Dragon’s Den celebrity judge Manjit Minhas has been able to do what few ever thought possible—break into the notoriously competitive and notoriously male-dominated beer and spirits industry and grow her company to the 10th largest brewery in the world. She’s been profiled in Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail and on The National and was recently named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, a distinction honoring outstanding Canadian leaders. She is a highly sought-after speaker and has given talks at the Rotman School of Management, the Haskayne School of Business, TD Bank, Accenture, United Way, and more.
Minhas started Mountain Crest Liquors Inc. at the age of 19 in Alberta. In late 2002 she entered the beer market with Mountain Crest Classic Lager. It quickly became the first successful beer company to enter Canada in decades. Minhas Breweries, Distilleries and Winery is now making waves internationally: producing, developing, and marketing over 90 brands, and having served over 7 billion pints of beer. She is also the creator of Uptown Girl, a beer that is marketed and made exclusively for women. In 2006, Minhas and Ravinder purchased the second oldest brewery in the United States and renamed it The Minhas Craft Brewery, officially marking them as the Youngest Brewery Owners in The World. Their quality beers are shipped across the USA, Canada and overseas to 16 countries. The siblings opened The Minhas Micro Brewery in Calgary in June 2012, from which they make world-class craft beers and specialty beers such as a gluten free beer.
Minhas is the first brewer in Canada to voluntarily put a Management Warning on all her beer cans. The Management Warnings include such direct statements as: “Please do not drink and drive—ever,” “Expectant mothers should avoid drinking alcoholic products,” and “Enjoy this product responsibly—Respect yourself and others.” Her commitment to ethical business is one of the many reasons why her ventures have been so widely successful.
Minhas is the author of the book Brewing Up a Damn Good Story and has received many awards, including Canada’s Women Executive Network’s Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs, Profit’s Top Growth Entrepreneur, and Chatelaine’s Top Entrepreneur Woman of The Year. She’s been honoured with The Calgary Herald’s “Compelling Calgarian” Award, been named to Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 list, and her business was ranked number six in Alberta Venture Magazine’s “Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies.” Minhas and Ravinder also own Spotlight Film and TV Productions, which produces TV commercials, documentaries, corporate videos, and half-hour television series. They also own a home building company, Shergill Homes Ltd., that builds single family and custom homes in Fort McMurray and Calgary. Minhas was born and raised in Calgary and still calls it home with her husband and two young daughters.
Amber Mac(Arthur) started her career in San Francisco and Boston during the dot-com boom in the late 1990s. As a strategist for Razorfish and Director of Marketing for an e-procurement software company, she spent four years in the technology start-up trenches.
Amber left the start-up world to join Microsoft to build one of the first female-focused lifestyle portals. In 2006, with her brother, she started her own digital agency called Konnekt. The company’s first client was world-renowned business coach, Tony Robbins. Her company’s clients include Microsoft Xbox, Ford Motor Company, Tony Robbins, Canada Goose, Fast Company, PayPal, Canadian Blood Services, and many more leading organizations.
“With few equals,” writes YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, “MacArthur continues to demonstrate a keen insight towards the continually evolving fabric of the social web.”
In 2010, she wrote the national bestselling business book Power Friending (Portfolio: New York). In 2016, she co-wrote an Internet safety book called Outsmarting Your Kids Online (with security expert Michael Bazzell). Amber has keynoted more than 300 events around the world. Topics include business innovation, Internet of things, online safety, and what it takes for companies to adapt and grow.
She is a regular business host and expert for Fast Company, CNN, Bloomberg TV, CBS, BNN, The Marilyn Denis Show, and Sirius Radio. She was recently hired to serve as an entrepreneur advisor on a new reality pilot called Dream Funded: Let the Crowd Decide, created by Mark Burnett.
As a child, Amber attended a two-room country schoolhouse and shared a party telephone line with neighboring houses. She is now recognized internationally as an innovation and technology leader.
Hazel Mae has been delivering the latest sports news and updates to Canadians across the country since 2001. She began by anchoring the morning edition of Sportsnet News while simultaneously hosting the weekly Toronto Blue Jays magazine show – Jzone. In 2004, Mae’s career took her across the border to become the lead anchor on Sportsdesk for the New England Sports Network (NESN) in Boston, MA, before heading to New York in 2008 to help launch the MLB network, where she was part of the ensemble on the Emmy Award-winning signature studio show MLB tonight, host of the highlight program Quick Pitch, and worked as a sideline reporter for Thursday Night Baseball.
Mae returned home to Toronto in 2011 and resumed her role with Sportsnet behind the desk of Connected, as well as appearing on Blue Jays Central – Canada’s live studio pre-game show for all Toronto Blue Jays broadcasts. A true sports fan, Mae’s career highlights include covering and reporting on the NHL, MLB – including two World Series titles for the Boston Red Sox – NBA, NFL, Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) and more.
Hazel founded Hazel Mae Design Inc. in 2012 to deliver what she had trouble finding in the marketplace – a line of dresses made from high quality ponte fabric in vibrant, jewel-toned colours, designed to flatter the female figure. This was the type of dress she wanted to showcase in her career as a television personality. She wanted to look professional, fashion forward & comfortable all at once. Hazel Mae’s dresses present a contemporary, colourful line of product to the market, providing the customer with confidence, elegance, and a boost of positive energy. The designs are known for their consistent, reliable, quality workmanship and impeccable fit.
Hazel Mae has become a destination shopping experience for the working woman who juggles a busy life, seeking sophisticated looks of simple femininity, and comfortable design. Hazel is committed to consistently being the brand customers rely on to find their fashion canvas – the dress women reach for first in their closet… every time.
Not only is Erica Ehm one of Canada’s most recognized personalities, she also runs one of the largest online publishing and marketing brands in Canada for the mom market. In the 80’s Erica was a considered the voice of her generation as a host on MuchMusic. She is an author, actor, speaker, broadcaster, journalist, playwright, and award-winning songwriter. In 2006, Ehm created YMC – which has grown to be the largest independently owned online property in Canada. Her award-winning digital platform for moms is home to a stable of social content creators, who, under her guidance, tell the stories relevant to Canadian moms.
Erica is also CEO of Ehm & Co, a digital marketing company specializing in creating mom engagement with a focus on social media marketing and partnerships with agencies and brands. Advertisers and marketers often turn to Ehm when looking for creative and strategic initiatives to help them connect with mothers. Over her decade in the mom space, she’s curated the Ehm & Co Network of engaged mom influencers, a collective of hundreds of influencers, bloggers and small publishers across Canada who she partners with to create compelling, award-winning branded content to connect with moms in the social space. Her creative direction has lead to several prestigious awards including Best Blog/Column at the 2014 Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPA), and in 2015 Gold for Best Use of Social Media, Gold and Silver for Best Online Campaign, and Gold in the prestigious Independent Publisher of the Year category.
ADRIANA DE LUCA & MICHELLE LALONDE
Founded in 1999 by Adriana De Luca, Tiber River is a Canadian company charting a different path. The co-owners, Adriana De Luca and Michelle Lalonde are focused on Creating Happiness, for their team, their consultants and their communities. In 2017, Tiber River was ranked #258 on the Profit 500 list of the Fastest Growing Companies in Canada, up from #354 in 2016 and are the 2018 Mompreneur Award of Excellence winners. Together they have created a fun, unique culture & strategy that drives all of their decisions and by KISSing things (keeping it small & simple), Vuja De’ing things (seeing things in a new way) and being the Right Amount of Crazy, they are living their values and their passions and having fun along the way.
Tony has spent 34+ years in the insurance industry in a variety of roles starting as a commercial property underwriter. Over the years he developed expertise in areas such as extended warranty and captive insurance.
In 2014 Tony joined Northbridge as Vice President – Risk Solutions. Over the past 12 years Tony has been responsible for leading different business operations and strategic initiatives. Since July 2014 Tony has led TruShield Insurance – the direct to consumer brand of Northbridge which is focused on providing business insurance to Canadian entrepreneurs as well as offering personal insurance products to target customer segments.
Tony graduated in 1981 from the University of Western Ontario with a degree in Political Science. On the home front he is married to Lesley with 3 children, Neil, Spencer and Courtney plus 2 grandchildren Ryder & Maximus. Tony’s interests include sports, movies, animals and spoiling his grandchildren. trushield.com
As Director of Small Business for UPS Canada, Paul’s role is to educate and inform small businesses in Canada about the customized services and products available. As a SME in this segment, Paul works with a team of UPSers to better communicate to this large and important group on how to better leverage the company’s tools to help them grow and expand both domestically and internationally.
ELAINE TAN COMEAU
Elaine Tan Comeau went from being a school teacher to inventing a children’s product, to CEO and Founder of one of Dragons’ Den‘s favourite pitches for Easy Daysies, which incited a bidding war among all five Dragons. She has been featured in Forbes, Macleans, CBC, FOX, CTV and The Financial Post, to name a few. Elaine was awarded the 2014 Canadian Mompreneur of the Year, Chamber of Commerce Award for Excellence in Business, and an Award in Teching Excellence. Her company, Easy Daysies, has won 12 awards and was announced as one of the 2018 Top Ten Most Innovative Companies by Small Business BC. Elaine loves supporting women in business through her podcast Elaine’s Kitchen Table: the Business of Real Life; as the owner and operator of the BC chapter of Mompreneurs Canada, and through her book, Sell Your Passion.
Sara Clarke is a wife and a mom of four boys, and has over 20 years’ experience in the accounting field. She carries degrees in Business Management and Bookkeeping, and is now working towards an Accounting Degree. She founded Martin Clarke & Associates in 2001, and has since processed over 33,000 hours of bookkeeping. She works alongside Roger, her husband of 15 years, where their firm works with multiple accountants and agencies across Canada. Sara has been a guest speaker and workshop presenter at the London Small Business Centre, Western University, and The Ivey School of Business, and also speaks throughout North America teaching business owners about bookkeeping, taxes, business development, money mindset and her favourite topic, mompreneurs. Sara is the recipient of the 2014 ‘20 under 40 Business Award’ with Business London Magazine, and 2014’s ‘Who’s Who Among Women in Ecommerce’ with WE Magazine.