I am a passionate entrepreneur and community builder. I am fascinated by the human dynamics that power up success in organizations and communities. I like to play and work at the intersection of multiple sectors – my belief is that bridging silos and creating connections between ‘unusual suspects’ drives innovation and solutions to complex issues.
I enjoy working with people and organizations to create movements – I call it tribe building. I believe creating a culture of curiosity and generosity empowers an organization’s people to achieve through collaboration and innovation.
I’m co-founder of Citizens Academy, an Ottawa based not-for-profit with a mission to accelerate change for the common good. It focuses on inspiring new ways for citizens to engage with and create change in their cities.
For 21 years, I owned 4 locations of The Body Shop (1987 – 2008) in Ottawa - it's where I honed my skills in social entrepreneurship, values based business, and leadership rooted in integrity, humility, generosity, and the ability to see situations from a multiple of perspectives. The shops were in the top 5 performers in Canada with Ottawa being one of the highest per capita sales generators.
Born in India, raised in Vancouver and having willingly chosen Ottawa as home tells you I love this city. My mother’s love of food and feeding others is an invitation of choice for business meetings, while my fathers’ rabble-rousing tactics inspire me to take risk. I’m a two-time university drop out with diverse and dynamic experiences and skills in leadership, entrepreneurship, community building, stakeholder engagement, and philanthropy. My 4 children, and a recent grandson make me deliriously happy. I can usually be found getting myself into all kinds interesting and amazing projects – life is full.
In September 2014 singer, songwriter, musician and all-around badass woman, Kathleen Edwards, put her music career on hold and opened Quitters Coffee. Kathleen, an entrepreneur, and coffee shop owner will be speaking at the Guild's year-end event. She will discuss the challenges she's faced as a small business owner and her journey starting and growing Quitters. Kathleen likes 🐶 ☕️ 🍺 🇨🇦
Sheila Whyte, owner of Thyme & Again Creative Catering and Take Home Food Shop, is a trendsetter in Ottawa’s food and catering industry. Since the company’s start up in 1991, Sheila and her team have created an experience for those who enjoy exceptional service and delicious food.
Using her dynamic hands-on approach Sheila relies on humor and creative problem solving to lead her growing team of professionals. She and her team have catered thousands of events, including the opening of the Ottawa International Airport and its 2000 guests, the Queen’s Visit in 2010, and the opening of Caravaggio exhibits at the National Gallery of Canada. In 2009 Sheila expanded the business with the addition of Exposure Gallery – providing a contemporary Canadian photography gallery and creating an event space that promotes creativity and collaboration.
Sheila remains an active member of her community sitting on the Culinary Management advisory board at Algonquin College, the Wellington West Business Improvement Area since its inception and the Selection Committee for the Ottawa Philanthropy Awards. Sheila was also a judge for the “Amazing People gala in 2015, and currently sits as a judge for the Gold Metal Plates competition in Ottawa. In 2004, the Businesswoman of the Year Award was presented to Sheila. This award is presented to an outstanding businesswoman in our community. Sheila and Thyme & Again are also listed among the top 2000 companies in Canada in “Who’s Who” in Canadian Business. Sheila is proud of her staff for consistently being voted as Ottawa’s Best Catering Company.
Sheila has been involved with the Parkdale Food Centre for over ten years and is one of the founding sponsors of the Growing Futures Initiative – which works to increase food security by giving youths the opportunity to grow fresh greens in hydroponic growing towers to not only learn about entrepreneurship but to help grow a more resilient next generation through the creating products for local food banks. The next phase of this initiative will be marked by sending growing towers to remote schools in Canada’s North to provide fresh greens to communities unable to grow them through traditional means. This will help Ottawa students collaborate with their Northern counterparts to promote the importance of communities supporting community in the realm of food security and investing in Canada’s next 150 years.
Most recently, Sheila with partners Steve Beckta, Mike Moffatt and the group at Ottawa 2017 to bring in Canada’s Table to life, a nonprofit event to celebrate Canada’s unique culinary culture as part of the 150 th anniversary celebrations. This unprecedented event marked top chefs from across Canada coming together to prepare a meal for 1000 guests at a single 1000 foot table to celebrate and raise funds for food security projects in our communities which included the Growing Futures Program and the Kitchen Renovation at the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa..
Since 1993, The Manx has been a social hub for Ottawa's arts scene and those who cherish good food, beverages and even better conversation. The Manx boasts on of the city's best Craft Beer and Scotch selections, outstanding dinner specials, and a legendary brunch. Stephen Taylor has worked behind the bar for the past 11 years and has been the general manager for the last 5.
Anna Lambert is the Director of Talent Acquisition at Shopify. In her role, she heads global recruitment and leads a lean team responsible for scaling the company, attracting top talent, and building impactful teams. An entrepreneur herself, Anna is the co-founder of Caged Collective apparel and is the creator of Beyond the Code, Shopify's conference and meetup series focusing on technology, diversity of thought, and growth. A community advocate, Anna is a founding member of The Guild which provides a collaborative space for entrepreneurs to share ideas and elevate their business. She is also a mentor for the International Career Mentorship Program at Ottawa University. In her spare time, Anna can be found biking, running, or enjoying a glass of prosecco.