QueenPins was started in Spring 2016 by a group of women from Halifax with the mission to raise funds for a local cause while networking with other powerful women. The event came together at lightning speed. In around 30 days the event was planned, marketed and excecuted. The inaugural event in May 2016 hosted over 100 women business leaders and raised funds for the Canadian Women’s Rugby Team. Building on the momentum of that first event, we’ve held another two in support of Junior Achievement Nova Scotia and are now focused on raising funds for Habitat for Humanity at our Spring Fundraiser.
Speakers for the QueenPins Spring Fundraiser:
Rachel is a bold believer in love and resilience. Across 20 countries, through journalism and international development, she has helped people embrace lives of meaning, tap danced, and consumed unhealthy amounts of hot sauce – in that order.
Rachel studied anthropology and philosophy in British Columbia and Quebec before falling in love and spontaneously hitchhiking across the country to Halifax where she was hired at CTV News. When she’s not in the newsroom, Rachel leads community engagement projects from flashmob music videos to teaching classes of refugees, and volunteers with influential organizations from Global Shapers to Symphony Nova Scotia. Rachel is an advocate for women’s rights and literacy in prisons; she currently serves on the board of directors for Halifax’s roller derby league and Youth Art Connection. Lately, she can be found running marathons, becoming a certified hot air balloon pilot, and working to launch a company that makes spreading love more central, creative, and accessible – because she believes in love, and so do you.
Natalie launched House of Auto Details and Krown Rust Control with her husband David in 2013. This Bedford, Nova Scotia business has built an innovative and holistic approach to automotive detailing, vehicle reconditioning, and rust protection, helping clients protect their vehicles and preserve antique and exotic cars. Clients include Luckett Vineyards, Tim Hortons, Ford Canada, and BMW Halifax. House of Auto Details has won two Silver Awards from the Halifax Chamber of Commerce: New Business of the Year in 2015 and Small Business of the Year in 2017.
An American immigrant of Afro-Caribbean descent, Natalie believes that helping others succeed is the greatest form of service. She encourages other small business to take calculated risks, mentors international students and newcomers, and enjoys speaking on panels and at networking events. She also sits on the marketing board for Sandy Lake Academy, represents the Halifax Chamber as an ambassador, and volunteers for various community health initiatives.
Denika is a woodworker and artist with a lifelong love for design and carpentry. She has loved to paint for as long as she can remember and as a child built boats with her grandfather and older brother. She incorporates her love of painting and building into her one-of-a-kind custom furniture and design.
Today, Denika runs her own company, DC Woodworks, from her home in Dartmouth while raising two young daughters. Her vision is to inspire women of all ages, especially her daughters, to go after their dreams and have the confidence to venture into male-dominated careers.
Lianne is an award-winning freelance writer and performer with extensive experience in theatre. In 2015, she received funding to tour her original one-woman comedy show in Nova Scotia. She’s Got Mono chronicles Lianne’s personal experiences of living with bipolar disorder. In addition to her creative pursuits, Lianne has worked with the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University since 2010, where she administers employability programs for youth and provides consulting services in online marketing and technology efficiency for businesses in Atlantic Canada. Lianne is a Faculty Advisor for the Enactus team at Saint Mary’s University, a founding member of the Nova Scotia Women in Technology task force, and member of the Techsploration Advisory Board.
A keen and driven entrepreneur, Lianne is also co-founder of two technology companies. PinPoint Virtual Solutions creates mobile apps and online solutions for the event market, and Karmabuy is a start-up focusing on community purchasing power, connecting companies that care with social enterprises creating unique handmade gifts. Lianne loves being in business, and always has more ideas than time to implement them.
The Queen Pin Award
The Queen Pin is an award given to a woman who has demonstrated extraordinary effort to improve her community.
Cherryl Oake: First Queen Pin Award Recipient
Cherryl Oake’s path to volunteer extraordinaire started with a simple desire to solve a problem for one family. When a girl she knew visited a new Syrian friend’s home and remarked that the family had almost nothing – only the barest kitchen necessities and very little furniture – Cherryl sprang into action. With her first callout for help on Facebook, she was able to furnish that home, but soon discovered three more families in need. Within ten days, they too had beds, couches, tables, chairs, and kitchen supplies. The rubber really hit the road when Cherryl learned of scores of government-sponsored Syrian refugee families in need in Spryfield. “I thought oh my god, we have to do something,” she says. “I put out another call and said this is serious.” After collecting donations of goods and money, Cherryl and a couple of other volunteers rented a truck and through Easter Weekend of last year delivered furniture to 19 families in two buildings.
To date, Cherryl has helped more than 50 Syrian families build comfortable Canadian homes. “I’ve made a lot of friends, and seen the pictures and heard the stories, but you can’t even imagine what they’ve been through,” she says. “When I first started working with them, I learned you have to have tea or meal. I’ve learned to say, ‘Thank you, I’m full’ in Arabic,” she smiles. “They’re just amazing people, so resilient, and I just have so much respect for them.”
On April 20th , QueenPins will proudly present Cherryl Oake with the first ever QueenPin Award. “You don’t do these things for awards, for sure,” says Cherryl. “And I didn’t do it by myself for sure. But it’s wonderful! It’s great to be acknowledged. The families are happy.”
What are you waiting for?
Be inspired by the words of accomplished and community-minded business women as they tell personal stories of reinvention, success, and prosperity.
Network with peers who support women and women-led businesses in your community, and learn more about how QueenPins can make a difference in your life and your business.