Rima Aristocrat, Kelly Farrell, Catherine McGillivray, Praveeni Perera, Arti Sharma and Elcho Stewart are six dynamic women who will round up our Panel of Experts this year at our Ottawa Expo. These women are experts in their own right and have made themselves available to support aspiring entrepreneurs. The topic of this year’s panel is Women in Business, Technology and Healthcare. The Panel of Experts discussion will take place at The Westin Ottawa on October 4th, 2015 from noon until 2pm. Admission is absolutely free. Find out about our ladies below and for how you can meet them and ask your questions, go to www.immigrantsmallbizexpo.ca
“One of the greatest goals I ever achieved was learning how to make myself cry of laughter”, says Gabriella Mammone. Gabriella has faced that awkward moment of laughing hysterically and unable to control her authentic sobbing.
Gabriella is a devoted wife, a loving mother, a serial event planner, a public speaker, a motivational ambassador and an active volunteer. She has a zest for life and appreciates the small things that life has to offer – hot apple cider, an orange gerbera daisy and a warm blanket.
Gabriella lives daily with multiple sclerosis. She experiences extreme lethargy, cognitive issues, numbness, loss of balance, weakness and extensive itching/tingling. She has over 16 lesions in her brain and 2 in her spinal cord. Despite her innumerable daily challenges, she attacks each day with a smile and successfully reached her goal of inspiring others.
As an active volunteer with the MS Society, Gabriella helps with the MS Walks, golf tournaments and other fundraising initiatives. She is also an Ambassador with the MS Society of Canada, advocating on behalf of people living with MS. Annually she visits Queen’s Park to raise awareness with decision makers about select priority issues for people living with chronic conditions and disabilities.
Gabriella is a serial philanthropist and event planner. She is the Event Director of Family Jingle & Mingle, a shared Christmas celebration for companies and families in support of The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. www.jingleandmingle.ca
An entrepreneur, Gabriella is the Passionate Owner and Gift Guru of Occasion Giftware, www.occasiongiftware.com, an online gift store catering to weddings, showers, and religious events including baptisms, first holy communions and confirmations.
Gabriella is also the Managing Partner at Senso 3C, www.senso3c.com, an organization that helps companies source, develop and retain their people. Gabriella actively develops their business resources division assisting companies with training, development and the planning of their corporate events. She also provides operational support to the talent division that assists companies find staff for their organizations.
She was featured on CBC’s hit TV show, Dragons’ Den and although she didn’t expect the unfavourable outcome, she quickly bounced back and has become an excellent guest speaker.
Talk about an inspiring woman! Gabriella continues to motivate people and is truly an inspirational presenter and keynote speaker. She believes that volunteering adds to her life. In 2013, she earned a Community Civic Award, presented by Mayor Hazel McCallion and members of council for her positive contributions to the City of Mississauga, ON.
Is she a busy gal? Yes she is. Gabriella’s passion is built on her personal experience of living with MS and finding the humour in her ‘interesting’ life. She is enthusiastic and relentless in her message that success if available to anyone, even for those that have an illness or disease. We will encounter many defeats in our lives, but Gabriella strives to never be defeated. She encourages you to find the humour in your situations and sends you this message: “make yourself cry of laughter”.
Our Q & A with Gabriella Mammone
What inspires you?
There is nothing like positive thinking to get me psyched! I am inspired by my son’s mind – he’s only 5 and yet he is completely logical in his own passions and interests. I am inspired by the progression of people – I very much enjoy spending time with colleagues and seeing them grow as their confidence increases. I am inspired by driven and passionate people – seeing others achieve their goals empowers me. I am inspired by people that have strong ethics and go out of their way to make a positive impact in the lives of others. I am inspired by volunteers that selflessly donate their time and exemplify the spirit of giving back. I respect and honour my inspiration for I am grateful that I am able to make changes, not excuses. Here’s to inspiration!
As a small business owner, what achievements make you most proud?
I remain strong in the face of adversity. I am not afraid of a challenge and have an uncanny ability to bounce back after a setback. I was on the television show Dragon’s Den, for example, and truly felt humiliated by one of the Dragons. Looking back at the video, I felt that I handled the situation with grace and professionalism and didn’t let the comments bring me down. I was grateful for the opportunity and thankful that it opened new doors for me…new doors that I created. I am most proud of the leadership that I provide to the MS Society of Canada and those affected by illnesses.
What advice would you give to other aspiring small business owners?
Make an action plan to achieve your goals. In business, we make action plans for marketing campaigns and projects. Why not create a detailed step-by-step plan for achieving your own personal goals? The steps that you take will help you keep focused on achieving your goals. ‘Action planning’ your goals will help you focus on your ideas and decide what steps you need to take to achieve your milestones. Each step you take is a journey and will create new priorities and keep you organized. As you achieve your personal goals, the passion and success will translate into your business and objectives.
What new things can we look forward to from your business in the upcoming year?
Family Jingle & Mingle 2013 will have an awesome silent auction and fun surprises in store. Next year we will work with another charity to help them raise valuable funds. I personally plan to do more public speaking and motivate those faced with adversity. I am working on a book and am excited to learn more about the publishing process.
Contact Gabriella (aka Gaby) at:
YouTube: Gabriella Mammone
LinkedIn: Gabriella Mammone