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Stories of Purpose, Passion & Power Through This Extraordinary Era
RENEW. RESHAPE. REIGNITE.
When the world came crashing to a halt as a result of the historic 2020 pandemic, we were faced with a choice: to let ourselves be swept up in the waves of fear and overwhelm, or to shift our perspectives and evolve. And while this era is far from over, we have already seen incredible leaps of faith, extraordinary economic creativity, inspirational acts of generosity, and so much more.
In this special edition of the WOW book series, 16 women share their real-life stories about how they are moving through the uncertainty we are all facing. Rather than waiting for a “new normal” to arrive, they took action and found ways to pivot their businesses, pursue new passions or renew forgotten ones, and move forward. These powerful stories capture the unique moment in history we find ourselves living in, and show how we can continue to thrive through the challenging times ahead of us.
Each chapter offers inspiration and strategies on how to shift and evolve in your own life, both personally and professionally. We need to lift each other up, especially in times such as these. By bringing these amazing women together to share their stories, it provides a compass for you to navigate through your own challenging chapter and into your fabulous future.
“Positive people aren’t positive because they’ve skated through life. They’re positive because they’ve been through hell and decided they don’t want to live there anymore.”
“Chocolate is a vegetable, because it comes from a bean.”
This is just one of many outrageous statements you’ll hear from Christine Awram (while wearing a pink tiara) as she encourages women to question any of their beliefs that limit an empowered, joyful, and successful life.
She’s the founder of Woman Of Worth WOW Worldwide and is a dynamic speaker, author, visionary, and philanthropist. Christine radiates vitality with her indomitable spirit and humour. Yet her earlier years began as a teenage runaway who experienced addiction, illness and depression. She inspires others by sharing the specific strategies she used to move from futility to fulfillment, and how she transformed challenges into passion and purpose.
Christine’s commitment to the empowered leadership of women resulted in her being honoured with the Outstanding Leadership Award by the Global Women’s Summit. She has personally inspired over 10,000 women through her WOW events, has published eight #1 bestselling books in the last three years, and believes she is just getting warmed up.
Mental Health Vital Signs
“Emotional aptitude is a ‘meta-ability,’ determining how well we can use whatever other skills we have, including raw intellect.”
~Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence
Youtube: Master Your Mental Health
Alyson Jones, MA, RCC is a professional therapist and mental health educator as well as the president of a large private counselling clinic, Alyson Jones & Associates. She holds a Master’s degree in psychology and has practiced for over twenty-five years, working with all age groups.
Alyson is prominent in the psychological community and is often invited by the media to share her extensive knowledge on mental health, parenting, children, and families. She is a regular on CTV Morning Live and a contributing writer to Slica.ca and Huffington Post.
Chaotic Stillness in the Eye of the Storm
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”
Cathy is dedicated to improving the lives of the women in her
community. She transformed her career from working as a lab
technologist into financial planning so that she could focus
her energy on helping others in a more direct manner. After digging deeper into her innate drive to be of service, she has added another level to her connection within her community. Cathy now provides online resources to assist women in discovering their deeper calling by adjusting their mindset and focus in order to reach their goals. She will help you clarify your next step and apply courage and inspired tenacity to live the life that brings you joy.
Cathy lives in British Columbia, Canada. She enjoys spending time in nature, travelling, meeting new people, and connecting with her community around the world.
Do It Afraid
“To feel fear doesn’t mean that you’re a coward. Boldness is taking action in the presence of fear – do it afraid!”
Christine is from the Nuxalk Nation in Bella Coola, BC (the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest). Before smallpox ravaged the area, there were 200 communities; after smallpox, less than 200 people survived. They all came together, and this is how Bella Coola was formed. As a result, resiliency is in Christine’s blood. She takes pride in being a strong Nuxalk woman and mother to her five beautiful children. Her children have given her the strength she needed to continue moving forward and start her healing journey.
Christine began her career in healthcare in 2002. She started as a Resident Care Aide and then furthered her education to become a Licensed Practical Nurse in 2008. She has been an LPN since 2009 and spent all these years working in dementia care at various nursing homes in Kamloops, BC.
Christine has plans to further her education and become a Registered Nurse. Having a child with mental health problems and losing both her best friends to addictions has made her passionate about mental health and addictions. She is going to pursue that path and plans to work in mental health and/ or addictions after she has completed the Registered Nurse program.
Be the Difference
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Corisa Bell is enthusiastic about everything she undertakes. After partnering in a successful e-commerce software development company, she served two terms in local government and sat twice as president of the Lower Mainland Local Government Association.
Currently retired from political life, she enjoys public speaking, selective consultant work, and is about to retire as vice president of the local Chamber of Commerce. She works part time as a community builder for a major non-profit, is a full-time philosophy student at UFV, and spends her spare time out in nature or volunteering for various boards and societies.
As a young person, Corisa had fallen through the cracks; because of this personal experience, her passion is being there for people and letting them know they aren’t alone and that they’re loved. To fulfill this passion, she currently serves on the boards for Camp Choice BC and the Christmas Haven.
Corisa loves the two beautiful souls she proudly calls her daughters, Rhyly and Kaylyn. She has raised her girls to think of their community as their extended family, and she is in her happy place when with community.
“Happiness is not having what you want.
It is wanting what you have.”
~Rabbi Hyman Schachtel
Ellen resides in in Summerland, BC, having moved there from Calgary in 1992. After leaving a senior position with Delta Hotels, she initially chose to continue to work in hotels in a less demanding role so she could focus on quality of life and raising her son, Chris. Later marrying Tom, father to Krista and Stephen, they together raised their blended family.
Tourism and hospitality have long been her passion, and for the past eleven years Ellen has worked with the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association. Currently in the role of Vice President of Stewardship, Ellen works with her colleagues and regional partners to ensure that tourism employs tactics to develop in a sustainable and responsible manner, and most recently, to help businesses find the resources necessary to survive through this difficult time.
In 2013, Ellen faced her own personal grief after losing her son (Chris) to colorectal cancer at the age of twenty-nine. She fought then as she does now to move forward and find gratitude and appreciation for life. She hopes this story will remind others of the importance in appreciating what they have and to find the courage and resilience to move forward and build a meaningful future.
Thriving During Quarantine,
“When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s
happening. That’s where your power is.”
Gail’s mantra is “whatever it takes,” and she uses this to complete challenges in all areas of her life. One such challenge came from the restrictions brought about by the pandemic, which forced her to change course and find new ways to continue to stay motivated and live her passions. By sharing her story, she hopes to show a different way to perceive the adversities brought to us all during the uncertain times and to encourage others to seek situations to feel thankful for. Facing new challenges and finding methods to overcome them brings a sense of power and achievement, especially during uncertain times.
Gail’s greatest passion is to travel, and she is at her best when she is able to combine runs with traveling to new destinations each year. She resides in Summerland in the beautiful Okanagan Valley and loves spending time with her two amazing children, Taylor and Emily, while awaiting the next big challenge and adventure.
“Through the highs and lows and twisted turns of life, persistence and planning is the route of success.”
Helen was born in Brownsville, PA in 1953. She went on to become a recruiter for the US Information Agency in Washington, DC and then became a certified expert examiner through the State Department. She also trained as a graphic artist and was privileged to work on the America Illustrated Russian Magazine, which is now a part of the John Marsh Files at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library.
Helen became a model with the Ford Modeling Agency in NYC in 1977 and later opened her own state-licensed modeling school, Finesse. She also became a lecturer and motivational speaker on the topics of dressing for success, job interviewing techniques, and promoting yourself through your resume.
In her personal life, Helen raised her nephew from the age of six and was the caregiver for both of her parents in their final years. She has spent the last thirty-three years working for American Airlines as a flight attendant, enabling her to do what she enjoys most: travel the world and be there for her passengers. She has become a bestselling author through the WOW book Aging at Any Age with Moxie! and is now writing her autobiography.
Waiting for My Scene to Start
“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”
Holly was raised by her grandparents, who believed in rigorous music studies. Though she didn’t become a concert pianist, she has directed short movies, documentaries, and now the Amazon show, Sounds of Freedom, which was inspired by her father and his battle with PTSD. At the age of sixteen, Holly was a key member in a successful Internet start-up and went on to working for fine art and newspaper publishing companies in design and advertising, as well as in a darkroom developing crime scene photos. She earned a BA in Film and Digital Media from the University of California, Santa Cruz and has studied fine art and digital media as far away as Italy and The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada.
Holly resides in Northwest Georgia in a log home with her husband and two golden retrievers. She enjoys kayaking, boating, playing piano, photography and off-roading adventures. She is also working on a memoir featuring her mother, mental illness, and herself called My New Normal. You can follow her projects at the links below.
Mental Health Vital Signs
“Emotional aptitude is a ‘meta-ability,’ determining how well we can use whatever other skills we have, including raw intellect.”
~Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence
Jacqueline Fowler, BSN, MD has spent more than thirty years working in the healthcare field, first as a nurse and then as a doctor.
She has taken a special interest in assisting those with mental illness and their support systems. She strives to share her expertise and enjoys contributing to a deeper understanding of health, mental health, and resiliency. Jacqueline is also the mother of two young adults.
The Gift of Slowing Down
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”
Jennifer Nagel is a clinical counsellor who works with individuals, couples, and families of all ages and is the author of Magic in the Muck: Finding Grace in Chaos. She is also a contributing author for the fourth WOW Woman Of Worth bestselling book, Moms in Business: Success Stories with Soul. She travels the world and teaches professional and personal growth programs in countries such as Canada, China, and Kenya, along with providing clinical supervision for other therapists. She has worked with diverse groups including therapists, social workers, educators, school programs, community groups, at-risk youth, non-profit organizations, and corporate groups.
Jennifer is also very involved with the Satir Institute of the Pacific, a non-profit organization that provides programs for personal and professional growth and transformation.
She has spent the past twenty years learning, studying, and applying the Satir Model (based on the work and teachings of family therapy pioneer Virginia Satir) in facilitating transformational change work. Jennifer is passionate about teaching and mentoring others in the use of Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy and helping others to reconnect with the magic of who they truly are.
Jennifer lives in Surrey, BC, Canada with her husband, Rod, and their children, Mahalia and Kai.
Trust in the Process of Life
“Your body is your birthright, love and care for your body! Life is precious, embrace living fulfilled daily.”
Curiosity about the human body drives Karen’s passion. As a Health Creation Coach trusted by clients for over twenty-five years, she helps you make body health simple. By creating your health action plan with self-care skills, knowing who to go to for help-care, and discerning what your healthcare needs are, individuals are empowered to care for their body and improve their quality of life at all ages.
Karen has learned that it’s possible to open the door to healing from the inside out. She emboldens you with skills to learn about your body, educates you to make choices to care for yourself, and inspires you to take action. Pilates-certified in 1995 and currently completing her osteopathic studies, she combines integrative health techniques in her private practice in South Surrey.
As an international speaker, Karen engages her audience with experiences that guide them to new awareness of their body. Her vision is to help you break through the fears you may have about your body, especially around aging, and to invest in your “birthright” physically, emotionally, and nutritionally.
Passion Through a Pandemic
“My mission in life is not to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
Karen Kobel is a performer, instructor of dance, yoga and Pilates, and founder of Kahlena Movement Studio. With a BFA in Dance Performance from East Carolina University, she has been dancing for thirty-eight years and teaching for the past twenty-five. She has had the opportunity to perform with Mia Michaels, Jay Norman, Lynn Simonson, Marjon Van Grunsven, Katiti King, Tomi Galaska, Peter Grey Terhune Presents, Princess Cruises, and many local dance collectives.
Karen has also been teaching Pilates for seventeen years. Combining Simonson Dance Technique with Pilates and CI training, Karen has created a unique class format that not only allows the body to flow from movement to movement, but also allows the mind to connect to the present moment, leaving her clients feeling rejuvenated, renewed, and restored.
After returning from Kenya and Uganda in November 2013, where she taught HIV women Pilates, dance and strength training and listened to their life stories, she realized her life purpose was to inspire others – especially women – to find their own voice just as she did after focusing on finding hers. Karen shares her experiences with others in the hopes that it will help them believe that anything and everything is possible!
The Beauty in the Simple Things
“We are encouraged to obsess over our instrument’s SHAPE — but our body’s shape has no effect on it’s ability to accept and offer love for us. Just none.
Maybe we continue to obsess because as long we keep wringing our hands about our paintbrush shape, we
don’t have to get to work painting our lives. Stop fretting. The truth is that all paintbrush shapes work just fine — and anybody who tells you different is
trying to sell you something. Don’t buy it. Follow your heart and paint!”
Lorna Ketler is the owner and lead body-love enthusiast at Bodacious Lifestyles Inc, a women’s clothing store that offers a fun, safe welcoming environment where all bodies are beautiful and worthy of being celebrated. Her store is located in Victoria, BC, but can also be found online and at various pop-up shops throughout the lower mainland. Through her store, and through her online presence, she passionately encourages women to fully recognize and appreciate their beauty, their bodies, and their curves.
Lorna delights in seeing the world from a fresh perspective. As she approached fifty, she decided that she would create an “epic” experience each month over the course of a year, starting with walking one hundred kilometres of the Camino de Santiago on her fiftieth birthday. She then filled her months with big and small experiences including jewelry making classes, painting workshops, travel, and most importantly, spending precious time with dear friends.
Celebrating twenty years in business this year, Lorna plans to enjoy that accomplishment by exploring new adventures and opportunities, including making art and having a big, bodacious dance party! After five years of living on her boat, Lorna now enjoys living in beautiful Victoria, BC, with her husband and best friend George.
“Be safe, stay healthy, and reach out if you need anything – I’m here to help you”
~Sam van Born
LinkedIn: Sam Van Born
Sam van Born was born and raised in North Vancouver, BC where she lives with her almost twelve-year old daughter. She wasn’t sure exactly what she wanted to do in life until she had a conversation with her friend’s dad who was a captain in the fire service. Inspired to find out more about this amazing career, she soon moved out to Lions Bay to join the volunteer fire department. A year later she got into a firefighting school in Alberta, and eleven weeks after that she was certified. She was then hired by the North Vancouver City Fire Department, and now, almost twenty-one years later, she has worked her way through the ranks to become a full-time captain.
Sam is also actively promoting health and wellness through her home-based business with Alovéa, which was founded by two international not-for-profit organizations. This company provides sustainable solutions to the world’s most challenging health concerns in the form of nutraceutical products that focus on strengthening people’s immune systems, antioxidants, inflammation, hormone support, along with an award-winning Hemp/CBD Oil. With the company expanding globally, she’ll be busy helping a lot of people around the world.
Finding the Positive
“You can’t always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.”
Shelly Lynn Hughes is the founder of Fresh Magazine and a partner with Skin Spin Cosmetics, Project Her Inc, and YOYOMAMA.CA. In addition to her work as a publisher and business owner, she has developed an exclusive skincare label for a major pharmacy and consulted for various magazines and health and beauty brands.
Shelly was the recipient of the prestigious WOW Woman Of Worth “Mom Entrepreneur of the Year” Award in 2013.
She loves to get her hands on an idea, make it a reality, and share it with the world – all while radiating the good vibes of a best girlfriend.
Put the Mirror Down and
Let Yourself Out
“Women leaders are a valuable asset in any industry ... [They] lead with a different compassion. And that provides a profound strength of leadership that is
actually critical to a workforce environment.”
Treva Gambs is a restaurant owner, business advocate, and inspirational speaker. She is a thirty-five-year veteran of the hospitality industry, is involved in her local chambers, and is a board member of the Oregon Restaurant Association. She is also a court-appointed special advocate for foster children.
Treva is very passionate about her industry and is politically involved. Her speaking engagements are about opening doors and supporting women in your community. Treva is not only involved in Woman Of Worth but also in several other women’s groups, including KNOW (Keizer Network Of Women) and Amazing U.
When Treva is not at the restaurant, you will find her at the lake in the summer – where she loves to ski, surf, and kayak – or up on the ski hill in the winter. She has three wonderful children and two grandchildren so far.