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16 Women Who Are Thriving Through Turbulent Times

EVOLVE. EXPAND. EMPOWER.

Thrive: “To advance, grow, develop and flourish.”

 

Our world is dramatically changing, and we are being invited to evolve right along with it.

 

In the midst of overwhelming challenges, including isolation and business closures, you will find many unsung heroes who are living rather quietly but with meaning and purpose. In this deeply stirring book you’ll take a walk into the lives of 16 women who refuse to be ruled by fear, and have stepped into exploring new ways to work and live with curiosity and courage.

 

From Canada to the United States and from Guatemala to Hong Kong, you will meet these remarkably authentic women who have shared their stories about how they adapted to change.  Besides being inspired, you will also take away their practical tips and ideas to bring into your own life.

 

There is something for everyone, as these stories clearly demonstrate how the resilience of the human spirit can shine in the most turbulent of times.  You have been invited into the personal lives of these courageous women who are inherently just like you, and you’ll see exactly how it's possible to not just survive but thrive.

CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS

Christine Awram, Founder

Introduction

“I want to be brave with my life. When we make this choice, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.  I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” 

~Brené  Brown

www.aWomanOfWorth.com

Facebook:  aWomanOfWorthWOW
Linkedin:  WOW Christine Awram

Instagram:  WOWwofw
Twitter:  @womanofworthwow

“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 seven #1 bestselling books in the last three years, and believes she is just getting warmed up.

Ali Perry-Davies 

“In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.” 

~Drew Barrymore

Ali is a singer/songwriter, visual artist, poet, storyteller, minister, entrepreneur, bestselling author, wife, mother, nana, dog lover, lifelong learner, and explorer with a curious mind. She has completed certification courses and programs on business and entrepreneurship, an advanced diploma in human resources management through Camosun College, and diplomas in both theology and ministry through Vancouver Island International School of Ministry, where she went on to work in ministry for over fifteen years.

Ali has volunteered for a variety of non-profit organizations and is certified in non-violent crisis intervention, suicide prevention, and as a Lifeline phone counsellor for crisis intervention. She has also worked as a disability case manager for BCANDS (British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disabilities Society), where she learned so much from the beautiful culture and traumatic history of Indigenous people in Canada and was forever changed.

 

After sustaining a traumatic brain injury five years ago, Ali needed to reinvent herself and is now continuing her studies, painting, and writing music and children’s books. She is also writing her memoir on healing from trauma through creativity and forgiveness, anticipated to be released later this year.

What’s Next Is Whatever I Want It to Be!

Brenda Smith

Hello Depression, My Old Friend

Persist just one step more.” 

~Brenda Smith

Brenda has been a lifelong cat lover.  As a child, she regularly collected cats from the neighbourhood and brought them home, only for her mother to put them back outside at night so they could return to their owners. 

 

Brenda has had many careers over the years, but the only thing that ever held her attention was her love of cats.  After years of trying to escape her depression by changing jobs and locations, she decided to stop running and really listen to what she wanted to do. She started a cattery at the farm she was living on in 1996 followed by Club Cat Hotel in 1997, guided by the facility rating programs from the Cat Fanciers Association and the International Cat Association.

 

Club Cat has been a true lifesaver for Brenda and has brought many new friends into her life. It was featured twice on a program called Pet Friends, on the news with Dave Gerry of City TV, and in the book Cats I Have Known and Loved by renowned Canadian author Pierre Berton. It is partnered with her Diplocat service, through which cats can be transferred to and from the boarding facility in a limousine.

Cathy Dersken

Inspired Tenacity

“Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” 

~Brené  Brown

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. She 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.

 

DeeAnn Lensen

Life on the Other Side of the Moat

“Fear and hope can’t occupy the same space. Invite one to stay.” 

~Maya Angelou

DeeAnn Lensen is an awardwinning, European-trained Advanced Aesthetic Educator, Spa Consultant, Certifi ed Life Coach, NLP Practitioner, keynote speaker, and multiple Amazon bestselling author. She is the President and CEO of the stunning serum line, Touché Beauty. She also owns Advanced Spa Technologies, a fi vestar spa, consulting, education, and distribution company in Canada.

 

As a successful spa consultant, DeeAnn pioneered the pairing of empowerment with spa treatments and spa staff education.

 

Her multi-faceted strengths have empowered thousands from the inside out. Frustrated by the onslaught of fear-based marketing targeted at women, DeeAnn dissected the cosmetic industry with its own fi ne-tooth comb and created Emotional Freedom Technique tapping exercises for women to use while applying skincare to increase self-compassion. 

 

DeeAnn is passionate about helping women become their best selves. Her Empowered Inside Out Support System includes: “One on One Life Coaching”, “Emotional Intelligence Group Coaching Course,” “Emotional Freedom Technique Downloads,” “Your Life a User Manual Group Coaching,” “Women’s Empowered Inside Out Evenings,” and Event Speaking. And of course, customized Skin Care Consultations via Zoom!

 

Heather Loewen

The Strength in Vulnerability

“Dare to Dream. Dare to Explore. Dare to Be Yourself. ”

~Heather Loewen

Heather is a metaphysical generalist, professional beach bum, songwriter, and the author of 101 Reasons to Be Yourself. Over the years, she has put her Honours Diploma in Business Administration Management to use in marketing, accounting, and several entrepreneurial ventures.
 

Heather’s passion lies in positive change, creative living and generally being a part of making this world a better place. She thrives on helping others find what lights them up and discovering their gifts. It was a long journey for her to reach a state of peace in her life and to discover the strength in vulnerability, which she found on a remote beach in Guatemala after years of spiritual exploration.
 

A lifelong freedom fighter and joy seeker, Heather has met with resistance in her non-conformist, creative, and intuitive way of living. Her purpose is to help others break through the veil of illusion that keeps them from connecting with their highest selves, and she continues to evolve as she follows this path.

Jenelle Brewer

Turning Pain Into Passion

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” 

~Helen Keller

www.kiyoga.ca

Facebook:  @jenellerbrewer or @kiyogacanada

Jenelle’s life story is one of evolution, so it is no surprise that when COVID-19 shut down the world, she took this time to make some changes. She has spent most of her life struggling with trauma and loss. At fourteen, Jenelle turned to drinking, and by seventeen she was addicted to cocaine. Angry and in pain, she lived on the streets and eventually risked her life to escape a human trafficking ring at the age of nineteen. After the death of her boyfriend and one of her sisters, she decided to get clean so her mother did not have to endure losing another child.

 

Once she became a mother, Jenelle knew her only option was to provide the best life she could for her children. After two terms as a politician, she went back to school and got her Bachelor of Business Administration before returning to serve her community in many capacities. After a significant injury and living in chronic pain for years, she rediscovered her passion for yoga and became a yoga teacher, a career that supports a healthier lifestyle. She now teaches classes online through her website, which you can find below.

Jennifer Morgan

Mastering Your Mindset

“Don’t dance around the perimeter of the person you want to be. Dive deeply and fully into it.”

~Gabrielle Bernstein

Jennifer Morgan currently resides in New Westminster, BC, and is serving in her seventeenth year with the Royal Canadian Navy. She has lived and worked on both Naval coasts and has also instructed at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint Jean Sur Richelieu, QC. She is a strong advocate against bullying, violence against women, racism, and discrimination. She is a supporter of the LGBTQ2+ and BIPOC Community, Black Lives Matter, and Reconciliation, and is very welcoming towards newly landed immigrants and/ or refugees.

 

As someone who is unafraid of asking questions or getting the wrong answer, Jennifer is invested in and speaks out for women’s rights and gender equality. She is the current VicePresident of Soroptimist International of Surrey/Delta and is excited to be working with such strong, like-minded women with the goal of improving the lives of young girls and women, both at home and around the world. After attending the Commission on the Status of Women in 2018 as a delegate with Soroptimist International, her interests have greatly evolved to include foreign affairs and human rights, especially for those who live without.

 

Laura Mack

Living From Your Values

“I can’t do it all, but together, WE can do more than I possibly could have imagined on my own. My vulnerability IS my superpower.” 

~Laura Mack

Laura is the CEO of Authentic Leadership Global, Inc. Over the past decade she has been training coaches and facilitators worldwide and has facilitated authentic leadership conversations in several sectors, including health care, corporate, and both municipal and federal government. She is also a facilitator with ViRTUS, helping leaders grow and thrive by developing their emotional intelligence and leadership capabilities. A CTI trained coach, her coaching style allows for deep personal and professional reflection and growth in alignment with her client’s values, purpose, and principles.

 

Laura completed an Executive MBA at the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University and participated in the Americas program, studying in Brazil, Mexico, and the USA. She earned a Bachelor of General Studies in SFU’s Liberal Business Studies Program, graduating with distinction.

 

Laura is passionate about non-profit work. She facilitated #BESTYOUth, an emotional and social intelligence program designed by ViRTUS. She also served as a board member of the North Shore Restorative Justice Society, co-chairing the board for two years, and continues to be a facilitator of restorative justice files.

 

Laura enjoys time with her husband, walks with her dog, hiking, cycling, kayaking, yoga, good food and wine with friends, and the occasional adventure with her son.

Lauren Labas

Your Digital Footprint Discovered

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.” 

~Steve Jobs

Lauren is a creative director and online digital marketer. She is the President and CEO of her digital marketing company, A Visual Advantage. She is also the founder of Vancouver Wine Festivals and the nonprofit Fostering Futures.

 

A pioneer in graphic and web design, A Visual Advantage has been supporting the marketing initiatives for businesses in both the US and Canada since 1994. They are print media and online digital design experts who take businesses online, specializing in search engine techniques to get businesses found by the people who should know about them.

 

Lauren’s digital marketing and social media techniques can benefit all types of companies and have been successful in raising over 33 million dollars for one client in one year, with many other successes using Facebook advertising to attract investors to real estate developments. Through this exercise, Lauren started hosting wine and cheese events for investors which morphed into Vancouver Wine Festivals. This company supports marketing incentives for BC wineries and tourism.

Marlies White

How Loyalty and Friendship Can  Change Your Life

“… it isn’t things and proximity, or even blood that holds us all together. What makes a family is love and loyalty.” 

~Genevieve Dewey

Marlies White was inspired to start her business, SomaLife, in response to the loss of a close relative. Working with her late husband, Dr. Philip White M.D., the pair created a series of products directed at promoting better health for others. SomaLife is an Okanagan-based health, wellness, sports nutrition, and age management company that develops, manufactures, and markets its proprietary line of one-of-a-kind products locally, nationally, and internationally. Now with over two decades of experience under her belt, Marlies leads her company to grow with the vision of changing more lives with natural health and wellness products. She is active in her community, especially with the local food bank. The company’s SomaPet supplement was specifically created because of her love of animals, and incidentally it was tested on humans.

 

Marlies lives by her personal motto of “you do what needs to be done, whatever it takes, helping as many people as possible along the journey.” Knowing how important her company is, she looks forward to fulfilling her husband’s legacy, and hers, in the coming years.

Mary Overfield

Old Habits Die Hard

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.” 

~Abraham Maslow

Mary has overcome many challenges throughout her life, including an abusive relationship and nasty divorce that impacted her self-esteem and selfconfidence. She is an entrepreneur who has owned multiple successful businesses, most recently an accounting firm specializing in bookkeeping and payroll services. An accomplished QuickBooks guru, she taught classes to business owners and the unemployed. As her career progressed, Mary has come to realize the value of happiness. Feeling that her business no longer satisfied her desire for a more rewarding life, she sold it in 2016.

 

Mary is an avid traveller and has visited four different continents. She has three children and four beautiful grandchildren.

 

Sports have played an important role in Mary’s life. She played on various soccer teams for almost thirty years. She has also run half marathons as well as other races. When she is not working out, you’ll find her enjoying the company of friends and family. Her current goal is to complete her new book, which focuses on overcoming your obstacles to create the life of your dreams.

Michelle Berezan

Changing My Inner Dialogue

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” 

~Mahatma Ghandi

Michelle Berezan is a teacher. She is a teacher of kindness and compassion to her four beautiful children. She is a teacher to people suffering from addictions as a certified addictions counsellor. She is a teacher to people suffering from perinatal/postpartum depression, disordered eating, stress, and anxiety as a registered clinical counsellor. She is a teacher to the masses as a best-selling author and creator of the Peace Power Passion course, in which she helps individuals break through their mental blocks and discover a more joyous way of living. She also uses her experience as a mother of high-spirited children and multiples to pass on firsthand knowledge of how to overcome stressful parenting situations and build a strong family unit.

 

Michelle has spoken at residential dependency treatment centres about her own journey of overcoming addiction as well as on improving one’s own life condition through personal accountability and giving back. Along with other charitable endeavours, Michelle makes it a priority to be of service both locally and abroad through her foundation SWAG (Service Work Around the Globe). She continues to speak out about improving your life after addiction and perinatal depression in her latest book, which should be finished shortly.

Paulena Gidda

The Circle of Life

“Life is a gift. Wake up every day and realize that.” 

~Author Unknown

Paulena is a twenty-five-year veteran police officer whose career has spanned uniform patrol, the child abuse and sexual offences unit, and organized crime investigations to name a few.

 

She is the youngest of three children born to immigrant parents who are both successful entrepreneurs, and was born and raised in the town of Squamish near Whistler, British Columbia. She currently resides with her husband in South Surrey, BC, where she runs her jewelry brand Bullets N Beads. 

Theresa Lovelin

Superwoman Removes her Cape

“Acceptance of the unacceptable is the greatest source of grace in this world.” 

~Eckhart Tolle

Theresa has been a practicing registered nurse since 2005. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon, and she currently works as a school nurse at an international school in Hong Kong.

 

Theresa has pursued several other endeavors throughout her young life. An entrepreneur at heart, she owned a small cafe in Silverton, Oregon called Waltzing Matilda’s at only seventeen years old. She has owned a home renovation/investment business where she put her deep passion for reinvigorating homes to use. A well-rounded individual, she has also been a wildland firefighter, ceramic tile layer, and massage therapist.

 

Theresa’s love for travel has taken her to five continents and twenty-five countries and has brought her to her current situation: living happily with her husband, their two young daughters, and their two dogs in Hong Kong. She continues to explore life to the fullest and is now taking on the new challenge and joy of becoming a writer.

Treva Gambs

From Stress to Success

“With all due respect to my former professors, I’ve long believed I gained more knowledge in kitchens, bars and dining rooms than any college could even hold.” 

~Anthony Bourdain

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.

Trish Kimble

Evolving With Attitude

“Too many dreams are not being realized because people feel they are too old, too young, too late for them to make a difference and many other self-imposed limitations.” 

~Ruth Klein

Trish Kimble is an inspirational speaker who takes everyday life and transforms it with attitude. She is passionate about helping and motivating people, and uses a unique approach to inspire others to make choices that optimize attitude and promote resilience, all while keeping a smile on their face.

 

Most of her fifty-year career was spent in government, where she rose from a frontline clerk to executive assistant and on to project and space planning coordinator. Then she asked herself, now what? With a strong work ethic, and not one to slow down, Trish embarked on a new “retirement career” in 2019 as the founder of Blank Slate Enterprises, where she continues to help others believe in themselves through her speaking engagements. She is also an enthusiastic virtual administrative assistant who helps other entrepreneurs by taking care of the tasks they don’t have time for so they can focus on their own business success.

 

Trish shares her zest for life with her supportive husband, three children, four incredible grandchildren, and one calico cat. In her downtime, she loves motorcycle riding, travel, romantic movies, and anything Christmas.

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