Artistri Sud is known for their educational programs for entrepreneurial women in developing countries. It empowers and trains these women to transform their craft into a sustainable business. 


This time, instead of training others, Artistri Sud gets trained itself with the help of business consultant and leadership trainer, Mariola Wolters!



Mariola has made a long-lasting impact by implementing a new structure and cultural change for our organization in Canada. Initially, she interviewed volunteers which helped uncover challenges that were great opportunities for growth.

For example, one of the challenges that the organization faces is consistent volunteer engagement. Due to the overseas nature of the programs, volunteers don’t have direct contact with the women that they help. Therefore, they revealed that they felt somewhat disconnected, which has led to lower engagement overtime. 

They expressed that by “bringing the entrepreneurial women more alive” here in Canada, they would feel more connected as it is closer to home. People like to witness the effect and impact that their donations bring, whether it be time or money. 

Another uncovered opportunity for growth was the cooperation among and between the board and the rest of the organization.

Moreover, Mariola contributed with her extensive management experience working in “blue-chip” companies. Working with companies like Heineken and Beiersdorf, who’s the parent company of Nivea, has also allowed Mariola to learn how to work in international business environments, and how to be goal-driven, strategic, yet pragmatic and inspirational. 

Mariola also completed the Certified Coaching Program at Concordia University, which led her to coaching our founder Jennifer Lonergan on effective leadership.

With her experience, not only has she shared her knowledge in management, but she also shared how to adapt and interact in an international setting, which is essential to Artistri Sud’s work abroad.


Therefore, to train the board, she organized a field day.

This allowed the team to reflect on their personal purpose, “the why” of their joining Artistri Sud, and their aspirations for the organization.



Together, they clearly defined the purpose and vision while learning more about one another, the organization, and the direction they were headed. They are all in this together!

In subsequent sessions, Mariola and the board also stated the mission and values, as shown in a manifesto, which will serve them as guidance. 

Furthermore, they brainstormed ways to “bring the entrepreneurial women more alive.”

Jennifer gave the example of telling a story, at the beginning of every board meeting, about one of the women that she had met during the program. This allowed the board members to feel connected with those women as they hear new stories and get a glimpse of their lives and challenges. It makes them realize how important their work is and how Artistri Sud can really make a difference. 

This has also reinforced the bond between the team and made them feel more empowered to continue doing what they do. 

Everybody now feels that there are great opportunities in working more closely together here in Canada, but also in bringing the entrepreneurial women even closer to our hearts and minds.

Founder of Artistri Sud, Jennifer Lonergan mentions: “Mariola Wolters has really coached and challenged us to bring Artistri Sud to a higher level. We feel more empowered and we have a better sense of our purpose and vision, our goals, and our strategies. It has really been an exciting and rewarding process.”

Thank you Mariola for your dedicated and influential work!

Learn more about the hard-working people behind Artistri Sud on the blog!