WATCH: Women who make a difference gather for annual Black Press gala

Women in leadership roles from across Greater Victoria gathered at the Parkside Hotel and Spa Thursday afternoon for Black Press Media’s annual Women in Business Gala. The event honours ‘women who make a difference’ in the region. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Women in leadership roles from across Greater Victoria gathered at the Parkside Hotel and Spa Thursday afternoon for Black Press Media’s annual Women in Business Gala. The event honours ‘women who make a difference’ in the region. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Women in leadership roles from across Greater Victoria gather at the Parkside Hotel and Spa Thursday afternoon for Black Press Media’s annual Women in Business Gala. The event honours ‘women making a difference’ in the region. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Women in leadership roles from across Greater Victoria gather at the Parkside Hotel and Spa Thursday afternoon for Black Press Media’s annual Women in Business Gala. The event honours ‘women making a difference’ in the region. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Black Press Greater Victoria group publisher Penny Sakamoto and Kaitlyn McConnell of the Women’s Enterprise Centre at the annual Women in Business Gala. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Black Press Greater Victoria group publisher Penny Sakamoto and Kaitlyn McConnell of the Women’s Enterprise Centre at the annual Women in Business Gala. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
From left to right: Kerri Moore head of business and community relations for the City of Victoria, Ecoasis Developments company officer Michele Stannard and Shannon Drew, Ecoasis vice president of community initiatives and corporate affairs, pose at the annual Women in Business Gala Thursday evening. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)From left to right: Kerri Moore head of business and community relations for the City of Victoria, Ecoasis Developments company officer Michele Stannard and Shannon Drew, Ecoasis vice president of community initiatives and corporate affairs, pose at the annual Women in Business Gala Thursday evening. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Internationally acclaimed classical singer Ken Lavigne and his four-piece ensemble serenaded the crowd at Black Press Media’s Women in Business Gala, singing classics from Paul McCartney, Elton John and Leonard Cohen with his own modern twist. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Internationally acclaimed classical singer Ken Lavigne and his four-piece ensemble serenaded the crowd at Black Press Media’s Women in Business Gala, singing classics from Paul McCartney, Elton John and Leonard Cohen with his own modern twist. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Venus Earle and Cecily Meausette from Hudson’s Bay downtown enjoy some wine at the annual Women in Business Gala Thursday. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Venus Earle and Cecily Meausette from Hudson’s Bay downtown enjoy some wine at the annual Women in Business Gala Thursday. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Community Initiative Award winner Hazel Braithwaite addresses the crowd at the Black Press Media Women in Business Gala Thursday afternoon. Braithwaite is director and donor for United Way Greater Victoria as well as a councillor for the District of Oak Bay. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Community Initiative Award winner Hazel Braithwaite addresses the crowd at the Black Press Media Women in Business Gala Thursday afternoon. Braithwaite is director and donor for United Way Greater Victoria as well as a councillor for the District of Oak Bay. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Women in leadership roles from across Greater Victoria gathered at the Parkside Hotel and Spa for Black Press Media’s annual Women in Business Gala. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Women in leadership roles from across Greater Victoria gathered at the Parkside Hotel and Spa for Black Press Media’s annual Women in Business Gala. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Women in leadership roles from across Greater Victoria gather at the Parkside Hotel and Spa Thursday afternoon for Black Press Media’s annual Women in Business Gala. The event honours ‘women who make a difference’ in the region. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Women in leadership roles from across Greater Victoria gather at the Parkside Hotel and Spa Thursday afternoon for Black Press Media’s annual Women in Business Gala. The event honours ‘women who make a difference’ in the region. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Lisha Miller, financial advisor with Raymond James Ltd. and Tracey Scott, owner of Tracey Scott Photography, chat at the annual Black Press Media Women in Business Gala Thursday afternoon. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Lisha Miller, financial advisor with Raymond James Ltd. and Tracey Scott, owner of Tracey Scott Photography, chat at the annual Black Press Media Women in Business Gala Thursday afternoon. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Michelle Cabana, Black Press Media publisher for Victoria News and the Goldstream Gazette, and Penny Sakamoto, Black Press Greater Victoria group publisher, address the crowd at the Women in Business Gala Thursday afternoon. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Michelle Cabana, Black Press Media publisher for Victoria News and the Goldstream Gazette, and Penny Sakamoto, Black Press Greater Victoria group publisher, address the crowd at the Women in Business Gala Thursday afternoon. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Women in leadership roles from across Greater Victoria gather at the Parkside Hotel and Spa Thursday afternoon for Black Press Media’s annual Women in Business Gala. The event honours ‘women who make a difference’ in the region. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Women in leadership roles from across Greater Victoria gather at the Parkside Hotel and Spa Thursday afternoon for Black Press Media’s annual Women in Business Gala. The event honours ‘women who make a difference’ in the region. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Women in leadership roles from across Greater Victoria gather at the Parkside Hotel and Spa Thursday afternoon for Black Press Media’s annual Women in Business Gala. The event honours ‘women who make a difference’ in the region. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)Women in leadership roles from across Greater Victoria gather at the Parkside Hotel and Spa Thursday afternoon for Black Press Media’s annual Women in Business Gala. The event honours ‘women who make a difference’ in the region. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
WATCH: Women who make a difference gather for annual Black Press gala
Black Press owner David Black stands with Jennifer Howard from Moms Stop The Harm at the annual Black Press Women in Business gala held at the Parkside Hotel and Spa. (Don Denton/News Staff)                                Black Press Media owner David Black stands with Jennifer Howard from Moms Stop The Harm at the annual Black Press Women in Business gala held at the Parkside Hotel and Spa. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)Black Press owner David Black stands with Jennifer Howard from Moms Stop The Harm at the annual Black Press Women in Business gala held at the Parkside Hotel and Spa. (Don Denton/News Staff) Black Press Media owner David Black stands with Jennifer Howard from Moms Stop The Harm at the annual Black Press Women in Business gala held at the Parkside Hotel and Spa. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Shannon Drew, left, from Mairet Hotels is presented with award by Kerri Moore from the City of Victoria Business Hub at the annual Black Press Women in Business gala. (Don Denton/News Staff)                                Shannon Drew, left, from Ecoasis Developments, is presented with an award by Kerri Moore from the City of Victoria Business Hub at the annual Black Press Women in Business gala held at the Parkside Hotel and Spa. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)Shannon Drew, left, from Mairet Hotels is presented with award by Kerri Moore from the City of Victoria Business Hub at the annual Black Press Women in Business gala. (Don Denton/News Staff) Shannon Drew, left, from Ecoasis Developments, is presented with an award by Kerri Moore from the City of Victoria Business Hub at the annual Black Press Women in Business gala held at the Parkside Hotel and Spa. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Kirsten Kost, left, from Mairet Hotels is presented with the Rising Star award by Lorena Milkert from Island Savings at the annual Black Press Media Women in Business gala held at the Parkside Hotel and Spa. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)Kirsten Kost, left, from Mairet Hotels is presented with the Rising Star award by Lorena Milkert from Island Savings at the annual Black Press Media Women in Business gala held at the Parkside Hotel and Spa. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Hazel Braithwaite (right), from United Way, is presented with the Community Initiative Award by Danella Parkes of the United Way at the annual Black Press Media Women in Business gala held at the Parkside Hotel and Spa. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)Hazel Braithwaite (right), from United Way, is presented with the Community Initiative Award by Danella Parkes of the United Way at the annual Black Press Media Women in Business gala held at the Parkside Hotel and Spa. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)

Rain was falling and dark clouds consumed Victoria, but the inside of the Parkside Hotel was lit up influential and awe-inspiring women from across the region Thursday afternoon.

The Black Press Media annual Women in Business Gala brought local leaders together for an afternoon of networking, mingling and entertainment in the form of Ken Lavigne, who crooned the sweet melodies of Elton John and Leonard Cohen.

READ MORE: Women making a difference

In a room full of motivating women, three were highlighted for their business accomplishments.

Kirsten Kost, vice president of sales and marketing at Mairet Hotels received the Rising Star Award; Hazel Braithwaite, director and donor at United Way Greater Victoria received the Community Initiative Award and Shannon Drew, vice president of community initiatives and corporate affairs with Ecoasis Developments, won the Business Leader Award.

Gala attendees heard more about these women, learning about some of the hurdles they overcame on their path to success and the causes or goals that drive them forward.

READ MORE: Women making a difference in Greater Victoria

women in business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Learning tools from the Garth Homer Society’s LifeStreams program have gone online. (Facebook/Garth Homer Society)
Online platform launched for Greater Victoria adults with developmental disabilities

Platform includes programs, events, activities and COVID-19 resources

(Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich police, GVERT arrest suspect in West Shore investigation

Man arrested near Rutledge Park early Saturday morning

(Black Press Media file photo)
Court-registered sex offender arrested for breach of parole in Langford

Cameron Ratelle returned to correctional facility after female youth approached at bus stop

Marc Porpaczy said he’s glad he delayed his daily walk with his dog, Juno, after a car crashed just outside his driveway just before 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 25. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Dramatic crash highlights need for sidewalks, say Colwood residents

‘The residents have gone from frustrated to angry’

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Residents of the Cowichan Valley decorated more than 55 vehicles with anti-racist slogans for a car rally in support of Cowichan Tribes on Saturday, January 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Dozens join anti-racism car rally and virtual panel in Cowichan Valley

Provincial ministry and BC Green caucus issue joint statement detailing concerns

Jesse Savidant, 31, is wanted by the RCMP after failing to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in December. Police warn Savidant should be considered violent. (Photo Submitted)
Warrant out for man accused of stolen property offences across Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant did not appear for court date in Nanaimo last month, say RCMP

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Island artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

Most Read