About

From start up to scale up, your success is our only goal.

Since 1995, WESK has helped thousands of women start, purchase and expand their businesses. Now, we’re taking an even bolder approach focused on innovation and excellence. We’re stepping up our training, engaging with great partners, and bringing you even more resources to generate success.

As a non-profit, membership-based organization, we keep our services affordable — and many are FREE! The return, however, is priceless. Join us!

Our Vision
All Saskatchewan entrepreneurs have equal opportunity to achieve success and recognition.

Our Mission
We empower entrepreneurial women in Saskatchewan to succeed at all stages of business through access to financing, knowledge, networks, and advocacy.

Your WESK Team

Helping people follow their dreams of business ownership is a privilege and a pleasure. We’re here to do everything we can to support you!

Saskatoon

Prabha Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer of WESK, formerly Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Inc., Prabha is passionate about driving change to close the Gender Entrepreneurship Gap and the resulting Gender Economic Gap. Through her advocacy efforts, Prabha served as the first President of the Leaders Council of the Paul J. Hill and the Kenneth Levene Schools of Business at the University of Regina and currently serves as a member of the Paul Hill Advisory Board, University of Regina. A supporter of entrepreneurship, Prabha serves as a Judge for some of the community’s Business Awards and was also a Prairie Regional Judge for the Ernst and Young  Entrepreneur of the Year Prairie Award. As an active member of  Board of Directors for the Saskatchewan Housing Authority, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, and the Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation, Prabha continues to be engaged in the community to influence strategic change.

To read more on Prabha Mitchell click here.

Nancy O’Donnell (Friesen), Administrative Assistant

Nancy has been with WESK since 2012. She is the primary contact for clients in our Saskatoon office. Nancy recommends programs and services for clients based on a preliminary assessment of their needs. She also manages and coordinates the membership component of our organization. Nancy took her training at the Academy of learning and received her Administrative Assistant diploma with Honours.

Lori Jestin-Knaus MBA, Manager of Programs

Lori is WESK’s Programs Manager and Business Advisor, and is focused on empowering women entrepreneurs to achieve their business goals through advisory services and WESK programs. She supports entrepreneurial clients in all aspects of business including business planning development, market research, financial analysis, human resources, and operations. Lori is a former business owner and her background also includes IT, gaming, telecommunications and event management. Lori holds a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Community Economic Development from Cape Breton University and a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Anthropology from the University of Saskatchewan.

Larry Scammell, Business Advisor

As a Business Advisor, Larry works with clients through all aspects of business, including creation of business plans, market research, analysis and strategy, and financial forecasting. Larry holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Education from the University of Saskatchewan. Larry is a former business owner and has consulted businesses ranging in size from 1 to more than 200 employees across a variety of industries.

Katelyn Bruce, Marketing Officer

Katelyn joined WESK in October 2016 as the Marketing Officer. She is responsible for the marketing, communications, and business development efforts of the organization. In additional to strategic business development efforts, Katelyn directs media relations, branding, advertising and website development. She manages and oversees sponsorship, events, training and more.

Katelyn has more than 9 years of marketing experience. Prior to joining WESK she was the Marketing Coordinator at a leading national accounting, tax and business consulting firm.

Josie Fries, Marketing Coordinator

Josie joined WESK as an MBA Intern from the Edwards School of Business, University of Saskatchewan. Josie is involved with the planning and execution of many events such as Shaken with a Twist, and the Annual Business Conference, and is responsible for all things social media. Most recently, she assisted in the creation and launch of WESK’s new website in May of 2018.

Kaurie May, Manager of Finance & Administration

Kaurie is the Manager of Finance and Administration and holds his CPA and CA designation. He was born and raised in Saskatoon and is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan. Kaurie sits on several different advisory councils and is passionate about community involvement.

Kaurie has 15 years of experience in the finance & accounting world in public accounting, corporate finance, and tax. Kaurie assists WESK in their daily financial processes, from paying the bills, to financial reporting, to monitoring the budget. He is also responsible for overseeing WESK’s loan fund and is involved in most of the lending process.

Michelle Robstad, Loans Officer

Michelle joined WESK in June 2018 with a mandate to develop a strategy that enhances and differentiates the business loan experience, providing sustainability and growth of WESK business loan members. Michelle has 40 years of experience in the financial industry and is pleased to be able to share her expertise with the WESK team. She has a Cert. in Business Administration from the University of Regina along with the Fellowship of the Institute of Canadian Banking (FICB) designation.

Carole Hildebrand, Loans Coordinator

Carole joined WESK in June, 2018 as Loans Coordinator. With over 25 years of experience in business and client relations. She received her Masters Certificate in Project Management (MCPM) from the University of Saskatchewan. She assists in the loan department in carrying out the approval, delivery, and collection of loans.

 

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Regina

Mona Bates, Operations Manager

Mona Bates is the Operations Manager and Business Advisor who works with WESK members to help them achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. Mona works passionately to connect with her clients and strives to provide superior service. Mona has worked for several business/community development organizations spanning three provinces and brings a fresh and diverse experience to the table. Mona holds a BA in administrative studies from the University of Winnipeg and grew up working in (and finally managing!), a family business.

Diane Souillet, Training Coordinator

Diane has been with WESK since 2008. She is the primary contact for clients in the Regina office, recommending WESK’s various programs and services to them as needed. Diane is also responsible for training in both the Regina and Saskatoon offices and is tasked with discovering engaging speakers and exciting new topics.

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Meet our Board of Directors

WESK 2018 Board of Directors

 

Jill Poulton, Chair

Jill Poulton is a certified executive and life coach with the ability to evoke transformational change in her clients. She brings to the table over 20 years of experience in sales and marketing management across corporate, retail, and direct sales channels. Known for leadership development, relationship building, collaboration, and inspiring communication, she uses proven coaching philosophies and strategies to empower individuals to have fulfilling careers and lives. Jill is passionate about stoking the fire within individuals, seeing them develop their purpose and potential, and adding greater value to the lives around them.

 

Aimee Schulhauser, Past Chair

Aimee is the owner and CEO of three Regina-based businesses: Evolution Catering and Fine Foods, Tangerine: The Food Bar, and Schoolhaus Culinary Arts. She is an active participant in her community, from radio and TV spots to charitable organizations such as the local food bank. Aimee looks forward to bringing her decade of business development experience to the WESK board.

 

Kelly Bannister

Kelly works with McFaull Consulting as a Financial Advisor and has more than 20 years of experience as a Certified Financial Planner. She has completed the Registered Retirement Consultant (RRC) designation, holds the Chartered Financial Divorce Specialist (CFDS) designation, and is a member of the Collaborative Professionals of Saskatchewan and the North Saskatoon Business Association (NSBA). She is a Saskatchewan Life Licensed Agent and mutual funds licensed representative with Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc. In 2015, Ms. Bannister obtained the Chartered Director (C.Dir.) designation from The Directors College (a joint venture between The Conference Board of Canada and McMaster University). She was appointed to the SaskEnergy Board of Directors in February 2014 and is a member of the Governance Committee and the Safety and Corporate Social Responsibility Committee.

 

Leigh Kaufmann

Leigh is co-owner of Senger Kaufmann CPA Prof. Corp., an accounting firm with over 400 corporate and 800 personal clients. The firm is dedicated to providing clients with sound tax advice and the highest standards of customer service. Educated at the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, she went on to receive her Certified Management Accountant designation in 2002. Leigh’s passion for her community is only rivaled by her love of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Leigh makes giving back to her community a priority by volunteering at various events in Regina, including eight years of being on the Regina Canada Day Committee as Treasurer and Chair.

 

Marcia Mirasty

Marcia Mirasty is a member of Canoe Lake Cree First Nation. She has over 25 years of professional experience in the area of health, including healing & wellness. Marcia has been a champion in helping Indigenous people step into their greatness. She is a powerful Indigenous Cree woman with strong cultural values and beliefs who works tirelessly believing that everyone deserves a second chance: to be stronger, to be healthier, and become whole in every area of their lives. She believes that, “The best gift we can give to our children is when we heal ourselves.” She has spoken at hundreds of workshops and has stood as a true leader and a motivational speaker who has inspired many people to “break cycles of dysfunction and poverty and to move forward in a powerful way for the benefit of our future generations”. This includes education, business development, wealth generation, and personal empowerment in every area of our lives.

 

Danielle Graff

Danielle practices at the Regina office of MLT Aikins LLP.  She is a lawyer in the firm’s Science & Technology group, with a focus on technology, privacy and health care law. She provides assistance to a diverse client base, including individuals, small businesses, and public and private corporations, and is engaged in the business and professional community in Regina and throughout the province on a daily basis. Danielle strongly believes in the mandate of WESK and looks forward to supporting women in business from a board level.

Colleen Yates, B.A M.Sc., RPP, MCIP

Colleen is a professional community and environmental planner with over 26 years of experience in both the public and private sector. Her fields of practice include planning policy development, rezoning, subdivision approvals, triple-bottom-line sustainability, waste minimization, and planning and environmental permitting and approvals. In 2012, she opened her own firm, Equinox3 Consulting Ltd where she works with municipalities, land developers, and NGOs. She is past director of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce and Roadmap Saskatoon and is an active member of various professional and industry associations.

 

Leanne Johnson

Leanne was born and raised in Saskatchewan on a fourth generation farm near Maidstone, Saskatchewan. She received her Political Studies degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1995 and subsequently, her law degree in 1998. Leanne took a brief hiatus after law school to enjoy the birth of her first child, then completed her articles in Prince Albert in 2000. Shortly thereafter, Leanne returned to Saskatoon and has been practising family law ever since. She has been one of the founding partners of two successful law firms in Saskatoon. Her latest venture is Edge Family Law, which Leanne and her partners, Beau Atkins and Doc Crooks, have formed to be the first, and only, multi-lawyer law firm in Saskatchewan exclusively practicing family law. The firm is innovative technologically and in its ability to employ a team atmosphere. Outside the office, Leanne is a parent to two active children, and enjoys volunteering her time with WANAR Dog Rescue/K9 Country Lodge,  the annual Synergy 8 Drive for Kids Campaign, Family Law Information Clinics, and various other charitable organizations. Leanne is a former member and Chair of the Board of Directors for Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL) and currently sits on the Board of Directors for SaskTel Centre, the Board of Directors for the Saskatchewan Trial Lawyers Association, the North Saskatoon Business Association (NSBA) Club Connect Committee, Family Service Saskatoon Foundation, and now the Board of Directors for Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan (WESK).  She is a member of the NSBA, Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan and Prairieland Park and was a 2018 Women of Distinction nominee. Leanne looks very forward to working with WESK in assisting people to reach their true potential!

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Board of Directors Nominations

The Board of Directors of WESK invites its membership to nominate individuals for election to the board. Elections take place anually at the Annual General Meeting to be held during our Annual Business Conference.

The Board of Directors has been structured to consist of a minimum of three (3) Directors and a maximum of ten (10) Directors from across Saskatchewan. To ensure consistency on the board, members are elected to a two-year term and can serve a maximum of three consecutive terms.

 

To submit a nomination:
Please check back in early spring.

 

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Criteria for Board Members

  • You may nominate yourself or another full member
  • Must be a Regular Member of the Corporation at least 15 days prior to the election
  • Should ideally have Board/corporate governance experience
  • Should possess an entrepreneurial spirit, have a proven track record as a leader and have cultural awareness
  • Must be willing to attend up to 7 meetings per year
  • Must be willing to serve on a committee of the Board
  • Must not have been employed by WESK in the last 24 months
  • Must not be a current loan client of WESK
  • Must meet the additional criteria set out in any relevant policy statements or policy manual as determined by the Board from time to time
  • Preference will be given to candidates who contribute any one of the following capacities to our board: Indigenous perspective, legal, visible minority perspective or representation from outside of Regina/Saskatoon
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View our Annual Report

Join our Team

We create change the impacts the world of business and you could too. Become a part of a movement and join our team today!

Business Advisor

Are you passionate about entrepreneurship? We are looking for a client-centred team player who is focused on accelerating growth and innovation for women entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan by offering services in business advising, financing, training and education. Our culture is built on a shared commitment to provide the very best services to our members, clients and communities and we create change that impacts the world of business.  To learn more about WESK, please visit, WESK.ca.

 

What you’ll be doing:

As a WESK Business Advisor, you will be an unbiased source of expertise and experience to help clients navigate, problem solve, and achieve their business goals. Whether it is a start-up, business scale-up or expansion, you will work one-on-one with clients on all aspects of business planning, development, market research, ensuring business plan   viability and business sustainability.  You will provide on-going support to the client including reviewing financial statements and collaborating with the business  advising/loans team to ensure seamless delivery and an experience that our clients appreciate and value.   You will assist in identifying, developing and facilitating group workshops and training sessions.

 

Who you are: 

  • You are results oriented and have sound knowledge of small business operations, including developing and understanding business and financial plans with a thorough knowledge of local business resources.
  • You are client-centred. You are vested in the client’s business success.
  • You are experienced in and have intimate knowledge of the various aspects of business development, including, starting or scaling up a business.
  • You are proficient at relationship building and understand the significance of cultivating a client-advisor relationship based on trust and integrity.
  • You are committed to the collective goals, organizational vision and mission.

 

Qualifications:

  • Direct or indirect experience in starting or growing a business venture
  • Knowledge and understanding of business planning
  • Ability to analyze financial statements
  • Knowledge and expertise in marketing and promotion
  • A strong financial and business background
  • Experience in business advising, business coaching or a combination of the same
  • University degree in Commerce or Business Administration and a minimum of 4 years experience in a related position, or an acceptable combination of education, experience

 

To apply:

Please submit your resume to the attention of ‘Recruitment Committee’ by email at: info@wesk.ca 

DEADLINE FOR RECEIPT OF RESUME: Friday, September 28, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.

We encourage applications from all qualified individuals; however, only those under consideration will be contacted.

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