Past Powerful Women Today Presenters

Empowered Women. Empowering Women.

Connect with an elite group of Powerful Professional and Entrepreneurial Women at our Spring Celebration and our Fall Conference and Trade Show.  


Powerful Women Today

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As a serial entrepreneur, who instead of retiring, repurposed and now builds Advisory Boards for WomenBusiness Owners. After owning a tech company for 32 years, Marg now shares her knowledge, expertiseand lessons learned with other women entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses.

Andrea Twizell has been in the financial industry for over 25 years understanding clients needs and is a proven sales leader with talent selling quality and service over price. Comprehensive knowledge of financial products including banking, mortgages, investments and insurance. Exceptional communicator with a consultative sales style, strong negotiation skills and problem solving abilities.

Andrea’s passion is helping clients achieve their goals, as each client is different it is important to listen and understand and provide solutions for their financial needs.

As the National Partnership Director for HomEquity Bank, Andrea builds relationships with National Brokerage firms and provides solutions for seniors.

Did you know that there are over 3200 franchise companies in North America? If you are interested in owning a franchise, how do you know which one is right for you?

As a former franchise owner myself, and a successful corporate career with several franchise companies, I have an in-depth understanding of the world of franchising. I apply my franchising experience and expertise to help individuals identify franchise opportunities that are the best fit for their financial and personal goals. As a professional consultant I work with you on how to conduct a thorough franchise search and help you to find solid choices out of hundreds of brands in all sectors. 



Jackie Porter, CFP, Toronto, is an award winning financial planner serving busy professionals, entrepeneurs and their famillies for 18 years. She has been featured on CBC, Sun TV and  BNN. Jackie is also a regular contributor to SLAW Tips, Investment Executive,  Wealth Professional and Divorce Journal.   She  was recently named a FINALIST in the Wealth Professional Women of Influence Award for 2017. The co-author of Single By Chance or By Choice, Jackie is a leading expert in women and money, and a powerful voice in the world of women’s financial empowerment.


My practice centers on Intellectual Property (IP) and Technology (IT), including trade-marks, patents, copyright, licensing, distribution arrangements, technology matters and transactions and on litigation in this field.

I have assisted clients in all aspects of matters dealing with IP and IT transactions. I handle all types of due diligence and complex IP and IT licensing and transactional arrangements.  I also work closely with clients with respect to theirintellectual property

portfolios and their international IP and IT strategies, including for enhanced revenue generation.  I represent clients in IP litigation in the Ontario and Federal Courts.

I am the Co-chair of the Business Development Committee at Fogler, Rubinoff LLP.


Lori Prokopich has a broad business law practice with an emphasis on corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. She advises clients  regularly on complex commercial contracts and general corporate matters. Lori has acted for entrepreneurs and start-ups as well as  multinational  companies in domestic and cross-border transactions. She advises both private and public entities, and acts for investors/lenders as well as investees/borrowers. Lori has  advised clients on investment  structures, private  equity and venturecapital transactions, shareholder and partnershipagreements, share and asset purchases, business combinations, reorganizations and security arrangements.  Lori represents Canadian and international clients in a broad range of industries including technology, entertainment, manufacturing, transportation, natural resources and consumer products. She is Co-chair of the FR Women’s Network and a member of the firm’s Business Development Committee.


As an independent insurance advisor with a background in accounting, I provide clients with professional advice for both their personal and business insurance needs. 

The cost of healthcare today is the biggest disrupter to our finances. Using risk management and financial planning tools, I specialize in providing self employed and small business owners with the most tax efficient healthcare and insurance strategies available in Canada. 

On the individual side, I show you how to plan for the future you want -protecting your family, preserving your lifestyle and how to get the medical care you need, when you need it.

ella bates

Ask yourself have you had days where you are so crazy busy that by the end of it you have no idea what you have actually achieved?

Have you noticed ….When you ask friends, fellow business owners or maybe when you are asked, how you are……we start with saying how Busy life is?

At Ella we help small business owners and corporations stop glamorizing the word busy and ease back into efficiency and full productivity.

We do that through our dynamic corporate training workshops from our signature Productivity Bootcamp to the more unique programs teaching body language and designing speaker presentations. 

I am Ella Bates your Efficiency Educator, and I’m ready to take you from busy to productive.


As President of Challenge Factory and the Centre for Career Innovation, Lisa offers a dynamic perspective on the Future of Work and how demographics, the freelance economy and new market dynamics present opportunities to gain strategic advantage. 

Lisa is the author of “Retain and Gain: Career Management for Small Business”, a unique playbook published by CERIC and designed for the busy Canadian business owner, as well as a second book to be published by University of Toronto Press (UTP-Rotman imprint) in 2017 with a working title of “The Talent Revolution”.

Lisa is a sought after expert, speaker and columnist—the go-to resource for helping companies recognize and adapt to changing career timelines and demographic composition. Lisa’s expertise is widely recognized and regularly cited in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Sun Media, CBC, Zoomers Media, Rogers and other North American media sources.


As “Trainer Jane”, Jane is a Verbal Aikido Communications Coach, and the Authorized Business Partner with the renowned James MacNeil. She delivers his life-transforming experiential educational program, which combines advanced communications skills, emotional intelligence, and the powerful non-adversarial philosophy of the Japanese martial art, Aikido.

As a Business Coach, Trainer Jane delivers powerful seminars and workshops, as well as works with clients one-on-one. She has helped many entrepreneurs with their confidence, presentations skills, and by focusing them on “ethical influence”. She is best known within business coaching, for her unique “Selling on the Spot Marketplace” events, where she challenges entrepreneurs to get out of their comfort zone, learn, network, present, and ask for the sale!, helping them be more productive, build their client base, earn more money, and have more fun!

Brenna Ireland has a background in management consulting, health services, hospitality and tourism, and retail merchandising. She is a specialist in strategy and operations who has held various program management positions in both the public and private sectors. Brenna is inspired by the surge in entrepreneurship in Durham Region and is excited to bring her skill set as the Director of Operations to Community Innovation Lab, the Co-iLab Hub and both The Refinery and the NEET Youth Incubator.


I am a happiness and resiliency trainer, author, speaker, coach and facilitator. I have spoken for more than 400,000 audience members and have privately trained over 1000 individuals, because it is my absolute favorite thing to do…spreading happiness and hope. I live to inspire hope and love; to encourage you to heal; to create more happiness and gratitude in your life, and to do so in spite of the many challenges you have faced.

chala dincoy

Chala Dincoy is the CEO and Founder of The Repositioning Expert. She’s a Marketing Strategist  who helps professional service companies change their messaging to attract more decision makers. In her former life, Chala was an award winning marketer at companies such as Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Frito Lay, Diageo, Playtex and BIC Inc for 20 years. Now she’s a marketing consultant, the author of Gentle Marketing: A Gentle Way To Attract Loads Of Clients, an expert featured on major television networks such as ABCNBC, CBSFox,  as well as a speaker at International industry conferences. your growth and is like ROCKET FUEL for your business!

krisha young

Krisha Young is the Delicious Life Coach and Sabotage Slayer for kick-ass women to power up their possible and lead a Delicious Life. Slicing through synapses to shed self-sabotage, and having spent 20+ years working alongside C-Suite executives, and overcoming her own lifestyle challenges, she is the catalyst for stressed-out changemakers to go from jaded to juiced. Creator of the Delicious Life Movement, Krisha is a transformative partner in power for leading-edge women. Featured in the Huffington Post, Joyous Health, and iHeart Radio, Krisha hosts the Cabernet and Kale podcast and is a sought-after speaker on how to get out of your own way and live your most Delicious Life.

For the past year and a half, Natalie Prychitko has been having a blast working with the membership, board and staff at the Whitby Chamber of Commerce (WCC), as Chief Executive Officer. She brings more than 25 years of marketing communications and operational experience to her role, including a passion for change and empowerment. 


Prior to joining the WCC in March 2017, Prychitko held a number of executive positions within the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation (OLG) where she progressed throughout the Lottery Division, OLG Modernization and lastly managed the Change Management division, including developing a consultative role to OLG’s Chief Operating Officer. Coming back to her hometown of Whitby and leveraging her experiences for the business community at the Chamber was the perfect opportunity and a dream come true.


The team at the WCC delivers fresh, customer-experience focused programming. Dedicated to four core values, they deliver more than 80 events and opportunities for businesses to develop within the community both professionally and personally. Working closely with partnered organizations throughout the Durham Region and beyond, the WCC aggregates experts to ensure membership has the opportunity to consult with industry experts of varying capabilities and experiences.


In her spare time, Prychitko volunteers on several boards including the Durham Workforce Authority, is active in the Ukrainian community and enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

(photo Jason Liebregts / Metroland)


Teresa joined The Business Advisory Centre Inc in 2012; – a non profit organization supporting businesses to achieve business success.  Teresa has been working with the board of directors and key stakeholders to bring many new initiatives and programs to BACD and as such as increased the impact of the organization by over 200%

Teresa worked in over 5 start up organizations across 3 countries and moved to Canada in August 1999 to be part of a small start up in Toronto that specialized in Call Centre Staffing. After working in this industry for 7 years, she went to work for the Whitby Chamber of Commerce and spent 5 years there managing Member Services and Events.

Teresa has also run a number of her own businesses and has a strong  entrepreneurial streak that she has put to good use at the BACD!  She has been a business coach for over 10 years, helping businesses in their first year of start up operations.  In 2014, Teresa received her Registered Business Coach designation from the World Association of Business Coaches.

In her spare time Teresa loves to read, teach yoga and volunteer in her community.

Vania Sakelaris runs a management consulting practice, providing advisory, coaching and training services building on 25 years as a seasoned executive.  Vania is well versed in government relations and policy, and in the development and execution of large-scale strategies.  She is effective at building partnerships, facilitating executive level discussions as well as influencing and advancing change at the system, organization and individual levels. She provides coaching for women and executives on recalibrating their busy lives based on values and passion. Vania lectures part-time on health system strategy, and is a business case writer through the Ivey School of Business. She is an active volunteer and is a Mentor for the Women in Business Association at U of T. 

Randi has found her calling in the world of personal and professional growth for women and men, through the sharing of tools and resources through many mediums to help people all over the World! Her past Management of a manufacturing company and being a 4th level CMA has given Randi hands on experience and success in the business world. In her personal life, she is a proud mom of four strapping young men and a Second Degree Black Belt.
Over the years she produced numerous charity Gala’s, school events and personal events, also acquiring a passion for events.   Years ago, Randi jumped heavily into networking and found the opportunity to merge her two passions and created some Business to Business events so she could help as many people as possible in the business world, take their business to the next level. 
Randi is now a 6-time #1 International Best-Selling Author, and International Speaker and the title author and co-founder of the #1 International Best-Selling Series Empowering Women to Succeed and Conference, the 365 Empowering Stories Book, founder of globally renowned business conferences, workshops, and podcast show, including Toronto Women’s Expo and the Empowerment Radio Show. Trained to speak on stage, Randi shares her knowledge and expertise with small business & entrepreneurs all over the world.

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