Business

Bonnie Lewtas’ TurtlCo is Helping “Hotels” Restructure as Local Essential Infrastructure

Bonnie Lewtas helps islands around the world become self-sufficient and resilient against climate change. She specializes on innovative energy, waste, water, food, and conservation solutions for hospitality. Her work has taken her to many different islands like BVI, Grenada, Dominica, Barbados, Antigua, Azores, Madeira, Sicily, Swedish Islands, Dutch Islands and more. Through her company TurtlCo, Bonnie works with the government of Friesland on the EU-Interreg Islands of Innovation project and several other organizations that support island sustainability. TurtlCo recently partnered with Island Growers to bring the first-ever hurricane-resistant hydroponic greenhouses to Caribbean resorts.

Bonnie is a contributor for “The Tipping Guide: Strategies for creative local & regional innovation policies aimed at organizing “probing and learning” projects and programs for the future pathways of islands”. The Guide can be used to compare the status quo with a desired future “the dream”, create a new or revised policy program with a focus on engagement-oriented projects; and build innovation and teams to develop multi-sector action plans on topics like energy, water, transport, agriculture, circular economy, tourism, emerging technology, and more. You can download the guide at innovationislands.com

Vince Guzzo, Dragon from Dragons’ Den, Discusses Being an Entrepreneur, Advice for Success, and Dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic

Vince Guzzo is a well-known entrepreneur based in Quebec who is owner and President of Cinémas Guzzo. He also owns a pizzeria and construction company. Guzzo, who is also a dragon on the popular Dragons Den CBC TV series, talks about being an entrepreneur – advice for success – and about dealing with the current COVID-19 crisis.

Sean Reid, President of Arrowhead Coaching, Discusses What Entrepreneurs Should Be Doing When in Isolation, Like During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Sean Reid is the President and Head Coach of Arrowhead Coaching and Facilitation Solutions, based in West Niagara, Ontario. Arrowhead provides coaching and consulting solutions that help leaders lead with clarity and confidence. They work with individual business and community leaders and with organizations seeking to establish their own internal leadership development programs.

Sean Reid has nearly two and a half decades of experience leading and growing high-performance organizations, and helping other leaders lead at all levels of the enterprise.

In his career, Sean has worked in politics, high tech, government bureaucracies and start-up not-for-profits. He’s worked for companies with 100,000 employees and companies with 3 employees. He’s had lousy bosses and wonderful bosses, great relationships with co-workers and not-so-great relationships with co-workers, high-performing staff and low performing staff. He’s made a ton of mistakes and experienced some major successes too. He has learned, and grown and become the coach he is today, because of all of these experiences.

Sébastien Fiset, Président, Co-fondateur de Cookie Bluff

Sébastien Fiset, Président, Co-fondateur de Cookie Bluff à démarrer son aventure entrepreneuriale en 2017 avec la création de l’entreprise Cookie Bluff. Diplômé de l’Université Laval en 2014, et ce, en relations industrielles celui-ci à débuter sa jeune carrière en tant que Directeur des ressources humaines. Sans s’y attendre, ayant toujours eu la fibre entrepreneuriale, celui-ci saisie une opportunité d’affaire à la suite de la visualisation d’une vidéo d’un commerce de pâte à biscuits populaire de New-York. Étant déterminé et ayant la capacité de s’allier des meilleurs, celui-ci développa son plein potentiel et amena sa compagnie parmi les plus grands succès du domaine alimentaire en moins d’un an de vente avec plus de 2000 points de vente au Canada. Déjà près de deux ans après la création de l’entreprise, celui-ci s’apprête à percer le marché américain tout en aidant la relève entrepreneuriale par de judicieux conseils ainsi que par diverses conférences.

Devon Dooling Discusses Ice Distribution for the Event, Hospitality and Retail Industries

Devon Dooling lives and works in Vancouver, BC. She is the owner of: On The Rocks Ice Distribution and co-owner of Simply Pure Water in Victoria, BC. On The Rocks Ice makes the coolest and cleanest ice this side of the ice age and specializes in chilling events, hospitality and retail, throughout Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. When Devon is not talking all things ice and water-related, you can likely find her and her puppy Molly sipping on tea at a local coffee shop or on the soccer pitch with her step-kids and husband.

Traditional Loan Lending vs. Partnerships and Collaboration

A 3-person small-group podcast on the future of financing for businesses focusing on ‘partnerships’ and ‘collaborations’ vs traditional ‘loan’ lending. With special guests:

Jill Earthy, CEO Women’s Enterprise Centre

Jill is entrepreneurially minded leader with an MBA, who believes diversity drives innovation. As an entrepreneur, she started, grew and sold two businesses. In senior leadership roles, she developed teams, programs and partnerships to increase access to capital, networks and resources for entrepreneurs. She is now focused on empowering female leaders to invest in early-stage companies. By unlocking the experience, expertise and capital of more female leaders, she will start to see a shift in how companies access funding, and in who receives the funding. My strengths include finance, strategic planning, business development, community engagement, team building, marketing as well as development of strategic partnerships and programs. She is an active mentor and community member, serving on several Boards and as Co-Chair of We for She. She’s honoured to have been recognized in 2018/2019 by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion as a Community Champion, by Business in Vancouver as an Influential Woman in Business and by WXN as a Top 100 most powerful women in Canada.

Grant Lawrence, Co-Founder Valhalla Private Capital, President Valhalla Angels Kelowna, Co-President Valhalla Angels Vancouver

Grant has participated in an IPO, experienced a buyout and the integration challenges that go with this; he is an active Angel investor is a Founder of Valhalla Private Capital and as President of Valhalla Angels Kelowna and Co-President of Valhalla Angels Vancouver Grant contributes to building the tech community. He also mentors and guides startups through business operations and sales.

Grant has over 22+ successful years in the software industry both in startups and establish companies; holding a number of different senior positions in sales and marketing and proven track record in building and managing teams in the areas of strategic alliances, indirect and direct sales channels in complex B2B environments domestically and internationally throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

Mike Winterfield, Founder & Managing Partner Active Impact Investments

Mike is the founder and Managing Partner of Active Impact Investments where he exclusively supports small to medium sized social ventures scale their impact and profit by providing funding and extensive capacity building services to the portfolio companies. Prior to this, Mike was a Top 40 under 40 with 20 years in the tech industry specializing in services companies and SaaS products. He worked for 14 years in various executive roles for award winning companies, most recently President of Traction Rec and COO at Traction on Demand. Prior to that President of Randstad Professionals running $300M in revenue. Mike’s greatest expertise is in enterprise sales, building high performing teams, improving operational efficiency and execution. He serves on the board of directors at DSRF, Sametrica, GoJava and ChopValue and is a mentor/EIR at NVBC, Founder Institute and Spring Activator. Mike has a Queen’s BSC, INSEAD exec MBA and got his board training through the Beedie Directors Education Program (DEP). He’s also an avid lover of nature and any form of outdoor activity or experience.

Jim Estill, President and CEO of Danby Appliances, Discusses the Appliance Industry and Dealing with the Unknown as an Entrepreneur During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jim Estill is currently CEO of both Danby Appliances and ShipperBee.

Danby Appliances manufactures and distributes over 2,000,000 appliances per year, such as bar fridges, freezers and microwaves. Danby is being transformed by their newest product Parcel Guard– a smart mailbox for consumers that stops parcel theft.

ShipperBee is a new venture that is ready to revamp outdated shipping channels into a system that is better for consumers, retailers and the environment.

Jim started a computer distribution business from the trunk of his car while in university. He grew that business to $2 Billion in sales.

Jim has invested in, mentored and advised many technology companies including Blackberry. He joined their board before they went public and served for 13 years.

Over the past few years, Jim Estill has been involved in sponsorship efforts to settle refugee families in Guelph. The Financial Times, BBC News, The Guardian, and Toronto Life have all covered his story.

Jim’s most recent endeavour is as Co-founder of Ventilators for Canadians, (V4C) a growing team of philanthropists and entrepreneurs who have come together to find solutions to help Canadians through the COVID-19 health emergency.

Jim was awarded the Order of Ontario, the provinces highest honour, in 2017. He was Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 Ontario and has been awarded an Everyday Heroes Award by the Global Hope Coalition. In 2018 Jim Estill was awarded the Order of Canada. Jim lives in Guelph Ontario.

Sanjana Kapur Bansal

The Dream Founder – Sanjana Kapur Bansal, born in India, molded in America, and made it in Canada!

Sanjana brings the ‘DREAM’ seed with her from Texas, United States where she led as the Sr. Commercial Energy Consultant for over five years, procuring energy contracts for all size businesses across United States and maintaining their energy portfolios.

Sanjana earned her Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) in International Business and Marketing from Stephen F. Austin State University (TX, USA) and her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from University Of Texas at Tyler (TX, USA). Sanjana is a certified Business Energy Professional (BEP), and licensed energy broker in the province of Ontario.

She strongly believes in the power of ‘education and empowerment’ that laid the foundation for Dream Energy Solutions. With Dream Energy, Sanjana wants to educate Ontario businesses about energy deregulation, empowering business owners with the knowledge and resources to make better energy decisions and pocket savings.

Jennifer Harper, Founder of Cheeckbone Beauty, Discusses How Her Company Changed the Launch of a Product to Cope with the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jenn Harper, founder of Cheekbone Beauty, was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario and relocated to the Niagara Region where she was raised and developed a passion for cosmetics. Over the past ten years, Jenn has had successful career in sales and marketing with two large international corporations. During her first week of training session with one of these companies a questionnaire asked: “What is your dream job?” Jenn wrote “To be the CEO of a major cosmetic brand.” At the time, there was no indication that Jenn would eventually set out to build Cheekbone Beauty. During the development of Cheekbone Beauty, Jenn researched the industry as well as charities that are helping close the educational funding gap that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Jenn found the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society (FNCFCS) and Cheekbone Beauty continues to support the FNCFCS today. During Cheekbone’s infancy, Jenn also suffered a heavy personal loss with the suicide of her brother B.J. This loss, though difficult, has remained a driving force behind Jenn’s desire to see Cheekbone Beauty succeed with its mission. In addition to Cheekbone’s mission, Jenn strives to educate as many Canadians as possible about the Residential School System and the effects it has had on her family and friends through decades of generational trauma. Jenn speaks regularly to university, college and high school students about social entrepreneurship, empathy and the history of her First Nations family. Jenn has also been invited to speak to various entrepreneur groups, women in business associations, Apple Canada and First Nations organizations.

Jenn had been featured in media outlets such as Flare.com, APTN News, CBC Radio Unreserved, The Kit and Global’s News Radio. In 2017 Jenn Harper was awarded the “Social Enterprise Award” at the 17th Annual Women in Business Awards by the Women in Niagara (WIN) Council and the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) for her work on Cheekbone Beauty.

Francis Drolet

Diplômé en communication graphique de l’Université Laval, Francis Drolet est un entrepreneur en série. Il a fondé Click Contact en 2003, et est également le cofondateur de l’entreprise Slow Cow, qui distribue à l’international la boisson relaxante du même nom. Débordant d’énergie et d’idées, Francis Drolet est un leader naturel, mais surtout un créateur de génie depuis plus de quinze ans. Il exploite son talent au sein de l’entreprise Yankee Média dont il est le cofondateur.