Join the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce for The Difference Makers: Women in Business Breakfast on International Women's Day, March 8 with registration opening at 7:30am and the event proceeding from 8:00am - 9:30am at the Water Tower Inn! The event will feature a panel discussion with local business and professional women from a variety of industries who will share experiences, success stories and advice to help inspire and support business women in Sault Ste. Marie. As well, the Athena Leadership Award will be presented at the event.
Lisa Vezeau-Allen began her lifelong career in the charitable sector after joining her first board of directors at the age of 18. She has led organizations, been instrumental in multiple project initiatives and understands the power of collaborations and giving back to communities. She was instrumental in founding the first Youth Advisory Committee connecting neurotypical and neurodiverse youth within her Board role at the Autism Society of Boulder County and was selected for a YUSA Innovation Award (as Director of Development for YMCA Boulder County) having established a mentorship program to support young people attending extracurriculars. She founded in 2019, Grocer 4 Good Ability Development Program (a charitable organization focused on employment and training for folks with barriers), and her work at G4G has awarded her the Police Services, Community Excellence Award, in 2022 and the Algoma Public Health, Public Health Champion, in 2021.
She has served as a city councilor since 2018, participates in multiple boards and committees in that role; and in her personal life continues as Board President and active volunteer at Grocer 4 Good and is President of the Board for Autism Ontario. She is most proud of being the mom to three young adult sons.
Jennifer Johnson is from the Bawating region within the Robinson-Huron treaty territory of the Anishinaabe people, which settlers have named Sault Ste. Marie. She works to facilitate the harmonious intersection of culture as a way to contribute to cultural, social and economic prosperity.
As the Founder of iCA Immigration in Sault Ste Marie she has set out to provide Canadian companies and newcomers to Canada with high quality and comprehensive immigration and integration services anchored in trust and community.
Jennifer is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, a holder of a Master of Education Degree in Adult Learning and Global Change, a licensed group facilitator and a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory. Her previous work in employment services and international education inspired her to combine the technical aspects of immigration (ie:work permit application) with the social aspect of community cultural harmony (ie: equity, diversity and inclusion training & consulting)
She is an outdoor enthusiast who is in love with the Northern Ontario lifestyle and wants to create inclusivity so everyone can enjoy it.
Carolyn is a proud member of Fort Albany First Nation, Carolyn first joined Sault College in 1999. Having worked in a number of departments throughout the institution, she became the Director of Native Education in 2005, taking on the Employment Ontario Literacy and Basic Skills portfolio in 2010 and in 2017 was appointed to the position of Dean of Indigenous Studies and Academic Upgrading.
Currently, Carolyn is the Chair for Colleges and Institutes Canada’s National Indigenous Advisory Committee, Chair of the Indigenous Peoples Education Circle representing all 24 Colleges in Ontario, and a member of the Ontario Heads of Upgrading Programs.
Carolyn is committed to fostering and strengthening the collaborations and partnerships needed to support a collective effort towards truth and reconciliation. She is committed to providing culturally relevant post-secondary learning opportunities and experiences that not only contribute to the learning aspirations of all students but also contributes to the wider recognition of Indigenous peoples place within Canada.
“The opportunity to contribute and support the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce is an exciting one, with numerous opportunities for collaboration and partnerships.” – Carolyn Hepburn
Traci Costa is a prominent figure in the field of women's leadership development. Her unwavering commitment to cultivating leaders has earned her numerous accolades, including the prestigious ATHENA Leadership Award in 2018. Traci's commitment to empowering women led her to serve on the ATHENA International Board of Directors until she was named the President and CEO in 2021.
Before her tenure with ATHENA International, Traci played an instrumental role as the founding director of the Olivet College Women's Leadership Institute. In less than three years, she spearheaded the establishment of numerous women's leadership programs that positively impacted the lives of over 1,500 girls and women.
Beyond her leadership in the realm of women's empowerment, Traci boasts an extensive background in fundraising. She served as the North Central Regional Director for the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) and earned recognition for her contributions to the field. Her achievements included being elected to the Northern Arizona Association of Fundraising Professionals Board and being named the 2009 Northern Arizona New Fundraising Professional of the Year.
Traci's journey towards leadership began on the volleyball court as a former NCAA Division 1 volleyball coach and athlete. Hailing from California, she attended California State University, Fresno on a full athletic volleyball scholarship. Traci's athletic prowess earned her two-time team MVP honors, three-time scholar-athlete distinctions, a spot on the All-Big West Conference team, and recognition as the FSU Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She continued her journey as the founding head volleyball coach at Belmont University in Nashville, TN, securing a conference championship title and earning the title of TCAC Conference Coach of the Year.
Traci's diverse range of experiences fuels her fervent dedication to empowering leaders and upholding ATHENA's vision to inspire all leaders to play their part in advancing gender-balanced leadership worldwide. She possesses a profound passion for supporting and inspiring others as they tap into their unique and authentic leadership strengths. Traci is resolutely committed to instilling ATHENA's culture of empathy, compassion, and inclusivity in workplaces and rewriting the leadership narrative.
In March of 2023, Traci embarked on The ATHENA Enlightenment Tour, a global journey aimed at expanding awareness for ATHENA, strengthening community relationships, and amplifying the local ATHENA leaders who are effecting transformative change, championing women and girls within their communities.
Watch Traci's message to 2023 SHE LEADS attendees!