Thursday, March 12, 2009

Influencial Women in Business Awards Gala

On March 4, I was thrilled to be among the over 400 people who attended the 10th annual Business in Vancouver Influential Women in Business Awards here in Vancouver at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel ballroom.

This year’s honorees were Colleen Nystedt of MovieSet Inc., Jane Peverett, a Corporate Director, Tracey McVicar of CAI Capital Management, Julia Kim of Phillips Hager North Investment Management, and Tamara Vrooman of Vancity.

Carole Taylor, former B.C. Minister of Finance and MLA, was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

As the award sponsor, I was excited to share in honoring the successes of these award winners, as well as celebrating all women in business.

The awards, hand blown glass figures by artisan Susan Gottselig, featured figures with arms raised in the air and swirls of red and pinkish tones, reflecting the occasion and recipients perfectly. Enclosure cards with a personal message from Business in Vancouver provided a personal touch. Information on the artist added meaning.

Each honoree shared with us their insights into what it took for her to achieve success.
Not always glamorous as we might think, the authenticity was great reminders for us all.

Colleen Nystedt- “You like me. You really, really like me!” Starting her speech with a nod to Sally Field’s infamous Oscar speech, Colleen reminded me not to be afraid of change, and that tenacity and persistence are paramount.

Carole Taylor- While a new mother, and working on Canada AM, Carole would wake at 2am for a feeding, and get to work for 3am and many times during her speech thanked her husband, Art. (former city of Vancouver mayor Art Phillips) She reminded me of the support I get from my husband Trevor, who would drive from North Vancouver to downtown bringing our first new baby to my office for feedings.

Jane Peverett shared with us networking is not a dirty word, but that a genuine exchange of hellos (at appropriate times) can be the beginning of strong, amazing friendships and business relationships for a lifetime. I let Jane enjoy her day and am excited to have met with her to network this week here at our studio.

Tracey McVicar, who entertained us all, reminded me that a sense of humor is key and paramount in success, especially during the tough times.

Julia Kim reminded me to trust- to take chances, and to take chances with others.

Tamara Vrooman reminded me to not be afraid to apologize if you have done something wrong. She took over as CEO of Vancity just before the start of the economic breakdown, and they had the grace to apologize and ensure that the few members who held severely affected portfolio items because of Vancity’s advice were looked after.

I shared our table with my right hand Jen Hiebert, my sister Denise Helm, web editor of Victoria Times Colonist, my business coaches Isabelle Mercier and Margarita Romano, who all reminded me having support in my life is paramount and an important part of my success.

BIV hosts, Cheryl Carter and Regan McDonald’s energy and genuine passion for the annual event is one of the many reasons I am so proud to be involved. They reminded me to have fun, and bring my passion for what I do to work everyday.

Nomination forms for next year’s awards will be posted online at in April.



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