Sizzling in the City: Bossy Update
Carol McBee is one Bossy Momma. Well, maybe not bossy, unless you ask her husband Daniel. But she certainly is a well-connected momma. Carol is a Sizzling Twenty Under 30 alumnus whose entrepreneurial adventures include the modern mom groups, Bossy Momma and Mommy Connections.
In 2010 when she was named a Sizzler, Carol had owned these two businesses for just over a year and a half. But these were not her first ventures into the realm of entrepreneurship. Her career had a number of stops before the business of motherhood. For a time she was corporate programs manager for Cold FX. She also was the owner of Canadian Houses, a business that supported realtors by offering video and photo tours of listed properties to potential buyers. But, after having her daughter Madelyn, she knew motherhood was her priority. She chose not to return to Cold FX and sold Canadian Houses to her younger brother in 2010.
For Carol, even though she was sure being a mother was her top priority, she still saw herself as a businesswoman.
After she gave birth to her daughter, friends told her to sign up for a post-natal program offered by Capital Health called New Mom’s Network. “I called every day to get into the program” and her persistence paid off. “The program was ok, I met some great women but it wasn’t what I’d expected,” says Carol of her experience in the program.
However, after recommending the program to friends, Carol found out that the program was cancelled. When H1N1 surfaced and the nurses and community spaces were needed for large-scale vaccination programs.
While others may have seen the program’s cancellation as unfortunate and carried on with their lives, in true entrepreneurial fashion, Carol saw this as an opportunity. While she knew she wanted to spend as much time as possible with Madelyn, she needed something else to focus on as well.
After polling her fellow new moms from the Capital health services program for their thoughts on what worked and what could be improved, she launched Mommy Connections. Mommy Connections is a six to eight-week post-natal program that has an interactive touch. The weekly sessions offer moms the chance to meet each other and experience hands-on topics such as baby massage, post-natal fitness, nutrition, infant safety and more.
That was then, this is now.
At the time of her Sizzling nomination Mommy Connections had programs running in seven Alberta locations. “The first three or four programs, we kind of muddled through. I did the website and the registration—I did a lot of the work. Eventually, we moved to the model we have now.” The business has grown through a licensing model that sees licensees purchase the rights annually to promote and offer the programs in their communities. “They (the licensees) run it entirely on their own. They get their own micro site on a wordpress blogging platform. So everything is night and day different (from when I did it all on my own).”
It takes some entrepreneurs years to get themselves out of the way enough to see this kind of growth, but not Carol: Within seven months, she’d contacted a business lawyer who specialized in licensing business models and committed to the new model. Now Mommy Connections has 30 locations across Canada and the United States, and Carol has a goal for 100 locations in Canada in the next three years.
At the same time as Mommy Connections was growing so was Bossy Momma, a group that was originally tailored to moms who were entrepreneurial. ‘Mompreneur’ was a new term when Carol started her businesses.
“I heard the word mompreneur… and I thought, oh gosh, that’s what I am. I’m a mom, I’m an entrepreneur… I’m a mompreneur. But, the more I used that term and saw it in the media, I think it’s become really derogatory. I think a lot of people, when they read that term, they think that a woman is sitting at her dining room table while her children nap, making hair clippies… and that’s simply not the case. Small business is what is for sure going to pull any of our economies out of recession and a lot of women are behind all those businesses.” And Bossy Momma is the mastermind group she created to connect those entrepreneurs.
Bossy Momma began as a networking group for entrepreneurial women Carol met through Mommy Connections. “I was sick and tired of having that glazed look (at networking events), and I’m sure there were a lot of other women who were in the same boat as me.” The directors who purchased licenses for Mommy Connections were all entrepreneurs, some with considerable experience in corporate Canada. “It’s not like they don’t know what they’re doing. These are really savvy businesswomen and they struggled with the same thing as well, and they belonged to other small networking group like ours.”
Since its inception, Bossy Momma, like many businesses, has evolved and now the name no longer clearly defines the group. It offers networking events not only for moms, but all entrepreneurial women, some of whom happen to be mothers. Men are also allowed and encouraged to join although some might be turned off by the name.
With all this on the go, I wondered how in the world she avoids total exhaustion. “It’s pretty hard. Anyone who knows me knows I work crazy hours. I work generally 4:30 am until 9:30 in the morning when my daughter wakes up. I work every afternoon when she sleeps. I don’t often work at night.”
But last December, Carol’s husband got a new job… and she suffered a miscarriage. These two events together made her re-evaluate her priorities.
“I really thought about things and, while I know as a business owner, when things are good, you need to keep working. I think that I was putting all this pressure on myself. In less than three years, we’ve had 30 locations and are Canada’s largest pre/post-natal and toddler program. In the whole country, there is no one bigger than we are. That’s really amazing,” says Carol. “I was thinking if I could do this in three years imagine what I could do in three more years if I keep at this pace. But when all this happened I took a step back and said ‘I don’t need to work this hard anymore’.”
For Carol ‘not working this hard’ means still working nearly every morning but since January she’s been taking Monday, Friday and Saturdays ‘mostly off’. Many entrepreneurs would wonder, what does this kind of shift in effort do to your business? “I have to realize that things don’t have to come as fast as they have in the last three years. I’ve got lots of time.”
Considering she just celebrated her thirtieth birthday, I’d say she’s right…but we’ll leave that up to the Bossy Momma to decide.
You know him as the jovial, big moustached, robust chef on Food TV’s Restaurant Makeover. Slap a white fire helmet on him, and you’d swear he’s a Norman Rockwell Fire Chief, not an internationally acclaimed chef. I met this incredibly talented maestro of the kitchen at NAIT as he was installed as this year’s Hokanson Chef in Residence.
He is Massimo Capra, the chef and co-owner of Toronto’s Mistura Restaurant and Sopra Upper Lounge. The award-winning author is on a mission—not to promise fancy TV deals after the young students graduate, but to pepper them with reality.
Forget the big salaries, forget the limelight and becoming a star. That comes after you’ve paid your dues in the industry and made a name for yourself through dedication, hard work and a lot of blood, sweat and tears.
“This is a profession. You have to feel it in your own core. This is not a way to Hollywood.” He keeps his students grounded and makes no bones about it, using himself as an example.
“I’m a cook—not a chef—first and foremost. If you start off your career wanting to be on TV, you’d better go to acting school!
“Cooking is the end result of a lot of work from a lot of people. From the farmer and the fishermen to the suppliers. Our job is easy. All we have to do is transform the raw product into a cooked product. But you have to have passion. Without passion to carry you forward, you won’t go far. It’s even the same with wait staff.”
Chef Massimo is very excited by the calibre of NAIT’s culinary students.
“I think they have the gist of it. They’re very impressive.
As for the future, he is optimistic.
“I’m finding an awakening in North America. People are rediscovering food and where it comes from. They’re foraging… things that go back to our grandparents’ time.”
In his native homeland, Italy, in the 1970s, they began taking people back to the farms to discover where their food came from and how it was grown. That’s being done in Toronto today.
“Everyone is getting on the same page, even the supermarkets which are offering organically grown produce and meats.” Consumers, he says, are very interested in not only where their food comes from, but how it’s grown.
How was he received by the students at NAIT? According to program head Vinod Varshney, not only were they absorbing his technique and style, but they were lapping up his life story as well.
And you can tell that the Master Chef left a bit of himself in the NAIT Food labs as well.
EDMONTON - Senior management at a not-for-profit company that operates a west Edmonton seniors residence are developing a plan to relocate tenants Wednesday, one day after a fire killed one woman and sent four others to hospital.
Canora Gardens, at 10160 151st St., was evacuated Tuesday…
Step off the Wheel…for Summer Fun
It all started with an innocent enough gesture. Last year, we invited our good friend, Gina, to join us on our tarp on the Sunday night of the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. She was new to the Folk Fest and arrived on Gallagher Hill part way through the evening, sunburned… no hat, program or hill chair… sans sweater, socks, windbreaker and water.
You can imagine what happened. I shared my drinks, healthy snacks, chair and blanket with her. Yet, once the sun set, she ended up chilled, constantly battling a downhill slide. Without any familiarity with the talented artists on main stage, she lost interest and left before the closing act; one of our own Alberta success stories, k. d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang.
We were disappointed and so was she. Unfortunately, it was a miss for Gina.
Yet, it could have been a different story had she come prepared. Who knew that common sense wasn’t common practice?
Gina e-mailed me afterward and suggested I write an article to help other hapless newbies to plan ahead so they and their families and friends can enjoy summer festivals and outdoor activities to their fullest. So, for Gina and all you well-intentioned but disorganized people, here’s your guide.
“STEP OFF THE WHEEL” STRATEGY
As Albertans, we work longer and harder than most Canadians. A February 2012 fact sheet released by the U of A Parkland Institute highlights that the average Albertan has 182 fewer hours of social leisure time than the average Canadian. The Institute also points out that, in 2010, Albertans worked 7.5 weeks more than the average worker in the top 15 developed OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. Albertans also have fewer vacation and paid holidays per year than most countries in Europe and many in the OECD.
“Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.”
~ Douglas Pagels
Essentials to pack for outdoor events include a low back hill chair, available at Mountain Equipment Co-op or Campers Village; small flashlight, sunscreen, insect repellent, first aid kit (or at minimum, band aids); your medications, a comfortable backpack, sharp knife, plate & cutlery (if you have a ‘spork’ you’ve got two utensils in one – check Eddie Bauer or Mountain Equipment), reusable water bottle (BPA free and not glass), hand sanitizer, cooler on wheels, and clips to attach a water bottle or extra clothing to you.
Always bring garbage bags with you so you can leave the place the same or better than when you found it!
One of the best tricks we’ve learned over the years is to bring a small spray bottle filled with water to spritz each other when the sun is beating down mercilessly. Bonus: This provides a fun and functional activity for kids; it doesn’t get any better than that!
Good quality outdoor gear is worth every penny. I’ve tried the inexpensive substitutes and ended up with hassles like a broken zipper or feeling sweaty, wet and miserable in inclement weather. If you’re dressed comfortably and practically, you can handle the inevitable challenges that present themselves when you’re outdoors in Alberta for extended periods of time!
Comfortable footwear is a must; shop early for best selection. My husband and I have had good success at Mountain Equipment Co-op, Coast Mountain Sports or Mark’s Work Wearhouse for quality hiking boots. Breathable, water repellent layers, a wide-brimmed hat plus a toque for evening, sunglasses on a string, rain gear, gloves, large scarf or pashmina and ear plugs round out the essentials. I like to wear bright colours and, thankfully, the selection is sooooo much better than in the old days when everything practical was black or khaki. A vibrant pashmina adds a splash of colour plus serves as a daytime neck sun shield and a cozy shawl for evening. I learned this from my Arizona speaking colleagues who throw gorgeous pashminas over their suits to take the chill off the mornings and evenings. Why not look fashionable and be comfortable? Bonus: You’ll be easier to find in the crowd.
GOOD FOOD + GOOD FRIENDS = GOOD TIMES
I’m not much of a hiker. I prefer “nature walks” and I’m the first one who wants to know when we’re stopping for lunch! Sharing tasty, healthy food makes a huge difference in our energy level and enjoyment of the day… not to mention our budget!
I know what you’re thinking: How the heck are you going to fit groceries and food prep into your schedule?
Here’s my strategy to ensure weekend fun: Meal plan Monday or Tuesday evening… get groceries Wednesday… meal prep Thursday night… and Friday we’re off. Healthy snacks are the best way to keep the waistline in check and keep you energized for ‘weekend warrior’ activities. I find Costco affordable for veggie and fruit trays, individually wrapped cheese, whole grain crackers, vegetable chips, salsa, hummus, bean salads, wraps and pitas, nuts and dried fruit. I supplement with organic products from Planet Organic, Bosch Kitchen Centre and farmers’ markets.
Or, you can delegate to our local eateries for a price: Sunterra Market has picnic and gourmet take out. Meal assembly kitchens allow you to prepare your own entrees and take them home to freeze, or you can pay extra for them to prep everything for you if you don’t have the time.
Freezer packs keep your food safe. Remember the two-hour rule: foods need to be hot or cold—two hours at room temperature max and, if it’s +30C, one hour is pushing it!
“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Love your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”
~ Ashley Smith
In my humble opinion, the best way to avoid our hapless friend Gina’s predicament is to follow the Scouts’ motto, “Be Prepared”. Choose to step off the wheel by planning ahead for the fun. Don’t end up miserable when we only have a few short months of summer to enjoy the many activities that Edmonton and area have to offer! See you around! √
Lynn Fraser, The Practical Life Balance Expert with Balance Your World Training & Coaching, is an enlightening speaker and a wholehearted coach. She works with individuals, as well as corporate and association teams who desire to become Healthy Focused People Attaining Sustainable Results. Visit her website at www.lynnfraser.ca.
Resources: Parklandinstitute.ca; Mountain Equipment Co-op: mec.ca; Campers-village.com; Eddiebauer.com; Coast Mountain Sports: atmosphere.ca; Mark’s Work Wearhouse: Marks.com; Planetorganic.ca; Barbskitchen.com; AB Farmers Markets: sunnygirl.ca; Sunterramarket.com; Mealassembly.net
The votes are in and the name that’s been chosen to replace Capital EX in Northlands’ Name Your Fair contest is:
K-Days received 38,762 of a total 51,160 votes cast in the contest. Are you satisfied with this decision #yeg?
Summer Calendar: August
Servus Heritage Festival
Edmonton Folk Music Festival
Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival
Rock Music Festival
Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival
Edmonton Latin Festival
Edmonton Blues Festival
Symphony Under the Sky
Aug. 31 – Sept. 3
EPS investigate attempted abduction of young teenager
Edmonton police are investigating an attempted abduction of a 13-year-old girl that occurred Tuesday, July 24, 2012, in the south-side neighbourhood of Hazeldean.
Police say it happened around 3pm Tuesday, in the area of 71 Avenue and 97 Street. They say a male operating a dirty, silver pick-up truck, approached the young teenaged girl, and tried to convince her to get in his vehicle.
The girl ran away from the area and told her parents about the incident, and then reported it to police.
The male is described as Caucasian, with a German-sounding accent. He is bald with dark eyebrows, six feet tall, average build, between 35 and 45 years old.
At the time of the attempted abduction, the man was wearing faded blue jeans and a grey shirt. His silver pickup truck also had a wood-sided box in the back of the pickup, which contained a propane tank.
Police are asking anyone with information about this attempted abduction to call the EPS non-emergency complaint line, 780-423-4567, or Crime Stoppers, 1-800-422-8477.
Read it on Global News: Edmonton police are investigating an attempted abduction of a 13-year-old girl that occurred Tuesday, July 24, in the south-side neighbourhood of Hazeldean.
Suing in Canada for Injuries during Foreign Holidays
On April 18th, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its decision in Club Resorts Ltd. v. Van Breda, 2012 SCC 17. This decision came out of two different incidents where people who lived in Canada and were injured by accidents that occurred while they were on holidays in Cuba. The injured Canadians came back to Canada and sued the resorts where they stayed in Cuba in the Canadian courts. The resorts tried to block the lawsuits, claiming that these lawsuits should not have been brought in Canada, but in Cuba where the accidents occurred. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, and the Supreme Court of Canada allowed both lawsuits to proceed in Canada.
The case is interesting for lawyers because it provides a detailed analysis of when, in all situations, the court will allow lawsuits to be brought in Canada for events and damages that may have some connection to a foreign jurisdiction. Basically, there are four situations, anyone of which will allow a lawsuit to be brought in Canada, and they are:
(a) if the person being sued is an individual who lives in Canada;
(b) the person being sued or the company being sued carries on business in Canada;
(c) the wrongs that led to the lawsuit were committed in Canada; and
(d) the lawsuit involved a contract that was made in Canada.
It is important to note that each province in Canada is a separate jurisdiction, and you would have to bring the lawsuit in the courts of the province where at least one of the above factors was true.
The Court went on to say that barring some exceptional circumstances, the court should not hear a case if one of those four situations is not present.
The Court then went on to say that even if one of those factors is present, and the court has the ability to take jurisdiction, a foreign defendant could ask the court to decline to accept jurisdiction if running the trial in a Canadian province’s courts is going to be inconvenient. If a defendant can point to factors such as:
(a) the expense of inconvenience of having witnesses attend a trial in Canada;
(b) that the Canadian court will have to apply the law of a foreign jurisdiction;
(c) that the trial in a Canadian province will allow a multiplicity of legal proceedings;
(d) allowing the trial in the Canadian province will allow for conflicting decisions of different courts;
(e) allowing the trial to run in Canada will end up in a judgment that may not be enforceable; and
(f) whether or not the trial will allow the fair and efficient working of the system of justice.
Given this general analysis and state of the law, a person may think that the two holidaying Canadians who tried to sue the resorts in Cuba would be out of luck, however, two factors allowed each of the holidaying Canadians to be able to bring their lawsuits in Ontario.
In the first case, the Canadian who was going down on a holiday entered into a contract with the resort while he was still in Canada. The arrangement was that he would provide tennis lessons to the guests of the resort in exchange for accommodation for him and others when he arrived there. As a result, the Court viewed this to have been a contract made in Canada, and therefore the Court took jurisdiction over the dispute. While the Court acknowledged that there may be some aspects of inconvenience to running the lawsuit in Canada, the Court felt that the inconvenience to the parties of running the lawsuit in Cuba would be greater.
In the second situation, the Cuban resorts were held to be carrying on business in Ontario, deemed so because they were active in selling all-inclusive packages to customers in Ontario via a number of travel agents. The Court found that this meant that they were carrying on business in Ontario, and the Supreme Court of Canada did not disturb that finding. Therefore, because they were carrying on business in Ontario, the Supreme Court of Canada allowed them to be sued in Ontario, despite the fact that their resorts are located in Cuba and the company was actually registered in the Cayman Islands.
In conclusion, these cases affirm that if holiday companies selling all-inclusive packages or other such packaged deals market their packages in Canada, if an injury occurs in the foreign jurisdiction, the Canadian customer is still able to sue for any of those injuries in the courts in Canada.
Written by: Ian L. Wachowicz
Hey Edmonton, The Indy Is On!
The highly anticipated Edmonton Indy 2012 is finally here! Click here for our complete list of Summer Events & Festivals to do in Edmonton.
BEYOND BLACK & WHITE
By Elissa Scott
Imagine living in a world of purely black and white, devoid of colour. It could be reminiscent of an old film, in greyed scales, empty of any visual interest.
Some details are more visible in black and white, with further highlights and shadows becoming more apparent. Visualizing monotones may produce a graceful appearance with their simple, quiet and mellow beauty. Artists use graphite pencils of varying smoothness, or black charcoal on white paper to create line, shading and focal points. Even photographers take pictures in black and white, to cancel out the noise. Sometimes colour can be loud.
Black might represent sophistication, elegance and class, but also the duality of mystery, danger and darkness, like gangster cars, bad luck cats and evil. With black, we think of the universe and infinity, so painting a wall black can peculiarly give the illusion of more openness and space in a room. It’s been said to keep a hint of black in every room as an anchoring element. Black absorbs light and heat.
The polar opposite of black is its contrasting counterpart white. White symbolizes purity, cleanliness, brightness and loyalty, like the snow and clouds of nature. On the flipside, white could produce the sense of emptiness, loneliness or even insanity, suggestive of the famed white walls of a psych ward. Some people can’t bear to live in a white space as it stirs up discomforting feelings, while Buddhist monks find peace in meditating, staring at a white wall. Galleries use white backgrounds to showcase art. Modern rooms are heightened with white details and architectural finishes pop when painted an unadulterated white. White can also be used in a room as a clean slate or a fresh start.
Now imagine sparkling iridescent sand, glittering cobalt water, beside fresh emerald foliage with cheery yellow flowers and juicy red fruit. All pictured against the sunset of a fiery ball settling upon the edge of the earth, casting hues of purple and orange across the evening sky. Where would we be without colour? Black and white invalidates the miracle of a rainbow. Often times, colour becomes magical. The Creator selected the most neutral, easy-on-the-eye ranges of blue for the vastness of water and sky. Man usually opts for beige as an impersonal neutral, thinking it will enhance resale or be the easiest to live with.
Choose to stretch beyond superficial safety nets when decorating and don’t feel intimidated to use colour in your own home or office décor. Tangerine invites black and whites to pop up like toast. Flamingo commands artwork to dance. Sapphire begs architectural details to sing.
Think about what colours make you happy and those that don’t. We all have our own individual colour darlings and disgusts. Each colour prompts personal memories of good or bad, and may be different for any other person looking at it.
Every possible colour in the spectrum will have its own unique personality. Observe the feelings colour inspires within yourself and stay true to this compass—even when it ends up being black or white. √
Elissa Scott specializes in inspirational design concepts, creative colour schemes, and stunning custom art creations. Contact 780.970.8860 or email@example.com