Each year, OBJ and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce choose 40 of the region’s top young entrepreneurs and business executives and recognize them for their professional achievements, expertise and community service.
In these profiles, OBJ highlights some of this year’s recipients – their impressive accomplishments, what drives them and how they like to spend their downtime away from the business world.
Company: A surrogacy and egg donation agency
Education: Bachelor of arts in business communications, Brock University (2005)
Charitable involvement: Founded Fertile Future, a national charity that has provided financial assistance to more than 500 young cancer patients to preserve their fertility before cancer treatment.
Biggest biz achievement: There are four achievements that have given me so much joy over the years. Having my daughter is by far the top one. She is the light of my life. Surviving cancer is a distant second, followed closely by starting Fertile Future and now Fertility Match. Each little person that comes into our world because of our agency feels like a pretty big accomplishment and reminds us why we are doing this.
Biggest obstacle: This is tough!
Biggest influence: I’m so lucky – I literally need to write a list!
First off, my partner, Jon, for teaching me what unconditional love and faith looks like, and a whole lot about growing a business. He is the smartest, most ethical and personable man I have ever met.
Second, my daughter, Anna. I hope one day she is proud of what I have accomplished and that I have given her the tools and knowledge to live life confidently as her true self.
Finally, my sister, Emily, my brother, Brian and my two best friends, Lauren and Jenn, have taught me more than they know. Words cannot express how fortunate I am to have these four people in my life as role models.
Biggest lesson learned: Surround yourself with smart, hard-working, respectful and moral people. You can’t do everything yourself, and you will need these people when you hit bumps in the road.
First job: Cashier at a grocery store
Advice I’d give the younger me: Follow your dreams. Stop thinking about why you shouldn’t do something. Think about why you should.
What’s left to do: Travel! I didn’t get to when I was in my 20s because I was sick. Now that I’m able to, I want to see the world and enjoy life with the people I love. In my professional career, I want to continue to grow Fertility Match and help our clients have the best possible journeys building their families through egg donation and surrogacy. I am so lucky to truly love what I do and know we are making a difference!
Favourite pastimes: Yoga is a big balancer for me. Spending time with my partner, good friends and family and enjoying life are my fuel. I also love decorating and home projects.
I’m currently reading: We just started our second year at Fertility Match. I am very excited to have time to read books again, though!
Favourite movie: Steel Magnolias
Favourite song: Walls by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Redblacks
Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Bluesfest
Preferred social media platforms: Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram
Twitter handle: @ello_woods