Born and raised in Toronto, Suzanne started her career path at an investment firm in downtown Toronto; she then moved to Thunder Bay and became Owner/Operator of a large home-based family business and franchise. From Thunder Bay, she partnered with a land developer and established a golf recreational business and golf course in southern Ontario. From Southern Ontario, she went to Calgary where she worked, as General Manager, for a locally-based Thunder Bay company as they developed a new business from start-up to such time that it began trading publicly on the TSX Ventures Exchange. After moving back to Thunder Bay, she found her dream job at PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise – helping women start businesses.
After 6.5 years at PARO, something was tugging at her, telling her it was time to start a business with heart. She established, built and sold a private home health care company that surpassed $1million in revenue. 9 years later, she is thrilled to be back at PARO working as a Business Growth Advisor.
Kylee is our communications and multimedia gal and graduated from the Interactive Media Development program at Confederation College.
She has a background in graphic design, social media management and front-end web development.
When she’s not working you can find her out at the barn with her horses or out on the trails.
Judith holds a BSc degree in Economics from the University of Zimbabwe with 15 years of experience as a finance and accounting professional. She is an aspiring CPA who has worked for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as a compliance officer, taught economics and accounting at one international school in the Democratic Republic of Congo and has worked as an accountant in a business development organization in the Congo.
Judith always wanted to use her finance and accounting expertise to make a difference in other people’s lives and is proud to be part of the PARO team where she can use her knowledge and experience to contribute to the empowerment of fellow women.
Karen Tretter has a degree in Business and Accounting and her certification as a business coach. She has worked for PARO both in the office and on the road for the past 20+ years, with a few breaks.
She was one of the first BGA’s and has travelled and worked with women throughout most of Ontario. Karen has 4 daughters and 5 grandchildren and has recently moved back to Thunder Bay to be close to her family and her businesses that she has operated for over 35 years.
Karen enjoys hiking, both in the summer and winter, volleyball, curling, downhill skiing and travelling.
Dhanisha is working as our brand new Project Coordinator for PARO’s Rural, Recovery and Resilience Project.
She graduated from Lakehead University with a Master’s Degree in Economics, and has a background in research and analysis, along with an understanding of policies.
Having just moved to Thunder Bay recently, I’m excited to share my experience and the skills, learned during over twenty years in both non-profit and for-profit business sectors. I have worked in such diverse areas as corporate advertising & promotion, management consulting, and most recently in operations, where careful strategic and business planning, diligent resource management and building highly effective teams are my passions. Businesses I have worked with include financial services, global relief & development and clinical services delivered to children in northern Indigenous communities. I believe strongly that the economic success of women is critical to the advancement of women in every part of life, both individually and collectively. I am a life-long learner who never ceases to be curious about what comes next.
I love to spend time with my family, dabble in fibre arts, garden and walk.
Renée has extensive experience in professional development, research, and entrepreneurship.
: Gitanjali [git-tan-ja-lee] is a name that comes from the Sanskrit language that means “collection of lyrics”. She is a passionate individual who thrives when she is involved in the community and provides support to women in all communities. She is an entrepreneur herself with a background in Financial Consulting and Food/Tourism industry, and has been providing customer service for over 15 years. With a diverse background and passion for traveling, skydiving and food, Gitanjali is always ready to help individuals grow, thrive, succeed and conquer their dreams.
Brazilian corporate lawyer, Bachelor’s degree in Law with an MBA in Health and recent Post-Graduated in International Business Management at Cambrian College.
She has devoted 14 years to working in the health sector, where the client is the center of the business and she is always eager to provide excellent service.
She is experienced in expansion, global markets, mergers and acquisitions, as well as corporate matters and administrative processes.
Hailing from Queens, NY and Mississauga, ON, Sopheia embraces diversity and collaboration with the viewpoints and expertise that different people bring to an environment.
Along with her background in Professional Communication, Sopheia has over 5 years of management experience paired with her passion for developing community relations and helping others.
During her free time, you’ll be sure to find her journaling and indulging in agricultural horticulture through gardening and vermicomposting.
Carmen is passionate about helping women thrive in their businesses.
She has a background in education and health care and has been an entrepreneur in various ventures since 2004.
Carmen loves helping women connect with other entrepreneurs in her role as Circles Coordinator for Southern Ontario.
Lesa has 30 years experience in business. Her latest business endeavor was owning a successful Grocery store franchise. She enjoys collaborating with other business owners to achieve successful outcomes. As a Prosper Project Coordinator for Nova Scotia, she will use her experience to help business owners thrive.
Kate DeKlerck is joining the PARO team as an entrepreneur, quilter, avid baker and overall champion of creativity! For the last eight years she has operated her business The Quilter’s Bolt from her small town of Millbrook, transitioning to online only during the pandemic to accommodate online learning for her daughters. She have worked in Economic Development Role as Treasurer, Marketing Lead and Event Planning Chairperson for the Millbrook BIA and most recently as a Business Coach for small businesses in Port Hope with Digital Main Street and the Municipality of Port Hope.
“My “coworker” Maggie (the golden lab) and I look so forward to meeting everyone. I can’t wait to get started as a new Circle Coordinator.”
Montse is originally from Mexico, she arrived to Canada in 2022. With more than 10 years of experience as a university professor and helping entrepreneurs from her place of origin to develop their business ideas and make them come true. she has a law degree and a master’s degree in Business Innovation and Development.
With 18 years of diverse work experience, my journey spans Project Management, financial services, Sales, and Administrative roles. I began in banking for 5 years before becoming the CEO and Senior Project Manager at Pearl Interfacet Resources Limited, where I led a team of 47 employees and initiated a successful youth mentorship program. As a Project Manager with Verisult Training & Consulting, I honed my project management skills, meticulously overseeing budgets and plans.
I hold a post-grad Certificate in Business Management, an Executive Masters in Global Business Strategy, and relevant certifications. My diverse skill set includes project coordination, stakeholder management, creative problem-solving, budget reporting, and more. Excited to contribute my experience to PARO, empowering women entrepreneurs and driving success.
Nathalie Plouffe left the corporate world in her mid-twenties to pursue the entrepreneurial route. She has built a resourceful network of business owners, investors, and a myriad of like-minded professionals over the years. She is a commercial real estate agent by trade, and is a Growth Wheel and Nova Global certified consultant. Small business coaching is her passion.
Victoria is an entrepreneur in the food manufacturing, wholesale and retail sector having experience with all aspects of building a brand and business from ideation to national distribution and everything in-between. She holds an L.L.B. from the University of Ottawa and practiced law in the areas of labour/employment, Human Rights and with Legal Aid Ontario. She brings a broad range of experience to her role as BGA and is passionate about empowering females to become successful in all areas of their lives.
With her 15+ years of experience in project management and event coordinating, plus her creative expertise from her own hobby business, Blossom & Shine Creative, Melissa brings with her leading-edge solutions that can spearhead your entrepreneurial growth goals and help you overcome your unique challenges and barriers. Her passion for connection, community and collaboration will undoubtedly translate into authentic, heart-centric approaches in your entrepreneurial journey. Melissa’s super-power is brainstorming innovative solutions that will help you to unveil efficiencies and opportunities.
Carole has been working in the Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Industry for over 30 years in Canada, Australia and NZ. Her vast experience includes working in the Leisure, Business, Groups, Incentives, B2B and B2C markets, for various types of businesses including Tour Operators, Online wholesale and retail.
She has worked for various companies assisting them in creative travel packages, exclusive product ranges, incentive programs that will WOW any team!
Carole has also been successful in recruiting, motivating, coaching, leading and managing sales teams for new sales growth. Her Consulting Biz “Great Visions Consulting” in the last 7 years has helped grow businesses of all sizes with their planning, marketing and sales. A well rounded Business Growth Representative who loves meeting and helping people from all walks of life!
For 14 years, Carol worked for the Ministry of Transportation and Drive Test as an examiner/Supervisor and Lead trainer.
Business Entrepreneur and owner of several businesses since her early 20’s.Carol is committed to supporting women in their business and personal growth.
Carol has a passion in teaching and decided to open her own driving school “DriversEd4U” in North Bay in 2010. In 2020 Carol developed a series of high-quality, leading-edge, educational training videos for clients to help coach new drivers how to drive and a online defensive online course.
Carol formed the first Paro circle in NorthBay in 2016. She also sat on the North Bay Women’s Business Network Board as Chair in 2018-2020. She was also part of the PARO Women Enterprises Board of Directors from 2016 – 2018. She is now a part-time bilingual Business Growth Advisor (BGA) for PARO covering Northern Ontario
Carol mainly covers but is not limited to the Timmins/Cochrane and Kapuskasing/Hearst area She loves helping women start, expand, develop and grow their businesses.
After a successful career in retail management, Jen used her sales and management experience along with her education in marketing communications to open a marketing firm dedicated to small businesses in northeastern Ontario. In 2016, Jen closed the marketing firm and moved to southern Ontario. She went back to her love of design and received her certifications in interior decorating and feng shui.
Now based out of Timmins, Jen runs a successful feng shui consulting firm, working with women entrepreneurs from all over the world to shift the energy in their homes and offices. She is a motivational speaker, where she has spoken in both Canada and the US. She is a women’s empowerment mentor and a contributing author to a book that will be released in September 2022.
Helping to support women in all aspects of their lives is something Jen is passionate about. With over 10 years of experience running successful businesses, she is happy to use her expertise to help more women in Ontario to build successful businesses and to help them access all of the resources PARO has to offer.
Gabriela Casineanu is an award-winning author and systems coach. With an MBA in small business and a background that spans through various fields—Business, Engineering, IT, Marketing, Building & Strengthening Organizations—Gabriela is a creative problem-solver that turns challenges into opportunities. She is also a speaker, trainer, and founder of the Introverts Academy.
Hi there! I’m Maitri Mou, a Windsor, Ontario-based individual with a passion for cooking and nurturing my beloved plants. With a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Windsor, I’ve cultivated a strong foundation in the field. For the past two and a half years, I immersed myself in the IT industry, gaining valuable experience and knowledge.
Currently, I serve as a Business Counsellor at Paro, where I have the privilege of working directly with clients and partners. In my role, I provide comprehensive advisory services, assisting businesses with various needs, including business planning, cash flow analysis, financial analysis, and technological improvements. I take pride in supporting entrepreneurs in their endeavors, helping them navigate challenges and achieve their goals.
Outside of work, you’ll often find me in the kitchen, experimenting with new recipes and creating delightful culinary experiences. I also find solace in nurturing my plants, cultivating a green oasis in my home.
Feel free to connect with me and embark on a journey of collaboration and shared success. Let’s make a difference together!”
My name is Francoise, and my motto is: My life story makes me who I am.”
I am French and come from a small village near Beaune (Burgundy) – a well-known area for its prestigious wine and gastronomy.
I have a Ph.D. in Nutrition and decades of clinical research behind me. My area of expertise was Metabolic Energetic Nutrition and the impact of disease on the interface between energetic and immune cell function.
I changed my career path when I reached a glass ceiling in the clinical research environment. I went back to school to study international development and worked in Haiti, Ghana, and Ethiopia, where incredible entrepreneurs inspired me in food security.
When I returned to Toronto, I started my company – Malty & Hoppy Delicacy. We use beer from the best local breweries in Ontario to make delicious beer jellies and jams (coming soon) with a French twist. I went to business school again (Yedi & York University, Schulich Business School) for a six-month program for small entrepreneurs.
I also worked for the French consul in Toronto for four years (part-time job), where I developed my culinary skills and creativity with food to become a true chef.
I am an entrepreneur, a private chef, and a culinary educator. I am also a resilient person. Life has challenged me deeply over the past decade. I never give up.
I love exchanging ideas and finding solutions. I am also a great listener. My new challenge is working with PARO and helping women in their entrepreneurial journey. It is time to share my life experience and help other women who want to follow the same entrepreneurial path.
Let us have a cup of coffee or tea and discuss!