Gala 2017

The 4th Annual Grand Gala
Friday, November 17, 2017

Riviera Events & Convention Centre
2800 Hwy 7, Concord, ON L4K 1W8
Ticket Price: $125

Buy Tickets Now
View Sponsorship Package

Awardees

Beata and Edyta headshots

Beata Wecek and Edyta Jodelka
Best Community Service Award

Beata Wecek and her sister Edyta Jodełka were born in Olecko in Poland. In 1992, as teenagers, they immigrated to Canada with their family. Beata is married with twin teenage sons. Edyta is married with three children. Edyta and her husband Sebastian were also foster parents to a teenage boy for 4 years. Despite their busy family lives, they both find time to actively engage in charitable work.

They first became involved in charitable work over 17 years ago. As part of the Polish Full Gospel Church in Toronto, since 2000 they have been organizing summer camps for children on Lake Pigeon near Peterborough, Ontario. Throughout the year they also organize festivals for children during which they help raise funds and collect clothing for charitable work among children in Brazil. Together with their families they also went twice to Brazil, where with a group of volunteers from Mission Ministries in Toronto they were involved in humanitarian work among children living in a mountainous region of the State of Parana. This work was carried out with the assistance from the Social Department of the Township of Cruz Machado. In 2015, Mr. Mikołaj Rykowski, a well known charitable organizer from Poland, visited Canada, where together with Beata and Edyta, he organized a Christmas Eve supper for lonely persons, which took place at The John Paul II Polish Cultural Centre in Mississauga. This event, organized under the patronage of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Toronto, was an enormous success. Over 100 volunteers were involved, 620 persons attended, and financial support was provided by numerous individuals and polish businesses. The success of the event has motivated Beata and Edyta to register a charitable organization “Heart to Heart”, and in 2016 they were able to organize the next Christmas Eve supper independently. During both events, the sisters were approached by many individuals with a request to organize meetings for lonely people throughout the year. This request has resulted in regular meetings, organized in collaboration with the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Toronto, aimed at providing assistance to persons who are lonely or in need. In addition, Beata and Edyta continue to be actively involved in charitable work with children at The John Paul II Polish Cultural Centre in Mississauga.

Tracy Moree headshot

Tracey Moore
Best Community Service Award

Tracy Moore is the host of Canada’s longest running lifestyle show Cityline. From Monday to Friday on City Tracy can be seen across the country trying DIY projects, learning new recipes and sizing up the latest fashions. Aside from being an energetic mom to two young children, she is known for her laid back style, easy laugh and love of fashion, fitness and all things shoe-related.

Born in Toronto and raised in Richmond Hill, Tracy worked her way up the media ladder to her current position as host of Cityline. Her professionalism, work ethic and engaging personality helped her advance from CTV intern to CBC videographer, back-up host and Newsworld anchor. This helped lead to a reporter/anchor position on Toronto1’s daily news magazine Toronto Tonight.

In the fall of 2005, Tracy joined Toronto’s number one morning show, City’s Breakfast Television as its live reporter. Within months she was backing up the show’s lead anchor in addition to covering live breaking news events.

After eight years in the media business Tracy took a brief break in 2008 to have her first child, Sidney Nicolas. She says, returning after maternity leave to a position like hosting Cityline was an incredible way to re-enter the work force! Two years later she gave birth to Eva Simone. Tracy says being a mommy is hands down her biggest accomplishment to date. She’s also been known to say juggling two young children, a husband and a career takes the balancing skills of a tight-rope walker and the juggling skills of an octopus. If she’s learned anything it’s that most situations can be handled with a healthy dose of laughter.

Outside of her work on-air Tracy made a name for herself as a volunteer early in her career by initiating a speakers’ series in Toronto high schools, talking to students about non-violence and media literacy. She counts as one of her top priorities boosting the self-esteem of young girls. To this end, she emcees the ‘Girls On The Run’ event every year. In 2009 Tracy led a team of Cityline staffers on a 60 kilometer walk over two days in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer.

She also frequently hosts high-profile fundraisers like the Mirror Ball and the YWCA’s Women of Distinction Awards and has been honoured by the Black Business and Professional Association as a Woman of Honour. But even while raising awareness Tracy knows how to have fun! She rocked the runway while five months pregnant as a celebrity strutter in 2010’s Heart Truth Fashion Show – an event aimed at raising awareness of cardiovascular disease in women.

Education

Honours Major Political Science, McGill University

Masters Journalism, University of Western Ontario

Follow Tracy on Twitter @TheTracyMoore

IMG_1277

Jennifer Beale
Business Development and Growth Award

First a journalist and editor, and for the past 12 years a Publicist I have a passion for generating leads for small business owners and entrepreneurs. I host massive networking events a few times per year, and bring top business experts to Canada to share tools and ideas that lead to business success.

A compulsive networker, I publish Canada’s largest online directory of business networking events http://www.biznetworknews.com

Specialties: media relations, joint ventures, lead generating web sites, speaker events, business networking

Kathia Saint-Victor - Business Development and Growth Award head shot

Kathia Saint-Victor
Business Development Award

Kathia St-Victor has been working in the educational sector for over 23 years as an educator and a french teacher. When she started at age 12 in a day care, her goal was to improve self esteem in children and provide them all they need to grow in a caring, safe and healthy environment. Taking care of small children was very challenging but extremely rewarding. Those challenges has help Kathia grow in skills and knowledge, develop her belief in her capacity and help her gain many qualities such as courage, teamwork, leadership, commitment, motivation, open minded, discipline, determination and creativity. She also helped to develop some student workbooks and manuals for preschools.

At age 35, she decided to follow the second passion of her heart by becoming an entrepreneur. She founded Kluva Chic Traiteur/Catering and Kluva Chic Bistro which provides Caribbean and Maghreb cuisine.

Becoming an entrepreneur is an incredible experience that takes amount of work and get you out of your comfort zone. Kathia have met and collaborated with amazing people and had the opportunity to learn and be inspired by them. As she was meeting with young entrepreneurs, she realize how entrepreneurs from communities are coping with many problems unsolved and poor visibility for their businesses. She wanted to make a major impact in young’s life and businesses. In 2013, less then 6 months after opening the catering business, she created an non-profit organization for events, festivals and fairs creation that promotes entrepreneurship and diversity. The first event she created is the Young International Entrepreneur’s Fair, which is at his fourth edition. It was the first time that Montreal hosted a show aimed at promoting entrepreneurship among immigrants in Quebec. The show highlighted the talent and skills of 50 entrepreneurs from over 20 cultural communities and welcomed hundreds of visitors—all of them thrilled to support these young entrepreneurs who will undoubtedly play an important part in shaping Montreal’s future. In 2016, the fair brought 2500 visitors and highlighted 85 entrepreneurs from 28 cultural communities.

Some of the objectives of the Young International Entrepreneur’s Fair are:

  • To bring together entrepreneurs from various immigrant communities to share their knowledge and experience, offer their products and services to the public, expand their network and support each other.
  • To bring together various artists from different cultural communities to introduce them to the public and enhance their visibility.
  • To educate, support and encourage immigrants–particularly young immigrants–to start their own businesses and to support immigrant entrepreneurship.
  • To bring together various partners offering a complete range of services, from information and coaching to business management and growth.
  • To acknowledge the support received from local public figures for immigrant entrepreneurship.

On a more personal note, through mentorship, she gives entrepreneurs the tools to develop their full potential by being a mentor at the Réseau M. She is also managing and writing tips and advices for entrepreneurs on a web page: Leadership Business

Tina Tenhrachian with blue jacket close up 2 head shot

Tina Tehranchian
Art and Entertainment Award

Tina Tehranchian is among the first-ever group of Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professionals in Canada to receive the Fellow of FPSC™ distinction from the Financial Planners Standards Council in 2011. This is a distinction that formally recognizes individuals who have helped advance FPSC’s vision of seeing Canadians improve their lives by engaging in financial planning.

A financial advisor since 1991, Tina specializes in assisting business owners and self-employed professionals in building wealth and developing sound financial and estate plans. She also specializes in charitable tax planning strategies and helping philanthropic Canadians multiply their bequests to charities while reducing their taxes and leaving more money for their heirs.
Tina has often been quoted as an expert in her field in The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The National Post, and Metro, as well as in financial industry magazines such as The Investment Executive, Advisor.ca, and The Insurance Journal. She has also been featured in national radio and television shows such as BNN, CBC and CTV as a financial planning expert. She has taught personal financial planning at Centennial College’s Center for Entrepreneurship for over ten years, and has been the recipient of numerous academic, professional and community service awards including the Senecans of Distinction award from Seneca College.

Tina has also been actively involved in her community and has served as a director of the Markham Board of Trade and JVS of Greater Toronto, the treasurer of the Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation, a founding member and first chair of the board of IC Network, a governor of Seneca College, a trustee of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, chair of the board of art.maison projects, a director of Mackenzie Health Foundation (formerly York Central Hospital Foundation) and Fort York Foundation, chair of the governance and nominating committee of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, a member of the Planned Giving Advisory Committee of the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, the governance and nominating committee of Mackenzie Health Foundation, campaign cabinet for the King campus of Seneca College and the finance and audit committee of Mackenzie Health. She has also chaired the signature fundraisers for McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the McMichael Moonlight Gala, in 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2017, and has co-founded and co-chaired the Joy of Aging fundraiser for Mackenzie Health Foundation since 2009.

She holds a Master of Arts in communications from the University of Portland, in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. Tina is a Branch Manager. She has also earned the CFP, Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (CH.F.C) designations.

Marta-Pozniakowski-headshot

Marta Pozniakowski
Art and Entertainment Award

CEO & founder of the Toronto Polish Film Festival EKRAN, Actress, Model & Host, Film Producer, Co-Founder of The TAMMAR Real Estate Team, Director of Communication and Entertainment at the POLISH ORPHANS CHARITY, and most importantly loving WIFE and MOTHER to two incredible little boys.

Marta graduated from the National Film School in Poland, where masters like Kieslowski, Wajda and Polansky where polishing their directing skills.
Being still in Poland, Marta started acting career which she abandoned in the name of love and left the home country to live with the love of her life Dr. Jack Pozniakowski.
Having the irresistible energy and fire, she created one of the prestigious film events in the country that celebrates Polish Cinematography.
With passion and love Marta builds Ekran the Toronto Polish Film Festival, that is going to celebrate 10th anniversary next year and she is deeply grateful and thankful for all the people that are part of this awesome organization and without whom the event wouldn’t be able grow. Ekran’s website is www.ekran.ca

With skills that take everything to organize weekly long events, she volunteers at the Polish Orphans Charity that has been founded by Dr. Richarda Russ. The Charity organizes two events each year: White Christmas Dinner and glamorous Ball Pologne. Polish Orphans Charity is involved in projects around the globe and has a direct control over where the money goes. For more information, please go to www.polishorphans.org

The new venture that Marta brought to life is her TAMMAR Real Estate Team that she successfully runs with her partner in crime Tammy Saddler. Taking advantage of the incredible hot market in Toronto, those two girls are running the show like no tomorrow. They are the real Boss Ladies, working with amazing clients and always having fun. www.tammarteam.com

You can not describe Marta with one word. She is a multi-talented, multi-dimensional and I would call her a Renaissance person. Sometimes to be fulfilled you can’t just do one thing… You are all those things. Whatever Marta does, she puts in her heart, love and passion.

In a free time (if there is any left for such a busy person), she likes to travel, exploring new cultures and countries, she loves to go back to their Costa Rican house to surf and play on the beach, paint, cook, work on film projects, rides a motorcycle (both Marta and her husband own bikes and they sneak out for some short trips whenever time allows). There are probably thousand of other things Marta does, but there won’t be enough room on this page to write.

Above all her accomplishments she may have, FAMILY is everything to her. Marta successfully juggle family life and careers. Marta lives with her husband Dr. Jack Pozniakowski and their two sons in a cute little red brick house that they call a doll house.

Beata Kass headshot

Beata Kaas
Art and Entertainment Award

Kaas Floral Design is a concept design studio, which means I combine my floral design training and my architectural background to create innovative arrangements that express the unique themes and personalities of my clients. The form and structure of an arrangement is as important as the materials used within it. The beauty and language of flowers act as the focal point of an arrangement, then I add unique elements and materials to truly personalize the décor according to what the client wants.

What is your favourite thing about your job/what you do?

Working with clients to help them express their personal perspectives on beauty. Then translating those views into a tangible arrangement using the textures and colours of the flowers and other materials. It’s a creative process like no other for me.

Who/what inspires you (in terms of your business)?

Floral designers who are pushing the edge of how flowers can be used to express beauty and ideas.

What has been the most interesting project that you’ve worked on? Why?

I recently collaborated with other designers on an installation of clothing made from flowers. It was such a creative challenge to ensure the correct structure was in place to hold the flowers, while also selecting durable, beautiful blooms. It was such fun—and hard work!—and inspiring to work with other creative minds.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

I wasn’t driven to have my own business so much as my design work led me here. As my training progressed, my ideas about the types of arrangements and décor I wanted to create and the services I could provide formed. Running my own business seemed the best way to achieve those creative goals.

Do you have any advice that you would give start-ups getting their idea off the ground?

Be honest with yourself about your goals. When starting a business, it’s always tempting to take any work that comes your way. But if it’s not work that fulfills the reasons you started your business, then it won’t feel satisfying or enjoyable. Stay as true to yourself as you can…while still paying the bills!

What does the future hold for Kaas Floral Design?

More creation! I’m attending an international floral symposium in Seattle ,where it will be nonstop inspiration. I always come home brimming with new ideas to explore.

Josephine Auciello head shotNov2017Award

Josephine Auciello
Mind and Body Award

Josephine Carmela is a women’s empowerment & relationship coach, entrepreneur, author, mom of 2, and lover of life. She supports women entrepreneurs to transform relationship blocks into breakthroughs that help them reach their dreams, while deeply embodying their feminine wisdom to create more beauteous, rich, & fulfilling lives.

Josephine helps women redefine what’s possible for them in life, love, & business, turning the often serious struggles women face with their partners during times of deep personal transformation, into gifts that enlighten & empower both parties and the family to experience greater love, harmony, grace & fulfillment through a woman’s empowerment process. She works with women one-on-one, couples, and runs men’s groups that empower the principles of conscious communication in relationship and teaches on the art of love & dynamics of masculine & feminine power.

Josephine Carmela co-authored a book with 3 New York Times Bestselling Authors and has been mentored by many greats in the personal development industry like Marci Shimoff, Chris and Janet Attwood, Gina DeVee, Joe Garcia, & Annie Lalla. She’s on a mission to guide other women to overcome their blocks in love & business to live life to their fullest on their own terms! She is devoted to helping every woman uncover her natural beauty wisdom, & purpose in a spirit of love.

Tabi Moazzam head shot

Tabi Moazzam
Mind and Body Award

Tabi Moazzam is known as a highly successful entrepreneur, enthusiastic philanthropist, immensely passionate image aficionado, and a vastly experienced fashion connoisseur.

Tabi was born and raised in the city of Toronto, Ontario Canada. She has always had a great deal of passion for assisting and guiding others unveil their true standards of beauty and wellness.

Tabi is also a highly versatile and creative makeup artist who has been working in the fashion and beauty industry for more than 13 years.

Furthermore she holds great passion in helping others and is a deeply devoted philanthropist. She has been using her creative makeup artistry skills for glamorizing others and making them feel more confident and bold for past decade.

Tabi is equipped with a formidable blend of great entrepreneurial skills and a will to succeed. This determination and experience has helped Tabi pave her own way to success as a professional entrepreneur and a fashion artist.

For the past 7 years, Tabi has also been actively working as a professional event/ planner and have organized numerous events within Dubai and in her hometown of Toronto, ON Canada.

She has experience of organizing corporate and entertainment events of high caliber and significant stature. Tabi’s ability to connect with clients is priceless. People assist her in crafting a remarkable chain of networks which enables her to organize eccentric and highly distinctive events.

Tabi is a greatly devoted fashion connoisseur and an immensely talented image aficionado who holds the remarkable set of image consultancy skills. Her experience and consultancy skills have assisted Tabi in guiding others, to pursuit their significant self-confidence and boldness. Tabi has organized a countless number of makeup workshops whose primary objective is to educate others about the tricks and trades of the beauty and glamour world of today and tomorrow.

Tabi is an immensely enthusiastic philanthropist and a humanitarian who loves working for the welfare of those around her., CEO of Glam & Glit, Director of Expressions Event and Promotions, Owner of Emirates Fashion Week, Partner of Smart Cities of Pakistan, Board of Director TK Connections and is a credential part of WEF Women Economic Forum and the ALL Ladies league. Tabi is an ambassador of MAC – Mississauga Arts Council and she is on various Commitees . Her past experiences and understanding of fashion and beauty has assisted her in becoming one of the highly recognized makeup artist and essentially being a part of different Corporations. She is always in awe of opportunities to exceed her own and her client’s expectations. Her professionalism and appetite for beautifying others has carried her on her journey to becoming one of the highly recognized artists.

Tabi’s primary objective is to find the true beauty hidden inside others and to use it to build their confidence and self-belief.

Maria Esteves head shot

Maria Esteves – Breakfast with Santa Foundation
Charity of the Year Award

Maria has held positions in the banking, medical, governmental and entrepreneurial fields prior to being diagnosed with Lupus Erythematosus 37 years ago.

For the past 33 years Maria has been involved in a great number of volunteer efforts by implementing, organizing and promoting the following events:

Adopt-a-family – program responsible for providing clothes, toys and food hamper for Oshawa families referred by The Salvation Army

Toy Drive – collection and distribution of toys to disadvantaged children in the Oshawa area

Walk-a-Thon of Hope – fundraiser for The Salvation Army of Oshawa

Portrait of a Teenager – writing contest for high school students in the Durham Region and sponsored by The Denise House (shelter for abused women and their children) promoting awareness of domestic violence

The Long Dark Tunnel – play written and enacted by the Theatre Arts senior class of an Oshawa high school. Play produced to promote awareness of domestic abuse in our society.
Play was presented to various high schools throughout the G.T.A. including Durham Region

Murder Mystery Night – high school students from Oshawa high schools wrote and enacted this fundraiser to benefit The Denise House under Maria’s direction

Spaghetti Night Out – created for the benefit of the residents of The Denise House with the co-operation of the Moose Lodge under Maria’s direction and continued for 12 years

Convention – Maria led 150 volunteers from all over Canada over a 3 day major federal political party convention ensuring the smooth running of the convention in Toronto.

Community Liaison Representative – served as Liaison between community and federal cabinet minister for his ridding association.

Neighbourhood Block Parent Captain

School Council at Michael Power/St. Joseph High School – fundraising chair & social committee chair

Powerfest Craft Show and Sale –fundraising initiative which carried on for quite a number of years

Pasta Night – annual fundraiser for the awards and bursaries program at Michael Power/St. Joseph High School

Portugal at your Table – wrote cookbook based on traditional Portuguese recipes.

Breakfast With Santa Foundation – Founder and President 30 years. Originally known as Breakfast With Santa became a Registered, Non-profit charity based in Mississauga in 2000 and incorporated in 2002.

Joyce Marocco head shot

Joyce Morocco
Political Leadership Award

Business Woman:
President of Destination Niagara Falls Regional website and Elements of Success, Professional Meeting Management Company.

Destination Niagara Falls a regional website created in 2009 has become the fastest growing website in the Niagara Region. Features businesses in the region, monthly newsletter, draws, and best deals and new to our compliment Niagara Buzz a highly active media outlet assisting in video marketing reaching over 1 million plus viewers.

Elements of Success/Meeting Management Professional also created in 2009 to provide organizations with professional meeting management services. Booking conferences and meetings throughout North America, Europe, Australia, China and India. Negotiate contracts with hotels and industry service providers. Oversee the logistics of the entire conference, including sponsorship and exhibitors.

Education:
Graduate of Niagara College, Management of Human Resources, also graduated in Special Events Management, and Hotel Management.
St. Catharines Business College: Diploma – Office Administration/Management

Awards:
Volunteer of the Year Award: Tastes of Niagara, 1999, Festivals & Events 2000
Certificate of Appreciation – The Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation for service to the Meetings, Conventions & Incentive Travel committee. (2012)
Greater Niagara General Hospital Chair 2005-2007 Outstanding Commitment & Dedication to Quality Healthcare in our Community
Rotary International – Contribution to polio.
Women in Business- 2013- Corporate Nominee (Niagara Region)
Membership Service Award-10 years of faithful service to AMCTO (Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario) 2007.
Cambridge Who’s Who-Recognizes Joyce A. Morocco as a Lifetime Member inclusion in the 2011-2012 Edition of Executives, Professionals & Entrepreneurs.

Volunteer:
Dedicated volunteer to a number of non-profit organizations.
A past board member and past chair of the GNGH Foundation,(raised over $9.2 million for new ER during term as chair), past board member of Winter Festival of Lights, Project Share, Niagara Falls Hydro Board, United Way – Poor Boy Committee, Niagara Falls Humane Society, a founding member of the NFCHC and past Chair of Niagara Falls Community Health Centre.
Present: Member of Niagara Falls Rotary Sunrise Club. Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners (CanSPEP) and Meeting Planners International (MPI). Niagara College, board member of the Event Management Program Advisory Committee from 2001 to present.

Political:
City Councillor from 2003 to 2006 and in 2010 was elected as a City Councillor and re-elected in 2014.
2008 ran Federally for the Liberals under Stephane Dion.
2014 ran Provincially for the Liberals under Kathleen Wynne

Board Appointments:
Presently a director of Niagara Falls HOLDCO,
Board member of; Niagara District Airport,
Regional Transportation Steering committee
Downtown BIA
Clifton Hill BIA

Nita Kanh headshot

Nita Kang
Political Leadership Award

Nita Kang is a Toronto-born resident of Mississauga. Her parents arrived in Canada in the early 1970’s – her father from India and her mother from England. Like many new Canadians, they arrived with nothing more than a dream. They worked hard and purchased their first house in Mississauga when Nita was 5 years old.

At the age of 12, Nita’s father passed away from a sudden heart attack while on a business trip. He was 40 years old. He left behind Nita and her 2 younger sisters who were 4 years old and 6 months old at the time.

Nita worked very hard and graduated from high school with honours and went on to Western University to study for a Bachelor of Arts. All the while, her mother worked 7 days a week to put her through school and care for her sisters.

Through her upbringing, she learned about work ethic and caring for others, and the importance of community involvement. In her teenage years, she began volunteering at Mississauga Hospital in the ICU and Cardiology units, and from that point on, she knew she wanted to help people as much as she could in whatever she did.

From a young age, she took an interest in politics because her parents used to discuss it at the dinner table. When she reached voting age, she was so excited to exercise her right to vote.

When she got her real estate license in her early thirties, her business became successful in its second year. It took long hours and a lot of hustle. With success came a larger tax bill. Since it took a lot of hustle to earn the money she earned, she started to pay more attention to how government was spending her money. She didn’t like what she was seeing and decided to become a taxpayer advocate. For two years, on a volunteer basis, Nita was a taxpayer advocate with a group called Toronto Taxpayers Coalition. Their message to government was to respect the money we all work so hard for. Whether it was her hard work or her mother’s hard work, or anyone else, Nita wanted to see government manage our money with sensibility.

From there, she met the Leader of the Ontario PC Party and was encouraged to seek candidacy for the Party for the 2014 Provincial election. She ran as a PC Candidate in the riding of Scarborough Southwest and continued delivering the message of responsible government spending and managing money wisely so there is resources to help those who need help the most.

It hasn’t always been easy being a female of colour in the political landscape. She has received negative comments directed toward her on social media for being a woman and for being a person of colour. However, she never allowed the negativity to get in the way of fighting for what’s right. She does her best to encourage other women to get involved in the political arena as well. Women represent half of the population but still have a ways to go before their population is reflected in Municipal, Provincial, and Federal governments.

Nita considers herself a compassionate Conservative. She is a Rotarian and a member of the Streetsville Legion (an organization which helps our country’s veterans). She tries to provide a helping hand wherever she can to make our country a better place.

Nita is employed by the Ontario PC Party as their Director of Special Projects and continues her political activism every day in hopes to see better government.

Joanna Andros Headshot

Joanna Andros
Self Development Award

Joanna Andros is a passionate teacher, therapist, and life and emotional healing coach, who brings her vast knowledge and experience to assist others in overcoming obstacles and achieving success in every aspect of life. Joanna has developed a proven therapy process called Progressive Neural Resolution Therapy to uncover and eliminate the negative subconscious beliefs that hold people back from achieving their goals – measurable results are guaranteed from the very first session.

Unlike other methods that only create awareness, Joanna’s transformational process is grounded in proven strategies that work. Progressive Neural Resolution Therapy™ (PNRT) is a healing process which quickly targets, with laser precision, the belief systems that may be in the way of achieving a dream, goal or peace of mind. PNRT is also used to overcome negative inner chatter, phobias, OCD, heal deep resentment or trauma and create lasting freedom from the negative emotions that drain our energy and hold us back.

As a kidney transplant survivor, Joanna understands how the mind can be led to both create an illness and heal the body. Having overcome her own emotional issues and blocks in every area of her life, drives her passion and commitment to providing people with techniques that offer faster, proven results to help free them from their suffering, whether emotional, physical or financial.

A successful entrepreneur with 20 years of business experience, Joanna works in partnership with Tanya Chernova. As co-founder of Courageous Living she leads people through profound personal development programs and brings dynamic, effective, life-changing empowerment coaching and principles to individuals, groups, companies, and corporations. As co-founder of the PNRT certification program for therapists, Joanna has become a master educator in the realm of neuroscience and the ability to change the brain with neural-programming.

Joanna works in partnership with Tanya Chernova as co-founders of Courageous Living with the goal to make an extraordinary contribution to women, people in their community and the world.

Mariya Tarasio 2

Mariya Tarasio
Maria Martini Resilience Award

A work and life ethic of “whatever it takes” attitude that has made her the proven success that she has become. A former Executive Assistant of over 15 years to now Manager of The Micoli Group, a successful Global Recruitment Organization assisting many families from each corner of the Globe not only to start their lives in Canada with Visa and Sponsorship processing, its along with assisting in ensuring the success in securing jobs for many.

When not assisting many families, Mariya Coordinates Fashion Shows for Celebrity Designers on an Enormous Scale and is on the Advisory Board for the first ever 2017 Halton Fashion Week. Her experience includes involvement through delegating, and directing charity events and shows the Greater Toronto Area. Mariya is Beyond positive and passionate with the growth and assistance of all that surrounds her.

11080412_1603667046545541_2465320681044300476_o_1

Norma Trivino
Life Time Achievment Award

For the past 25 years Norma has served as a dedicated volunteer at work, in her church, and in her community. At work, she volunteered countless hours for the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign. Throughout 14 years, she wore diverse hats, including Chair, Co-Chair, Committee Member, Special Events Coordinator and Ambassador Coordinator.

Each year, during the four-month campaign, Norma and her crew had to treach an annual monetary goal of at least $20,000. At church, her passion is her volunteer work for the Homeless Outreach Program. On a quarterly basis, Norma, together with other volunteers from church offer sandwiches to help feed the displaced people of Toronto. Along with food, they bring their message of hope to those feeling lost and forgotten. In her community, she facilitated a self-esteem workshop for Latina girls at a day camp run by MUJER.This multi-faceted summer camp program was offered to disadvantaged Latina girls ages 13-21. It had three main components: Leadership, Health, and Creative Art Expression workshops, which addressed topics including self-esteem, bullying, body image and healthy relationships. Norma also mentored Jeneene Guerrero, Miss Canada Charity 2013-2014. This volunteer work included focusing on and developing Jeneene`s charitable work plus providing both professional and personal support. For all her arduous volunteer work, Norma received an Outstanding Volunteer Achievement Certificate from Councillor Castro Liu.

saliena

Saliena Ganglani
Philanthropist of the Year Award

Born in West Africa, Saliena called Charlotte, North Carolina home until she 2012 when she moved to Toronto.

With her Masters in Health Administration & MBA, Saliena has always been passionate about healthcare and working with non profit organizations across the world.

Her focus on the community around her has led her to a number of volunteer opportunities and community leadership roles. Giving back to the community is Saliena’s true passion!

Saliena mentors young adults on integration into the work force, personal growth & development as well as helping young entrepreneurs find their passion and path. She also donates back to many charities across North America and Africa.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, working out, and traveling! Saliena believes that enjoying every moment and seeing life as it is, makes us appreciate everything a bit more.

“It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” Eckhart Tolle

IMG_1494ra_55 (6)

Josie Morand
Philanthropist of the Year Award

When she immigrated to Manitoba, Canada with her family from Poland at the age of fourteen, Josie Morand could not speak a word of English. But, learning from her father, who taught himself English very quickly to seek out better job opportunities to provide for his family, she learned fast, and at seventeen started what would be a successful career at the Royal Bank of Canada. Now, Josie is retired, and spends much of her time helping her high profile husband, OG Co-Founder and Global Master Distributor Shane Morand, behind the scenes, where she feels right at home.

Josie sat down with us to share her inspiring story, and spoke about opportunity, inspiration, and the importance of family, balance, spontaneity and hugs.

Who are you, Josie Morand, and what is your story?
My family has always been very close-knit, and remains so today. In Poland life was much harder. My parents were farmers working around the clock and raising five children. Although we had very little, I always remember my mom welcoming people who had no family, or those in need of a meal, into our home, explaining to us that there is always enough for one more person. That was such a great lesson, and one that I will always practice.

My father saw this country as an opportunity for his family, and repeatedly told us that if we did not succeed in doing something at first we needed to do it again, and again, and again. I followed his advice, and at the age of seventeen, I went to work for the Royal Bank of Canada, where I quickly moved up the ranks. I studied computer science, marketing, payroll, human resources and other areas of banking. I enjoyed my entire career in banking, at the Royal Bank of Canada, and took early retirement to support my husband, Shane, in his Organo Gold business.

What inspires you every day?
I am inspired by my husband’s positive mental attitude — just seeing him wake up inspired also inspires me. Sometimes if I wake up with a little pain or concern, I just think of Shane and know that there are still so many things that I am put here to accomplish. I am a hands-on person, and as a founding board member for the OG Cares Foundation, I have much to do. I also love to cook for neighbors, friends, and family that appreciate a home cooked meal, and use the telephone to support causes that OG Cares is sponsoring. I look forward to and give thanks each day with gratitude for the goodness that is in my life – Shane, my daughter, my son-in -law and my four wonderful grandchildren. There is nothing that I can complain about, but there are so many things that I am grateful for.

How do you balance your family and business life?
Now that I am retired, this is easier for me to do, because I can dedicate my time to helping out with all of the behind the scenes work for Shane — I like to be the background person. It is fulfilling for me, because I truly know what the results are as Shane spends his time helping people all over the world.

How an OG Woman can be successful as mother, wife, and business person?
In order to be successful on many levels, an OG woman must set her priorities. You must delegate time for business and home life. Most importantly, you must never give up who you are. Continue to do the things that you enjoy doing, and do them religiously. By that I mean, never compromise yourself for a job and/or money. Sometimes business has to work around life, otherwise people can become changed. We all need good energy, and if we feel that money or work is creating “bad energy” in our lives, then we need to get back to the basics of who we really are and what makes us happy.

What is the most important thing in your life?
Family, family, family. And more family! Shane comes first and then all the others in my immediate family – my daughter, son-in-law, my grandchildren, and my siblings and their families. I have many interests and the main ones are cooking, gardening, and reading.

Anything else you would like to share with our OG Family?
Tell people you love them and hug them more. Neither of these two things are done enough. Do little things daily on the spur of the moment. Be spontaneous. Act with your heart. Don’t look at how much money you can give, but rather spend time. This makes a huge impact and a huge difference.

Alessandra Piccolo head shot 2

Alessandra Piccolo
Self Development Award

Alessandra Piccolo has been a resident of Vaughan for over twenty years and has been a dedicated member of the community ever since. Through her entrepreneurial and charitable initiatives, her spirit of service has touched the lives of many.

As founder of Allequent Events Inc. Alessandra has been appointed with the executive directorship of the Vaughan International Film Festival. She has been instrumental in fostering and promoting the growth of arts and culture in the community. Furthermore, her time at Hospice Vaughan as a former board member resulted in a fully community funded renovation
and restoration of its facility where convalescing patients and their families get to enjoy the benefits of this service. In addition, she was instrumental in the revitalization of the annual Hospice Vaughan Giving Thanks Gala where thousands of dollars are being raised to support Hospice initiatives.

In particular, Alessandra has taken the many harrowing challenges she’s confronted in her life and has transformed these experiences into opportunities for learning, growth, and the chance to serve. Her grace and poise in the face of various bouts with cancer has granted her the opportunity to mentor other fighters and survivors with strategies and lessons for staying positive and maintaining the right attitude to overcome and heal.

Alessandra epitomizes the spirit of The Self Development Award through her commitment, courage, and dedication to others.

Laesley Page

Lesley Page
Volunteer of the Year Award

Lesley Page is a private pilot, experienced public speaker and engaging story teller. She enjoys inspiring people to overcome their fears and obstacles and to achieve their dreams by relating her journey from burned-out corporate executive to award-winning private pilot.

In the spring of 2005, Lesley was a successful executive with a large Canadian corporation, but she was missing out on life. She was almost 50 years old and her mother had died of breast cancer at age 53, so Lesley was becoming increasingly conscious of the brevity of life. In April of 2005, her life changed forever when her husband bought a small airplane and took her for her first flight. It was “love at first flight”! Never one to be content to just go along for the ride in life, Lesley declared “Life is too short to be a passenger” and quit her high paying, high stress job to learn how to fly.

Lesley obtained her Private Pilot license in the spring of 2007 and for the past 10 years, she and her husband have taken turns in the pilot seat, flying all over North America. Three times, they have flown their Cessna 172 all the way from Toronto to the Bahamas.

In 2008, Lesley joined the Ninety-Nines, the female pilots association founded by Amelia Earhart in 1929. After volunteering on various committees for a few years, she became the president of the largest Canadian Chapter of the organization. As part of her Ninety-Nines volunteer activities, Lesley has mentored several female student pilots who have since achieved their pilot licenses.

Only 6% of pilots are women. Starting in 2010, Lesley began volunteering with organizations that aimed to change that statistic, most notably, the Centennial of Women Licensed Pilots, the Women of Aviation Worldwide Week and the Young Eagles program. At first, her contribution consisted of introducing girls and women to aviation simply by taking them for a free flight in her airplane, but she quickly realized that she could reach far more women and girls by recruiting other pilots to the cause. In 2010, Lesley led a team of 50 pilots to make the Oshawa Executive Airport the “2010 Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport in the World”

In 2012, Lesley was a founding director of the not-for-profit Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide and accepted the positions of Treasurer and Canada Team Leader. For two years, she coordinated dozens of events across Canada, resulting in thousands of women and girls being exposed to aviation and the thrill of flight!

That same year, Lesley was appointed the Southern Ontario Field Representative for the Experimental Aircraft Association’s international Young Eagles program – a volunteer driven program that introduces boys and girls aged 8-17 to aviation by giving them free airplane rides in small aircraft. Each year, she organizes the annual Young Eagles Rally at the Oshawa airport. Over the past 5 years, almost 1,000 boys and girls have experienced a free flight in a small airplane, thanks to the dozens of volunteers under Lesley’s leadership.

In 2014, Lesley created ‘Girls Take Flight’, a free aviation event for girls and women that takes place at the Durham Flight Training Centre at the Oshawa airport. In addition to free airplane rides for women and girls, there is a speaker program, activities and displays. The event has grown each year in numbers and scope. This year, on April 29, there were approximately 700 attendees. 188 women and girls experienced a free flight. Lesley recruited 9 inspiring speakers – all were females working or playing in the Aviation and Aerospace industries. She organized 20 displays and activities and several static aircraft displays, including a Porter Airlines Q400, flown from the City Centre airport to Oshawa (a 12 minute flight), by an all female crew. Porter airlines is the title sponsor of the event.

Each year, Lesley has been able to raise more money in donations than is needed to cover expenses, so she has developed a sponsorship program to fund flight training for girls 14 and older. Last year, she had enough money to fund 17 flight lessons.

Because of Lesley’s leadership and passion, she has never had trouble recruiting volunteers for her events. At this year’s Girls Take Flight event in April, there were 150 volunteers and at the Young Eagles Rally in June, there were 64. Lesley motivates volunteers by allowing them to choose their role and making sure that they have the tools and training to do the job. She also gives them an event T-shirt and feeds them throughout the day.

Two years ago, Lesley got involved with the Air Cadets 2 VandenBos Squadron. She has volunteered as a judge for their debate program and their scholarship program. In 2016 and 2017, Lesley coordinated and arranged funding with the Squadron and the Experimental Aircraft Association to sent a 15 year old each year to the Young Eagles Air Academy Camp in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Lesley has received awards for her volunteer efforts from several organizations, including The Centennial of Women Licensed Pilots, The Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide, The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association and the The Buttonville Flying Club.

Lesley has the following affiliations:
Past president, First Canadian Chapter of the Ninety-Nines
Secretary, East Canada Section of the Ninety-Nines
Founding director, the Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide
Southern Ontario Young Eagles Field Representative, Experimental Aircraft Association
Speaker Bureau chair, Northern Lights Aero Foundation
Past Director, Michigan Aviation Association
Member of Women in Aviation International
Member of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association

Lesley is thrilled and honoured to have won this prestigious award!

Natalia-Jurechek-head-shot

Natalia Jureczek
Student of the Year Award

Natalia Jureczek is a determined student who goes beyond what is necessary to ensure her goals become a reality. She is currently attending the prestigious Schulich School of Business at York University. Remarkably, she is one of 100 students from her year enrolled in the International Bachelor of Business Administration (iBBA) program. As part of this program, Natalia was one of two students chosen to spend a semester abroad in Switzerland to attend the Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of Lausanne.

Her academic accomplishments thus far have been quite impressive as Natalia has always strived for excellence. Natalia graduated from Philip Pocock Catholic Secondary School in 2014 with the third highest mark, the proficiency award in Calculus and Vectors (in which she obtained 98%), the Award of Excellence, the Award of Merit, and an Extended French Certificate in additional to annual Honours Awards received throughout Grades 9 and 12. Now in university, Natalia has obtained a cumulative GPA of 8.14 (on a 9.0 scale) which has earned her the title of a Member of the Dean’s Honour List with Distinction. Recently, Natalia has become a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society as a result of being in the top 15% of her program.

Although Natalia has immersed herself into her studies, she believes in a balanced lifestyle and in giving back to her community. As a result, Natalia has been extensively involved in the Polish Community – particularly through her 12 years of participation in Lechowia Polish-Canadian Folk Dance Company. As Lechowia participates in international festivals, Natalia promoted both Polish and Canadian culture while on trips to the United States, Poland, Peru, and Greece. In high school, Natalia gave back to the community by volunteering with various environmental organizations as well as by joining her high school’s Green Team to help Philip Pocock C.S.S. maintain Gold Status as an Ontario EcoSchool.

Natalie Castro head shot

Natalie Castro
Student of the Year Award

Natalie Castro is a Canadian artist she is 17 years old and was born in Toronto, Ontario.

From an early age she had a great passion for singing and music.

Despite her short career, she has managed to the share the stage with great singers like: Gabino Pampini from Panama, Yan Collazo from Puerto Rico, Miles Pena from Cuba, and will also have the opportunity to share the stage with Sonora Dinamita of Colombia, El Puma from Venezuela and also the great honour of opening for Group niche in the Latin Expo festival in Calgary.

Natalie has worked with different music producers in Canada, and the Dominican Republic, such as Jose Antonio Hernandez (winner of multiple Latin Grammy’s) and managed to record successful songs such as Mr. Postman (style bachata) and its latest: Amor Mio (Original Song in bachata).

Natalie currently has her own singing coach Ms. Paula Griffith, one of the most recognized coaches of Canada.

This year, Natalie was chosen to be , Ambassador for Youth Day which takes place in the city of Toronto, where thousands of young people participate in the different branches of art and culture. She received an award from the Latino Magazine, as Latin artist revelation of 2016. She also participated in the CBC Glen Gould Studio Showcase for two consecutive years.

Natalie Castro has her own latin band (Nueva Sensation) composed of 10 highly experienced musicians.

gwenyth

Gwyneth Herrera
Student of the Year Award

Gwyneth Herrera is a 9 year-old Canadian abstract and photo-realistic artist, who was born into a loving artistic family. She is currently an award winner artist who won THE VISION AWARDS 2016 in the ‘Young Visionary of the Year’ category, nominee and finalist at the MARTY’S AWARD 2017 for the Emerging Visual Arts category and ‘Visual Artist of the Year’ by InFAME Awards 2016.

At 14 months, Gwyneth Herrera began to grab the paintbrush from her father’s hand. After contemplating Gwyneth’s developing artistic skills, her inner ability to mix colours was undeniable. She maneuvered her brushes and rollers with incredible agility and precision. She spent long periods of time painting, demonstrating remarkable patience and deep concentration towards her art pieces, which were very unusual characteristics for a child her age.

By the age of 3, she had created 20 professional-sized paintings, surprisingly, she had developed her own unique style. When she was 4 years old, she donated 2 of her favourite paintings; ‘Ocean’ and ‘Rain’ to Ronald McDonald House of Toronto due to her love for others, especially children. In spite of her tender age, she has captured the attention of many people around the globe for her philanthropic spirit and sincere love for art.

She has shown a perceptual creativity of uniqueness and simplicity on her artwork. She immerses herself into the wonderful creations that God has designed, in nature, a keen observation of it, is where Gwyneth finds her inspiration. Gwyneth’s love for art is unquestionable.

In October 2016, Gwyneth was invited as a special guest speaker at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMIIC) managed by the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC) for United Way to inspire others to give back. With her speech, she helped the audience discover – from insightful child’s point of view – how giving is the key to real happiness.

Gwyneth has created inspirational quotes and loves to talk about the reasons why people have a unique purpose in life.

Sponsors

Past Galas