Aisha ADDO
Founder - Mentor
Facilitator Power to Girls Foundation

It’s been a long journey for me to reach this point in my life. I am still on my journey of discovery, yet I am grateful for the moments when I felt like giving up and the moments when I dreaded all was lost. My name is Aisha Addo and I am the founder of Power To Girls Foundation (PTGF), which empowers and mentors young girls to be the best they can be. We do this by encouraging them to reach beyond the ordinary and to awaken that purpose and passion within them. I started PTGF as a result of some of my experiences as a young girl growing up in Foster Care. I didn’t have any one to mentor me or help me discovery my true self as a young woman.

I realized that young girls like myself strive so hard to attain perfection; yet, we do so in the wrong ways. We go through so much emotional turmoil, stress related issues, depression anxiety, etc. These were all things that I was personally dealing with. At that time I felt less of a girl because I was living in Canada on my own, no parental figure, and the place that is your safe haven has become your worst nightmare.

I realized everyone tries to talk at you; telling you the things you should do with your life but no one really takes the time to talk to you; to listen and understand your journey. No one takes the time out to help you figure out yourself and the purpose to which you have been placed in this world. That became my mission at the age of 18; to be the ear and the heart for young girls and to be the person I longed to have at my side while I was growing up. Why did I choose girls? Why not youths in general?? I could relate more with young girls because I have been there. I have experienced loneliness, I have experienced depression, I have experienced low self-esteem, I have experienced homelessness. As girls, we sometimes reach so far for validation and approval that sometimes we end up loosing our true self by trying to live the life of someone else. Many girls today face these same problems and issues and long to have someone to share that burden with.

With that in mind I started a weekly mentorship program with six girls. Three were from my church and the other three from other churches. We began talking about what it meant to be a girl. There were differences in stories and journey’s but what bonded us together was greater than what tore us apart. After a while two more girls joined. The girls became my friends, my sisters and even more I became the person I longed to have when I was their age. I became a mentor. But beyond that weekly gathering the girls mentored me as well.

They showed me what it meant to truly care for someone; they taught me to be patient, they taught me to be non-judgmental, and they reminded me that everyone has a story and you may think you have it bad until you hear your neighbor’s story. They reminded me to trust again and encouraged me to share my story no matter how bad and shameful it was. They became my family. They became my persons. My horrible decisions served as a foundation to propel me into my purpose. After three years of our weekly meetings we decided it was time to invite the world into our world, that was when we organized our 1st Annual Girls Power Leadership Conference, which brought between 60-70 girls together. We decided after that event to take this movement even further and with that we started the Power To Girls Foundation, which was registered in 2013 as a non-profit. Today we offer mentorship and leadership programs for young black girls in the GTA. I am always grateful for my journey and I am glad it took some of the tolls it did. But my journey isn’t over yet. It’s now just beginning, and its not going to be easy. But we hope to reach more girls with our message of love, empowerment, hope and self- discovery.

“The Best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” Mahatma Ghandi
Allison HARVEY
Business Consultant

When I started my business it was to bring people together on a monthly basis to connect and create long lasting relationships which I still do but on a larger scale.

They say I will never grow since when I started I was putting on events for free.

Now I have been able to take my event to 4 cities in North America and will be in 10 cities in 2016.

"A candle that lights another candle loses nothing but creates a brighter world".
Amaryllis JONES
Account Executive

Recognized for executing with excellence as a volunteer for in-office and warehouse sales during the annual “My Giving Moment Campaign”; overall campaign raised $1.5 million for four charities.

Power of You Award – Silver Award December 2015
Procter & Gamble, Toronto, ON
Recognized for Duracell business results at Shopper’s Drug Mart, demonstrating champion productivity within the third and fourth quarter of the year.

Power of You Award – Silver Award November 2015
Procter & Gamble, Toronto, ON
Recognized for contributions as the Customer Business Development lead on an NFL 2015 program and bringing out the best through relationship development with participating vendors.

Dean’s Honour Roll June 2014
Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON
Recognized for achieving an overall GPA of 11 (A) in all courses taken in year 4

Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union Award April 2013 & April 2014
Awarded to eight undergraduate students who make a difference to student life through oncampus involvement in clubs, student affairs and intramurals.

Ambassador of the Year April 2012
Wilfrid Laurier University Recruitment & Admissions, Waterloo, ON
Recognized for outstanding dedication, leadership and passion as a Campus Ambassador recruiting domestic and international applicants.

Rising Star of the Year April 2011
Wilfrid Laurier University School of Business & Economics, Waterloo, ON
1 of 3 first year recipients recognized for excellence in academics, leadership in extracurriculars and commitment to improving the lives of students.

Semi-Finalist -PepsiCo Pitch Competition April 2011
Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON
Placed top 35 out of 85; based on content, effectiveness and presence during a pitch presentation.

School Council Award June 2010
St. Francis Xavier Secondary School, Mississauga, ON
Awarded to the graduating student who demonstrates commitment to Catholic family values, respect for the school and public property, significant involvement in school and community, volunteerism and positive role-modeling.

Knights of Columbus Award June 2010
St. Francis Xavier Secondary School, Mississauga, ON
Awarded to the graduating student who demonstrates excellence in academics, participation in St. Francis Xavier Church and promoting the four principals of the Knights of Columbus (charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism).

Chaplaincy Leadership Award June 2010
St. Francis Xavier Secondary School, Mississauga, ON
Awarded to two graduating students who demonstrate dedication to faith-based programs and Catholic values within the school community.

The Community Service Award June 2010
St. Francis Xavier Secondary School, Mississauga,
Awarded to four graduating students who have gone significantly beyond the diploma expectations of 40 hours of community service; contributed 2700 hours of community service

Mayor Hazel McCallion Youth Leadership Award May 2010
Mayor Youth Advisory Council –City of Mississauga, Mississauga, ON
Awarded to one young individual in the Mississauga region for outstanding contributions to the community through a large-scale initiative. In recognition of the creation of “Staying Real”, a book written by students for student transition from elementary to secondary school.

Ontario Education Research Symposium February 2010
Ontario Ministry of Education, Toronto, ON
Guest speaker on “Building Knowledge: Students as Co-Constructors” for an audience of 500+ education professionals, presenting “Staying Real” a transition book written by students for students.

When I started my application for a sales position at Procter & Gamble, people believed my chances at an interview were deemed as slim to none. I was demotivated by external influences that ranked co-op experience and top percentile grades miles ahead of community involvement and a diverse skillset. My silver lining is I was identified by P&G as a top candidate, I was the only student in my graduating class to receive an offer and today, I am the only black new hire at P&G. They say I will never break the glass ceiling of gender discrimination, much less overcome racial injustice as a woman of colour – but who are “they” to question the power of intelligence, experience and strength. Now I have been able to kick-start my career as a young professional, empower youth through career coaching, and act as a role model to other rising stars.

“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds” Aristotle Onassis.
Director of Business Development

With a marketing background, Angelina Williams has excelled in business development. She has worked in developing boutique hotels for seven years. Her ultimate desire is to breathe life into people’s passion projects through her boutique business development firm, Skylar Projects. After achieving great success in the boutique hotel market, Williams felt she wanted to do more. She desired to give back to her community and realized that she had a knack for connecting people. Putting that desire and her skills together, she created Skylar Projects. This was a big step in redefining who she is and finding a way to help develop smaller companies to have great impact.

Angelina is currently curating two blogs: Fashion Humanitarian, and Village Philosophy. From beadworks in Kenya to the knit-works in Scandinavia,Fashion Humanitarian highlights the connections between fashion and culture. It explores how indigenous cultures influence mainstream fashion. Village Philosophy focuses on organizations and people that are developing innovative, sustainable, community conscious and environmentally friendly initiatives to help rebuild the village.

Williams is also the current Chair of the Black Business Professional Association’s Harry Jerome Awards and sits on the board of African Fashion Canada, the producers of African Fashion Week Toronto.

“Be the change you want to see in the world” Gandhi
Founder of Endless Possibilities And Hope Dev. Org
Motivational Speaker, Talk Show host, Women’s Advocate

Founder of Endless Possibilities And Hope Dev. Org (A non- profit Organization) Motivational Speaker, Talk Show host, Women’s Advocate.

I did not set out to start and run a non-profit organization but my passion to uplift humanity has led me there. Through this organization I founded Women’s Courage awards International which has honoured more than 150 women from diverse backgrounds and communities, It is also now a fundraiser for the Women’s Courage Centre in Ghana. The event is now held in Toronto, Accra Ghana, in Ottawa, Edmonton and Philadelphia. My life is dedicated to uplifting humanity particularly Women and Girls, More information about my work can be found at here and here

"Gold Comes to its purest form after its been through the firey furnace"
Anne-marie WOODS
Creative Entrepreneur – Actor, Poet, Playwright, Singer, Producer, Creative Consultant

2013 Black Business and Professionals Assoc. Harry Jerome Award Excellence in Entertainment
2006 Bob Marley Award Received for Community Outreach and Youth Work
2000 African Nova Scotia Music Assoc. Pioneer Artist Award Received with Singing Group Four The Moment
1999 African Nova Scotia Music Assoc. Artist Of The Year Award Received with Singing Group Four The Moment
1998 East Coast Music Award for African Canadian Artist of the Year Received with Singing Group Four The Moment
1998 Rebels With A Cause Community Activism Award Received with Singing Group Four The Moment
1997 Nova Scotia Talent Trust (scholarship) Received for Theatre Residency with Freedom Theatre in Philadelphia, PA
1994 YTV Vocal Spotlight first place award winner Received for Solo Singing Performance
1992 Vocal Scholarship for Maritime Conservatory of Music Received for a Year of Study in Classical Voice Training
1987 Twin City Motors Talent Contest first place award winner Received for Creating an Original Rap Routine

Creative Entrepreneur – Actor/Poet/Playwright/Singer/Producer/Creative Consultant, I have worked in the arts and done community outreach work since 1986.

My Company Imani Enterprises was founded in Nova Scotia in 1994
I am in the Arts and Entertainment industry, the Service Industry, and the Arts Education Industry.

Currently I am a Senior Theatre Instructor at Young Peoples Theatre I have been teaching there for 7 years.

I am the Creative Director and Production Coordinator of The Journey A Living History of the Regent Park Revitalization. I have been in this position since August 2014 – this is my second contract with Daniels Corporation and Artscape. I also held this position in 2013

I am also doing Arts Education outreach in the schools and performing in shows and showcases

Place of Residence: Downtown Toronto (Based in Toronto since December 2000)

Anne‐Marie Woods is the 2013 recipient of the Harry Jerome Award for Excellence in Entertainment. She is a graduate of the Dalhousie Professional Actor Training Program, is a graduate of the HRDC SEB program and has had a wealth of experience as a spoken word artist, actor, singer, playwright, producer and creative consultant and arts educator doing work for schools, organizations and corporations locally and internationally. She has performed in London, England, Trinidad West Indies and in the United States. Her new play She Said/He Said was a featured play in the Prismatic Arts Festival in Nova Scotia in 2014 and will have it’ World Premier as part of the main stage season at Black Theatre Workshop in Montreal in 2016. In October 2014 at Studio 60 Theatre she launched her 2nd spoken word CD “Poetree Huggin” ‐ which is getting rave reviews from live performances and through the media. Currently she is the Creative Director and Production Coordinator of The Journey The Living History of the Regent Park Revitalization a musical production featuring Jackie Richardson and youth and members from the Regent Park Community.

To learn more about this multi-talented artist please go to her website here

Overcoming challenges to achieve my dreams
As a young lady who was on my own since high school my life could have gone a completely different way. I had to learn survival skills at a young age and education was a priority for me. Focus, Faith, A Sense of Humour, an Entrepreneurial Spirit, a Belief in me and being grounded in the knowledge of my culture and history are the things that helped me through the difficult times.

When I started my company in 1994…
It was because I had just graduated from university and I wanted to create a company that provided services to the community especially youth with an arts and creative focus. My company has now been in existence for over 20 years and I have branched out to Creative Consulting for organizations, schools and corporations.

They Said I never would…
In university the director of the Theatre program told me that I would never get a job as an actor if I talked to the people auditioning me …because of my lack of confidence and the sound of my voice – they also put me on probation the first year and told me I might not have been right for the program. I did graduate with my Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Dalhousie University and I have starred in many professional stage productions and I was the first African Canadian to perform at the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina in 2001 with my one woman comedy Waiting To Explode.

More about me click here or here

"Just Do it!" Inspired by my brother David Woods, Maya Angelou, My History and Culture, my Elders and Mentors
Singer - song-writer, philanthropist and spokesperson for Jericho Place charitable organization

It has always been very important for me to be involved in my community and I have been for many years.

I now reside in Toronto but was born in Montreal. In my youth I thought I would never be able to enter a University, sing or write songs in addition to volunteering my time, energy, love and devotion on a major scale.

Today I can proudly say that I have not only entered York University but I have also pursued my studies in Political Science and will soon start my master in International Law. Musically, I have been able to perform for many great causes such as "Fashion for Haiti from tents to schools", a project presented by Pierspective Entraide Humanitaire in order to build schools in Haiti.

Furthermore I performed the National Anthem for Remembrance Day ceremony with the GME and many more events such as fundraising events to help support sick children in Haiti, in media relations with Rogers, CityTV and Omni TV, ANIDA foodbank and summer school for children to name just a few.

I came to the realization that nothing is impossible to him that believe.

""as you think as you are" is one of my favorite quotes,as everything starts in the mind"
Non-profit supervisor in acquired brain injury and digital media content creator/event host and producer

Non-profit supervisor in acquired brain injury and digital media content creator/event host and producer

When I started my blog ‘83 To Infinity in 2011, I didn’t know where it would go. I loved to write, tell stories, and connect with people - plus, it was the perfect escape from my stressful 9-5.

They said:
“You’ll never find anyone who wants to read this.”
“You’ll never make money doing this.”
“You’ll never make an impact with this.”

They were my inner insecurities mixed with sentiments from people who didn’t understand my dreams. Luckily, I’ve been able to overcome my inner and outer naysayers. Now, I’ve been able to write for some amazing publications; be on television and speak at conferences around North America; win awards and be recognized by incredible organizations; educate, assist, and empower young girls and women; work with great companies; share my voice to diversify the media landscape; and make some money! I’m excited to continue growing in this work.

"and he said: you pretty full of yourself ain’t chu so she replied: show me someone not full of herself and i’ll show you a hungry person"
from Nikki Giovanni's poem "Poem For A Lady Whose Voice I Like"
Motivational Speaker, international Photographer

When i started my Photography Business I was the only black female photographer making trails at Italian Weddings, I had to prove my passion, my worth & my work.

Many people who knew me, mostly those who didn't believe in my potential. THEY SAID I WILL NEVER MAKE IT IN ANY WAY>

My distant family members who ridiculed me for being born to interracial parents, and despised the fact that my siblings I were black, told us all our lives we were no good. They even tried to put us up for adoption.

But in my childhood I had been through the Uganda civil war & survived it.

I had been molested and separated from my mom for political reason. Many didn't think much could come out of our existence. All my life I knew what ever I put my hands too if God could spear my suicidal ways I would put it to the purpose of helping others.

NOW I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO not only be a success business owner, but also use my work, my story & my art to help others. in 2012 I traveled to India to rescues girls from brothel homes, and from being sold into sex slavery. I have been able to host major Gallery shows in Toronto every year and raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society & Sick Kids Canada.

I am currently a mentor to many public schools i visit weekly & share my stories and help young people work through low self esteem and self worth.

I am a mother to four life learners & married for the past 12 years.

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” William Wilberforce
Brigitte TCHATAT
Founder and CEO of
Performance Immigration Canada

Brigitte Chatué Tchatat is the founder and CEO of Performance Immigration Canada a company that provides its clients with a clear and sure way of immigrating to Canada. She is a certified consultant in international immigration and education. Her offices are located in Canada, and Cameroon in Africa.

She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the HEC (Ecole des Hautes etudes commerciales) of Montreal and has a Certificate in Immigration consultant of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants of Canada (CSIC).

Fascinated by her desire to help young people and parents to realize their dream, She did her business a crucible of love and self‐giving or sharing conviviability, sincerity and availability tightens the efficiency and rigor in work requirements

Entrepreneur and passionate of entrepreneurship, She is also a professional speaker on the topics that affects business creation, organizational development, and motivation.

In addition to volunteer as Vice‐President of the Assembly of the Francophonie in Ontario (AFO) from 2005 to 2010, Committee Chair of the Community Forum of Ontario from 2006 to 2010 and doubling elected representative of the community racial and ethnocultural Francophone minorities in the AFO in 2006 and 2008. She has extensive experience in the integration and settlement of immigrants and newcomers to Canada. In the health field, she volunteer in 2011 on the Board of Directors as Treasurer of the services in planning entité_3 French Ontario

As a consultant she supports immigration candidates in the following categories: Family Class, Skilled Worker, Entrepreneur, Self‐employed, work permit, study permit, visitor visas, Refugee Status, etc ...

She is the mother of three wonderful children.
Brigitte TUEKAM
Microbiologist, Biochemist,
Computational Biologist

In 2000, Dr Brigitte Tuekam joined the Blueprint Initiative research team of the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of the world renowned Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto where she was the manager of the Bioinformatics Visualization System for five years.

In adding to her fulltime career, Dr Brigitte Tuekam also co-founded and co-managed Vetagri Consulting Inc., a biotechnology firm focused in the production of natural feed additives. Over the past 10 years, Dr Brigitte Tuekam had Global Quality Management responsibilities for the company, Genetically Exceptional Embryo Products, 􀇲GEEP􀇳 in Europe, China, Asia, and the United States as well as Country Manager Responsibilities for Canada, a biotechnology company specialized in embryos production for medical and human flu vaccine purposes.

Currently Dr Brigitte Tuekam is Quality Assurance Director for a pharmaceutical company in Ontario. In addition to her professional activities, Dr Brigitte Tuekam remains very committed to and engaged within her community. In 2006, she was featured in the AEFO Femmes de Vision collection. Based on the recommendation of the Executive Council of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care of Ontario, she was appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to serve on the board of directors of the Mississauga Halton Community Care Access Center from 2008 to 2010. In 2011, she was elected as a member of the board of directors of the Network of Professionals for Africa (NOPRA). Dr Brigitte Tuekam is also the President of African Vision for Arts Canada (AVAC) and the managing director of the Groupement de Developpement des Africains de Toronto (GDAT).
Camille DUNDAS
Media expert, writer,
producer, consultant

Camille Dundas is a media expert, having worked as a news writer and producer for nearly all of Toronto's major TV news programs including CBC National, CP24 Breaking News, CityTV News and CTV's Canada AM where she currently works. She loves to share her knowledge of the media landscape and the unique lessons she has learned during the last ten years she's been working in the broadcast industry.

As a media consultant at 404 Media Group Camille leads practical workshops that give clients critical insight into how the media works, and how it can work for them. She helps entrepreneurs, authors and experts figure out how to make themselves irresistible to TV, Newspaper, Print or Online media, and how to use those media appearances to boost their business or personal brand. She is a highly sought after media trainer in Toronto because of her proven results. Every client Camille has worked with has gone on to appear on at least one major media platform.

Camille started media training after being on the receiving end of hundreds of bad pitches and press releases. She realized businesses would never know how to relate to the media unless someone who actually worked in media gave them the knowledge.

Camille gives inside tips and information on what journalists want and expect from the people behind the stories they cover. Camille is also the editor-in-chief of online magazine where she follows her greatest passion, highlighting the achievements of her community through media.

When I started out as a TV reporter here in Canada, I think the main challenges I had were in my own head. During my first job, I accidentally discovered that I was a “diversity” hire. I was fresh out of university and it really devastated me. I felt as if all the hard work I had done to get here, was for nothing, and I only had this job because they needed to fill a diversity quota. I allowed that to make me feel insecure and for some time… it got in my way. I felt I had to prove to everyone I was “not just the black girl” and so I tried to distance myself from my community. That was a big mistake, because my experiences, my world view are in large part informed by my community. And in this business, it’s your unique point of view or take on a story that can really make you an asset. The truth is, at most of the jobs I’ve held, I’ve been the only Black person in the room, and the only one who could offer a perspective on certain issues relating to race. And so now, instead of shying away from it, I have made it a point to encourage my employers to feature more black stories and challenge them to really live up to the promise of diversity in the workplace.

As much as the mainstream media has definitely come a long way when it comes to diversity, there is still a huge gap in terms of positive media coverage of the black community. My husband and I created the online magazine to fill that gap. But the biggest challenge came from our own circle of people, some of whom told us it was a bad idea to start a business that catered to Black people, because “the black community doesn’t stick together”. Well we didn’t believe that and we forged ahead. After just two years online the website brings in revenue through ads and sees close to 5 million hits a month.

Carline ZAMAR
Community Liaison Officer
at Collège BORÉAL

Collège Boréal awards the Prix de la francophonie each year to an employee who contributes to the Francophone movement because of his or her beliefs, determination, and efforts. Recipients are leaders who contribute to the development and vitality of the Francophone community.

When I started I was excited by this new challenge.
They say I will never be able to meet my targets.
Now I have been able to consistently exceed my targets.

" I am the master of my fate : I am the captain of my soul" William Ernest Henley
Carole GRANT
Christian Minister

When I started my journey to help other people I was divorced, a single parent of three children, I had a difficult life. But with the help of Almighty God I continued pursuing.

They say I will never become what God wanted me to be. By 1992 I have done a lot of personal and spiritual growth. I knew that God would help me all the way, and it happened! When I look back I see how much I have accomplished in the past several decades. Now I have been able to help people who had been rejected by society

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding;
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
Proverbs 3 v 5,6
Founder & CEO of
Rebel Vibez Records

2014 ReggaeXclusive Recognition Award
2013 IWAA “Woman In Media” Award Recipient
2012 Caribbean Music & Entertainment Award for Best Show Host/Event MC
2012 Canadian Female Reggae Icon Award & Toronto’s #1 Female Radio Personality Award
2011 RMAA (Reggae Music Achievement Awards) Nominee for Best Radio DJ of the Year, She's won the 2010 Best Radio DJ Award and was recognized as the Ambassador of Canadian Reggae
2009 RMAA (Reggae Music Achievement Awards)for Best Radio DJ of the Year
2008 Best Female Radio Personality
2007 CRMA (Canadian Reggae Music Award) Winner for TOP RADIO DJ

Carrie Mullings is Canada’s premier and most decorated female reggae radio personality, a tireless and iconic ambassador for the Canadian reggae community with numerous media awards to her credit. She hosts Rebel Vibez on CHRY 105.5 FM every Monday from 10 am to 12 pm & Saturdays she can be seen on Caribbean Headline News airing on Rogers TV.

In 2003, Carrie began to transform her passion into a career, joining the long running radio program Caribbean Crucible. Her vibrant personality captured listeners’ hearts and enriched their minds with her trademark dose of roots, reality, and culture. The Rebel Vibez Top 10 Canadian Reggae Charts is the go-to resource for the best reggae music in Canada. Since its inception Rebel Vibez has created a whole new stream for talented artists in reggae and their music.

One of the most sought after festival emcee’s Carrie’s travel itinerary covers movement’s right across Canada. At present Carrie runs her own record label and manages Juno Award Winner Elaine Lil’Bit Shepherd. Very successful in artist development Carrie has managed 7 artists and collectively attained 8 Juno Nominations and 2 Juno Wins to date. With too many accomplishments to mention just know that she’s proudly carrying her family’s tor..h a..d Carrie Mullings shows no signs of slowing down.

"Be Bold, Be Brave, Be A Rebel, Be YOU!"
Research consultant

Celina R. Chavannes is the Toronto Board of Trade’s Business Entrepreneur of the Year for 2012

Recognized for her leadership in developing Resolve Research Solutions, Inc., the research consulting and site management organization she founded in 2004, Celina is a celebrated research consultant working with a variety of private, government and non-government organizations. Her work requires her to build and manage effective collaboration across a wide range of interests and perspectives. Celina has many years of experience managing complex projects involving industry, federal agencies, health care professionals, researchers and patient advocacy groups. She is also currently the Federal Liberal candidate for Whitby.

Celina lectures on the international and national stage on the inclusion of marginalized populations in clinical research. She has a Bachelor of Science, MBA in Healthcare Management and an Executive MBA at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

She is a past member of the Governing Council at the University of Toronto, and past Vice Chair of Campus Council at University of Toronto Scarborough.
She is a member of the Institutional Advisory Board with CIHR’s Institute of Neuroscience Mental Health and Addiction, and a member of the Congress of Black Women Ajax/Pickering Chapter. She is also the 2007 Black Business and Professional Association’s Harry Jerome Young Entrepreneur Award recipient
Executive Director, Heritage Skills Development Centre (HSDC)

Charity has over 22 years of local, national, international organizational, community and economic development, mentoring, marketing and management leadership professional experience. She has a focus on dealing with activities around community economic development, capacity building, training, diversity, access and equity and advocacy for disadvantaged groups including the at-risk, marginalized youth, immigrant women and families.

Her experience comes mainly from the private and not-for-profit sector.

She has received numerous awards and recognitions including being named one of the “Women of Substance” in the Nigerian Canadian Community (1997); Black Achievement Award (1998); Continental African Award for Community Services (1999); Appreciation Certificate – prime Minister Task Force for her role in the Youth Entrepreneurship (1999) by Hon. Jean Augustin on behalf of the government of Canada; profiled in Who’s Who in Black Canada (2002 to present); and in the Canadian “Who’s Who” (2004 to present). Received a Certificate of Excellence from the different premiers of Ontario, Hon. Dalton McGuinty, Hon. Mike Haris as well as Mayor of Toronto, Mel Lastman and David Miller for Courageous leadership in helping to achieve lasting improvement in the lives of young people in Toronto’s priority neighborhoods (2000- 2009). In 2010, received Certificate of Appreciation from the Toronto District School Board for contributions towards human development and capacity building of inner-city school children.

Charity has served on numerous boards as a Board Member, Social and Publicity Secretary and Vice President. These include the Nelson Mandela Children Funds (2001-04); Africa-Canada Women’s Business Alliance (2002-05); Canadian Feed the Children (2000-04); Canadian Women Executives (1999-2000); Nigeria and Canadian Associate (1998-2002) and African Community Health Services (2001-04); co-leads, the City of Toronto’s Working Women Group of Access and Equity (2003 – 2005) and African Canadian Social Development Council (2005-08).

MBA, University of Strathclyde, Scotland, Post Graduate Diploma specializing in Industrializing Nations; Marketing Diploma, Chartered Institute of Marketing in the United Kingdom and currently undertaking Women’s Leadership Program at St. X University- Nova Scotia. She is fluent in Ibo, Hausa and Yoruba.

The Holy Bible. It gives me inspiration and direction.

Who inspires you?
Visionary leaders in business and politics like Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen Johnson, Hillary Clinton and Jean Augustine, etc.

Why do you do what you do?
I love helping people, empowering women, youth & children (one person at a time). This has now become the calling of my life.

"Train one woman, you have trained a whole family because the income she makes is shared by the whole family.
Hence, children’s early development is largely dependent on their mothers.”
Charlotte IKOME
Child protection worker
in family services

I migrated to Canada in August of 2006 and started my career in social work by attending York University's Advance standing honours degree program for Social Work. During my years of studies I completed my student practicum with Children's Aid Society of Toronto. My supervisor at the time wasn't supportive in my learning during my 5 months period I spent with her. I did not have enough understanding of how child welfare works due to her preconception that I wasn't meant for child protection. At the end of my placement she told me that I should look for another field as she thinks child welfare was not for me. I took that as a challenge and decided that I will pursue a career in child welfare.

After I completed my practicum I decided to volunteer at the catholic children's aid to gain more knowledge and started applying to all the CAS's in Ontario. After 4 months before I got a job in Owen Sound. After my 2.5 years of service I decided to complete a master program in social work. I took a full time 16 months program and at the same time working full time and a single parent to 2 beautiful daughters.

"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'" by Audrey Hepburn
Chemagne MARTIN
Belly Dancer artist Instructor

Chemagne has taught classes and workshops at many studios in Toronto and has performed at various venues and special events across North America. With a diverse and unique dance background. Chemagne has taken a fresh and modern approach to teaching and performing the art of Egyptian Belly Dance.

Chemagne was featured in Health and Lifestyle Magazine Canada, Diva Girl Dish, and The Caribbean Current. She was also a featured guest on Rogers Daytime Toronto, and Slice Three Takes Talk Show. In 2014, she was nominated for Best Traditional Dance Artist by the Black Canadian Awards Association.

Social Media Trainer
Personal Branding Expert

Cher Jones is a Social Media Trainer & Personal Branding Coach with the love of technology hard wired into her personality. She leverages over 15 years of PR, marketing and broadcasting experience and has worked with a wide variety of organizations including the City Of Toronto, Women In PR, PokerStars, NBA TV Canada, The UK Trade and Investment, Director's Guild of Canada, CTV, The Ontario Ministry of Education and CBC to name a few.

Cher is dedicated to helping professionals develop S.M.A.R.T. personal brands that drive results. Her passion knowledge and expertise have many people referring to her as one of Canada's top personal branding experts. As a corporate trainer, she helps companies remain relevant and competitive with useful social media training that means business.

She`s regularly invited to speak at conferences, schools, and industry events. You can also watch her Co-Hosting The Lori and Cher Show a weekly Google Hangout on Air and on CBC's hit daytime talk show Steven and Chris

When I first started my social media training business part time in 2011 , I felt like a pioneer. There were no models to follow because social media use wasn't mainstream in the business world. Many people did not understand what I did. When I introduced myself as a Social Media Trainer, I often received puzzled looks because they've never heard of a job like that before.

They said I will never have the security, benefits and regular paycheck if I quit my job and try to make it as an entrepreneur. And they were absolutely right and I am okay with that.

Now, as a full time entrepreneur, I have built a sustainable business around my passions and my gifts. I've been able to develop the confidence to command what I am worth, challenge myself to find new opportunities and truly create success on my own terms.
Founder & Artistic Director of
Exousia Media Group & EMG Education

As an established Playwright, Director, Composer & Filmmaker, Cheryl Nembhard continues to make her mark in the Entertainment Industry. Cheryl has dedicated her life to presenting the Arts in creative, cutting edge and bold ways. Cheryl's impact is felt far beyond the stage as she has dedicated most of her life to community service and helping those in need. For many years, she has been involved in the rehabilitation of troubled youth, former gang members, ex drug addicts,rape victims and teenage mothers. Cheryl has focused her life to working and establishing creative spaces for them to discover themselves and find healing. Cheryl recently served as Artistic Director for Toronto City Mission; developing Creative Arts programs for At Risk youth & low income families. Cheryl has now taken on a global focus as She and her Executive team have now begun the ground work to launch "My Sisters Keeper"-a Missions initiative that will raise funds and awareness for Women and Children suffering across the globe. She recently won the Award of Excellence Humanitarian award in Toronto, recognizing her efforts. She has also been recognized in Planet Africa Magazine"s "Top 12 Phenomenal Women" Special Issue.

  • 2013 - 2014 Cheryl & Exousia Media Group were recently recognized with an incredible 17 Film Festival nominations & 5 Awards for their first Short Film "The Son" including: Best Short Film, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Production Design & Making a Difference Award from Festivals across the US & Canada. Cheryl most recently won the 2013 Glass Award for Theatrical Arts of the Year & is currently working on her upcoming theatrical production "Touched", second short film and a book
  • 2014 Best Short Film - THE SON - Toronto Cornerstone International Film Festival
  • 2014 Making a Difference Award - COMMFEST
  • 2013 Best Screen Play - THE SON - Gideon International Film Festival
  • 2013 Best Production Design - THE SON - Gideon International Film Festival
  • 2013 Best Actor - THE SON - Gideon International Film Festival
  • 2013 Selected Top 12 Phenomenal Women - PLANET AFRICA
  • 2013 Theatre Award - GLASS AWARDS
  • 2013 Children's Treatment Centre Ottawa, ON - Key Note Address
  • 2012 The Award of Excellence - Humanitarian Award for her work with former child soldiers and orphans in Uganda - SICKLE CELL FOUNDATION

Cheryl's past experience have included stage managing for the Toronto run of Guys & Dolls, Fiddler on the Roof & various major events at Rogers Centre, Air Canada Centre and The Roy Thomson Hall. Cheryl Nembhard is a Co-Founder of Exousia Media Group Inc., an Inspirational Multimedia Entertainment Company where Cheryl functions as the Artistic Director. In 2014, Cheryl was the Creative Director for the Toronto African Film and Music Festival.

Her newly released project "The Son"- A Short Film on Fatherlessness, follows her recent Gospel Musical "My Brother's Keeper' & Play" From Darkness to Glory" which marks the 6th production of her rising career as a Play sur right. The popular play "My Brother's Keeper" followed on the heels of her smash hit Stage play 'The Ultimate Sacrifice', which performed several sold out performances at Mirvish's Panasonic Theatre. Other productions include Women of Colour, The Victory & King of Glory.

Student of both Theatre and Music, Cheryl continues to strive to set the standard in Canadian Gospel/Inspirational Theatre by writing & directing all productions as well as composing all original music for her shows. Her strong visual imagery & hard hitting brand has created a large grass roots following.

Co Founded Exousia Media Group, a multimedia company utilizing all facets of the Arts to address the social issues that plague this society

Co Founded EMG Education, an educational theatre company that uses the Fine Arts within the education system to empower & motivate generations

Cheryl Nembhard's hard hitting production "The Ultimate Sacrifice" makes history as the first Canadian Gospel Musical to play on a Mirvish Stage in 2010

Travelled with a small team to Uganda & Kenya for 4 weeks in 2012 to work in the rehabilitation & restoration of rescued female child soldiers

Toured "The Ultimate Sacrifice" in the UK (London, Birmingham, Nottingham, Brixton, Manchester).

Worked with the homeless & addicted in various hostels and shelters.

Worked in partnership with York Detention Centre to arrange day passes for inmates to view various performances of EMG productions as part of a Community Outreach program

Chivon JONES
Wellness & Business Strategist,
Founder and CEO of
Secrets of a Side Hustler,
Creator of Self-Love Academy

Wellness and Business Strategist, Mental Health Advocate and Speaker. No matter what role she steps into Chivon is a multi-passionate entrepreneur that works tirelessly to empower individuals to live their best life and make wellness a top priority. In addition to her work as Communications Specialist and Consultant, Chivon is the Founder and CEO of Secrets of a Side Hustler - a business and personal development network that provides training, mentorship, events and connects individuals that are building businesses around their passion in addition to working full-time.

Chivon wants to live in a world where individuals feel empowered to create their own opportunities instead of waiting for them and regularly inspires through her writing, workshops and events. She has been featured in The Huffington Post, Huff Post Live and in 2013 her blog was a runner up in Best Health Magazine's Best Blog Awards.

Claudette Mc GOWAN
Vice President of Digital Workspace Services at Bank of Montreal

Claudette is accountable for leading more than 700 Technology professionals in the planning, engineering and support of workplace technologies across BMO branches and office towers. This includes providing email, file management, multi-media solutions, as well as launching enterprise mobility, personal cloud and collaboration tools that will enable employees to work anytime and anywhere.

Claudette is also overseeing a multi-year strategy to deliver best-in-class technology support through the creation of a proactive employee technology experience team focused on enabling exceptional outcomes at every interaction.

Claudette joined BMO in 2000 as a Help Desk Manager and has held several progressive leadership roles within the Technology & Operations division. Prior to her promotion to Vice President, she was Director of Operations for Enterprise Desktop, Messaging and Trading Services where she managed a fleet of 110,000 computing devices and introduced iPhones and iPads for BMO employees through an innovative Bring Your Own Device program. Claudette began her IT career in healthcare at The Wellesley Hospital and North York General Hospital. She later joined the Computing and Telecommunications Division at the Metropolitan

Toronto Police Services and was a key member of their Desktop Implementation Program and the Mainframe Operations Group. Before joining BMO, she spent 4 years at Deloitte where she was a valued member of the Technology Management Team. Claudette is also the founder of Excelovate, a full service publishing house focused on helping people and enriching lives through books and mobile applications. Excelovate co-sponsored the inaugural GTA Black Arts & Innovation Expo and will achieve a special milestone by the end of 2015... the publishing of their 10th book.

Claudette's commitment to the community is evident in her passion for literacy. In addition to be a publisher and author of two books, she is also a patron of the York-Simcoe Literacy Council and an active Board Member with First Book Canada, an organization that provides access to books for children in need.
Curlie Mc CALLA
Business Development & Business Relationships, Coach/Mentor at Empower&Soar

Curlie McCalla, is an Entrepreneur Development Expert who has been mentoring and coaching individuals in personal and career development for over 8 years. She specializes in empowerment and “next level success”.

Curlie is a Registered Professional Accountant, and after working for over 20 years in that field she felt stuck and unfilled and wanted out. Instead of plunging into entrepreneurship she cautiously ventured into Intrapreneurship where she created a new role and division for herself within her organization that led to a significant increase to the bottom line.

Curlie is fiercely committed to helping professionals carve their niche and claim their stake within their company where they can have the freedom and flexibility like an entrepreneur while enjoying the security of a salary with benefits. Her motto is “quit the JOB, not the company and bloom where you are planted”.

When I started my own business 4 years ago, my desire was to have freedom and to live life on my own terms. My passion was to help others become more confident and stand for themselves and create the life that they want and love. My business has evolved into helping professionals becomeautonomous and flexible in their current organization by becoming an entrepreneur inside entrepreneur. This is something that I have accomplished for myself and since created a proven system designed to help others to do the same.

They say, leaving asuccessful career as an accountant and venturing into entrepreneurship would be risky and would be hard work, even harder than working for someone else. Now I have been able to have both where I am an inside entrepreneur having the security of a salary with benefits and I am also an entrepreneur doing what I enjoy and making a difference in the lives of others.

"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change" Wayne Dyer
Business Owner of magazines
spiritual & business coach

Business Owner of The Infinity Centre & Infinity Magazine - Wellness & Spiritual retreat and magazine, spiritual & business coach

How long have you been in that position?
2009 business coaching.
2012 for Infinity Magazine
2012 for Infinity Magazine
2014 for Infinity Centre.

Full time or part time: Full time
City of residence in Canada: Belleville

  • 2011 1st Runner up—Remarkable Woman of the Year, Quinte
  • 2010 Nominee for Business Woman of the Year 2010, Belleville
  • 2009 Canadian Best Selling Author - Book - The Power of Women United.
  • 2008 Winner of Spirit of POWE Award

Rev. Darcelle Runciman B.A, B. Msc., is founder of The Infinity Centre, dedicated to offering a wellness and spiritual retreat for transformational healing of the mind, body, spirit for both men and women and youth. As an ordained minister with a degree in Metaphysics Rev. Darcelle offers spiritual & or business coaching. Rev. Darcelle offers iMRS sessions, which work off of PEMF – Pulsed Electro Magnetic Fields to restore our bodies to optimal well -being. Rev. Darcelle is also publisher of Infinity Magazine, a conscious magazine for spiritually connected individuals, travellers, and businesses that are searching for a more natural way to experience spirituality, travel and each other, one that promotes exploring our great outdoors with body, mind and soul.

When I started Infinity Magazine, I had been involved in the spiritual industry for many years having interviewed Lisa Nichols, Bob Proctor, Peggy McColl, Cheryl Richardson, Muriel Hemmingway. With a previous magazine we had Robin Sharma, David Simon and Deepak writing for us. With Infinity, the goal is bringing wellness, spiritual and cultural travel to the forefront of people's thinking. We have over 22 writers, editors, photographers, who work with infinity magazine. Last year I opened The Infinity Centre to offer a sacred space for people to come and learn about themselves, and the divine, where they could relax and rejuvenate. Our centre is in a beautiful country setting where we have overnight retreats at our Spirit Questlocation. They say I will never stop helping people. Now that I have been able to create this space, and become a Spiritualist Minister, my goal is to help women and young girls realize their full potential.

Rev. Darcelle offers at the Infinity centre, iMRS, Meditation & Drumming, Workshops, Readings, Spiritual coaching, Reiki.

"Success comes with taking baby steps. Knowing yourself and a winning attitude are keys to a balanced spirit and future."