Melissa a re­mark­able woman

Hair stu­dio owner shocked to hear her name as win­ner of pres­ti­gious con­test

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - FRONT PAGE - BRUCE BELL THE INTELLIGENCER

BAYSIDE — In a room packed with am­bi­tion, tal­ent and suc­cess, Melissa Pay­ton VanNor­man’s jaw al­most hit the ta­ble when mas­ter of cer­e­monies Glenda Tracey called her name as the Quinte 2018 Re­mark­able Woman of the Year.

“There are so many tal­ented women here and just to be in­cluded with them is more than hum­bling,” said the owner of Kor Hair Stu­dio. “I look around the room and these women have ac­com­plished so much. I can’t tell you how sur­prised and happy I am to re­ceive such an hon­our.

Not ev­ery­one was so sur­prised. Joe South­well, The Intelligencer’s di­rec­tor of me­dia sales, said Pay­ton VanNor­man was de­serv­ing of the award.

“She’s an amaz­ing mem­ber of the com­mu­nity and al­ways seems to put ev­ery­one else ahead of her­self,” he said. “I’m not at all sur­prised the panel se­lected her as the win­ner from such a strong list of can­di­dates.

Pay­ton VanNor­man was re­cently nom­i­nated for Busi­ness Per­son of the Year for Quinte Busi­ness Achieve­ment Awards and when the mother of two isn’t tend­ing to busi­ness at Kor – which will soon cel­e­brate its first an­niver­sary — she is likely plan­ning her next Street Stylez event.

Over the last four years, Pay­ton VanNor­man has helped pro­vide free hair cuts, meals and school sup­plies to more than 700 peo­ple.

Held twice an­nu­ally, she packed more than 100 book bags with school sup­plies for chil­dren re­turn­ing to school at her last event prior to Labour Day.

“I’ve been there and I know what it’s like to have noth­ing when the other kids are go­ing back to school with new out­fits, new hair cuts and all the sup­plies they need,” she said. “No child should feel like that, so we want them to feel good about them­selves when they go back to school.”

Guest speaker Kristin Crowe took the au­di­ence through her riv­et­ing jour­ney, dis­cov­er­ing in Au­gust 2017 can­cer had re­turned and a di­ag­no­sis of Stage 4 Me­tastatic Breast Can­cer, meant she was no longer cur­able.

Crowe said the stress of her ill­ness, an end­ing re­la­tion­ship, be­ing the mother of teenaged boys, had her headed for a break­down.

“So there you have it … quite the year! There’s so much more to share but you now have the bones … my life as I knew it came crash­ing down. I had to walk away from the busi­ness com­pletely, at an ex­cit­ing time, to put my en­tire fo­cus on sur­vival! My boys were both in dif- fer­ent yet dif­fi­cult places, my liv­ing sit­u­a­tion was not ideal, and my health was at risk.

Emo­tion­ally, I was headed for dis­as­ter ( and) some­thing had to change … I had to change. I knew that no one was go­ing to get me out of this place but me! I be­gan open­ing up to peo­ple — not some­thing that comes nat­u­ral to me. I was out of my com­fort zone, let­ting it all out, cry­ing with peo­ple who were stop­ping in to visit me and that’s when the magic be­gan to hap­pen.”

Pay­ton VanNor­man said she could re­late to Crowe’s health strug­gles.

“Los­ing my mother to can­cer ( four years ago) was such a huge thing in my life and it gave me a real push,” she said. “I cried lis­ten­ing to Kristin and it’s be­cause of peo­ple like her I get up in the morn­ing. There is al­ways some­one who has it worse, some­one who needs a help­ing hand and when you look at some­one like Kristin – she is so strong and you would never know she has had to face those strug­gles. It res­onates deeply with me be­cause my mom was my ev­ery­thing and I nursed her and it was aw­ful to watch her dis­ap­pear. But through aw­ful comes light and that’s my driv­ing force to keep giv­ing back.”

Now in its 18th year spon­sored by The Intelligencer, they were once again joined by Shop­per’s Drug Mart and Belleville Toy­ota. Quinte Broad­cast­ing and Co­geco were me­dia spon­sors.

Kim Tay­lor of Tay­lor Signs was se­lected as first run­ner- up while Ruth Fer­gu­son Ault­house, a plan­ning con­sul­tant was se­lected as sec­ond run­ner- up.

Other nom­i­nees in­cluded: Michelle Stroud, Sarah Sear­les, Michele Rees and Su­san Walsh, Gloria- Anne Richards, Dr. An­drea Sorichetti and Bobbi Aruljothi, Rachel Revoy and Mandy Keller.

BRUCE BELL/ THE INTELLIGENCER

Kor Hair Stu­dio owner Melissa Pay­ton VanNor­man re­acts with sur­prise to hear her name called out as the 2018' s Re­mark­able Woman.

BRUCE BELL PHO­TOS/ THE INTELLIGENCER

Pic­tured are the nom­i­nees from the 2018 Quinte Re­mark­able Woman of the Year awards held Thurs­day at Oc­ca­sions by the Bay. Pic­tured ( back row from left) are Michelle Stroud, Sarah Sear­les, Michele Rees and Su­san Walsh. In front ( row from left) Ruth Fer­gu­son Ault­house, Kim Tay­lor, Gloria- Anne Richards, Melissa Pay­ton VanNor­man, Dr. An­drea Sorichetti and Bobbi Aruljothi. Miss­ing were Rachel Revoy and Mandy Keller.

Pic­tured are the three win­ners from The Quinte 2018 Re­mark­able Women awards at Oc­ca­sions by the Bay on Thurs­day. ( From left) Ruth Fer­gu­son Ault­house ( sec­ond run­ner- up), Kim Tay­lor ( first run­ner- up) and 2018 Re­mark­able Woman of the Year Melissa Pay­ton VanNor­man.

2018 Re­mark­able Women nom­i­nee Michele Rees ( cen­tre) gets sup­port from her mother- in- law Lynda Rees and hus­band Ja­son Rees.

2017 Re­mark­able Women win­ner Cather­ine Langlois lis­tens to guest speaker Kristin Crowe.

Michelle Stroud was one of the nom­i­nees at the Re­mark­able Women of the Year lun­cheon.

Dr. An­drea Sorichetti was one of the nom­i­nees for the 2018 Re­mark­able Women.

The Intelligencer’s Di­rec­tor of Me­dia Sales Joe South­well in­tro­duces 2018 Re­mark­able Women nom­i­nee Sarah Sear­les dur­ing Thurs­day’s lun­cheon at Oc­ca­sions by the Bay.

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