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Panel event celebrates business acumen of North Shore Women

In light of International Women’s Day, the North Vancouver Chamber will host a discussion between local industry leaders
President of Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports and Tim Jones Award winner Anne Bethune (right) will lead a panel discussion on women in business with the North Vancouver Chamber, March 8. | North Shore News files

An event celebrating the tenacity, ingenuity and business acumen of North Shore women is set to kick off local International Women’s Day celebrations with a bang.

At the Holiday Inn & Suites March 8, the North Vancouver chamber will champion women leaders with panel discussion event Elevate: Women In Business.

The event, which will kick off with a talk from keynote speaker Anne Bethune, president of Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports, before leading into a Q & A, highlights the efforts of four women who are making an impact in North Vancouver with their thriving businesses.

Joining Bethune at the event will be Swail Pirzada, a doctor of optometry and founder of Clearlight Eyecare, Heather Deris, manager and co-owner of Ava Music & Art Centre, Carol Robinson, founder of Harbour West Consulting, and Ami McKay, the president and principal designer of interior design company PURE Design. The discussion will be moderated by Ashraf Amlani, co-founder of Bunyaad Public Affairs

“We have a really beautiful panel of four, strong business women,” said Bethune. “The panel is an interesting mix of all ages and demographics, it’s a really beautiful representation of women.”

Bethune said the guest list represents women who have had a lot of experience in the industry, like herself, alongside those who might just be starting out. 

Showcasing such a diverse group of successful women provides inspiration to an audience that will likely be equally as diverse, said Bethune. There is no one-size-fits-all in terms of a woman leader in business, and the mixed panel is a testament to that, she added.

Bethune will touch on her long and prosperous career, the past 38 years of which have been heavily entwined with Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports. Throughout that time she has been recognized for her community leadership and impact, with the outdoorswoman even honoured with the prestigious Tim Jones Award last year.

With the event highlighting such achievements of local women, Bethune said she hopes it draws attention to the contributions women bring to the business world.

“I think we do have unique gifts that we use to navigate challenges as business people,” she said. “Women have a really beautiful ability to collaborate and support each other and network in such beautiful ways, and that’s one of the things that we need to be doing more – helping each other shine, and supporting each other in their passions in their business.”

The event will run March 8, 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn & Suites on Old Lillooet Road, North Vancouver. To purchase tickets, visit the North Vancouver Chamber site.

Mina Kerr-Lazenby is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.