Meet Our NLOWE Staff

With advisors across the Province, business advice is never too far away. 

Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs Staff Members.

Supporting women business owners with insightful advice, training events, and ample opportunities to grow their business.

Jennifer Bessell

Jennifer Bessell

Chief Executive Officer

Fun Fact:

Jennifer loves to study wine and one day plans to complete the training to become a sommelier. Her dream vacation is to do an extensive tour of wineries in France!

Business Tip:

“Don’t be afraid to fail. Often what feels like failure today is simply a lesson that needs to be learned in order to achieve greater success tomorrow.”

E-mail: jbessell@nlowe.org

Carolyn Wakeham

Carolyn Wakeham

Director of Programming & Evaluation

Fun Fact:

Carolyn has met 10 actors from the UK soap opera Coronation Street.

Business Tip:

“Cash-flow is the heart of your business. Understand it so you can properly manage it.”

E-mail:  cwakeham@nlowe.org

Barbie Drover

Barbie Drover

Director of Administration & Special Projects

Fun Fact:

Barbie’s favourite room in her house is her kitchen. On weekends you can find her in her happy place cooking or baking and trying new recipes. Luckily for her family she loves to share!

Business Tip:

“There is no substitute for hard work. The harder you work the luckier you get.”

E-mail: bdrover@nlowe.org

Judy Raske

Judy Raske

Office Manager

Fun Fact:

Judy loves to scrapbook and saves everything from her trips for her albums, including a hot dog wrapper from the San Francisco 49ers.

Business Tip:

“Keep your business information up-to-date online and in any membership directories in which you are listed so you don’t miss out on potential business opportunities.”   

E-mail: jraske@nlowe.org

Heather French

Heather French

Business Start-up Advisor, Avalon

Fun Fact:

Heather has always loved writing and dreams of one day publishing a novel. She recently discovered a love of cooking and would love to someday combine the two and publish her very own cookbook!

Business Tip:

“Listen. Actively listen to those around you. Customers, advisors, friends and strangers all have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with you and help you grow.”

E-mail: hfrench@nlowe.org

Sarah Flynn

Sarah Flynn

Business Start-up Advisor, Eastern

Fun Fact:

Sarah loves to run! Her last big race was a half-marathon through the streets of Chicago.

Business Tip:

People will return to a business for good customer service!

E-mail: sflynn@nlowe.org

Lindsay Mercer

Lindsay Mercer

Business Start-up Advisor, Central

Fun Fact:

Lindsay is a summer person and loves to spend time outdoors swimming, reading a good book, or roasting marshmallows around the fire with family and friends.

Business Tip:

“Make sure you have a business plan.  Your business plan will help you map out where you want your business to go, how to get there, and what you will need to help you succeed.”

E-mail: lmercer@nlowe.org

Carla May

Carla May

Business Start-up Advisor, Western

Fun Fact:

Carla’s very first summer job was working for her brothers at their hot dog stand enterprise when she was 14 years old.

Business Tip:

“Take every opportunity to meet and network with other business owners to share challenges and successes, together we’re better.”

E-mail: cmay@nlowe.org

Betty Morris

Betty Morris

Business Start-up Advisor, Labrador

Fun Fact:

Betty enjoys the outdoors, going to the cabin, fishing and berry picking.  Betty loves berry picking so much that she has even carried her baby in his car seat (with a fly screen over it) up into the hills to pick berries while the baby slept.

Business Tip:

“If you dream about starting your own business doing something that you love, then go for it.  Live your dream and have no regrets.”     

E-mail: bmorris@nlowe.org

Denise Cornick

Denise Cornick

Business Growth Advisor, Avalon

Fun Fact:

When Denise lived in Montreal, Leonard Cohen was her neighbor. One Sunday morning, she found herself drinking coffee in the park while he ate ice cream in his bedroom slippers right next to her!

Business Tip:

“Small opportunities are often the beginning of great achievements.”

E-mail: dcornick@nlowe.org

Paula Flood

Paula Flood

Business Growth Advisor, Eastern

Fun Fact:

Paula currently rides a Harley Davidson Road King, earning her the nickname ‘Road Queen’.

Business Tip:

“Commit to excelling at customer service.”

E-mail: pflood@nlowe.org

Betsy Saunders

Betsy Saunders

Business Growth Advisor, Central

Fun Fact:

Betsy is an avid gardener and recently started her first “onion and garlic” garden. She can’t wait to cook up a nice dinner with what she has grown.

Business Tip:

“Use the people around you; build your networks and relationships. If you have a question then ask; if you don’t know something then say ‘I don’t know’, because someone has that answer for you.”

E-mail: bsaunders@nlowe.org

Marvella Wells

Marvella Wells

Business Growth Advisor, Western & Labrador

Fun Fact:

Marvella is a proud owner of at least 100 pairs of shoes and jokingly states the one of her joys of working with women entrepreneurs is getting to see all the fabulous shoes!

Business Tip:

“Be adaptable, be different, and embrace change.  The ‘why not?’ thinkers are the industry leaders so don’t be afraid to stand out front.”

E-mail: mwells@nlowe.org

Deborah Youden

Deborah Youden

Export Consultant (Contracted)

Fun Fact:

Deborah loves playing tennis and hopes that one day she will get to Wimbledon…as a spectator.

Business Tip:

“Be open to the world but stay concentrated on your business niche.”  

E-mail: dyouden@nlowe.org

Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson

Project Manager, Atlantic Canadian Women in Growth Partnership

Fun Fact:

Sarah is a knitter! She loves beautiful yarns and always on the hunt for vintage patterns and vintage yarn. She hopes to one day have her own sheep and spin her own yarn.

Business Tip:

“A good business idea does not guarantee success in business. Planning is key.

E-mail: sthompson@nlowe.org

Lana Roestenberg

Lana Roestenberg

Capacity Building Coordinator

Fun Fact:

Fun Fact: I enjoy spending my free time outdoors, especially fishing and hiking. Three years ago, I started salmon fishing, something I never thought I would ever do. And, over the last few years, I have challenged myself to complete all the East Coast Trail Association hiking trails. So far, I have completed over half of the trails.

Business Tip:

“Business opportunities are like bacon, if you wait too long there won’t be any left. So, embrace the opportunities that present themselves, both the big and small, because you never know where they will lead you.”

E-mail: lroestenberg@nlowe.org

Gail Woodfine

Gail Woodfine

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Fun Fact:

On Sunday mornings I can be found puttering around my house with a cup of coffee listening to Terry O’Reilly’s podcast Under The Influence.

Business Tip:

“Take advantage of free marketing tools. Create a Google My Business account and up your game on social media by tagging, using hashtags and sharing cool images.”

E-mail: gwoodfine@nlowe.org

Janice Sheppard

Janice Sheppard

Finance Consultant

Fun Fact:

Janice loves to travel and cruising is one of her favourite types of vacation. She got the cruising bug after winning a 5-day Western Carribbean cruise in 2017. It was a memorable trip and she looks forward to lots of travel again in the future!

Business Tip:

“Don’t be afraid to seek help and advice when needed, and ask for customer feedback. The knowledge you obtain to help you grow and enhance your business is invaluable.”

E-mail: jsheppard@nlowe.org

Contact NLOWE:

nlowe logo

1.888.NLOWE.11

2nd Floor, Regatta Plaza

84-86 Elizabeth Avenue

St. John's, NL,  A1A 1W7