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PARO Announces 2019 Winners!

PARO Announces Northern Ontario’s Business Women of 2019 and Celebrates 25 years


PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise (PARO) celebrated business women across the North and its 25th anniversary. The 2019 PAROBiz25th Event and Awards Gala recognized the achievements of 8 women who have turned their entrepreneurial ideas into successful businesses. PARO CEO & Founder, Rosalind Lockyer says; “There are hundreds of PARO women achieving their business dream in their communities and moving the region forward as changemakers. This year’s winners are role models who represent diverse ages, cultures and sectors. PARO is thrilled to celebrate 25 years and the value and potential of women in business.” The PAROBiz Annual Event and Awards Gala is designed to celebrate women entrepreneurs and changemakers, to encourage both investment in women-owned startups and expansion, and to encourage people to shop in women-owned businesses. This year’s event, featured a Pop-Up Market with local products and items, and several workshops from local businesses discussing strategies and success stories including Craft Revival and Wake the Giant. The full-day event wrapped up with an Awards Dinner and Gala. buffy001The 2019 PAROBiz event kicked off in the morning with an inspiring address from keynote speaker critically acclaimed Academy Award winner, Cree singer-songwriter, Buffy Sainte-Marie. Known for being a disruptor of the status quo, Sainte-Marie is a pioneer and tireless advocate. In 1969, she made one of the world’s first electronic vocal albums, in 1982 became the only Indigenous person to win an Oscar, and spent five years on Sesame Street where she became the first woman to breastfeed on national television. PARO surprised Sainte-Marie, presenting her with a special PARO Inaugural Women Voice Award. The PAROBiz Annual Event and Awards Gala offers a community of support and brings together likeminded individuals who want to make a positive impact for women in business. Since 1995, PARO Centre for Women's Enterprise has helped thousands of women across Northern Ontario to PAROBiz25th Awards Winners

New Business of the Year

Louise Mckissick
Maamawi Counselling Centre

Established Business of the Year
Erin May
The Body Mind Centre

Rising Star

Ann Marie Colanego
Prime Gelato

Changemaker Entrepreneur of the Year

Lori Paras
The Hub Bazaar

PARO Building Bridges of the Year

Tanja Ruth
Shadows Caring Hands

PARO Circle of the Year

In- Development

PARO Partner of the Year

City of Thunder Bay
Manager, Supply Management, Dan Munshaw

PARO Alumni of the

Suzan Cooper Rochon
The Perfect Fit








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