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Women of 2020

Women of 2020

Name:  Dr. Ana Candia, ND
Business:  Rise Naturopathic, MYNDspace, Holler & Howl 

Dr. Ana Candia is a licensed naturopathic doctor (ND), mother of one angel, nature lover and life-long student. 

Her trajectory has always been deeply rooted in wellness and the natural world.  She has forever felt a fascination with nature–finding inspiration, peace and connectedness there.

Prior to discovering naturopathic medicine, Ana spent years engaged in volunteerism and work abroad. After living and working across Asia and Africa for over two years in education and healthcare settings, she earned a Masters Degree in Globalization Studies.

By accident, she enrolled in a yoga class while in graduate school and fell deeply in love with the practice. Soon after graduation, she moved to British Columbia and began delving deep into the world of yoga, meditation and mindfulness, and later went on to train as a yoga teacher in the Indian Himalayas. It was in those mountains that her professional goals were sparked. Upon returning to Canada, she enrolled in a naturopathic college. Today, Ana is a grateful and happy naturopathic doctor in south Ajax, serving her community.

MYNDspace is her most recent venture; an organization committed to helping people live happier, calmer, more contented lives using the powerful tools she’s learned along the way.

Ana’s Lessons from 2020

The one thing I learned in 2020: This year has taken all of us for a bit of a ride, I think!  It has been a true education.  The primary thing I learned (or rather, learned anew) was the importance of self knowledge and self love.  When so many aspects of life ebb and flow out of our own control, being able to find peace and fulfilment within is an absolute gift.

What I’m planning for 2021:
This is as yet unpublished…but there may be a little book launch happening!  So much to come! 

Find Ana on social media:

Instagram:  @dr.anacandiand

Facebook:  AnaCandiaND, MyMYNDspace

Women of 2020

Women of 2020

“There is an untapped well of strength in reserve waiting for you to tap into it.”

Learn More about Tracy Turberfield, LIVE Virtual Vacation Experiences

Name: Tracy Turberfield

Organization/Business: LIVE Virtual Vacation Experiences


With newfound travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19, and limits on local gatherings, Tracy Turberfield recognized that people were craving the travel experience more than ever.

As a travel advisor of nearly 20 years, Tracy had to quickly determine how to evolve her existing business–Just Go Travel Solutions–to provide her clients with the change of scenery and mental break that they needed.

Tracy pivoted her business into her newest offering, Live Virtual Vacation Experiences, which provides an interactive live gathering that can be enjoyed from home. The engaging event-style broadcast is perfect for those dreaming of their next trip, looking to connect with others, or to learn about a new country.

Next, Tracy is working on developing an offering targeted towards larger parties, allowing special events such as business networking events, anniversaries, or birthdays to be celebrated virtually in partnership with various Caribbean islands.

She is virtually heading to her second destination, Antigua, on October 8.

Tracy’s Lessons from 2020

The one thing I learned in 2020:  You are stronger than you think you are! There is an untapped well of strength in reserve waiting for you to tap into it.  

What I’m planning for 2021: To grow LIVE Virtual Vacations Experiences into a sought after live virtual event company that offers individuals and businesses an opportunity for a unique experience by bringing travel destinations live to businesses for networking, team building, or employee rewards events. The business will also be available for personal event offerings such as birthdays, anniversary parties, and vacation experiences. 

Find Tracy on Social Media: Virtual Vacation Experiences on Facebook

Women of 2020

Women of 2020

Name: Laura Ricketts

Organization/Business: Fluid Concept / Durham End of Life Doula


Laura Ricketts is a former health and deathcare executive who has worked in various hospitals, long-term care, community services, and residential hospice settings. As a sufferer of chronic migraines, Laura found she needed to make a change in her lifestyle. In 2019, she made the leap from Executive Director to self employment. In 2020 Laura has expanded into working as a private death doula/healthcare navigator, an Etsy and local retail artisan, an Airbnb host, and has been exploring part-time contract work in social research.

Laura’s Lessons from 2020

One thing I’ve learned in 2020:  To let go of deeply ingrained expectations of myself.  As a self imposed high achiever, it was a real life lesson to learn to let go of the ‘need’ for ‘important’ professional titles and the packages that comes along with them.  As I let go of those expectations, I became more and more comfortable with who and what I am today.

What I’m planning for 2021: I’d like to solidify my business bases; both as a death doula and as an artisan and find the right balance for me in terms of structure, success, and earnings versus mental and physical well being.  

Find Laura on Social Media:

Facebook: Durham End of Life Doula
Instagram: @FluidConcept 

Women of 2020

Women of 2020

Name: Leslie Hughes
Business: PUNCH!media

Leslie Hughes is a LinkedIn Specialist, a LinkedIn Profile Writer and the Principal of PUNCH!media.

Leslie has been in the digital landscape for over 20 years and founded her digital agency PUNCH!media in 2009.

In addition to teaching Digital Marketing at The University of Ontario Institute of Technology and ACCES Employment, she has worked with companies such as Investment Planning Counsel, The Children’s Wish Foundation and Guardian Life Insurance Company of America to help them optimize their professional presence and convert clients.

Leslie has been called a “Social Media Guru” by CBC Radio, and has also been a guest on CTV’s “The Social” talking about “How to Manage your Digital Identity.”

She is the author of “CREATE. CONNECT. CONVERT,” which is designed to help you own your value and build a powerful professional presence (without feeling like you’re bragging).

Leslie’s lessons from 2020

What I learned in 2020:
One thing I’ve learned (that isn’t necessarily specific to 2020), is that most people are nervous about standing in their value and letting other people know how competent they are. 

I thought it was a Canadian thing, then I thought it was just a female thing. Turns out, almost every client I’ve ever written a LinkedIn profile for, in any country, at any level, will state that they don’t want to share their accomplishments for fear that people will judge them as arrogant.

There are three ways you can tackle your impostor syndrome as it pertains to LinkedIn:

  1. You’re supposed to include your accomplishments on LinkedIn. The psychology of LinkedIn is quite different than other channels. It’s your professional presence.
  2. You are a brand. If you don’t toot your own horn, no one else is going to do it for you. You bring a lot of value and people want to work with the best. So, if your prospects, colleagues, or audience don’t know you’re great at what they do, you’re doing a disservice to them.
  3. If you write your Summary/About section for the reader, and highlight that you are there to provide value and help them, then your accomplishments won’t come across as if you’re bragging, you’ll appear as if you’re coming from a place of service. 

A quote often say to my clients is: “When you’re inside the jar, you cannot see the label”.

You probably don’t see how much value you bring to your network. Most of us struggle with this. Things that may come easy to us, can be very challenging to someone else. Even the most successful celebrities in the world struggle with doubt, so you’re not alone.

I promise that if you take baby steps to step outside your comfort zone, you’ll find that telling your story gets easier over time.

The second thing I learned specifically for 2020 is to cut myself some slack.

The pandemic has forced many of us to reprioritize what’s important. I’m more likely to focus on friends, family and health instead of running on the hamster wheel of “busy”. 

In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

What I’m planning for 2021:
I’m gonna keep on, keepin’ on, in 2021.

I remind myself frequently that I have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, and to try new things.

Like other animals, our lizard brain (the amygdala) is hard-wired to avoid putting ourselves in harm’s way. In the 21stcentury, we humans aren’t likely to be running away from predators, but our brain has been conditioned to avoid anything that will “hurt” us – including rejection.

Whether I’m pitching myself as a source to the media, I’m reaching out to make a new connection with a senior executive, or simply doing something I’ve never done before, I remind myself that we all have to start somewhere. With each baby step forward, I’ll often look back at my journey and realize how far I’ve come.

I challenge you to think of at least one thing you’ve accomplished – and see how far you’ve come too!

Find Leslie on social media:

Women of 2020

Women of 2020

Name: Julie Brar
Business: Balance Life with Julie

Julie Brar is an award-winning Health Coach and Nutritionist who specializes in helping men and women lose weight, gain energy, and balance their gut health while incorporating whole food nutrition into their lives. Julie’s signature program, Bye Bye Sugar, is available online, but she also offers a 30-day program which she calls the Ultimate Lifestyle Transformation. This program provides a complete gut reset, liver and kidney cleanse, and focuses on eating both whole foods and superfoods to help heal the body while optimizing cellular nutrition. 

Julie has a keen interest in the partnership of the mind/body connection in improving health. Prior to focusing on health coaching and nutrition, Julie taught yoga for 15 years. She has four certifications as a yoga teacher and holds a certification in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University. When working with clients, Julie uses a holistic approach that incorporates mind, body and spirit. 

Julie co-hosts a podcast with Kaz Merfield of Ki Health and Wellness that covers various related topics. She is a published author in a collaborative book project, The Courage to Change, which hit the bestseller list on Amazon under the Motivation category in 2019. On top of these achievements, Julie has an ebook, writes weekly blogs and creates videos to help educate people on the many ways to create optimal health and wellness.

Julie’s lessons from 2020

The one thing I learned in 2020:
Maintaining my daily wellness practice has helped me stay grounded during these challenging times. It has also shown me that staying healthy is truly the best defence, especially when it comes to illness.

What I’m planning for 2021:
I’ve been working hard to build a life where I can escape Canadian winters. Finally in 2021 I’ll get to spend several weeks somewhere warm while I continue to work on my business. I’m also looking forward to growing my business, helping my clients to achieve good health and continuing to volunteer in the community.

Find Julie on Social Media: 
Instagram: @juliebrar 
Facebook:  Julie Brar Health Coach

Women of 2020

Women of 2020

Name: Rose Finlay 
Business: Inclusive Solutions by Rose Finlay 

After a catastrophic injury at the age of 17 that left her a quadriplegic, Rose Finlay has continued to push the boundaries of societal norms and expectations surrounding disability. A mama to three little boys and a successful entrepreneur and disability advocate, her unstoppable spirit and ferociously positive outlook inspire her to chase her lifelong goals despite the challenges of being a quadriplegic and recovering from an autoimmune condition. As a holistic health practitioner and empowerment mentor, Rose found  purpose and the drive to remain committed to her own personal growth and spiritual development. 

Stepping confidently into her next venture as an accessibility consultant, she is eager to help bridge the gaps between disabled communities and equal access to opportunity. 

Rose’s lessons from 2020

What I learned in 2020:
2020 was a year that confused the heck out of me. You too? Yep. As an entrepreneur that relies heavily on the ability to network at events and as a newly published author (at the end of 2019) that needed book signing events, 2020 was a tough year. Luckily, I had a whole bunch of advocacy work that arose amidst the pandemic.

Disability Rights Advocacy is not for the faint of heart. It almost immediately challenges ones internal dialogue for both the abled bodied and the disabled. Nonetheless, it’s very necessary work and so I saddled up (so-to-speak) and dug deep. 2020 taught me things that I otherwise don’t think I would have learned. It helped me to better prioritize things in my life. 2020 highlighted some pretty big gaps in how we care for our disabled communities which meant I had some work to do. 

What I’m planning for 2021:
I’m looking forward to 2021 with my renewed sense of purpose and passion. I have already been working on a few really neat collaborative projects with other small businesses that are interested in becoming allies in dismantling ableism.

Making your business and events as inclusive as possible sends a very clear message to the world about your business’s core values. I’m looking forward to helping more businesses find untapped profit potential in places they’ve never even considered. 

Watch for Rose’s new book launching on September 8, Her Unraveling.

Find Rose on social media:
Instagram: @wheelchair_1derwoman
Facebook: Rose Finlay