We are honoured to have such talented, successful, and esteemed representatives sitting on our Judges Panel for The 2017 Mompreneur® Awards!
Co-Founder Minhas Breweries, Dragon on CBC’s Dragons Den
Manjit is co-founder of Minhas Breweries, Distillery and Winery. She started her companies at the ripe age of 19 in Alberta, when she launched her beer in Alberta with her partner and brother, Ravinder Minhas. Currently, she has over 90 brands of beers, spirits, liqueurs and wines. Her products are sold in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan , Manitoba and British Columbia, as well as 43 states throughout the USA and 15 other countries in Europe, Asia and South America. In 2015, Manjit’s companies had revenues in excess of $155 million. She is also one of Canada’ acclaimed investors on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, and is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs succeed. Manjit is born and raised in Calgary and still calls it home with her husband and two young daughters.
Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications, Coca-Cola Canada
Krista is currently the Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications for Coca-Cola Canada. Previously, she held the same role at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Group of Companies in Canada and at Bristol Myers Squibb Canada. She has more than a decade of public affairs and communications experience in Canada and worked in Latin America and Asia Pacific as well as the U.S. Previously, she was a senior political staff in the Ontario Government.
Krista has more than 20 years of non-profit experience both in management and at the board level. Non-profit board and fundraising experience includes: the Canadian Cancer Society, the Ontario Lung Association, Durham Abilities Centre, Durham Mental Health Services and various political campaigns and fundraising events. As well, Krista has corporate board experience with the Toronto Port Authority. Currently, she is Chair of Trent University Community of Women, member of the Selection Advisory Board of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada and, member of the Markham-Stouffville Hospital Board of Directors. She is the past chair of the Board of Action Against Hunger Canada and was a member of the Blue Ribbon Committee of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority.
Krista represents Coca-Cola Canada on the boards of: the Canadian Beverage Association, The Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance and the Canadian American Business Council.
Krista has an undergraduate degree from Trent University and an Executive MBA from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.
President & CEO, Canadian Franchise Association
Since late 2006 Lorraine has been President and CEO of Canadian Franchise Association, the recognized authority on franchising in Canada. With over 600 corporate members representing many of Canada’s best- and lesser-known brands and 40,000 franchisees nation-wide, CFA is the indispensable resource for the franchise community and advocates on behalf of franchisors and franchisees in Canada to enhance and protect the franchise business model. Lorraine’s focus is on ensuring the value CFA brings to its members, strategic development, advocacy and government relations, fiscal growth, and promoting excellence and growth in franchising. She has been in senior leadership roles for over 25 years and holds an MBA from Royal Roads University in British Columbia, Canada.
Executive VP Small Business & Personal Lines, TruShield Insurance
Tony is Executive Vice President – Small Business & Personal Lines for TruShield Insurance, a division of Northbridge Financial.
VP & Country Manager, GoDaddy Canada
Based in Toronto, Jill is leading GoDaddy’s expansion across Canada. Jill has an extensive business background with leading technology and small business organizations in Canada.
Jill started her career in marketing with Procter & Gamble, and later transitioned into technology when she joined Microsoft Canada. Jill held several leadership roles in both the sales and marketing functions at Microsoft. Most recently, Jill served as a consultant helping hundreds of small businesses understand and apply for Canadian Government grants and loans.
Outside of work, Jill loves to go to the theatre, is an avid traveler and an aspiring Pilates instructor. She is also an enthusiastic sports fan with a life-long passionate for hockey.
Jill holds an Honors Business Degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business Administration at Western University in London, Ontario.
James B. Smith
President, Direct Sellers Association of Canada
Challenge and entrepreneurial vision have been the driving forces behind James’s successful business career. In 1998 he purchased the failing Princess House Canada subsidiary and relaunched it as a wholly owned Canadian entity. He initiated a massive turnaround strategy based on a collaborative home office-field partnership that reversed the company’s losses and realized sustained profitability within 24 months.
Prior to his Princess House days, James held executive positions in New York City advertising and publishing where he initiated new sales and marketing strategies for Conde Nast Traveler and Hearst’s Esquire magazine that elevated him to leadership positions in the publishing arena.
James graduated from Lehigh University and pursued advanced studies at the Richard Ivey School of Business. His entrepreneurial inspiration came early on, when as a youngster he watched and listened to his dad who ran Avon’s overall sales and marketing activities at its New York headquarters.
A resident of Canada for twenty years now, James lives in Mississauga with his wife Kelly, a publishing executive, and his 11-year-old son Braden. His vision as president is “to enhance the vitality and visibility of this Association to positively impact, preserve and protect the interests of all members and their constituents.”
Co-Founder & CEO, Startup Canada
Victoria Lennox is the co-founder and CEO of Startup Canada, the national rallying community supporting and giving a voice to Canada’s 2.3 million entrepreneurs.
Victoria is recognized by the United Nations Development Programme and the European Union as one of the foremost experts in entrepreneurship education; ecosystem and program architecture, governance, development and implementation; and, in fuelling entrepreneurship movements and awareness campaigns.
As the catalyst for Startup Generation and host of Startup Nations, Victoria supports and mentors the development of youth enterprise organisations in more than 20 countries; provides advisory support to international organisations in the areas of entrepreneurship networks, education and policy development; and supports colleges and universities in enhancing their entrepreneurial activities. Countries around the world are also working to emulate Startup Canada’s methodologies and activities, viewing the organization, under Victoria’s leadership, as the best practice in fuelling entrepreneurship culture.
Director of Small Business, UPS Canada
Paul is the Director of Small Business at UPS Canada, offering expert advice on expanding markets and growing trends.
Co-Founder & VP, Mabel’s Labels
Julie is the mother of six and a co-founding VP of Mabel’s Labels, the leading provider of labels for the stuff kids lose! Mabel’s Labels has grown from basement start-up into an award winning, celebrity endorsed and international phenomenon. As company spokeswoman, Julie is well-known amongst North American entrepreneurs.
Director of Marketing, The UPS Store Canada
Michelle is currently the Director of Marketing for The UPS Store brand in Canada and is passionate for small business. Michelle first joined the company in 2004, when the brand was still known as Mail Boxes Etc. In 2005, Michelle was part of the rebrand team which introduced The UPS Store brand to Canada. Since then, while working to build the brand nationally in Canada, she also works with the small business owners that are the franchisees of The UPS Store, to build their businesses locally. With over 360 locations across Canada, The UPS Store is currently the country’s largest franchised chain of small business support centres.
Prior to her time at The UPS Store, Canada, Michelle started her career in advertising working in the newspaper industry (Toronto Sun, Southam Newspaper Group), before moving forward to an advertising agency in Toronto. Michelle’s passion for small business extends into her personal life also, where she shares a small home-based business with her husband.
Founder & CEO, Mompreneurs
Maria is the Founder & CEO of Mompreneurs®, and is passionate about supporting Canadian female entrepreneurs from every walk of life! No matter how big or small their company, type of industry, type of business, or how long they’ve been in business, Maria believes that every female entrepreneur deserves support and recognition for their hard work.