Business conference seeks to inspire 

Women business owners gather to network, learn

By Vivian Moreau

Whether you’re a woman thinking about starting a business in Whistler or if you’re already up and running but need tips on developing your business, Fairmont Chateau Whistler is the place to be April 10 as 150 local female business owners gather for a one-day business conference.

In its third year, the “Dazzle and Deliver” conference that includes a four-panel morning forum and afternoon of five workshops is an opportunity for women to learn from others’ successes and challenges, says conference spokesperson Bernie Lalor-Morton. Sponsored by Women of Whistler, a business networking group, Lalor-Morton says the day is more than just a chance to get the word out about your own business, it’s also a place to discover what other businesses in Whistler are doing.

“It gives other women the opportunity to say ‘Hey you know what? I can find the thing I need here, I don’t have to go somewhere else,’” said Lalor-Morton, who noted she now uses a graphic designer she met through a previous conference.

Keynote speaker Cathrine M. Ann, a recent YWCA Women of Distinction award winner, will speak about her journey from street kid to entrepreneur. Raised in a troubled Toronto home, Ann was sleeping with her baby in subway stations at 14, but through a remarkable journey, Ann, now in her 40s, started a successful Vancouver-based retail analysis company.

Whistler businesswoman Fiona Famulak attended last year’s conference for the first time. She started her bookkeeping and strata management company, Indigo Innovations, in Whistler four years ago and said the conference helped her come up with a long-term plan for her business.

“A lot of us get into business without really giving a lot of thought into where the company is going,” Famulak said. She said the conference is an inspiring day of listening to and speaking with other businesswomen.

“You leave with a real upbeat feeling that you can conquer everything because you’ve learned so much and all you want to do is get back to work and apply them.”

Coffee and lunch is included in the $99 fee for the conference that runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To register, call Whistler Chamber of Commerce, 604-932-5922, ext. 26.

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