Atlantic Canada’s Leading Resource for Women Entrepreneurs Since 1992, located at the RBC Centre for Women in Business, MSVU.

Staff Bios

Tanya Priske

Executive Director

| Tel: 902.457.6474

Tanya's strong backgCWB_headshots_0059 (800x534)round in economic development and leadership is nothing short of invaluable to the CWB.

For nearly 20 years, she served the Pictou County Economic Development Fund and the Canada/Nova Scotia Cooperation Agreement on Economic Diversification, working closely with public and private sectors in Nova Scotia to pursue new business opportunities. Her background in project management has benefited all sectors, and has shaped the Centre's approach and mandate.

She is regularly inspired by the many women who tell her that their businesses have grown because of their involvement with the Centre. It motivates her to come up with the big ideas that ensure more women in more communities are benefiting from the incredible opportunities available through the Centre.

Tanya often gives women business-owners one crucial piece of business advice: network, network, network! Make connections with potential clients and people who can provide mentorship and support. This can be a make or break factor when it comes to longevity, and she encourages women to take steps to grow their business, rather than waiting for business to come to them.

Gordia Macdonald

Senior Business Development Officer

| Tel: 902.790.2766

CWB_headshots_0101 (800x534)Gordia has a rich background in entrepreneurship and has been working at the Centre for Women in Business for more than a decade.

Her own experience as a small business owner in rural Nova Scotia made Gordia recognize the importance of networking and developing professional business skills in order to remain competitive. Knowing these ownership challenges first-hand has made her an integral part of the Centre team. 

One of Gordia's many strengths is explaining the ins-and-outs of supplier diversity through WBE Canada; she has participated in trade missions and conferences that showcase women business owners from Atlantic Canada, and helps set them up with business opportunities that extend beyond our borders. Her advice to clients is to explore all avenues for growth, and to never stop asking questions.

Laurie Sinclair

Business Development Officer

Email Laurie|Tel: 902.457.5538

CWB_headshots_0145 (800x534)

Laurie has an extensive background working with companies on strategic growth initiatives, producing outcomes and measuring key performance indicators of success in achieving growth. Laurie has also spent almost two decades working in post-secondary education as an assistant professor. 

Through her work in developing and teaching business curriculums, consulting with business owners to manage successful growth focused businesses as well as conducting research for papers and presentations, Laurie has positioned herself on the leading edge of initiatives to advance financial management, marketing and strategy for small to medium-sized businesses.

She established and successfully managed a strategic business growth consulting practice, and brings 10 years of experience in the audit and consulting practice of a multi-national chartered accountant firm. She believes that the intersection between strategic growth initiatives, measurable outcomes and key performance indicators is the sweet spot of optimal success.

Laurie is excited to share her extensive knowledge and experience to help women start and grow businesses. Her formal knowledge includes a BA in Economics (honours) from Mount Saint Vincent University, an MBA in Finance and Marketing (honours) from Dalhousie University, and completion of the Chartered Professional Accountant program. She also completed a globally accredited Key Performance Indicator Program and PuMP and leadership and Strategic Growth programs from leading entrepreneurial institutes in the United States.

Laurie is the Atlantic Canada Chapter Chair of the Women Presidents Organization. She facilitates one of the most in-demand programs in the Centre’s 23-year history: the Advanced Management and Mentoring Program(AMMP). She is always searching for new and even more accessible programming options for busy clients.


Nora Perry

Business Development Officer

 | Tel: 902.457.6320 

CWB_headshots_0257 (800x534)Nora's history with the MSVU community goes back to her days as an undergrad. She left the Mount with a Bachelor of Home Economics in Consumer Studies in 1983, then returned a couple of years later for a Certificate in Business. 

Passionate about education and self-improvement, Nora would later augment her studies with a Certificate in Office Information Systems Management from Dalhousie, and a Certificate in Human Resources from Saint Mary's and a Certificate in Adult Education at Dalhousie University.

Nora recently completed her Master’s in Education (Graduate Studies in Lifelong Learning) to gain greater insight into adult education and programming.  But, more than enjoying education from the perspective of student, she loves being the trainer and sharing her own education and experience in the classroom.

This, along with close to 30 years of experience in research, business, financial management, project development, small business operations, human resources, and economic development, make her  a stand-out contributor to Centre team.

Nora knows what it takes to plot a successful start-up, and she is frequently asked what that critical first step should be. Nora recommends the Centre as an essential entry point into the world of business management.

Janna McFatridge

Communications Manager

|Tel: 902.457.6522  

CWB_headshots_0334 (800x534)With over a decade in the communications industry, and a background in Journalism, English and Sociology, Janna works to promote all of the incredible things happening at the Centre.

And there is, quite literally, always something happening. Janna manages our social media, website, events, media relations, and communication materials. She works closely with our event coordinator and business development officers to ensure the Centre is reaching clients with the information they need to access and leverage our services.

 Prior to joining the Centre, Janna worked in advertising, government, academia, and as a news reporter. She has coordinated numerous special events, and assists with various projects that support women in crisis; one thing she brings to every job is an interest in hearing people's stories. If you have an idea on how the Centre can help more women create business success stories, or if the Centre has helped you to become one, she would like to hear from you.

Melanie MacDonald

Membership/Events Coordinator

Email Melanie|Tel: 902.457.6271

CWB_headshots_0376 (800x533)Melanie is an enthusiastic supporter of women in business. As our Membership/Events Coordinator, she enjoys getting to know Centre members, and revels in finding ways to support their businesses.

She's a Mount Saint Vincent University graduate from the Bachelor of Public Relations Program; she joined the team as a cooperative education student in 2012, and later transitioned into the role of Communications Coordinator. She spent 2013-2014 working abroad in Bangkok, Thailand, while also traveling to surrounding countries. She returned to the Centre for Women in Business with a fresh appreciation for the importance of community, and a deeper desire to learn new things every day.

Melanie looks forward to seeing all of the members at the Centre’s training programs and events. Part of her role involves coordinating signature events, and to head up the Centre's sponsorship program; if you have any questions about membership or events, her door is always open.

Michele Brayman

Office Manager

|Tel: 902.457.6449

CWB_headshots_0200 (800x534)Michele has her finger on the pulse of all things CWB. She is involved in virtually everything we do here, particularly behind the scenes in finance, human resources, events, and almost anything else you can think of.

It comes naturally: after 15 years working at Mount Saint Vincent University in various academic and administrative departments, she knows how to find the answers, create the solutions and make things happen in a way that allows our operations to unfold quite seamlessly.

Michele is the first point of contact here the the Centre, with specialties that include finance, database management and logistics, so don't hesitate to connect.

Danielle MacNeil

Business Development Officer

|Tel: 902.457.5527

DanielleMacNeilDanielle is a recent graduate of Saint Mary's University with a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing. She combines her Marketing knowledge with a minor in Psychology, as she strives to understand people both on a business level, as well as a personal level.

Danielle has recently taken on the role of Business Development Officer, and is juggling it with the coordinator position at the Spark Zone, an on-campus student entrepreneurship initiative. She is committed to helping female entrepreneurs from the community, as well as any student with an entrepreneurial passion.

With previous experience in a start-up environment, Danielle understands the uncertainties that come along with starting a business, and is eager to help those in need. She is able to relate to questions and concerns that may arise, and is committed to helping clients find the answers.

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