Meet Heather Odendaal — an accomplished Canadian entrepreneur, brand builder, and event producer whose experience in corporate environments inspired her to create and co-found WNORTH, a global organization dedicated to the development of women mid-career on a trajectory towards senior executive leadership.
Prior to launching her organization, Heather was employed as a sales executive for a Fortune 500 company. There, she noticed the lack of women in senior executive positions, and she and her husband decided to take matters into their own hands and launch WNORTH.
What originally started as an annual conference in 2015, WNORTH now connects top female business leaders in corporate, public, and entrepreneurial sectors through The Members’ Club, which provides women with development opportunities, including workshops, leadership masterminds, events, and courses, as well as a 100% virtual forum of online content and more. WNORTH also holds Chapter Cities throughout North America and the U.K., where members can network and uplift each other through meet-ups, group exercises, and activities.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, Heather and her team quickly pivoted to create virtual experiences for their members and conference attendees. They are hard at work highlighting and solving the problem of the insufficient support structures in North America for women in the workforce, which was even more pronounced over the last year and a half.
WNORTH was named Innovative Business of the Year 2021 at the Whistler Excellence Awards, and the WNORTH Virtual Conference was recognized by BizBash as one of the top 10 Most Innovative Meetings 2021.
Odendaal was included in BizBash’s 2021 and 2020 roundup of Canada’s Most Influential Event Pros, she has worked on some of the world’s largest and most prominent events, including the Whistler Film Festival, Crankworx Mountain Bike Festival, and the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. She is consistently featured in a variety of top-tier publications and podcasts, and sits on the Forbes Business Council.
In her spare time you can find her judging local food & wine festivals, and skiing in Whistler, BC, where she currently resides with her husband Mike and their two children.
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