About Us

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.

 

Get in Touch!

Meet the 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, 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.

Lauretta Hannay, Executive Assistant / Office Administrator

As Prabha Mitchell’s executive assistant her responsibilities include performing clerical duties, taking memos, maintaining files, and organizing documents. Photocopying, faxing, collating, etc. She arranges travel, accommodation, itineraries, and all correspondence related to arrangements as needed. She is also the primary contact for clients in our Saskatoon office. Lauretta 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.   She completed her Office Education in 2000 and has been in an office administration role since completion.

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.

Danielle Grimes, MBA, Business Advisor

Danielle joined the WESK team as a Business Advisor in April of 2019. She is passionate about helping her clients achieve their goals by working one-on-one with entrepreneurs at all stages of business development. She strives to understand what her clients need and how she can help their business or business idea progress. She helps her clients build strong business plans by bringing a keen attention to detail and asking the right questions.  She also helps her clients access the information, networks and funding required to build, sustain and grow their businesses. Danielle holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Saskatchewan.

Josie Fries, Marketing Coordinator

Josie is an enthusiastic and motivated professional dedicated to bringing exciting networking events and learning opportunities to both Saskatoon and Regina! As WESK’s Marketing Coordinator, Josie enjoys spreading the WESK buzz throughout the community, being hands-on with the planning and execution of WESK events, and values building strong relationships with partner organizations and sponsors. In addition to this, Josie is responsible for all things website and social media.

Josie holds a B.Sc. in Kinesiology with Honours and Great Distinction from the University of Saskatchewan and is nearing completion of her Master of Business Administration, also from the University of Saskatchewan. You can be sure to see Josie buzzing around and making sure things run smoothly at events like Shaken with a Twist, WESK’s Annual Conference (Experience) and Awards Gala. Be sure to come say!

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.

Grace Lam, Lending Officer

Grace started with WESK in May 2019 and brings 7 years of experience in the financial industry. Grace is experienced in the areas of personal, small and medium enterprises, and commercial lending. She holds a B.Sc. in Toxicology from the University of Saskatchewan as well as a B.Comm. in Finance from the University of Saskatchewan’s Edwards School of Business. As Lending Advisor, Grace is responsible for all aspects of assisting clients during the lending process, from initial stages of gathering client information to completing the loan application and providing after-care support to the clients. If you’re looking to finance your business – Grace is your gal!

 

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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!

JOB AD: ACCOUNTING ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT (SASKATOON) PERMANENT PART-TIME

About WESK:

WESK is a non-profit organization that 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 our clients even more resources to generate success.

Our priority is supporting women throughout Saskatchewan to achieve their entrepreneurial goals. With invaluable advising and support, one-of-a-kind training opportunities, and a distinct and supportive financing program, WESK is dedicated to guiding clients on their entrepreneurial journey. From start up to success, WESK means business! As our business continues to grow, we have created a new position and are seeking an Accounting Administrative Assistant to join our team.

About the position:

Reporting to the Manager of Finance & Administration, you will provide accounting and bookkeeping assistance such as entering accounts receivable and accounts payable, and reconciling bank and credit card statements. You will also assist with some month end and year end reporting requirements.

In this role, you will also support our Lending Advisor by assisting with recording, monitoring and maintaining loan files.

Detail oriented and possessing strong organizational skills, you keep on top of your accounting responsibilities and process information accurately and on time. If something isn’t balanced, you’ll dig in and find out why. Your ability with Excel allows you to easily import and export data to analyze it and provide recommendations.

Qualifications:

  • Post-secondary diploma in business or accounting is preferred
  • 3+ years’ experience in accounting
  • Intermediate level skills with MS Office, especially Excel
  • Experience with accounting software (preferably SAGE) would be considered an asset

 

To Apply:

If you enjoy a dynamic and collaborative work environment, where you directly impact client success, please email your resume to: kmay@wesk.ca or drop off your resume at 108-502 Cope Way by June 23rd  2019.

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