October 2019  

Message from your President

OWIN Autumn Newsletter

Hello OWIN Members!

Don’t you just love the fall and all the different colours it brings to us. A new season is a new reason to try something new. What will you try this season? If you have never come out for an OWIN lunch or to one of our events, it’s time to give us a try!

I would like to thank all the Board members for all the hard work they put in to keep OWIN up to date and running smoothly. We are all volunteers and do our best as we all have our own businesses too.

OWIN had a great night at our 25th Anniversary Celebration and it was wonderful to meet the women who started OWIN. I have only been an OWIN member for just over four years and I am still learning lots about this great networking team we have.

I am looking forward to our November event “Sparks Ignite our Dreams”. If you didn’t come last year you missed a night full of stories from OWIN members who shared how they became who they are today. This year's event is set to be equally as inspiring and fun. I hope you can join us.

Tammy Burdett,

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Message from the Director of Communications

OWIN Communications

Summer is over and Autumn has arrived and with it the cooler weather. While I'm not a fan of Winter, and always look forward to Summer, it is lovely to breathe in the fresh, cool Autumn air and watch the leaves change colour. Let's hope Fall lasts a long time and that there are still lots of sunshiny days still to come.

As we look forward to the last quarter of 2019, there is still so much going on with OWIN.

On October 23rd, we host our second Speaker Series lunch. Alayne Brisson will be presenting Photography for Business. Find out more about this event below.

On November 19th, OWIN will be hosing its second Sparks Ignite My Dreams Dinner Speaker Event. We will have four fabulous speakers to inspire you for the evening. Check out the details below.

Lunches resume through October in Woodstock, Tillsonburg and Ingersoll, however, there will be no lunchtime networking in November as we encourage you to attend our dinner speaker event.

There will be a change of dates for our December lunches, to accommodate our Festive Ingersoll lunch which would otherwise fall on Christmas Day. As soon as dates/venues are confirmed, I will add them to the calendar and will also email all members with dates at the beginning of December. Check the calendar towards the end of October or early in November to mark your calendar.

And, of course, thee Events Committee is already making plans for OWIN's 4th Annual International Women's Day Event to be held on March 4th, 2020, so be sure to mark your calendars. It's going to be an amazing inspirational and fun evening.

In this newsletter, we start a new feature: OWIN Spotlight on Members. Take a look to see who is featured here.

If you have ideas for topics for our lunchtime networking business component, or items you'd like included in our newsletter, please email myself at [email protected]

Karen Coleman
Communications Director

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Welcome New Members

Welcome New OWIN Members

Welcome our newest OWIN members:

  • Marsha Barona - Synergy Wellness

  • Keri Chard - Combined Insurance

  • Natalie Chretien - BMO

  • Heather Haldane - Sales Representative - Sutton Group

  • Kelsey Streef - Willow Grove Animal Wellness Centre

We are so glad you have joined us and we look forward to getting to know each and every one of you and sharing the excitement about your businesses and your lives.

Come on out and get to know each other!! At each meeting we find connections for ourselves and others.

Don't forget to "LIKE" us on Facebook and find out what's new. And if you click on that like button it will drop down to enable you to click on "Get Notifications". Once you are a paid member of OWIN you can become part of our closed Facebook group where we share special opportunities for members only. You can make special promotions or announcements or ask questions for our members in this group. This is a secure and private group.

We have just celebrated our 25 year anniversary. So thank you to everyone who is an advocate for OWIN. We appreciate you.

If you are not a member of OWIN and have any questions regarding membership, what OWIN is about, or what some of the benefits are, please contact us. We are more than willing to help.

If you are a member of OWIN, don't forget to support other members by adding your name to the Membership Incentive Program and to see which other members are offering incentives.

Susan Winlaw
Membership Director

Membership Incentive Program

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SPEAKER SERIES: Photography for Business

with Alayne Brisson

Speaker Series: Photography for Business with Alayne Brisson, October 23rd, 12-1pm

On Wednesday, October 23rd, OWIN will be hosting our second Speaker Series. The Topic is Photography for Busiiness and our speaker will be Alayne Brisson.

Alayne's presentation is designed to help business owners take better photos that promote their business using even a cell phone.

You will learn:

  • to take professional looking images for social media and websites.
  • the basics on using props in your photos.
  • how lighting can elevate your products even on a budget.
  • when should you call on a professional.

The event will be held at Community Futures Oxford, 118 Oxford Street, Ingersoll from 12-1pm. Lunch and refreshments from the Olde Bakery Cafe will be included. Cost to attend is $15 for members and $20 for non-members.

More Details & to Register

Save the Date for Sparks Ignite My Dreams Speaker Appetizer Evening

Tuesday, November 19th, 2019 from 7pm to 10pm

at the Upper Thames Brewing Company, Woodstock

Save the Date for Sparks Ignite My Dreams Speaker Appetizer Evening Tuesday, November 19th, 2019 from 7pm to 10pm at the Upper Thames Brewing Company, WoodstockFireside Speakers

More Details & to Register

Mark your calendar for OWIN's 4th Annual
International Women's Day 2020 on March 4th, 2020


IWD 202 #DiversityOfWomen


Spotlight on Business

Our Next Spotlight on Business will be on February 5th, from 5-8pm at Easy Way in Woodstock.

This FREE evening event will include refreshments, appetizers, a light supper, dessert, plus a swag bag.

Numbers will be limited.

Look for more details coming soon to your inbox and be sure to register early if you wish to attend.


Would you be interested in hosting a Spotlight on Business?

OWIN can set up a "Business after 5" event at your business or home!

Or We can plan a "Full Day" on a Saturday to visit a few Businesses in the Fall of 2020. The day would include a Networking Breakfast, plus a visit to three or more businesses!

If interested, contact [email protected]

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Stotlight on Members

Spotlight on Members

This issue, we start a new feature in our newsletter, in which we spotlight a few of our members. Each quarter we will feature two Board Members and two OWIN members who regularly attend our networking lunches.

This quarter, we feature Ashlee Hall of ON TRACK Consulting Services and also OWIN's new Vice President for 2019-2020 and Karen Coleman, OWIN's Communications Director and owner of two businesses, Kaz Design Works and Kaz Custom Travel, as well as Lee Ellery of Insurance Agent - Dumfries Mutual Ins., and finally, Karen Ellah of SwagHive.

Ashlee Hall

Ashlee Hall
ON TRACK Consulting

ON TRACK Consulting Services provides many small business and entrepreneurial supports including:

  • Business operations consulting for small businesses and young entrepreneurs
  • Bookkeeping and financial recording/HST remittance for small businesses and sole proprietors
  • Simply accounting, Sage 50 and Caseware proficiency
  • Workshop facilitation and training sessions
  • Start up documents, business plan overview and on going coaching consult delivery

View Ashlee's profile online for her contact info.

Karen ColemanKaren Coleman

I am the owner of two businesses: Kaz Design Works a graphic and website design business that is close to celebrating 12 years in business, and Kaz Custom Travel, which I started in 2018, following the completion of my Travel & Tourism Diploma, and finally fulfilling my passion, after 40 years, of becoming a travel agent.

Kaz Design Works

Kaz Design Works, a creative graphic and website design business, specializing in WordPress design, development and maintenance. I create websites that are aesthetic, functional, responsive and Google friendly, which means they will not only look great but will work well on desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones and customers will find your business online.

Kaz Custom Travel

I am also a DESTINATION TRAVEL SPECIALIST, with a focus on:

  • Safe alternatives for Solo Female Travellers, couples and small groups
  • All-inclusive vacations, cruises and tours for couples, gal pals and multi-generational families
  • Immersive and authentic travel experiences to Bucket List Destinations
  • Responsible Travel

Read the rest of Karen's bio online or visit her websites here for Travel and here for websites and graphics.

Lee ElleryLee Ellery
Insurance Agent - Dumfries Mutual Ins.

My name is Lee Ellery and I am an insurance agent for Dumfries Mutual Insurance. I sell Commercial, Farm, Home, and Auto Insurance. I have been in the insurance industry for over 12 years and I am excited to be expanding our business into Oxford County. As a life-long resident of Oxford County, I am passionate about supporting our community. I believe that people should always come first and I pride myself on exceptional customer service.

For Lee's contact info, view her profile online.

images/members/received_366647664047809.pngKaren Ellah

I have a passion for helping my clients achieve their branding goals! 

With 10+ years in the promotional industry I took a leap of faith and have started my own promotional distributorship! 

I can help you achieve your branding goals through promotional marketing - anything you can imagine your logo on, I can provide! (Think: pens, mugs, lanyards, tech items, housewares, journals, tote bags, branded clothing - the list truly goes on and on!)

Contact me any time to see what we can do to help you grow your business! 

View Karen's profile online or visit her website here.

To be featured in the OWIN newsletter, you must be a current member of OWIN in good-standing, have a bio on the OWIN website, attend at least one OWIN networking lunch meeting, Signature Evening event, Speaker Series Event or Spotlight on Business event each quarter, and/or post/comment on our closed Facebook group on a regular basis. To check to see if you have a bio on our website or to view other members' bios, visit the Directory and search for yours or their name.

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Message from your Events Director

Tasty Road Trip

Tasty Road Trip Guests at Juniper Dining CoTasty Road Trip Guests at Bell City Brewing

Our August Ladies Night Out - Sips & Eats Tasty Road Trip Food + Drink Experience with OWIN Member Jan Vilaca AKA Spicy Jan! This was an extraordinary event:

We had 4 hours of luxury travel transportation to each destination starting in Burford. We stopped at several places and met some very interesting business owners!

  • LeChocolat du Savoie – Annette
  • Bell City Brewery - Tracey
  • Our Kitchen Brantford - Chef Julez & Cathy 
  • Brantview Farms & Howell Cider - Jay Howell 
  • Paris Bohemian Art Gallery - Kat
  • Wabi Sabi Crystals - Natalie 
  • Juniper Dining Co - Chef Andrea

See more photos in our photo gallery.



2th Anniversary Celebration

OWIN's 25th Anniversary - Door Prize TableOWIN's 25th Anniversary - Dessert Table

In September, we had our 25th Anniversary Celebration at Craigowan Golf Club. It was a wonderful setting to celebrate this amazing milestone, with appetizers & networking, plus dinner, dessert and speakers.

For those who missed our 25th Celebration, here are a few excerpts from the evening.

A welcome from our President Tammy Burdett, 2019/2020!

I thank all of you for coming and helping us celebrate OWIN’s 25th anniversary!!  OWIN started in 1994 to help the women entrepreneurs of Oxford County.  A lot has changed since then, more women are starting their own businesses and looking for likeminded women and that is where OWIN comes in. After 25 years, OWIN is still going strong and we are always looking for something new for all of us to learn.

So be proud to be a part of OWIN, not only to get ideas for yourself but to pass on great ideas to your fellow women entrepreneurs.

Our evening proceeded with words from Cathy Bingham, our Founder.

Here are a few words from here speech:

OWIN first became a glimmer of possibility about 27 years ago. Over a cup of coffee with my sister-in-law, Barb, I learned of an exciting group she had recently joined. It was a women’s networking group in K-W, and she could barely contain her enthusiasm for her recent discovery.  She looked forward to each meeting where she would have an opportunity to meet with kindred spirits, make new friends, learn about their careers and their businesses, and stretch her professional development borders.

And I thought, “Wow, we need something like this in Oxford!”

Over the next two years, I approached a few groups, looking for an umbrella group to host a similar professional women’s organization. At the time, I was serving on the Oxford Community Futures board. They liked the concept of providing growth opportunities for professional women and agreed to sponsor the group.  A founding board was recruited, and planning began.

The charter OWIN board was comprised of myself, Diana VanWinden (General Manager of the Oxford Small Business Support Centre), Dixie Bullen (Westcar), Kristi Cross, Carol Eriksson, and Fran Brown (Bell).

Our next speaker was Carole Eriksson, Founder

Speaker: Carole ErikssonHere are a few words from her speech:

I believe that the original focus was to be the mentoring and growth of women so that women could move into middle and top management.  Women in management in corporations were not the norm.  For those in their own businesses, we had challenges with accessing financing for our business and breaking into the circles of opportunity and power, commonly known as the “old boys’ network.”

For those of you who don’t know how hard it was for women, here is a small example: My MasterCard application was turned down in the early 90’s, even though I owned half the business, earned the same as my husband and paid the bills for the credit cards in my husband’s name.  I learned that supplementary credit cards do not build your credit rating and was trying to establish a credit rating. 

Also, in the early 90’s if Gunnar had died or been incapacitated, it was a concern that our bank would pull our loans.  We paid about $1,500 for a partner at the accounting firm we used, to go to the bank with me for an annual review and to help establish my credibility with the bank.

Many women still face those challenges today, as banks have increased the minimums for loans to higher amounts than many women can qualify for, or maybe even need.  The result is that small borrowers may have to use credit cards with their crushing interest rates on outstanding balances, which is rewarding for bank shareholders but not the credit card users.

Kristi Cross, Founder

Our Speaker Kristi Cross was not able to attend due to illness, but she did send some welcoming words that Judith was able to share!

How amazing to celebrate Oxford Women in Networking on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary milestone. 

There have been many accomplishments:

  • Bringing women’s issues to the forefront
  • Advocating for those who might not have had a voice
  • Opportunities to develop professional & management skills
  • Providing a forum to network and share best practices
  • Monthly networking luncheons in Tillsonburg, Ingersoll & Woodstock

You are to be congratulated for keeping OWIN relevant and encouraging change. 

Many of us work remotely and the need for personal and professional relationships is more important than ever before. 

Networking works because it is a RECIPROCAL process!

Lindsay Wilson from Community Futures was our next speaker.

Speaker: Lindsay Wilson, Community Futures OxfordLindsay’s topic was Women Entrepreneurs: What's our Future! View Lindsay’s Presentation here.

Community Futures was also Our EVENT SPONSOR!

Further to the presentation from Lindsay Wilson at OWIN's 25th Anniversary Celebration Event, please complete the following survey.

Community Futures Oxford is currently finalizing the details of some new programs and supports for women entrepreneurs and Lindsay would like to incorporate your feedback in the plan. Please keep in mind that it will be easier to incorporate ideas and supports if it’s based on feedback and data from the community so your participation is highly valuable and can have real impact on what’s available to women

In addition to the survey, you can also provide your feedback at Community Futures Improving services for women entrepreneurs: an in person discussion.

Online via Google Hangout on October 22, 2:00-3:00pm. Register here.

Online via Google Hangout on October 22, 7:00-8:00pm: Register here.

In person on October 24, 9:00-10:00am at the Register here.

Brenda Pearce was our final speaker of the evening.

Speaker: Brenda PearceBrenda’s topic was Empowering to Live More Fully Now & Without Regrets.

Here are a few words from her speech:

Making peace with people, emotions and items that may be or have been in conflict with us is something that we have to seriously look at.  Sometimes actually confronting the person whom we are in distress with may not always be possible for many reasons so I am sharing a technique with you that you can use at any time to free yourself from the pain of the situation, person or emotion.  It is a Hawaiian technique called  Ho'oponopono. It is a beautiful way of releasing burdens, and finding peace. Often times the problems in our life are our problems and really if we can create them in our mind then we can release them in our heart.

  1. Think of the person, situation, emotion or item that is bothering you, that you feel has a hold on you. In your heart and mind tell them “I love you” and spend a few moments thinking of all the ways you love or appreciate them.
  2. Next is to think in your heart and mind “I am sorry”. Every situation takes two different opinions, and each of us have a role to play in it.   Admitting your sorry is the key to release. It makes it possible to let something go.  To lose the emotional attachment.
  3. Now ask in your heart and mind, ‘Please forgive me” energetically opens the avenue to receive forgiveness that you may be needing and wanting, and opens you up to receiving release from the ties of the situation.
  4. Now from your heart, and mind offer “Thank you.” Be grateful for taking the time to heal, and realize that the situation is healed, and that you are free. Not only that but the other side of the situation is also free.

Life is challenging enough without carrying unnecessary baggage.  That even if the other side of the situation continues to harbour baggage, you are free.  You do not need to carry it, and you are not obligated to act or react to it anymore.   When you find that peace in your heart, your mind and spirit, you will feel more comfortable within the home that is your life.  Peace in the world starts with you.  You will find that opportunities and people will be drawn to you in a new and amazing way.

OWIN 25th Anniversary Celebration Event Speakers receive flowers

Our Networking Activity—led by Events Team Member, Liz Johnston

Liz JohnstonMembers’ Vision for OWIN in 5 years

  • Assist and mentor young women in their search for careers and match (connect) them with (Mentorship program)
  • Move the meetings around the county and have one personal testimony each meeting
    • “Who Am I?”
  • Mastermind groups: bring in perspectives, brainstorm, problem solve
  • Women’s retreat (cabin etc.)
  • Networking
  • Time to sit with seasoned business member and ask five questions
  • Young woman outreach
  • OWIN in the high schools (speakers)—student members, younger faces
  • Partner with community projects and initiatives
  • Larger-Bigger-Better-“Badder”
  • Personal transformation summit
  • Self-employment mentors
  • Self-care mentors
  • Lunches will continue with updates and conversations on business topics
  • More advanced web platform (more user friendly)
  • Can we adapt to fast paced and society artificial intelligence?
  • Are we willing to reach out with friendship and caring?
  • Listen to our members and prospective members
  • “The greatest privilege in life is the opportunity to be of service to others.”

Special Thank you to my Events Team for all their hard work over the last few months and at the event! I appreciate your assistance with getting everything organized, using your creativity to create the vision of our 25th Anniversary and hosting meetings!!

Celine Beaudoin, Liz Johnston, Dayna Noury, Carol Eriksson—Thank You!

Thank you to Karen Coleman for all her continued and ongoing support of OWIN Events. We appreciate all her beautiful designs/graphics for all OWIN events and advertising!

Enjoy the Autumn weather!

Signs of change and colour will guide you into the next season!

Judith Fleming
Events Director

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A Message from our Sponsor

A message from OWIN's 25th Anniversary Celebration Sponsor

Community Futures Oxford

Further to the presentation from Lindsay Wilson at OWIN's 25th Anniversary Celebration Event, please complete the following survey.

Community Futures Oxford is currently finalizing the details of some new programs and supports for women entrepreneurs and Lindsay would like to incorporate your feedback in the plan. Please keep in mind that it will be easier to incorporate ideas and supports if it’s based on feedback and data from the community so your participation is highly valuable and can have real impact on what’s available to women

In addition to the survey, you can also provide your feedback at Community Futures Improving services for women entrepreneurs: an in person discussion.

Online via Google Hangout on October 22, 2:00-3:00pm. Register here.

Online via Google Hangout on October 22, 7:00-8:00pm: Register here.

In person on October 24, 9:00-10:00am at the Register here.

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