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Chamber announces finalists for women in business awards

'We’ve all realized over the last two years just how much we can accomplish and this is a great message to other future women entrepreneurs to give it a try,' says chamber president

The Barrie Chamber of Commerce announced the finalists for the 2022 Women in Business Awards on Tuesday.

Six categories and 17 finalists were revealed at an in-person event at the chamber offices on Commerce Drive. 

The awards, presented by Scotiabank with support from Grant Thornton, will be handed out to winners at a luncheon on Wednesday, April 27 at Liberty North.

Barrie Chamber of Commerce president Marni Heather told BarrieToday it was a great feeling to be able to announce the finalists in person with most public health restrictions having been lifted.

“This is so exciting. We’re all looking forward to getting back to whatever the new normal might be, and with this type of event I think everyone can look forward to a great luncheon in April,” she said. 

The strength of businesswomen in the area is “second to none,” Heather said. She added she's proud of all women, not just those named as a finalist. 

“There’s at least 2,000 women in this community that have a home-based or other type of business and we want to celebrate them as much as we can and as often as we can, because it truly shows other women that anything is possible,” Heather said. “We’ve all realized over the last two years just how much we can accomplish and this is a great message to other future women entrepreneurs to give it a try.”

Alana Howard is up for Entrepreneur of the Year as the owner of Cosmopolitan Academy Inc., a school in the beauty industry that teaches certification courses around Canada and now the United States, too.

Howard told BarrieToday she was honoured to be a finalist.

“Being part of the nominees, it was a very humbling experience for myself and I’m really happy to be even this far,” Howard said. “Barrie has a lot of women entrepreneurs who strengthen the economy and I feel we really showed our perseverance during COVID as we pivoted to continue our successes.”

This year's awards luncheon keynote speaker will be Claudine Cousins. Cousins is the chief executive officer of Empower Simcoe with more than 25 years of leadership experience with various ministries within the Ontario public service and the not-for-profit and profit sectors, including banking and financial services. 

For ticket information for the awards luncheon, click here

The 2022 Women In Business Finalists are:

Woman of the Year (Intrapreneur): Mackenzie Fennell, Sandbox; Jessica Holder, Discovery Child Care Centre; and Heather Price-Jones, Botree Inc.

Woman of the Year (Young Entrepreneur): Laura Bainborough, Laura Joy Photography; Rachael Hargan, Plan A Long Term Care Staffing Solutions; Disha Wadhwa, Desi English Kitchen.

Woman of the Year (Woman in Trade): Kasia Ambeau, Plumbex; Crista Winterkorn, LCDC Colour & Coating Inc.

Woman of the Year (Entrepreneur): Tracey Baker, ZuZu Fashion Boutique; Dana Browne, Ruby Tattoo Studio/ Diamond Beauty Co.; Alana Howard, Cosmopolitan Academy Inc.

Woman of the Year (Heart & Soul): Sarah Melody, Anahata Yoga from the Heart; Sharon Smith, Connect Hair Studio; Alyssa Wright, Katie Project/Take Note! Promotion.

Woman of the Year (Visionary): Rebecca Bartley, Trooper Pet Veterinary Nursing; Jessica Larche, Larche; Danielle Lazarevska, Sandbox Centre.