You could say that Oraine DeRosa is coming back to her roots as she moves back to St. Catharines.

Oraine was born in Niagara Falls and grew up in Niagara on the Lake. She graduated from McMaster University with a degree in Maths and Science and landed her first job in Toronto, working with an investment bank.

“Looking back, I am amazed that they entrusted me, a young 23 year old, to handle the types of loans that I was managing with large corporations and governments in Europe.” she confesses.

After her daughter was born, the family moved back to take over the family farm – a peach farm. It was mainly her husband that worked the farm, while Oraine worked at the Royal Bank as an account manager, and would help out with their fruit market.

After eight years, the farm was no longer making economic sense, and they sold it, moving back into Niagara Falls. With that experience behind her, Oraine has real empathy for the plight of farmers whose financial success is so dependent on the weather.

Oraine was with the Royal Bank for nineteen years, and became their champion for the women’s market in Niagara region and partnered with the Welland BDC to bring in successful women entrepreneurs as speakers.

She had always been interested in the real estate market, having bought her first house at 18. So on leaving the bank, she went to work for a company doing land acquisitions and business development.

Six years ago she moved to Burlington where she met Joanna Blackmore at a networking event. Recognizing that they shared similar goals and values, Oraine joined Joanna’s team at the Blackmore Levy Group, where she helps people review and manage their finances.

“One of the biggest issues we see is that people, especially women, lack financial literacy.” shares Oraine. “What we do is educate people, without using jargon, but explaining their options in simple terms.” she adds.

Oraine is also one of the co-founders of Independent Women in Leadership, a successful networking group in Burlington that has partnered with Company of Women in the past.

What excites Oraine hasn’t changed at all over the years – it is seeing people succeed and watching as they grow and blossom professionally and personally.

And what excites us at Company of Women is that with her move back to St. Catharines, Oraine will be assuming the role of Chapter Leader for the Niagara Region, bringing all her financial/banking expertise and connections to our team.