Announcing the 2018 Sparkle Award Winners
Volunteer of the Year: Karen Ross Smith, Networker of the Year: Victoria Johansen
Mentor of the Year: Diana Morris, 2018 Woman of Influence: Brenda Seltzer
Congratulations to the 2018 Sparkle Award Nominees!
Nominations took place Oct 1-20/18. This year we asked nominees to choose the one category that best fits their strengths and write your bio to speak to that award criteria.
Learn about the nominees
Bios are listed by award category in no particular order, please read to the bottom.
I am so grateful to have been nominated for “volunteer of the year” . You may recognize my photo from the 25 years I have been a waitress in this community at some of our amazing restaurants. I love this community! Volunteering started for me delivering meals on wheels on Christmas Day with both my husband of 25 years and our 22 year old daughter. I am so proud to be 1 of the 100 women who care and have been on both The Relay for Life and Taking the Edge Off Cancer committees raising over $50,000 dollars for Headwaters oncology department. Two years ago I joined the Habitat for Humanity volunteer committee hosting “The Ultimate House Party.” With this fundraiser we have raised over $114,000 to go towards building homes through affordable home ownership in Dufferin County. Finally, my biggest volunteer accomplishment has been creating the Believe Bag campaign. Christmas 2012 I spearheaded this non-profit community spirited campaign which focuses on Christmas Bags for moms who are facing crisis and or financial hardships. With the help of this community and a team of amazing like minded women we have built over 750 bags which are donated to FTP, DCAFS, the Orangeville food bank and Big Brothers and Big Sisters which allows each child to take a gift bag home to their moms. To help awareness please like our Facebook page Believe Bags Orangeville to find our drop off locations and how you can contribute this year. Thank you again for your very kind nomination!
I am extremely humbled to be nominated alongside these amazing women for this award! I have lived in Orangeville for over 25 years and I am passionate about giving back to the community that has been so great to me and my family. I am the co-chair of Hospice Dufferin’s Board of Directors and I sit on the Board of Directors for Community Living Dufferin and Community Safety Partners. I am honoured to be a part of the organizing committee for Celebrate Your Awesome. Together, our committee of amazing volunteers brought the first celebration of pride and diversity to Dufferin County in June 2018 and we are ramping up to do it all again in 2019!
I love to work with amazing organizations in any capacity including lending my love for writing to Family Transition Place for their semi-annual magazines, helping the Orangeville Wolves with marketing materials and helping others to create and plan new and unique fundraising ideas. I have coordinated events for One Sight and The Ride to Conquer Cancer, but there is a special place in my heart for Taking the Edge off Cancer. A dear friend, Sean Coulter started Taking the Edge off Cancer to raise funds for the oncology expansion at Headwaters Healthcare Centre and he lost his battle with cancer in 2017 but we are committed to continuing his legacy and fighting to bring cancer care closer to home through events like ‘Sean’s EDGEstravaganza’, ‘BurgerQuest’ and ‘The Sean Coulter Shootout’.
Thank you for this amazing nomination!
Colleen always believed that building relationships was the most important skill to have in her career as an educator. Now that she is retired, she finds the same skill is just as important. Colleen has volunteered at her church for many years, as a lector, a member of both the CWL and the social committee and as a collection counter. During her first year of retirement, Colleen realized that there were many things that she could do to help others. Her husband was already a volunteer with the Orangeville Food Bank so she also became involved. Over the past two years, Colleen’s volunteering has grown from one morning a week to three or four days a week and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Colleen is the volunteer co-ordinator, team lead during her shift, tour group co-ordinator, a member of the administrative team and she works with clients when the food bank is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There are over 80 volunteers at the food bank ranging in age from 13 to 93. Two years ago Colleen was involved in the set up and organization of the food bank’s new “shopping model”. Clients now choose their own food. This allows for greater dignity, less waste and greater choice of foods. Colleen also helps organize the school and community tours that come through the food bank. Being an educator she strongly believes that education is very powerful. By inviting the community into the food bank, visitors can improve their understanding of the needs of the organization. Colleen’s favourite thing about volunteering at the food bank is the people –the Executive Director, the volunteers, the clients and the donors. It truly is “Neighbours helping neighbours care for our community.” Colleen is honoured to have been nominated for the work she does volunteering for this worthwhile organization.
Stephany St. Louis
She is the chair of her parent council board, a foster parent and founder of Hats On Dufferin. In Stephany’s spare time she….volunteers 😉
Stephany owns her own bookkeeping business and is available to help small businesses with all their bookkeeping needs.
Debbie Van Wyck
Debbie is married to Rob Long and has three grown children and four grandchildren. She is a full time realtor and In her down time, Debbie loves to travel, golf and spend time at the lake with her family. She has been an active volunteer with the Orangeville Northmen Lacrosse organization since 1995, earning the prestigious Builders’ Award. She also volunteers with Family Transition Place, and Finding Them Homes, a dog rescue organization. Debbie has also been on the Board of Directors for the Orangeville and District Real Estate Board, volunteered with Community Living Dufferin, canvassed for the Headwaters Health Care Centre and worked at the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival. She is a firm believer in giving back to the community….volunteers are the lifeblood of a town.
It’s been 7 years since our family moved to Orangeville from Milton. My new neighbour contacted me out of the blue asking if I wanted to volunteer on the Headwaters House Tour Committee thinking it would be a great way to meet people in the community. I have to say I am so thankful to that neighbour as this kind gesture started me on a completely new path. Shortly after joining the Headwaters House Tour committee I then became a member with the Headwaters Auxiliary Executive. In the past 7 years I have volunteered at my children’s schools and sports teams too. This past summer our family supported our son’s campaign ‘Will Swim for Food’ where he raised $4005 and 301 food items for the Orangeville Food Bank. From that adventure we are now part of the 100 Kids Who Care Dufferin, both my children are Ambassadors for the group and I am part of the organizing committee. It has been an incredible honour to get involved in our community and to really feel like our contributions are helping in some small way. With my involvement in 100 Kids Who Care Dufferin, I get the privilege to see the next generation of budding community enthusiasts develop as well. It is an immense honour to be nominated for Volunteer of the Year from Dufferin Women in Business.
I want to start by saying how truly surprised and honoured I feel to be nominated for Volunteer of the Year!
My name is Sarah Aston, I have lived in Mono for over 30 years and love it, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I am married to Chad and we have 2 wonderful boys, ages 17 and 12. I work as a Realtor full time and sell throughout the Headwaters Region.
Since I have always been involved with horses my entire life, it was a natural way for me to help “At Risk” youth by volunteering at the Youthdale Riding program, run by Ellen Downey. I am a volunteer coach and work with an average of 6 youth and 6 horses (each with a volunteer on the ground) once a week for each 10 week session., . I teach the youth, horsemanship and riding skills which culminates in a “Show Off Class”, whereby the youth demonstrate their skills by performing a musical ride (fashioned after the true musical ride performed by the RCMP). To see how these saintly horses help these youth deal with anxiety and frustration and provide them a safe, non judgemental environment where they can gain self-confidence and a sense of achievement is beyond satisfying to witness. In addition, I am so proud to say that this year, myself and 3 other ladies; Brenda Seltzer, Liz Skorski and Lori-Jane Del Medico founded 100 + Women Who Care Dufferin. This is an extremely powerful organization that within 1 1/2 hours raises over $10,000 for a charity that services Dufferin County. We meet 4 times a year (with the exception being this year because we just started and there was only time for 3 meetings). Therefore in a normal year we will be raising over $40,000 a year for local charities, serving Dufferin residents. I absolutely love this organization and the women that are part of this. My other community piece involves Hockley Ski Resort. We are an avid skiing family and have had very many happy memories on the slopes and have met many wonderful families from the area. My youngest son is a ski racer and when we were saddened to hear that the dryland training program was cancelled due to lack of numbers, I became the volunteer fitness coach! I threw it initially to the race team but opened it up to any siblings, parents or even neighbours for that matter that want to train with us! They show up at my house every Saturday morning and we work hard and have some laughs trying to get fit for the race season in whatever weather Mother Nature throws at us. I am very grateful to live where I do and love helping others experience this fabulous community whether it be through horses, charity support and all forms of fitness. Thank you so much for this nomination, I was truly surprised and feel humbled.
My volunteer work with Friendship Club is a great joy in my life and something that truly feeds my soul. Friendship Club runs out of the Christian Reformed Church and I have been coordinating for almost 10 years. Friendship Club’s motto is “Sharing God’s love with people who have Intellectual Disabilities.” We meet every other Friday evening and have social time, share stories, sing songs, play games, Bingo, do crafts – it is always a wonderful time, surrounded by amazing, unique, loving, fun people. We have special event nights as well: Packing Christmas boxes, our Christmas Party, Valentines Dinner, Friendship Olympics and our year ends with a wonderful celebration during Friendship Sunday. These people, our Friends, are wonderful and it is a gift to be able to spend time with them. I have been the manager and office administrator of Mind Over Math since September 2015. The company was created in 2003 by my husband, Kevin, during his first year co-op term at the University of Waterloo. I took over the business after my first maternity leave when the former administrator took a job with the school board. I get a great amount of joy out of our business and its helping students with math. I was born and raised in Orangeville and am very happy to not only run a business in Orangeville, but raise my own family here. My husband and I have two beautiful boys: Jovin (4.5yrs) and Phoenix (2mths).
I was born and raised in Singapore and came to Canada as a young adult having worked in the Canadian High Commission where I worked in the Trade & Immigration Departments for the Trade Commissioner.
I spent 10 years working with real estate developers in Toronto. I was then offered the opportunity by my father, Dr. James Villanueva, Prof. in Linguistics, to return to Singapore with my hubby and 8 month old son to run his English Language Centre in 1994. While there, I ran the operations of the company and negotiated contracts for customized English language programmes for private and government sectors. My family returned to Canada in 2000 with another son in tow and moved to Orangeville from Brampton in 2012. We have been in Orangeville for 16 years.
Networking is the lifeline of my Neolife health and wellness business where I am presently self-employed plus you will see me part-time at Winners! I have met so many wonderful entrepreneurs through networking events like the Dufferin Women in Business (DWIB) luncheons, wellness booths, fundraisers and even socializing! However, my networking extends beyond business – all of us network in some form or other and I take great pleasure in it! I never hesitate to ask for referrals for any service when I need it from my fellow networkers or even give recommendations based on who I have personally met and networked with. Indeed, I personally feel that casting a wide networking “net” is crucial as it is about building relationships which is an integral part in our daily living.
I am truly honoured to be nominated and it is a privilege to stand with my fellow nominees for “Networker of the Year” Award for 2018.
Having the opportunity to live, serve, play and eat in Dufferin County has been a blessing for Ida Tetlock, since starting her organizing business practice as SMART Organizing here in 2016. A resident of Dufferin County for over 16 years, Ida moved here with her husband to raise their family. In 2017, they realized a long-time goal of adding investments to their real estate portfolio, which led to new learning opportunities and to the addition of Property Management services to compliment her business practice. SMART Organizing and Property Management services Dufferin County and surrounding regions.
Ida serves her clients by empowering them to address their unique needs encountered in life, at home and in business through the implementation of goal-based organizing, productivity and property management solutions. Getting to know our community, social service agency and business members through volunteer and networking events, creates the opportunity for value-added services Ida can provide her clients, community members and to those that have become great collaborative business partners as a result. Creating an abundant resource network, allows us to utilize and share our local resources with ease and further facilitates the opportunities to reduce waste, repurpose items that may still have value for others, support individuals and families in need and promote our local people, services, products, arts, entertainment and recreation!
Ida has a genuine appreciation for the diversity of our region. She supports community organizations through volunteer work, active participation in awareness, outreach and promotion of fundraising events. Ida is an active volunteer ambassador with the Dufferin Board of Trade and does not hesitate to source, refer and connect people to local businesses as needs are identified advocating the #ThinkLocal program. It has been a pleasure getting to know the people in our community through these experiences!
I am honoured to have been nominated and recognized for the Dufferin Woman in Business, 2018 Networker of the Year, among the many amazing and deserving women who also contribute so much of themselves to making our community special! I believe it is the smallest of actions that can have the biggest impact on the lives of others. Living, serving, playing and eating in Dufferin County has truly been a blessing. With gratitude, Ida.
Networking- What does that actually mean? It means to connect or operate within a network, to link, to exchange information and develop contacts, especially to further one’s career or professional profile. With that definition of networking I’d like to expand on the link and develop contacts aspect.
As a purveyor of the media entity snapd Dufferin that is my main goal. To not only connect and link to those in my community but to share those connections. To link and introduce those I know to others they don’t yet know, to share the offerings of all I know to those I know. Making those connections is the true reward of my efforts. Finding out that I was a catalyst in successful relationships, partnerships or personal exchanges is far and above payoff for the time investment. It stems from wanting to make a difference. Wanting to impact my community, wanting to change the trajectory of those I meet and am inspired by their commitment and passion for their calling and call to action. Saying I know everyone means nothing if I don’t make knowing and believing in those I have the grace to meet to build into something more.
A successful networker not only builds relationships with people but takes that extra piece to heart to connect and cultivate other’s relationships by sharing the unique attributes of each. I thank my network for acknowledging my efforts in this category and am truly humbled to be so.
My name is Darla Fraser and I am truly honoured by this mysterious nomination. Some wonderful individuals have mentored me over the years! And although I have not had many formal relationships where I was “the mentor” I have certainly participated in many informal relationships from both sides.
My life today is wonderful but it has not always been this way. After years of chaos, my life took a turn for the better when I decided to heed the advice of my sponsor/mentor and go to university seventeen years after I did not finish high school.
The tides of my life did not change in one swift turn it took years and I continue to be committed to lifelong learning. One of my favourite ways to learn is from other people… listening and sharing knowledge and experience. I have faith in a higher power (the universe) and I believe that people are put in our lives for a reason … either to challenge us, support us, or guide us. Sometimes people come and stay for a while, sometimes it is just a brief encounter.
People need people. Relationships are built on respect, acceptance and ultimately trust. The most important relationship is with ourselves – and if I can assist anyone get to a place where they respect, accept and believe in themselves then I have been a good mentor. We don’t always know when a word will resonate and actually inspire someone so I try to be thoughtful with my words.
Ellen Sinclair has been in the business of helping businesses for her entire career. In her current role as Co-ordinator of the Orangeville & Area Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC), Ellen works with entrepreneurs to assist them to start and expand their small businesses. She meets regularly with clients to review their business idea, flesh out the logistics and help them access additional resources needed to achieve their business goals. She provides assistance with business registering, insurance/legal/financial considerations, professional referrals, business plan writing, and more. As the SBEC co-ordinator she also offers seminars on topics such as starting a small business, writing a business plan, and market research and analysis.
Ellen is particularly proud of the work she does with young entrepreneurs who are exploring business ownership for the first time. It is very satisfying to see a student with no previous business experience, start, run and profit from their summer company. Many of the students she has worked with have continued operating their businesses as full time endeavours.
Ellen’s personal experience with business has given her an appreciation of effective mentorship which she believes needs to be respectful and supportive while remaining honest, practical and realistic.
Being nominated for the Mentor of the Year Sparkle Award is a genuine honour. Dufferin Women in Business (DWIB) is an organization that Ellen has always admired and promoted to her clients. She believes DWIB is instrumental in helping female business owners in our community become better entrepreneurs through the excellent networking opportunities and strong peer support.
What is mentorship? well Katie (Cheesmond) Giddy follows the words of Oprah Winfrey “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself,” and to Katie that’s what mentorship is about – creating hope.
Growing up in UK with a background in Agriculture Katie attributes much of her business success to the help ad support she has had from others. Moving to Canada with her family and making South Western Ontario home came with challenges and opportunities, many of which were navigated with the help of others.
Katie had the opportunity of starting her professional career in finance with the Ontario government, followed by a role in lending at RBC in Dufferin County, before moving on to Chief Growth Officer at RLB Chartered Professional Accountants. Every roles has been guided by mentors fiercely committed to the betterment of women, often with leading roles in a predominately male driven industries. It was the commitment that those people had to Katie that gave her the confidence and fuelled her passion to inspire and help others grow in business, their commitment to community and assuming leadership roles in life.
Katie is passionate and truly committed to the power of networking as a way to learn and grow. This year she, supported by many amazing women in Dufferin and founder Far Samji, brought the Smashing Nines golf tournament to Dufferin County. The premise of the tournament to challenge women to participate in a mans world, while having fun and creating friendships both professional and personal. Katie truly believes “it takes a village” and is thrilled that Dufferin County is hers.
Sheralyn Roman owns Writing Right For You, a small communications company supporting small business entrepreneurial success by blogging, creating great website content, writing exceptional promotional materials and social media posts.
She regularly volunteers to speak on the topic of communications to business groups and both emerging and youth entrepreneurs (through SBEC programs in both Caledon and Brampton) and is known for connecting like-minded people who would benefit from knowing one another.
Sheralyn is a member of 100 Women Who Care Caledon and sits on the Board of Directors for several non-profits, including the Caledon Parent-Child Centre. She volunteers in other capacities for organizations like Family Transition Place, various fundraising initiatives and throughout the community – primarily with youth focused, service organizations.
A former Educator, she has also volunteered in classrooms, the public library and as part of a special literacy program for children struggling to read. She is the published author of a children’s book, sits on Parent Advisory Councils, recently ran for the position of School Trustee in the 2018 Municipal election and helps support Crohn’s and Colitis Canada as often as she can. Friday mornings Sheralyn can be found helping Moms and kids at the CPCC van stop in Valleywood.
Together with her husband they own a Machine shop in Brampton where she’s the Office Manager and they are the proud parents of two awesome kids, Zachary (20) and Olivia (16). Sheralyn believes passionately in supporting children and community in any way she can.
Diana Morris is the General Manager of the Dufferin Board of Trade (DBOT) and has recently earned the ACE designation as an Accredited Chamber Executive. She holds a diploma in Business-Marketing as well as a certificate in Human Resource Management from St. Clair College and is currently completing the Certificate in Economic Development program through the University of Waterloo.
Diana joined the DBOT team in early 2015 after deciding to relocate to Dufferin to purchase a farm and start tilling the “Hills of Mulmur” with her husband, Floyd. Together they are raising about 75 acres of field crops, and two lovely daughters. Diana is responsible for managing DBOT’s operations, finances, and community/government relations, ensuring that the needs of our members and the greater Dufferin business community are well served.
As General Manager of the Orangeville BIA & Farmer’s Market, Alison’s strength is in building relationships and fostering small, independent business. As a strong proponent of living local, Alison encourages local residents to embrace small town living.
Moving to the area in 2001, Alison & her family are completely smitten with life in Dufferin County and have planted deep roots here. However, as newcomers to the area with most of their extended family in the GTA, Alison and her family spent the first few years leaving town for just about everything. It wasn’t until Alison had her second child that she began forging community relationships through her School Council volunteer activities and even more so when she began working with the OBIA in 2009. This is when the love affair with Dufferin County began in earnest.
Alison shares her passion for her community as a Director on both the Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival and Headwaters Tourism Boards. She is also member of the Town of Orangeville’s Arts & Culture Committee & Access Orangeville. Besides her administrative duties with the BIA, Alison also plans and runs large community events including the weekly Orangeville Farmers’ Market, bi-weekly Winter Market, Great Taste Fashion Gala, the Taste of Orangeville, Harvest Celebration and Moonlight Magic. Alison studied Political Science at York University and Human Resources at Ryerson University.
Norah has worked in the not-for-profit sector for more than twenty-five years. Eleven years ago, she assumed the leadership of Family Transition Place. Norah’s commitment to living her values ensures that her leadership is dedicated to making a positive difference in the world – while creating work environments that are positive, inspiring and that specifically work for women.
Under her leadership, FTP has expanded its mandate to encompass a broader array of services for women experiencing abuse, sexual violence and homelessness. Programs for men have been added and in 2016, Norah led FTP to its first accreditation, being the first agency accredited by Focus Accreditation Canada to score 100% across all standards.
Over the recent years, while still leading the agency, Norah graduated from the Royal Roads University Values Based Leadership Graduate program; the Rotman School of Management Executive Program in Advanced Health System Leadership; and has certified as a Cultural Transformation Practitioner with the Barrett Values Centre. Norah is a member of the Canadian National Values Alliance and participated in the recent Canadian Values Conversation by hosting a “Values Café” here in Orangeville, thereby contributing our community’s voice to the national context.
Norah’s new favourite quote ends with “you are not obligated to complete the work – but neither are you free to abandon it”. Norah realizes that she may never see the end of violence against women in her lifetime, but neither will she abandon working to do what she can to make a difference – at least in our small corner of the world.
Norah is fiercely proud of the work she does at FTP and especially proud of the women she has the privilege of working with and serving every day.
After joining RLB Charter Professional Accountants 4 years ago Melissa has continued to build the business at RLB through networking, and sincerely trying to give back to her family, colleagues and community in any way she can. In her professional and personal life she has built life long connections in the community and attributes her success as an accountant and volunteer to the amazing people and organizations she has the pleasure of serving.
Melissa enjoys hearing the story behind every client. It is the people and the conversations that make her days exciting. Every day she uses her education and experience as a Chartered Professional Accountant to help business owners understand what their numbers mean. Often business owners only stop to find out “how they did” when they file their annual tax returns. Melissa sees her role as that of an advisor or coach, helping the business owner to explore opportunities and build a plan for the future.
It was Melissa’s passion and commitment to Dufferin County that inspired RLB to open its Orangeville office in 2017. She has lead the team to business success through this venture, and has raised the profile of many amazing Dufferin businesses beyond the county lines.
In Dufferin there are so many amazing business run by women stepping out of their comfort zone and striving for the stars. Melissa thrives on supporting these women, inspiring them to excel as entrepreneurs in Dufferin community, and is humbled by the commitment and support they have offered her in return.
Brenda is very humbled and honoured to be nominated in the “Woman of Influence” category along with so many other amazing and deserving women in the community. This kind of support and recognition from the business community means so much to her. Having been part of the Dufferin Women Business group for almost 10 years, Brenda has always strived to promote local businesses, especially those run by women, and encourages others to support local.
As part of her commitment to promote local, Brenda is an Ambassador with the Dufferin Board of Trade and continuously shares with organizations the value of supporting the community. She knows that to succeed in any business, you need to build solid relationships within the community in which you work.
Earlier this year Brenda was introduced to the concept of the “100 Women Who Care” model and knew that this community of strong women would step up to help the wonderful non-profit organizations we have operating in Dufferin County. She recruited 3 talented women and together they formed 100+ Women Who Care Dufferin chapter who after only 2 meetings already donated over $25,000 to charities in the community.
Brenda is a Resource Development Manager with Habitat for Humanity Wellington Dufferin Guelph and feels fortunate to be working in such a great community.
Brenda is thankful to have met so many wonderful people over the years but is especially grateful for the love and support of her friends and family who continue to encourage her to believe anything is possible.
As a resident of the county for the last 25 years she has worked closely with her community. Her work experience with community services and her time on municipal council has helped her understand some of the challenges faced by individuals living with inadequate resources.
Heather has always been closely attached to food and feeding others. From baking for farmers markets, Farming Arctic Char to managing kitchens she has enjoyed the gifts that come from bringing people together to share food. As her family required less of her attention she returned to her social service roots when she joined DCAFS in 2012 as a Service Coordinator for Developmental Support Services. In 2015 she had the honour of accepting the Executive Director position with the Orangeville Food Bank.
Hello! My name is Joy Bradley. I was born in the Philippines, 61 years of age and married to a wonderful man for over 25 years. I came to Canada in November 1990 and work as a nanny/housekeeper for over 2 years. In 1993, I got my landed immigrant and was able to work anywhere in Canada. My first job was Tim Horton for over 4 years. I was doing part time waitressing at Dragon Paradise, Swiss Chalet and Pizza Hut. I have always wanted to try different jobs. When i heard that there is one factory opening and I thought to try because they paid a lot better and they hired me. I worked there for 7 years. Unfortunately, the factory I was working at was moved and I was in search of gainful employment.
At that time I was considering of buying a hotdog cart when one of the restaurant in Orangeville “Springrolls 88” came up for sale. So I decided to take a chance and go into business for myself. I named it “Auntie Joys Springrolls”
I will be celebrating my 10th year Anniversary next year in the spring of 2019. It takes lots of courage, determination and perseverance to run the food business alone. There were many years I lost money but I stucked with it and now it was all worthwhile. I have worked so hard to make this happen. I really enjoyed serving people and love the feedback I get from my customers. I love it when they come in and say “ Hi Auntie Joy, how are u doing today?” Or others will call me “Hello..Wonder Woman!”
Since I have this business – I did few fundraising event like collecting of clothing and foods for the victims of earthquake in my country, Youth Shelter and we will be holding another fundraising event for the Food Bank on the day of Santa Clause parade November 17,2018.
I am so proud to be a citizen of Canada and believe that any goals you may have are all achievable in this country if you put your heart and soul to it!
Heather Holmes (Hons B.F.A. Jazz Performance/ Hons A.A Music) has been singing since before she could talk! Her first memory of a Christmas gift was a pink and purple microphone and she used it every day singing La Bamba!
In May 2012 Heather opened TriTone Music Studios in Orangeville after attending City University of New York in NYC. SHE has been loving every minute of it!
As a classical and jazz trained singer Heather has a broad range of abilities to share with her students. She teaches all vocal styles as well as classical and contemporary piano, ukulele and theory.
Heather is very involved in Orangeville’s Music Theatre scene. She currently sits on the executive and board of Orangeville Music Theatre, a non-profit community theatre group, as Vice President and social media coordinator. Heather has also been the music director for many OMT productions since 2013.
In her spare time, Heather enjoys singing in choirs and writing and recording her own music. She loves sharing her original songs and plans to continue that more in the future.
Heather is dedicated to the arts in Dufferin County and hopes to inspire and mentor many people as she continues her journey in the beautiful community.
Terry Doel and Vanessa Kruezer
Jennifer Betz became the newest owner of Orangeville’s Deja Vu Diner in 2017. Bringing years of experience with her, Jennifer has brought new life and new ideas to the diner. Born and raised in Orangeville, Jennifer is a mom of 3 teenage daughters. Her family is from the area and had a successful business in Orangeville for over 25 years.
When Jennifer took on this new endeavour, she knew she wanted to create something a little different. Her vision for her business to be more than just a diner shows in all that she does.
Jennifer has made a commitment to give back to the community by supporting others and the environment. Some of her efforts have included; the launch of an extensive recycling, composting and plastic waste reduction program, hosting events and supporting organizations such as the food bank, family transition place, believe bags, and pretty much whoever walks through the door and asks. When you eat at Deja Vu Diner you become a part of something. It may just seem like a plate of delicious food but to someone down the line it’s a hand up, it’s hope, it’s love.
From an early age, I knew that I wanted to be the voice for other people. So, at the age of 13 I decided that I was going to become a journalist, (I remember that moment like it was yesterday) and throughout my life, even though a few obstacles would get in my path, my passion for telling stories kept me fulfilling that dream. Five years ago I took a leap of faith, and started my Video, Social Media business as a full time career, and I have never looked back.
In my new found role, I have created many platforms to help people tell their stories, these include an online show called Root of the Story, which provides a platform, to share the backstory of peoples lives. Aside from that online platform, I also created the Get to Know your Business Neighbour facebook group that allows businesses a place to post, build their businesses and create relationships in the community.
I am also an advocate for small business and help to support many through the social media platforms by sharing recommendations and networking on their behalf.
In 2016, I was awarded a grant from The Town of Orangeville for Arts and Culture, and that year I also won the DWIB Networker of the Year award, both were an honour because I was recognized for my work helping others in the community. Most importantly, I am engaged in the Dufferin County community. I have worked with the Town of Orangeville Small Business Centre providing teaching opportunities in Social Media for their start-up program, as well was a guest speaker with the Town of Shelburne EDC breakfast. Recently, I hosted in collaboration with other small businesses a Marketing Summit, that provided participates with “practical ideas to help make them profitable in their business.” This summit was very successful and will be returning again in Winter 2019. I believe it is important to help and support businesses in our community by sharing my acquired knowledge.
Moving forward, I live my life with the goal of helping other businesses find their voice so they can tell their stories. I am so fortunate for the business community who believed in me and supported me on this journey.
Am I influential? I like to think of it as being a person with a passion for storytelling whether it is through social media or video, with an ability to help others achieve their strategies. My passion is sharing my knowledge to help other people excel in their businesses.
Cynthia is honoured to be a nominee for the 2018 Woman of Influence Sparkle Award, and proud to be placed among such strong and talented women. A Dufferin County native through and through, and CEO of Orangeville Salt and Soil Supply Inc., Cynthia has never hesitated to give back and be an active member of our community. Always there to lend a helping hand, Cynthia consistently shows this dedication through her many charitable and volunteer roles, as well as her involvement in community projects.
When opportunity knocks on the door of her friends and neighbours, Cynthia is the one holding it open. Everyone’s cheerleader, she demonstrates this in every aspect of her daily life. From creating a positive work environment to encouraging the success of her employees and friends, Cynthia’s kindness and generosity knows no bounds. When she’s not driving heavy machinery, or moving soil, Cynthia volunteers her time as an active member of the Rotary Club of Orangeville Highlands and the Orangeville Northmen Junior A Lacrosse Club.
Cynthia has been recognised for her service in our community as one of Dufferin County’s Top 20 Under 40, she is a Sesquicentennial Commemorative Award recipient in recognition of outstanding contributions to the Town of Orangeville, a recipient of a Canada 150 Celebration Medallion in recognition of her volunteer service in Dufferin-Caledon and has been bestowed a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship.
Cynthia has established countywide relationships through her work on many community boards and committees. She has made a direct difference with her involvement as a member of the Planning Advisory Committee for the Township of East Garafraxa, Headwaters Community in Action, the Orangeville Police Services Board and Family Transition Place.
Wishing everyone nominated good luck, Cynthia looks forward to a night of celebrating at the Gala event on November 21st!
I am very lucky to live and work in Dufferin County. It is a privilege in my professional work in education and employment service to support the needs of the local labour market and local businesses. Personally, it is a privilege to volunteer my time and skills with organizations that are committed to strengthening our community well-being. I am always excited to see local businesses and not-for-profit organizations supporting each other ~ this is one of the main reasons Dufferin County is the best place to live and raise a family! I am honoured to be a member of the 100+ Women Who Care Dufferin, the Orangeville Northmen Minor Lacrosse Association Executive and the Habitat for Humanity Advisory Committee.
Many of the women nominated for Sparkle Awards this year have influenced my work and volunteering in Dufferin County. Congratulations to all the nominees!
2018 Woman of Influence – sponsored by Tony’s Garage – a woman in the Dufferin business community who has used her skills and influence to promote local business, especially those run by women and remains committed to high standards and ethics in her business practice.
Volunteer of the Year – sponsored by RBC, Royal Bank of Canada – a woman in the Dufferin business community who participates on a volunteer basis to local charities, non-profits and events for the betterment of others and the community.
Mentor of the Year – sponsored by Budget Blinds – a woman in the Dufferin business community who has used her skills and experience to lend a hand to entrepreneurs, new business and growing businesses to increase their likelihood of success.
Networker of the Year – sponsored by Town of Orangeville Economic Development and Culture Office – a woman in the Dufferin business community who participates in local networking groups and events and understands that building relationships with others is the key to success.
The Sparkle Awards were conceived seven years ago by the DWIB committee. The intent is to provide a way to recognize women in business who are high achievers without judgement. As women we work hard to juggle home and work life, child and parental responsibilities, hobbies and education. Isn’t it nice to be recognized?
Women can be nominated in one of four categories. All nominees will be asked to provide a short bio and photo that speaks to their accomplishments in the award category.
DWIB will invite the public to read the bios online in preparation to vote at the Gala on Nov 21/18. Votes will be tabulated and winners announced at the Gala.
What does the word “Sparkle” signify?
The Sparkle (diamond) symbolizes the change in self-realization, a deeper understanding of mental & emotional maturity. It’s a symbolic meaning of prosperity, strength, harmony, purity and peace. We encourage everyone to be the diamond in their rough and be the best they can be.