P.J. Gardiner 2019 Newfoundland and Labrador Entrepreneur of the Year Award
CEO, Stella’s Circle
BA ’91, MBA ‘93
Lisa Browne works with 125 dedicated staff at Stella’s Circle who assist 1,000 inspiring participants each year with housing, counselling and employment services. The organization has won numerous awards including a Newfoundland and Labrador Employers’ Council Path to Distinction Award, a Canada Volunteers Award for Social Innovation and a Torch Award for Ethics from the Better Business Bureau - Atlantic Region.
Ms. Browne was named one of the Top 50 CEOs in Atlantic Canada in 2017 and 2018 by Atlantic Business Magazine. She currently serves on the board of directors of the National Gallery of Canada, Mental Health Research Canada and Food First NL. She chairs the advisory board at the Centre for Social Enterprise and is a member of the School of Social Work’s advisory committee at Memorial University. In addition to a bachelor of arts in English and a master of business administration degree from Memorial, she’s also an alumna of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.
Ms. Browne worked her way through university by starting a string quartet and playing at numerous weddings and other events. This entrepreneurial spirit continued when she served as deputy mayor of Clarenville and co-founded Arts Under the Stars, a series of outdoor performances that continues 13 years later.
Under her leadership, Stella’s Circle launched Clean Start, a commercial cleaning business. The organization is also launching a new social enterprise, Home to Stay, offering home modifications to help people stay in their own homes as they age. Along with the Hungry Heart Café, these social enterprises are helping to train and provide work experience to people who face many barriers to fully participating in their communities, helping to build the province’s labour market while simultaneously having a social impact.
Ms. Browne regularly shares her experiences and insights on a variety of topics through guest speaking opportunities.