Job Title: President, Mommy Connections Inc. and WeCan
Why She’s Top 40: Her two growing companies support and empower women, whether they are new mothers or business owners.
Key To Success: “I’m passionate about connecting women in this busy, crazy world, and that’s at the core of both my businesses.”
Carol McBee has never owned a coffee maker. Save for chocolate, she consumes no caffeine, which might not seem that remarkable until one hears what McBee fits into her schedule. She’s raising a growing family while running two growing companies, Mommy Connections Inc., a post-natal program and network dedicated to connecting new moms and educating them on parenthood, and WeCan (formerly Bossy Mama Inc.), which offers networking events, support and resources to Edmonton business owners – many of whom she met from Mommy Connections classes.
“I wake up early and work from 4:30 to 9 a.m.,” she says.
Those early mornings are paying off. An annual WeCan tradeshow attracted 3,400 people over the past two years and, in just three years, Mommy Connections has grown from a six week class run out of a church basement to an eight-week program offered in more than 30 locations across North America. “I envisioned 12 women and their babies sitting around in folding chairs, and instead 67 moms and 68 crying babies registered for the first class,” McBee says.
Directors now pay an annual licensing fee for use of the company’s website, materials, training and support to run their own Mommy Connections programs.
The initial inspiration for Mommy Connections came from a similar post-natal program McBee took when her daughter was born. While she enjoyed the program, which was run by the provincial health care system, many other moms could not enrol because the classes were full.
She tried to fill the gap and cover the interests of moms, from post-natal fitness and health to mom and baby classes. With the added meet-ups, it proved to be a popular combination.
Once a corporate manager for the makers of Cold-Fx and co-owner of a virtual tour company (which was sold in 2010) with her husband, Top 40 Under 40 alumnus Daniel McBee, she now has a second child on the way and is ready to catch her breath. “I’m trying to slow down and am realizing it’s abnormal to do what I’ve done, to open 30 locations in such a short time.”