Celebrating Our Women In Business #WithTownHall

  By Amy Chen

Happy Business Women's Day! 

TH Business Women Flashback 65 years today, the American Business Women’s Association was founded by Hilary A. Bufton Junior with a mission to bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to support each other personally and professionally. Thirty years later in the 1980s, president Ronald Reagan officially declared September 22nd as a national holiday to recognize gender equality and the contribution that women make in the business world.

Now, why is this important to Town Hall (and maybe you, too)?

According to Canadian Statistics:

  • Number of Canadian women in business is drastically growing
  • Self-employed women grew by 6.4%, accounting for one third of all self-employed persons
  • On average, women in business do not make as much money as men
  • Women perceive more barriers doing business than men
  • Love is what drives majority of women entrepreneurs in their business

With a number of our clients and team members being women, we want to celebrate Business Women’s Day by highlighting the leadership and dedication of our Town Hall women in business. Most of all, we invite you to help us celebrate and recognize these incredible women for their hard work and achievements. They inspire us and allow us to take great pride in the work that we do for them. Thank you ladies for everything that you do! Here’s what ten of our empowering Town Hall Women in Business shared when we asked them their greatest challenge and reward as women in the industry:

 

Angie Quaale Angie Quaale, owner, Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store

Challenges: “I don't think I face specific challenges because I'm a woman. I know plenty of male and female entrepreneurs. Their challenges are unique to the business, and not their gender.”

Rewards: “Meeting food producers that raise or grow food. The passion involved in that process is completely inspiring to me.“  

 

Christine Coletta Christine Coletta, owner, Okanagan Crush Pad

Challenges: “I didn’t really face many as the wine industry is made up of family business with many dynamic women taking lead roles. It was not a male dominated environment and neither was the restaurant industry, which was my previous career. Frankly, the biggest challenge was the confusion over my name, which is when I officially started using “Christine” to avoid receiving calls and mail addressed to Mr. Coletta. The assumption was that I was a male… I quickly set that straight.”

Rewards: “Watching the growth and knowing that I played a vital role in changing the direction of the BC wine industry along with the many people that became my friends. It was hard work, but we shared some wonderful experiences and have great war stories to tell.”

 

Darnelle MooreDarnelle Moore, owner, Eastside Fitness

Challenges: “One of the biggest challenges is to let people know that a female operated fitness business does not mean we are for women only. To let people know that women can and do lift some pretty heavy weights (and they don't "bulk up" when they do so) and that men don't have to lift heavy weights all the time to improve their health/fitness. They could benefit from movement pattern corrections, which might involve some pretty basic "unloaded" body weight exercises. One of my pet peeves in the industry, regardless of the fact that I'm a woman, is that the fitness industry is categorized under "Recreation and Entertainment". To me, that implies fitness is not taken seriously as a preventative health measure! I would love to work towards changing this officially!”

Rewards: “I think seeing people move beyond their original fitness goals, beyond the obvious ones like losing weight or running a 5km to where they realize the real benefits of a full, balanced exercise regime.  Seeing people become stronger (physically and mentally) and in a place where they enjoy working out. I especially love when I see a client make a self-correction in a movement pattern we have been working on. It's a sign to me that they are aware of how their body is connected.”

 

Jenny Garlini Jenny Garlini, office manager, Blue Grouse Winery

Challenges: “My biggest challenge right now is splitting my time between my kids and my work. I have two kids that are four and six years old, and I want to be involved with school/preschool as much as I can. The other big challenge working for a small business is that you have to wear many hats. It has been a big challenge to not only manage a tasting room, but also make sure bills are paid, schedules are done, edit a website, put out a newsletter, start a wine club, make sure the lawns are cut, and the list goes on and on.”

Rewards: “Seeing the whole picture. I love being a part of each aspect of the winery that I listed and more! I get to see and make decisions on things that will make Blue Grouse grow and be successful. I love seeing the sales grow, new wine club members signing up and knowing that we have made a new customer that will love our place in the Cowichan Valley as much as I do.”  

 

Judy Kingston Judy Kingston, owner, Serendipity Winery

Challenges: “Getting the farm started is my biggest challenge as a woman in the winery industry. As most would know, the farm is a really male dominated industry. So, when I first moved from Toronto to start Serendipity, there were a lot of non-believers. I was a Torontonian, a lawyer, and a woman that had no idea how to drive a tractor nor did I know anything about farming.”

Rewards: “Since Serendipity started, my biggest reward is proving everyone wrong. I succeeding at farming and transformed from the Toronto, lawyer woman that everyone doubted to the farmer and owner of Serendipity, 2013 Winery of the Year from New York International Wine Competition.”  

 

Judy Poole Judy Poole, branch manager, Poole and Associates Wealth Management

Challenges: “The biggest challenge working in this industry has been balancing the expectations of the various firms that I worked for, especially in a male dominated industry and with the unique way that I, as a woman, work with clients. My philosophy puts building trust and truly understanding client’s needs first, but the corporations put sales results first. Fortunately, I have found an independent home at Raymond James where my philosophies fit.”

Rewards: “Without question, the biggest reward has been watching my clients’ lives evolve, helping them to navigate the rough waters of life! Children have been born, grown up, educated, marriages, divorces, and widowhood. I've been at this a LONG time!”  

 

Marina Knutson Marina Knutson, owner, SpierHead Winery

Challenges: “I co-own a winery with my husband so my challenges are no different than his. The ongoing challenge I see is balancing roles as husband and wife while owning a small business and continuing to be parents of four children.”

Rewards: “It’s always a success to see my wines do well and win awards. Also, I’m pleased to see more women wine makers as equal partners. This means I have more opportunities to meet new groups of women in the hospitality and wine industry. Prior to the wine industry, I was an occupational therapist, so another reward is being able to learn more than I ever thought.”

 

Pinki Gidda Pinki Gidda, wine shop manager & marketing, Mt. Boucherie Family Estate Winery

Challenges: “As a family-run business, we have to do everything ourselves and wear many hats. While it’s a great learning experience that I am able to get my hands in everything, it is slightly challenging at times because I often wish I have more time to spend with my customers, rather than working behind the scenes.”

Rewards: “One of my biggest reward is meeting people from all over the world and seeing our business grow with everyone’s support.”  

 

Tarrah MacPherson Tarrah MacPherson, vice president of operations, Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Challenges: “I don’t really feel any significant challenge as a women in the industry. The support I have received coming on board here at Summerhill has been tremendous. My environment has been collaborative and inclusive right from the start. And this is the mantra we are passing on to our teams to be successful.”

Rewards: “Well, to start, I love my job. I feel really good about the achievements we are making as a team and as a company. As an organic winery contributing to the sustainability of our planet, we feel we are pioneers among our peers. As the worldwide wine industry continues to trend upwards, we feel we are well positioned to continue as a leader in our industry. A really great place to be.”

 

Leeann Froese We will end with our own Leeann Froese, owner, Town Hall Brands

Challenges: “The biggest challenge is living up to my own pressures – trying to oversee the business, family, volunteer obligations and carve out time for myself. It’s a challenge for me to be a leader in these varying aspects while still trying to look ahead and grow.”

Rewards: “My biggest rewards come when I hear from clients saying what a difference we have made for them, how we are vital to their teams, or from press saying that some of our best practices are their favourites. And I get huge satisfaction from the smiling faces of my team. I push them, hard; to work to output their best and learn and grow, and hope that they are happy with their role and work.”

Do you know any of these women or know a woman in business you would like to recognize? Let us know or give them a big high five and thank you.