Outstanding women in the Kootenays

2017 influential women in business

Welcome to our 6th annual Influential Women in Business Awards. Below is a list of the nominees—and a phenomenal list it is. Comments from nominators were inspirational in themselves.

These charismatic women are dynamic, talented and passionate entrepreneurs. They often serve as generous and inspiring mentors to other women and men. And these exemplary businesswomen give back to their communities by serving on boards, running events and—as one nominee said—having “a big presence in the community.”

Another trait these women share is their creative spirit. In the words of their nominators:

“An original, thoughtful risk-taker”
“A bold innovator”
“Amazingly smart, always thinking outside the box”
“Big ideas are her specialty”

One of our nominees has a personal motto that could fit many of the others: “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart give yourself to it.”

To summarize these influential women, they have “the whole package” as well as a smile on their face while they balance work and family.

To salute our nominees, Kootenay Business magazine is holding luncheons in the West and East Kootenay. Three women from each area will receive special recognition at these events.


Business Name Nominee City Region
OM Organics Boutique Apothecary Kari Asselin Invermere East Kootenay
Kimberley Centex Market Jill Bentley-Lobban Kimberley East Kootenay
PropertyGuys.com East Kootenay Amber Biberdorf   East Kootenay
Tigz Designs Lori Cameron Creston East Kootenay
Healing Hollow Essential Oil Co. Michelle Cubin Fernie East Kootenay
Dr. Karley Denoon Naturopathic Doctor Dr. Karley Denoon Fernie East Kootenay
Aspire2bFit Laurie Dickson Cranbrook East Kootenay
The Grater Good Kitchen Supply Co. Robin Dixon Kimberley East Kootenay
Black Salt Cafe Terry Fiddick Crawford Bay East Kootenay
Morris Flowers Pat Fleck Creston East Kootenay
Kimberley City Bakery Michelle Forbes Kimberley East Kootenay
Robin’s Ink & Taxes Robin Garrett Cranbrook East Kootenay
Tivoli Theatre Bonnie Geddes Creston East Kootenay
?aqam Community Government Jodi Gravelle Cranbrook East Kootenay
Tourism Fernie Jikke Gyorki Fernie East Kootenay
Portraits by Lucy Lucy Hamilton Kimberley East Kootenay
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort Nancy Hetherington Fairmont Hot Springs East Kootenay
New Dawn Developments Leanne Jensen Cranbrook East Kootenay
Fruition Wellness Allissa Keane Kimberley/Cranbrook East Kootenay
Pedal & Tap and The Shed Nicole Leclair-Dodd Kimberley East Kootenay
Dewey's Pub & Grill Dani Loren Cranbrook East Kootenay
Kootenay Forge Gina Medhurst Crawford Bay East Kootenay
Ktunaxa Nation Council Codie Morigeau Cranbrook East Kootenay
Mrs. Palmer’s Pantry Brenda Palmer Cranbrook East Kootenay
The Chopsticks Truck Sydney Salvador Fernie East Kootenay
Nufloors Creston Ellen Samuelson Creston East Kootenay
Best Western Cranbrook Crystal Scott Cranbrook East Kootenay
Story & Co. Logan Shellborn Kimberley East Kootenay
Royal LePage East Kootenay Realty Carla Sinclair Cranbrook East Kootenay
St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino Sandra van Steijn Cranbrook East Kootenay
Tourism Golden Joanne Sweeting Golden East Kootenay
Tourism Revelstoke Meghan Tabor Revelstoke East Kootenay
MJ's Floral Boutique Kelsey Taylor Cranbrook East Kootenay
Arrowhead Brewing Company Leanne Tegart Invermere East Kootenay
Kootenay Therapy Center Suzanne Thompson Cranbrook East Kootenay
Century 21 Veitch Realty Shannon Veitch Creston East Kootenay
Barefoot Handweaving Janet Wallace Crawford Bay East Kootenay
Realm Kerry Taylor-Johnson & Ana Yost Cranbrook East Kootenay
Whitewater Cooks Shelley Adams Nelson West Kootenay
Fair Realty Joni Askew Castlegar West Kootenay
Austin Engineering Ltd. Mary Austin Trail West Kootenay
Kootenay Valley Water & Spas Margeaux Bauman Castlegar West Kootenay
Mountain Waters Spa and Wellness Marni Beninger Nelson West Kootenay
Nelson Animal Hospital Celeste Bignell Nelson West Kootenay
Nelson and District Arts Council Sydney Black Nelson West Kootenay
Kootenay Co-op Radio Prudence-Elise Breton Nelson West Kootenay
Pillar to Post Sandy Byers Nelson West Kootenay
Kootenay Career Development Society Jocelyn Carver Nelson West Kootenay
White Elephant Yoga Colleen Coffin Fruitvale West Kootenay
Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism Dianna Ducs Nelson West Kootenay
Emery Herbals Colleen Emery Winlaw West Kootenay
Thrive Consulting Charlotte Ferreux Castlegar West Kootenay
Finley's and Sage Tapas and Wine Bar Tanya Finley Nelson West Kootenay
Birch n' Burlap Robin Gallant Nelson West Kootenay
Nelson & Area Economic Development Partnership and Kootenay Association for Science and Technology Rose Hoeher Nelson West Kootenay
Columbia Gardens Vineyard & Winery Tersia De Jager Trail West Kootenay
Village of Salmo Diane Kalen-Sukra Salmo West Kootenay
Kaslo Sourdough Pasta Heidi Lettrari Kaslo West Kootenay
Kootenay Gateway and Mountain Shuttle Natasha Lockey Rossland West Kootenay
Gypsy Wagon Wood-Fired Catering and Bearcave Web Services Johanna Mickle Salmo West Kootenay
PropertyGuys.com West Kootenay Stephanie Moores-Jones   West Kootenay
Abby Napora Counselling and Corporate Consulting Abby Napora Nelson West Kootenay
Sun Life Financial and Naud Lester Insurance & Investment Solutions Inc. Rauni Naud Castlegar West Kootenay
Mindful Mountain Yoga & Golden Life Danica Pion Rossland West Kootenay
Cartolina Cards Inc. Fiona Richards Nelson West Kootenay
Soup du Jar Kayte Rock New Denver West Kootenay
Movin' Mountains Therapy Services Tamsin Snodgrass / Christine Therriault-Finke Trail West Kootenay
Nelson Civic Theatre Society Eleanor Stacey Nelson West Kootenay
Selkirk College Deanne Steven Castlegar West Kootenay
Royal LePage Revelstoke Tara Sutherland Revelstoke West Kootenay
Simmer Down Cafe Evie Tjader Fruitvale West Kootenay
The Mortgage Centre Nancy Trotman Castlegar West Kootenay
Castlegar and District Chamber of Commerce Tammy Verigin-Burk Castlegar West Kootenay
Community Futures Central Kootenay Andrea Wilkey Nelson West Kootenay
ClearSight Solutions Melody Zacharias Fruitvale West Kootenay


Jodi Gravelle is the chief operating officer for the ?aq?am Community near Cranbrook, B.C.
East Kootenay, Cranbrook, First Nations , Influential Women in Business, Kootenay Influencers Jodi Gravelle, communication conduit

Human resources and communication are Jodi Gravelle’s main focuses in her position as COO for the ʔaq̓am Community.

(L to R) Brenda Palmer, Michelle Forbes and Jodi Gravelle received special recognition at the 2017 Kootenay Business magazine Influential Women in Business luncheon on June 8, 2016.
East Kootenay, West Kootenay, First Nations , Small Business, Influential Women in Business 2017 Kootenay women of influence

Hard work, creativity and perseverance characterize the best of the best among businesswomen in the Kootenay region.

Brenda Palmer, founder and owner of Mrs. Palmer's Pantry in Cranbrook, B.C., has the support of family, friends, customers and—just possibly—an angel on her shoulder.
East Kootenay, Cranbrook, First Nations , Retail, Small Business, Influential Women in Business, Kootenay Influencers Brenda Palmer is taking her chips to the bank

Brenda Palmer believes that we should value our time as much or more than we do our money, and invest both wisely.

View our Influential Women in Business lists for other years