Faculty of Applied Health & Community Studies
Degree: Family Day Care
Year of graduation: 1980
I have been bringing people together for a common purpose for over three decades.
After attending Sheridan, together with four other women, we started the Oakville Parent-Child Centre. The Centre remains an integral part of the Oakville community today. We wanted other parents to benefit from the experience we had gained at Sheridan.
Highlights of my somewhat eclectic career include heading up several charities, editing Today’s Parent magazine and working as a Program Developer for the Ontario government.
Eight years ago I launched my own consulting practice, Community Connections, working with government and community agencies to develop services for children and families. However, I found that working for myself was often isolating so in 2003, I started Company of Women as a way to connect women in business, both professionally and personally. With over 400 members in four chapters across the GTA, Company of Women supports women entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs.
In 2005 Company of Women published its first book, The Courage to Succeed: Inspiring Stories from Enterprising Women, in which thirty-six women from within Company of Women shared their stories. Today, Company of Women also publishes a quarterly magazine, Company, which is distributed across Canada.
A strong believer in giving back, I am an active volunteer, serving on several boards, both locally and nationally. In 1999, I received the ATHENA Award for helping women reach their potential, and for two years I served on the Board of the ATHENA Foundation, as the second Canadian representative. I was also a 2000 Ontario Premier’s Award nominee.
In August, 2005 I received the Rotary Centennial Award for Professional Excellence and most recently (2009) the Entrepreneur of the Year Award presented by the Oakville Awards for Business Excellence.
I now serve on the Governors Council of Opportunity International Canada, a charity that provides micro-credit financing to women in developing countries. The book Faces of Opportunity, which I edited, is being published in the fall, 2009, with all proceeds going to Opportunity International.
When I took the Family Day Care program almost 30 years ago, I had no idea that it would kick-start a whole new career for me. I will always be grateful to Sheridan for opening doors and helping me realize my potential.