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Business Builders Ask the Experts Breakfast aimed at helping emerging entrepreneurs

This is a photo from the Teepa Snow Alzheimer’s Breakfast, another event organized by Bernice Williams and similar to the Ask the Experts event.
This is a photo from the Teepa Snow Alzheimer’s Breakfast, another event organized by Bernice Williams and similar to the Ask the Experts event. - Contributed

Talking business over breakfast

As part of Small Business Week 2018 celebrations, the Business Builders Ask the Experts Breakfast will take place at the Mahone Bay Centre on Oct. 16 at 8 a.m.

Event organizer Bernice Williams explains the breakfast is an opportunity to showcase local experts who support the growth of entrepreneurs and small business in the community including Meg Craig, Andrew Button, Liam Taylor, Shanna Joudrey, John Swain, Ashton Rodenhiser, David Eisner, Jennifer Fraser, Jared Perry, Todd Hubley, Wendy Vrooman and Bernice Williams.

At this breakfast, participants have the chance to spend time with the experts, so, Williams says, people should come prepared with questions.

“We are surrounded by amazing resources in our own backyard,” she says. “As new and experienced entrepreneurs, sometimes we are so busy working in our business that we forget to build relationships, reach out for support or look outside our community to find the expertise we need to grow.

“We have a wealth of experts here who can help small businesses grow, expand and flourish. The breakfast event is to support the continued growth of entrepreneurs in our community, build stronger relationships and recognize that experts are right around the corner when you need them.”

Business Builders Ask the Experts Breakfast Presenters

John Swain

Swain is a born and bred small town boy who travelled the world for work, but always knew that someday he would once again call Nova Scotia home. He opened his own accounting firm, Swain CPA Inc., in 2008, with offices on the South Shore and Halifax Regional Municipality. The company’s purpose is to inspire small business.

Jennifer Fraser

Fraser joined Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) in 2014 as a senior account manager. Her mandate is to help entrepreneurs be successful and strive for more and has more than 25 years’ experience working with businesses in Atlantic Canada.

Wendy Vrooman

Vrooman is a partner at Sandler Training after having been a student of the programs for six years. She began her career in the medical diagnostic and health sciences sectors with Precision BioLogic, where she spent eight years in sales and sales management positions. She then launched into the world of retail sales with Ascenta where she spent four years developing new lines and channels of business. Researching, creating the appropriate contacts and developing them into meaningful partners allowed her to drive profitable new lines of business for the company.

Liam Tayler

Taylor is a dedicated professional with over 20 years’ experience in managing all facets of emerging and existing business concepts. He specializes in the development of new business ideas; from concept to execution. Now seeking to make the most of knowledge and skills gained through launching new companies and products, to aid and mentor new businesses seeking to start, expand or improve their offerings.

Ashton Rodenhiser

Rodenhiser began her facilitation journey by hosting family programs and workshops at the Dartmouth Family Centre in 2005. Her love for creativity and facilitation introduced her to the world of graphic recording and visual communication. Ashton’s graphic recording business, Mind’s Eye Creative Consulting and Facilitation, has enabled her to work nationally and internationally.

Shanna Joudrey

Joudrey is originally from the Bridgewater area. She did the big city thing for a while, living and working in Toronto for 10 years as a graphic designer for national magazines such as Chatelaine, Canadian House & Home and Maison & Demeure. She returned with her husband to start a family and build her business, Details Event & Design Studio. Details is comprised of three sides; graphic design, wedding planning and decor and prop rentals.

Meg Craig

Craig is a creative director and brand strategist with more than 12 years experience designing and building brands for some of the world’s top names such as Nestle, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Playstation and Unilever. In 2010, Craig relocated from Toronto back to Nova Scotia with her young family and started off on her own brand journey. Her background includes print and web design, photography and art direction, content strategy for both print and digital, social media planning, business coaching and process design, packaging and in-store promotional marketing.

Andrew Button

Button is from a small town in Atlantic Canada with a big dream of his very own. After a 15-year career with various businesses and economic development organizations, he felt it was about time to move from being a “cheerleader” and “curator” of entrepreneurship to doing something that actually produced more entrepreneurs in rural communities. In 2014, he founded Mashup Lab; a for-more-than-profit company that activates rural ideas. That same year he launched a chapter of the Awesome Foundation in his community. He has since gone on to launch another social enterprise — CO3, a fresh new co-working space for freelancers, entrepreneurs and independents located in Bridgewater.

David Eisnor

Eisnor has nearly 20 years of experience supporting entrepreneurs with business startups through his experience working with the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development (CEED), the Entrepreneurs’ Forum and most recently in his role at Futurpreneur Canada (formerly CYBF). In 2004, he and his business partner were named Young Entrepreneurs of the Year with the Business Development Bank of Canada, and the Best Business Award for Community Involvement with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF). Most recently, Eisnor embarked on a new venture in farming. In 2014, he set up a Haskap orchard in Upper Branch and is currently planning a second season of U-pick, and is in development of his first value-added product with future goals in Agritourism.

Jared Perry

Perry, with a masters in technology, entrepreneurship and innovation, is the producer for Canopy Creative, which helps businesses effectively use social media to promote their products and services. He and his team pride themselves on helping to identify the pain points for Nova Scotia businesses in successful marketing and overcoming those obstacles.

Todd Hubley

Hubley, of digital marketing sales at Picnic Studios, comes to the expert table with more than 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur. He has owned several small businesses including Waves Seafood and Grill. He is working with the team at Picnic Studios to support business growth through digital marketing. Building your story and making it shareable, as a marketing tool through video is a specialty that Picnic Studios has mastered.

Williams says, “Outside of this event, when would you get an opportunity to sit and pick the brains of these experts without hiring them for a consultation? It is definitely worth the cost of admission.”

Tickets for this event are available at Wile’s Lake Farm Market, The Barn, The Biscuit Eater Café and Bookstore, Fancy Pants Café, All About You Lingerie and Wig Boutique, Halotherapy Salt Spa and Shop on the Corner. These are cash-only locations.

For more information, phone 902-521-6046 or email

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