Orléans For Your Business

Business Services Panel

This year's event will showcase a panel composed of 8 private and public sector experts on services that are important for the success of most businesses. The panel will be challenged to provide concrete feedback and advice on questions from 5 innovative Orléans businesses. You won’t want to miss this discussion! 

We are entrepreneurs working together to build a Canada for entrepreneurs and give a voice to the Canadian startup community.

Victoria Lennox

Co-founder and CEO

Startup Canada

Startup Canada is involved in the following issue areas:
- Entrepreneurship ecosystem
- Entrepreneurial culture
- Startup communities
- Entrepreneurship policy
- Mentorship
- Financial literacy

Victoria Lennox

Victoria Lennox is the co-founder and CEO of Startup Canada, the national rallying community supporting and giving a voice to Canada’s 2.3 million entrepreneurs.  

Victoria is recognized by the United Nations Development Programme and the European Union as one of the foremost experts in entrepreneurship education; ecosystem and program architecture, governance, development and implementation; and, in fuelling entrepreneurship movements and​​ awareness campaigns. 

As the catalyst for Startup Generation and host of Startup Nations, Victoria supports and mentors the development of youth enterprise organizations in more than 20 countries; provides advisory support to international organizations in the areas of entrepreneurship networks, education and policy development; and supports colleges and universities in enhancing their entrepreneurial activities. Countries around the world are also working to emulate Startup Canada's methodologies and activities, viewing the organization, under Victoria's leadership, as the best practice in fuelling entrepreneurship culture. 

We're here to help.

Layla Darwish

Vice President, Business Banking

BMO Bank of Montreal

Whether you conduct business on the go, after hours, from an office or a warehouse floor, Online Banking for Business helps you manage your money efficiently and securely – so you can spend more time actually managing your business.
• Transferring funds electronically
• Paying bills and transferring funds
• Filing taxes
• Depositing cheques remotely
• Managing both Canadian and U.S. funds from one place
• Initiating payroll source deductions

Layla Darwish

Layla leads a team of Relationship Managers in the Ottawa, Brockville and Pembroke markets.

Layla joined BMO Financial Group while obtaining her degree from Carleton University. With over 25 years of experience, Layla has held leadership positions in Investment, Retail and Commercial banking. Layla works with her team to provide trusted advice to Entrepreneurs and Corporate Clients.

As a leader, Layla empowers and encourages her team to embrace change and have courage to make bold decisions. Layla is a noted role model, mentor and coach who is always willing to share her knowledge and experience.

Layla is passionate about the advancement of women in business and promotes BMO as the bank of choice for women. She serves as a board member with the GroYourBiz Ottawa chapter. She also believes in promoting her profession and giving back to the community by volunteering her time.

2017 Orléans Economic Symposium

Bennett Church Hill Capital Inc

An investment company.

Carl Bennett


Bennett Church Hill Capital Inc

Bennett Church Hill Capital Inc. is an active investment company focusing on optical retail, financial services, sustainable technologies and other public and private investment opportunities.

Carl Bennett

Major Carl Bennett CD (Retired)- B.a, MBA
Managing Director, Bennett Church Hill Capital Inc.

With 15 years of experience in the Canadian military, Carl demonstrated strong leadership skills, strategic planning, crisis management, and acquired the skill set to transform a complex problem into a manageable solution.

In his work experience, Carl has developed strong communication skills and has become very effective at public speaking and technical writing. Training and leading his team on several missions nationally, and internationally, Carl learned first-hand how to manage people in difficult circumstances.

Now as a Managing Director of a private equity firm, Carl blends his operational experience and financial experience to foster strong investor relations. Carl provides a unique perspective on international business opportunities and carefully analyzes future investment prospects.

Carl holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Queens University.

On his spare time, Carl enjoys creative writing, strength training and being with his family. Carl is bilingual in French and English.

Lawyers | Avocats

Josee Virgo


Grandmaitre Virgo Evans

Grandmaitre Virgo Evans is an Orleans-based law firm specializing in the following areas:

Corporate and commercial law; Commercial and residential real estate and development; Commercial leasing; Secured lending; and Estates, Wills and Powers of Attorney.

Josee Virgo

Josée Isabelle Virgo is a partner at Grandmaitre Virgo Evans specializing in business law, commercial real estate and commercial leasing. She started her career at Dust Evans in 2002 and after spending several years in the Ottawa office of a national law firm, focusing primarily on commercial leasing and real estate, she re-joined the Dust Evans Grandmaitre family in 2011.

Josée brings to the firm extensive experience in commercial leasing, transactions, corporate reorganizations and financing matters.  She routinely acts on incorporations, asset and share transactions and purchases, sales and financings of commercial, residential, condominium and rural properties.

Josée also has substantial experience advising on corporate governance and drafting co-ownership agreements, shareholder agreements, family trusts and wills. 

Josée routinely works with accountants, business owners and brokers.

BDC is the only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs.

Cora-lee Ratcliffe

Manager of the BDC Ottawa Entrepreneurship Centre

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

BDC is the only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. We help entrepreneurs succeed through flexible financing; advisory services; and smart capital. We work with entrepreneurs in all industries and are there through any stage of the business’s lifecycle. We are Canada’s first certified B Corp bank. Our aspiration is to make Canadian entrepreneurs the most competitive in the world.

Cora-lee Ratcliffe

Cora Ratcliffe was appointed Manager of the Ottawa Entrepreneurship Centre for the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) in 2017.

In this role, she leads a team of professionals in the Ottawa region that is dedicated to ensuring entrepreneurs have the guidance and financial support they need to achieve their ambitions.

Ms Ratcliffe joined BDC in 2001 in Thunder Bay, Ontario. She worked at BDC’s Ottawa Business Centre from 2004 to 2012 and at the Sudbury North Business Centre from 2012 to 2017. She previously worked at RBC as an account manager.

Employment Ontario offers a suite of programs and services to residents, individuals and employers.

Scott Ravary

Service Delivery Manager

Employment Ontario

MAESD, Employment And Training Division, manage a network of deliverers offering the suite of Employment Ontario programs and services to residents, individuals and employers, of Ontario.

Employment Ontario can help you get training, build skills or find a job. We connect people looking for work with employers looking for workers.

Emploi Ontario peut vous aider à obtenir une formation, à acquérir des compétences ou à trouver un emploi. Nous mettons les chercheurs d’emploi en contact avec les employeurs qui sont à la recherche de travailleurs.

Scott Ravary

Scott Ravary is the acting manager with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, leading the program coordination and support unit in the East region.

Scott, holds a Bachelor of Arts with a double major with honours in Law and Justice and Philosophy from Laurentian University, and has been working with the Ontario Public Service in the area of training and employment since 2008.

Scott has led the region in implementing many of the Employment Ontario programs that are currently offered, and continues to support regional economic growth the modernization of existing programs and their delivery.

Scott Ravary est le chef régional (poste intérimaire) de l'unité de coordination et de soutien d programmes dans la région Est avec le Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Formation Professionnelle.

Scott, est titulaire d'un baccalauréat en arts avec un double majeur en droit et en justice et en philosophie de l'Université Laurentienne, et travaille avec la fonction publique de l'Ontario dans le domaine de la formation et de l'emploi depuis 2008.

Scott a conduit la région à mettre en œuvre de nombreux des programmes d'Emploi Ontario actuellement offerts et continue de soutenir la croissance économique régionale en contribuant à la modernisation des programmes existants et leurs modes livraison.

Commercial Real Estate

Jim Carty

Senior Advisor and Broker

Cresa Ottawa

Cresa is the world’s largest tenant-only commercial real estate firm. Cresa specializes in the delivery of fully integrated real estate & project services.

Jim Carty

Jim Carty is a senior advisor and broker with Cresa, focusing on the commercial real estate market.  Throughout his career he has had opportunity to serve in sales and sales leadership roles in a variety of industries including:
- food and beverage;
- industrial safety;
- business equipment; as well as
- sales coaching and consulting. 
He has been happily married for 27 years to Elizabeth and is a dad to Albert and Nicolas.

Supporting a strong, innovative economy that can provide jobs, opportunities and prosperity for all Ontarians.

Lynne Groulx

Regional Manager for the Eastern Field Services of the Ontario Investment Office (Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Growth | Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science)

Ontario Ministry of Economic Development & Growth

MEDG is supporting a strong, innovative economy that can provide jobs, opportunities and prosperity for all Ontarians. The Ontario Investment Office (OIO) has both a domestic and international facing mandate to secure increased investment in key sectors while strengthening the overall competitiveness of Ontario firms. Our team of Senior Business Advisors, located across the province, maintain close relationships with companies and deliver customized advice.

Lynne Groulx

 Lynne has been involved in Economic Development for over 25 years. A researcher by training, an entrepreneur by default, Lynne has been serving the business community since the early ‘90s in what she (affectionately) calls Ontario’s “Far East”.

She has Honours Bachelor from the University of Ottawa and certificates in Economic Development, Commercial Lending, Lean Manufacturing and a diploma in International Trade.

Lynne is Regional Manager for the Eastern Field Services of the Ontario Investment Office (Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Growth | Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science). Along with her team of seasoned senior business advisors, they deliver a range of programs, services and tools to help Ontario based businesses innovate and compete in today’s fast-changing global economy.

Concierge | Your guide to INNOVATION

Mark Allice

Innovation Advisor | Conseillère

NRC-IRAP | PARI-CNRC | Government of Canada


Connecting you to funding, expertise, facilities, and global opportunities to help you grow your business!
 Find funding, loans, financing and tax credits from provincial and federal programs.

Find a facility near you to help your business conduct research and development.
 Find programs that offer industry focused advisory services to help your business grow.
 Find industry experts who provide research and technical services based on your specific business needs.

Call now for free, one-on-one assistance from an expert Innovation Advisor.

Mark Allice

 Mark joins the Concierge Service with close to 25 years of experience covering Consumer Electronics, Supply Chain Management, International Business, Education Technology, Retail Operations, and Start-ups. During this time he held Senior Management and Business Development positions with organizations including Sony Computer Entertainment Canada (PlayStation), Sega of Canada, Knightsbridge Human Capital, and Lee Valley Tools, Inc.

Highlights thus far for Mark include launching three PlayStation consoles into the Canadian market, helping to build an online education marketplace focused on skills development in India, and representing the Province of Ontario on trade missions to India, China, the Netherlands, and Spain. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from York University and an Executive MBA from the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management.