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2019/2020 Top Leaders Under 30: Bay of Quinte

Over the past months, I have been actively seeking out nominations from within the Bay of Quinte Region to determine who are our “Top Leaders Under 30”. To get these nominations, I reached out to the community as a whole and invited them to nominate the deserving young people in their lives.

The criterion was simple: that they be a young person who is working hard and making difference in our community. It was stipulated that there was no requirement to be an entrepreneur but as you’ll see below, most have either dabbled in entrepreneurship, are business owners or have taken risks similar to that of being an entrepreneur.  All of the winners listed below range from young people with name recognition already to those whose names I have no doubt will one day be landmarks in their community.

All endorsements are for the most part as they were received from the nominator(s). Some nominations submitted were a little longer, and some were a little shorter, but all are incredibly poignant.

Without further ado, I present the 2019/2020 Top Leaders Under 30: Bay of Quinte! Get ready to be inspired!

Amelia Huffman

Amelia Huffman

Location: Belleville

Who they are: Fund Development Coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Society.

What makes them a top leader:

  • As the Fund Development Coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Society of Hastings-Prince Edward, she has a very important role to play in our community! The mandate of the Alzheimer’s Society is to offer support, education and advocacy for families of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. In order to achieve this mandate, Amelia must work hard to connect with local business and encourage them to donate to community charity support.
  • Outside of being a dynamite fundraiser, Amelia has an amazing positive attitude, is an absolute girl boss and go getter who goes after what she wants.

 

Caleb Ramnarine

Caleb Ramnarine

Location: Belleville

Who they are: Volunteer-extraordinaire with Links to Learning.

What makes them a top leader:

  • When Caleb was young, he struggled with reading and was enrolled in a local program called “Reading Rocks”. At the center, there were many programs offered to youth in our community through Links to Learning. He thrived and learned so much from the program and when he started high school decided to dedicate his time to helping out at Links.
  • Caleb has consistently dedicated every Friday night to the drop-in program offered to youth at Links to Learning for their dinner and games night. Caleb thrives in the area of finances and money management and tracks the income and flow of money used to purchase food on Friday evenings. He has also tapped into resources at the center to begin tutoring children that are struggling with reading in his neighbourhood. Caleb aspires to attend University for business and finance and is gaining valuable skills in this area by the work he is doing with the Links to Learning program.

 

Danielle Arsenault

Danielle Arseneault

Location: Picton

Who they are: Owner of Danielle’s Hair Studio.

What makes them a top leader:

  • Danielle Arsenault opened her own hair studio Danielle’s Hair Studio, in Picton two years ago upon relocation from Kingston. She is a sole proprietor. Danielle designed the interior, constantly markets on FB in a friendly, engaging with lots of pretty graphics, shows examples of her work regularly and is in regular communication with her clients on FB. Excellent client relationship management!
  • And she does it all herself! A true entrepreneur, Danielle is the hair talent, the marketing expert, the cleaner, the administrator, the kind and caring, ever-patient customer service dept, the receptionist and more. And the point is: every aspect is executed perfectly! In two years, she has taken her business from an idea to a booming success! Clients flock to her not only for her hair related talents, but for her excellence in professionalism and efficiency in running her business.

 

Elizah Murray

Elle Murray

Location: Tyendinaga Township

Who they are: Owner of There She Glows Hair.

What makes them a top leader:

  • Elizah Murray is an amazing young boss girl she is the owner of There She Glows Hair which is an innovative company based in the Quinte Area. She travels at the convince of the client and is full of energy. She is a mother of 3 under 8 and a pillar of young businesses in the area. LBGTQ friendly is a large part of her moto and making a brand that is unique and different.
  • I think Elizah deserves to be recognized for her hard work and dedication to her one true passion which is making sure that every client she has leaves her chair ready to take on the world, pose for a close up or rock it out on their wedding day but most importantly they leave the chair knowing that she is always there to make sure the quality of the finished product is the way it is meant to be. Some how she manages to make life seem fun and magical.

 

Emilie Leneveu

Emily Leneveu

Location: Belleville

Who they are: Community & Youth Advocate.

What makes them a top leader:

  • Emilie deserves to be recognized as a young leader for her devotedness to improving our Bay of Quinte community through inclusivity, outreach and mentorship. She was a Loyalist College Valedictorian in 2018 and since then has gone on to volunteer for the Quinte Regional Science Fair, Enactus Canada, Jack.org and Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots.
  • She was a 2019 Daughter of the Vote representing the Bay of Quinte riding in the House of Commons and the Senate and is now a member of the City of Belleville Youth Advisory Committee and Economic Development and Destination Committee as well as a member of the CCUNESCO Youth Advisory Group. Emilie continues to give back to the community, mentoring students in science and other facets of life. She is a daring entrepreneur with a passion for equality, the environment and education. She is a strong advocate and social media influence for positive cannabis education as a graduate of Loyalist’s post-graduate cannabis program, as well as the importance of female representation in politics.

 

Hannah MacAusland & Hana Haytaoglu

Hannah & Hana

Location: Brighton

Who they are: ENSS Student Scientists.

What makes them a top leader (directly from Hanna & Hana because I needed a better description of their project!):

  • We created a bioplastic out of potato starch that degrades in just 12 days. We have tested its effects on the environment (degradation, solubility, effects on plants, and animal stomach acid – through creating a replica). We have worked with Queen’s University to test its properties such as a thermal properties test. We have started testing applications for it, and believe it works best to keep food fresh. This year we are continuing to advance our plastic!
  • We have been to the Canada wide science fair in Fredericton NB, as well as the worldwide science fair in Abu Dhabi. We will be going to the University of North Carolina this winter for further testing on our project and hope to go to the international women’s day of science in New York this February! Wish us luck!

Jennifer Oram

Jennifer Oram

Location: Frankford

Who they are: Owner of Songbird Reflexology.

What makes them a top leader (Jennifer received so many nominations that I pulled my favourite sentences from them build this):

  • Although shy in appearance Jennifer is very personable and dedicated to her work as a Reflexology Therapist. She is one of the most hardworking people I know, and truly passionate about giving every single person she meets her undivided true attention and care. She started her own business ‘Songbird Reflexology’ just last year after completing schooling as both a holistic nutritionist and reflexologist. Her pleasant demeanor and innate friendliness attract clients to her business, while her warmth and caring keep clients returning. She has been extremely diligent and scripted in examining every aspect of the process that her customers experience and making those steps unique. Her leadership in the industry has her bringing new ideas and approaches to the market that her clients benefit from.
  • Jennifer is the perfect embodiment of what being a Reflexologist is about. She has a holistic approach to her business, including environmentally friendly products and services. Jennifer is a role model to the younger generation, exemplifying that you can pursue reflexology therapy as a first career and successfully build a business in this field. Everyone who meets her through a reflexology treatment is blown away by how knowledgeable and talented she is! She is constantly looking at how she can improve, grow, and give back to her local community. She is a gem in the Bay of Quinte and has undoubtedly brought increased tourism to Frankford. I believe that Quinte West is going to see great things from this young entrepreneur for many years to come.

 

Matt Oskamp & Amelia Campbell

Amelia Campbell & Matt Oskamp

Location: Prince Edward County

Who they are: Owners of Apple Falls Cider.

What makes them a top leader:

  • Amelia was born and raised in the family business, Campbell’s Orchards, that her family has operated for the last 50 years. Together with her parents and brother John (author’s note: I actually attended Kente P.S. with John for 2 years), she has helped build Campbell’s into the local icon & tourist destination it is. It was a trip to London, England that led them to the idea to use their family’s famous apples to create delicious hard cider. Having grown up in a family of entrepreneurs so deeply embedded in the psyche of the local area (who didn’t go on a hay wagon ride at Campbell’s if you grew up in the Quinte Region?), Amelia is always open to supporting and giving shout outs to other rural entrepreneurs. All while building up her repertoire on how to make the best product possible, which is made up of locally-sourced and very, very locally grown!
  • Matt exemplifies a leader in the community. He loves educating people on cider and farming at Campbell’s. He will spend as much time as it takes with people interested in agriculture and cider making. Sometimes you will find them at the back of the orchard discussing the MOST interesting topics. Our guests will come back feeling so great and that they have actually learned something meaningful! With a Masters in Computing he is so knowledgeable about IT issues, website design, and online business development. He is the first person to drop everything and either meet someone at their place of business or have a two long phone conversation until their problem is fixed.
  • They have both been very transparent in the small business community. There have been many people in their same situation thinking about opening their own small cidery or business. Matt especially will spend his time to explain everything so thoroughly. He is always willing to help out even when they have 1000 other things to complete.

 

Maya Ramnarine

Maya Ramnarine

Location: Belleville

Who they are: Co-Founder of Earth2U Products.

What makes them a top leader:

  • At age 14, Maya began working part time as a cashier at No Frills. After completing a project on the plastic crisis our world is facing, she was discouraged to see the amount of plastic produce bags that were being used. She began tracking them and found that on a typical five-hour shift, there were hundreds of produce bags coming through her till. She decided to find a solution and sourced out a reusable cotton mesh produce bag that would be completely biodegradable.
  • At age 15, she quit her job at No Frills and started her company called Earth2UProducts. Maya began offering her reusable produce bags locally to the community through vendor shows and online through her website and is just starting to source out local stores to carry her product. She is bringing awareness to environmental issues and finding solutions to reduce the carbon footprint through social media and will shortly begin product demos of her reusable produce bags at local grocery stores. Reusable produce bags are just the beginning and she has plans to expand her product line to offer more “earth friendly” solutions through Earth2UProducts

 

Meganne Belisle

Meganne Belisle

Location: Picton

Who they are: Owner of Butter Dream Cakes.

What makes them a top leader (Meganne also received so many nominations that I pulled my favourite sentences from them build this):

  • Meganne has always had an entrepreneurial spirit since she was in high school. She has a passion for creative cake design, running her own business, and runs Butter Dream Cakes. She puts 110% into every sweet treat she creates and it shows in how happy her customers are! She’s had a dream to be her own boss and run a cake business ever since I met her and at the age of 24, she is successfully running not only her own business but a business with amazing product. Meganne is a persistent young woman with the drive to succeed and grow her small business in Picton. Meganne bakes delicious butter cream cakes, amazing brownies, speciality cupcakes, macaron ice cream sandwiches, and more! Always there to welcome you with a big smile, Meganne’s shop is bright, vibrant and thriving in the small town!
  • She is an inspiration to young people and continues to demonstrate every day what hard work and perseverance can do! Meganne is a local entrepreneur who has hired a local student with an interest in baking and gives back to our community. She is already a strong leader and role model at such a young age. She deserves to be recognized for her hard work and dedication to her business and the community. It makes my heart happy that she is from the County and fulfilling her dream!

 

Stephanie Bell

Stephanie Bell

Location: Prince Edward County

Who they are: Former Federal NDP Candidate for the Bay of Quinte Riding, Community Advocate.

What makes them a top leader:

  • Stephanie is young, and she has been an advocate for a long time. She is an incredible leader because she speaks the truth always, and stands up for what she believes in.  She is a genuinely good person who cares about other people and she brings people together; we’ve seen this during the campaign in the relationships she built with the other candidates and the kindness she brought to the table.  Steph is also very knowledgeable about issues that affect people locally as well as nationally and globally having travelled to learn about different areas of the world.
  • Not only does she have real life experiences, she is also educated on the issues that affect regular people, and she wants to make real change happen. She has a positive strong energy about her, and she is one of the hardest working people I have ever met.

 

Stephanie Pignoli

Stephanie Pignoli

Location: Belleville

Who they are: Owner of Furball’s Choice.

What makes them a top leader:

  • A young business owner with a passion for enriching the lives of companion animals and their families in the Quinte Region, and beyond.
  • Stephanie is a natural entrepreneur because she stays true to her heart and her customers love that! She’s great with animals and puts their well-being first. She’s professional and personable making her a delight to work with. Her knowledge is evident in all aspects of her business, making it easy to trust her with your pet and pet products.

 

Taylor Russett

Taylor Russett

Location: Belleville

Who they are: Owner/Operator of Russett Photography.

What makes them a top leader:

  • Taylor is owner and operator of Russett Photography. He is incredibly passionate and innovative. He is a hard worker and continues to amaze myself and the people around him with his constant creativity and drive. The sky is the limit with him!
  • Taylor is an extremely talented and people-oriented photographer who dedicates his time between work and school to capturing beautiful moments between friends, families and couples. His artistry skills and professional attitude rival his passion and personable demeaner, which is saying quite a lot. Taylor started his photography business right out of high school and has built up his reputation and skill level over each passing year, never losing his drive or excitable outlook. When you hire Russett Photography, you will not only receive amazing shots to commemorate your event, you will also gain a friend. He applies himself wholly to his craft and works tirelessly to create a positive difference in his community. From attending wedding shows in the Bay of Quinte area to promoting the area through his photoshoot locations, Taylor is a star in his field.

 

 

 

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