KWBWA 40th Anniversary Gift
  • April 23, 2021
KWBWA 40th Anniversary Gift

In honour of the upcoming 40th Anniversary celebration, the K-W Business Women's Association would like to help lift up a local female business owner with a gift of $1,000.

If you know of any female business owner who could use a financial lift, someone who is passionate about making a positive impact in our community, provides opportunities for women in business and who inspires you through their actions, we would like to hear from you.

Please share with us why you would like to nominate this individual to be the recipient of our gift. Together we can help to empower one another.

Click here for more details and to submit YOUR nomination!

Member Spotlight
  • April 1, 2021

We have the awesome pleasure of highlighting one of our KWBWA members, Brigitte Gingerich. Brigitte loves to share her passion for travel and is inspired to help people see the world and experience the extraordinary. When you connect with Brigitte you instantly feel her enthusiasm for life and positive energy.

Brigitte's parents instilled a love of travel and adventure at a young age. This passion helped shape her career in travel and love for exploring the world. Her Dad came to Canada with $10 in his pocket. In looking back on his life, it taught Brigitte you can flourish with hard work and courage if you're willing to take a chance.

After completing university at Laurier, Brigitte met her husband Jeff, got married and started a family. Life was busy and full of adventure for the Gingerich family. In 2001 Brigitte was laid off and it was at that time she decided to take a chance on a career working as a travel agent. In doing so, this would allow Brigitte an opportunity to travel and the flexibility to stay home with their two children, Kobe and Hanna.

A woman of authenticity, Brigitte lives true to her values, is unapologetically honest and fully in charge of her destiny. Her energy and enthusiasm for life is contagious.

Brigitte Gingerich

Brigitte joined the KWBWA almost 20 years ago. Working from home gave her one day a week to meet with like-minded women and an opportunity to share her love of travel. She appreciates connecting with a diverse group of professional women and making new friends! Over the years Brigitte developed many amazing and long-lasting friendships through the KWBWA. Apart from the love of travel (anywhere and anytime) she enjoys photography, renovating, decorating, cooking, baking, golf and creating art! Most of all, Brigitte enjoys spending time with family, watching Kobe and Hanna spread their wings and of course, being courageous to dream big!

We need more of that light and positivity in our lives. Thank you Brigitte, keep on shining!

Please reach out to Brigette for your future adventure plans!
She can be reached via email,

"Be a traveller, not a tourist, experience a destination instead of just seeing the sites, connect with the locals and learn about their culture: it's an extraordinary experience you can't buy." Brigitte Gingerich

KWBWA Speaker Series
  • February 18, 2021

The KWBWA continues to pivot and adapt during this time. We were VERY excited to have our first guest speaker with us on ZOOM.

We welcomed Cheryl Himburg a leadership and mindset coach, from Key Element Solutions. Cheryl Himburg Cheryl leverages her corporate experience and training as a certified NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) Practitioner to empower her clients to shatter their own glass ceiling and achieve ambitious results for both personal and business growth.

From a young age Cheryl knew she wanted to grow up and have an impact on the world. It seemed lofty, but at her core it was always there, leading and inspiring her. She developed programs specifically for women to reshape assumptions, create community and collaboration over competition and to generate her ripple out effect for future generations.

Comments from our members included:

  • Cheryl Himburg was a fantastic speaker today. All I can say is wow!!
  • I really enjoyed her talk!
  • Fantastic Speaker! Thanks so much!

Cheryl derives genuine joy and satisfaction from inspiring others to aspire to greatness. Our next level requires the next level of YOU. You don't have to get there alone!

Visit her website for more information:

Member Spotlight
  • February 4, 2021

We have the wonderful pleasure of highlighting Sylvie Drader. Sylvie leads with a generous heart and a compassionate soul. She enjoys all things creative and loves to share this passion with others while watching them gain confidence in themselves. Sylvie is a natural teacher who takes great joy in helping others grow. In 2007 she started her business with Stampin' Up, teaching women how to make beautiful greeting cards and has been acknowledged by her company with incentives for her persistence and passion to help others learn the craft. As an independent businesswoman Sylvie Draderworking in a home office, joining KWBWA has helped her connect with other professionals, expanding her horizon and meeting new people in our community..

Sylvie is a volunteer and sponsor with Compassion Canada and has had the privilege of seeing firsthand how this organization helps worldwide. Recently Sylvie took up a new hobby, a century-old sociable tradition of French lace making, a hobby learned while visiting France. However, nothing holds a candle to the love of spending time with her five grandchildren. We are thankful for Sylvie and the meaningful contribution she brings to the greater good of our community and beyond.

As she says, "When you give something you have made yourself, you also give a part of you."

Member Spotlight
  • December 30, 2020

Thought it was time to do a spotlight on the special projects girl! When you love what you do and do what you love that's a sign of a successful career. It's how Joanne Atkins feels about her position as Executive Assistant with Can accord Genuity Wealth Management in Uptown Waterloo. Joanne began her career in the investment industry over 40 years ago and is still passionate about her work and commitment to service. She thrives on helping others and sharing her positive energy with clients, colleagues, friends and family. Wherever she goes fun is following close behind- her attitude and spirit is contagious. Joanne enjoys bringing people together and creating a culture where people feel connected to one another.

Joanne Atkins

Joanne learned early in life the value of hard work and responsibility through her family's business, Upshall's Garage on Bell Island; an experience she feels has shaped her entrepreneurial spirit. These are values both Joanne and her husband, Paul have passed on to their two sons, Mitchel and Justin, who also have their own businesses. Joanne is grateful for the many insightful and inspiring women she has met through the KWBWA over the past 30 years. She believes the purpose of the association is not about what you can get, but rather about what you can give.

Joanne continues to serve on the board and help create opportunities to highlight these incredible women in our community.


12 Days of Christmas
  • December 7, 2020

Welcome to the start of our 12 Days of Christmas Gift Ideas. Each day we will be showcasing a member of the KWBWA's business as well as other local businesses. It's not what's under the tree that matters, but by shopping local, we are keeping our money in our community and helping others. That's a great feeling!.

12 Days of Christmas - Kristin MooreOn the 1st Day of Christmas...
Kristin Moore, owner of Buy Moore Jewelry, has been a member of the KWBWA since December 2017. She is a local silversmith who makes beautiful jewelry in her home studio in Elmira. This is a sample of her work, available for sale. If you are interested in something, please message her directly through Instagram or Facebook. She can also be reached via email at Who DOESN'T love a gift of a shiny new piece of jewelry? Don't know the style or preference of your loved one? Gift certificates are available. Kristin welcomes ideas and custom orders.

12 Days of Christmas - Sylvie DraderOn the 2nd Day of Christmas...
Sylvie Drader, Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator and member of the KWBWA. She loves to help people create beautiful cards that others will cherish. Since in-house classes aren't possible right now, check out her website for instructions to create your own at home. Here is a sample of her cards that are available for sale. They are $20 for 5 (includes envelopes and curbside pick up). These can be mixed and matched and can be custom ordered (eg sympathy cards, congratulations cards, baby cards etc...). The advent calendar is $50 (curbside pick up). If you are interested in something, please message her directly through Instagram or Facebook @ Sylvie Stamps. We can all use some extra cards on hand.

12 Days of Christmas - Mary-Lou LangOn the 3rd Day of Christmas...
Mary-Lou Lang is an Independent Consultant with Arbonne International and has been a member of the KWBWA since July 2019, but attended as an alternate before that. Mary-Lou loves all the beautiful products that Arbonne has to offer: skin care, nutrition and make-up, just to name a few. Their products are non GMO, vegan, gluten-free, paraben and sulphate free. For the makeup-shy who don't know where to start, to those looking for a go-to fresh-faced look, the Ready in Five makeup set is a value everyone will love! This Set Special comes with one makeup must-have, 4 customizable options and a how-to brochure. Treat yourself or someone you love! If you would like a sample of the skin care, or to find out more, contact Mary-Lou at

12 Days of Christmas - Karen SavageOn the 4th Day of Christmas...
Karen Savage, Senior Sales Specialist at Heffner Toyota has been helping people find their dream car for over 20 years. Whether you're looking to trade in your own vehicle, or give someone special an extra big gift this Christmas, come into Heffner Toyota this weekend to find your perfect car.

12 Days of Christmas - Delia SimuOn the 5th Day of Christmas...
Delia Simu, registered homeopath, International Medical graduate, and BIE practitioner (Bioenergetic intolerance elimination) has been practicing homeopathic medicine since 1996. BIE is a natural, noninvasive method that helps a person's body to recognize the "culprit" stressors that are causing their health disorder. The first five people in December to mention this post and book a consultation will receive 25% off their initial visit. Give Delia a call today at 519-581-7111 and see for yourself the difference homeopathic and BIE treatment can make.

12 Days of Christmas - Dr. Lesley JacklinOn the 6th Day of Christmas...
Dr. Lesley Jacklin is a chiropractor at Bruce Street Family Chiropractic. She is a past president and has been a member of the KWBWA since 2017. Dr Lesley is passionate about helping people achieve their health goals. She has seen the effects of stress, that when it overwhelms our body, it shifts our spine out of alignment causing various symptoms in the body. Gentle adjustments restore proper mobility to the spine, improving nervous system function and preventing further damage to the spinal joints. Call 519 743 6339 or visit to schedule your initial exam today and discover how good you were designed to feel! Mention KWBWA for a special exam fee of $67.

12 Days of Christmas - Connie DeckertOn the 7th Day of Christmas...
Connie Deckert has been teaching golf in the KW area for 15 years and is a long standing member of the KWBWA, since September 2008. Connie has teaching privileges at Max's Golf Centre in Waterloo year-round and during the golf season she is also at Wedges and Woods in Cambridge. Do you have someone on your list who is interested in picking up a new sport? Are you looking to polish up your swing? Let Connie set you off on the right foot! Send Connie an email to get started today:

12 Days of Christmas - Rachelle GarciaOn the 8th Day of Christmas..
Rachelle Garcia, Manager of Community Engagement at Centre In The Square. Now more than ever, our theatres need your support. It's hard to imagine now, but we will come together again soon for your favourite shows like Alan Doyle, Australian Pink Floyd and more. 2020 is the best year to put a gift certificate under the tree for the theatre fan on your list. The Box Office is open to take your calls Monday to Friday 11-3 at 519-578-1570.

12 Days of Christmas - Kristin WernerOn the 9th Day of Christmas...
Kristin Werner, owner of Star Performance Dance Academy. She has been on the executive of the KWBWA and has been a member for over 5 years. Virtual Dance Experience - Starter Session! Is your child dancing all over the house with extra energy? Let us take care of that for you with this once-a-week online dance experience, with Star Performance Academy's Virtual Studio. This 4 week session offers intro to dance classes for 3-5 and 6-10 year olds. Register today!

12 Days of Christmas - Natalie KohlrussOn the 10th Day of Christmas...
Natalie Kohlruss, Chartered Herbalist, herb farmer + founder of Huron Earth. Natalie has a property just outside of Kitchener-Waterloo on Huron Road where they grow never sprayed, medicinal herbs. They transform the herbs into teas, salves + herbal skincare using non invasive processing methods to preserve the medicinal properties of the herbs. Check out today and discover all the goodness Huron Earth has to offer.

12 Days of Christmas - Alicia StuartOn the 11th Day of Christmas...
Alicia Stuart is a Partner at Harris Law, where she maintains a broad personal injury practice. She is a KWBWA past President, and has been a member since 2016. Harris Law (Personal Injury Lawyers) wants to help those in need in our community. The Kitchener law firm collected non-perishable food, unwrapped toys, and cash donations for its Annual Holiday Food and Toy Drive. Normally this time of year, they would be hosting a toy and food drive at the Apollo Cinema, but obviously that can't happen this year due to the pandemic.

On the 12th Day of Christmas...
We would like to give a shout out to everyone supporting those less fortunate in our community. If you can, support our local food bank, YW-KW, House of Friendship or any of our great local charities!

Zoom Christmas
  • December 8, 2020

Our Christmas party was a little different this year, but maintaining connections with other business women in our community is still key. We are together, even though we are apart.

Kitchener Waterloo Business Women Association - Christmas ZOOM Party

Spreading holiday cheer to those far and near!

Kitchener Waterloo Business Women Association - Social Media

New Member Talk
  • November 19, 2020

Rachelle Garcia (Manager of Community Engagement) enlightened us about her employment at Centre in the Square. Her focus is building a comprehensive community engagement plan to enable Centre in the Square to better connect with residents and businesses in Waterloo Region. America Latina Grocery & Eatery Recently due to COVID restrictions, Rachelle was laid off, but being the "team player"" that she is, Rachelle stepped up to the ‘plate’ and is helping her husband at their restaurant/Latino grocery store. America Latina Grocery & Eatery - YOUR source for all Latin American foods, offering products from Mexico, Central and South America. Rachelle Garcia - Member SpotlightIf you don't see something you're looking for, just let Rachelle know and she'll do everything she can to find it. They also offer reliable and confidential money transfer services using Transfast and RIA.


KW Record Readers' Choice - Winners
  • October 29, 2020

The votes are in!

Congratulations to all the winners in their respective categories AND thanks to everyone who voted.

KW Record Readers' Choice Winners
  • Promyse Home Care
    Best Home Health Care: Diamond
  • Northstar Travel | Northstar Journeys
    Best Senior Tours: Platinum
    Best Travel Agency: Diamond
  • Harris Law, Personal Injury Lawyers PC
    Law Firm: Platinum
    Best Legal Services: Gold
    Best Personal Injury Law Services: Platinum
  • Star Performance Academy | Dance Star Team
    Best Kids Camps: Gold
  • Lyfestyle Financial Inc.
    Best Investment Company: Gold
  • Karen Savage
    Best Auto Salesperson: Gold
  • Heffner Lexus Toyota
    Auto Colision and Repair: Diamond
    Auto Parts and Accessories: Gold
    Best Auto Rustproofing: Gold
    Best Imported Car Dealership: Diamond
    New Car Dealership: Diamond
    Transmission Service and Repair: Platinum
    Used Car Dealership: Diamond

Member Spotlight
  • October 22, 2020

We have the great pleasure of highlighting one of our long standing members, Connie Deckert. Connie recently celebrated her 12th anniversary with KWBWA in September of this year. As women in business, we are fortunate to have her influence, support and expertise. Connie shows us that humility in leadership is not about thinking less of yourself, its about thinking about yourself less. Thank you Connie for your role in helping us feel proud of our association. Connie Deckert

Connie Deckert has earned the title of pro in every sense of the word, from the game of golf which was introduced to Connie at a young age by her Dad, to becoming a solo entrepreneur when running her family business in Elmira.

Connie learned the import lessons on how to build business success. An accomplished professional, Connie steadily built her career as a golf pro achieving the highly coveted membership in the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals. She joins the elite 1,600 women worldwide with only 30 in Canada. In addition to being designated a LPGA Golf Professional, Connie is also a Level III golf teacher with the Golf Teachers’ Federations in both Canada and the Untied States. Talent leads to mastery and For U Enterprises was born, a business of all things golf where Connie could pass on her experience and expertise.

Connie is an impassioned advocate of women’s rights. As a member of Kitchener-Waterloo Zonta Club for over 25 years she has been honoured with the Betty Thompson Award for her work. She is a supporter of The Women’s Legal and Action Fund in Toronto (LEAF), an organization that has been guarding women’s rights in Canada in court cases since women were given equality under our Constitution back in the early 80’s. When not on the golf course, Connie enjoys being a member of the Noteworthy Singers, a dynamic senior’s choir, spends time travelling and influencing her clients in the game of golf and life on the golf course.


Guest Speaker
  • October 22, 2020
Great Zoom Meeting

Sandra Stepan, CoFounder of SnapAdvantage was our guest speaker and spoke to our members about creating Social Media content for our businesses, sharing some great tips in this ever-changing world and tackling the problem everyone is having during Covid.Snap Advantage Marketing She is passionate about helping local and online businesses creatung loyal and repeat customers! Sandra created a "Keep It Local" FB group with the goal to assist KW business owners to overcome the current situation by sharing resources, knowledge and expertise. Contact Sandra to see how she can help YOUR business!


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.

This past year has been a challenge...
  • October 15, 2020

We all have had to adjust to changes in our personal and professional lives. As a group, we've embraced Zoom meetings, focussed on learning more about our members through social media profiles, and had a couple outdoor events.

Kendra Allen was a fabulous president who confidently led our group through the highs and lows of 2019-2020. She helped secure some great speakers, oversaw venue changes due to renovations and helped spearhead our online meetings.

As long standing member, Nancy Koebel said: "Kendra you did an awesome job of pivoting when everything changed due to covid."

Member Kristin Moore was asked to create a piece of jewelry as a thank you gift for our president. She created a cuff bracelet that she can see it when typing on the computer and read its message: #empowered. This is the heart of our group: supporting and cheering on our members as we grow and navigate change.

Thank you to all of the women on our Executive from 2019-2020.

First Meetup
  • September 10, 2020

Thank you for joining us today for our first Meetup since COVID that the #kwbwa had an in person meeting. It was wonderful to see so many of you. The atmosphere was lively and buzzing with positive vibes towards women in business in our community. It was a great turnout, awesome food and even better company.

Our members finally had the opportunity to meet face-to-face while safely socailly distancing on the beautiful patio at Boston Pizza in Kitchener!

Awesome to see everyone in person... great food and the weather cooperated.

Special THANKS to...

Joanne Atkins for organizing the Member meetup. After speaking with management, she had tables of 4 set up/reserved that were spaced out safely.

Boston Pizza for hosting us out on your patio with delicious food and hospitality.

Stay safe, healthy and fabulous!

  • 30 Fairway Rd S, Kitchener, ON N2A 2N2