Five influential women delivered tightly packed presentations on their careers at this month’s North Coast Women in Business luncheon.
They spoke from their experience as an outdoor educator entrepreneur, a politician, a designer, a manager and a fitness instructor. It was a chance to unravel the mystery and for the other women to learn “how does she do it?”
April Link is about to dip into her first summer season with her outdoor education company Outercoast Outfitters. She has a family and runs the business with her husband, originally from the North Coast.
Link saw potential when she first visited Prince Rupert. “It’s like a little city dropped into the wilderness making it perfect for doing this business,” she said.
As a guide, she helps people feel more comfortable exploring the less-maintained trails in the area.
This summer, Link is doing full week summer camps for kids, she’s considering expanding by doing more adult programing, including women specific programs, and she has garnered a park use permit to offer gear rentals on Diana Lake on the weekends.
Next up was Jennifer Rice, the MLA for the North Coast and the first woman to hold the position in this constituency.
She laid out her role in the B.C. legislature as a member of the official opposition and then expressed the importance of having more women elected into government to work on alleviating poverty of the same gender.
Clothing designer, Cecilia Grayson, described her journey setting up Tribes a year and a half ago. She found some challenges in setting up her website and the costs of shipping. But she highlighted how the Minerva Combining Our Strength (COS) Leadership Program helped set her up with a mentor and empower her to pursue her company.
In a whirlwind, Kristina De Araujo, summed up her nine years working her way up to be general manager of Quickload in Prince Rupert and then only weeks ago making a career 180-switch and joining BC Ferries as a terminal manager.
“I forgot what new learning curves were all about,” she said.
De Araujo touched on her many roles, including being an advisor to the premier with 18 other women on the Premier Women’s Economic Council, and as a board member of the newly formed Women’s Leadership Network.
With minutes remaining, Tina Cann, fitness instructor and lead for the regional “Choose To Move” program for older adults, left the women with a few alarming statistics on health maintenance.
The next meeting, and the last for the season is June 22. The group is looking for women to join the executive in the fall.