News » Whistler

Kathy Barnett Leadership Luncheon to feature Laurel Douglas as speaker

CEO of Women's Enterprise Centre to reflect on role of women and entrepreneurs in community leadership


A speaker has been announced for the inaugural Kathy Barnett Leadership Luncheon, set for Friday, Mar. 4.

Laurel Douglas, CEO of the Women's Enterprise Centre will speak at the event, reflecting on the role of women and entrepreneurs in community leadership - coinciding with the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. The event is also about goals - moving closer to personal and professional goals, paying favours back and paying them forward, strengthening personal and professional networks and building the resilience and capacity of the Sea to Sky community.

Kathy Barnett, publisher and co-founder of Pique , was killed by a speeding car while on a cycling trip in New Zealand in 2008. She was vice-chair of the Women's Enterprise Centre at the time, and sat on the board alongside Douglas for six years.

Douglas is a veteran of the tech and financial services industries in Europe and Canada, as well as a champion of small business and entrepreneurs in communities. She is a founding member of the national Taskforce on Women's Business Growth, and was a judge for the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards.

"Her organization has provided $33 million in direct and leveraged financing to women-run businesses in the province," said Kerry Chalmers, chair of the luncheon organizing committee. "Interestingly, Laurel's career path has also involved leaving the big city for a lifestyle in the mountains. Her inspirational message of reinvention and leadership through being of service will resonate with the local audience."

The luncheon takes place at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, organized by the Community Foundation of Whistler and presented by ScotiaBank. Tickets are going fast, and are available for $65 each, or $550 for a table of 10. They can be purchased through the Whistler Chamber of Commerce website,

Proceeds from the event will go towards the Kathy Barnett Memorial Fund, which provides annual grants to women looking to improve their leadership skills for the betterment of the community.