Alana Prochuk presented ‘Dismantling the Barriers to Reporting Sexual Assault Project’


The Business & Professional Women of Langley had an excellent meeting September 19th! A new season, a new year! It was great to gather members and some new guests once again for a lively evening after the traditional July & August summer break.

We introduced our new executive team for 2018 – 2020:
Elaine Rogers, Treasurer/Secretary,
Vickie Mitchell, Vice President,
Bilkis Laher, Vice President, and
Deanna Evertt, President.

Bilkis and Elaine

Bilkis Laher gave us a report on the BPW National Convention she attended, which was in Ottawa, this past August and on the resolutions our Langley club put forward and were passed. Langley’s resolutions were top of the list. Congratulations Langley Resolutions team, Rebecca Ouwehand. Bilkis Laher, May Stokes, Barbara Hall and Vickie Mitchell. Now the leaders from National will take them the next step – to the related Federal government representatives.

Langley Charter Member, Jill Worobec, who also is the Regional Advisor for BPW North America and the English speaking Caribbean, reported on the highlights of their conference she attended in July in Orlando, Florida.

Alana ProchukOur keynote speaker, Alana Prochuk from West Coast LEAF (Legal Education & Action Fund) gave an engrossing, thought-provoking presentation “Dismantling the Barriers to Reporting Sexual Assault Project”.

Alana is just about to publish the presentation and we were given the honour to be the first group to see it. We had a very lively and productive discussion after. We sincerely applaud all the hard work Alana and her team at West Coast LEAF are doing to help women and victims in the greater Vancouver area and beyond. And thank you Alana for taking the time to come and speak to us. Women helping women – just like the BPW motto!

See you next month on October 17th for our Langley Candidates Meet & Greet. Hear a brief presentation from some of Langley?s candidates. More importantly, make sure they hear from you! Enjoy a delicious dinner and have a chat in a very informal setting. This evening is already almost sold out, so to avoid disappointment, book your spot now.

Guest Speaker on Violence Against Women Gave Us A Lot To Advocate For

L>R: Deanna Evertt, President BPW Langley and Shahnaz Rahner, Executive Director Surrey Women's CentreThe new venue at Ricky’s Private Event Room in Murrayville was well received by all at the BPW Langley March 21st dinner meeting tonight. The room was bright and private and the meals and service were excellent. The comment forms were unanimously positive!

Our guest speaker, Shahnaz Rahman, the new Executive Director at the Surrey Women’s Centre gave us a lot to think about regarding women and children exposed to violence and insight into what goes on for the women and their?families. Her presentation created a lot of direction for our advocacy and resolutions discussions that followed, led by Bilkis Laher, one of the leads of that committee.

For instance, we were all blown away to hear that for all of the Vancouver and lower mainland area there are only two places that have rape kits/centers available! These centers are in Vancouver and Surrey. Therefore if you live outside these areas ie; Mission, you must travel a long way to receive the proper follow-up, and needless to say, one in this circumstance, most likely does not want to travel at all. This is unacceptable and BPW Langley will be working on this right away. Other issues also came up that our group will help to work through, such as the lack of transition houses and secondary secure places for women that need a safe place, legal aid that is needed by the women which the province has cut back drastically and much more work to be done.

It is wonderful to know that there are people like Shahnaz Rahman and her support workers out there trying to help. Kamal Dhillon, author of Black and Blue Sari also attended tonight, as well as Tikiri Herath, author of the new Red Heeled Rebels book series. They were both speakers at past meetings and we are grateful for their work to help women and their continued support of BPW Langley by attending our meetings when they can.

We have a great group of heart-centered women that are passionate about making a difference in our communities. I am reminded every day of the compassion and caring our members have and the hard work they continue to do. It is an honor to be your servant leader and president.

We welcome you to join us for our next monthly dinner meeting on April 18 at Ricky’s Event Room in Murrayville. We have networking, mentors, business tips – but boy, we have a whole lot more too!




Child Poverty Report Card with Adrienne Montani

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Adrienne Montani, with First Call BC, Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition, shared with us the shocking statistics of child poverty in BC. 1 in 5 BC children is living in poverty, and some groups are much more highly affected than others (including single parent families led by females). The average family is $10,000 below the poverty line.? She also shared some of the encouraging work the First Call member organizations are doing on behalf of children and youth, to prevent poverty and give them a better chance in life. For example, they have worked to prevent child support from being clawed back from Income and Disability Assistance so that the money actually goes to the parent to provide for the child.


Although it was rainy and blustery and many of us were late, we were all glad that we came out to hear this inspiring speaker and enjoy each other’s company.


Vice-president Vickie Mitchell and speaker Adrienne Montani.? Our president, Deanna Evertt, is away on vacation.

After the speakers, we took some time for Table Talks again to refine our advocacy ideas from last time. The Vancouver Council of Women is also working on the Highway of Tears issue, and has sent a letter to the Ministry of Transportation regarding bus service on Hwy. 16. At our September meeting, we discussed whether we could do something about the new tax laws for small businesses; at this meeting, we were informed that the government has realized some of the issues and is rethinking the matter already. Our fifth topic, support for newly single women, resonated most with us this time and tied in neatly with some of the issues Adrienne talked about.? For example, she mentioned $10/day childcare, and this ties in with empowering single mothers to upgrade their life skills and education and gain stable employment.

Our next Resolutions Committee meeting is at 6 pm on Wednesday, October 25th. If you are interested in joining us, please use our Contact Form to request the address.

(PS due to thousands of spam comments, I’ve had to turn off commenting. Please submit your comments using the contact form.? Thanks!)

Susan Friesen on Personal Branding and Advocacy Table Topics

Wed, Sept 20th 2017
Guest Speaker – Susan Friesen

Susan FriesenLangley Business & Professional Women’s (BPW) dinner last evening featured an engaging presentation by Susan Friesen of eVision Media on The Power of Personal Branding & How to become a Positive Influence Through Social Media!

As Susan demonstrated, “Personal Branding is the means by which people remember you.”

The question is, “how do you want to be remembered?” Susan used her own story to describe what personal branding involves, and the benefits of being aware of it. Susan also educated us on some do’s & don’t’s of personal branding through social media.

Susan, thank you for an enjoyable & informative presentation!


Through our Table Topics activity, we brainstormed some great ideas for the upcoming year of resolutions.?We are excited about the work our Resolutions Committee is doing. Come join us as we advocate for women!

Resolution passed and April Lewis kept us laughing at BPW Langley’s April Meeting

Our April 19th dinner meeting was well attended with members and guests networking and sharing information. We had some good news. Our Resolutions Committee has been working diligently led by mentor Barbara Hall who introduced and thanked the members. The resolution on the subsidization of long-acting birth control was voted on and passed unanimously. This will be presented at our Provincial AGM in June.

Resolutions Group April dinner meeting

The guest speaker, April Lewis, the author of ?Lovingly Arrogant?, shared her incredible journey with much humour. She began her career in Social Work and after working her way into a very good position there came a crisis in her life when her job became redundant. Everyone was laughing as she described, with brutal honesty, how she began rebuilding by finding out what was meaningful to her.

April Lewis. April dinner meeting

This was all documented in her book which she said was her baby. Many members purchased signed copies.

April Lewis Signing books. Vickie May

Thank you, April, for sharing your story with us.

Our next meeting will be 5:30 pm May 17 th at Andreas Restaurant, 20227 56 th Ave. Langley. For more information please visit

by Jill Worobec

October Meeting with Dale Choquette, The Platinum Rule and Table Talk

October Meeting with Dale Choquette, The Platinum Rule and Table Talk

Our October 19th Dinner Meeting was fully packed with information, table discussions, networking and empowerment. Much was accomplished. Members and guests formed discussion groups with their tables about ideas for resolutions that our BPW Langley club could research, work on and develop into resolutions that we could submit to provincial and national levels. At the September meeting, member Rebecca Ouwehand, suggested a resolution around subsidized birth control so that reproductive choice is made available to all women regardless of financial circumstances. This was further discussed during the meeting and other ideas from our members that came up during the workshop were: senior housing/homelessness (this is an alarming and growing part of our population), economic balance and financing for struggling women, environmental concerns about feminine products, child support revisions, more support for fertility issues, affordable and flexible daycare (night shifts, swing shifts, casual on-call work), support for single seniors, and more.

The guest speaker was Dale Choquette and the title of her keynote presentation was The Platinum Rule. Dale was engaging and informative as she spoke about two main personality divisions: Outgoing/Reserved and Task/People Oriented. The combination of the two divisions form four quadrants called DISC, which stands for Direct, Inspiring, Supportive and Cautious. Brief advice and tips were given about how to become more effective when interacting with these different personalities. Using this knowledge one can gain insights to build better, stronger and more fulfilled relationships in every aspect of one’s life. More information about the DISC program may be found through Dale’s website at Dale also gave everyone in attendance a complimentary copy of her book Excuse Me, I’m Being Audacious. Thank you, Dale Choquette, for your generosity and time with us.

Photo: Dale Choquette autographs her books for?BPW Langley October dinner meeting guests.

Note: Again the noise level at The New York Grill & Bistro in the back room was bothersome to say the least. We may be looking at changing to another venue in the new year if this continues.

September BPW Meeting Bumpy But Fun!

September BPW Meeting Bumpy But Fun!

thankyoucakecropFrom the moment we got the call this afternoon that our meeting was bumped from the private room to the restaurant due to a double booking, I started preparing for a bumpy ride. Mani, the manager was in the hospital for some critical surgery, so there was no way around, but through and forward. We all had to think on the fly. Our first night in the new venue and we were jam-packed into the room with our members and guests. I think we improvised quite well. Many thanks to our understanding guests and for the last-minute technical help with our power point presentation (as the original plan for this also changed) from the New York Grill staff and new member Bilkis Laher! Guests and staff handled it fantastically well. The evening was pumped with positive energy from beginning to end.

BPW Abbotsford President, Arlene Simpson joined me in giving a slide show presentation on The Canadian Federation of Business & Professional Women’s Clubs (BPW Canada) 2016 Convention that was held last month in Calgary, which we both attended. We reported on what we had learned from our time at the convention. Our report had a lot to squeeze into a short time. Womens’ Empowerment Principles, Mentoring Programs, Equal Pay Day, Resolutions and Commendations, Community Relationships with Rotary and Educational Organizations, Schools and Universities, New York Leadership Summit, International Congress in Cairo, Membership Growth were some of the topics covered at national. This year’s convention also marked the Centennial Year of Women’s Suffrage in Canada, as well as 85 years since the start of BPW International.

Service recognition awards from BPW Canada were given out by Langley President, Deanna Evertt, to three of our members for membership, service, and dedication. Hanna Konkin – 60 years, Jill Worobec – 30 years and Barbara Hall – 25 years. We are very proud that they are charter members and mentors in our Langley club. We are so grateful to them for their dedication and commitment to improving the lives of women and girls, their families and communities.

Langley President Deanna Evertt honours Charter Member, Hanna Konkin for 60+ years of service in BPW Canada.

Langley President Deanna Evertt honours Charter Member, Hanna Konkin for 60+ years of service to BPW Canada.

Langley President Deanna Evertt honours Charter Member, Barbara Hall for 25 years of service in BPW Canada.

Langley President Deanna Evertt honours Charter Member, Barbara Hall for 25 years of service to BPW Canada.

Langley President Deanna Evertt honours Charter Member, Jill Worobec for 30 years of service to BPW Canada.

Langley President Deanna Evertt honours Charter Member, Jill Worobec for 30 years of service to BPW Canada.

Part of the presentation tonight included video messages to BPW Canada from Sophie Gr?goire Trudeau and from the Right Honourable David Johnston, The Governor General Of Canada. Both congratulated BPW Canada on the work we have done and continue to do, for the women in our country and communities. It is apparent that BPW Canada has had, and continues to have, an immense impact on Canadian women.

We are pleased to welcome two new members. Bilkis Laher and Tanya Morneau both joined our club tonight and several new guests left with membership forms promising to return next month. The New York Grill & Bistro surprised us with an absolutely delicious chocolate truffle cake and coffee for dessert to thank us for our understanding. We would also like to thank all of our new guests and members for their understanding and patience. Together we all made it work and the bumpy ride turned out to be exhilarating! It was great fun. So honoured to be a servant-leader locally in such a heart-centered group that spans the globe with consultative status with the United Nations and many other associations worldwide.

Next month’s dinner meeting on October 19th, our guest speaker will be Dale Choquette, CPP, DTM ? Master Trainer, Keynote Speaker, Athlete. Her presentation will be ?The Platinum Rule? 4 Secrets to Personal Chemistry and Productive Relationships. Looking forward to another exhilarating event – see you then!

Mary Reeves nominated for the 2016 YWCA Women of Distinction Awards

Mary Reeves nominated for the 2016 YWCA Women of Distinction Awards

Business & Professional Women (BPW) Langley is proud to congratulate one of our Charter Members, Mary Reeves on her nomination for the 2016 YWCA Women of Distinction Awards in the category of Non-Profit. I have known Mary since I was in my 20?s (so a very long time) and she has always been an inspiration to others and particularly to me. I admire her courage and grit. As the article states “Mary epitomizes values-based leadership”. She is a true visionary and absolutely passionate about helping people reach their full potential in every walk of life. It is a true honour to have her on our BPW Langley team. Let?s cheer her on!

Here’s the full article?about her from?the Metro Vancouver YWCA website:

A community-minded leader with a fierce passion for helping people to reach their full potential, Mary Reeves, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley (BBBSL), cultivates leaders in her community. Under Mary?s leadership, BBBSL has risen to the top 10% of BBBS member agencies, fulfilling its mission to provide young people with the highest quality, volunteer-based mentorship programs. Mary?s vision has led BBBSL to build relationships and formalize partnerships with mayors and councils, MPs, businesses, public service organizations and schools. While sitting on the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce?s Board of Directors, Mary initiated its first Non-Profit Committee, where she connected local organizations and led educational workshops. With decades of experience leading community-based initiatives, Mary epitomizes values-based leadership.

(Photo from YWCA Metro Vancouver website)

Deanna Evertt
President, BPW Langley


February Monthly Dinner Meeting Full of Heart-Centered Energy

February Monthly Dinner Meeting Full of Heart-Centered Energy

Our Business & Professional Women (BPW) Langley?monthly dinner meeting was held on February 17th at the Sandman Signature Hotel Langley. Not only was the room full, it was full of energy! And it was?a wonderful type of energy that comes from the heart ? women that congregate to advocate for others.

BPW Langley Advocacy Efforts
Tracy Scanks, BPW Langley?s 1st Vice President and head of our advocacy committee, gave a brief overview of our efforts there. Our upcoming fundraiser ?Undies4Advocacy? set for March 31st at the Dublin Crossing Irish Pub is well underway. Many sponsors are supporting us including:

? A New Leaf Naturopathic Clinic
? Camille Bowling, Ketopia
? Dublin Crossing Irish Pub
? Darman Group
? Elizabeth Ettiquette
? EverBetter Marketing
? eVision Media
? Vickie Mitchell, Royal LePage Wolstencroft Realty

Large and medium sized posters were handed out to be put up. If you would like to put some up, just contact us ( and we will send you a file you can print off.

Tickets were sold at the end of the dinner meeting and if you weren?t there, you can pick yours up at the March dinner meeting. Tickets are also available through our website here.

BPW International Update
Jill Worobec, past 1st VP of BPW International gave us an update on what has been happening on the national and international BPW level. She mentioned the upcoming BPW events with The Leaders Summit coming up March 11th & 12th in New York and The Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Auckland, New Zealand April 9th and 10th.

It is this global network of members, professionals, business leaders and mentors working together that sets us apart from other business and networking clubs and offers our Langley members a world of opportunity. Jill recently connected with the BPW Africa Regional Coordinator, Adenike Adeyanju-Osadolor, whom sent her gratitude for what we have done and are doing here in Canada for the ?Bring Back Our Girls? Boko Haram campaign.

Pamela Chatry, Keynote Speaker

Pamela Chatry was our keynote speaker for the evening and shared her presentation ?Not My Monkeys, Not My Circus?. Pamela spoke about the state of women, business and entrepreneurship. A few notes:

? Over the past 15 years, there has been a 50% increase in the number of self employed women.
? Self employment is the number one way for women to create a living for themselves
? The fastest growing group of women are those over 55 years old.
? Women own one-third of all Canadian companies and they pay the salaries of nearly 2 million people.
And a couple of sobering thoughts:
? In spite of the growth, women are only making approximately 70% of what their male counterparts are making.
? The average annual income for a self employed business woman is $50,000.

This needs to be changed. We need to help and empower women. Pamela went on to talk about the monkeys in our lives and how to get them off our back. There were many valuable tips she shared. I can?t remember them all, but here?s a few that I do:

? Take routine tasks and delegate or hire someone to do ie; housework, book keeping, etc. Give someone else a job.
? Don?t try to do everything yourself. Delegate. Do what you enjoy and what you are passionate about.
? Cut down and get control of your email and social media usage. Don?t let it control you.
? Take time off for YOU and enjoy it. Dance in the sun. Free yourself.
? Bring back Sundays. Remember when Sundays were days where we just relaxed and sometimes did absolutely nothing
? Don?t take on other people?s problems, even if it is family. Especially in the work place. People need to make mistakes, fall down and pick themselves up to learn and grow.
? We are women, we automatically want to help, nurture and take over other?s lives that need help and sometimes we have to learn to say no.
? Nomophobia: The fear of being out of mobile phone contact.

Then to end her presentation, Pamela made us all stand up, raise our right hands and do the ?not my monkey promise? and to do this every time we feel overwhelmed, overworked, stressed out and just plain over-doing it.

So if you missed the dinner meeting, here are a few photos from the evening taken from a mobile phone, of course, and as I write this the online world is still buzzing with lots of loving after-effects of her talk.

And now that I am finished this and have posted on our website and social media, I am raising my right hand to go offline as promised??Not My Monkey, Not My Circus.?

PS Don?t miss next month?s dinner meeting on March 16th with guest speaker, Cecelia Reekie. Reekie, a former Langley school trustee is now working as a cultural presenter, sharing the stories of residential school survivors, a group that includes her own father.

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Wendy Mclelland Shared Her Incredible Journey

Our BPW Langley dinner meeting last Wednesday was a wonderful evening and it was a pleasure to hear Wendy McClelland’s inspiring story of how she came up with the title for her book “27 Steps To Freedom”, to where she is now.

Wendy McClelland

Her book reached #1 on Amazon and even surpassed Oprah’s book, in the personal development category. The audience was awestruck as she spoke of her amazing, courage-to-comeback journey.

Wendy was at the pinnacle of success with her business, when a bacterial infection ravaged her body. In her words, “the e-coli had eaten away portions of the lower three vertebrae and two discs. There was a mass of bacteria sitting on the base of my spine. The infection had also destroyed one kidney, scarred my corneas (which explained my blurry vision) and also gave me brain damage (which explained my inability to recognize even my own family).”

Not only did Wendy lose her children (unable to care for them in her illness) and was forced into bankruptcy, but she also had to learn to walk, read and speak again and has managed to battle her way back to success as a business leader, coach, author, speaker and social media expert, and is surrounded by a loving family including 4 grandchildren.

Truly a remarkable human journey!

Mary Reeves accepting donation on behalf of Big Brothers and Sisters in LangleyOn the same night, we were also extremely pleased to present Mary Reeves, a BPW Langley charter member and Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters Langley, with a cheque for $550. which was a little over half of the proceeds raised during our Christmas Dinner & Silent Auction fundraiser last month.

From Mary’s presentation in December, we know this money is going to a fabulous cause. The other portion will go to our own non-profit BPW Langley organization to help empower women in our communities and members in our club through mentoring and involvement in BPW provincial, national and international events and sponsoring future events.

BPW Langley holds our dinner meetings on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Next month, February 17th, come and hear guest speaker, Pamela Chatry and her presentation: ?Not My Monkey; Not My Circus… Or Is It??.

Photos: 1) Guest speaker, Wendy McClelland 2) Mary Reeves is presented with cheque for Big Brothers Big Sisters Langley from BPW Langley fundraising event in December by BPW Langley President Deanna Evertt