New Member Talk
  • January 26, 2023
New Member -  Shanna Koetsier

Shanna Koetsier spoke to us about creating custom photo books, converting photos to digital copies and organizing boxes of photographs. It was interesting to hear how she can organize a client's photos from a variety of sources, like flash drives and phones, to one digital location.

She stressed following the 3-2-1 storage source idea: have 3 copies (phone, hard drive and cloud), use 2 media and 1 off site source.

KWBWA - Charcoal Steakhouse

There was much discussion among the group. Memory keeping has changed in our lifetime. Most of used have baby books and boxes of photos from our own childhoods.

If the thought of sorting all of your photographs or reducing your digital clutter seems overwhelming, then contact Shanna at GingerSnaps. She has some online courses and offers a variety of packages for her services!

Member Talk
  • January 12, 2023

Today, Jenn Hanna talked to us about her 20 year journey with RBC and the different roles she held on her way to becoming a Mortgage Specialist.

New Member - Jenn Hanna

She definitely has a wealth of knowledge for anyone looking to get approved in this crazy market.

We also had a potential member join us and she told us about her food business and the ups and downs she has had to manage. Hopefully we’ll be seeing her again soon!

Kitchener Waterloo Business Women Association - Join Us

If you are looking to expand your circle of influence and increase your business potential, join us for a luncheon meeting.

Network effectively with business owners, entrepreneurs and other like-minded women.

Learn from collective experience, knowledge and creativity of business women.

It's an environment to learn, grow and connect.

Today networking and connecting with professionals in business is imperative to success.

Member Interview
  • January 9, 2023
Kristin Werner - Star Performance Academy

January 9 is International Choreographers Day. We wanted to take this opportunity to highlight KWBWA member, Kristin Werner, owner of Star Performance Academy!

We asked Kristin a few questions about her journey as a choreographer and dancer.

KWBWA: What skills have you learned as a dancer that make you a good choreographer?
KW: Studying as many styles as possible that were accessible to me in my youth as a dancer, gave me a broader selection of movements to use and tell a strong story. Additionally, my education in various acting styles helped me to understand how to connect storytelling to dance movements so these movements have the potential to speak to an audience. And finally having a strong understanding of music theory has also helped me to hear music and connect it to movement qualities, staging and group work to hopefully create a stronger piece. In my genres, I only have 2-3 minutes usually to make an impact, so the more detail I can bring to each second, the more I can communicate in a clear and meaningful way.

KWBWA: A performer is struggling to learn the routine. How do you proceed?
KW: The first big question is, "Why?". A struggle can come from a challenge in coordination, in translating the movement from what they see to what they feel in their own body. It can be really difficult sometimes. A struggle can also be emotional. It is so easy to doubt oneself, to feel discomfort in portraying certain emotions, or to do something new and out of one's comfort zone. So I like to first try and talk about it, and move on from the results of what we discover together. Communication is key, followed by breaking down the challenge into smaller, more manageable parts. It's my favourite thing, to watch a dancer break some of these barriers!

Interview with Kristin Werner

KWBWA: What have been the greatest challenges in your dance/choreography career?
KW: I would have to bring up Covid for this! We practiced socially distanced choreography which meant that so many of our human movements, group work, partnering...even hand-holding, were off limits as we navigated the safety protocols through the pandemic. The silver lining was how much we appreciated the return of our normal ways of moving and communicating through dance. You can see it in the dancers.

KWBWA: Who are your favorite dancers, and who are the dancers that most influenced you and your dancing? This goes both for dancers you are simply inspired by, as well as dancers you have studied with.
KW: My teacher growing up, Ms. Deardra Leslie (a former member of the KWBWA) always tried to think outside the box, which I think is so important for art to keep breaking into new territory. She will remain a big inspiration for me in this regard. I love and appreciate so many dancers and choreographers from many eras, but today I'll mention Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Bob Fosse, Gregory Hines and Michelle Dorrance. I also am always inspired by the choreography of my students when they get to work on pieces of their own.

KWBWA: Any special moment or memorable experience in your dancing career till date that you would like to share with us?
KW: I have to mention dancing with my sister, Lori. We did tap duets as we grew up dancing together. Those are special memories for me, dancing locally, and for Team Canada. Dancing with a sibling is so awesome because you have this connection. The unison for tap is easier and you already know what the other is thinking, which got us through a few challenges on the stage! If those songs come on, we just look at eachother and the memories come flooding back!

Thank you, Kristin, for being a valued member of the community and the KWBWA!

To check out the dance styles that Kristin offers, check out or give them a call at 519-886-8600.

Happy Holidays
  • December 5, 2022

It was wonderful to see so many of you at our Annual Holiday Party!

Our Members

This year we decided to do a group donation to a local charity and chose Monica Place. They offer two shelters that home young mothers 12-21, many of whom are victims of sex trafficking and sexual assault. They give them a safe home, have a high school and daycare on site, and offer multiple services and programs to support and rehabilitate the victims. A deserving and essential service in our community.

We also packed up the leftover food and were able to donate it to Lutherwood.

We are so fortunate to have a kind and generous group who support one another, and also help support the causes that are dear to us. Last evening was a testimony to that kindness.

“Ah, kindness. What a simple way to tell another struggling soul that there is love to be found in the world.” -A. A. Malee

Thank you to...
...those who were able to contribute to Monica Place.
...Rachelle Garcia who has been working hard collecting items and cash donations to buy much needed items.
...Joanne Atkins for organizing the evening and for all our “Facinators” for the group picture. Evenings to not happen without exceptional leadership and organizing.
...Nancy Koebel for your kind offer to deliver the food to Lutherwood.
...Karen Savage for making the contact @ Lutherwood for us!

Our Members

We raised $500 to spend. And that doesn't include the purchased donations that were brought to the party. WOWZERS, KWBWA!!

With your generous donations, here’s what we were able to donate!

2022 Christmas Donation to Monica Place
  • 27 packs of wipes
  • 10 boxes of diapers
  • 10 books
  • 10 sets of PJs for the mothers
  • 8 body lotions from Bath and Body Works
  • 4 body care sets and 4 bath sets from Winners
  • 1 robe
  • 1 period Care kit
  • 1 gift card
  • 2 boxes of Ferrero Rocher chocolates
  • 1 hat
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • ...and one member made a financial donation directly to Monica Place

Wishing we could see the smiles on their faces when they open their gifts!!!

Guest Speaker
  • November 24, 2022
Guest Speaker: Sue Meertens

Today, Sue Meertens talked to us about the power of healing touch and energy healing, and even walked us through a short exercise to relieve anxiety and stress.

Sue is a Certified Eden Energy Medicine and Healing Touch Practitioner. Once in the Corporate Marketing and Sales Management field, she found her passion for Energy Medicine mid life, and currently has remote and in person practice based in Cambridge. The goal of this nurturing healing is to restore balance in your energy system, which supports your body's natural ability to heal. It's safe, effective and everyone can benefit.

In case you didn't know...

We are all over social media!

Kitchener Waterloo Business Women Association - Social Media

Stay in touch and follow us at:

If you are looking to expand your circle of influence and increase your business potential, join us for a luncheon meeting.

Network effectively with business owners, entrepreneurs and other like-minded women.

Learn from collective experience, knowledge and creativity of business women.

It's an environment to learn, grow and connect.

Today networking and connecting with professionals in business is imperative to success.

Guest Speakers
  • October 27, 2022

Guest Speakers

It was an absolute pleasure to welcome Christina and Teri from 21 Tours + Events Co. Inc as our guest speakers today.

They offer curated group excursions all along Hwy 21 on the Huron coast.

Want a wine tour? A helicopter ride to dinner? A weekend cottage getaway?

Just tell them what you’re looking for and they will build a tailored experience for your group.

These fabulous and vibrant women quit their jobs and built a business out of their passions.

21 Tours + Events

Check them out!

Our Members

KW Record Readers Choice 2022
  • October 27, 2022
Readers Choice Award Winners

Congratulations to #kwbwa members on their Readers Choice Award 2022!

  • @karensavage.heffners of @heffnertoyota
    Best Auto Salesperson - Diamond
  • @marie_d_wolf of @promysehomecare
    Senior Services - Diamond
    Best Home Health Care - Platinum

Way to go ladies!!!

Another Great Lunch!
  • September 29, 2022

Another Great Meeting

Another great lunch with the Kitchener-Waterloo Business Women's Association at Charcoal Steakhouse. Today, President Rachelle Garcia led us through a discussion of the results of a recent survey of our members.As business resumes "post COVID", we are looking to make changes to our organization. We have decided to meet biweekly, and will resume having guest speakers. If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to us.

Back Together!
  • September 15, 2022
Back Together

The KWBWA members spent time catching up at our first networking lunch after much time apart. After the initial mingling, each member spoke about changes in their business or industry from the past 2 years. We look forward to seeing each more regularly, as we plan to meet biweekly, going forward this fall. We are meeting at Charcoal Steak House on Thursdays at noon. Guests are always welcome.

We welcome any women who conduct business primarily within Waterloo Region, Ontario.

Kitchener Waterloo Business Women Association - Social Media

Each prospective member represents a classification of business not already represented. Only one person is permitted per classification and each member is only allowed to represent one category.


Guest Speaker
  • June 30, 2022
Guest Speaker -  Stefanie Bruinsma

We can’t say enough about how awesome it was to have Stefanie Bruinsma of AutoCate visit us today! This firecracker of an entrepreneur has faced constant sexism in the auto industry, yet she knew what her passion was and kept pushing and learning. And now she is on a mission to educate women about vehicles so we don’t feel intimidated by mechanics. Check. Her. Out. You will love her. And she’s going to move mountains.


Guest Speaker
  • May 26, 2022
Guest Speaker -  Stephanie Soulis

It was such a pleasure hearing from Stephanie Soulis of Little Mushroom Catering on Thursday. What an inspiring story of what hard work, determination, passion and good corporate values can lead to. Chances are if you’ve been to a locally owned restaurant or event, you’ve eaten her food (and enjoyed it).

Check out Little Mushroom for your next catered event

Rogers Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Women of the Year in the Group Category
  • May 18, 2022
Women of the Year in the Group Category

Women of the Year in the Group CategoryWe were happy to announce that KWBWA had been nominated for Rogers Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Women of the Year in the Group Category on May 3rd, we didn't win. But, there were some really impressive 72 record breaking nominees! Congratulations to all the winners!

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest has been proudly bringing the Rogers Women of the Year awards to our community for nearly five decades.

Women of the Year in the Group Category
Guest Speaker
  • April 28, 2022
Guest Speaker - Dr. Jill Stoddart

Dr. Jill Stoddart, Director of Research, Development and Outcomes for Family and Children’s Services of the Waterloo Region. As part of her role manages Family and Children’s Services Foundation. Family & Children’s Services of the Waterloo Region Foundation supports children, youth, and families in our community through the lens of prevention.

Guest Speaker - Dr. Jill Stoddart

Her experience in multiple sectors serving children and families has led to positive changes in the provision of evidenced-based services ranging from resilience promotion for children and youth to decolonizing trauma based parenting programs for specific cultural groups.


Out of the Box Luncheon
  • April 14, 2022

Out of the Box Luncheon

Another successful Out of the Box lunch tour at the Family Centre of Family and Children's Services of Waterloo Region. Dr Jill Stoddart, the Director of Research, Development and Outcomes at Family and Children’s Services, was our tour guide. She was a wealth of knowledge as she showed us this beautiful building.and learned about the incredible work they do in our community to help support the special charitable needs of children and their families!


Out of the Box Luncheon

Guest Speaker
  • March 31, 2022

Guest Speaker - Maya Grubisic,  French Programming Manager of Artshine/Arts4All

Arts4all is a Canadian non-profit business that is funded by sister company, Artshine, a fast-growing social enterprise. Together, Arts4all and Artshine are dedicated to creating and providing art programming to communities, where participation in the arts is not limited by location, age, ability, income, or life circumstances.

Maya Grubisic, French Programming Manager of Artshine/Arts4All believes that education happens everywhere and can be for everyone.

For Maya, teaching the visual arts embodies this belief: art education is an asset to all by providing them with a common cultural language.

Not all students will become artists, but by being exposed to a variety of educational experiences including the arts, they will learn that there are many ways of understanding the world around them.


Lunch Out
  • March 24, 2022

Our KWBWA met for lunch at the Charcoal Steak House It was so wonderful to be able to go out and see each other again. The food was delicious and the conversation was lively.

Lunch Out
We left with our hearts and bellies full!

Guest Speaker
  • February 24, 2022

Guest Speaker - Dan Vandermolen - CHANGE Lifestyle & Apparel

Today Dan Vandermolen of CHANGE Lifestyle & Apparel spoke to our group about using his life experiences, his passion for community-building and his love of the environment!

Thank you Dan for taking time from your busy schedule to be our guest speaker!.

Dan’s goal with CHANGE is to bring people together, support and build community while offering only B Corp certified sustainable goods. By selling only B Corp certified brands CHANGE can participate in a sustainable way of doing business. Plus, through a personal belief in the power of community and giving back, donating 10% of proceeds to a local charity, means that they can affect change at home.

Visit for more information on how Dan and his team are working hard to grow support of local charities across Canada.

Guest Speakers
  • January 27, 2022

Thank you to everyone that was able to join our KWBWA Zoom meeting today. Tracy Van Kalsbeek and Dawne Taylor-Gilders are two busy ladies at the Uptown Waterloo BIA..

Guest Speakers - Tracy Van Kalsbeek and Dawne Taylor-GildersThe prime mandate of the Uptown Waterloo Business Improvement Area (BIA) is to promote and beautify the core area of Waterloo:

  • Forum for concerns and issues – provide advocacy
  • Conduit for communication
  • Place-making and beautification
  • Promotional and marketing initiatives
  • Encourage visitors and stimulate economic growth
  • Events, festivals and other destination initiatives

Visit the Uptown BIA website, for more information to see how they are building for the future!

Special Offer
  • January 27, 2022
Free Massage @ Trios Massage Clinic

Sharon Sweeney of triOS College is extremely happy to announce our Massage Clinic will be reopening. So, we invite you, family, and friends to book online your 60-minute FREE massage treatment as soon as possible. This offer (FREE) will be maintained until March 31, 2022, inclusive.

Our Student Massage Therapists can help you boost your energy, improve your concentration, and overall relax and relieve sore muscles! We look forward to seeing you! Our NEW … Massage Clinic is located at Kitchener, 235 King Street N2G 4N5, on the 3rd floor.

Your FREE massage session is one click away...

If you have any questions, please contact our campus at 519-578-0838 x 1300.

Special Offer
  • January 6, 2022
Nancy Kobel

For a limited time, Canada Life is offering some of the lowest rates with a premium discount on new qualifying Canada Life My Term life insurance policies. Discounts are 15% on a 10-year term policy and 10% on all other term insurance policies. (Valid until January 31st)

Contact Nancy Koebel
...for a special offer
on life insurance!

Special Offer
  • January 6, 2022
Rebecca Byers

Take on the year with a fresh mindset, positive outlook, greater clarity & drive, healthier habits and more energy & time for the things that matter most!
Save an additional 15% off current pricing (Valid until January 14th) for the Winter Thrive4Life Group program!

Contact Rebecca Byers
...with any questions!