FWE E-Series Graduation

Congratulations to the 15 graduates of the FWE 2009 E Series Program.

Melanie Rupp (l) supporting Katherine Campbell (c) and Lisa Thompson of cartwheels.ca.

Ainslee Cyopik of Ainlee Wear with mentor Luc Bergeron.

Kurt Cassidy (l) and Matt Anthony, of ZLC Financial Group.

Graduate Sandra Hass, President of Mother’s Choice Products.

Plum Project Consulting Inc. principal Janice Agar

Province editor-in-chief Wayne Moriarty with Soya Marketing principal Debbie Collins.

Karen Engelage, from Beauty Solutions, with husband Ray.

Jewelry Designer Sonja Picard (l) with Paula Temrick of Perspectives HR Consulting.

Graduates Andrea Scott (l) and Georgy Good (c) with alumna Katie Rogers

Delicious Divas Donna Wadsworth (l), of Savory City, and Caren McSherry, of Gourmet Warehouse.

The angels of DreamBank (from left): Julie Selby, Victoria Ronco, and graduate Dawn Bowles,

Event: Forum for Women Entrepreneurs E-Series Graduation
Setting: Birks (June 16, 2009)
My Rating: Executive & Authentic

The Forum for Women Entrepreneurs is a non-profit whose aim is to educate and support women embarking on personal business ventures. The Vancouver chapter has launched over 500 companies.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Lotus Wear? YYoga? Blue Ruby? Cupcakes? Gourmet Warehouse? All were founded by FWE alumnae.

The name Flickr ring any bells? Let me break it down, SAT-style: The FWE is to Flickr as Second City was to Tina Fey. It’s like that. Up your game – Call the FWE.

This year the grad class adds 15 more to the ever-growing list of successful female-owned and -operated Vancouver businesses. They are:

Joanna Barbulescu, AXIS Technical Services
Dawn Bowles, DreamBank
Katherine Campbell,Cartwheels Inc.
Ainslie Cyopik, AinslieWear
Deanna Embury, Licious Living
Karen Engelage, Beauty Solutions
Georgy Good, Motion Foods
Sandra Hass, Mothers Choice Products
Sarah Morton, Backbone Systems
Nancy Mudford, Spa Boutique
Sonja Picard, The Sonja Picard Collection
Alexandra Samuel, Social Signal
Andrea Scott, skoah and chiiki munki makeup
Lisa Thompson, Cartwheels Inc.
Elayne Wandler, Bopomo Pictures

* * *

These are the things of which happiness is made: An elegant soiree in the early evening, beautiful food, the drink free and abundant. And when an elegant gift bag comes my way, everything goes gauzy at the edges. Pinch me.

I’ve gone to badly executed events in my day and I’ve been at the helm of one or two myself. Typical questions in the hangover: What went wrong? Why does this gift bag hold only an ice cream scoop and a fistful of business cards? How old are these mini-samosas? Was that a DJ or did we tune in to Radio Free Starbucks?

The FWE E-Series Graduation Gala at Birks was the perfect opposite: the event came off a treat. It’s organization is a testament to the smooth functioning of the FWE itself. I called their event manager, Angel Mok, to ask to whom I could send my kudos. And all she could reply was, “The FWE team.” Well done, ladies.

Oh, and the gift bag? Chocolate, product galore, a good stack of magazines – nary a useless kitchen utensil to be seen. Heaven.