PARO Centre for Women's Enterprise Recognize Alumni
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PARO Centre for Women's

PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise
  Recognize Alumni


  Rosalind Lockyer Executive Director of Paro announced recently that Gabby Cross, Co owner of Norma Jean’s has been awarded the PARO Alumni Award.  Gabby has been working with Paro for 16 years now. She first opened Gabby Spuds and More in Westfort. She went away with her family
for awhile but is now back and reopening Norma Jeans.
   “ Gabby has always been a community player. Her personality and the way she involves in the community is important to us. Also she has been a Paro Circle member for 16 years now,”said Rosalind. “ We felt she would be a wonderful Alumni Award winner. It is a really important
award because we want women to be involved in the community and give back.”

   This is the first of 8 Paro Enterprising Women Awards that will be  handed out on November 17th. There will be workshops that day, speed mentoring, a huge tradeshow and the awards event at the Victoria Inn.
   “ Starting a business always has a risk element and having other women with you provides support. The circles are really important to the women as you can talk in depth about your business. Paro was built on these Paro Circles as we felt women will help each other. We have
over 80 circles across Northern Ontario.”said Rosalind.
   “ We hope to open in 2 weeks and you can follow our progress on facebook at Norma Jeans 2016. I have been a member of Paro for 16 years and went through the Gateway Program as well as had child care services. I was able to apply for a loan and you can get a grant for some part now as as well,” said Gabby Cross, co-owner of Norma Jeans. “
I enjoy the restaurant business as it is a way to be with the people all the time. You are always serving them, making sure their food is right. Our kitchen manager is from South Africa so he will bring that flair.”
   “ You can do anything that you want to do.  Running a restaurant is a lot of work but if you have that dream you can achieve  it and Paro can help you!”
 PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise

Formally Recognizes Alumni; Launches Enterprising Women Awards


Representatives from PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise served up some great news as Gabby Cross, Co-Owner of Norma Jean’s Restaurant and PARO Circle Member, was presented with PARO’s Enterprising Women Alumni Award. The recognition is one of eight that will be presented at PARO’s upcoming 2016 Enterprising Women Awards, to be held on November 17th at
the Victoria Inn.


“Gabby has proven her commitment to the community, her inspirational approach to friendly customer service and her support of PARO time and time again,” says Rosalind Lockyer, Founder and Executive Director of PARO Centre. “Since Gabby’s initial desire to become a PARO
Enterprising Women and business owner, she has embodied the spirit of PARO women, making her a fitting recipient of the Enterprising Women Alumni Award.”


“I am excited to be recommended so highly among fellow enterprising women. PARO is a great organization that lends credibility to new business owners and I am proud to be considered for this award,” says Gabby Cross, Co-Owner of Norma Jean’s Restaurant. “Thanks to the continuing support from everyone at PARO, I plan to re-open a Thunder Bay landmark, Norma Jean’s Restaurant. My goal has always been to inspire and support other women, so I hope to see everyone out supporting one another at the upcoming Enterprising Women Awards.”


The 2016 Enterprising Women Event attendees will have access to business education through networking opportunities, workshops, speed mentoring sessions, and an inspiring keynote speaker Zahra Al-Harazi.
Zahra will speak on “The Power of Collaboration and Storytelling” as an innovative way of marketing. The Gala & Awards are one part of the full day event to grow regional business and inspire women through unique business education opportunities. Lockyer continues; “The Enterprising Women full-day event, has something for everyone. Whether you are looking for networking opportunities, business advice, or some inspiration, we encourage current and future enterprising women to attend this unique event to dream, share, and succeed together.”


Those looking for more information, or to purchase tickets, are encouraged to visit


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