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Savvy Business Builders Ladies Luncheon one of two Lunenburg County events

: A picturesque view of Lunenburg.
: A picturesque view of Lunenburg. - Ryan Taplin

With Small Business Week 2018 being observed from Oct. 14 to 20, some Lunenburg County business owners and operators have decided it’s time to not only celebrate their own successes, but to also impart their knowledge to other entrepreneurs looking to follow their examples.

Bernice Williams, a local community and economic development entrepreneur has been working to create a better place to live, work and play for several years. In recent weeks, she has been working with a team of entrepreneurs and experts to organize two Small Business Week events.

One of those events, the Savvy Business Builders Luncheon, will be hosted at Wile’s Lake Farm Market in Wileville on Oct. 18 at 11:30 a.m. During this event, Williams explains they will be showcasing four local women entrepreneurs who have established successful enterprises in Lunenburg County — Ashton Rodenhiser, Kacy DeLong, Jennifer Naugler and Michelle Crouse.

“This will be an amazing opportunity to network and build relationships with other women entrepreneurs, and to learn a little more about how these ladies are building their business locally, nationally and internationally,” she says.

Williams decided this year it was time to do something to observe Small Business Week because she recognized it was an excellent opportunity to bring people together and share knowledge about local opportunities.

“We have not celebrated Small Business Week in the past number of years in Lunenburg County so I decided it is time to celebrate those who are achieving success in business in our community,” she says.

The Savvy Business Builders Ladies Luncheon is an opportunity to learn a little about local women who are making an impact locally, nationally and internationally, she says.

“I am excited to share the panel with the community to showcase entrepreneurs who are building business in new and unique ways. Building relationships allows us to grow and support each other going forward.”

As a small business entrepreneur, Williams explains she uses a combination of hospitality and adult education to work on a variety of community projects. During her time as manager of the Comfort Inn Bridgewater, her team and business was recognized nationally and internationally for its award-winning customer service. She was recognized in 2011 as Choice Hotels Women in Business Alliance International Woman of the Year.

In recent years, Williams has played an active role in the community, writing proposals and acting as project manager for large provincial, national and international events. She has been successful in using events, facilitation and building relationships to showcase the community, local businesses and organizations.

She says she prides herself on being a community builder and it is that enthusiasm that she brings to this event. And like her, she adds, the other women featured on this panel have a great deal of knowledge, experience and expertise that they want to share with others.

Creatively, panel member Ashton Rodenhiser says it’s a powerful tool to help people break down complex ideas, facilitating learning and cultivating good work.

Rodenhiser’s graphic recording business, Mind’s Eye Creative Consulting and Facilitation, has enabled her to work nationally and internationally. She is the founder of Afterglow Art Festival, now celebrating its seventh year. She is also the chair of Art Happening Bridgewater board.

Another panellist, Jennifer Naugler, is the owner of Simple Local Life, a media company celebrating life on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.

Recognizing the lack of a local voice talking about all the fantastic things happening where she lived, Naugler started Simple Local Life in November of 2015. She works promoting local businesses and events through Facebook live series, content creation, local gift guides and more.

She has added two to three contributors in the last year and Simple Local Life is a trusted resource and influencer in her small, rural market. She has partnered with and been sponsored by President’s Choice, Natrel, Mosher Motors Ford Ltd, Gow’s Home Hardware, Bridgewater Pharmasave, Wile’s Lake Farm Market, the LaHave River Credit Union and more.

Naugler sees huge potential for businesses in the online space and is happy to help them reach their market.

Michelle Crouse, a skilled and dedicated wealth professional with more than 20 years of experience, began her career with BMO Nesbitt Burns in 1996, specializing in wealth management strategies for individuals and their families. She is a graduate of Dalhousie University and holds a bachelor of commerce. Her professional credits include the CSI Professional Financial Planning Course and the BMO Nesbitt Burns Wealth Advisory Program.

Crouse takes a personal approach with her clients, listening to and engaging with them in order to understand what truly matters to them. Outside of work, she is an avid supporter of her community. She places value in the relationships she has created with her clients and community.

The fourth panellist, Kacy DeLong, raises funds, spirits and awareness for kidney disease and organ donation, in proud partnership with the Kidney Foundation of Canada because she has lived first-hand with the scary reality of a sick loved one.

Her husband is a kidney recipient, and fortunately, her best friend of 30 years was the donor. The gift was beyond repayable; it was a new beginning.

DeLong used that motivation to create DeLong Designs Metalworking, a social enterprise created to build awareness about organ donation and kidney disease. As a graduate of Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, she uses her talents to support a change in the world.

Williams explains that 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, call 902-521-6046 or email

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