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

Sidney Jon Blair said he would have died if a van and car had collided at the intersection of corner of Resthaven Drive and Brethour Avenue in early December. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney senior urges motorists to slow down on Resthaven Drive

Jon Blair said community must become more pedestrian-friendly

Bob Joseph, author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, will be available for a Q&A through the Vancouver Island Regional Library Jan. 28. (Courtesy of Vancouver Island Regional Library)
Q&A on the Indian Act with Bob Joseph open to Greater Victoria residents

Bob Joseph is the author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act

Tarpaulin-covered tents sit next to one of the ponds in Beacon Hill Park. The location of the Meegan community care tent has still not been nailed down, as Victoria council rejected the recommendation offered by city staff. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Location of care tent for Victoria’s Beacon Hill campers still not settled

Council roundly rejects Avalon Road site, road’s edge on Cook Street appears the top alternative

Coaches with the Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey association have had to get creative during their weekly practices to keep players interested and improving their skills without physical contact. (Damian Kowalewich photo)
West Shore minor hockey coach shares what it’s like on the ice without parents, fans

Most practices consist of relay races, goalie shots and passing drills

The Songhees Wellness Centre is a symbol of First Nations strength in the region. Representatives of local First Nations will soon play a greater role in decision making and governance relating to the Capital Regional District. (Courtesy Royal Roads University)
Capital Regional District to add First Nations representatives to advisory committees

Board approves bylaw, looks forward to Indigenous input on future decisions

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read