Women of Influence: Renee RebeloBy Kate McCaffery | August 18 2014 09:00AM
Empowering others through financial education
In a word, Renee Rebelo is avid.
Seemingly tireless, notably outgoing, and more community oriented than most, Rebelo owns and runs three businesses – only one of which is a for-profit entity, and maintains a high profile through a wide variety of extracurricular activities, almost all of which are geared towards helping others, or giving back to a larger cause.
You’re bigger than your circumstances; you just need to think bigger.
Oftentimes empowerment, ‘empowering clients,’ is an over-the-top way of describing what people actually do, or try to do for others. In Rebelo’s case, however, the desire to empower others is clearly a cornerstone of sorts – evident in the businesses she’s built, in the events she hosts, and in the philosophy that underpins and informs the way she serves clients.
“I just want people to know they’re bigger than their circumstances,” she says. “You’re bigger than your circumstances; you just need to think bigger.”
A single mother, with two young children at the time, Rebelo founded Life Coach Financial in 2008. She is an active member of Advocis (formerly the president of her Hamilton-Burlington chapter), former vice-chair of the Grimsby Economic Development Advisory Committee and a board member with local business groups, including the Grimsby Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Club of Niagara, and Women in Niagara. She is the legacy giving representative for CityKidz Charity in Hamilton, and co-founder of two additional businesses: Women In Finance, and the Like-Minded Business Networkers, which has grown to have four chapters now, with over 900 members in Niagara, Burlington, Stoney Creek and Oakville, Ontario.
Women in Finance is a group of four professionals who’ve partnered to deliver financial education and assistance to women, through a series of seminars, held regularly throughout the province.
Light bulb moments
“Even our simplest concepts in the industry are light bulb moments for a lot of clients,” she says about the need to educate, in simple terms, but still cover off the breadth of topics which need to be addressed with clients and the public at large.
“The seminars are probably my favourite achievement,” she adds. “Everybody says, ‘Nope! No way. Nobody does seminars. You’re never going to get anyone out.’ And yet, we still get 300 people, every single time we put one on.”
In business, Rebelo’s client testimonials speak to her outgoing nature, her dedication to clients, the personal interest she gives to each and the depth of her knowledge. Put plainly, Rebelo is a woman who “knows her business, very well.”
One telling, perhaps key element of that perception and her success, is found in her business statement: “Renee and her staff take the emotions you may have connected to your financial situation very seriously, and commit to finding a positive solution.”
In discussing how it all gets done, Rebelo points to her key staff and to the strong support system built up around her.
“It’s all about keeping great people around you. You can’t succeed alone, there’s just no way,” she says. “In my business, I have a key person that I rely on happily, and trust with my life. A few of them. Without them, I wouldn’t have three businesses. It’s not just the people I pay,” she adds. “It’s the women around me who have the same passion.”