Congratulations to the 2008
Thomas Leonard International Virtual Assistant of Distinction Recipient


Tawnya Sutherland

Tawnya has contributed to the industry in such a way that she has provided a positive impact on many others and helped them each to build a successful business.

Message from Tawnya:

"Winning this award has truly grounded me as I was thoroughly surprised by the amount of support sent my way throughout this nomination process.  Although my name is on this year’s award I by no means accomplished this by myself. To those of you that have been my inspiration, my friends as both clients, fellow VAs and the wonderful members of, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It has been my goal from the beginning to give new and established VA's a place to congregate to share ideas, experiences, and to know that we're not alone and I hope to continue to be able to do this in the years to come.

I have practiced my three 'P's of success within my own VA business and wish to share these ethics with the VA community. They are: Persistence, Passion and Populace. A persistence to never give up and keep pushing through your business plan no matter what obstacles stand in your way. A passion and solid desire to reach the vision you have for you and your business. And populace, the networking with likeminded people in the VA industry.

It is with these thoughts in mind that I graciously accept this year’s Thomas Leonard International Virtual Assistant of Distinction Award. This award represents every single VA who has contributed to the VA industry by helping to create social networks like wherein people who, on one front may be business competitors, still have the time and compassion for an industry to help those just breaking in to it. I think that this VA family, that I have watched grow over the last 10 years, is a testimony to the moral fiber of the people involved in an industry that I am proud to be a part of.."

Therefore, I accept this award on behalf of every virtual assistant who works long hours to make our industry an indispensable service to small-business owners worldwide. Winning this award further inspires me to continue spreading goodwill by helping to empower more VAs to create their businesses and educating entrepreneurs about our capabilities."

Personal Bio: 

Tawnya was born and raised in a small fishing village in eastern Canada with a population of just 500 called Bewdley, Ontario.  It is such a small village that they still only have dial up internet!  From there she graduated from high school and went on to college to become a Legal Secretary.  Tawnya married, had three children and then thirteen years later found herself divorced and a single mother starting all over again from scratch. It was at this point in her life that she made a decision to go back to University obtained her certifications in Multimedia and Internet Marketing Studies and pursue her dreams of being a VA full-time.

In 2004, Tawnya hooked up with Arnold, the man of her dreams and settled into a wonderful new life of family and love. Her children are growing into beautiful young adults with just one son now living at home who keeps her active at the sports arena watching him play hockey year round.  Tawnya proudly watches and supports her other son and daughter who are working on their careers to become a plumber and an accountant.

Tawnya loves to travel anywhere she can go during her down time and her next dream trip is to head to New Zealand hopefully in the summer/fall of this year.  Other than that, it will be day and weekend camping trips in beautiful British Columbia. Always looking for more adverture to inspire and keep her active, Tawnya is going back to school in June to earn her pilot's licence at Arnold's new flight school.

Business Bio:

A long-time active member of the VA community, Sutherland founded, the largest online global social network for successful and aspiring Virtual Assistants.

Tawnya is also the creator of the internationally acclaimed Virtual Business Startup System—which provides all the information, tools, and resources for a VA to build a viable virtual assistance business in just 30 days.

Tawnya began her own administrative support VA business, Mediamage Business Solutions, in 1997 but has since focused on providing Internet Marketing services helping her clients turn clicks into cash. Tawnya is a Certified Internet Marketing Business Strategist and Multimedia Usability Specialist graduating in 2002 from the University of British Columbia.

A true entrepreneur, Tawnya also owns, operates and markets her family's aviation companies Mile High Customs, The Aviation Black Book, ALM Custom Carvings and Mile High Productions.

Tawnya’s newest venture in the VA industry is hosting and producing the internet radio show, The VA Talk Show which informs, educates and entertains virtual achievers globally.

Here are just some of the comments by her peers:

"I hired Tawnya Sutherland in 2003 for her services as a Virtual Assistant. Tawnya has always performed above and beyond the call of duty for me and performed flawlessly. Her knowledge and skills are absolutely the best. Her integrity and professionalism are without reproach. Her services have been so valuable to us that I have been reluctant to tell my colleagues about her!"

"Congratulations on making such a success! I’ve been a quiet member there for over two years and it has always been the best free source of information available to help me build my business the right way. Tawnya, I don’t know what I would have done without you and all your hard work here at VAnetworking. Your fingers may have been worked to the bone and I’m sure your back is aching many nights, but I am just one of many people who can say your efforts have made being a Virtual Assistant a lot easier than it might have been without you in the industry."

"Tawnya has always been professional, courteous and very easy to deal with.  Her work is delivered as promised with great attention to detail.  Her expertise in website marketing and delivery methods is excellent. I would recommend Tawnya and her company to my colleagues, friends or family.  I trust her completely with my work."

"I really do owe you.  It is because of (which really equates to you) that I am able to work from home and be here for my son.  You have no idea how much that means to me (as well as my whole family).  Moreover, VAnetworking is where my business partner and I met.  Not only do we have an amazing working relationship but she is also someone I count among my very dearest of friends. Thank you so very very much Tawnya!!"

"Tawnya's website url comes through my Google Alerts on a daily basis promoting one thing or another about the virtual asisstant industry.  Thank you Tawnya for bringing more awareness to virtual assistants worldwide through your powerful marketing skills."


We congratulate and thank Tawnya for her contributions and dedication to the success and growth of the Virtual Assistant Industry and individual Virtual Assistants around the world. 

Tawnya will not only receive the recognition and respect of everyone in the Virtual Assistant industry, she will also receive:

  • A physical award to adorn her office
  • An award graphic to use on her website
  • An award certificate to use in her marketing material
  • "Book Yourself Solid" by Michael Port
  • "Expanding You Business, One Subscriber at a Time" by Heather Jacobson
  • 1 Year Subscription to the Virtual Assistant Revolution
  • The Everyday Guide to Writing Wisely from Laurie Dart
  • VA Success Stories Interview from Sharon Williams
  • Business Building Ebook Library by Janice Byer
  • The Virtual Assistant's Guide to the Multi-VA Business Ebook by Michelle Jamison
  • 2 Way Feedback Ebook by Jennifer McCoy
  • Entrepreneurial Freedom Ebook by Jeannine Clontz & Lauren Hidden
  • One Full Year of Podcast Hosting from Penny Haynes
  • 3 Month membership to Coaching Club from Linda Anderson
  • The Fifth Edition of Forms & Templates for the Virtual Assistant Business by Susan Totman

Thank you to the above companies that donated to our award winner