for St. Johns
Eddie Calisto-Tavares is a proud and passionate Manitoban. She immigrated to Canada from Portugal with her family in 1973 as a teenager. Her family made Winnipeg their home and that’s when Eddie began a nearly 50 year career as an active citizen contributing to the social fabric of the province she loves.
Eddie has never forgotten where she comes from. The oldest of 6 children, Eddie helped raise her 5 younger brothers, and at the age of 14 began working in a garment factory to help her family make ends meet. Through those tough years she learned first hand the value of hard work, determination, and having a strong community to rely on.
Eddie persevered and earned her CIM designation, eventually founding a human resources management and consulting company in 1999, and for the past twenty years has led and coordinated projects as President and Principal Consultant of Options for Success Inc. She is also a founding member of the Women Business Owners of Manitoba. Her work has focused on initiatives which build the capacity of multi-barrier populations including women, mature workers, Indigenous workers, and those who are unemployed/under employed - in particular newcomers, immigrants and individuals facing physical, mental and intellectual challenges. Eddie and her company have directly helped literally thousands of Manitobans find new jobs (often immediately after they have been laid off), get job training, or upgrade their skills.
As a citizen and mother, she has advocated for policy change at the provincial level to ensure equitable access to educational resources for her son and all other Manitoba children who are Hard of Hearing and Deaf. As a daughter and caregiver to an aging parent with severe dementia, Eddie has also had first hand experience navigating the turmoil and chaos of our current health care system.
She has been winner and nominee for numerous awards and honours, including: Top 75 Canadian Immigrants Finalist, HRMAM Diversity & Culture Awareness Award Winner, Manitoba Women Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Finalist, Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards Nominee, National Mentor Awards Finalist, and Women of Distinction Awards Nominee.
A proud partner to Gil (happily married 40 years), mother of 2 (Kristle and Khorie) and grandmother of 2 (Kalista and Alexander), Eddie has been a tireless fighter and community builder in the North End for over 4 decades.