Women in the North Conference

Table Talk Show - highlighting our Small Business Stars!

Peace River - April 20th

Belle Petroleum Centre

Heidi Dube - Lift Fitness, Peace River

Heidi Dube has been a leader in the fitness industry for over 10 years and is the owner operator of Lift Fitness and Simply for Life in Peace River. She studied Business Management at Grant MacEwan University, and paired with her passion for helping others discover their love of movement, she has built a successful health and wellness studio- voted Peace River Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the year in both 2021 and 2022. She is also the mom to two young boys, aged 9 and 6, and strives to maintain balance between family and work. Visit Lift Fitness HERE

Jill Cairns - Style Ryte Cleaners, Peace River

Jill Cairns has been the owner/operator of Style Ryte Cleaners for the past 20 years. Style Ryte is a retail and commercial dry cleaning and laundry service business located in downtown Peace River and all of the cleaning is done on site. Prior to owning Style Rite, Jill owned Java Domain and Neat Things Boutique. Keeping it in the family, Jill’s son Rhys also works at the shop and stays very busy traveling around the Peace Region picking up and dropping off cleaning. Style Ryte Cleaners supports the community thru cash donations to local projects and running a Coats for Kids program every fall with the Salvation Army. Visit Style Ryte HERE


Treena Gannon-Krall - Tree's & Lilly's Gardens, Peace River

Treena is the owner operator of Tree’s and Lilly’s Gardens in the Weberville area of Peace River. She was raised in the Peace country and after graduating high school Treena went on to NAIT graduating with an Engineering Design and Drafting Technology diploma. She then worked for DMI (now Mercer) for five years. After having her second child she chose to stay home to raise her growing family. When their youngest of four children started kindergarten, Treena’s mom suggested that she would be interested in running a commercial sized garden center. They hired Carmen Walisser, owner of Victoria’s gardens in Manning at the time to help guide them through their first couple of years of operations. Now 13 years later, her mom has retired and Treena, along with some help from her family continue to grow their business. She loves providing a warm and welcoming place for people to come shop or just breathe in the clean air. They pride themselves with their friendly and knowledgeable service. Treena says there is nothing better then loving your job every day! Visit Tree’s & Lilly’s HERE

Veronica Paul - Pure Life Wellness Centre, Grimshaw

Veronica Paul is a registered massage therapist of 8 years and owner of Pure Life Wellness Centre in Grimshaw. Veronica has a passion for health and wellness & had a dream to share that with the community by bringing more services to our area. The peace country has always been home to her and she currently resides in Berwyn with her husband Jordan and son Charlie. She enjoys spending time outdoors and making memories with her family. Visit Pure Life Wellness Centre HERE

Fairview - April 27th

Dunvegan Motor Inn

Barbara Drummond - Tim Hortons, Fairview

Barb is a former administrator, award winning educator, certified practitioner in advanced brain technologies, she owned her own education centre which offered unique & specialized assessments. Barb is a long time special needs advocate, blogger and consultant, and has been a guest speaker across Canada. Barb holds several diplomas, dabbles in writing, and is owner/operator of three Tim Horton restaurants with her husband Gord. Together, they have received several prestigious employer awards. Most importantly, Barb is a wife and a mom! Barb and her family love living in the Peace Country and have been here for over 30 years. Barb’s futures plans are to write a book, decide what she wants to be when she grows up and learn how to take naps. Visit Fairview Timmies HERE

Nicole Heck - The Old Bistro, Fairview

Nicole was born and raised on a dairy farm outside of Whitelaw and learned the values of hard work early on in life.  She firmly believes that there are no shortcuts and nothing worth working for comes easy.  17 years ago she started a pedicure business, taking great pride in caring for her clients footcare needs.  Even after all of the years of doing feet Nicole still hasn’t tired of it and always enjoys a challenge! Three years ago Nicole branched off with her business and opened a coffee shop/bakery/artist giftshop. She found the perfect location for her vision and opened The Old Bistro (the building was originally Grassroots Bistro). Nicole is fiercely proud of her accomplishments in the business world but her biggest accomplishment is her family.  Her and her husband Rod have three incredible children and together they’ve built a successful large farm where they have taught their children the importance of hard work. Visit The Old Bistro HERE

Betty James - Dunvegan Inn & Suites, Fairview

Betty James is the owner and General Manager of the Dunvegan Inn & Suites in Fairview. With over 50 years in the industry, she has built a successful, multi-faceted hospitality business, and is a highly regarded businessperson and contributor to the community. With great pride in providing the best in hospitality and food services, she has captained this full-service hotel to grow, thus becoming a significant contributor to the economy and employment in the area. Betty’s statement has long been “Your Home Away from Home!  Come experience the best of hospitality the Peace Country has to offer.” Ms. James has received numerous accolades, including the Fairview Rotary Club’s “Paul Harris Fellow” Award, Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association Award of Distinction and the Fairview Fire Rescue Society “Lifetime Achievement Award,”. Betty promotes and sponsors community and school programs, as well as contributing to local charities, and sporting events. She is a strong advocate for education, encouraging family, friends and staff to grow and develop their skills to their fullest potential. Betty enjoys spending time with family, especially grandchildren and great grandchildren.  She travels extensively and thrives on meeting new people, experiencing their culture and sharing stories. She loves everything about the hospitality industry.  To know that she has built a business where her family was able to be employed and raise their families in the community when they grew up has been very rewarding.  She has a great sense of pride and satisfaction and is ever grateful for the ongoing support of her children, their spouses, and her grandchildren for their sacrifices, long hours and dedication. Visit the DMI HERE

Karla MacLeod - Mad Dog Cresting, Fairview

Karla was born and raised in Fairview and initially she taught and coached at Fairview High School for 12 years, before taking a one year leave of absence to assist at the store in 2007, which turned into a permanent career decision. The store has continued to expand the services offered and with Karla’s mother retiring in 2018, her and her husband Gord have continued to operate the business. Mad Dog Cresting is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and our family’s 58th year in business in Fairview. Visit Mad Dog Cresting HERE


Unfortunately the Falher event has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience!

Lexi Lebrecque - Gracie's Pantry, Falher

Lexi is the owner and operator of Gracie’s Pantry and is celebrating her third year of business this April. She started the bakery and coffee shop in December 2018 in her home specializing in Gluten-free, dairy free and egg free products. After baking for their daughter, who has food allergies, her and her husband found eating out very difficult. After speaking with other families with the same challenges they decided it was time to start a place for those who have food challenges. After 4 months they realized they needed a larger facility and made the big move to Main street Falher, things were going amazingly well! Then Covid happened and in order to stay open they had to make a decision to open the establishment to all food options. Thankfully with all the amazing support they have received they were able to make it through and can’t wait to see what the next year will bring. Gracie’s offers a variety of lunch options, specialty coffee and of course, delicious baked goods. Visit Gracie’s Pantry HERE

Tatum Small - Plain Jane Cannabis, Falher

Tatum Small is the owner of Plain Jane Cannabis in Falher and Spirit River. Plain Jane Cannabis first opened in May of 2021 in Falher, and because of her love of being a small business owner, Tatum opened her second location in Spirit River in September of the same year. Tatum was born and raised in the Peace Country and says one of the best parts about being a small business owner is the people she gets to interact with. “They have been so supportive and kind”. Her third location in Beaverlodge is set to open by May 2022. Visit Plain Jane Cannabis HERE

Amy Soudek & Christine Findlay - ONE Nutrition & Health, Peace Region

Amy is a Registered Nutrition Clinical Practitioner and Certified Physiotherapy/Occupational Therapy Assistant with years of experience in movement mechanics and nutritional study. A free-spirit at heart, Amy has lived in Mexico & Africa for extended periods of time, funded her university by wildfire fighting in northern Alberta and took every opportunity to further her education in the science of whole foods, by graduating with a diploma in Applied Nutrition from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. In 2019, Amy planted roots in Peace River with her husband after living in Yellowknife and Calgary and soon added two energetic boys to the family. It was then she met Christine and it became clear that a unified natural nutrition business was meant to be. With a passion to support women of all ages through a functional food philosophy that mends irregular food relationships, Amy aspires to use the latest food science to pave the way to freedom of your mind, body and emotional authenticity. Having battled an eating disorder for 15 years, along with an inflamed gut, Amy learned how to attain a lifestyle free from this mental disease and balanced her own gut out of inflammation. These are part of the many experiences Amy brings into ONE Nutrition and health that inspires and motivates other women of the North toward living their best life nutritionally.

Christine Findlay is a Registered Nutrition Clinical Practitioner, Registered Manual Osteopathic Therapist, Certified Stott Pilates®️ Instructor and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 500) with over 12 years experience working with clients in the field of health and mind-body movement. Raised by business-owner parents in rural Peace River, Christine had entrepreneurship instilled in her from a very young age. She was a travel agent in her early twenties and has been a been an entrepreneur since 1999, when she and her husband Rick opened a pizza franchise. In 2007, Christine decided to professionally pursue her lifelong interest in nutrition and  mind-body health and began her journey towards becoming a Clinical post-rehabilitative Pilates Instructor. After opening the region’s first professionally equipped Pilates studio, she found a kindred spirit in Amy when they met in 2019 and combined their individual nutrition practices together to form ONE Nutrition and Health. Christine is dedicated to helping clients find better living holistically through joyful food relationships and a sound mind-body connection. She currently sees clients through her practices at Peace River Pilates & Yoga, Dynamic MOT, and ONE Nutrition.

ONE Nutrition and Health is a natural nutrition clinical practice based on a foundational food philosophy. ONE addresses the link between systemic inflammation, the gut micro-biome, irregular food relationships and disordered eating while helping clients recognize and move away from restrictive patterns to develop a balanced, joyful, easy and natural connection to food. With an engaging hands on approach to food, ONE is very active in the community, offering a variety of nutrition educating workshops and programs.

Visit ONE Nutrition & Health HERE

Manning - May 11th

Royal Canadian Legion

Lori Asmussen - AMICIS Gardens, Manning

Lori was born and raised on the Mulloy family homestead east of Manning having 8 siblings to play, learn and grow with. After graduating high school in 1981 she went to work for the Alberta Wheat Pool Elevator for 14 years. Feeling a need for change Lori tried a couple odd jobs for a few years until buying Victorias Gardens greenhouse in 2012. From then till now the time has gone flying by to her 10th year in business! Through these years she was also blessed with 3 amazing children and now 4 beautiful grandchildren. Lori’s husband Dennis is an enormous help with the massive amount of labour involved with running a greenhouse operation. She is still excited and loving her job at the greenhouse and always excited for visitors at her store be it winter or spring. Visit AMICIS Gardens HERE

Helen Erickson - Brown Style Shop, Manning

Helen started working at Brown Style Shop in 1995 and in April of 2000 her and her husband Don purchased the store. Brown Style Shop is a local family operated business located in Manning, Alberta and has been a part of the community for over 60 years. They offer something for everyone, with a 3 tiered store displaying Men’s, Women’s and Kid’s Clothing/Accessories. They offer name brands such as Silver, Under Armour, Dex Clothing, Brunette The Label, Hurley and more. Helen and her team are committed to providing quality family clothing you’ll love. They have seen many ups and downs along the way with booms and busts but have managed to survive and thrive. Visit Brown Style Shop HERE

Alex Fredrickson - Big North Graphics, Manning

Alex was born and raised in Manning, she always had a knack for crafting and creating interesting projects. In 2011, Alex’s father built a CNC router that would kick start her small business. The two created signs, wooden cut outs, crib boards, and went to many craft markets during the Christmas seasons all while Alex was finishing high school. After graduating from high school, Alex moved to Calgary to study at SAIT and pursue a diploma in business, with a major in marketing. Alex finished her studies in Calgary and headed straight back to her hometown.  With the help of her parents, they purchased an existing business in the town of Manning.  Today they run a family business, “Big North Graphics”, which has an extensive list of services and equipment for their jobs. One of their main business focuses is keeping products made in Manning, and to support other Canadian businesses. Visit Big North Graphics HERE

Valleyview - May 18th

Paradise Inn & Suites

Stephanie Baldry - BeSpoke Boutique, Valleyview

Over the years, Stephanie has evolved and adapted to suit both community and economic needs as well as offering herself a work/life balance. What started 15 years ago as “Urban Valley Esthetics” is today a curated women’s boutique and hair salon known as “Be•Spoke Beauty + Boutique”. It has always been Stephanie’s priority to bring that top notch customer service and upscale experience to the rural community to encourage growth for the local economy. Visit BeSpoke Boutique HERE

Jessica Hadfield - Pharmasave, Valleyview

Jessica Hadfield has worked from the ground up in pharmacy retail.  She started off as a cashier at Pharmasave in Langley, BC, in 1994.  She quickly worked her way from cashier to merchandiser to pharmacy assistant. Graduating from the University of British Columbia in 1998, Jessica continued her climb from pharmacist to owner.  Jessica has worked with various banners as a pharmacist, including working as an Associate owner of Shoppers Drug Mart. In 2007, Jessica and her family decided it would be good to move back to Valleyview to be closer to Jessica’s family and to raise their children in a small community environment. In 2017, Jessica became a part owner of Pharmasave Valleyview and since that time has gone on to purchase Pharmasave Grande Prairie, Falher IDA and McLennan IDA.  She is excited to continue her next adventures and see what new challenges can be overcome. Visit Valleyview Pharmasave HERE

Carla Forgie - Little Smoky Gift. Co., Valleyview

Carla grew up in central Alberta and moved up to the Peace Region in 2009. After completing her diploma in Fitness Leadership, she set out on her first entrepreneurial endeavour as a personal trainer.  At the same time, she was also helping to run her husband’s contracting business.  Fast forward a few years and they have now settled in Little Smoky where they are raising four children and also running a cow-calf farming operation.  Little Smoky Gift Co. started as an online venture in 2019 when Carla envisioned a place where customers (especially those in rural settings) could have access to many of the wonderful, local goods starting to pop-up all over Alberta and Canada.  As her business grew, she was thrilled to move into a retail space in the Fall of 2021.  It is Carla’s hope that her business and her family will help to encourage community camaraderie in and around Valleyview. Visit Little Smoky Gift Co. HERE

Spirit River - May 25th

Centennial Hall

Angie Hayden - The Dragonflies Den, Spirit River

As far back as Angie can remember she dreamed about owning a metaphysical store with healing classes and Reiki sessions and in 2018 she opened The Dragonflies Den in its first small location. Within the first six months different local artisans approached Angie to carry their hand made products. The store expanded to allow local entrepreneurs to run classes such as yoga and paint nights as well as Angie’s own courses. With all the activity Angie needed a larger location so she moved to main street which also had rental space available that housed a yoga instructor, another reader, massage therapist and wellness supplements all within the store. When COVID shut everything down, Angie was forced to move and make necessary changes to remain sustainable. After operating out of a temporary office space, in January of 2021 she rented a little shop on back main street and vendors moved with her. It’s now a busy little hub that includes a full espresso bar, over 40 Albertan artisans and entrepreneurs, a certified lash tech and a certified nail tech. Angie offers Reiki sessions as a Reiki Master/Reader. She also features guest readers and healers and she still runs various courses. Angie also organizes street markets for the community.  Angie is also a busy mom with five kids and a very supportive loving spouse. Visit Dragonfly Den HERE

Kim Macooh - Heads Up, Spirit River

Kim was raised in Spirit River from the age of 4 years old, so returning to the community after completing her hairdressing training was only natural for her. Kim was fortunate to apprentice in Spirit River, and then purchase the salon from her employer 36 years ago!  Working with her clients old and new is Kim’s favourite part of the job! Heads Up Salon offers family hair care service and esthetics. With a wide variety of esthetics including waxing/tinting, eyelash extensions, gel/ acrylic nails and microblading. Visit Heads Up HERE

Carly Schoorlemmer - ProAction Fitness Studio, Spirit River

Carly Schoorlemmer is the owner of ProAction Fitness Studio located in Spirit River. She is also a personal trainer with a priority of promoting healthy living through exercise, nutrition, and mental health. Carly works with women that struggle with feeling insecure about their body, helps them overcome those fears and leads them on their journey towards confidence and feeling strong. Carly is also a farmer’s wife and a mother of 2 girls and a pup named Murphy. She takes pride in living a healthy lifestyle by staying active outdoors whether it is hiking, snowboarding, and playing sports. Her and her family also enjoy activities like fishing and camping. Visit ProAction Fitness Studio HERE

Tatum Small - Plain Jane Cannabis, Spirit River

Tatum Small is the owner of Plain Jane Cannabis in Falher and Spirit River. Plain Jane Cannabis first opened in May of 2021 in Falher, and because of her love of being a small business owner, Tatum opened her second location in Spirit River in September of the same year. Tatum was born and raised in the Peace Country and says one of the best parts about being a small business owner is the people she gets to interact with. “They have been so supportive and kind”. Her third location in Beaverlodge is set to open by May 2022. Visit Plain Jane Cannabis Spirit River HERE

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