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Accounting & Finance
Harjit Kaur
Cathy Ireland

Author
Charmian Christie
Raelene Gannon
Stephanie Ortenzi

Brand Management
Siobhan Lacey

Chef
MaryCatherine Anderson
Julie Bednarski
Evis Chirowamhangu
Stephanie Gorchynski
Lindsey Greflund
Andrea Nicholson
Michelle Wolfson
Vanessa Yeung

Education / Training / Coaching / Services
Elizabeth Clow
Alana Corkery
Nicole Gallace
Bonnie Gordon
Cindy Grant
Rosalin Krieger
Trish Maguire
Shimona Mehta
Eileen Terry

Food Entrepreneur
Julie Bednarski
Meagan Bowden
Michele Chandler
Vanessa Chiaravalloti
Raelene Gannon
Kailey Gilchrist
Stephanie Gorchynski
Richa Gupta
Fran Kruse
Dana McCauley
Andrea Nicholson
Linda Ogbeide
Lisa Sanguedolce
Luisa Di Marcantonio
Julie White
Karen Whitman
Vanessa Yeung
Event Planning and Production
Sue Martin

Fundraising / Non-Profit
Lori Nikkel

Government Relations
Lisa Mina

Branding and Food Packaging
Irina Khvalova

Marketing / Public Relations
Saskia Brussaard
Luisa Di Marcantonio
Gamila Gallimore
Richa Gupta
Pamela Hamel
Sue Martin
Jo-Ann McArthur
Kathryn McEwin


Nutritionist
Julie Bednarski
Stephanie GorchynskiHeidi Kutzelnig

Public Speaking

Purchasing
Cheryl Appleton

Sales
Lynda Burns
Shelley D’Angelo
Carol Facca
Liz Leveillee
Lesa Warner

Technology
Judith Kirkness
Shimona Mehta

A

Lotte Andersson

Tell Us About Yourself: Representing Barry Callebaut in Ontario.

Since 2008, I have been managing the Barry Callebaut Gourmet Sales, Service and Technical support in Ontario. I am also promoting the company, organizing demos and events for the pastry and baking industry mostly focusing on Callebaut, the Finest Belgian Chocolate and Cacao Barry, our French Chocolate brand. I am also working with manufacturers in the pastry and chocolate industry to help them grow an advise them on appropriate chocolates for their needs, be it imported or domestically made Van Leer or Barry Callebaut chocolates.

I left my native Sweden to study Culinary Arts in Paris at Le Cordon Bleu. I ended up staying in Paris for three years, doing my apprenticeship at Le Pre Catelan and Pavillon Eylsee, both Michelin star restaurants owned by Gaston Le Notre. In 1989, I decided to immigrate to Canada where I worked for Jean Pierre Curtat at Le Manor Rouville Campbell in Mont St. Hilaire, Quebec, for 2-1/2 years before the adventure took me to Toronto where I landed a job, working for John Higgins at the fine dining restaurant, Chairs, at the King Edward Hotel for 3 years.

After leaving The King Edward Hotel, I catered private events and worked as a freelance chef at Nestle Canada for several years before I was hired as the full time Corporate Chef for Nestle Foodservice. I stayed at Nestle for 5 years full-time before joining Barry Callebaut.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

I speak Swedish, English, French and Spanish.

Why did you join CWIF?

Great networking with women in the food industry.

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MaryCatherine Anderson

mc_cooks copy 2Tell Us About Yourself: I am a passionate culinary professional.

My areas of expertise are:

RECIPE DEVELOPER AND TESTER – Write, develop and edit recipes for chefs, magazines and cookbook writers. Anticipate culinary trends so that the publications keep and enhance competitive and creative advantage. Publications: Walmart Live Better Magazine, Cottage Magazine, Cottage Life Magazine, Meals that Heal Inflammation, Everyday Flexitarian, Flex Appeal.

CULINARY INSTRUCTOR – Create menus and course content. Oversee all aspects of operation of the kitchen and food production. Create and execute exciting menus for corporate and private events. Build events around clients needs and plan the cooking of dishes based on style of event and the number of clients expected. Coordinate with the Event Manager to generate bookings and create profits. Monitor the taste, visual appeal, and temperature of all meals served. Adjust to circumstances and manage change effectively. Manage kitchen and service team. Develop and implement culinary curriculum. Provide comprehensive instruction. Create event orders, maintain kitchen inventory, sourcing cost effective supplies. Event management.

PROFESSIONAL CHEF – Develop and execute menus for special diets. Provide catering service for large private parties and events. Develop small business social media strategy, branding and web presence. Food styling for television variety and news segments. Demonstration chef at trade shows and product events.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

Social media, Recipe development, Recipe editing, Food styling, Management, Leadership, Enthusiastic, Resourceful, Fun

Why did you join CWIF?

I am looking forward to joining CWIF to be connected to a dynamic group of women, within the food profession. I am looking forward to sharing and growing within the Canadian professional food community.

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Mia Andrews

Tell Us About Yourself:  President, Canadian Personal Chef Association / Co-Founder and COO, Manjya Ltd.

I started a Personal Chef service in 1999 as a way to break from running a software company and quickly realized that the combination of passion for both cooking and business had found a home.  Within a year I had founded the Canadian Personal Chef Association and was teaching and mentoring new Personal Chefs across Canada.  Before my software business re-claimed my attention in the mid-00’s, I helped more than 400 people follow their dreams into owning their own cooking businesses.

Going “back to the future” I’m once again prying myself away from the world of software to devote more time to the CPCA and an industry that continues to be needed by those who are time-starved and challenged in making themselves nutritious daily food.

A new service to help hungry clients find personal chefs is a project I entered into a year ago, with a business partner located in Israel.  Manjya.ca will be a way to help personal chefs who need a marketing boost, gain more of a foothold in the marketplace.

Why did you join CWIF?
I like the idea of supporting this group and am glad to see it’s formation.  I want to introduce and encourage members of the CPCA to join also, most of whom are women.

Social Media Links

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Cheryl Appleton

Tell Us About Yourself: Cheryl Appleton is a food industry professional with more than 22 years of experience buying everything from cake mixes to courier services to cosmetics. Colleagues best describe Cheryl as an “Architect of Ideas” as she demonstrates exceptional communication and leadership skills to coach, manage and motivate a diverse group of procurement professionals.

Also known for her culinary skills as a home chef, Cheryl has recently relocated from the Little Italy area of downtown Toronto to Leslieville in the East End and has enjoyed discovering all the restaurants and food options in a bustling neighbourhood.

In 2013, Cheryl was recognized by Women’s Foodservice Forum for the Canadian Committee Contributor of The Year Award for her enthusiastic contributions to Membership and Partner Support activities and helping to accelerate growth and awareness objectives of the organization in Canada.

In 2014, Cheryl founded Canadian Women in Food (CWIF) to help women share in the abundance that is produced when women create meaningful connections with each other.  CWIF has been nourished by the passion, inspiration, and expertise of many within the food industry and reflects their aspirations to ensure a sustainable social enterprise of women supporting women in food in Canada.

Any special skills you would like to mention?
Home Chef & Baker
Public Speaking Skills
Networking
Strategic Planning
Finance
Experienced Cat Herder

Why did you join CWIF?
It all started because of a “What If” conversation. You know the kind…as in “what if” we could change the world and what would it look like?

To me, change means action, and action leads to activity and connection. So we created a social enterprise that would be much more than a professional network. We wanted to stir people up, encourage them to become creatively engaged, tap into their entrepreneurial spirit, and in simple and transparent terms recognize the value of our members by returning 100% of their investment when they volunteer.

Interestingly enough, we quickly learned that no other association or organization representing the food sector was bold enough to make this kind of membership offer. You could say our model really is revolutionary.   So we see ourselves as already on a path to change the world, and we are very optimistic about how the input of CWIF members will shape its future!

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Julie Bednarski

Tell Us About Yourself: Julie Bednarski, Founder and President of The Healthy Crunch Company have over ten years expertise in the field of both nutrition and food. Her formal training includes a Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Human Nutrition, Master of Health Science in Nutrition Communication, and Chef’s Training at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary Arts in New York City.

As a Registered Dietitian and Professionally trained chef, Julie combined both areas of knowledge to create healthy and delicious tasting products produced by The Healthy Crunch Company. Her past experience working in the area of food and nutrition also included regulatory compliance at the corporate level, one-on-one nutritional counseling, nutrition communication and education for non-profit health organization, teaching cooking classes to both children and adults, public speaking, working in restaurants across North America, and recipe and menu development.

Julie’s philosophy has always been that health starts and can change in the kitchen. Her goal of developing and creating healthy snacks that not only taste amazing but also are good for you both inside and out, drives her to revolutionize the way people snack.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

Educating and empowering people to live healthier lives. Nutrition communication. Creating healthy and delicious meals and snacks. Research and development for innovative food products.

Why did you join CWIF?

To come together with other women in the food industry to share resources and support each other. I enjoy the opportunities that CWIF provides to meet like-minded women, as well, the sense of community and social events.

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Meagan Bowden

Title
Entrepreneur

Tell Us About Yourself: I graduated from Ryerson University in 2013 with a Bachelor of journalism and an itch to break into the food industry. Since then, I’ve worked for many restaurants across Toronto including those of Oliver & Bonacini and Doug McNish, where i have mainly been a cook but sometimes a menu and recipe editor, farmers market manager, and social media photographer. I am a cofounder of Phat N’ Phull, a custom, event-based catering company that strives to create unique experiences through pop-up dinners, community markets and private parties. I also update my food blog titled, Adventures of Humble Pie, which explores homemade recipes, food and travel, and conceptual food photography projects.

Special Skills
Photography
Writing/ editing
Photoshop
Gardening
Party planner
Expert lister

Why Do You want to Join CWIF?
I want to be more active in the food community, meet inspirational people and possibly work together to create new opportunities and projects that will benefit the community.

Social Media Links
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Elisabeth Burrow

Title
Owner, Nut Farmer, Nut Roaster

Tell Us About Yourself: I  originally worked as a Director of Support Services for Healthcare.  I have two Masters Degrees; one in Geriatric Health, the other in Public Health.  My husband transferred to the Guelph area where we bought a 95 acre farm.  About 4 years ago, we found you could grow nuts in Ontario.  So we planted 100 trees the first year and now we have about 450.  I found that I have a knack for roasting nuts in a healthy way, imparting them with some amazing flavours.  That’s how “Jewels Under the Kilt” was formed.

Special Skills
Having a redirect palate that allows me to pair nuts with many things
Creating recipes that enhance nuts
Great pride in customer service

Why Do You want to Join CWIF?
I wanted to join for the chef jacket!  No seriously, I wanted to join because I think it’s important that there is a place for women to voice their opinions, ask for help, share successes and failures openly.  The food industry has come a long way since I started; we have a ways to go but groups like this help.

Social Media Links

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Saskia Brussaard

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Tell Us About Yourself:  Saskia is the Founder and President of Crave Public Relations, a boutique PR firm. With more than 15 years of experience, Saskia has been a leading public relations executive, developing and executing communications strategies for numerous nationally and internationally-known companies.

Located in Burlington, Ontario, Crave PR is nestle between Toronto, Canada’s largest city, Guelph, an agricultural hub, and the Niagara wine region. Crave PR is small, but does big things for clients and takes great care in doing the highest quality work.

Although she has a focus on food and lifestyle, Saskia works with companies in many sector, including health, energy, fashion/beauty, and not-for-profit.

As an advocate of food security and supporter of nutritious, delicious and sustainable food, Saskia serves as a communications advisor to the Halton Food Council and has authored a White Paper for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada on the subject of local food. She is a regular guest speaker at Sheridan College’s Corporate Communications program.

Saskia maintains strong relationships with the media, bloggers, and key influencers in the food and health arenas. She offers unique insight into storytelling as a former freelance writer for several publications including Metro News, W Network (Corus), Privilege Magazine, and De Nederlandse Courant. She currently serves as editor of Whisk Culinary News (whisknews.ca).

Having worked closely with culinary professionals, dietitians, nurses, pharmacists, physicians, Saskia offers her clients access to an impressive network of influencers, key opinion leaders and brand ambassadors. Prior to founding Crave PR in 2009, Saskia worked for both leading public relations agencies and client-side for Johnson & Johnson’s Global Pharmaceuticals business.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

Crave Public Relations specializes in food, wellness and lifestyle sectors. We are a full-service public relations agency offering media, blogger and stakeholder relations, public relations campaigns, message training and interview preparation, media events, strategic counsel, recipe development, food photography, and dietitian engagement and education.

Why did you join CWIF?

To engage, network and share knowledge with other food industry professionals and continue to be involved and support Canada’s food scene.

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Sabrina Caligiuri

 Sabrina

Tell Us About Yourself:  I have been working in the foodservice industry for 15 years – specializing in finance, distribution and procurement. I enjoy all types of cooking, especially baking with my children. I live in a small town and enjoy going to local farms and farmer’s markets. In my spare time, I lend a helping hand at the community garden.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

Spend analysis; networking; learning and meeting new people, understanding their perspective on industry trends and consumer insights

Why did you join CWIF?

  • Great networking opportunity
  • Supporting women-owned business
  • Opportunity to be part of the growing success of CWIF
  • Opportunity to share my talents and further develop my skills

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Toby Carrel

Tell Us About Yourself:  Owner, Kugel Food & Flowers

Kugel Food & Flowers is a home-based catering and floral design studio. Jewish Soul Food and creative comfort foods, specializing in sweet and savory kugel, honey cake, chicken soup with matzah balls and more!  Not JUST Jewish Food!

Why did you join CWIF?

I want to be exposed to women in the industry and learn more about running my own business.

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Michele Chandler

Michelle Chandler

Tell Us About Yourself:  Purveyor at The Art of Pudding Ltd.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

When not making pudding, I freelance as a forensic accountant.

Why did you join CWIF?

We’re all in the kitchen together!

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Linda Cheung

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Tell Us About Yourself:  Owner, Desserts Studio

My company is Desserts Studio.  I’m in my second year of operations.  I love baking, graduated from George Brown Baking and Pastry Management program five years ago, launched my company in 2015.  My company also incorporates a social cause, to help employ youth and adults with disabilities, first in line being my son.  I’m currently a one woman show!! and find it incredibly hectic, would love to connect with others who try to do it all and still preserve some sanity.  My company was sponsored by City of Toronto Food Venture Program to help get me started.  Very excited to be part of the future food scene!

Any special skills you would like to mention?

  • Love baking
  • Father owned a family run restaurant business for over 25 years, grew up in a restaurant
  • Currently at People’s Farmers Market on Friday’s
  • Used to be an accountant
  • Love the concept of farm to table, gardening is my second love – growing a fruit orchard in my backyard using organic permacultural principles (no sprays or pesticides, balanced soil), hyperlocal
  • Would love to own a farm one day

Why did you join CWIF?

I want to connect with others in the food industry.  I could use the advice of others who have been there and done that!

Social Media Links

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Vanessa Chiaravalloti

V piping GF Cannoli

Tell Us About Yourself:  Holy Cannoli was born as an idea by long-time Italian baker and owner of Bona Via Bakery, Nicola Chiaravalloti back in 1985 when the family first opened its bakery in Scarborough, Ontario.

Since that time, Nicola developed a secret recipe after a personal trip to Sicily. For years, the whole family have listened to many of their clients tell them that “these are the best Cannoli I have ever had”.

In 2013, Vanessa Chiaravalloti, Nicola’s daughter, decided to take this famous Cannoli cream recipe and expand the product into a business and a brand. Holy Cannoli Shells & Cream launched in September 2014 with their debut at Canada’s Baking and Sweets Show. Their follow up appearances at the Delicious Food Show in October and the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo in November was met with rave reviews and record sales.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

I’m an experienced sales person with a passion for people and community.

Why did you join CWIF?

Great for networking, meeting like minded individuals and possible future mentors and peers.

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Evis Chirowamhangu

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Tell Us About Yourself: I am the owner and food experimentalist at Mnandi Pies, a company that produces Zimbabwean Style Pies in Toronto. I was born and raised in Nyanga, Zimbabwe and moved to Toronto in 2005 where I immediately recognised the lack of “anything that looked like a Zimbabwean Pie on the Toronto Market. Through a series of food experiments, I finally nailed the “Zimbabwean Pie”. I have been featured on CBC’s Here and Now, CBC Metro Morning, The Pay Chen Show, Toronto Star, Now Magazine and BlogTO and am on a mission to feed Canadians with unique and authentic foods inspired by the Southern African Cuisine.

Special Skills: I have worked as a Buyer and Production Planner for an Electronics Manufacturing company for 8 years. While  I can solder a raw plastic circuit board, I’m a public speaker.  I have advanced  Microsoft Excel Skills and do any analysis in Excel.

Why did you join CWIF?Joining CWIF would help me network with like-minded women. It will offer a platform to exchange ideas, learn, elevate and help other women in the food industry.

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Elizabeth Clow

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Tell Us About Yourself:  I am the owner of White Hat Kitchen, a commercial kitchen that we rent out by the hour to food businesses. We are located in Barrie, Ontario.

Why did you join CWIF?

I would like to join CWIF because I have a business background but I am very new to the food industry. I would like to meet and learn from people who have experience in this industry.

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Paula Cooper

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Tell Us About Yourself:

As “Chief Confidence Maker” at Dine Aware(TM), my focus is on forging a new path for consumers with food allergy restrictions to eat out with confidence. I know firsthand the resistance and risk of trying to eat out with a dietary restriction.

So, I launched a brand, a new symbol that foodservice can use to communicate one simple message to consumers: “we speak your food allergy language”.

Why did you join CWIF?
To inspire and be inspired.

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Kate Cosgrove Ariss


Tell Us About Yourself:

Owner of Kate’s Kookies.  Married mother of 2.  Loves gardening and curling.

Why did you join CWIF?
To share with other women life/work balance and form potential partnerships.

Social Media Links
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Christine Couvelier

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Tell Us About Yourself:

Christine is passionate about food. She shares her passion and enthusiasm for food with everyone she works with.  Christine is a Culinary Executive, an Executive Chef, and a Culinary Trendologist. As a global Culinary Trendologist, Christine uses her “culinary crystal ball” for forecasting upcoming food trends.

Christine is the past Executive Chef of President’s Choice, the Director of Culinary & Beverage/Executive Chef at Cara Operations, and the Chair of The Chef School of George Brown College. She worked on Global Innovation for Unilever and was the first Director of Culinary Strategy at Maple Leaf Foods, where she worked on the vision, design and construction of the ThinkFOOD! Centre.

Currently Christine continues to educate, teach, and inspire her customers through her consulting company Culinary Concierge.

At Culinary Concierge, she provides culinary solutions that assist clients in launching on-trend, on-time great tasting food products and menu items. What’s a Culinary Trendologist? Christine tours the globe to taste what is coming next, cooking with chefs, attending food shows, visiting greenmarkets and gourmet retailers. She has developed her Trend Watch Report focusing on emerging, developing and existing trends, and she looks in her “culinary crystal ball” at trends vs. fads.

“I am a connection between the culinary world and the consumer. My taste buds are externally focused on all areas of the food business. As well, I am business and strategy focused while always monitoring consumer insights”, says Christine.

Culinary Concierge allows Christine to work with clients to offer a unique menu of services that includes:

  • Creative and meaningful ideation
  • Culinary focused innovation
  • Sensory and gold-standard evaluation
  • Trend watch reports
  • In-store and at-market tours
  • Package recipes and menu development
  • Product spokesperson
  • And more …

For Christine, it really all comes down to “Taste, taste, taste”. From the test kitchen to the boardroom, from the glimmer of a recipe idea to the shelves of your local grocery or the menu at your favourite restaurant, Christine believes in sharing her culinary passion and love of all things delicious,

Special skills

  • Global Culinary Trendologist
  • Executive Chef
  • Culinary Executive

Why did you join CWIF?
I look forward to networking with great women in the food industry … and of course sharing fabulous food experiences!!

Social Media Links
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Sarah Cowen


Tell Us About Yourself:

Director of Sensory Services – I have been in the sensory and consumer research field for over 10 years. I started out working for a major UK grocery retailer running their sensory and customer research panels for private label products before coming to Canada in 2011 to do the same thing for a Canadian grocery retailer. Since June 2015 I have been working at Hale Food providing sensory and consumer testing and training for large and small businesses in Canada.

Special skills

Sensory and consumer research

Why did you join CWIF?
Opportunity to network with women in the food industry to share and learn from each other.

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Shelley D’Angelo

Tell Us About Yourself:I was twelve when I baked my first cake – a Lady Baltimore! The photograph in the Better Housekeeping cookbook looked exotic and I was anxious to explore my creative side. And so began my love affair with food. It is ironic now that baking did not become my passion but rather all else food related – canning, savoury dishes, holiday fare. You name it, I love to make it.

My first career was in the arts – for ten years buying and selling Canadian investment paintings. However the lure of the world of food was always lingering around the edges of life. Lots of dinner parties, always ready to bring treats to a gathering and experimenting in the kitchen. It did not come as a surprise to family and friends when I announced the opening of my Italian Bistro “Tesoro”! Life in the kitchen is hard, long hours and not much of a social life, but the rewards are far too many to recount. I loved each day in my little north Toronto kitchen. Then family illness and the need for a change became necessary. The Pepsi Bottling Group and the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservice Association (now Restaurants Canada) gave me the opportunity to ply my sales skills. Life was fun and busy. My love of food, people and adventure was never far from my thoughts and after the loss of my husband, a great adventure began for me. Contessa Vacations was my grand plan. Why not put together small groups of eight people, take them to cooking school in Sicily, add in cultural excursions every day, Italian lessons, local food and wine? That’s what I did for five years. Finally it was time to return to Canada and my love of people, food and adventure has not changed. As Territory Sales Manager for Four Star Dairy I work with Chefs to bring the very best to their kitchens. I still love food, and I do indeed love life. CWIF is the best of all possible ways to have connections in my career and I am thrilled to be a founding member.

Any special skills you would like to mention?
I continue to indulge my love of Sicily be conducting private cooking school tours when the opportunity presents itself.

Having been involved in volunteer work since youth, I have developed strong fundraising skills which I enjoy making use of from time to time.

Why did you join CWIF?
I love that CWIF is a Canadian organization. The philosophy suits the food industry perfectly, grass roots that provides what association members need to network, educate and entertain.

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Debbie Diament

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Tell Us About Yourself:  Owner, My Place for Dinner Cooking School

For 20 years, Debbie Diament’s My Place for Dinner Cooking School has offered hands-on corporate, team-building, private and scheduled cooking classes and recipe testing and development.

Why did you join CWIF?
To be a part of the food community and help support each other.

Social Media Links

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Luisa Di Marcantonio

cwif_facepic_luisaTell Us About Yourself:Luisa Di Marcantonio the founder of Passione Foods, was born in Canada to Italian immigrants from the region of Abruzzo in Italy. Chefs for prominent leaders, royalty and even the pope are trained in Abruzzo’s fine culinary schools.

Proud of her Italian heritage, Luisa learned to bake and cook from her mama Annunziata and a convent she visited in Italy.  Her mama was an inspiration, she cooked everything from scratch including bread, cookies, desserts, pastas, gnocchi, ravioli, prosciutto and dried sausage.   Amaretti are a family favourite and a specialty of her mama.

The name “Il Convento” was selected because it embodies simple and real food that was made by the convent.  This inspirational “Villa Serena” convent is located in Signa, Italy in the Tuscany region.  It was run by Luisa’s great aunt, a nun affectionately known as “Zia Suora”.  The meals at the convent were simple, yet spectacular.

Luisa spent several years as a marketing manager in the chocolate and wine industries.  Passion and perfection are at the heart of everything she does.  As an outlet for these creations, she founded the company “Passione Foods”; “Passione” means passion in Italian and she has a lot of it.  Luisa being a true Italian, always prepares too much food and she wants to share her love for it.

Special Skills
I am a combination marketer, general manager and innovator.   An out of the box thinker and 360 problem solver consistently turning around brands, businesses and finding solutions to old issues.

I am an ideas person and innovative ideas come to me effortlessly.

Why did you join CWIF?

To connect and help other women in the food industry.

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Nicole Gallace

Tell Us About Yourself: I’m a mother first and foremost.  I describe myself professionally as a Food Industry Partner, having worked as a recruiter for 8+ years and now as a founder of a startup dedicated to supporting students and grads start their career in food & beverage.  Also, to create awareness of all the wonderful occupations available in the sector to attract the next generation of the food industry.

Special Skills
Recruitment, networking.

Why did you join CWIF?I’m a advocate for women and via FoodGrads look for opportunities to support women in food.

 

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Rachel Galea

Tell Us About Yourself: Founder of Rachel’s Gourmet Gone Wild.

As a working mother with three children, I always had a passion for cooking healthy, organic yet extremely tasty meals.  I made impressive dishes that dazzled friends and family over the years and I was often asked to host events and activities featuring my amazing wares.

Aside from devoting much of my time to my family and friends, my true place of paradise lay within the walls of the kitchen in my home, nestled in the beautiful village of Terra Cotta.  It was there that I found peace and harmony in my life as I embraced my talents with love and passion; my favourite quote being: “From my heart to your plate.”

After a yearlong battle with cancer, realizing how my life could have been cut short, with encouragement from family and friends, at age 43 I decided to take a leap of faith. Even though apprehensive and unsure since I had minimal educational background, I took the plunge to take my lifelong passion to new heights and enrolled at Liaison College for Culinary Arts in Brampton, Ontario.

The apprehension and insecurity about going back to school soon turned to strength, courage and a personal belief that I had never experienced before.  I realized that through my love for cooking and determination to master the theory part of the course that I could be a true master of my personal demons and that I could be anything I wanted to be and more.  Although intense and challenging at times, my commitment to this venture outweighed those obstacles as I rose to the top of my class.  I’ve earned several awards during my time at Liaison, such as:  Student of the Month for Outstanding Achievement and Ambassadorship, and the Women in Food Industry Management (WFIM) Scholarship award.  I met and formed lifelong partnerships with my fellow students and faculty at Liaison, such as Chef Felix Sano with whom I now assist at many prestigious events.

Since graduating from Liaison College, with High Honors in January 2014, I have since started a business called “Rachel’s Gourmet Gone Wild”.  From my heart to your plate, my dream continues to grow and develop as I embrace every opportunity that comes my way.

Special Skills
I offer freshly frozen packed gourmet dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.  Some of my signature dishes include Bison Stew with a Horseradish Cream, Ostrich Sliders and Organic Ale Chili.  All of the meat products are grass-fed and hormone and antibiotic free.

Why did you join CWIF?

I want to learn more about the industry, make connections and grow my business.

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Gamila Gallimore

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Tell Us About Yourself: Gamila Gallimore is a recent graduate from the Global Business Management Program at Ryerson University (2014). She’s been working alongside her father in the foodservice industry since 2008, for a company that he established called Gallimore Products Inc.

Gallimore Products Inc. offers over 300 disposable products and Gamila is very passionate about ensuring that they continue to offer high quality and innovative products to customers within the foodservice industry, while also providing superior customer service. She’s very detail-oriented, organized, and thorough in each project that she is involved in.

Camila’s secondary passion involves marketing, website coding and artwork design. All marketing components of Gallimore Products Inc. are now managed by Gamila, including websites and all custom-print customer artwork.

In her free time, Gamila is a volunteer coach for young aspiring soccer players that range in age from 3 to 10 years. Camila has been playing soccer since the age of 4 and has been playing competitive rep soccer in the OSL, OYSL as well as the Ontario Women’s Soccer League and has been the captain of the North York Cosmos’ women’s team for the past 12 years.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver

Marketing

Product Design

Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint

Why did you join CWIF?

I believe that this organization will be truly beneficial for people within the foodservice industry. The internet has become one of the most powerful tools to connect people throughout the world. This association will broaden a person’s ability to connect with people that they may not have been able to meet otherwise. I am really looking forward to continuing my experiences within the foodservice industry and to also be a part of this powerful organization and to network with other female entrepreneurs.

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Raelene Gannon

 

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Tell Us About Yourself: BBAdmin, Certified Tea Sommelier, Author, President and Founder of tea and all its splendour, a wholesale loose leaf tea supplier. With over 25 years in the food and retail industries, I bring an entrepreneurial spirit of product innovation of foodies and consumers with which they will be delighted.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

Author and Certified Tea Sommelier, one of the first 15 in Canada

Why did you join CWIF?

To grow and nurture the concept of women in food in Canada.

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Kailey Gilchrist


Tell Us About Yourself: With a B.A. in Theatre Studies from the University of Guelph, and two years of post-graduate studies at George Brown Theatre School in Acting, Kailey is an outgoing, personable, creative thinker. She has been a strict vegan for ten years, and gluten-free for four of those years.
Since moving to Toronto in 2011, Kailey has worked in promo/sales for New Moon Kitchen (Toronto vegan cookie company) and Earth Balance (US vegan food company), as well as at Evergreen Natural Foods (Toronto health food store). She also works for vegan chef Doug McNish in a variety of settings: assisting cooking classes, food demonstrations, TV appearances, food styling, serving, prep work and front of house at his kitchen.

Her late Italian mother immigrated to Canada from Italy, and was an exceptional cook. Kailey spent countless hours in the kitchen with her mother, inventing and perfecting various recipes. After her mother’s passing in 2011, cooking became even more important to Kailey. She and her mother loved nurturing people with delicious healthy food. Together they created a vegan Alfredo sauce, which became the first product in Kailey’s sauce line.

In 2013 she began her vegan sauce line, Soul to Bowl Sauces Inc. Just over a year later, the sauces are in stores across the GTA and quickly expanding to the rest of Ontario. The company faced a trademark issue and is now called NONA Vegan Foods Ltd. They provide delicious dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free creamy sauces.

Any special skills you would like to mention?
Acting
Music-making
Dancing
Public speaking
“The human trumpet”
Building great campfires

Why did you join CWIF?
My mentor from Futurepreneur (formerly Canadian Youth Business Foundation), Angela McMonagle, put me in touch with Cheryl Appleton. Once I met with Cheryl and discussed CWIF I was certain it would be a good fit and very beneficial for me to join! I am excited to be connected to a network of women in food as I often feel isolated and alone in this industry. Her passion for networking and sharing her vast knowledge really impressed and inspired me.

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Bonnie Gordon

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Tell Us About Yourself: Owner and Executive Director of a Private Career College located in midtown Toronto. The college has a strong international following and students come for all over the world to study baking and pastry arts. Worked as a high-end wedding cake designer from 1995 to 2006 when focus turned to mentoring and teaching the next generation of cake designers. Before entering the culinary field, worked in museums in NYC, Ottawa and Toronto. Bachelor of Fine Arts, Post Grad certificate in Art Education, Masters in the Science of Education.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

Entrepreneur, leader in the field of cake design, mentor

Why did you join CWIF?

Meet colleagues, volunteer opportunities, expand awareness of the college, network, social opportunities, learn new things, be part of a community of like-minded women

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Lindsey Greflund

 

Tell Us About Yourself: Starting as a sculptor, I ventured into the world of pastry 8 years ago. Currently I’m a red seal pastry chef and culinary instructor. I work at a variety of schools across Toronto (including Le Dolci) and also run the pastry department of Sassafras restaurant in Yorkville. I wear many hats and love every one.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

Multi-media artist, presenter, instructor, and promoter

Why did you join CWIF?

I was lucky enough to meet some of the women involved with “Canadian Women in Food” during the event at Le Dolci (which I volunteered to help with). The women were passionate and motivating, truly a group I can stand behind.

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Richa Gupta

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Tell Us About Yourself: Richa Gupta is the Founder of GOOD FOOD FOR GOOD and a creative foodie and ardent believer in real food. Richa launched GOOD FOOD FOR GOOD, a social enterprise, after experiencing immense dissatisfaction with the current food system. She felt that today’s packaged food has forced us to compromise quality for convenience and wanted to recreate food the way it should be and used to be – pure and simple. Richa started the company with the vision to make a difference in the world by offering good food to people who can afford it and donating food to people who cannot. Richa has over 10 years of experience in Consumer Food Products, Retail and Fashion industries and holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

Business Strategy

Why did you join CWIF?

To make a difference! I want to be part of a community that is driven to help entrepreneurs achieve their dream.

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Pamela Hamel

PamelaHamelTitle – Creative Director

Tell Us About Yourself:
A multi-talented gal, home chef, florist, gardenista with a passion for stylizing events and spaces;   as a locavore, I teach essential food skills and organize cook-offs for groups of all ages and bring my message to the Corporate office with a “taste the terroir” lunch ‘n’ learn format where I showcase recipes and brands from the Northeastern Ontario (NE) region.

I started my post secondary career as a Gardener/Cook teaching essential food skills and gardening to marginalized women and children in rural northern communities and on First Nation reserves.  For nearly a decade I worked with communities in the NE Region to implement school based nourishment programs and managed a grant portfolio of over a million dollars for start-up businesses and social programs.

Currently, studying to obtain the Red Seal designation for Chef and in my spare time I am a culinary explorer and write articles for Northeastern Ontario’s travel blog and magazine Big Adventures Guide with tips for tourists on where to find “Big Bites” in the region.  I am an Ambassador for Ontario products, whether it be wood, gold, honey, buckwheat or Loon Vodka, I am committed to exporing and helping build economic development opportunities for the far North region by building a brand awareness.

Although, I am not presently developing food products, I have won competitions for small bites, customer excellence and achievement.  I would love to meet other women in this industry and feel the Canadian Women in Food is the ideal place.

Special Skills
Event staging, merchandising, juicing, organizing, grant writing and teaching food skills.

Why Do You want to Join CWIF?
I would love to meet like minded women for conversation, attend workshops on food product development and offer my skills as a volunteer on the Board of Directors and in organizing industry events.

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Dawn Hurley-Chapman

Tell Us About Yourself:
Serial entrepreneur / writer / traveller and mom.  I lived in London, England for 11 years and opened a small chain of bagel cafes there.  I also taught entrepreneurship at inner city schools for ages 14-16, encouraging kids to look for business opportunities based on their passion and interests.  I opened Lazy Daisy’s Cafe in Toronto’s east-end 5 years ago.  We serve locally sourced drug and hormone free and ethically raised foods in a family friendly, cosy environment.

 

Special Skills
Creative writer (Honours Degree English Language & Literature), English Language Teacher (TEFLdip), have taught entrepreneurship.

Why Do You want to Join CWIF?
To connect with other women in the food business and continue my “learning journey”, improve and grow my own business and also to support other women who are just starting out.

Social Media Links

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Cathy Ireland

Tell Us About Yourself:
Professional Home Economist  After 20 years of employment in the Kraft Kitchens, working on all product categories in product development, recipe development and management, I was fortunate to receive a package. Yes, it is with gratitude that I was given the golden handshake…well, bronze handshake, at a time when I realized how addictive and unhealthy our products were!
I have spent the last three years in various areas of casual food service employment, gaining the skills I need while working towards my vision.

 

Special Skills
Recipe development, product development, project management, coffee cupper and barista, cookbook contributor, cooking school instructor.

Why Do You want to Join CWIF?
Networking opportunities, events, volunteer and employment opportunities.

Social Media Links

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Lisa Kates

Tell Us About Yourself:  Lisa Kates is a founding partner of Building Roots, an local organization that finds solutions for communities who don’t have easy access to fresh, affordable food. The overall mandate for Building Roots is to encourage growing, cooking, sharing and educating people about food. Therefore, they have urban agriculture projects throughout the city, a Trillium Grant for Moss Park and a first for Toronto; a shipping container that was retrofitted to be used as a grocery store selling affordable produce which is situated at Queen and Sherbourne. Building Roots continues to find innovative ways to solve the problems around food and food access in the city.

Lisa continues to be a very strong advocate and mentor for food artisans and local farmers.
She is the photographer for the 4th year at the Sorauren Farmers’ Market and helped them design a calendar for 2016 as a fundraiser for  the Westend Food Coop.
She loves to travel, eat good food, toast with good wine, take numerous photos and perhaps, mostly, values her friendships and connections with women she meets through work and projects.
She feels very fortunate to have constant support and love from her three grown children and her husband, who is a phenomenal baker.

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Harjit Kaur


Tell Us About Yourself: Harjit Kaur is strategic finance and operations professional with more than 16 years of experience in managed food and beverage services. Her operational expertise lies in coffee products, cold beverages and snacks, with a focus on office coffee solutions, filtered water systems, vending and micro markets. From years of experience Harjit has become skilled in financial leadership, change management, organizational restructuring and business process improvement. Her colleague’s best describe her as a trusted and respected team player with a proven ability to deliver on business goals within fast-paced, changing environments.

In 2012, Harjit was recognized by ARAMARK (Business and Industry) for Providing Superior Experiences and Driving Exceptional Workplace Outcomes for being lead on establishing the centralized Customer and Operations Support Centre in Toronto.

Harjit has a passion for the food and beverage industry and likes attending trade shows and learning about new products. Living in Caledon she enjoys the local products and produce from nearby farms and farmers markets.

Any special skills you would like to mention?
Core skills include: accounting and financial analysis, cost savings and process improvements.
Coaching and Mentoring.
Volunteering on Non-Profit Organization Boards as Treasurer and providing financial support.
Enjoys cooking traditional Indian cuisines and show casing her talent by entertaining family and friends.

Why did you join CWIF?
Being approached by Cheryl about CWIF couldn’t have been at a more perfect time in my life. I joined CWIF because of it’s passion in helping women entrepreneurs and knowing it will provide me the opportunity to interact and network with inspirational and talented women in the food industry. Plus it provides me the opportunity to share my talent and knowing that I can help someone is always a great feeling

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Irina Khvalova


Tell Us About Yourself: In 1998 I founded Colourphill, a communication design firm in Toronto. Working in a design studio and consulting environment before starting Colourphill gave me a unique perspective on the business of design from both the designer’s and client’s point of view.

My creative, production and consulting experience can help clients minimize the business risk associated with implementing creative and design initiatives in their marketing and communications. I am known for finding warm, approachable and elegant creative solutions and I’m especially passionate about creating food labels and packaging that tempt people’s senses.

I am a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, where I’ve also taught print production. For the last 10 years, I’ve been involved in the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario’s mentorship program and portfolio review sessions to help design graduates develop their careers.

I come from a food-loving family. My grandma and mom have instilled in me a love of food and also the importance of family and friends. For the last 30 years, my friends and I have been getting together every Friday for a potluck dinner that we call “Nosh.” We try different recipes together, share herb- and vegetable-growing tips and experiment with wine pairings. We have raised our children the same way, and all of them have become passionate cooks too. And one of my great pleasures is to travel and taste the food wherever I go.

Little-known facts:
I have enjoyed ballroom dancing for years. Latin style is my preference, and a samba is my favourite.
I love to travel, taste and write about food. With almost 25,000 readers, according to TripAdvisor I’m one of the most popular reviewers in Toronto.
I have a particular interest in the history of economics. .


Any special skills you would like to mention?
My special gift of being able to effortlessly come up with simple solutions for complex design problems.
My extensive technical knowledge about producing creative material in print and online, as well as strong project management skills.
Teaching and mentoring.

Why did you join CWIF?
When I met Cheryl I instantly realized that her desire to build a social enterprise would fit perfectly with my passion for food and design. It will be an excellent platform for me to meet like-minded people, share knowledge and get inspired – and taste food, of course!

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Judith Kirkness

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Tell Us About Yourself: VP Sales and Principal Consultant – I have spent over 20 years working in our family business, Minotaur Software. We offer food and chemical / nutraceutical manufacturers with business management software including ERP and WMS (handheld warehouse management). In 2013, I wrote a book called The Traceability Factor, a guide for small to mid-sized businesses on traceability, manufacturing, inventory control and barcode/EDI (electronic data interchange) technology options. The book led to me forming Traceability Matters, a Consulting firm for small businesses. I enjoy speaking and educating food industry groups on how to achieve internal traceability and how to communicate information along their supply chain using available technology. I help SME’s with traceability assessments and grant applications. I also blog and write for Food in Canada magazine and the industry publications.

I hold an MBA from Queen’s University that I earned while continuing to work by attending their Executive MBA program, graduating in 2011.

I am a mother of three sons, the oldest of which joined our family business a few years back, making us one of the few multi-generational software companies! My hobby is weight training and I enter occasional fitness competitions to challenge myself.

Why did you join CWIF?

I want to learn about writing and issuing press releases and learn from the experiences of other small business owners in the food industry.

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Rosalin Krieger

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Tell Us About Yourself: I love good food and meeting people who make and celebrate it.  Food culture, history and rituals really drive my food interest too.  I want to host fun and informative food tour experiences, a web series and perhaps a podcast.  Who knows what else?  And Canadian Women in Food seems like a great place to be.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

Finding great food locations, speaking, writing, editing, connecting people with common interests, drawing, sense of humor, compassion and listening.

Why did you join CWIF?

The members, events and women support!

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Fran Kruse

Fran Kruse - Not Yer Granny's Granola & Snack Co

Tell Us About Yourself: Vice President of Not Yer Granny’s Granola & Snack Co. – With a background in adult career and employment services, I’ve always helped ‘career changers’ navigate the sometimes scary process of moving out of their comfort zone into a new adventure. Two years ago during a company downsizing, it was my turn to ‘career counsel’ myself. Having an entrepreneurial spirit and a love of business, I knew it was now or never … and never wasn’t an option!

I started Not Yer Granny’s Granola & Snack Co. on a shoestring and quickly gained loyal customers because our “Granolahhh’ (emphasize the ahhh!) was the total opposite of dry, boring and bland granola from the 1960’s. No one can be grumpy eating our “Maple Me Happy” chef-inspired blend made with real maple syrup, big chunks of walnuts, plenty of pumpkin seeds, bright cranberries and tart cherries. Other fun and memorable flavors include “Pumpkin Pizzazz” and “Hello Orange” made with real orange juice and freshly chopped rosemary. Say what? Yes, freshly chopped rosemary! It tastes like spring and there’s nothing on the market like it!

We’re retailed throughout Simcoe County and are starting to make headway in the Toronto market.

I’m looking forward to a fantastic 2015! Can you tell I love my job and life!

Why did you join CWIF?

I would love to connect with other like-minded women. Being a sole entrepreneur and the wearer of many hats, it would be nice to have inspiration and connection.

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Siobhan Lacey

Tell Us About Yourself: Born and raised a Torontonian Foodie at heart, it was only natural that Siobhan launched her career in the CPG industry. She joined the largest beverage company in the world, with a mission to launch their healthy portfolio in the Canadian market. These brands included, Odwalla, Smartwater and the Simply line-up (orange, apple and lemonade all-natural, fresh juices). It was shortly thereafter, that Siobhan joined the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF), under Cheryl Appleton’s kind and mentoring wing. She grew and flourished within the WFF for just under 7 years – proudly hosting one of their prominent annual events, as the Co-Chair for the Roundtable Event, in 2013.

Siobhan continues on her deliciously exciting career path, to where she currently works today, as the first female in her Company’s Retail Management Team. In this capacity, she has successfully made the Company’s key portfolio products National and on the shelves of one of the Largest Prominent Retailers in North America. Siobhan also volunteers and is an active Mentor at her alma mater, Ryerson University.


Any special skills you would like to mention?
Thorough understanding of launching premium brands for the North American consumer
Premium Brand Development, Expansion & Portfolio Diversification
Strategic Growth Planning and Forecasting
Networking and Relationship Management Canine training 🙂

Why did you join CWIF?
I was beyond excited when Cheryl approached me about this new initiative to change the industry! Once I learned more about the vision and goals of this forum, I was even more elated to be a part of building it. I am looking forward to this opportunity to contribute and work alongside such a remarkable group of Leaders!

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Jo-Ann McArthur

Tell Us About Yourself: I’m President, and a founding partner, of Fisheye Food Marketing and the IFM (International Food Marketing) Alliance. We specialize in food and beverage marketing, creating marketing strategies that help move products off shelves across Canada, the US and Europe, into the consumer’s shopping basket, on their plates and into their hearts.

In my spare time, I lecture on Marketing at the Schulich Executive School of Business and the Association of Canadian Advertisers. I am founding chair of the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada, a past President of the Empire Club of Canada and serve on the board as Vice Chair of ABC Life Literacy Canada, as well as PetSOS.

Why did you join CWIF?

Opportunity to network with other female entrepreneurs, as well as see more women succeed in this space.

Social Media Links

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Trish Maguire


Tell Us About Yourself: Having launched Synergyx Solutions, a Talent Management & Leadership Development Coaching Practice in 2004, I recently expanded my practice by establishing a Strategic Business Partner relationship with Profiles International. This partnership enables me to offer my clients a comprehensive suite of employee assessments and performance management solutions. As a result, my clients gain a competitive advantage by understanding themselves and their people at the deepest levels.

I have been fascinated and forever curious from very early in my career with the relationship between leadership, people and business results. I am a great believer that it takes great people to build great companies. Each of us has the ability to learn, do whatever we choose and discover our unique greatness. Our potential is unlimited and sometimes it needs an encouraging catalyst to help unlock it.

Prior to launching my own company, I held a variety of strategic leadership positions in Organizational Effectiveness, Human Resources Development, and Labour Relations in education, manufacturing, freight forwarding and entrepreneurial service organizations across North America and Europe. My range of experience extends to advising and coaching owners, leaders and managers in a variety of sectors – including education, finance, transportation, logistics, forwarding & brokerage, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, alternative health care, entrepreneurial and consulting services.

My goal is to undermine silo thinking, create adaptive mindsets and encourage people to discover how the possibilities of collaboration, change and innovation play a significant role in their leadership brand.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

  • My passion is people and I believe in the concept of “can do”
  • Home cook who loves to experiment
  • Masters in Leadership Training from Royal Roads University, Vancouver, BC
  • My focus is talent management, leadership development and career management coach

Why did you join CWIF?

I made a conscious decision recently that I wanted something different; I wanted to be part of an association that truly wanted to change the model of traditional networking. An association where everyone was enthusiastically engaged, promoted the entrepreneurial spirit, had fun and learned together.

When Sue Martin introduced me to Cheryl Appleton, how could I not be intrigued and excited about being part of an association that, in Cheryl’s own words, wants to “stir people up, be the revolutionary model that others will follow, be prepared to build a path that will change the world.”

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Christine Manning


Tell Us About Yourself: Christine Manning, owner of Manning Canning and Manning Canning Kitchens, grew up with an Italian mother and learned how to preserve at a very young age. Five years ago she formed Manning Canning and 3 years ago she quit her full-time job to follow her dream. She has taught hundreds of people how to preserve and each summer she preserves thousands of pounds of Ontario produce.

In November of 2014, she opened the doors at Manning Canning Kitchens. A rentable commercial kitchen space for small food producers, chefs and the like. Not only do they provide access to rentable kitchen space, they work to connect small food producers with the resources they need to launch, grow or expand their business.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

  • Preserving classes
  • Small food business mentoring
  • Rentable kitchen space
  • Social media

Social Media Links

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 Laura Martin

Laura Martin
Tell Us About Yourself:  With a background in Nutrition and Food and being a bonafide foodie at heart, Laura is a creative, charismatic and outgoing sales professional within the CPG industry. Her background includes a diverse range of experience in retail sales, food service and clinical settings. As a gluten- and dairy-free foodie with a sweet tooth, in her spare time she is on the prowl for creative and delicious sweets and desserts.

In her free time, Laura supports various Non-Profit Organizations offering her sales, leadership and social media skills.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

  • Relationship Building
  • Customer Service
  • Leadership
  • Territory Management
  • Client Relations
  • Training and Development

Why did you join CWIF?
Cheryl reached out to me directly a few years ago and I’ve been following her and the organizations she chairs since then. I recently attended a local event and thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of the driven and inspiring women and decided it was a great fit. I’m excited to be a part of a community of like-minded and ambitious women who are successful in their respected fields and who also value encouraging and supporting other women as well.

Social Media Links

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 Sue Martin

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Tell Us About Yourself:  Sue is a solutions-driven Senior marketing with cross-functional expertise in marketing, event planning and general business management and a unique ability to understand brand challenges and solutions from both a client and agency perspective. Clients trust her – not only because she has many years of proven brand expertise but also because she has been a client herself. Known for innovative solutions and flawless execution, Sue approaches everything she does with unmatched enthusiasm and dedication. In 2014, she launched her own entrepreneurial venture – STEP IN Marketing Solutions – founded on the principle of being able to “step into” a business challenge or opportunity that needs to be managed or executed, and then “step out” when the objective has been achieved.

A pivotal career moment for Sue was when she almost flooded the Direct Energy Centre attempting to break a Guinness World Record for the Largest Bloody Caesar in the World – key learnings included:
1)  When people band together for a common goal, it is amazing what they can accomplish!
2)  Only 3% of Guinness World Record attempts are ever achieved (at least this is what the Guinness rep said when he reassured her to be proud of the attempt!)
3)  Be very thankful that the engineer on the project decided to test the structural integrity of the 10 foot tall acrylic glass one more time, in an outside facility – so when the damn thing imploded the night before the record attempt was taking place, at least there wasn’t a sea of 1000 gallons of Bloody Caesar flowing through the CRFA Show site!

Sue’s commitment to the food industry was more than just a happy accident as she, in fact, grew up in the restaurant business. She’s washed dishes, served customers, cleaned the flattop grill and peeled what felt like a million apples for her Mom’s deep-dish apple pie, a customer favourite. When people tell  you that the food industry gets in your blood, it’s absolutely true!

Any special skills you would like to mention?
Vocalist in an R&B / Rock Band
Event Management for an Adult Music Community Program (League Of Rock)
Networking, Mentoring, Connector of People
Lifelong foodie and culinary ambassador

Why did you join CWIF?
A random introduction to Cheryl Appleton at an industry event reinforced for me that some things are truly meant to happen – you just need to wait it out until it unfolds around you. I felt an instant connection to Cheryl’s passion and vision for a revolutionary type of social enterprise and immediately expressed interest in joining her and others on a path to “stir things up”. Since I’ve always been known as someone who pushes the envelope, it seemed like a perfect collaboration. A few days later, walking through Evergreen Brick Works, I stopped to taste the most amazing Rosemary Mustard Marinade, had a very fun and engaging conversation with the company founder and another colleague and realized we all knew Cheryl. It was then solidified that I wanted to be part of this community of passionate, spirited individuals, supporting each other’s dreams.

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Dana McCauley

Dana McCauley

Tell Us About Yourself: Dana McCauley is an innovator and change agent in the food business. Over the last 25 years, she has worked in the food business in various capacities. Starting as a chef and cookbook author she evolved into a product developer and food trend expert. While becoming a well-regarded food and recipe writer, Dana was also consulting with internationally-known food companies to help them develop new grocery store products, menu concepts and menu items. These experiences led to the consumer insights that have allowed Dana to excel in the corporate sphere as a marketer who understands the complexities of front end innovation.

Dana held the position of Vice President of Marketing for Plats du Chef, an internationally successful frozen foods company specializing in appetizers, soups and snacks until January 2015. She was also an on-air judge for seasons one and two of Canadian reality TV show Recipe to Riches and Dana appears frequently on TV and radio as a food trend and innovation expert. She is also the author of 4 cookbooks, published by top tier publishers and sold over 200,000 copies to date.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

Known for taking ideas from concept to kitchen to commercial success!

Why did you join CWIF?

Networking and to stay up-to-date with industry news.

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Kathryn McEwin

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 Tell Us About Yourself:

Director, Farm to Fork / Business Manager.

Administrative professional with Executive Assistant experience.  My background is working in the Media and Marketing Industry. Experience also in communication and public relations, database management, web design and content management, social media management and customer service. Currently is managing a co-op group of organic farms – Vibrant Farms – including sourcing, coordination, marketing, distribution, finance and general business management. The focus is on getting healthy, nutrient dense food directly from farmers to consumers. It’s been a big jump from the office to the farm over the past 2 years – but I really feel like I’m now pursing something important by helping people gain access to “clean” food. And who wouldn’t rather spend their day in the country on a farm than in a cubicle?

Special Skills:
Strengths in marketing and connecting individual people/businesses with their target market effectively and efficiently. Networking and sales are natural characteristics – people say I can sell to them without them even knowing it! Also a great passion for pursuing the healthiest lifestyle for myself, my young family, and those in our community.

Why Do You want to Join CWIF?
Looking forward to gaining business awareness for Vibrant Farms and building my professional network with valuable connections. I also hope to tap into knowledge and learning opportunities through the group.

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Lisa Mina

Lisa Mina

Tell Us About Yourself: Food, nutrition and health are my passion areas with over 20 years of experience in public health, consulting, agriculture sector, consumer packaged goods and grocery retail. In January 2015, I launched my own business – FoodHealth – that helps organizations meet their business and public health goals. My expertise includes health and wellness strategy, nutrition communication, nutrition affairs and stakeholder engagement.

In my role at the Retail Council of Canada, Lisa represented Canada’s largest grocery retailers on national nutrition policy issues and facilitated collaborative health and wellness strategies, including the Nutrition Facts Education Campaign. I liaised with an array of stakeholders including grocery retailers, food manufacturers, key influencers, academia, government, health professionals and health associations.

In my role with PepsiCo, Quaker Division, I managed regulatory compliance of claims, packaging and advertising. Leveraged nutrition science to drive innovation and marketing opportunities. I collaborated on developing an enhanced nutrition communication strategy and global issues Mapping Framework.

I spent ten years at the Beef Information Centre (now Canada Beef), leading innovative marketing and health strategies, representing Canada’s beef producers. I was a member of the Executive Management Team and facilitated development of the organization’s strategy to launch the Canadian beef brand and the development of a strategic nutrition research strategy.  As a leader in nutrition policy, I was a member of Health Canada’s Trans Fat Task Force.

I have gained extensive experience in national and global strategic health communication reaching consumers and health professionals. Acted as the national spokesperson on nutrition and health issues to media, government and non-government agencies. I also innovated and launched Nutricast(TM) – a series of educational webcasts for health professionals back in 2004, when webcasting was in its infancy.

Academically, I am a registered Dietitian and have completed my MBA at Royal Roads University in British Columbia.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

  • health and wellness strategy
  • nutrition and health communication
  • stakeholder engagement
  • nutrition affairs
  • results driven and evidence-based
  • passion for networking and learning
  • loves to stay fit and run

Why did you join CWIF?

  • network
  • learn
  • be inspired
  • contribute
  • collaborate

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Dimitra Miras

Tell Us About Yourself:  Proprietor, Revert Sustainable Foods

After a successful career in sales and marketing and climbing the corporate ladder, the young and adventurous chick that arrived from Greece in 1978 was given the opportunity to REVERT back to her roots … With the support of my two children in the summer of 2014, I travelled to Greece in search of an organic olive oil producing farm. I found it on a hilltop 7 km from the Ionian Sea!  I found my hillbilly (his name is actually Billy and his orchard was strategically located on a large hill or small mountain depending on your perspective) in the Western Peloponnese:  A hill Billy …. all jokes aside, in 2006 Vasilis (Billy) purchased 10 acres of a hilltop olive oil farm and poured his soul, sweat and finances into cultivation and production of the best organic olive oil the region can possibly produce.

Billy’s vision of producing peerless organic extra virgin olive oil, coincides with our vision to quality vs. quantity, organic and fair trade local products.  A partnership was born!  And Revert Sustainable Foods was born!

Two years now in the making, we hope to go to production mid-March 2016 and have the product on the shelves and farmer’s markets by May 2016.

In addition to the olive oil project, I got my real estate license and started practicing in the Fall of 2015.  I love to cook and lead a healthy lifestyle.  Love running by the lake, go to the gym five days a week, love travel, museums and art galleries … and yes, red wine!

Any special skills you would like to mention?

  • Sales and marketing, Real Estate, Cooking

Why did you join CWIF?

I believe in the power of women, love to socialize, cooking, enjoy good local food and, when I was referred by a friend to the group, did not hesitate.

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Maryam Munaf

Tell Us About Yourself:  Nutritionist and Owner of Healthy Genie Inc.

I hold a BsC in Nutrition and Food Technology and have over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.  My professional experience includes:  nutritional counseling, healthy recipe development, menu planning, nutritional analysis, nutrition-related presentations (both public and corporate), research, supervising food production and food safety training.

I’ve always been passionate about food and building a healthy relationship with food has been my goal on a personal and professional level.

I loved to Toronto from Abu Dhabi at the end of 2013 and last April 2015 started Healthy Genie Inc. which is a healthy eating company currently focused on date-infused snacks and treats that can be customized for both corporate and private events.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

  • Conducted healthy eating workshops and lectures ( in UAE)

Why did you join CWIF?

To become part of a “foodie” network and to meet and learn from women who share my passion for food and are striving to be successful food business owners.

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Andrea Nicholson

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Tell Us About Yourself:

Corporate Chef @ Maple Leaf Foods, Owner @ Killer Condiments.

Since the early age of fourteen, Andrea has been consumed by the art of food.  She is a creator, teacher and connoisseur.

Andrea is a Red Seal certified chef who received her culinary training at George Brown College in Toronto. Her professional experience includes positions in respected Toronto restaurants and culinary institutes such as Great Cooks, Via Allegro, The Fifth, Humber College, George Brown College, 35 Elm, Cafe Nervosa, as well as traveling the culinary globe and working with internationally acclaimed chefs and the world renowned 6 star cruise line Regent Seven Seas.

Andrea has also trained in New York City under Roberto Caporuscio and holds a diploma from the A.P.N. of Naples, Italy, distinguishing her as a certified Pizzaiuoli.

Andrea’s passion for food is evident in her masterful creations, which celebrate the purity of local and seasonal ingredients. Supporting sustainability, Canadian farmers, purveyors and Ocean Wise is the central tenet of her cuisine. Through this love of local and seasonal produce, Andrea created her own artisan product line called Killer Condiments which is available across Canada and was showcased on the hit television show Food Factory.

Andrea’s Food Network stardom originated when she appeared as a contestant on Season 1 of Food Network’s Top Chef Canada, in-house chef on The Marilyn Denis Show and Chef/Host on Food Network’s Restaurant Takeover season 1 & 2.

Andrea is now Corporate Chef of Maple Leaf Foods.

Why did you join CWIF?
To build and elevate my professional network, surrounding myself with like-minded and supportive women in the culinary/hospitality field.

Social Media Links

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Lori Nikkel


Tell Us About Yourself: I possess close to twenty years of direct hands on and senior leadership experience within the Food Security sector; locally, provincially, and nationally.

I am an exceptionally passionate champion for social justice and food issues, known for my strength in resource development, building strategic partnerships, direct program delivery expertise, and government relations.

Among my accomplishments, I played an instrumental role in advancing child nutrition and its funding in Ontario, by working with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to increase their funding commitment by more than $32 million dollars, while ensuring that a portion of that funding was dedicated to building capacity in each community. I have significant fundraising experience and have been successful in the achievement of aggressive growth goals through-out my career.

I have had the opportunity to train thousands of volunteers and have even published the how to manual “Salad Bars in Schools” a Fresh Approach to Lunch, which is used across the country. I am very active in the community, have chaired the Toronto Partners for Student Nutrition Operations Committee, the Ontario Student Nutrition Program Network, The Canadian Child and Youth Nutrition Program Network and Good Food Simcoe.

I happily began my career as a waitress and bartender and after having 3 sons worked as the nutrition coordinator at their school, ensuring access to healthy food to students that needed it. My employment positions included:, Director of Schools with FoodShare Toronto, Vice President Community and Organizational Development with Breakfast for Learning, Director of Development & Strategic Initiatives, Breakfast Clubs of Canada, Executive Director VOICE for Hearing Impaired Children and am currently the Director of Programs and Partnerships at Second Harvest.


Any special skills you would like to mention?
Fun Fun Fun!!!
Networking
Mentoring
Connector of People
Food Security specialist
Realist

Why did you join CWIF?
I feel strongly about women in food growing their potential. As a mother and front line worker I know this network could have helped me. It’s that simple, we need to work together to advance in this field and it’s through the networks we have that we will be able to advance personally, professionally and for the community at large.

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Linda Ogbeide

cwif_facepic_LOgbeideTell Us About Yourself:

I’m the founder of Mealspirations, an innovative new service that delivers everything you need to cook a great meal in 30 minutes.  I was inspired to start my business after finding my former work wasn’t inspiring, motivating or challenging me to work at my full potential.

I love food, travelling and new experiences.  That may sound strange, but I love to learn and part of learning is trying new things.

Why did you join CWIF?

I’m interested in developing relationships with other women in the food industry.  To learn from their success, losses and challenges.  You cannot build a business on your own, it requires networking and partnerships.  Hopefully,  I will  be able to meet other women creating great things and challenging the status quo.

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Stephanie Ortenzi

Tell Us About Yourself:Food marketing writer, big-picture thinker, film fiend, and lover of great design and fine art.
Learning to play guitar. Loving that, too.

Any special skills you would like to mention?
Content strategist and creator.
Strong writing, communications, marketing, digital and social media skills.
Solid knowledge of food, cooking, foodservice and food marketing.

 

Why did you join CWIF?
Collaborating with kindred professionals is rewarding and helps everyone succeed.

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Elizabeth Jane Phillips

Tell Us About Yourself:  Chef / Owner of EPCulinary and The Principled Pound Co.

I am a French trained, farm-to-table chef who lives in rural Ontario.  I run an organic farm where I grow produce to sell at local farmers’ markets and to create my signature line of sauces, pickles and preserves.  I also own and run EPCulinary – a food studio and catering company that works with local suppliers.  I lectured and taught several courses in the Food Science Department at the University of Guelph Kemptville.  My goal is to set up a cooking school to teach underprivileged youth the skills they need to move forward with confidence and passion.  I am also opening a farmhouse cooking studio in the Spring 2016.  I split my time between Canada and the United States and travel to Europe as well.  I am a member of the IFWTWA, I blog for Capper’s Farmer magazine and I curate a blog (http://buckysview.com).  I am currently completing my first cookbook, set for publication in the Spring of 2016.

Any special skills you would like to mention? I was trained in French Cuisine and graduated with a degree in Medieval French literature.  I love to garden and teach and share with others.

Why did you join CWIF?
I want to join CWIF in order to belong to a networking group that will increase my knowledge of the food community.

Social Media Links

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Atoosa Razzaghparast

Atoosa

Tell Us About Yourself:

I am an instructor and dessert designer.  I have worked in different areas of baking and cake decorating.  I started 3D gelatin art two years ago, so I teach it and take orders from my friends.  Now I would like to introduce this beautiful and delicious edible art to more people.

Why did you join CWIF?

Recently, I heard about you and would like to connect with more people, and donate my time as a volunteer as well.

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Dina Rock

Tell Us About Yourself:  Chief Pickling Officer, Mighty Fine Brine

I’m the brains and beauty behind Mighty Fine Brine; we make naturally fermented New York style pickles and deli sides here in Toronto.  I’m a New Yorker, transplanted to Canada.  I have a background in Public Health and gave up my career to pursue my dream of working in the food industry.  I have an amazing husband and two cute-as-a-button kids!

Why did you join CWIF?
 Because Cheryl is AMAZING!  I love the idea of women banding together for support, collaboration, mentoring and fun.

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Lisa Sanguedolce

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Tell Us About Yourself: I own and operate two businesses. A culinary studio and bakeshop in Toronto called Le Dolci and a culinary adventure travel company called Foodie-Trips.com.

Any special skills you would like to mention? I worked in PR for 12 years prior to my latest endeavors so am happy to provide advice about PR-related projects.

Social Media Links

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Tracey Scanlon

TraceyScanlonsmall

Tell Us About Yourself: General Manager, Hubert Canada

I love trying different foods, discovering new tastes, the whole sensory experience of eating. I have also started and run my own business, and I come from a family of creative entrepreneur types. One of my key values is what I think of as “practical intelligence”, that figure it out and get it done creative scrappiness that is inherent in a successful entrepreneur.

Any special skills you would like to mention? I am good at helping people sell more food through merchandising.

Why do you want to join CWIF?  I would like to get to know more smart creative people. They are fun and inspiring to be around. And if I can help a new business develop in some way that would be fun.

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Shelley Spruit

 

Tell Us About Yourself:  Owner and Brand Ambassador, Against the Grain Farms

Farmers for 28 years, Shelley is a strong advocate of land stewardship and sustainable farming practices.  Growing crops for the export market, Shelley and her husband Tony have in recent years turned their focus on helping to develop the local grain movement, educating the consumer, baker and chef on the importance of using locally grown, regionally adapted grains into every day food choices.  The original owners of Winchelsea Farms banquet hall, a business built on home-cooked meals, made from locally sourced foods, to now working with the chefs and bakers and food companies helping them create food from their purple corn meal and purple corn flour as well as the high beta glucan barley and beta glucan barley berries (noted for proven health claims to lower cholesterol) has become their passion.   Against the Grain Farms is a business Shelley started a year ago to market and sell the grains grown on their farm.

Any special skills you would like to mention?
4th Generation Farmer, farming with her husband for 28 years

Pastry Chef and Artisan Bread Baker

Business Owner

Mother of 4

Grandmother

Why do you want to join CWIF? 

Help to promote locally grown, sustainably grown Ontario food to and for all consumers

Help to educate the consumer of the importance of wise food choices, the importance of supporting local farmers

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Jessica Taylor

Tell Us About Yourself:  Senior Analyst, Food & Food Systems

I am a young professional and have been working in the food industry for 2.5 years.  I graduated from the University of Guelph in 2013 with a MSc in Nutrition and Nutraceutical Sciences.  Since then I have been working for a not-for-profit business accelerator  – Bioenterprise Corporation – helping companies to commercialize products in the food, beverages and nutraceutical sectors.  In my spare time, I love to be active through playing sports and participating in outdoor activities and I am an avid reader.

Why do you want to join CWIF?  I would love to expand my network and become more involved in the food industry.  I am always interested in new opportunities and learning from my peers!

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Eileen Terry


Tell Us About Yourself: CEO President, ETC Executive/Transitional Coaching, Consulting
My story begins when I I graduated college and joined P&G, then Pillsbury, refining my sales and marketing skills. I had graduated with degrees in both Sociology and Philosophy, but I found business particularly interesting. So after several years learning sales and marketing from two of the best in product companies, I decided to grow on the other side of the counter…as a retailer. So I once again signed up with an industry leader, the Southland Corporation. For the next 17 years I took on the role of retailer, and grew in ever increasing management roles. I held operations, marketing and merchandising positions, and also was part of corporate headquarters staff, rolling out the number one initiative of change at the company, the daily delivery of fresh foods.

I have managed multiple businesses, been an effective change agent everywhere I have served. I have had a keen interest and success in developing employees, motivating employees, and delivering objectives. I also have developed an impactful skill set in franchise relations and franchise business delivery. Additionally, I have run a number of large corporate lines of business, from 1200 corporate Blockbusters, to 450 international Canadian store fronts. I was responsible for 1100 Franchise stores, and 3 subsidiaries- Movie Brands Inc., Rhino Video Games, and The Movie Trading Company. Along the way, my ability to publicly speak , both in teaching formats and conflict resolution has been finely tuned. I love people, challenge, being an impact player, influencing others, motivating people to exceed their own definition of best. I also believe in people as any company’s greatest asset…and work to insure their diversity is appreciated and valued…all which is simply good business.

I have been certified in the Executive Coaching/Transition Coaching profession, holding an ACC/PCC. In 2012, I completed my Masters in Coaching from the Hudson Institute. This has allowed me to “Put it all together” .Specialties: Franchise Management, Diversity Training, Mentoring, People development, business model evaluations, business diagnostics.I have overseen 1200 plus company operation stores, 1100 Franchise stores, been a general manager, overseeing all support functions of a business as well as the direct line operations, set up start up companies and, downsized/developed and executed exit business strategies. I orchestrated company wide diversity programs, and integrated business plans. Now, am a Master Hudson Coach, serving Executives, Executive Teams, and committed Individuals.

Any special skills you would like to mention?
Communication
Public Speaking
Facilitation
Coaching
Executive analytics

Why did you join CWIF?
To support and be supported by extraordinary women. To be able to pay it forward, and take a big bite out of delicious learning from a wide range of women. To contribute, to add value. To continue my learning journey.

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Anna Vais

Anna Vais

Tell Us About Yourself: Owner / Food Entrepreneur

I am currently (April 2016) a client at the Food Starter facility, working on commercializing a Greens Phyllo Pie.

Any special skills you would like to mention? I have been working in the advertising industry for the past 16 years as a digital project manager and currently lead a team of digital producers.

Why do you want to join CWIF?  I want to be part of a community of women entrepreneurs who are as passionate about food as I am.

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Chantal Vechambre


Tell Us About Yourself: Moved to Canada in 2005 for a life change, stayed 6 years in Atlantic Canada (Acadia, then Cape Breton) and I am now in Toronto… I worked with different businesses in Moncton and also ran a small food business, then I decided to move to the Big City to open a European tea room with French pastries and authentic hot chocolate. After 2 years and some roadblocks, I moved away from the bricks-sand-mortar project and decided to focus on  an in-home chef service and catering business. For instance, I recently catered the first conference InPayCo (Mobile Payment) in Toronto with 150 attendees over 3 days. I am also launching a delivery business of French desserts for retail and restaurants (website mycremecaramel.com in progress)…

I had the chance to work some years ago as a consultant at the Fortress of Louisbourg and Park Canada, in Cape Breton (NS) and I conducted historical culinary workshops with 18th century era recipes, then wrote a book.

My roots are in France. I am a 35 years living-Parisian, born in Toulouse then moving to different places throughout France because of my father’s career. My cooking culture is all about French cuisine, but I love now to combine it with the inspiration I find in native people’s traditions, multi-cultural Canada and local products…

she really enjoyed it, but she taught me how to crochet and not how to cook. Well… Time and life passed and I finally got my 2 diplomas (Cooking and Pastry-Chocolate) just before leaving France…

My real contentment is when I cook and make people happy with my food. Easy to say. My best friend found the right formula one day when she said “You are born to feed people!” It is true that when I visit a new house, I rush to see the kitchen first…

My interests, aside from cooking (and eating) are history, photography and writing.

Once a year, I visit Europe to kiss my family: my older son who stays in Geneva (with 2 young ones…) and my daughter who is an organic cheese maker in West of France (along with a little girl + 50 goats)… And I always find a good reason to stay some days in Paris…

I emigrated single with my beloved teenager Number 3. He is now a private pilot in Winnipeg and pursues on his own the adventure we began together in this incredible country with amazing people.

Any special skills you would like to mention?
Book:

“French Taste in Atlantici Canada – 1604-1758, A gastronomic history”

Atlantic Book Awards Winner

bilingual, hard cover, CPU Press 2013 –

Why did you join CWIF?

– Because I am new in Toronto and it is always useful to network

– Because I am self employed, and it is great to share feelings and concerns with others in the same picture

– Because I need to learn more about the cooking industry in Toronto

– Because women together are stronger everywhere

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Lesa Warner

Tell Us About Yourself: I have been with Select Food Products for 14 years in the role of Director of Sales. We are a manufacturer of salad dressings, sauces and mustards who has been in business for more than 72 years. I get to wear many hats and am involved with all areas of our company which I love. Before moving to Select I was working in distribution within the natural food industry.

My husband and I spend a lot of time hosting family and friends; trying new recipes and wines! A little bit of travelling, snowshoeing, bike riding, yoga … (in between chocolates and wine). Over the years I have also held the role of stage manager for community theatre and been involved in various associations.

Why did you join CWIF?

To support a new association in our industry. The entrepreneurial nature of the association was very attractive. It is great to hear new stories and to be able to be there to support other people and their businesses. To be out, meeting and engaging with new people in our industry; to share history, goals and dreams.

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Victoria Watts

Tell Us About Yourself: I am co-owner of a pasta, sauce and oven-ready meals manufacturing company located in the Bay of Quinte Region, just outside Prince Edward County, Ontario.  This is a family-run business with my (Chef) sister, Paula.  Our company name is Pasta Tavola which means pasta table in Italian – the place where we learned how to make fantastic tasting food growing up with our Nonna and mother.  We have a small retail outlet in Belleville but have been wholesaling our products for approximately 3 years to specialty food, independent grocers and restaurants.  We are currently growing our stuffed pasta line and looking to move our company to the next level.

Prior to my career as an entrepreneur, I practiced labour and employment law for 9 years.  I am a mother of 3 and super busy!  Love to read, write and talk business.  My goal is to work collaboratively with others in order to advance our business interests and goals.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

Strategic thinker, problem solver and go-getter.  Love to share, collaborate, teach and learn.  I’m an ideas kinda person!

Why did you join CWIF?

To network and to meet like-minded female entrepreneurs in the food business – something that we have been looking for for awhile.  To become a better entrepreneur and to collaborate with others to grow our mutual businesses.  To learn from others and to share lessons learned.

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Julie White

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Tell Us About Yourself: Owner

I am the owner/beekeeper of Long Point Honey Company, a small certified organic honey producer in Prince Edward County. I’m on the board of the Ontario Beekeeper’s Association and deeply involved in the fight to ban neonicotinoid pesticides. I’m also involved in my local community and see my business as a social venture as much as a food business.

Why did you join CWIF?

I believe in the power of women.

Social Media Links

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Karen Whitman

Karen Whitman aka Saucy Gramma

Title:
Founder and CEO of Saucy Gramma

Tell Us About Yourself:
I’ve always had a passion for food, cooking and sharing my creations with others – and have often wondered how to integrate food into all aspects of my life. As a kid, the dinner table was the place where the family came together at least once a day to connect. As a parent, I carried on that tradition with my sons. And today, I still believe coming together to eat and be nourished is an intimate, bonding experience that connects both friends and family.

The philosophy of Saucy Gramma is about youthfulness, fun, creativity, play, and mouth-watering creations to enhance the pleasure of your food experience. Each product is a spunky little creation designed to spur your imagination.

Why Do You want to Join CWIF?
I am very excited to join a community of skilled and talented women and be a part of this new and growing endeavour! I am looking forward to being a part of future events~

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Michelle Wolfson

Michelle Wolfson

Tell Us About Yourself:  I have a multi-streamed culinary career. I run the foodservice in some private curling clubs, I have been a personal chef since 1999, I am also a caterer and cooking instructor and ran a cooking camp for children. In addition to all of this work, I currently create recipes for a fishmonger in a farmer’s market … I also taught business and marketing training for the Canadian and US Personal Chef Associations.

Any special skills you would like to mention?

In addition to being a culinary management graduate, I also have my patsies and chocolatier papers. I am a member of CSNM (Canadian Society of Nutrition Managers), a post-graduate designation program and can manage the foodservice of federally-regulated institutions like Long Term Care and Hospitals.

Why did you join CWIF?

To expand my network of culinary professionals and remain connected in the industry.

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Vanessa Yeung

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Tell Us About Yourself:  Chef/Owner of Aphrodite Cooks.

As a graduate of the Stratford Chefs School with the award for Culinary Excellence, I honed my skills with an apprenticeship at fine dining restaurant Scaramouche. After a brief stint in food manufacturing I was the private chef to former NHL goaltender Ed Balfour. I then moved on to starting my own catering company and cooking school called Aphrodite Cooks.

I have also appeared on television shows such as Foodies on Global, Breakfast Television, Cityline, Oh So Cosmo and Fearless in the Kitchen.

My journey with food and cooking will be a constant evolution but I will always recognize the power that it has to bring people together.

Why did you join CWIF?

I joined CWIF to network with people within the food industry and see how we can help one another.

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