Businesswomen empower peers

INSIGHTFUL: Jo Hodges (The Nourish Nook), Kelsie Prowse (The Apple Farm), Di Ind (Di Monty Training Solutions), Ashlee Kalantarian (A'EL EST), Toni Vorenas (Metro Bakery and Cafe) and Lisa Attard (Lima & Co) formed a special panel event at last week's Women In Business and Regional Development 2021 launch.

WOMEN In Business and Regional Development (WiBRD) launched its 2021 campaign with over 90 people attending the February 19 celebration event.

The Commodore on the Park hosted the launch night, which was headlined by a panel of six Limestone Coast businesswomen who shared their 2020 experience, including how they navigated COVID-19.

Toni Vorenas (Metro Bakery and Cafe), Kelsie Prowse (The Apple Farm), Ashlee Kalantarian (A’EL EST), Di Ind (Di Monty Training Solutions), Lisa Attard (Lima & Co) and Jo Hodges (The Nourish Nook) each spoke on their personal and professional experience and how it shaped their business.

Pivoting to make quick decisions was a common theme among the speakers, who all spoke of how they’ve emerged stronger and, in some cases, with new and promising developments.

In her chairman’s address, WiBRD chair Jacinta Jones thanked the many partners that enable the network to be viable.

“The last 12 months has seen us focus very strongly on our strategic direction and on our vision to champion regional women as leaders and change-makers,” ms Jones said.

“With the continued implementation of our updated strategic direction going through to 2023 we maintain a strong focus on our mission, grow the potential of regional women and support them to create powerful legacies through building their leadership capacity and presenting a strong regional voice.”

The Flinders University New Venture Institute was then announced as WiBRD’s continuing major partner in 2021.

Institute director Verity Kingsmill acknowledged the importance of quality training opportunities for young people and spoke about further developing a positive relationship with WiBRD.

The contribution of outgoing executive officer Lydia Mules was also celebrated by the board.

March will be a busy month for WiBRD with an International Women’s Day Breakfast at Mount Gambier’s Main Corner and Bordertown Convention Centre on March 5.

Both events will feature a livestream from the Adelaide International Women’s Day event to listen to special guest speaker Natasha Stott Despoja.

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