In honour of International Women's Day, Microsoft Canada unveiled a portrait showcasing nine aspirational Canadian women who have used Microsoft technology as part of their success, alongside the female executives who make up Microsoft's own Canadian Leadership Team.
"At Microsoft, diversity isn't an aspiration. It's a value we live and breathe every day. Our leadership team is driven by some of the best and brightest women in the industry, and our technology empowers innovative women across the country to compete in every facet of the businesses that are driving Canada's economic growth. International Women's Day celebrates the achievements of women globally; what better way to mark the occasion than celebrating the incredible women who are making a difference with technology right here in Canada."
- Janet Kennedy, President, Microsoft Canada.
Janet Kennedy & Elaine Kunda
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Elaine Kunda, CEO, B5 Media
Elaine has been working in technology since the .com boom in the late 1990s. She was immediately drawn to work in this space because it gave her limitless resources to consume and connect, and she hasn’t looked back. Elaine was a Microsoft user from the start, and continues to rely on Microsoft technology to help her manage her business efficiently, connect clients and contacts and create.
Janet Kennedy, President, Microsoft Canada
Janet joined Microsoft in 2002. During her tenure as Vice President for Enterprise Customers in the West and Central U.S, Janet grew the business by more than $1 billion, and has been instrumental in leading the transformation to the cloud with some of the largest and earliest customers on Office 365. Janet is focused on Microsoft’s mission of helping people and businesses realize their full potential.
Staci Trackey Meaghar & Sharon Vinderine
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Sharon Vinderine, Founder, Parent Tested Parent Approved
Sharon is the Founder and CEO of Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA), one of Canada's largest online communities of parent product testers. Sharon started her career as one of the founders of Mipps Net Online - Canada's first Wireless communications company - which was listed by Profit Magazine as one of the 50 hottest start-ups and mentioned in Canada's Top 50 ISP by the National Post. Sharon eventually sold Mipps and had her first child which sparked her interest in developing a new baby products. She realized there was a significant niche in the market for an online platform where parents can learn about the best products and services for their families and in 2008 Sharon founded PTPA.
Staci Trackey Meagher, Vice President, Enterprise & Partner Group, Microsoft Canada
As Vice President, Enterprise and Partner Group, Staci is always looking for new ways Microsoft can help its enterprise customers innovate, compete and push boundaries in hyper-competitive industries like telecommunications, manufacturing and financial services. Staci is passionate about the value that Microsoft can bring to our enterprise customers and knows that being a trusted partner is key and believes in driving deep relationships with customers and partners that are ultimately empowered by the great people on her team. In her previous role as Midwest District General Manager for Microsoft, Staci drove the district to become the worldwide frontrunners in selling cloud services, her team consistently ranked among the leaders in customer satisfaction.
Cheri Chevalier & Erin Bury
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Erin Bury, Managing Director, 88 Creative
After completing her journalism degree, Erin took on a position as the Director of Communications with Sprouter, a startup dedicated to connecting young entrepreneurs. Through her work with Sprouter, became an enthusiastic supporter of emerging technologies and innovation. She now works as the Managing Marketing Director at the Toronto-based digital marketing agency - 88 Creative. Erin grew-up on Microsoft, using Word to complete projects and MSN Messenger to stay connected with friends. She now uses PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook and Word her as key tools to run her business.
Cheri Chevalier, Chief Marketing Officer, Microsoft Canada
Cheri leads the Central Marketing Organization at Microsoft Canada. She is responsible for marketing across Microsoft’s commercial and consumer audiences, including integrated marketing communications, global advertising, data, analytics, events, digital, and social disciplines. Cheri has been with Microsoft for 18 years and has worked important projects including launching Windows 95, Hotmail and MSN.ca in Canada. She describes her current gig as her “dream job”. As Microsoft Canada adapts its business model to a radically new technological and economic reality, Cheri leads the effort to recast the brand and prepare the company’s marketing competencies for the challenges of tomorrow.
Caroyln Buccongello, Leigh Mitchell & Roshni Wijayasinha
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Roshni Wijayasinha, Senior Marketing Manager, Kobo
Roshni started her marketing career at Microsoft, where she helped launch Windows Live SkyDrive (now OneDrive). She continues to use the lessons she learned at Microsoft to deliver creative programs that drive results in her role as Senior Marketing Manager at Kobo.
Leigh Mitchell, Founder, Women in Biz Network
Leigh is the founder and president of Women in Biz Network, an organization that specializes in professional development for women through delivering skill building events, conferences, webinars, marketing and membership services. Leigh has successfully assisted many leading brands to engage with the WIBN community, including Microsoft Canada – brands that believe in the power, influence and value professional women bring to the economy. Leigh uses Lync technology to bring her monthly training webinars to women across the WIBN community.
Carolyn Buccongello, Vice President, Human Resources, Microsoft Canada
Carolyn is a leader whose job it is to create other leaders. As a human resources professional, she understands that people are the difference makers in any enterprise and that an exceptional corporate culture is critical to attracting and retaining the best and brightest talent. Microsoft Canada has long been recognized as an employer of choice and Carolyn and her team are committed to maintaining and enhancing this reputation.
Lisa Gamble-Smith & Kaela Bree
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Kaela Bree, CEO, X Movement
Kaela co-founded a program that positively impacts children’s mental and physical health through sport. She also co-founded the first women's only incubator for Social Entrepreneurs - SheEO. Through this organization Kaela and her fellow partners are working to build the network and support services for the next generation of female entrepreneurs and innovators. Early in her career, Kaela taught herself how to use Dynamics and SharePoint to manage her client list and continues to rely on Microsoft technology to manager her business.
Lisa Gamble-Smith, SMB Director, Microsoft Canada
Lisa directs the group responsible for marketing the full range of Microsoft solutions to the small and mid-market segment of businesses in Canada. In this role, Lisa and her team focus on revenue growth, driving market share and improving the customer satisfaction of Microsoft products and services amongst this huge and critical sector of the Canadian business community. Since joining Microsoft in 2010, Lisa has drawn on her leadership skills and entrepreneurial spirit in sales and marketing roles including Inside Sales Manager and Corporate Accounts Manager. It is this hands-on field experience that gives Lisa a real-world understanding of the challenges and opportunities growing businesses face every day and how Microsoft technology can play a role in helping them achieve success.
Claudia Ferris & Karoline Bourdeau
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Claudia Ferris, Vice President, Marketing & Operations, Microsoft Canada
With 23 years of IT industry experience, Claudia is responsible for bringing a strategic and creative flair to Microsoft Canada's marketing and operational efforts. She is a driving force behind positioning Microsoft as the Cloud Services leader in Canada. Claudia started her career with Microsoft at Microsoft Brazil, where she held a series of roles each of which allowed her to engage her passions to learn, build and grow the Enterprise business while earning the confidence and trust of the Brazilian market.
Karoline Bourdeau, B.A (Hons), JD
Karoline, blind at birth, was not allowed to attend school in her native United Arab Emirates. She started school at the age of 13 when she arrived in Canada, went on to law school at Queen’s University, and now works as a Mediator with special interest groups. Karoline relies heavily on Windows technology to help her accomplish her goals.
Laura Robinson & Lisa Cantkier
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Laura Robinson, Vice President, Retail Sales & Marketing, Microsoft Canada
Laura leads the sales and marketing of our Windows, Office, Surface and Xbox businesses at Canada’s largest Retailers. She has been with Microsoft for nine years and previously worked with technology companies where she helped deliver results through Partners, building successful sales organizations and driving good customer experiences.
Lisa Cantkier, Founder/Owner GlutenFreeFind.com
Lisa dedicated her life to educating celiac sufferers about the disease after a misdiagnosis led her to a critical illness early in life. She uses Microsoft apps to help her manage her award-winning, health-focused online directory, GlutenFreeFind.com
Mary-Ellen Anderson & Sarah Prevette
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Mary-Ellen Andersen, Vice President, Developer & Platform Group, Microsoft Canada
Mary-Ellen and her team inspire, support and foster innovation by working with developers and start-ups to create amazing applications with Microsoft’s software and platforms. The team also works with academic institutions and government to help bring Canada to the forefront of global innovation and create opportunities for Canadians. Mary-Ellen started her career as a producer with major Canadian media organizations. She joined Microsoft’s MSN as Executive Producer, spearheading the launch of the new MSN.ca English and French portals.
Sarah Prevette, Co-founder and Managing Partner, BrandProject
Sarah started her first business fresh out of university: she founded Sprouter, a knowledge exchange platform for young entrepreneurs and business leaders, after discovering a gap in the space. After Sprouter was acquired by one of the largest media companies in Canada, Sarah founded BetaKit.com, an online resource for emerging startups, which was later acquired. She is now on to her third venture, BrandProject, which invests in and helps scale early-stage consumer startups. Sarah relies on Lync and Skype to stay connected to home and work wherever she is on the globe.
Chitra Anand & Carolyn Lawrence
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Carolyn Lawrence, President, Women of Influence
Carolyn president and CEO of one of Canada’s most recognized organizations that is dedicated to impacting the lives of women. Carolyn uses her Surface 2 and Windows PC to stay connected on the go; she also relies heavily on her Office tools, using PowerPoint to build presentations and Outlook to stay organized and connected.
Chitra Anand, Lead, Public Relations, Microsoft Canada
Chitra is a well-respected, successful female marketing expert who is helping change the way large organizations and brands do business. In her current role as Head of Public Relations for Microsoft Canada, her team is responsible for creating compelling stories as it relates to Microsoft technology and the impact it has on both consumers and businesses in order to change brand perceptions. Before joining Microsoft, Chitra spent 10 years with one of Canada’s major telcos, where she helped re-frame the way they talked about products and services by making messages simple yet interesting for the marketplace.