28th November 2023
At the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce's 2023 Business Excellence Awards on October 18, 2023, Fox Law lawyer and partner Nicole Truman will receive the Businesswoman of the Year award, sponsored by the Women's Business Network of Peterborough. Truman takes her expertise and knowledge as a business owner herself when helping small and medium-sized businesses in the community who need assistance with business law, real estate law, estate administration and powers of attorney. (Photo: Heather Doughty)
At the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce’s 2023 Business Excellence Awards on October 18, 2023, Fox Law lawyer and partner Nicole Truman will receive the Businesswoman of the Year award, sponsored by the Women’s Business Network of Peterborough. Truman takes her expertise and knowledge as a business owner herself when helping small and medium-sized businesses in the community who need assistance with business law, real estate law, estate administration and powers of attorney. (Photo: Heather Doughty)

Nicole Truman’s friends, family, and clients will be there when she is honoured as the 2023 Businesswoman of the Year at the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards ceremony on Wednesday evening (October 18) at Showplace Performance Centre in downtown Peterborough.

Sponsored by the Women’s Business Network of Peterborough and nominated by a peer in the community, the Businesswoman of the Year award recognizes Truman’s contributions to the business community, both as a lawyer and partner helping small businesses at Fox Law Professional Corporation and as a small business owner herself.

This will be the second time Truman has been recognized with a Business Excellence Award, having been selected for the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce’s 4-Under-40 Profile in 2019.

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“It’s always nice to be recognized by your peers, especially for someone like myself who works with so many small business clients and sees what a talented pool of business owners there are here,” says Truman.

Though Fox Law has been providing legal services to clients and small businesses in Peterborough since 1975, Truman and her fellow partner Ross Pryde took over the firm in 2016. Since then, the duo has grown the business and adapted it to meet the needs of their small and medium-sized business clients.

“Every file is different, every client is different,” explains Truman, adding that working collaboratively with the community, business, and her fellow lawyers is always the goal. “We’re all better when we work together.”

Nicole Truman (second from left) is no stranger to the Business Excellence Awards stage, as she was one of the recipients of the 4 Under 40 Profile in 2019 alongside Brooke Hammer, Dr. Vipin Grover, and Grace Reynolds. She believes the Business Excellence Awards is a good time for business owners to take a pause from their business and take time to come together with other entrepreneurs and professionals to celebrate their successes. (Photo: Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce)
Nicole Truman (second from left) is no stranger to the Business Excellence Awards stage, as she was one of the recipients of the 4 Under 40 Profile in 2019 alongside Brooke Hammer, Dr. Vipin Grover, and Grace Reynolds. She believes the Business Excellence Awards is a good time for business owners to take a pause from their business and take time to come together with other entrepreneurs and professionals to celebrate their successes. (Photo: Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce)

Truman believes she was able to gain some insight into the needs of business owners years ago while working for Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (then called the Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation) prior to attending law school. It was through this work that she became inspired by other lawyers.

“We had lawyers and accountants that volunteered their time to come in and help our small business clients on a monthly basis,” she recalls. “I thought that was really interesting and a great thing that these lawyers and accountants can share their knowledge with these small business owners that are just getting started or looking to expand their business.”

Eight years after completing her undergraduate degree in business, Truman attended law school at Queen’s University. While studying and then articling and practising as a junior lawyer for a firm in Toronto, Truman was always eager to return to her home in Peterborough. While she was away she stayed in touch with Bill Fox, who had been a family neighbour, and he soon took her under her wing at his Peterborough practice as he was preparing for his retirement.

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“We’re lucky that we get to live and work where other people come on the weekend,” she says, adding she enjoys being so close to her family cottage on Kasshabog Lake. “I just really think the work-life balance is so great, as opposed to working on Bay Street.”

Working in a smaller, tight-knit community when starting out also gave Truman more opportunity to get to know those small businesses with which she works every day.

“You get a more impactful relationship, and you get to see how your work is benefiting your client or helping your client when practising in a smaller town,” she notes. “You visit their store or use their services of their business. And I really just find it’s more of a meaningful connection.”

Fox Law was a sponsor for the 2019 Day of the Girl photography exhibit for Inspire: The Women's Portrait Project, which featured Dr. Roberta Bondar (second from right, bottom), Canada's first female astronaut and the world's first neurologist in space, as the guest speaker. Lawyer and partner Nicole Truman (centre, middle row) has been a part of the project since it first founded by photographer Heather Doughty (centre, bottom row) and is currently president of the board. Truman says lending her knowledge to organizations she has a passion for is her way to give back to the community. (Photo: Inspire)
Fox Law was a sponsor for the 2019 Day of the Girl photography exhibit for Inspire: The Women’s Portrait Project, which featured Dr. Roberta Bondar (second from right, bottom), Canada’s first female astronaut and the world’s first neurologist in space, as the guest speaker. Lawyer and partner Nicole Truman (centre, middle row) has been a part of the project since it first founded by photographer Heather Doughty (centre, bottom row) and is currently president of the board. Truman says lending her knowledge to organizations she has a passion for is her way to give back to the community. (Photo: Inspire)

She further adds she feels fortunate to get to live and work in a region where entrepreneurs are supported and celebrated.

“We’re really lucky in Peterborough that we have a lot of supports and organizations focused on helping small businesses succeed and navigate new rules or new pieces of legislation,” she says. “It’s a very collaborative and supportive environment in which to run your business.”

Though the lawyers at Fox Law will work together to help clients, each one has an area of expertise they specialize in, which is not commonly found in sole practices or large firms. While Truman works with the firm’s corporate clients, lawyer and partner Ross Pryde works with clients planning their estates and will planning, and their junior lawyer Mackenzy (Mac) Scott spends most of his time on real estate.

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Truman explains each lawyer spends 95 per cent of their time in their specialty, while connecting with each other when necessary for their clients.

“It’s hard to be a generalist with the pace of legislation changing,” explains Truman, who made the change with Pryde when they acquired the practice from Fox in 2016 prior to his 2019 retirement. “We each have a piece of our practice that we really focus our time and energy on.”

The connections in the business community has led to Truman becoming involved in other initiatives, both as a sponsor through Fox Law and individually.

Nicole Truman is an active community member both through her practice as partner at Fox Law as well as serving on the boards of local nonprofits, including as president of the board of the Peterborough Humane Society. She and her husband have a 10-year-old American Foxhound mix named Zorra who they adopted from the Lakefield Animal Welfare Society. (Photo: Peterborough Humane Society)
Nicole Truman is an active community member both through her practice as partner at Fox Law as well as serving on the boards of local nonprofits, including as president of the board of the Peterborough Humane Society. She and her husband have a 10-year-old American Foxhound mix named Zorra who they adopted from the Lakefield Animal Welfare Society. (Photo: Peterborough Humane Society)

Currently, Truman is the president of the board of directors of both the Peterborough Humane Society and Inspire: The Women’s Portrait Project. She also sits on the board for the Morton Community Healthcare Centre in Lakefield and supports the Seniors Care Network chaired by Jenny Ingram (who was also Truman’s neighbour at her family home).

“It’s been a wonderful way to give back to the community,” says Truman. “They’re all different initiatives that I have an interest in or passion for and so it’s nice to be able to support them in different ways.”

She’ll be connecting with these and other community members on Wednesday when Peterborough’s entrepreneurs, owners, and professionals come together at the Business Excellence Awards to celebrate the achievements of locally owned businesses and organizations.

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“It’s really important to make time for the small business events,” says Truman. “It’s really important — especially for younger professionals — to get out and build that network sooner rather than later, because there’s such experience and such knowledge and people that are passionate about different pieces of their business and doing really outstanding things.”

The awards show for the Business Excellence Awards will take place on Wednesday, October 18 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Showplace Performance Centre. Tickets are $65 plus HST and include one complimentary beverage and light hors d’oeuvres at a pre-show party at 5:45 p.m. at The Venue in downtown Peterborough.

For tickets and to see a full list of finalists and the already-announced recipients of some of the awards, visit pkexcellence.ca.


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