Thursday, November 4, 2021

ST. JOHN’S, NL – The Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) hosted its annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards on Thursday, November 4, 2021, at the Sheraton Hotel in St. John’s, NL. The event celebrated successful women entrepreneurs whose businesses contribute to the economy of this province. This year eight individuals received awards in recognition for their positive impact throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Trish Molloy, Owner of The Head Room Salon and Spa with locations in St. John’s and Paradise, received the pinnacle Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, sponsored by RBC. This award recognizes a long-time entrepreneur who has made a significant impact on the economy and whose success is an inspiration for other women in business. Having been in the industry for 35 years, Molloy says she’s seen this province go to the forefront of hairstyling in Canada. “It’s been important for me to develop new talent and to grow our industry,” says Molloy. “I’ve made it a practice to hire young people with fresh ideas and from diverse backgrounds. It’s because of the unique styles they each bring to the table and their collective passion that our clients know they can trust us to provide them with a classic look or the latest trends.”

Patsy Tremblett, President and CEO of Prima Information Solutions Inc., located in St. John’s, received the Trailblazer Award, sponsored by Cox & Palmer. The Trailblazer Award recognizes female entrepreneurs who own and operate businesses that excel in a non-traditional industry for women-owned businesses or have successfully established a business in an industry uncommon to the area in which it operates. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Tremblett always knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur. As the sole owner of the information management company and two fishery observer management companies, she’s blazed a trail across North America and the U.K. “My next goal is to develop data collection software that will benefit all three branches of Prima,” Tremblett says. “It’s a big leap from IT, but I’m intent on getting to know the industry inside out to ensure its success.”

Megan Jackman, CEO of Ragmaw Design House Inc., located in St. John’s, received the Trendsetter Award, sponsored by Bluedrop Learning Networks. The Trendsetter Award honours female entrepreneurs who own and operate successful businesses that employ innovation and original thinking in operational and promotional activities. This entrepreneur’s business stands out from others in its industry for setting trends and turning traditional ideas on their heads. Jackman says being recognized as a trendsetter for successfully turning her creativity into a viable business is an honour. ” Ragmaw began in 2013 as a small venture,” says Jackman. “Since then, we have grown into an established Canadian brand.”

Gill Whelan, CEO and founder of Whelan Wellness, located in St. John’s, received the Momentum Award, sponsored by McInnes Cooper. The Momentum Award recognizes female entrepreneurs who have demonstrated significant growth or growth potential within a 1-3 year time span. This entrepreneur has built a business that is adaptable and apt to leverage opportunities for continued growth successfully. Whelan says the entrepreneurial path has been the only path she’s known, whether as a babysitter, piano instructor or lemonade stand proprietor, her head has always been in the game. “I am driven by my core values and need to make connections with people and expand my industry,” says Whelan. “We first launched with 120 clients, all Newfoundlanders. Today we are a 4000 member, global community across the world.”

Joy Barker, President of JSR Holdings, located in Baie Verte, received the Economic Impact Award, sponsored by Hebron Project. This award recognizes female entrepreneurs whose businesses have significantly impacted the local economy, improving the community’s economic position in which it operates by employing local resources, stimulating growth, and contributing to sustainable community development. A confident woman with a love of the outdoors and a strong work ethic, Barker credits her parents for her entrepreneurial spirit. “My parents owned and operated businesses in our community my entire life,” says Barker. “I saw first hand the impact of providing services and employment on a local economy and wanted to be a part of creating a more self-sustainable community that connected people to the place they call home.”

Jaime Evans, Owner of Evexia Osteopathy, received the Young Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by the College of the North Atlantic. This award recognizes an entrepreneur, 35 years of age or younger, that has owned and operated a profitable business for at least two years. Evexia Osteopathy is a clinic in Gander, NL that uses hands-on, non-invasive treatments to restore balance and help the body heal through natural processes and treatments. Evans says her greatest achievement has been opening her own business and achieving her 5-year goal of full bookings ahead of schedule.  “I started my business in June of 2018, and I primarily see chronic pain patients,” says Evans. “It has been my greatest achievement to make a positive impact on my clients’ lives and help to improve their quality of life.”

And this year, NLOWE is excited to introduce two new awards, the Leadership and Mentor Awards, to recognize further the incredible contributions of women business owners in our province.

Cindy Roma, CO-CEO and Partner of Telelink, located in St. John’s, received the Mentor Award, sponsored by HR Project Partners. The Mentor Award recognizes female entrepreneurs with 15 or more years in business who have given considerable time and resources to mentoring other women to succeed in business. Roma selflessly gives her time and expertise to help other women reach new heights in their careers and businesses.  Not only does she have the desire to develop and help others, but she continues to be a curious, lifelong learner herself. “I love sharing, I love learning, I love sharing lessons learned, I certainly enjoy being a mentor,” says Roma. “Some of the people whom we’ve mentored here at Telelink have gone on, from our front line to run multi-million-dollar divisions. So, I’m proud of that.”

Gertrude Bradbury, President and General Manager of Locke Electrical Limited, located in Corner Brook, received the Leadership Award, sponsored by FONEMED. The Leadership Award recognizes female entrepreneurs who’ve shown that they are a champion for the advancement of women in general and women in the entrepreneurial space.  As president of Locke Electrical Ltd. and co-chair of Navigate, Bradbury has supported and championed the entrepreneurial community in Western Newfoundland by enhancing competitiveness and promoting women’s leadership in business. “We all want to be part of something important, and we do that through our relationships,” says Bradbury. “The advice I most often give to women entrepreneurs is to be your authentic self, that will let you rise to leadership positions.”

Her Honour The Honourable Judy M. Foote, P.C., O.N.L. Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador was a guest speaker and congratulated all award recipients and applauded their impact on the province. Also in attendance was The Honourable Siobhan Coady, Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador; Karen Skinner, Vice-President, Newfoundland and Labrador Region, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), who each brought greetings and accolades to the award recipients for their accomplishments.  

“For more than twenty years, NLOWE has been honouring the outstanding women business owners of Newfoundland and Labrador through our Entrepreneur of the Year Awards,” says Denise Goodyear, NLOWE Board Chair. “This year’s recipients excel in mentorship, leadership, innovation, economic impact, and ambition. We are honoured to celebrate them and their  accomplishments.”

“More than ever, women entrepreneurs are driving economic growth,” says Jennifer Bessell, CEO of NLOWE. “For more than 20 years, NLOWE has connected women in business to professional and business networks and provided advising services, resources and support to help them grow their businesses. The Entrepreneur of the Year Awards recognize and celebrate the achievements of the award recipients, nominees and all women entrepreneurs who are rebuilding local economies across the province.”

The Entrepreneur of the Year Awards is proudly supported by ACOA and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Awards sponsors include RBC, Cox & Palmer, Bluedrop Learning Networks, McInnes Cooper, Hebron Project, College of the North Atlantic, HR Project Partners and FONEMED. Other sponsors include MAKEvents, Moments by Martha and The Sheraton Hotel, St. John’s.

Founded in 1997, NLOWE is the only provincial organization dedicated exclusively to supporting women start, grow and advance in business. NLOWE provides advisory services, business counselling, training & networking opportunities and business resources to women entrepreneurs.

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Media contact
Gail Woodfine
Marketing and Communications Coordinator, NLOWE
709-754-4761, 770-4159