“I’ve spent my life in marketing, communications and venture capital helping entrepreneurs and organizations grow their businesses and their dreams.” – Arlene
Nationally recognized as one of the top business leaders in Canada, Arlene is the Founder and General Partner of District Ventures Capital and Executive Chair and Co-Managing Partner of Believeco:Partners. She has had the wonderful experience of being a Dragon on the award-winning show Dragons’ Den for 15 seasons – making her the longest running female Dragon in the show’s history. She is also a three-time best-selling author and a seasoned public speaker, frequently travelling the country to speak and inspire teams, students and leaders.
Arlene immigrated to Canada with her family at age three, arriving with few belongings but full of hope and excitement at the prospect of a new life. Deeply influenced by the curiosity and gratitude that her father, a teacher, displayed towards their adopted country, Arlene set out to make the most of the opportunity. While working at a TV station, Arlene was introduced to world of marketing, and quickly fell in love. While raising four kids, she climbed up the ladder, eventually owning and running her own business. Arlene now sits on many public and private boards and is highly active in community organizations, with an enduring passion for health, food and beverage and women in business. She is deeply involved in various charities and foundations and has made a priority of giving back to the communities and the country that afforded her the opportunity to have such an incredible life and career.
Arlene has been included in Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Hall of Fame, PROFIT and Chatelaine’s Top 100 Women Business Owners and the Marketing Hall of Legends. A proud recipient of the Pinnacle Award for Excellence and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond and Platinum Jubilee Awards, Arlene has received numerous other awards and accolades – both for her work as an entrepreneur and her many philanthropic efforts, including acting as an ambassador for Second Harvest. She has served for many years as an Honourary Captain in the Royal Canadian Navy and has received honourary degrees from Mount Saint Vincent University, Concordia University, Saint Mary’s University, Olds College, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and University Canada West.