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Women of Influence Spotlight Series – Building a Brand

On October 15th, 2019, we heard the candid story of Lara Murphy & Karen Ryan, a dynamic entrepreneurial duo and found out how they leveraged a partnership based on vision and values into a multi-million dollar industry leader. Lara and Karen first met on a job in Banff, the only female employees on a construction site, who easily connected over conversation on the current state of their industry. Discovering they shared similar values and vision, it was clear that they had an opportunity to not only start a firm but actually change the way business was being done. How? By introducing honesty and integrity into an industry that was lacking it. Key insights of the event included, how to identify opportunity by discovering a gap in the industry, what it takes to transition from employee to entrepreneur,  how to build an equal partnership between two co-founder and how to adjust for market fluctuations?

Notable guests

Our Keynote Speakers

Meet Lara Murphy

Meet Lara Murphy

Lara grew up in New Brunswick where her father operated several businesses throughout her youth. This entrepreneurial spirit had passed on to Lara: she had started her first business, Handy Student Maintenance, while in high school. This path had continued as Lara ran several franchises and eventually formed Fresco, a renovation company also specializing in fine art details such as faux finishes and antique restoration. In 2005, after moving to Alberta, that entrepreneurial spirit again led her from working for a development company for two years to launching her own renovation firm, All Seasons. It was during this time, in 2008, Lara happened to be working alongside Karen on that commercial work site in Banff.

Meet Karen Ryan

Meet Karen Ryan

Karen, originally from Montreal, began working in sales for Rogers but was always up for a new challenge. So, when the company did some restructuring, Karen had noticed an opportunity for change and requested a switch to the planning and construction department. Here she worked as a project manager, building and setting up new retail stores throughout Quebec, Ottawa and Atlantic Canada. Looking for yet another challenge, Karen went to work with Progest Construction, which brought her across Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and BC, building DC Shoes and Quicksilver retail stores–the latter being the site where Karen Ryan met Lara Murphy.

in partnership with

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