Don’t be an Ostrich! A frank discussion about surviving hardship

a frank discussion about surviving hardship business sisters conference

Business Sisters Conference – Sat. Nov. 3, 2018, 8:30am-5:30pm, Glengarry Sports Palace, Alexandria, ON

Join Us!

The All-Day Pass is $149 per person. This includes all education and networking sessions, breakfast, lunch, breaks and wine & cheese reception.


Let’s have a frank discussion about surviving hardship

As Business Sisters, we know that entrepreneurship isn’t all sunshine and unicorns. And sometimes it’s even harder because “life” intervenes. The average age of a Canadian widow is pegged at 56. Yet 62% of us don’t have a valid will. 

Cancer will affect 1 in 2 Canadians over their lifetimes/ 1 in 3 Canadians will be disabled by some condition at one point in their professional life. The medical costs not covered by our healthcare system add up quickly. Not to mention the staggering effort needed for appointments – for our loved ones or our own – when illness strikes. What of the stress of taking care of ourselves or a loved one? What of grief?

It can be so scary and overwhelming that many prefer to put our heads in the sand. But smart women entrepreneurs get informed. Don’t be an ostrich! It’s time to know the facts and create a plan.

About this session

First you will hear from two very courageous women entrepreneurs, Judy Utman and Rosemary Vaughan. They will tell us their story, how it affected them and what they have learned. Supporting their story are two subject-matter experts in Leonor De Mello, personal insurance specialist with Desjardins, and Stephanie Gibson, Lawyer, Adams, Sherwood, Swabey & Follon.

Come hear Judy and Rosemary’s journey and learn three things you need to know to protect yourself, your family and your business.

Our Panelists

Judy Utman, entrepreneur & author of Voices In the Wilderness

Judy Utman is a retired physiotherapist, lactation consultant and model. She also shared the responsibilities with her husband in running E.A.P. Perspectives Inc., providing Employee Assistance Programs primarily to Eastern Ontario for over 30 years.

She has written “Voices in the Wilderness,” an action adventure novel with a message and is currently writing the sequel.

She is also a business and inspirational speaker.  In her spare time, she has a home based business with products to enhance wellness for you, your family and your home.

Rosemary Vaughan, Founder & Destination Gift Specialist at GiftRevel

Rosemary Vaughan was born and raised in Ottawa. She has lived in Montreal and Aix en Provence and has a degree in Marketing Advertising and a certification in Event Management.

She has worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years in various roles including event management, marketing communications, hotel operations management and finally, business owner.

Rosemary lives with her partner of 10 years and combined, they have 3 teenagers, a mother with Alzheimer’s and two cats. On top of a very busy home and business life, Rosemary is also a two-time breast cancer survivor.

Leonor De Melo, Life & Health Insurance Agent, Desjardins

Leonor De Melo has been in industry for over 20 years. She was self-employed for 4 years and then joined the Desjardins family.

The main reason why she is in the field is that she believes in helping to protect people when “life happens.”

Leonor previously was a representative for Freightliner, a large trucking and logistics company. And she began her career as an esthetician and cosmetologist.

Away from work she loves to spend time with her two grown daughters. Leonor’s passions include health, cooking and reading. She is a warm person who loves to laugh!

Stephanie Gibson, Lawyer, Adams, Sherwood, Swabey & Follon

Stephanie was born and raised on the shores of the St. Lawrence River in South Glengarry.

She has a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto.

Stephanie has been practicing law in Cornwall, Ontario since 2003. She practiced primarily Family Law for the first 15 years of her career, however, since March, 2018, she has been focusing in the areas of Wills, Estates, and Residential Real Estate. She is the proud mom of two great kids, and spends her free time volunteering for various charitable organizations, performing musical theatre and reading as many books as she can get her hands on.

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