Resiliency, Inspiration, Celebration – Chamber BizBites

March 11, 2021 at 9:45am - 11:00am

Penticton Chamber
Virtual - Online

Posted By:
Resiliency, Inspiration, Celebration - Chamber BizBites

Fees & Admission:
Pre-registration required.


You’re invited to celebrate International Women’s Day by hearing from the amazing women behind some of your favourite businesses in the South Okanagan!

On March 11, join Penticton Chamber of Commerce, Penticton Women in Business and Women’s Enterprise Centre for an inspirational event to uplift and unite our communities through education and support.

In a panel-style discussion moderated by Danielle Hofer of Women’s Enterprise Centre, our guests will share the ups and downs of their entrepreneurial journeys, give a candid look into how they fared during the global pandemic and answer your questions!

Everyone is welcome to celebrate with us! There will be a chance for some virtual networking and fabulous “door prizes” to be won!

Thank you to our door prize sponsors, draws will be made by using, guests must be in attendance to WIN!

  • Elma Restaurant
  • Kettle Valley Memorial
  • McPhail Kilt Makers
  • Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce
  • Penticton Women in Business
  • Penticton Women’s Enterprise Centre

We’re delighted to welcome three local women entrepreneurs:

Ayse Barluk is the Co-owner of Elma Restaurant in Penticton, which offers a unique and friendly Turkish inspired dining experience with the scenic backdrop of Lake Okanagan. Their modern take on traditional Turkish dishes are infused with local ingredients and drink pairings to give it a distinct Okanagan feel and flavour. You may know Elma from their gorgeous insta-worthy menu! From inception in 2015 to opening the doors in late 2019, Elma has been a true labor of love for Ayse and her husband Michael who have been active in every part of the process - from design, to sourcing materials from Turkey, to developing the menu and managing day to day operations of the business.

Ayse has a BA in Political Science and International Relations at UBC and completed her MA in Public Policy and Diplomacy at the University of Kent's Brussels campus. Upon returning to Canada, Ayse started her career in government, working at the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction from 2008 - 2017 starting as a case manager, and working up to Acting Supervisor of the Integration and Outreach team based out of Vancouver's downtown Eastside. Her work with community partners, local governance and federal programs earned the team a Premier's Award in Organizational Excellence in 2013. Ayse's passion for community involvement started with her undergraduate interest in refugee and immigrant rights and lead to her furthering her learning with volunteer opportunities with ISS of BC and Inland Refugee Society, for which she served on the board of directors, and also motivated her to obtain her Immigration Consultancy diploma from UBC, specializing in assisting refugee claim applications.


Lee Smith is Co-Owner and Partner of Kettle Valley Memorial, a full-service funeral home offering a modern approach to funeral service. Kettle Valley Memorial was the recipient of the New Business Award at the Penticton Chamber 2020 Business Excellence Awards. She is also the owner and Founder of Simple PrePlan, a platform for people to plan funeral services easily online for themselves or a loved one.

Lee is actively involved with numerous community boards and projects including but not limited to:

  • Member of Penticton Women in Business
  • Board Director for the Penticton & Wine Country of Commerce
  • Volunteer with the Starfish Backpack Program
  • Past President/ 2021 Social Director for Penticton JCI

Lee also hosts a monthly Death Café; a “social franchise” made up of group directed conversations on death with no agenda, objectives, or themes. It is discussion driven rather than a grief support or counseling session with the aim of educating and helping others become more familiar with the end of life.

She is mom to 3 wonderful daughters, Zoe, Evyn & Avery, and wife to Kevin.


Amanda McPhail is the co-owner of McPhail Kilt Makers, a niche bespoke tailoring company specializing in woolen products authentically woven in Scotland. The focus of McPhail Kilt Makers is to preserve Scottish culture through quality craftsmanship and products. In 2019 the company won the Customer Service Excellence Award through the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce.

Amanda is the chief tailor of the company, custom tailoring kilts and garments for pipe bands, highland dancers, honour guards, weddings, and formal wear throughout Western Canada. Wholesale kilt tailoring for other stores is another facet of the company where kilts are shipped as far away as New Zealand.

McPhail Kilt Makers has a retail store located in Penticton’s historic Cannery Trade Centre featuring imported woolen items, Scottish jewelry, kilt rentals, accessories, and bagpiping supplies. On weekends from February until October the company thrives by going on the road every year across British Columbia and Alberta to highland games, Scottish festivals, dance competitions and fairs; when restrictions were put in place, this part of the business was put on hold and will resume when it is safe to do so.

About Women’s Enterprise Centre: Women’s Enterprise Centre is a non-profit organization devoted to helping BC women start, lead and grow their own business. For 25 years, we have provided business loans up to $150K, plus integrated services including business advice, skills training, mentoring, practical resources and a supportive community to help women business owners gain the skills, mindset, financing and networks they need to realize their business potential. Get connected today at

About Penticton Women in BusinessWhere women connect, empower, and inspire, through networking, leadership and education. Whether you operate a small, medium or large sized firm, are employed in or own a business, have a home based business, are building a professional career, nearing retirement, or just beginning to develop your business skills,  PWIB offers a unique opportunity to connect with other women, promote your skills and services, share ideas and grow both personally and professionally. Together we form a network, supporting one another for success. PWIB meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month, gathering over lunch for an educational presentation, and sharing. Currently, all PWIB events are being held virtually.

About Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce:  The Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce is a dynamic, trusted and respected business authority that drives economic and social growth and improvement on behalf of, and in support of our members and the community.


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