Cathy’s Financial Resolutions with Colleen O’Connell-Campbell

It is the time of year when many of us take stock of what we have accomplished and what we have yet to accomplish. Some of us make resolutions that last a few hours or a few days. Some of us make resolutions that last a few months. Keeping in mind that a resolution, by definition, is a firm decision to begin doing something or to stop doing something. We often feel like we have failed if we don’t stand by the resolution.

So you say, “What does this have to do with Cathy Whitney and her Ottawa Makeover Project journey?”. Frankly, why be constrained by the commercialism of the holiday season and the standard calendar? Your resolutions do not have to be tied to the start of a new year, you have the power to invoke positive change in your life at any time – so why not right now?

It is easy to make the decision to change but much more difficult to make it stick. So, you call on coaches, consultants, cheerleaders, and fans to support your decision, the subsequent journey, and all the ups and downs along the way. That – in a nutshell – is precisely what the Ottawa Makeover Project is all about.

Cathy has given me the green light – without hesitation – to share some of the financial parts of her Ottawa Makeover Project journey. So, while still respecting her personal privacy, I am going to highlight what we have uncovered thus far.

During our very first encounter, Cathy repeatedly apologized for her previous lack of investment and financial planning. We had to set some ground rules right away… No more apologizing! We cannot change the past but we can develop an understanding of ourselves, look to the future, and look to uncover how and why we made particular choices.

While we worked together to explore Cathy’s financial position, I directed her to prioritize her financial goals and used a wheel to illustrate, on a scale of 1 to 10, how close she was to achieving those goals. This exercise allowed us to begin to see Cathy’s financial “big picture” and our plan began to form.

I gave Cathy some homework to do. She needed to gather all the details about her assets and liabilities (i.e. her net worth), income and expenses (i.e. her personal cash flow) so we could establish her current financial “State of the Nation”, giving us a clear picture of what her financial situation looks like now, so we can plot a course for her future.

Now we know where we stand and where we want to be. We will work together to build a better understanding of what money represents for Cathy and define the ways in which she will honour what she values most. Cathy wants to plan a trip to Disney and she has her sights set on a thriving independent business and financial security. We can get there and though it might now seem like we are at the base of Mount Everest, getting to the top and to those goals is really just about the planning, the training, and the doing.

We have more work ahead on our journey together and I am looking forward to experiencing the positive shifts with Cathy as she transforms from version 1.0 to 2.0. With any luck, Cathy will be empowered to make more confident decisions about how she spends, saves, and shares her wealth – wealth defined not simply as financial abundance but also of humour, talent, and time.

– Colleen

Colleen O’Connell-Campbell is a Senior Wealth Advisory with Scotia Wealth Management. Learn more about Colleen and her team at

In Cathy’s Words: Ottawa Makeover Project Two Months Down…

As the founder of the Ottawa Makeover Project, it is also my personal quest to help guide and support Cathy throughout this journey. I cannot wait to see Cathy 2.0 slowly develop over these next months as she takes the advice and direction from all of the businesses involved in this project. Please join me and the rest of the Makeover Team in sharing positive messages with Cathy during this time!

– Dr. Andrea Stevens

I am so emotional as I craft this message. The statement above from Dr. Andrea Stevens makes me tear up because Dr. Stevens’ commitment is unwavering; that she truly cares about me and my experience is so apparent as is the fact that she has the respect of all the project partners who are all so happy to be part of this initiative Andrea – you’re truly an earth Angel.

The OTTAWA MAKEOVER PROJECT is a MONUMENTAL effort on all fronts – rather overwhelming for me at times, but so totally worth it. I could never thank-you enough, Andrea, for being the catalyst for change that this Makeover represents for me! Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!

We’re 2 months into the journey and it has been, and continues to be, INCREDIBLE.

The partners have ALL stepped up to ensure my experience is truly wonderful. It is like an entourage of experts who are committed to helping me discover CATHY WHITNEY 2.0!!

More to come…


Twiss & Weber & OMP

After seeing the Ottawa Makeover Project on CTV last year, Tonia Weber and I, (Laura Twiss) could tell right away that we wanted to be part of the project. As designers of our own line of women’s clothes, which we manufacture in our shop on Wellington West, we are not only a small, local business in Ottawa, we are also in the business of transforming women’s lives through clothes and transforming wardrobes.

Twiss and Webber OMP blog 3  Twiss and Webber OMP blog 2  Twiss and Webber OMP blog 6

Getting dressed in the morning or deciding what to wear on that special night out can be challenging for many women. Some of us own too many pieces of clothing to be able to make good decisions about what to wear, while many of us settle for ill-fitting clothes or clothes we do not even like, never mind love!

Having worked in the industry for nearly two decades, Tonia and I have dressed many women and we know the power of a wardrobe transformation that works in one’s favour, regardless of body type, profession, or income. We have witnessed many transformations in our clients, seeing them move from the habit of mindlessly or impulsively purchasing clothes to consciously building a wardrobe that they love. And that is why we wanted to be part of the Ottawa Makeover Project.

This year, throughout her OMP journey, we will be providing Cathy Whitney with services that are available to any of our clients. Once we get to know a little more about Cathy and her preferences, we will be providing a 3-hour wardrobe consultation at her home, including an inventory of her closet. We will be looking for statement or investment pieces that a wardrobe could be built around. We will then eliminate pieces that she does not wear, that do not fit (and cannot be altered) or that she does not feel good wearing. Our standard is actually higher than feeling “good” – it’s feeling fantastic, but we will let Cathy decide how she wants to feel on any given day.

Once we have completed the inventory, Cathy will receive a map of her wardrobe so that she can remember how to build outfits we have assembled. She will also receive a list of pieces that are missing from her wardrobe, which she may want to keep an eye out for in order to build a more versatile wardrobe. We will share with Cathy our business philosophy of “take command of your own style”, which will allow her to express who she is and how she feels through what she wears.

We will also help Cathy sort the pieces that have been eliminated from her closet. Some may need to be altered and reincorporated into her wardrobe, while others will be donated and used by others in our communities. Many clients choose to pass garments along to family and friends while others donate them to local charities, like Saint Vincent de Paul and Dress for Success Ottawa, with whom Twiss & Weber work closely.

With a smaller and more manageable wardrobe, Cathy will have a few months to try out the new outfits and styles available to her before her OMP journey concludes. To help her celebrate her hard work and the inevitable transformation she will experience, we will work with Cathy at our shop to help her select the outfit from the Twiss & Weber spring collection that she will wear at her reveal on CTV in May. It may be something off the rack or something custom ordered just for her – whatever her choice, we know she will feel fantastic being the best version of herself.

Cathy, good luck on your OMP journey and we look forward to being part of your transformation! Readers, stay tuned, as we will be blogging about the services we provide throughout the project in the months ahead!

Laura Twiss

In Cathy’s Words: Celebrity Status (well, it sure feels that way to me)!

This makeover journey has been a wild ride, in all the best ways, from the moment I learned I’d won!

There was an immediate reaching out by project partners offering me hearty congratulations and expressing their excitement at getting to work with me! Pretty heady stuff for someone like me!

I don’t see myself as a celebrity, but I feel like one! It is most humbling to have such an amazing array of successful professionals offering their time, talent and expertise to make my life better.

When I stopped in at SupperWorks in Kanata that first week, I was surprised to see my name on their white board where they welcome folks and cite their support of the OTTAWA MAKEOVER PROJECT. Below that appeared ‘Congratulations to this year’s recipient, Cathy Whitney’.

I have never been a fan of getting my picture taken! And yet, this adventure has meant pictures, video, interviews, posting, tweeting, more pictures, emails, phone calls, booking appointments and being introduced to some of this city’s very best business owners – ALL while continuing to do my best at my wonderful job!  Yes, I’m biased because they’re all part of my life transforming journey, but to step-up and be part of something like this speaks volumes of their caring hearts.

I know there are 1000s of businesses in the area with kind-hearted owners; I know many of them. Frankly, I am one of them! But within the parameters of THE OTTAWA MAKEOVER PROJECT, I am meeting and being cared for by an incredible group dedicated to helping me becoming the very best version of me.

I’m looking forward to becoming CATHY WHITNEY 2.0! However, at my core, I will always be CATHY WHITNEY 1.0 – the original, the unique, the one and only. There have been many tears shed in the course of this journey – and we’re only at the start of week three.

The teary side of things, the good bad and ugly that will be part of this journey will be shared. In the weeks ahead, I will share my experience with each of the OTTAWA MAKEOVER PROJECT partners so you can all get to know them better. I am very much looking forward to this journey!

Are you ready? I am!

Stay tuned!

– Cathy

Why Cathy?

On November 2, 2015 I was so fortunate to introduce our third Ottawa Makeover Project winner, Cathy Whitney, to Ottawa on Majic 100 FM and on CTV Morning Live! Cathy was chosen from a group of women and men who applied for the opportunity to jump start huge changes in their lives.

Maybe you are wondering…why did we choose Cathy this year? I have to tell you, it was a super difficult decision, and one our team did not take lightly. Cathy’s story was similar to some…single mom of grown kids, working for someone else while at the same time running her own business. As with other applicants, she put all of her energy into raising her two terrific kids, letting her own needs slide.  And yet, Cathy’s application video, which you can watch here showed a woman determined to make this project the springboard for, as she called it, “Cathy 2.0”. Our team loved the energy, the positive attitude, the determination she expressed.

Ottawa Makeover Project.WinningAnnoucement

So what happens now for Cathy? Well, she has already begun by meeting with the various businesses involved with the project, started her personal training, getting her time organized…and it’s been less than 2 weeks since we told her she was chosen!

In terms of what I have planned for Cathy in regards to dentistry…Cathy is like many patients I’ve met over the 21 years I’ve been a dentist. She made sure her children had the best dental care (and whatever else they needed), and let her own oral health support go on the back burner. She does take excellent care of her teeth, but now she needs the professional touch. We will be teaching Cathy about the relationship between oral health and whole-body health, and helping her strengthen that relationship with our dental team by her side. Her smile is already terrific, but we can’t wait to see her smile completely match her personality…bright and full of life!

As the founder of the Ottawa Makeover Project, it is also my personal quest to help guide and support Cathy throughout this journey. I cannot wait to see Cathy 2.0 slowly develop over these next months as she takes the advice and direction from all of the businesses involved in this project. Please join me and the rest of the Makeover Team in sharing positive messages with Cathy during this time!

– Dr. Andrea Stevens


In Her Own Words: Meet Cathy, 2015/2016 OMP Recipient

To put oneself before a panel of strangers asking them to help you change your life COMPLETELY is terrifying. To me, it was an admission that for all I’ve done to ensure my children’s lives were infinitely better than mine had been, the price I paid was too much for me to bear on my own. But, I also knew that after 22 years of putting everyone else first, it was time.

My greatest discomforts with this process were:
1) asking for something for ME, and
2) putting myself on public display as a wildly imperfect, overweight, out of shape, and overwhelmed person – essentially the hottest mess in Ottawa!

Taking the pictures was so uncomfortable, but I knew if I didn’t act quickly (albeit in the final hours before the deadline), then I would chicken out again. So, I dove in and did it.

I spent hours crafting my message on paper and finally just spoke from my heart. Speaking for the first two minutes and fifty seconds was not so bad. It was the final few seconds where my heart and emotions ran wild – asking for the makeover so I could be ‘the best version of me’ as I walk my daughter down the aisle next May – was the reason I needed TEN tries to get the video right.

Learning that I’d been selected almost made me faint because I was so genuinely shocked. In a quiet moment later with my daughter, Rebecca, I told her that it was the same shock value, (though in this case 100% awesome) as when I first saw my son, Austin in CHEO’s emergency department, after being hit by a car in 2006!

When I saw his beautiful face smashed and bruised, I feared he would die and knew I needed to be at his side. That was the longest 10-steps I’ve taken in my life! (Fear not, Austin is a walking talking miracle – CHEO for four days and a full recovery in 6 months beyond losing two front teeth which we are working on replacing.)

Beyond shock, was soul-deep delight, heartfelt euphoria and gratitude beyond words. Learning that I was unanimously chosen for being so authentic and genuine and having a clear goal in mind (my daughter’s wedding) was most humbling. Dr. Andrea Stevens may not wear a cape, but to me, she is a superhero. That she has assembled an incredible group of heroes who have all stepped up to change my life means more to me than I have room to express in this blog!

Don’t get me wrong, the next 6 months will require a monumental commitment from me, but I do so willingly. I am motivated, committed and passionate about being a fiercely active participant in the journey to Cathy Whitney 2.0!!


Follow Cathy’s journey on Facebook and Twitter: @OMakeover and @cathysmakeover 



Johanne’s Game Changer


Two years ago I was driving home from work and heard a radio spot about an opportunity to apply for a ‘makeover’. What caught my attention was that it included a personal trainer, a dental assessment, and consultation on hair and makeup. My current gym membership had just run out, and  I had been considering options. Fall was coming, and I was noticing it was darker in the mornings when I got up. I really felt like I needed to shake up my world a little.

Spurred on by this restless feeling, I decided to go ahead and apply for the makeover. The application called for a video submission, highlighting why I thought I was deserving of this opportunity. As I read more about it on The Ottawa Makeover website I realized it was so much more than just a personal trainer and a few consultations. There was a team of people basically standing by, waiting for that one brave soul to just put their hand up and confidently say, “Pick me!”. The more I read about it, the more I hoped that they would choose me.

Fast forward two years later, I am still benefiting from my decision to apply! I met a group of sincerely caring professionals who wanted to share their talents and knowledge to help me become the very best version of myself, not only physically, but mentally and financially as well. For six months I was given permission to really focus on my health. I met some incredible humans, and their words and actions have stayed with me, these two years on.

This is a game changer, and if you are feeling even a tiny bit of that restlessness that I was feeling, I urge you to apply to the Ottawa Makeover Project. You have nothing to lose, and I suspect that even in the process of applying you will realize that yes, you are ready for change, and you are ready to devote some time to be the best possible  you.

I can’t wait to see what the next participant will accomplish with the support of the Ottawa Makeover Team! I love you guys! Thank you so very much for all the life lessons, and for helping me match my outwards appearance to the joyful human I have always felt to be inside!
-Johanne Kenney
2014/2015 OMP Participant

Who is involved with the Ottawa Makeover Project?

The Ottawa Makeover Project is a group of local business owners and professionals looking to help you become your best you, beauty inside and out! The Ottawa Makeover Project is more than just a simple makeover worthy of a 30 minute reality TV show. As partners in the Project, we are all dedicated to providing one lucky Ottawa-area resident with a Life Makeover.

Our participant will be selected from among applications received between now and October 12th, 2015 based on a very simple set of criteria:  he or she must be willing to commit to the entire process and ready to embrace change.

The project runs over six months – from November to May – during which time OMP Partners donate our expertise, skills, and talents to the chosen Participant.  We encouraging and support them as they uncover a more fulfilled, healthier, happier version of themselves.

Who is involved with the Ottawa Makeover Project?  Returning OMP Partners include:

  • Executive Fitness Leaders will provide the Participant with Registered Massage Therapy, Nutritional Counselling, and one-on-one Personal Training three times per week for six months.
  • Colleen O’Connell-Campbell, Senior Wealth Advisor from Scotia McLeod provides personalized advice to guide the Participant towards financial health.
  • Russ Molot, Lawyer with Langevin Morris Smith LLC, donates a variety of legal services including Wills and Estate Planning for the Participant and his/her partner.
  • Dr. Andrea Stevens, Founder of the Ottawa Makeover Project, offers a Smile Makeover to our Participant.

New OMP Partners joining the 2015/2016 Project are:

  • Twiss & Weber wants to show Ottawa how local designers can help you look great with a selection of in-house crafted clothing! They will be providing our Participant with a personalized wardrobe consultation and private in-store shopping experience to select a reveal outfit.
  • Rinaldo at 90 George Street will provide the Participant with hair and esthetic services including hairstyle consultation, colour, cut, and makeup application, while Rinaldo at Carlingwood will provide pampering with six months of spa services.
  • Eating Well Ottawa, provides access to fresh, organic, non-GMO fruits and vegetables and other grocery items, delivered to your home. Our Participant will receive six months of fresh organic produce and healthy groceries delivered right to his/her door.
  • Pierette Raymond, 6 Months of private life coaching, 4 hours of professional decluttering & organizing services, and a $500 gift card for 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, all designed to help the Participant move forward.
  • Live Well Family Health Centre Provides six months of Chiropractic correction and care.
  • SupperWorks Two visits to each of three Ottawa-area SupperWorks locations (Kanata, Nepean, and Orleans) during the Project! That’s one visit each month during which the Participant will prepare six healthy entrees.
  • Myers Kanata Chev Buick GMC will provide the Participant with a six month car lease, plus insurance.

Don’t be surprised if we have EVEN MORE great businesses on our team by the time this project gets rolling in November (we already have a few surprises up our sleeves)! Our goal is to provide the stepping stones of self-improvement to someone who is ready to make a change.

Are you ready?  Our team would love to meet you, but that can only happen if you apply before the deadline. Don’t wait!

Ottawa Makeover Project.Apply Now

To keep up with our selection process, please join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!


Here We Go Again: Ottawa Makeover Project MP 2015-16

On May 29, 2015, OMP Partners appeared on CTV Morning Live to present our 2nd Participant, Nikki Jardine, at the end of her journey with us. We also began accepting applications for the third installment of the Ottawa Makeover Project!

What is The Ottawa Makeover Project

Still wondering what the Ottawa Makeover Project is all about?
A team of local business owners and professionals donate services and expertise to help one lucky Ottawa-area resident each year to achieve their lifestyle goals. Included in this amazing six-month journey are experts in:

  • Health
  • Fitness
  • Nutrition
  • Financial planning
  • Legal and estate planning
  • Life coaching and goal setting
  • Emotional and beauty improvements, and
  • More

In a nutshell, we are all working hard to help you become your best you! None of these lifestyle changes come easily, so we are looking for the right candidate. There is no cost to apply for or to participate and reap the benefits of the Ottawa Makeover Project EXCEPT for a commitment to the program. The person we select must have a strong desire (and the drive) to make significant improvements to his/her life. We’re also looking for someone with a great sense of fun who is willing to share his/or progress in progress on social media along the way.

If you or someone you love is looking for help from a team of committed professionals, apply online not at Applications will be until Thanksgiving Monday, October 12, 2015 at 11:59pm. It’s easy – you’ll answer a few questions, attach some photographs and a short video and submit. Don’t wait until you’ve missed your chance, apply now!

Meet Aaron

Meet Aaron, one of the awesome people we got to help as a “special” part of the Ottawa Makeover Project this year! Dr. Andrea Stevens Dentistry,with great help from Dr. Hassan Moghadam and Aurum Classic Dental Lab, donated a great smile to this gentleman as he starts the new-and-improved chapter of his life! Get to know Aaron at!