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Community

The ELLA Community is comprised of entrepreneurs, experts, industry professionals and supporters all coming together for the common goal of empowering women to rise in entrepreneurship. 

“Individually we are one drop. Together we are an ocean.” - Ryunosuke Satoro

Advisory Committee


The ELLA Advisory Committee consists of highly-acclaimed women leaders that actively demonstrate what is possible when women are empowered to rise in their field. Under their guiding advice, ELLA programs are poised to provide the tangible resources and support this underrepresented community needs to achieve their highest potential.

Guided by outstanding people:

DR. GEORGETTE ZINATY

Executive Vice President at Corporate Class Inc.

TEDx Speaker

Selected as 1 of 6 Canadian Women Empowering Women

Founder of WHEW! (Women Helping Empower Women)

Forbes Coaches Council Member

REETU GUPTA

President & CEO of The Easton's Group of Hotels and The Gupta Group

Co-Founder of Rogue Insights Capital

Named one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women 2020 by Women's Executive Network

SNITA BALSARA

VC at MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF)

Founding Committee Member of Canadian Women in VC

Committee Member of Scale Without Borders

Board Member of Rexdale Women's Centre and Golden Triangle Angel Network

VALERIE FOX

Chief Innovation Consultant at The Pivotal Point

Co-Founder of the DMZ at Ryerson University which launched in 2010, and by 2015 was named the number one University Business Incubator in North America and number 3 in the world

What do you value most about the ELLA program?

“The environment that all elements of the program create together. It is a space I can be comfortable being ambitious in. I feel supported, celebrated and validated.”

ELLA Altitude 2020 Alum

Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs)


Our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs) are experienced entrepreneurs who draw from their own first-hand experience in building their own business(es) to provide expert advice in a mentor role. Each ELLA program participant is assigned an EIR who will work closely with them throughout the program to help them address challenges, push boundaries and grow successful businesses.

Gain one-on-one mentorship with an experienced entrepreneur:

AMOYE HENRY

Founder of Pitch Better

Amoye Henry, MBA is a millennial entrepreneur and investment consultant. For the past six years, she has been on mission to help scale growth-based businesses led by unique founders.

In 2018, she was named one of Canada's top 100 Accomplished Black Women. Through enticing pitches and building strong brand partnerships, she has helped to secure approximately $11M in funding for local entrepreneurs, start ups and community organizations.

Recently, she co-founded Pitch Better, a market research start up that led Canada’s first and largest open market study on Black women entrepreneurs. This led to North America’s first interactive and dynamic dashboard identifying 1500+ Black women businesses across Canada.

Currently, Amoye and her partner have partnered with CILAR through Facebook Canada to deploy hundreds of thousands of dollars to help support Black entrepreneurs through the pandemic.

In addition to running Pitch Better, Amoye co-founded and Executive Produced the AfroChic Cultural Arts Festival. Since its inception in 2010, AfroChic has created opportunities for over 350 local and international artists, entrepreneurs and cultural practitioners. As a cultural arts leader, she has advocated for the broader Canadian society to embrace, recognize and respect the cultural and historical contributions of people of African descent, bringing communities together. AfroChic is now a global entity having produced content in Canada, United States and West Africa. 

A recent graduate at Ivey Business School’s Executive MBA program - Amoye continues to lift as she climbs the corporate Canada ladder and works to create more representation for people of color within the capital markets, by supporting up and coming women and diverse people. 

LORI RAUDNASK

Author & Producer of Persistence Pays

Lori is an international speaker, entrepreneur and author who has coached, trained, and mentored thousands of people around the world. She has mastered the sales process building a team that generated well over 100 million dollars in direct sales.

Lori has launched the careers of hundreds of successful entrepreneurs worldwide. For over three decades, she has dedicated her life to helping others win big. Lori has produced and hosted the TV show Persistence Pays and is the author of Persistence Pays: How getting what you want is easier than you think.

Lori was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and was chosen as Stoney Creek’s Citizen of the Year for her community service.  Lori believes that if we are persistent, we can have anything we want, and she does mean everything!   

MANGALA RAO-D'SA

Adjunct Professor at the York University School of Continuing Education

Mangala Rao-D'Sa has a reputation for building iconic brands through fully integrated marketing and bringing marketing, innovation, and digital product teams together to build great businesses that deliver a superior customer experience.

In the past, Ms. D’Sa held leadership roles in marketing at Roots (2018), Pepsico Canada (2016-2018), and Post Consumer Brands (2005-2016).  Ms. D’Sa also worked at Reckitt Benckiser (2002-2005) and started her career at The Nielsen Company (1998-2002).  

She recently served as an independent strategy consultant for Indigo Books & Music Inc, and Vice President of Marketing, Category, and Digital Experience for Second Cup Coffee Canada. She is an Honours Economics and Math graduate of University of Toronto (1998) and completed her Master of Business Administration in Digital Transformation at McMaster DeGroote School of Business (2019).  Ms. D’Sa is currently an Adjunct Professor at the York University School of Continuing Education, a board advisor to Humber College Marketing Program, and mentor at the Girls (20)- Fora Network. 

MARGARET ZANEL

Founder & Partner, Strategy and Leadership of Wentworth Strategy Group Inc.

President of Zanel Advisory Group Inc.

Margaret is a recognized expert in supporting senior leaders advance to and be highly effective within the C-Suite, and purpose-driven organizations achieve revenue growth.

She works with leaders to help them develop a path to achieve their professional goals; and senior teams to rapidly grow revenue through expansion into new markets, new geographies, innovative offerings, new capabilities, and new programs.  

Margaret is a highly skilled executive advisor, strategist, entrepreneur, diversity champion and leadership coach with over 30 years of experience in Fortune 100 and private equity-backed early growth & start-ups in Canada, the US, and globally. Her industry experience is in the high-growth sectors of technology, cannabis, and retail health & wellness. 

Margaret is the Founder & Partner of Wentworth Strategy Group Inc., a diversified management consultancy focused on helping small and medium enterprises thrive. She leads the Strategy and Leadership practice. Margaret is also President, Zanel Advisory Group Inc.,  supporting senior leaders advance to and be effective within the C-Suite, through leadership advancement coaching and strategic advisory.   

As a passionate advocate of diversity, equity and inclusion, Margaret works tirelessly to support women's advancement in the c-suite and the boardroom. She is co-instructor of the inaugural DeGroote School of Business, Executive Education Program on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace. Margaret is the first women facilitator of the Board of Trade's Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) for women-led and women-owned business cohorts across Canada. She is an Entrepreneur In Residence with the Ella Accelerator, Ontario's first accelerator focused on supporting women-led product and service-based businesses. Margaret is the Founder of the Women Entrepreneurs Network, a social platform to inspire and educate the next generation of women entrepreneurs. She was also the Executive Director, Mentorship Programs for Women Get on Board Inc. 

Margaret currently serves on the Advisory Board of HerRide, Canada's first women driving women ride-hailing membership-based company. She is also an Advisor to a game-changing global conservation tech start-up WildTechDNA. Margaret served for two years on the McMaster Alumni Board. She also served on the board of Xerox Canada Inc. She is an alumnus of the Judy Project. In 2018 Margaret was selected as one of Diversity MBA Magazine's "Top 50 over 50", and in 2020 Margaret was recognized as one of Diversity MBA Magazines, "Top 100 Women of Influence". 

SANDRA BEKHOR

Founder, Bekhor Management

Sandra Bekhor founded Bekhor Management in 2005 to enable lawyers, architects, accountants and other professionals to realize the vision for their practice through business and marketing strategies, from start-up through to succession planning.

Sandra regularly writes about practice development for CBA PracticeLink and SlawTips. In partnership with the Toronto Lawyers Association, Sandra co-founded, ‘Keeping it Social’, a LinkedIn group for Toronto lawyers.

Sandra is the instructor for the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s 'Marketing for Architects' course. She also contributed a chapter to the 2nd edition of ‘Marketing Techniques for Law and Professional Practices’, published by the American Bar Association.

SUSAN GOEBEL

Founder of Scaling Management Consulting Group

Susan Goebel, has over two decades of senior operations and business leadership experience spanning a variety of industries. Susan started out in the pharmaceutical industry where she developed and honed her skills in contract management, team building and leadership, mergers and acquisitions, funding, operations, business management and lobbying.

Susan also co-founded a pharmaceutical company and found herself fully vested in the Chief Operations seat. While using both her business and science background in the Bioscience Boardroom, helping doctors and veterinarians who were solving unmet needs bring their products to market as well as providing operational support.

Understanding the needs of scaling businesses, Susan founded Scaling Management Consulting Group, Inc, which offers scaling companies access to experienced executives on a fractional basis, allowing them to grow faster at a fraction of the cost.  

VALERIE FOX

Chief Innovation Consultant at The Pivotal Point 

Val is on a mission to enable thriving entrepreneurial communities of communities locally, nationally and internationally based on a triple win practice of partnership, collaboration and iteration.

This practice evolved from the co-founding and execution of the DMZ, launched in 2010, which by 2015 was named the number one University Business Incubator in North America and number 3 in the world. She then left to form The Pivotal Point, to help grow community-based incubators worldwide. 

Val has over 30 years in the digital world, where she started a graphic design business, and then had the fortunate of being sought by IBM, to be part of their innovation intrapreneurial network, where she led design teams for enterprise software design, was creative director for large experience sites, such as the Sydney Olympics and was awarded 5 patents, including one for the Universal Shopping Cart for the Web (in the top 5% of IBM patents). 
 
Other awards include the Sara Kirke Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the 2016 CNE Woman of Distinction award and the honour of being part of the 2016 Canada Innovation Leaders team. 
 
Ultimately, Fox lends her expertise/leadership to the long-term goal of fostering innovation throughout Canada and the world.

Entrepreneurs-In-Residence (EIRs/Mentors)

Gain one-on-one expert guidance from an experienced professional!

“She took time to understand me, and yet pushed me out of my comfort zone. I was able to see my business from a different perspective thanks to her insistence and experience.”

ELLA Ascend 2020 Alum

Community Partners


ELLA is here to create real, tangible changes to propel women entrepreneurs. We draw on the support of passionate and engaged Community Partners to help us give entrepreneurs access to the information and resources they need to grow their businesses.

Thank you to our supporters:

LET'S MAKE IT HAPPEN TOGETHER

Join the ELLA Community 

United, we combine our connections, resources, and knowledge for women entrepreneurs to succeed.

Ways to get involved and change lives:

SPONSOR

Your contributions can help support and enrich our programming.

INVESTOR

Want to diversify your portfolio and meet fascinating women founders? Be an ELLA-affiliated investor.

COMMUNITY PARTNER

Inform your audience of the support available for women founders and help spread the word.

ENTREPRENEUR-IN-RESIDENCE

If you’re a successful entrepreneur and you would like to help other women succeed, you can apply to be a mentor.

SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT

If you find pride in helping entrepreneurs solve specific needs one-on-one in your area of expertise, join our growing network of SMEs.

Get Involved

Support women in entrepreneurship and join an outstanding community of changemakers. If you are interested, please contact us to get involved!