The 2016 fundraising Campaign is being chaired by New Brunswick entrepreneur Laura O’Blenis.
Laura is a New Brunswick-based entrepreneur with nearly 20 years’ experience in leading change, generating results and marketing products and services. Past-president of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, O’Blenis is founder of Think Stiletto Consulting and was also crowned 2016 Startup Canada Woman Entrepreneur of the year. O’Blenis spent the first decade of her career working for a leading national commercial real estate developer Cadillac Fairview where she was responsible for sourcing new retail concepts within North America and negotiating tenancy agreements in markets across Canada. The most recent decade of her career has been spent with a focus on economic development, knowledge industries and innovation, specifically to advance the regional and national knowledge economy. A trained facilitator, O’Blenis is an MBA candidate with the University of New Brunswick, chair of the Start-up Canada National Ecosystem Task Force, past-chair of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) CanWIT Atlantic Chapter, past president of the Fredericton Executive Association, founding director of the Canadian Association of University Research Parks (AURP Canada) and founding Executive Director of New Brunswick’s Knowledge Park. Laura volunteers as a board member of Science East, the Fredericton Airport Authority and has most recently become the chair of the 2016 United Way Campaign.
“I am honoured to be part of the 2016 United Way Campaign, an organization that is helping 1-in-4 people in our community each year,” O’Blenis said. “Volunteering with the United Way means I can help kids, reduce poverty and help build a strong community. It is a way of giving back to multiple groups who need it the most in areas that have an impact to the overall potential of our region.”
O’Blenis signed on to help because she was inspired by the “We Are Possibility” campaign, United Way’s call for community engagement.
“It struck a chord with me. There are so many people in our community who need our help. I want to make a difference and bring greater awareness to the need for giving. The United Way has raised over $20 million to support things like education and literacy over the past twenty years. I want to help to ensure this continues to grow.”