Business with 5+ Employees

Denise Fortin
Denise’s Cafe

Sponsor:  Janzen’s Pharmacy

Business with 2-4 Employees

Donna Brown
P.C. Medic Computers Inc.

Sponsor:  Laura Fralick, CFP, Investors Group

Francophone Entrepreneur

Donna-Lynn Wiitala
Checkmark Centre d’Excellence

Sponsor: Claudette Gleeson, CFP, Freedom 55 Financial

Aboriginal Entrepreneur Off Reserve

Penny Carpenter
Business Manager K-Net Services

Sponsor: Evergreen A United Neighbourhood

Social Entrepreneur

Sandra Hay
Certified Reflexologist

Sponsor: l'Union culturelle des Franco-Ontariennes

Green Entrepreneur and Young Entrepreneur

Serena Leblanc
The Green House

Sponsor: Green Entrepreneur- Rebecca Johnson

Young Entrepreneur: Jim Stadey, Eat Local: Pizza and Pasry

Aboriginal Entrepreneur On Reserve

Shirley Cheechoo
Weengushk Film Institute

Sponsor: Alice Sabourin, Seegerts and Sabourin Incorporated

Established Business:

Stephanie Ash
Firedog Communications Inc.

Sponsor: MNPLLP

New Business

Valerie Fraser
Atikokan-Quetico Trading Post

Sponsor: Northwest Employment Works


PARO Business of the Year Award: recognizes the business achievement, positive promotion of PARO and its members, and the owner’s determination, integrity, and community spirit.

  • Andrea Novoa
  • World Dance Centre

Sponsor: The Nurse Next Door


PARO Group Recognition Award: recognizes a peer lending circle’s on-going community and group effort within the group, for PARO, and for their community.

Soul Lynx- members include:

  • Katherine Keeping, Gratitude Gem Oils
  • Ashley McLean, Positive Change Organizing
  • Julie Einarson, Sweet Escape Cake Cafe and Bakery
  • Toni McDonald, Natural Paths Healing
  • Leanne Wierzibicki, Breathe Live Believe Green Yoga & Spiritual Studio
  • Tracy Rowe, Eco-Logical Landscapes

Sponsor: PARO Circle Members


PARO Volunteer Recognition Award: recognizes the individual’s on-going volunteer efforts promoting and supporting PARO.  This award does not necessarily reflect volunteer hours during 2011-2012, but can represent significant efforts since the inception of PARO.

  • Carlene Graham

Sponsor: PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise


PARO Breaking Barriers Building Bridges Award: recognizes an individual who has overcome challenges and barriers in their life to build a sustainable livelihood as an entrepreneur.

  • Terri-Lynne Carter
  • Shades of Green Garden

Sponsor: St. Joseph’s Care Group


PARO Cluster of the Year Award: recognizes a cluster of entrepreneurs and/or artisans who have benefited each other and their community economically and socially by supportive interaction.

Ladies That Launch – Hillcrest Centre.  Members include:

  • Life is Precious Yoga
  • Weshkaday Traditional Educational Centre
  • World Dance Centre
  • Thai Healing Centre
  • Little Giants Indoor Playcentre
  • True Vision Coaching & Healing Arts
  • Femme Fatale Pole Fitness Studio
  • Janice Andrews Visual Artist
  • Hillcrest Marketplace
  • Right Track Music

Sponsor: Maria Manitowich, Dominion Lending Centres


We would like to extend a special thanks to all of our sponsors, whose contributions make a difference in the lives in our community.


Gold Level Sponsor:  Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission

                                and the Entrepreneur Centre


Silver Level Sponsor: Investors Group


Bronze Level Sponsors:  Superior North CFDC


                                        Bearskin Airlines

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