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
Elcho has plus 25 years as a professional in the life insurance and financial field including 7 years with one of Canada’s largest life insurance companies. Today she is the principal partner at Weblife Financial (www.weblifefinancial.com) and is licenced to practice in 5 provinces.
Elcho’s interests are diversified: She has coached her daughter in basketball; led a folk singing and dancing troupe in Montreal; delivered several sermons at the Valois United Church in Montreal before joining Fourth Avenue Baptist in the Glebe – where she is now an active parishioner and she is a consummate connector of women in business.
In 1995 Elcho founded the Network of Black Business & Professional Women (www.nb2pw.net) that grew to some 350 members in Montreal. After a hiatus from the presidency and a move to Ottawa, she resumed leadership of the Network which has grown to become a multi-city organization with Virtual Members throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The Network stages several annual events, hosts Monthly Mixers; collaborates with other women’s groups, and fund-raises for various charities including the Ottawa Hospital Foundation and the Heart & Stroke Foundation.
Elcho is a public speaker, Mistress of Ceremony (M.C.), moderator, social media enthusiast, and is a driving force in the city for planning and executing a variety of events. In 2013, she was instrumental in bringing Ms. Linda Clemons, the world renowned sales-trainer and life coach, to a packed room at the Chateau Laurier, Ottawa, to speak on the Art of Body Language. In the fall of 2014 she brought award winning image consultant, Ms. Shelley Jarrett, to speak to a full house, red carpet tribute to our Women in the Media which was held at the Pine View Golf Club in Ottawa.
Elcho’s seminars: Femmeonomics-911® (aimed at women) and You’ve Got Money® presented to a general audience) engage and empower attendees by increasing their knowledge about money and the financial security planning process. She is published in the Capital Woman magazine, the Spectrum, the Montreal Community Contact, and the internationally acclaimed, Inspirational Woman Magazine which can be found online and on select newsstands (www.inspirationalwomanmagazine.com).
Our Q & A with Elcho:
*What inspires you?
The question is what does not inspire me? I get a kick out of interacting with people and giving back. Whether in my life insurance and investment practice or through the sisterhood at NB2PW every day, every week, every month where – by the way, we defy the stereotype that women tear each other down! You really have to be the change that you desire and whatever the situation, people, or things that have come my way, good or bad, I try to learn something from everyone and everything. At the end of each day, I am exhausted but connected, inspired, and feel great about just living my life.
*As a small business owner, what achievements make you most proud?
Not just surviving the sudden death of my spouse, but stepping up my business acumen once I came through the terrible fog about a year later. I challenged myself to use technology to assist me in business and my personal life. I not only remarried two years later, I also expanded my practice from one province to six Canadian provinces.
*What advice would you give to other aspiring small business owners?
We live in a dynamic world; embrace change in self, others and technology.
*What new things can we look forward to from your business in the upcoming year?
My financial column “Common Cents” and my financial literacy workshop “Femmenomics-911 have been resonating with women so I am responding to a lot more requests from women’s organizations for financial literacy workshops. There are lots of speaking engagements on the horizon.
Elcho will also be hosting NB2PW’s 4th Annual Christmas Cocktail Evening on December 14th in Ottawa at the Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe. Please connect for tickets and information at firstname.lastname@example.org or their website.