Women In Business Panel

Women in Business Panel

Each year Cando selects four panelists to form the Women in Business Panel, one of the signature events at the Cando Annual National Conference which will be held in Gatineau, QC from October 27-30, 2019. Through this annual panel, Cando highlights and recognizes the significant impact that Indigenous women entrepreneurs have on the Canadian economy.  Four panelists from across Canada will share their experiences of being a woman in business.

Congratulations to this year's Women in Business panelists!

2019 Women In Business Panel


Victoria LaBilloisVictoria LaBillois
Wejipeg Excavation

A Mi’gmaq entrepreneur from Listuguj, Quebec, Victoria owns Wejipeg Excavation; owns rental properties; co-owns Wejuseg Construction, and is an active partner in other joint ventures. Victoria served the Indigenous public service, working at the Band, regional and national levels.  She holds both a BA and MBA from the UNB Fredericton. Coach to many, Victoria serves as mentor for the Coady International Institute’s Indigenous Women in Community Leadership and New Brunswick’s JEDI Aboriginal Business Accelerator Program. Victoria is bilingual and actively learning Mi’gmaq. Victoria is the go-to MC for community events, and member of a woman’s hand drum group, sharing ancestral songs. A proud alumnus of the 2017 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference; Victoria spent time examining Northern Ontario issues and exploring relationships between leadership and community. Victoria currently serves as a board member of the Listuguj economic development commission, the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi Business Corporation and the National Indigenous Economic Development Board.

Read Victoria's Story


Jolene JohnsonJolene Johnson
Wabanaki Maple

Jolene Johnson (Previously Laskey) is the CEO & President of Wabanaki Maple. Wabanaki Maple is a 100% Indigenous Female owned company with a unique set of barrel aged maple syrup products. Jolene has an extensive experience (just over 18 years) in the culinary field ranging from food preparation and service to senior management. She also has worked extensively in forest management, from pruning, planting, fertilizing and harvesting, this work has kept her grounded and in touch with her roots and will always be one of her favourite work experiences. In 2013 Jolene took the initiative to establish and operate her own construction company, in doing so she was the first female entrepreneur on Tobique First Nation in that industry sector. Now that her company is progressing well, she has set her eyes upon entering the maple transformation business (developing and marketing value added Maple products). Most recently Jolene has been featured on CBC and Global TV Halifax and was the Grand Prize Winner for the 2019 FedEx Small Business Competition out of over 3000 applications across the country.

Read Jolene's Story


Marie photoMarie St-Gelais
Ashini Consultants

Ms. St-Gelais is an Innu civil engineer from Pessamit and has 13 years of experience as a manager, project manager and design engineer. She has worked in mining, construction, and Aboriginal communities. Her previous experience has led her to develop a strong expertise in engineering management, project management, tender preparation and management, contract administration and structure and civil engineering design. Ms. St-Gelais is a LEED Eco Associate and has knowledge in the design of bridges, steel and wood building frames, civil engineering works and the environmental aspects. Since 2016, she has been managing Ashini Consultants, coordinating engineering and construction projects and ensuring the company's development. She also recently graduates a 2nd cycle program in Wood Material Use in Construction and is currently pursuing a graduate program in Aboriginal Management at ENAP.

Read Marie's Story


MalloryMallory Graham
Tribal Trade Co.


Mallory Graham is an anishinaabe-kwe, born and raised in her home community of Curve Lake First Nation. She completed her Honors Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Wilfrid Laurier University. After competing in a New Venture Creation business pitch competition and winning the KPMG Award in Entrepreneurship, for RezPoints Rewards, Mallory launched the coalition loyalty program for her parents' businesses in Curve Lake. Mallory founded Tribal Trade Co (formerly known as RoseysTradingPost.com) in 2013 - an online retail store with a brick and mortar location in Curve Lake, offering contemporary indigenous products including lifestyle clothing, footwear, accessories, and giftware. Tribal Trade is 100% female-indigenous owned and operated business aimed to foster inclusion of all indigenous people who wish to proudly represent their heritage. With 15+ years of experience in small business and 7+ years as a marketing freelancer, Mallory currently works with small businesses to develop and execute their digital marketing strategies, while fostering the continued growth of Tribal Trade.

Read Mallory's Story