2017 Women of the Year Nominee Biographies
Paula is a Certified Reflexologist at the Orillia Foot Clinic and Wellness Centre and a Senior Sales Coordinator with the Juice Plus/Tower Garden Company. She has made it her mission to educate others about the benefits of growing their own food in a sustainable system and has been featured on CTV news and CBC radio.
Volunteering as the Chairperson of the Local Needs Committee for the Rotary Club of Orillia, and representing the Rotary Action Committee for Community Mental Health, Paula loves being involved in her community and is a frequent guest speaker at local and corporate events.
She is the Project Manager of her local church's Tower Gardens. The Tower Gardens are placed at various schools that harvest fresh produce for local food banks and soup kitchens. She also donates her own home grown produce to the Lighthouse Shelter.
Paula understands the struggle that homelessness and poverty creates and it's her mission to Feed the People" who otherwise do not have access to fresh and nutritious food.
Nominated submitted by: Pure Life Potential, Sharon Beca
Kathryn is a multi-talented artist, owner and operator of kmk design, Verity Blue Studio and co-owner of a successful consulting business, Halcyon Consulting. She graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Interior Design. Kathryn also attended the University of Lethbridge, where she majored for one year in Fine Arts. Her work has received recognition with three awards from the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario.
Kathryn serves on the board of the Orillia District Arts Council and volunteers for many community events. Supporting fundraisers and events through volunteering include, Orillia Streets Alive, Coldwater's celebrations, such as the Duck Race, Steampunk Festival, Fall Fair, Christmas Cantata and Parade and New Years. However, Kathryn's care extends beyond the local community. She joined the Mariposans 4 Refugees (M4R), the Orillia group that provides help in the relocation of Syrian refugees to Canada. She also has set up websites in support of M4R as well as a website showcasing the artwork from a Syrian family. With her partner, Kathryn co-sponsors this family, which is a minimum $30,000 commitment for one year.
The human condition holds the most inspiration for me, and this is where I find myself returning again and again what are our stories and how do we overcome our trials?" Kathryn has five daughters and together the family takes an active role in the community and beyond.
Nominated submitted by: Deb Halbot (along with Leslie Fournier and Meg Leslie)
Sher is an integral part of Greenhaven Women's Shelter. She co-facilitates 'Reflections' and 'Daybreak', programs that assist women further on their healing journey. She continues to upgrade her skills and education by studying with a Psychotherapy Trainer in Toronto, a program which she will then teach to other professionals in the Simcoe County area. For many years, Sher also lead a group for abused men through the Catholic Family Services of Barrie. She was involved in teaching them healthy coping skills, and to challenge themselves on how men view women and relationships.
Sher created a group 'Tools for Healing', which is based on experiential psychodrama modalities to create engagement with women for growth and wellness. This group takes place at St. Paul's United Church in Orillia, and Sher has co-facilitated this program for the past 11 years. As well, she volunteered for the Greenhaven Ride for Refugee and their Annual Golf Tournament. Sher endlessly provides support to women, for many, going above and beyond outside of her working hours. She is also a role model for her daughter.
A sense of respect, trust, safety life-saving those are the words others have used to describe what Sher has provided them.
Nominated submitted by: Nancy Beaudoin
Gaia is a successful artist whose work has been featured in over 60 different publications in Canada and abroad. She has collaborated in many projects worldwide working toward constructive and positive change. Gaia has gained international recognition by receiving awards of excellence from Manhattan Arts International and a positive review from a New York art critic. Currently, Gaia is participating in the construction of a new conscious world. Although the themes of her art is universal, they also speak of strong feminine images, inviting women to embrace and reconnect to who they are in the full scope of the power and capacities. She has been an business owner since 1998 and currently operates The Funky Clothsline.
Gaia regularly donates artwork, prints and art jewellery to local fundraising events. She is on the committee for event planning for the Toronto Transformational Leaders, and has served on various committees such as, curator for aboriginal artists, the 2017 Toronto Mindful Conference, the 2016 Integral European Conference and is currently the fundraising chair for the upcoming 2018 conference. She also is the communication agent and secretary of Art of Imagination Association.
As a mother of three and motivational speaker for personal and societal change, she inspires others to live a fulfilling, healthy life where their own unique talents can flourish.
Nominated submitted by: Singing Heart Studio, Charlene Fiander
Danielle is the Principal Broker, President and part-owner of McLean & Dickey Ltd since 2006. She completed her studies at the University of Ottawa, obtaining her Bachelor degree in Social Science and then in Law. In the past, Danielle practiced Corporate Commercial Law focusing on Insurance Law, Mergers and Acquisitions, and has provided consulting services for various insurance companies.
Always willing to volunteer, Danielle is currently completing her 10th year on the board of the Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital Foundation. She is involved in the Community Development Corporation (CDC) Mentorship program. In addition, she sponsors or volunteers in many community initiatives, including Orillia Big Brothers and Sisters, Terriers, Predators and Minor Hockey, Chamber of Commerce, Couchiching Jubilee House, The Sharing Place and Helping Hands.
Danielle strongly believes in both professional and personal growth, promoting life balance. She promotes a flexible work environment which allows employees to maximize family time and manage personal obligations while maintaining a successful career. She believes in equality and understands that success is built on the people around you.
Nominated submitted by: McLean & Dickey Ltd., Marlene Francis