Awesome Women: Phyllis Winnington-Ingram

Phyllis Ingram-Winnington

Phyllis Winnington-Ingram

Give a warm welcome to our second Awesome Women profile, Ms. Phyllis Winngton-Ingram!

Jaime met Phyllis a few weeks ago but it’s clear they knew each other in another life! Read on for more about this fascinating, awesome woman.

Phyllis Winnington-Ingram has a proven track record of creating successful solutions to local challenges. She’s done this by listening to local communities and developing pragmatic, collaborative options. This has resulted in the development of two new models; the Community Cooperative, a social economic development model specifically designed to assist rural communities who have been disenfranchised; and ‘Principle Centered Governance’, a model of governance that puts unity before politics. Her work has garnered her two provincial awards for innovation and a nomination for a Women of Distinction award.

Phyllis was then invited to share her results with 14 departments of the Canadian government which helped to generate $15 million of new funding for the co-operative sector; $8 million of that for innovative new models.  Her work has been published in academic and sector journals nationally and internationally and she has been a guest speaker throughout North America.

Phyllis has been a local business owner for 18 years and operates Winnington-Ingram & Associates, a research and community development consulting firm. She has incorporated and or developed over a dozen local, regional, provincial and national non-profit organizations, as well as being appointed for 5 years on a federal advisory committee.

Phyllis is committed to cooperative, collaborative approaches that encourage dialogue, mutual respect and positive solutions.


1. What is one of your favorite books?

  • The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran – for its spiritual depth
  • Mercy Among the Children – David Adams Richards – a dark, seemly endless number of difficult and sad events with an ending that is mesmerizing and thought provoking.   It was  nominated for a Governor General’s Award and won the Giller Prize – the top book award in Canada.
  • Happiness – Will Ferguson – Winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour  (top Humour award in Canada)
  • Best Laid Plan – Terry Fallis – Again winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour

All fabulous books if  you have a chance to read them. The last two had me rolling with laughter and had people asking me what I was reading!

2. What is an adversity you’ve faced in your life and how did you come out the other side?

My mother passed away when I was 14. I was the oldest of 4 children and grew up in a beautiful home in the heart of cottage country. I spent many years pushing the boundaries and trying not to deal with it. It is only when I became a mother of my own daughter that I decided to rewrite history and step into being the leader of my life. I started University at 27 as a single mother of a 3 year old and graduated with Honours 5 years later. I volunteered in numerous positions and was offered a research position.  I was able to transform that position within two years by creating a new community model and being awarded over ¼ million in funding to pilot the model in 4 community in the District of Muskoka. I boldly asked the founding board to contract my new company and they agreed. I then went on to take on numerous other projects, employed 21 people, bought a house and raised my daughter as a single parent.

I volunteered in numerous positions and was offered a research position. I was able to transform that position within two years by creating a new community model and being awarded over ¼ million in funding to pilot the model in 4 community in the District of Muskoka. I boldly asked the founding board to contract my new company and they agreed. I then went on to take on numerous other projects,  employ 21 people, buy a house and raise my daughter as a single parent.

3. Name 1 or 2 awesome women who inspire you and why.

One person who has always inspired me was Oprah Winfrey. Her ability to transform her life and her ability to inspire others.  The other person is Fran Cowan, who is now 101 years old.  She took me in when I was 17 and made sure I finished school. She was my cheering squad when I went to University as an adult. She has cried with me when my heart was broken and laughed with me in utter delight when times were good. She was my spiritual mentor and my adopted mom.

4. What makes something or someone awesome in your opinion?

What makes someone awesome in my opinion is someone who can rise above their circumstances and lift others up along the way.

Awesome Women: Melisa Caprio

Say ‘Hello’ to Melisa Caprio – the first-ever profile for Awesome Women Doing Awesome Things!

We met Melisa in August through the Jennifer Grace 8-week Book Proposal Accountability Course (Jaime is the editor) and knew immediately we were meeting an awesome woman who would be perfect for an AWDAT profile.

Postcards to the Universe

Melisa Caprio

So what makes this Fort Lauderdale-native so amazing?

Along with being an author and photographer, Melisa is the creator of Postcards to the Universe: A Global Movement for Manifestation.

Postcards is a vehicle for people worldwide to bring their dreams into reality through the simple yet magical process of their written words on postcards, which Melisa collects and photographs.

What kind of role does writing your wish on a postcard and mailing it to Melisa play in its manifestation? A big one! Just ask Grace, a Postcards participant whose desire, true romance, appeared in her life 8 months after mailing her postcard to Caprio.

And Grace’s real-life Prince Charming didn’t just fit one or two of the characteristics she longed for; he fit every single one – including the fact that he had 4 children, which gave Grace the family she’d always wanted.


Do you have unfulfilled wishes?

As 2014 draws to a close, now is the perfect time to make your desires known.

And Postcards to the Universe is an easy, fun way to do it. Plus, it’s free!

To submit your postcard, visit Caprio’s Postcards website here. Then, follow the site instructions to download, print and create your postcard.

Thanks, Melisa, for being our first-ever Awesome Woman! We know you are doing awesome things and we look forward to watching you grow!

Get up close and personal with Melisa below where she answers some AWDAT inquiries.

Melisa, we’d love to know..

1. What are your 3 favorite books?

My favorite fiction story is the Harry Potter series, anything magical attracts me. Isn’t that what the law of attraction is about, believing in the Universe’s magic? You cast your wish and the Universe delivers it. Louise Hay’s, You Can Heal Your Life has always been one of my favorites. Also The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I go back to that book over and over as a reminder for myself.

2. What has been the biggest adversity in your life?  How did you triumph?

Allowing other people to have so much power and control over my life. I learned the hard way that people can really hurt and disappoint you. But a lot of it was because I gave myself over instead of being in my own power. I no longer live to please others, they can join me and we can co-create together.

3. Who are 3 awesome women to you?

Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson and Oprah Winfrey. I am inspired by their journeys and what they have created for themselves. I aspire to do the same with my own life. But also I have to say my mother; she is one of the strongest, most fearless women I know. She has created such amazing things for herself and her family. I wouldn’t know what to do without her.

Profile: Jaime Pfeffer

Hi, I’m Jaime Pfeffer. I love helping people on a spiritual path who still ride the wave of roller-coaster emotions to find more peace, balance and happiness in their lives. Through my teaching, coaching and radio show, I teach people easy-to-remember techniques and practical tools to discover what’s holding them back, how they can fix it and how they can live a full, happy, fulfilling life regardless of what is going on around them.

Jaime Pfeffer

Jaime Pfeffer, creator of Awesome Women

I am fortunate to be surrounded by a wonderful community of positive, like-minded people who keep me at my best. I practice strong daily habits to live the best life I possibly can.

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