutrition with herbal support herself. Their individual journeys coalesced within his practice, where Sharai educates and trains his competent team. Talking about his faith in Earth’s gifts, he asks, “Why would you not enter a regime that helps you so much? Would you not brush your teeth?” He notes that women are drawn to a natural lifestyle more easily than men. They are twice as likely to begin use earlier in life in preventing poor health. Men generally wait until confronted with a degenerative or escalating health problem before adopting a new attitude, but once they are convinced, they become lifelong proponents. Women might initiate change but not necessarily stay with a program. The satisfaction, benefit and pleasure Dr. Blaser derives from aromatherapy oils, herbal blends, nutritional mixes and supplements, plus help from alternative services, is obvious to seminar audiences and clients. He hears that people are not receiving relief from solely western-based medicine and practices and, therefore, he will recommend a variety of qualified and knowledgeable natural health-care practitioners. Customers approaching him, uncertain about accepting a new direction, have found themselves bombarded with conflicting information. Needing products that deliver performance and not be fooled by chemical reproductions, a client’s own education and awareness works as their best defense. He realizes all remedies are not created equal and that this plethora of products and practices can hinder people entering a crisis state in their health. When talking to a first-time patient, he explores and then helps them handle their

fears or resistance to a purer program. He gently leads people to feel comfortable and confident in their decision and says, “I simply want what is best for that person and I will happily encourage their growth and improvement, hopefully through the use of natural resources.” Dr. Blaser takes challenge and carves from that his long-term goals, intending to grow as a person and practitioner. He wants to ‘give back’ to society. Determined and eager, he approaches completing a gruelling Triathlon by trusting in his training program to build mental and physical discipline and relishes the hard work behind achieving this personal mark, having seen improvement in his strength and endurance for the running and swimming competitions. He mentioned that Africa and Haiti are beckoning him to leave his comfort zone, needing his consortium – a group of like-minded professionals. Their joint efforts to teach and reach the locals and introduce them to healthier regimes will help that nation towards self-sufficiency. Lastly, he will reorganize his chiropractic business. By utilizing each team member’s area of expertise wrapped within collaborative cells of three, he will rely on a female’s inherent organizational skills and incorporate that sense of nurture. As an educator and service provider, Dr. Blaser advises men to not readily dismiss the contribution of nature, and he asks female clients to be more active in promoting natural concepts with the men in their lives. He is a man with a mission, utilizing every opportunity to change society from ill health to joyous health. After all, his entire life has been a message and a movement towards nature’s healing and he truly wants all men and women equally to enjoy its bounty.

Dr. Paul Blaser

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Invest in your health Dr. Colin Leis, DC Chiropractor

KW Health Connection

Female entrepreneurs are motivated to invest time and money in their business. Often they take their health for granted, and yet it’s the most important investment of all.


f you’re stressed to the point of poor sleeping patterns, poor eating patterns and more, you may really need to go back to basics. Thinking about a little baby and its fundamental needs may help you recognize the same basic needs of your adult body. 1. Regular healthy nutrition is first and foremost. Whether you eat on the run or find time to sit down for occasional meals, be conscious of the types of foods you’re putting in your mouth. I recommend taking time on the weekends to cook batch meals. It addresses the need for time with family and also makes it easy for you to carry homemade meals with you when you’re working. These will be portable lunches and/or dinners with ingredients you know. 2. Regular peaceful rest is also an important requirement for health. A good night’s sleep is often dependent on nutrition as well as other factors mentioned below. Give yourself a chance to slow down in the evening before going to bed, and create the conditions of a cold, dark cave in your bedroom for the deepest sleep.

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3. Investigate any continuing aches and pains you have. They mean something! Whether the cause is long hours at a computer or days of travelling in cars or planes, you need to address them as rapidly as you would the needs of a client. 4. Remember the importance of time with family. It’s not just for them, but also for you. Collect hugs, affection and interaction with those who love you. It will energize you! 5. There’s a place in health for positive mental stimulation. This would be something interactive such as a good book, a puzzle or even good conversation rather than sitting in front of the TV. 6. Physical activity will benefit you on so many levels. It’s a positive diversion from the challenges of your business and it provides physical, mental and emotional stimulation for your body. We should all strive for a balanced life, but the perfect balance may not be achievable. Still it’s important to put effort into all areas of your life. Work to live rather than live to work. When you’re healthy and happy, your business will be more successful and rewarding.

Recipe s for Su cce ss

by Dr. Erika Holenski, ND, KW Health Connection

Chicken on the run

Regardless of who might be in charge of the meals, time is often at a premiu m for most people. We’re frequently “on the run.” This chicken recipe is quick and delicious! Ingredients 1 tbsp olive oil 2 cloves garlic 1 medium chopped onion 2 sprigs rosemary 2 tomatoes, chopped in wedges 4 chicken thighs or 2 small chicken breasts 4 handfuls spinach or kale (Serves two, recipe can be doubled for a family.) Preparation 1. In a hot skillet, add olive oil, onion and garlic. Sauté for five minutes.

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2. Add rosemary and tomato. Sauté for five minutes, then push mixture to the side. 3. Add chicken. Brown on one side, then the other. Continue cooking until chicken is done, turning often (approximately 10-15 minutes). 4. Push the chicken to one side and add the spinach or kale. Sauté until greens have wilted. 5. Place the greens on a plate, then the tomato mixture, and finally top it with the chicken.

Increase your energy Balance your hormones Live pain free Su mmer 2011 Powerful Women 9

Working with women to help sell to women

Michael Bartlett Purveyor of Entrepreneurial Spirit


When you think of people in their undergarments, do you think of Tom Cruise sliding across the floor in his tightey whiteys, Tim Curry doing the Time Warp, or maybe Victoria Secrets models? I was introduced to the undergarment field by a close friend, who had more confidence and felt better about her body shape by simply putting it on.

elf esteem; who couldn’t use more assurance, look better in the mirror and get healthier in the process? I was intrigued. Can it help men? How could I introduce it to women? She sold me a men’s t-shirt. It offered back support, an instant tummy tuck and gave me better posture. I wasn’t slumped over. I stood up straight! It was tight, but not too much. It took care of my beer belly and smoothed it out to give me a slimmer midrift. I felt great! I started to study what the undergarments could do for women and saw some incredible before and after pictures and was amazed! I started to feel confident I could help others with these garments. How could I approach people? Would I say, “Have I got an undergarment for you?” like a slick salesperson or would I demonstrate it to showcase the benefits? How would I promote it? After wearing the t-shirt for a month, I decided to try the trade show booth opportunity to see what the public would think. I was instantly pleased. I showed people the difference of one belt buckle loop in my waistline. Women saw my peers and how the undergarment worked for them. They loved it! We had incredible sales throughout the day and were able to find some new partners too.

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I created a website showing great before and after pictures of satisfied clients. This was all working great. Now I was selling the product on my own. With men, it was tough at first. A t-shirt that tucked you in and helped with posture? If I could get them to try it on, it was snug. They had to put the garment on feet first and then pull it up. I found men in the service industries liked it. Now women, that was interesting. At first I introduced it to women I knew. I was confident enough to tell them they looked great, but that the undergarment could enhance them and make them feel even better! Once the women put the garment on, they loved it! Like the shampoo commercials, they told two friends and so on. Today’s networking works. It’s been a great success! I would help friends of some women via private home parties. Some were shy of course, but with their friends there for support, it worked well. The smaller groups helped. We felt better for the experience. This was my best learning opportunity. Working with women to help sell to women, to have a better understanding of their needs, enhanced my success. I have learned from this and will use this lesson in future selling opportunities.

Inspired to walk for ALL women By Karen Coleman, Kaz Design Works

When I chose the theme for this issue, “Men in a Woman’s World”, a na me immediately sprang to mind; that of a man who has inspired and been inspired by thousands of women across the country; a man whose life in the past eight years has been completely dedicated to raising breast cancer awareness and money to help find a cure.


very now and then you meet a man vivor, was the only man. “The women were whose courage you can’t help but admire. surprised to see a male walking with them but A man whose courage is second to none, at the same time so appreciative,” said Chad whose unrivalled determination to succeed when asked how all those women reacted. outweighs any fears or doubts that he may My partner and I had the honour of meetnot accomplish his goals; a man motivated by ing Chad in Ottawa in 2007. We had heard the strength and courage of others, especially his name and his accomplishments from other women; a man inspired to walkers during the previous continue walking until he can year’s event; we were inspired walk no more. to follow in his footsteps and In 2007, I met such a man; took up the challenge of walkbut this man is no ordinary ing in all seven Weekend man. This man has walked events across Canada. No easy 2,140km in the fight against feat (no pun intended). To parbreast cancer. This man has ticipate in each event, we had walked beside thousands of to raise a minimum of $2000 women, both young and old, each. A daunting task that was, in eight cities across Canada for us, a huge challenge. and one in the US. A man who Chad with Shannon Duke Chad, who had walked in was inspired to walk, not once, when he surprised her at every event since its incepbut 35 times in The Weekend a party to celebrate 10 tion, not only raised the miniyears as a survivor to End Women’s Cancers (formum required each year but merly The Weekend to End Breast Cancer). A also helped others reach their minimum goals man, who despite his diagnosis of lung cancer and to date has raised over $230,000. Like in January 2009, continued to walk in honour thousands of other women (and men), I canof hundreds of women who have survived the not help but be inspired by this man. disease and in memory of many who have Although at first Chad also felt the chalsuccumbed. lenge of raising so much money quite dauntChad Cieslik, a 62-year-old self-employed ing, once he started asking for donations appraiser from Stoney Creek, has been paying and explaining what he was doing, he found it forward since 2003, when he took part in his that people gave generously. “I think it was first 60km walk, after hearing the constant air- more to see me suffer as I walked 60km,” he ing of ads on morning radio shows. That first quipped. In subsequent years, with the addievent attracted 3,347 participants, but Chad, tion of more events in other provinces and walking in honour of his mother-in-law, who even more money to raise, his strategy was Continued on next page at that time was a 15-year breast cancer surSu mmer 2011 Powerful Women 11

Continued from previous page

to ask everyone he came into contact with. “It was all in the presentation,” he explained. “By that I mean, you have to sell yourself to the person you’re asking the donation from. You have to sell them on the event, have them see the compassion you have and what it really means to you and why you are sacrificing yourself and your time.” When asked how he managed to continue raising so much money during the recession, he stated that he used the same strategy but found the key was to coach teams to help him. By selling pink ribbon merchandise, chocolate bars and pink jerseys, he was able to split the proceeds between the cancer foundations and other organizations such as hockey leagues and women’s hockey teams. Like running a business, much of his strategy was a learning process based on trial and error. “The key was to be visible and make people aware of what I was doing,” he said. His biggest challenge wasn’t raising the money, but convincing people in Ontario to send their money to cancer foundations in other provinces. Chad revealed that overcoming that challenge came to him by accident when a friend, whose daughter had moved out west, was willing to donate, but wanted the money to stay in Ontario. “I asked him point blank, ‘So, for all medical treatments she would be coming home?’ Not all family and friends reside locally,” he pointed out. “People have to understand that cancer research facilities share findings with each other.” Over the years raising money has not been a big issue for Chad, but walking 420km in one year was a hard task. When asked who or what motivated him to continue walking, he admitted that, in 2006, after already completing two 60km walks in Ottawa and Winnipeg, he was almost ready to quit during the second day of the Calgary event as he “hit the proverbial wall” walking up a steep sidewalk. As he wondered what he was doing and why he was there, giving up his weekend, his time, when he could be on the golf course or by the pool, he told himself he would do the Toronto walk but would forgo the rest of the events 12 Powerful Women Su mmer 2011

Bev Forest (left) at the 2007 Ottawa Weekend with Monique LambertyHills, a breast cancer survivor. Sadly, Bev died of breast cancer in 2008. in Edmonton, Vancouver and Montreal and instead concentrate on local hospitals the following year. But on his return home, he received numerous emails from women thanking him for what he was doing and all the sacrifices he had made. One email in particular caught his attention. As he read it, he remembered all the emotions of the ladies he met as they exchanged well wishes. He was determined to find out more about the sender and learned that she had lost a grandmother to cancer, her mother and two sisters. On September 11th, Shannon Duke, mother to a 3-month-old baby boy and a 3-year-old girl, had been diagnosed with breast cancer and stage 4 bone cancer and doctors gave little hope of survival. It was there in the doctor’s office that she had vowed to make sure her children did not become motherless. “After reading Shannon’s story, I knew that I would continue with the Walks in Edmonton, Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto,” Chad stated. “I also knew that in 2007, I would return to Calgary and other cities with all their steep sidewalks for another 60km walk.” Thanks to Shannon, who celebrated 10 years as a survivor in 2010, Chad understood what he was doing and why, and she inspired and motivated him to keep walking in subsequent events. I am glad she wrote him. If not, I may never have met him! Over the years Chad has met countless other women like Shannon who have inspired him with their stories of dealing with cancer.

Pamela Johnson, Bev Forest, Ann Dugan and Bev Flagg are just a few such women who have inspired Chad – women who somehow managed to walk as much of the 60km as possible while fighting with all their might against breast cancer and sadly eventually losing the battle. “But it’s also people like Barb Myers who this year will be celebrating 20 years of survivorship and Marion McNeill who celebrated seven years and is now fighting the battle all over again,” Chad said with admiration. “Every person you meet and spend some time with talking and hearing their stories becomes an inspiration.” Of all the women Chad has met and remembers, the most heartbreaking and inspirational memory came in 2008. Bev Forest, whose breast cancer had returned with a vengeance, sapping all her strength, was determined to take part in the Ottawa event with her friends in June. After several email exchanges, a wheelchair had been arranged and along with a line-up of other friends, Chad had promised to help push her during the event. But sadly, just six days prior to the event, Bev lost her battle. I, too, was immensely inspired that weekend and remember vividly the emotion, determination and courage on Chad’s face as he carried Bev’s shoes and pushed her empty wheelchair throughout the entire 60km in her

honour and memory. That was “one of the hardest events I have ever had to complete,” Chad admitted. In 2009, Chad made the heart-wrenching decision not to walk the following year, and instead concentrate on fighting the lung cancer that was threatening his life. So greatly inspiring is this man that another female walker, Louise Eisfeld, took up his challenge of walking in all six 2010 events in his place and to form six teams of 35 walkers to join her. An amazing 240 women and men across Canada registered on the Butterfly of Hope team and walked in his honour and, with his help, raised $510,000. It was time for others to pay it forward for Chad. Now in 2011, as a two-year survivor, Chad will once again put on his shoes and walk in all five Canadian Weekend to End Women’s Cancers events. “Actually, I’m terrified,” he admitted when asked how he feels knowing he will once again walk for all women. “I did the 60km treadmill walk on “Wear it Pink” promo day and it took weeks to recover. But at the same time, I’m excited to be able to walk shoulder to shoulder with not only the Butterfly of Hope team but with all the other friends that I know will be there should I falter.” Knowing Chad and his steady determination when surrounded by so many inspirational women, he’ll have no problem completing all 300km once again.

Photo by Edwin Santiago Photography

Barb Myers, (second row third from left) and Louise Eisfeld (centre) are pictured with Chad’s Toronto Butterfly of Hope team before last year’s Weekend event. Inset: Chad at the start of the 2009 Ontario Ride to Conquer Cancer, another cross-Canada cancer event in which he has participated several times. Su mmer 2011 Powerful Women 13

Men can be nurturing too By Carolyn Parks, President, Outstanding Women Speakers

There is a word that comes to my mind immediately upon learning more about Scott Forsyth. And that word is “genuine.” When I first learned about Scott’s vocation, another word ca me to mind - ‘wow’. As unfair as it is, I fall prey to an immediate bias and think “why did you choose this role?” (versus, say, a truck driver or computer progra mmer or neurosurgeon).


cott is a Junior Kindergarten teacher in Waterloo. When I indulge my urgent “why” question, the answer is beautifully simple. “I do this job because I love it,” states Scott. “There are no bonuses, the rate of pay can be seen as insulting compared to the education and degree of responsibility that I have, the hours can be long, the job goes unrewarded. I do this because I have a genuine care and interest in educating young children… helping them to develop, delight with them in the wonders of the world.” Wow (again). Where do you go from here in an interview? The man has found a career that fulfils him and provides him with the opportunity to make a difference. But the story is captivating, so of course there is an imperative to learn more. Scott lives with wife Wendy and their flame-haired two-year-old, Charlotte, in Waterloo. Scott’s interests are varied and include fishing, camping, geocaching and paintballing. When asked how he found himself in this role, Scott shares that he is originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, where he studied Childcare & Education at the city’s Telford College. “I’ve never been destined for a ‘desk job’, and my past jobs have always been ‘typical’ for males – driver, greenskeeper, debt collector. But in 1999, after numerous job changes, Scott’s wife Wendy suggested that Scott be tested for dyslexia. “We found that I am somewhat

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dyslexic,” states Scott, “so we talked, and Wendy encouraged me to use this information to make a life change – to go and study something that would make ME happy.” Scott explains that dyslexia is a registered disability in the UK, which meant that he would have extra support at college. “I’ve always loved kids,” continues Scott, “and, in September 2000, I was enrolled at the college. In 2002, I completed my studies and I started work. I’ve been working in the childcare and education field since.” Coming to Canada proved to be “interesting”, as Scott states. His college diploma wasn’t recognised by the AECEO (Association of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario), and so he had to apply for Equivalency. Scott’s education was assessed, and after completing two modules via distance learning, he attained a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and became a Registered ECE (Early Childhood Educator). Over the years, Scott has worked with infants up to pre-teens, but for the last four years he has been a Junior Kindergarten teacher. “This, to me, has been the most rewarding position I have held,” says Scott. Scott is very forthright (as genuine people tend to be) about some of the challenges he has faced. “At times I have been told not to hug children under any circumstances, including comforting them after falls. I have been told I cannot change diapers. I have been called some unappeal-

ing names. But I see this as ignorance and have always carried out what was asked of me with the utmost professionalism,” he states without malice. Scott has even experienced dismissal in the past because of an incident where he intervened to prevent a child from falling. In averting the inevitable accident, his hand was on the chest of the child. Scott indicates that, in general, mothers can be the most judgmental, while fathers will often pat him on the back for doing what he does. “In the UK, there was a super organization called ‘Men In Childcare’ which existed to support males in this industry and to promote it within colleges in the UK,” explains Scott. “I was disappointed not to be able to find something like this here in Ontario; it would be such a good thing to have. There is no positive discrimination for being a minority, but there are plenty of prejudices, which is unfortunate in this day and age.” When I ask Scott if there are differences in the way children act around him versus his female counterparts, Scott confirms. “Men tend to be a bit more playful with children at times, and because I get in there with them, they start to associate that with me.” I also asked if some children are nervous being around Scott because of his gender. “I don’t think they are necessarily afraid of me,” Scott replies, “but I do think that there is this initial shock when they see me, like ‘what’s he doing here?’ One little girl in my group has a more difficult time in the morning when she first says goodbye to her mum. So when I greet her, I always make sure I’m with a female co-worker, just until she gets comfortable. And then once she’s settled in, I make an effort to get her into some activities.” As we talk, it becomes clear that while young children are not accustomed to men in this environment, it is a positive thing to have them experience this balance of role models. Scott suggests that working with women

Scott with wife Wendy and daughter Charlotte co-workers has not been difficult; in fact, he has appreciated the female point of view offered by his coworkers in certain situations. So the effects of gender balance can be positive for young and old alike. The questions could keep coming, but of course Scott has a family to tend to, a home to sell and work to do. So I ask Scott what advice he would have for young men thinking of pursuing a career in his field. Scott shares that he would encourage men to enter the profession. “Men can be nurturing too… this shouldn’t be a predominately feminine field.” Scott hasn’t heard of one other male that is currently in the field in Canada, and wishes more men would take up the challenge. He shares some pieces of wisdom for those who might follow in his path: “Never feel threatened by the fact that you’re a man in a ‘women’s environment.’ Don’t be squeamish about menstrual or fashion talk, and be prepared for some judgements and some double takes – but never take it personally.” For a man who doesn’t take the occasional hurdles of working with young lives personally, I cannot imagine life’s work that is more important or indeed more personal. Su mmer 2011 Powerful Women 15




Special Feature: Home Improvement & Real Estate

Why you should hire a professional

When buying or selling a home or premises for a small business, we all want to save or make the most money possible before, during and after closing the deal. It stands to reason that hiring a professional is the best way to ensure we don’t miss any hidden costs or savings. However, many people think they will save money by doing it themselves only to find out later they could have saved or made more money. Carole Didow of HomeLife Power Realty Inc. and Jim Dueck of Mortgage share a few reasons why you should hire a professional so you don’t fall into the do-it-yourself trap. The benefits of hiring a realtor A home is often the largest single purchase you will make and a realtor can help you avoid the pitfalls of real estate transactions. Knowledgeable: trained in marketing strategy, negotiation tactics and the workings of the current real estate market. A realtor will guide you through the steps of the home selling or buying process and can explain exactly what to expect. They will point you in the direction of other specialized professionals for different stages of the process. Experienced: a professional realtor can offer you tips and information on how to get your home in the best selling shape in order to sell it as quickly as possible and for the most money possible. Insured: while mistakes are much less likely to occur with a professional realtor handling the details, your realtor has liability insurance to cover errors or omissions. Code of Ethics: they are required to treat everyone in the transaction fairly, honestly and with integrity.

Why you should hire a mortgage specialist Once you have placed your mortgage with a bank, they have no motivation to help you lower your interest rate in a way that is financially beneficial to you. Unless you take it upon yourself, you will pay thousands more in interest than what you need and may take years longer to become mortgage free. When purchasing a home or starting a home-based business, a mortgage specialist can tell you the kind of financial information lenders are looking for. A mortgage specialist can help you determine your mortgage goals, whether to get a fixed or variable rate, and will shop for the mortgage product and rate that is appropriate for you. An experienced and educated mortgage specialist will ensure that you get the product, rate and term that fit your financial goals.

Carole Didow Sales Representative

Bus: (519) 885-8810 Dir: (519) 573-2213

Your Best Way Home™

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Su mmer 2011 Powerful Women 17

Finding money for your new or expanding business venture Valerie Meyer Sickness Benefits and Finance

As a new or expanding business owner, you may no longer have regular paycheques, and you need to finance your business, so you may be out looking for available opportunities.


f you have not yet started a new business and still earn a regular paycheque, this is the best time to get a new mortgage, your mortgage renewed and especially, a line of credit, if you qualify for one. Banks are very conservative and love work stability. Banks are not keen on new business owners since a new business can fail and they do not want to be on the hook for the loan. Don’t hand in your resignation until after the deal is sealed. There are now new mortgage plans available. With a flexible mortgage account, you can combine all of your savings and borrowing in one account and pay down the debt without penalty, as well as additional borrowing with a lower interest rate. It also allows you to use the built-up equity in your home to help you finance your new or expanding business easily with a relatively inexpensive credit source. Often you can take advantage of an interest-only plan, which means that only the interest has to be repaid every month. When you have a business operating out of your home, ensure that it is really a small por-


VALERIE MEYER 519-888-8361 18 Powerful Women Su mmer 2011

tion of your home, or else you may be thrown into the concept of running a commercial business out of your home and that can become a whole different ball game. In some cases, you can finance without proving your income, for up to 65% of your home’s value as long as you have been a business owner for at least three years and have a good credit rating. Other ways that you can find extra money is through whole life insurance policies purchased years before that have built up a sizeable cash value. You can borrow these funds without any questions asked for a small interest rate. If you like, the borrowed funds never have to be paid back. It will just be taken off your death benefit amount if you were to die. As well, the insurance industry offers universal life insurance plans, which allow you to put additional money into an insurance package to build up a cash value that can be accessed at a later date. Lastly, as a small business owner, take disability insurance seriously. If you are not able to work due to an illness or injury, then, at least, your interest-only borrowing plans can continue to be paid while you are off your feet. As well, you can purchase business expense protection that can offset all of your operating expenses until you can get back to work. These options can help you keep your business in the black as you launch your new business, expand your business, or in the worst case scenario, just can’t work in any capacity. It makes good money sense to cover all your options to have the ability to access money without questions asked.

Special Feature: Home Improvement & Real Estate

Hiring the right contractor for the job By Allan Teal, Al-Do-It

Most contractors can do many different tasks but they all have specialties. A good contractor will advise when they don’t have the required skills or qualifications for a particular job and which parts of the job would be better done by a skilled tradesperson in that field.


couple of rules to go by are if the job requires tying into existing electrical lines or plumbing, then hire a licensed electrician or licensed plumber. If you’re looking for general maintenance or cosmetic repairs or restructuring an existing space, then your handyman is the choice, but you should still ask several questions to make sure you have the right tradesperson. Ask any questions you may have so that you and your contractor understand exactly what you require. A sure sign your contractor isn’t the right one for job is when they get annoyed at questions being asked or avoid them and don’t give you a straight answer. Have a list of questions, such as, are they insured and ask to see proof; and how long have they been doing their particular line of work. You could ask for references, although you will probably only get the positive ones. However, it

Allan Teal

sometimes helps to know that they have done similar work and a positive reference may ease some doubts. An excellent way to find a contractor that fits with your needs is to start with small jobs and progress to larger jobs as you become more comfortable with your contractor and the quality of work being done. If you don’t have small jobs to start and need a larger job done, then get at least three quotes and ask each contractor for suggestions to make sure they understand what you would like the end result to be. Make a checklist to compare all three, noting things like punctuality; did they show up when it was convenient for you and were they on time? Did they show a positive and attentive attitude to what you were saying and did they get back to you with the quote in a timely manner.? And finally, trust your gut feeling; it’s generally not wrong.




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Maintenance, Renovations and Repairs Furniture Assembly Window Coverings and Wall Fixture Installations Keeping your office looking professional


Busy schedule? Honey-do-list getting long? I’m here to help. Give Al a call today! Su mmer 2011 Powerful Women 19

Creating style for your man’s workspace

Sharlyn Graham Life Uncluttered

For those of us who have spouses working from home, we know the challenges of keeping their workspace organized and the décor appealing. Very often the chaos of those home offices can spill over and impact the harmony of the rest of the home. I often receive queries from clients who desperately want to redecorate their husband’s home offices but have no idea where to start.


o here are a few tips to create an office space that your working man will love and one you can live with too! Think Masculine

Deep, rich tones of blue, brown, burgundy and grey are all a good start for a masculine colour scheme. If the room is small or dimly lit, you may not want to paint the walls a dark tone, but you can certainly accent a taupe or light grey

room with punches of a dark shade using furniture and accents. Accents of gold or platinum will further enhance the masculine feel and create a sense of sophistication. If considering patterned fabric, wallpaper or drapery, steer away from anything complex. Simple geometric or stripes will have the greatest appeal. Focus on Comfort As we all know, men like to be comfy,

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20 Powerful Women Su mmer 2011

Special Feature: Home Improvement & Real Estate so that should be the top priority in this space. The office should have a good quality ergonomic chair for the desk area. The more comfortable they are at their desks, the more focused and efficient they can be. If space allows, introduce a leather armchair and ottoman for reading and decompressing at the end of the day. Not only is leather stylish, but it is also comfortable and easy to care for. Choose Artwork that Inspires While Ferrari posters don’t fit the theme I am suggesting, it is important to consider the interests of your man so select artwork that will interest and motivate him. Sport-related prints or perhaps framed black and white photos of vintage cars will draw his attention and add a smile to his face. Alternatively, a large canvas of a photo from a recent vacation will remind him what he is working for. Keep It Simple A simple, organized and functional workspace will be most pleasing. The desk should be large and rugged rather than small scale and allow for effective storage so that he can remain organized and on task. Add leather trays and boxes to keep the messes out of sight. Select a bookshelf to

complement the desk and decorate with a combination of books and small ornamental items. Choose objects that are useful, not just decorative, such as a clock, bookends with perhaps a sport or nautical theme, and a game or two. When decorating a space, the key is to consider the interests of those who will use it. So, if you want your husband to love his redecorated office, focus on his tastes, not your own! Driveway suffering from Depressions? Cracking up? Feeling Dull?


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Working in a woman’s world

Lynne Bard Beyond Rewards Inc.


Last issue, I wrote about women working in a man’s world and the non-traditional careers women are choosing, the obstacles and successes of those choices. It is not much different for men who work in careers that are traditionally women’s.

raditional women’s career choices, such as receptionist, secretary, nanny or nurse, are becoming more commonplace for men to apply and work. Stats show that men in these fields are often discriminated against more than women. People are often shocked to find men working in these fields and ask them why they would want to be a secretary, nanny or receptionist and often treat them differently. Male nurses are becoming more common place; however, they often feel segregated from the rest of the team. Being of the opposite sex in a femalecentric environment, a male would quickly notice that there was an inner circle never to be penetrated. It would be somewhat comparable to how many women feel in a male-dominated work environment. Research shows that even though a man may work well with the whole team, he would probably never be IN on the inside jokes, might infrequently go out on lunches and hardly ever talk about his personal life. Once the political correctness is pushed aside, it’s plain to see that women and men simply approach work differently; and it has nothing to do with qualifications. One of the first places to start is recognizing that men typically talk to get

22 Powerful Women Su mmer 2011

information. While women do the same, there’s the added component of personal interaction in their conversations. An easily recognizable example of this in everyday life is the phone conversation. Guys call other guys to relay information or set up meetings. It’s rare that a man will call another “just to chat.” That key difference is competitiveness. There are, of course, women who can be just as, if not more, competitive than men. But as a whole, workplace studies have found that men put in longer hours, endure more hardships, are apt to relocate, and are willing to sacrifice family obligations more than women. According to statistics, one distinct difference is that men in traditionally women’s fields tend to get recognized faster, receive promotions faster and get more attention period. The workplace hasn’t become an allout battle of the sexes. In most professions, men and women have gotten used to working together. But it stands to reason that the contrasting styles can lead to a breakdown in communication, a vital component in any successful business. But not to fear, men and women are more alike than different. Some may find that hard to believe, but it’s actually possible to improve cross-gender communication and smooth out the rough edges.

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Su mmer 2011 Powerful Women 23

Powerful Women Magazine Summer 2011  
Powerful Women Magazine Summer 2011  

When it comes to decisions for the home, the woman is often in charge so the summer 2011 issue is for men whose target market is women, part...