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Female Founders Fireside Chat

November 19, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Being a successful woman entrepreneur is more than just overcoming the barriers of starting and running a business.

Being a successful woman entrepreneur is more than just overcoming the barriers of starting and running a business – Women also need to shatter that glass ceiling.

Join us for an intimate chat with some of Durham Region’s leading women. This panel discussion will feature four female founders who will speak candidly about their decision to become entrepreneurs, their ups and downs and the obstacles they’ve overcome to achieve success in male dominated industries.

The Panel

Diane Kellow, Durham Recruiting: Diane started her career in theatre production working with top Canadian Designers in negotiating sales and contracts and building and managing stakeholder relationships. After 5 years of working as a buyer for the likes ofThe Shaw Festival and Soul Pepper, she moved to Australia where she moved into managing a high end designer store in the fashion district. Upon her return to Canada she switched into working in sales; using her repertoire of communications and stakeholder management skills she was able to grow her team from 3 to 25 in a mere 18 months. From sales to then recruitment in a national agency, it came to a point when she started to see a need for a new approach to recruitment and so stepped out alongside her husband to start their own recruitment company, Durham Recruiting. Following their successful launch in 2017 they have grown exponentially from a team of 2 to a team of 10, serving over 80 clients who have to date successfully placed over 450 people into roles across the region. This year they were awarded the 15th fastest growing Startup in Canada! Alongside her work achievements, Diane is a mum of two and devotes the time that she’s not spent running her business to her family.  

Carissa Stewart, Wondermakr: With almost two decades of experience in advertising, and marketing, Carissa understands the unique needs of her clients, having experienced them firsthand . She now has the privilege of leading a team of smart, calculated and passionate makers, whose experience affords them an appreciation of our clients challenges and a keen understanding of how to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. She also gets to collaborate with some of the world’s top brands, agencies and like-minded leaders who refuse to settle for mediocre and want to collaborate on the future of innovative interactive experiences. As partner, VP and Chief Client Officer at wonderMakr. Carissa’s focus is on keeping everyone happy, and every strategy on track – for our clients, our partners and our team.

Erin Broadfoot, Little Beasts Brewing: Erin Broadfoot is the Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Little Beasts Brewing, a 10hL brewery based out of Whitby ON that prides itself on blending quality and consistency with experimentation and innovation. Erin graduated from the University of Toronto in 2003 with a BSc in Biology and Chemistry and then went on to obtain her post graduate degree in Naturopathic Medicine. For 8 years Erin worked as a Naturopathic Doctor, specializing in gynecology and fertility. In 2010 Erin decided to take a chance and follow her dream of brewing professionally. Later that year she won the Lallemand Advanced Brewing Theory Program Scholarship and obtained her professional brewing certification with the Siebel Institute of Technology. After brewing professionally for a couple of years she decided to go all in! On October 21st, 2017 Erin and her business partner John Henley opened the doors to their brewery Little Beasts Brewing. Erin is also a mother of 3, a Tough Mudder Brand Ambassador and PFLAG volunteer. In her spare time she trains and competes in ultra endurance obstacle course races, trail races and triathlons.

Natasha Cultraro, Investor’s Choice Property Management: Natasha is a real estate investor and property manager with over 10 years of experience. She has experience with duplex conversion, single family buy and hold, and rent to own strategies. She funds her purchases through creative financing techniques and executes flexible joint venture partnerships. Natasha is the owner of Investor’s Choice Property Management, Inc, a residential property management company serving Oshawa and its surrounding areas. Most recently, Natasha has launched “The Intuitive Entrepreneur”, a company that teaches business-minded individuals how to strengthen and sharpen their intuition in order to make better deals and become more powerful negotiators.


Sherry Colbourne, CEO of Spark Centre: Sherry is a 25-year veteran of the Canadian high-tech sector and a serial entrepreneur who returned to Canada in early 2017 from a four-year entrepreneurial sabbatical in the Middle East. During her time in the GCC Sherry co-founded Startup Oman, which has gone on to become the hub of Oman’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, focused specifically on high-impact entrepreneurs. Prior to founding Startup Oman, Sherry was co-founder and CEO of Ladybug Teknologies where she raised and managed $2 million of investment capital and developed innovative consumer technology.
As CEO of Spark Centre, Sherry guides the direction and growth of Durham’s Regional Innovation Centre and advocates for an international approach to the development of Durham Region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Sherry is a strong proponent of women entrepreneurship and believes that women possess transformational qualities of leadership.


November 19, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Peter Crouse


Peter Crouse bio coming soon.

Dave Miller

Software Technology

Dave Miller bio coming soon.