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Callander venue to host women entrepreneurs networking event

Queen of the North Summit to cultivate relationship building, professional development

Bringing together a community of women-owned and operated businesses in the North is the goal of day of professional networking in Callander.

The inaugural Queen of the North Summit is taking place at the Black Saddle Barn Wedding and Event Venue in Callander, near North Bay, on February 29.

The idea was conceived by North Bay realtor Jess Diggles and Sara Lecappelain, a wedding photographer and the owner of the Black Saddle Barn.  

“I’ve been doing client events for years; it has always been part of my real estate business and my retention business," said Diggles. "Instead of getting everybody a closing gift, I prefer to put my money back into the community with my clientele and bring everyone together for different events. I did a Mother’s Day event at the local brewery for instance and the goal was always to help business owners collaborate with other businesses."

The lineup of speakers for this event includes April Brown & Sarah Sklash, Founders of The June Motel & Reality TV Stars of the hit series; Motel Makeover. Realtor and Entrepreneur Holly Carroll, CEO and Nurse of the Cosmetic Clinic, Chelsey Brown, and more. 

The registration guarantees patrons a seat at the speaker sessions, an opportunity to purchase a networking booth table to display and introduce their business at lunch hour.

Diggles said the idea was to bring women-led businesses together and foster more relationships between those business owners.  

“I love professional development and I’m fortunate to be able to go to a lot of conferences every year. I find them so rewarding but I don’t feel like every woman in business has that opportunity to have that professional development offered to them,” said Diggles.  

Lecappelain has hosted workshops for photographers but, “having the professional development and growth is something I feel like no matter what business you're in, and no matter how many years you've been doing it, it's important to continually learn.” 

They are hoping to grow this event over the coming years.

“Our target market would expand to include business in the areas surrounding North Bay, as well as business from the north and areas such as Collingwood, Georgian Bay, the Kawarthas, Muskoka, Timmins, New Liskeard, Sudbury to Sault Ste. Marie."  

Lecappelain said they have invited women from a wide range of industries and businesses.  

“We really wanted to make sure that, especially for the inaugural year, that it wasn't about us, we were worried it was going to be all realtors and photographers attending and we wanted to make sure to fit in a variety of women. This wasn’t done as an event to boost us individually so we are not keynote speakers, but we will be emceeing the event.”  

Lecappelain said by having this event, they’re hoping to create more collaborations.  

“You get all these people in the same room and there's a lot that can happen when women all come together and you put a lot of great minds in one room, it becomes a master class. Once we get people thinking and get them connected, we’re hopefully going to see a lot of little lunch dates happening, and new creations and they find ways to start supporting each other even more.” 

Lecappelain said they can host up to 150 people at the venue. Tickets are available at this link:  

- BayToday