Exceptional and Inspiring Women

Two years ago, during the pandemic- I wrote for 28 days, featuring Montrealers shaking and moving the landscape of social movements and entrepreneurship. While it was a blog post featuring men and women, today’s blog is about the women who inspire me daily and I wanted to honor them on the last day of Women’s History Month.

Samantha Kris

Samantha Kris is inspiring for so many reasons but let’s get into why she inspires me….her tenacity. I’ve witnessed Samantha at different facets of her life, and she continuously surpasses each stage in magnificent ways. They say show me your friends and I will show you who you are…well, because of Samantha, I push myself out of my own comfort zone. There is no competition between us. We have been on this journey of life together for a few years, and there is only love, support, and encouragement from both of our ends. Stay tuned for her upcoming book!

Marilene Tentomas 

Resilience in entrepreneurship is a skill that carries us to success and that’s what makes Marilene the powerhouse businesswoman that she is. Having seen her business grow time after time, post-pandemic Marilene has emerged on the other side despite the slowdown for the last two years. As an entrepreneur myself, seeing her move past obstacles- also pushes me to go harder. Marilene is the founder of Slimwave Technologies and co-founder of Celluskin, changing women’s lives daily. Marilene also supports many causes, and her philanthropic contributions have helped many families, organizations, and animals. That’s what I admire the most about her…her big heart.

Christine Cecerna 

I met Christine a few years ago during the pandemic at my first visit to LuxeBeauté Clinic in Ottawa. It was my first time venturing into the world of injectables, and with Christine’s help, I was able to navigate through the complexities of beauty, botox, and fillers. I admire Christine for her drive and passion in what she does. Her business LuxeBeauté Clinic now has numerous locations throughout Canada, with its flagship clinic in Ottawa. More than her drive, I admire her generosity and kindness

Kalika Hastings 

Kalika is a Public Relations trailblazer creating opportunities for her clients all over the world. If she’s not at the Grammy’s, she’s working hard behind the scenes, strategizing to take her clients to higher heights. I work closely with Kalika and feel inspired by her every day. What I enjoy the most about her is her sense of focus and fearlessness.

Lynn Tran 

I’ve known Lynn for a few years now, and never have I met someone as talented as her in the creative space. I admire Lynn for her passion – she inspires me daily to keep my passion alive for my own profession. She was also the creative force behind my book cover and has worked with me over the years with vigor and support. I feel lucky with a woman like Lynn in my corner, she is a rare gem.

Mona Andrei

Mona was my writing girl crush many years ago. As an award-winning author, full-time copywriter, mom, and hip-hop dancer she inspires me daily. Mona reminds me that our drive is what keeps us going. She also has a thriving podcast and has a knack for whiteboard humor.

Katrina Lorenzetti

I’ve only met Katrina once in real life, but that was all I needed to understand why I follow her on social media. Her posts caught my eye, because of their authenticity. She posts about things that are often times difficult to discuss on social media. Her posts during Black History Month really hit home for me as a Woman of Color. She was one of the few women who posted about awareness and discrimination. In our recent lunch, she looked at me and said: “Petrona, I want to make the world a better place for all“. That stuck with me.

Voula Maroussis and Andrea Soueidan

You have definitely heard of “Sip N’ Shop” where Montreal Entrepreneurs congregate to showcase their products and services. It can only be described as a luxury shopper’s market where both women and men come together to support small to medium size businesses. I attended their last “Sip N’ Shop” and was quite impressed at the extensive network of Montrealsers. What struck me the most, however, was the happiness I saw on everyone’s faces. Voula and Andrea inspire me with their love for bringing people together for the greater good through their concierge and event planning service at Altitude Connections.

Rachel Ohayon

I was referred to Rachel’s dress rental boutique By Rotation, by a friend of mine who always seemed to find amazing designer gowns for red carpet events. I was running late for my first appointment (I had a client call that went over by 20 minutes) and I was astonished by Rachel’s kind and caring response. Upon my arrival, not only did I find gowns in my size (I am a size 10-12) I was also blown away by the first-class service I received. Service is important to me. What I admire the most about Rachel, is her fearlessness and supportive nature. It is so refreshing. She’s another of three, and owns two businesses, what a wonder woman!

Reine Bombo-Allara Mbk

Where do I start with Reine? We became friends at first sight. We met through an author client of mine, and slowly built a friendship. What’s so special about Reine? She’s the first Black Woman to preside over the Longueuil City Council. She is also a champion of Mental Health and a staunch supporter of elevating women. I love her drive for change and human rights, she is creating precedence for women all over Quebec and all of Canada.

Monica Duclervil

I am known to experiment with procedures and slightly invasive treatments. I stumbled upon Monica’s business: Dream Esthetique while on Instagram. My first words to her were: “do you know how to do a lip flip” – and the rest was history. While she is the only Black Woman that I know in the space of medical esthetics, what impressed me most about Monica is her tenacity. As a Black Woman, I am aware of the obstacles we face as a collective. Despite some of the obstacles Monica has experienced to get to the level of success she has achieved in her career – she remains a pillar of strength.

Marilyn Mahotieres

If you scroll social media and notice magnificent wedding photos or extravagant destination weddings, chances are, Marilyn is the wedding planner. I first noticed Marilyn when I saw pictures circulating on my Facebook timeline of over one-hundred people attending a Montrealer’s wedding in Italy. The photos kept coming up over and over again, so of course I had to get to the bottom of all the fabulousness. When I got down to it all – I was mesmerized by the high-level and expert planning of such an undertaking. When I later got to know Marilyn, she instantly became my girl crush. Personable, funny, has boss babe vibes, and has the biggest heart. I am hoping to get married (soon) and guess who’s going to plan my wedding? Also, catch Marilyn on ‘Les Marieuses‘ on TVA.

Lin Sok

I believe that we are more than our professions as women. As women, we carry many titles and it is all about how well we wear them. While Lin is a successful Financial Advisor specializing in mortgage lending and insurance – what struck me was the many hats she wears and her generosity. Her story is one that touched the core of my soul. Lin is a firecracker who has overcome so many adversities and spends her time investing in others, with the understanding that everyone can use a helping hand from time to time.

There you have it folks, my list of exceptional women for this year’s Women’s History Month. Thank you for following along on the journey.

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