Professional Category

Holds a professional designation and is responsible for growing her own practice.

Category Sponsor

PWL

Recipient

Deborah Bourchier

Managing Partner
GGFL

Deborah was born and raised in Mattawa, a small town three hours from Ottawa. She started her career at GGFL as a co-op student in 1980 and became the firm’s first female partner in 1994. In 2008, Deborah was elected managing partner, one of the first female managing partners in Canada and today one of just two at Ottawa accounting firms. Despite some unexpected challenges, Deborah has led GGFL to achieve many successes. Over the last 8 years GGFL has grown steadily & is among the top 20 accounting firms in Canada. Deborah and her partners have created a workplace where 60 per cent of the leadership team are women, including five partners, as of 2016. Deborah is married and the mother of two grown daughters. An avid cyclist and golfer, she lives the concept “healthy body, healthy mind.”

Finalist

Katherine Cooligan

Regional Managing Partner
Borden, Ladner, Gervais

Katherine has practiced family law in a large national law firm since she became a lawyer in 1991, after graduating from the University of Ottawa. Katherine developed her own practice, rising to the top of her peer group within her practice area and firm, speaking at professional development programs in Ottawa, Toronto and more recently at the National Family Law Conference in Whistler BC.

Katherine’s entrepreneurial skills have been demonstrated through her progression as a self-sustaining associate, partner and now senior manager in a large national law firm. In July 2014, after serving the firm as a Department Manager of Litigation for 5 years, Katherine was elected the Regional Managing Partner of the Ottawa office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Canada’s largest national law firm. She is the only female currently holding this position, one of the most senior leadership positions within the firm.
Katherine acts as the face of the firm within the Ottawa region, develops and leads the strategic business plan for the region, ensuring that all practice groups achieve the firm’s overall goals. Katherine leads by example, maintaining her own practice and exceeding financial and other targets while managing the local office and the national firm as a member of the National Management Committee.

In addition to Katherine’s high conflict family law litigation practice and her senior management role, she is raising three children as a single mother, and she supports her community by sitting on the board of the CHEO Foundation, by being a financial leader with the United Way and a frequent speaker at fundraising events for our community.

Finalist

Natalie Raffoul

Managing Partner
Clancy + Brion Raffoul

Natalie is the managing partner of Brion Raffoul, a firm she co-founded with Art Brion in 2008. Natalie is a patent lawyer with globally recognized expertise in the patenting of business methods and software. In 2015, Natalie was awarded the Ottawa Business Journal’s Top Forty Under 40 award that recognizes an elite group of business leaders under the age of 40 who have achieved business excellence and professional expertise and have a strong track record of community giving. She was also recognized for her outstanding legal expertise and contribution within the practice area of Patents in the 2015 Women in Law Awards by the Lawyer Monthly (United Kingdom), one of six in Canada.

Natalie is also ranked among the world’s leading patent practitioners by The World Leading Patent Professional’s IAM Patent 1000 publication for 2014, 2015, and 2016. She is on the faculty and the Assistant Director of the IPIC/McGill Understanding Patent Course.

As an active member of Ottawa’s start-up community, Natalie works closely with growing companies to develop comprehensive IP procurement strategies and regularly lectures at the Sprott School of Business and the Ottawa Lead to Win entrepreneurship programmes.

Entrepreneur Category

Significant shareholder in her business and has taken entrepreneurial risk.

Category Sponsor

GGFL

Recipient

Margo Crawford

President, CEO and Founder
Business Sherpa Group

Margo Crawford is the President and CEO of Business Sherpa Group, a business that provides Human Resource, Finance and Administration, Strategy, Governance and Marketing embedded services to small and medium sized enterprises.

Margo is a dynamic, experienced leader who founded two highly successful companies back-to-back. Margo co-founded one of Ottawa’s most successful high-tech start-ups, Meriton Networks, in 2000 where she played an instrumental role in raising over US $75M in equity financing, led M&A’s and building a global team.

After selling Meriton, Margo formed Business Sherpa Group (BSG) in 2008 and has since built a team of 40 professionals who have worked with over 130 businesses at different stages from formation through to sale. At BSG, Margo has built a collaborative and experienced team that drives her vision forwards by helping small and medium enterprises achieve their full potential.

Margo has an undergraduate degree from Carleton University, an MBA from Ottawa University and her ICD designation from Rotmans School of Business. She was recognized as a leader in her field in 2005, receiving the prestigious Vision Awards as Human Resources Professional of the Year; she has sat on several boards and been a guest lecturer and key note speaker at events in Ottawa and Toronto.
Beside her love of business, Margo has a deep passion for youth and helping young professionals launch their careers – bringing many new grads into her own business. But more than anything she has done professionally she is most proud of and grateful for close family; her husband and two children, her own siblings and large extended family and deep family roots from the Ottawa valley.

Finalist

Caroline Etter

Executive Director
Power Law

Caroline is widely regarded in the Canadian legal industry as an innovator having established herself as an outstanding entrepreneur in its community. After working for years as a senior law clerk at a national law firm, she became a legal consultant and freelance law clerk. Caroline then launched her own successful consulting business retaining high-profile clients including a leading national law firm, government organizations and a dispute resolution firm in a relatively short time.

In 2014, Caroline founded Juristes Power/Power Law, an innovative boutique law firm, with Mark Power and David Taylor. Caroline’s bold vision, dedication and hard work have been instrumental to the firm’s success. In her capacity as executive director and professional partner, Caroline is both heart and brains of the organisation, bringing fearless leadership and unassailable credibility to the firm. She oversees every aspect of the firm’s activities and public image, including strategic planning, business development, client management and pro bono work, as well as managing the daily accounting, financial and human resources operations.

In addition to her thriving career, Caroline is an active member of her rural community and has been President of the Sarsfield Community Association since 2006. Finally, Caroline’s greatest achievement is definitely her two wonderful children.

Finalist

Dale Morris

President/Owner
Ascribe Inc.

Dale Morris is president of Ascribe Marketing Communications, an Ottawa agency that helps local and international clients meet today’s never-ending demand for content: web copy, articles, video scripts, strategic reports and more.

Dale started as a freelance writer after graduating from Carleton University’s School of Journalism. As her practice grew — and her family at the same time — she began to feel the burden of sole proprietor success. Envisioning a smarter way, Dale founded Ascribe in 2006.

Ascribe takes a unique team approach to writing, anchored by smart process and top-caliber client service. In 2012, the company won Professional Service Provider of the Year (Silver) at the Ottawa Business Achievement Awards, and Dale has twice earned a spot on the PROFIT/Chatelaine W100 list of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs.

Dale’s proudest achievement is having built a business that lets her stay fully invested in her primary job: being “Mom”. Ascribe also gives her the time to support a cause close to her heart as a volunteer with Ottawa’s Hopewell Centre and the National Eating Disorder Information Centre in Toronto.

For Dale, being entrepreneurial is a way of life. She believes every day presents the opportunity to learn, explore and grow.

Company Category

Holds a senior position in, and significantly contributes to a publicly traded or privately owned business.

Category Sponsor

rizen-white

Recipient

Shana Levin

Vice President
Broadway Across Canada

With over 20 years’ experience in the entertainment industry, Shana Levin is Vice President of Broadway Across Canada, the foremost presenter of first-class touring Broadway musicals in the country. In this role, Shana leads the national operations and subscription series in major markets across the nation, including Ottawa’s National Arts Centre.

Throughout her career, Shana has successfully promoted some of the most beloved productions of all time including Disney’s The Lion King, Wicked, Les Miserables, The Book of Mormon, Chicago, Mamma Mia! Cats and Rent; all with the objective of making theatre a critical part of our Canadian cultural fabric.

While most 10-year-old girls in the 80s were playing with their Easy-Bake ovens, Shana was propped up on a stool working in the family business, selling concert tickets. By the age of 22, she was promoting major indoor and outdoor events in the Ottawa area, including Bryan Adams opening the venue now known as the Canadian Tire Centre.

While Shana’s responsibilities are national in scope, her home and heart reside in Ottawa, the city that started her career and where she continues to champion the arts for future generations.

Finalist

Jackie King

Senior Vice President
Hill and Knowlton

With Canada’s top-ranked public relations and public affairs consultancy since 1999, Jackie King is currently Senior Vice President and General Manager of Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ Ottawa office, overseeing its four business units.

Jackie has in-depth expertise in strategic planning, and is a proven business and people leader. She provides strategic counsel in the areas of corporate reputation, marketing, employee communications and engagement, stakeholder engagement, public affairs, branding, as well as risk and crisis management to clients who come from almost every sector and industry in the Canadian economy.

Jackie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Carleton University, is an honours graduate from the Algonquin College Public Relations program, and has completed the Canadian Securities Course in addition to the Strategic Management of Investor Relations Program at the Richard Ivey School of Business. She taught the Public Relations course to final year journalism students at Carleton University, and was a member of the National Board of Canadian Women in Communications and Technology.

Presently, Jackie is a member of the Executive Committee of the Ottawa chapter of the International Women’s Forum Canada; she sits on the Board of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, and serves as a member of the community advisory committee of the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre.

Finalist

Natasha Morano

Vice President
Economic Club of Canada

Natasha Hope Morano is Vice President of the Economic Club of Canada. She is also founder of The Gadfly Academy; an academic institution aimed at promoting quality education. In her role as VP of the Club she has been instrumental in increasing the Club’s profile; bringing over 200 policy makers to the podium. In 2012 she opened the Club’s first satellite office in Ottawa. Under Natasha’s stewardship, the Club has become the main platform for key announcements and policy discussions in the nation’s capital

Being a humanitarian, she co-founded the Voice of Hope Human Rights Gala. Her passion for humanitarianism compelled her to recently complete her Private Schools Principal certification solidifying her resolve to pursue academic reform.

In 2015, Natasha founded the Gadfly Academy, a charity based independent school, which she plans to open in the near future. Natasha’s philanthropy has been widely recognized. Her story is published in “Making it in High Heals 4: Women in Philanthropy and Charity.”

Natasha completed her Honours Degree at the University of Toronto and her MA in Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier and Waterloo University. She is recognized for her research in terrorism which has been presented across North America.