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.
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.
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.
April Head is an Anishinaabe-kwe from Bingwii Neyaashi Anishinaabek First Nation. April was originally raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario and has 3 grown sons and 2 grandchildren, which are her greatest joy. April is a recent graduate from the Master’s program in Social Justice with a Women’s Specialization and Honours in Indigenous Learning at Lakehead University. April has worked for many Indigenous organizations within the city of Thunder Bay over the expansion of her 20 year career.
As President of Beendigen, Incorporated, April takes much pride in her volunteer work; Beendigen’s main mission is to provide safety, shelter and culturally appropriate programming/services to Indigenous women and children experiencing violence.
In her spare time, she is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys fishing, camping, cultural/traditional activities, Indigenous food sovereignty research, motor-biking, kayaking, jogging and quadding. Humbly, the Enterprising Indigenous Women Project Coordinator. Miigwetch!
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.
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.
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.