MacLeod To Host BIA Forum Featuring Local Women In Business

The Barrhaven BIA, in partnership with Invest Ottawa and the Ottawa Coalition of Business Improvement Areas, will be hosting Financing Your Growth: Enabling and Advancing Your Business Goals. The event is billed as a conversation with women-led businesses in Barrhaven, and will be facilitated by Nepean MPP Lisa MacLeod.

From growing and scaling to navigating everyday entrepreneurial challenges such as burnout, financing, and pivoting to meet the demands of today’s business climate, this event is for all business owners, entrepreneurs, and community members (of all backgrounds) to converse and connect.

The event takes place June 13 at Stonebridge Golf Club. It is free and is open to any aspiring or current business owner, entrepreneur, or community members.

The event begins at 5 p.m. with registration, networking and refreshments.

After a land acknowledgement ceremony at 5:30 p.m., the network discussion will begin with panelists Leanne Duval, Branch Manager, Barrhaven West, Bank of Montreal; Stephanie Howarth, Co-Founder, Head of People and Brand, Mad Radish; Yilong Ma, Real Estate Broker and President, Canada Sichuan Cultural Exchange Centre; and Julia Reid, Co-Founder, Athletic Therapist, Clinic Director, Play On Pediatric Therapy.

At 6:10 p.m., the audience Q and A session will begin, followed by another land acknowldgement ceremony and another networking opportunity.

About the Speakers

Leanne Duval, Branch Manager, Barrhaven West, Bank of Montreal

With over 17 years of Retail Banking experience at BMO, Leanne has committed herself to strengthening the relationships between the Bank and its communities. Over her years at BMO, Leanne has been a bank leader in multiple branches across Ontario with a longstanding record of community involvement and active volunteer engagement. Leanne is currently the Branch Manager of the brand-new Barrhaven West branch (located at 4265 Strandherd Dr.).

Stephanie Howarth, Co-Founder, Head of People and Brand, Mad Radish

The first employee of DAVIDsTEA, Stephanie helped build a $250M business from $0 and presided over an award-winning brand as Creative Director and eventually VP of Marketing.

Soon after taking the company public in 2015, Stephanie left to co-found Mad Radish, an Ottawa-based healthy QSR with an inclusive, flexitarian menu. Having worked for over a decade as an Admin in male dominated companies, she is passionate about mentoring under-represented groups and helping them reach their potential.

Yilong Ma, Real Estate Broker and President, Canada Sichuan Cultural Exchange Centre

Yilong is a broker at Coldwell Bankers Sarazen Realty and the president of a not-for-profit organization called the Canada Sichuan Cultural Exchange Centre. A successful businesswoman, Yilong has more than 12 years of international entrepreneurial experience.

She brings a unique set of skills and knowledge to the table. A seasoned veteran in world-class event planning, Yilong has organized dozens of major events, with numbers of attendees exceeding 100,000.

She is also an established member of the food industry. Yilong was a successful restaurateur, and she operated multiple restaurants in both Canada and overseas. She is currently providing cuisine consulting to businesses looking to invest in the Canadian market.

Yilong is passionate about connecting people by exchanging food, culture, and ideas. She has won multiple awards for her contribution to her community.

Julia Reid, Co-Founder, Athletic Therapist, Clinic Director, Play On Pediatric Therapy

Julia Reid became a Certified Athletic Therapist over 15 years ago, after graduating from York University with a B.Sc. in Kinesiology and Certificate in Athletic Therapy. She first worked as an Athletic Therapist and Clinic Director at a multidisciplinary rehabilitation clinic in a small town north of Toronto, Ontario. She covered many different sports and games of various levels – from high school competitions, varsity competitions at the national levels, and World level competitions.

Julia moved to Ottawa, and completed a Masters in Health Administration, at the Telfer School of Management at UOttawa. Following this, she worked as a Project Manager and Business Manager in hospital and corporate settings. Julia continued to maintain her athletic therapy certification and to take courses such as Athlete Brain Concussion Course, Sport First Responder certification, Kangoo Jump Fitness Instructor, Pregnancy and Postpartum Athleticism Coaching, and Rhythmic Movement Therapy Level 1 & 2. Julia always knew that one day she would return to her clinical roots, and would own a clinic. From her experience as a mom of 4, she has seen the need for more specific and specialized clinics to treat kids specifically, for various reasons (from sports injuries, to support with many other conditions). She is excited to get back to doing what she loves…treating young athletes and various clients, and encouraging them to live healthy active lifestyles – for life!

Moderator: Lisa MacLeod, MPP-Nepean

Lisa MacLeod is a 6 time Ottawa MPP, the longest serving MPP in the nation’s capital.

Having served as Ontario’s Minister of Children Community and Social Services, Minister of Women’s Issues, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport as well as Minister Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Lisa has also served as the Vice Chair of the Quebec-Ontario Parliamentary Friendship Committee, Ontario’s steering committee member on the Canadian Parliamentary Women’s Association and Vice Chair of the Government Agencies Committee and Legislative Assembly Committees.

Lisa has either led or contributed to parliamentary or trade delegations to Taiwan, Israel, Madagascar, China and India. She has addressed the United Nations in New York City on sex trafficking and elevated Ontario’s $26 Billion Culture Industries during a mission to Los Angeles. Lisa’s many legislative successes include Rowan’s Law, Canada’s first concussion legislation, Lebanese Heritage Month and Trans Remembrance Month. As well, Lisa has been successful in receiving all party support for making Queen’s Park Family Friendly, defending Ontario’s horseracing industry and a compassionate and catastrophic care Motion.

Presently Lisa continues to advocate for concussion safety as a board advisor to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, Canada and is a board advisory member for the Dare to Be Vulnerable Project focusing on mental health advocacy.

The event is free but registration in advance is required. To register for the event, visit

Featured Image: Stephanie Howarth was the first employee of DAVIDsTEA and helped build a $250M business from $0. After taking the company public in 2015, Stephanie left to co-found Mad Radish, an Ottawa-based healthy QSR with an inclusive, flexitarian menu