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Grief coach, candle-making CEO keynote speakers at Newmarket chamber's Celebration of Women

The winner of the Women of Excellence Award will be announced at the event taking place in-person and online March 9

Grief coach and end-of life doula Julie Cryns hopes those who hear her speak at the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce’s annual Celebration of Women March 9 will come away with something that will help them.

"I would like for people to leave and feel 'she's been through it, she's turned it around and I can too.'"

Cryns and Shabi Monzavi, founder and CEO of Market Candle Company, are the keynote speakers for the International Women's Day event, which is returning with an in-person option this year.

While her speech hasn't been finalized, Cryns said she hopes to educate those in attendance about what she does, as well as encourage them to follow their dreams.

"You're never too old to start again, find the courage if you can."

When her husband passed away 10 years ago, Cryns thought her life was over too, but life has several chapters, she said, and she realized she still had much to do.

She gave up her career as a teacher and trained to be an end-of-life doula so she could help others. Recently, much of her work has been concentrated on grief coaching.

"It's the most wonderful validating thing I ever had the privilege of doing."

Cryns said she feels very lucky to have been asked to speak about her journey.

Monzavi launched her company in May 2019 with hand-poured, clean-burning soy wax candles made in small batches of 10 with handmade labels.

Through word of mouth, it has grown from a basement business into one with products stocked in numerous retail outlets, as well as its own Newmarket showroom.

The Winners of the NewRoads Automotive Group Women of Excellence Award will be announced during the event. This year's nominees are:

  • Heather Cairns-Mills, Walk It Off Spinal Cord Wellness Centre
  • Shabi Monzavi, Market Candle Company
  • Christine Rooney, HealthyNow
  • Christina Bisanz, Community & Home Assistance to Seniors (CHATS)
  • Ariana LaxdaI, RiLax Event Management Services
  • Barb Allan, The ABLE Network
  • Monika and Brooke Macalpine, Heading North Company
  • Manha and Laiba Yusuf
  • Michelle Finlay, Local Bliss Baskets by Michelle Finlay
  • Stella Grinfeld, Stella Graphix
  • Barbara Steed, Southlake Regional Health Centre
  • Tracy Macgregor, Ontario Chamber of Commerce
  • Corina Neagu, Spirit of Math
  • Dawn Gallagher Murphy, constituency manager MPP Christine Elliott
  • Sabine Schleese, Schleese Saddlery Service
  • Una Wright, YouthSpeak
  • Shameela Shakeel
  • Anne-Marie Million, A Million Mouthfuls Catering
  • Elise Crowe and Melissa Elford, Sparkle Hair Extension Bar
  • Tracy Noseworthy, Trayvino Wine Company Ltd.
  • Chantal Almeida, ADM Design Inc
  • Andrea McMullen
  • Kate Greavette, York Region Food Network
  • Emmy Kelly, Blue Door
  • Jennifer Meron, Spectrum North Baton Club
  • Alex Herrington, The North Dance Company
  • Katie Gilligan, Timeless Harmony Salon & Spa
  • Jacqueline O'Toole, Body Evolution Studios
  • Jennifer Clements, Re/Max Realtron TurnKey
  • Juliane Goyette, Riverwalk Wealth - Investia

The event takes place March 9 at NewRoads Performing Arts Centre and will include food by A Million Mouthfuls and swag bag sponsored by Farm Boy.

It runs from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. In-person registration is at 11:30 a.m. and keynote speeches begin at 1 p.m.

Both in-person and virtual tickets can be purchased.

In-person tickets are $60 plus HST and virtual tickets are $30 plus HST and can be purchased through the Newmarket chamber website.