2022 Women of Inspiration™ Award Winners

The Universal Womens Network™—the organization behind these awards—honours the voices of women across industries to recognize Women of Inspiration™ from across Canada, the USA and internationally. Our recipients share a common thread. They each have a unique and inspiring story. In this past year, more than 900 women across five continents stepped forward to be acknowledged. “We must continue to celebrate the achievements of women, at all levels. Stepping into the spotlight gives permission for others to the same,” CEO, Kretschmer says.

Our network embraces a culture of diversity, inclusion and equality and welcomes our SupportHER™ allies to the conversation to be a part of the solution. Every woman has a unique gift; her voice matters and contributes to the economy.

Through the Women of Inspiration™ Awards, we see the impact of all women from diverse industries, walks of life, and ages recognized for their achievements, their contribution to the economy, and their impact around the world. They are everyday heroes, entrepreneurs, pilots, scientists, innovators, artists, healthcare workers, space explorers, executives and visionaries from youth to women with a Lifetime of Achievement.

When we celebrate one woman; we celebrate ALL women. When we celebrate women, we pave the path for our future leaders, we bring awareness to industries underrepresented by women, we elevate the visibility of women-led businesses and we impact the value women contribute at all levels of business as well as to society as a whole.

These incredible women coming together is beautiful, powerful and inspiring. Their individual talents, wisdom and leadership inspire change. We, as women, are the changemakers fostering innovation and embracing inclusion. We are Raising the bar for women to be seen, heard and valued. congratulations to our 2022 Women of Inspiration™ Award recipients and finalists.

Thank you to our Award  Partners for their commitment to be visible leaders committed to advancing women.

2022 Women of Inspiration™ Award Winners #WOI2022Raisethebar

  1. Advocate and Catalyst for Change AwardCathy Nesbitt – Founder and CEO, Cathy’s Crawly Composters
  2. Authentic Leader Award
  • Ramin Fazel – Regional Vice President for Downtown Toronto, RBC
  • Susie DeRidder – Truck Driver, Day and Ross
  • Lavanya Hariharan – Supervisor Technician Services, Enbridge Gas
  • Asawari Lele – Account Manager National Real Estate Group, Toronto Dominion Bank
  • Samantha Sannella – Canadian National Director, Total Workforce Americas, Cushman and Wakefield
  • Tina Powell – Author, Founder, Glorious is she
  • Annemarie Heikenwalder – Head of Sales and Marketing for Americas and Oceana, Diamond Aircraft Industries Ltd.
  • Neelima Magal – Chief Head of Delivery Management, Nutcache
  • Naz Zehra – Learning and Development Business Partner, DELL
  • Brianne Gardner – Wealth Manager & Financial Advisor, Velocity Investment Partners, Raymond James Ltd.
  1. Diversity and Inclusiveness Award presented by Randstad Canada – Lexi Plath – President and Partner, Faulhaber Communications
  2. Black Woman Leader Award Patrice Barnes – TrusteeDurham School District
  3. Cultural Ambassador AwardSherry Shaw Froggatt – Founder and Publisher, AirdrieLife Magazine
  4. Customer Experience AwardJamie L. Smith – Co-Founder and Chief Experience Officer, Amplify Advisors
  5. Difference Maker AwardDanielle McCarron – VP Inpatient and Virtual programs, Canadian Addiction Treatment Centres
  6. Dream Builder Award Presented by AMJ Campbell – Janet Wardle – President and CEO, MHI Canada Aerospace Inc.
  7. Game Changer AwardShannon Bryne Susko – CEO, Metronomics
  8. Health and Wellness AwardCrystal Greenwood – Owner & Instructor, Okami Martial Arts
  9. Indigenous Leader AwardLeigh Joseph – Founder and CEO, Sḵwálwen Botanicals
  10. Immigrant Leader Award – Ayra Modalo – Owner, Modalink Immigration Services
  11. Influencer AwardStephanie Coughlan – CEO, SMS Sports
  12. Youth Excellence Award  presented by RBC – Allysha Nichole Nolassco  – Advocate, Actor, Youth Leader | Prerana Manoj – Innovator
  13. Millennial Leader AwardKendra Scurfield – Brand and Communications Director, Banff Sunshine Village
  14. Inspire AwardDr. Caroline Power – CEO, Canadian HR Solutions
  15. Integrity AwardPatricia Ziegler-Ignor – Board Chair, Drayton Entertainment Theatres
  16. Innovation AwardJennifer LeBrun – CEO, ULAT Dryer Balls
  17. Mentorship AwardChantal Brine – CEO, EnPoint
  18. Nest Award Award presented by Sunshine Village – Shannon Smadella – CEO, Insight Global
  19. Raising the Bar Award – Lindsay Sill – CEO, Sill Media
  20. Rising Leader AwardBailey Parnell – Founder and CEO, SkillsCamp
  21. Rural Leader AwardAngele Miller – Co-Founder, Creekside RnR
  22. Social Impact AwardJessica Dirom – Director, Donor Relations and Development, STARS
  23. SupportHER (Allie) Award presented by Enbridge Gas – Reetu Gupta – Chairwoman and Ambassadress, Gupta Group | Shawn Gibson – Partner, Incito
  24. Trailblazer (STEM) Award presented by Mitacs – Kristin Davis – Ouwejan – Co-Founder and COO, Zs2 Technologies
  25. Transformational Leader Award Ally Stone – Founder, The Inspired Leader
  26. Vision Builder AwardShauna Levy – Founder, Madge and Mercier Modern Apothecary
  27. Women-led Award presented by SureCallJennifer Hamilton – CEO, Oxygen Yoga and Fitness
  28. Women in Media Award Tara Slone – TV and Media Personality
  29. Lifetime Achievement AwardHon. Dr. Jean Augustine – Founder, Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment

 International Awards

  1. Advocate and Catalyst for Change AwardSampurna Chatterjee -Translational Scientist, Takeda Pharmaceuticals
  2. Authentic Leader AwardUkachi Anonyou – VP, Global Packaging Enterprise, Estee Lauder Companies Inc.
  3. Trailblazer (STEM) AwardDr. Vanessa Farsadaki – President and Managing Partner, Space Exploration Strategies LLC
  4. Diversity and Inclusion AwardMaryse Gordon – Diversity and Inclusion, RepRisk
  5. Mentorship AwardKisa Caruthers – Electrical Engineer and Project Manager, Burns & McDonnell
  6. Influencer AwardDr. Jill Lopez – Founder and CEO, Vet Candy
  7. Millennial Leader Award Melissa Church – CEO, Digi-Buzz
  8. Difference Maker  AwardPadmini Navalgund – Technical Compliance Governance- BOSCH Limited
  9. Social Impact AwardVelveeta Viban – Founder, I’m Human Organization
  10. Women in Media AwardEmpress Golding – Media Personality


Meet the 2022 Women of Inspiration™ Award Winners!

Click on the photo to read about each of our award recipients.

Corporate Partners


Good words from good people

This has been an incredible experience from the pride of being nominated to the shock of winning! Thank you to the Universal Womens Network™ for bringing so many diverse women and their successes into the spotlight. I’m honoured to be included in this exceptional group of women.

Erin Bigney - Director Research, Canada East Spine Division | 2021 Women of Inspiration™ Mentorship Award

As the recipient of the Women of Inspiration™ Vision Builder Award, I can't be more excited about such amazing recognition. As an Educational Leader, I aspire to make a continuous and real change in the lives of my students. Have a vision and a goal, set it in front of you and in God's hand and do your best to make it happen! Thank you once again for this honour that I will cherish.

Phoebe Wasfy, Principal Philopateer Christian College | 2021 Women of Inspiration™ Vision Builder

I am humbled by the nomination, the many awesome people who wrote recommendations and to be awarded the “Integrity Award”. Hearing the award introduction, I was in shock when you called my name! What a remarkable recognition for my life’s passion in working with others! I look forward to ensuring that others have the same opportunity in the future. Thank you, Monica and all the many others who make this possible for us all. I look forward to working with the other recipients to keep sharing!

Rose Marie Gage - Founder and Principal of Great Governance Matters and MPOWRU, Independent Board Director | 2021 Women of Inspiration™ Integrity Award

The Women of Inspiration Award is exciting, humbling and an honour. Thank you to those who believed in me and that saw the potential that I could make a difference in the world. That passion and resiliency can make an impact in our environment, whether we know the full extent or not. Recognition is so much bigger than me. It’s an opportunity to provide a positive influence and a chance to learn, grow and be motivated. Thank you to all the people who supported me on my path to receiving this award. it's not just my achievement; it's theirs, too.

Jennifer Green, Director of Competitions and Young Women’s Initiative, Skills Ontario | 2021 Women of Inspiration™ Dream Builder

The Universal Women's Network is an incredible organization that supports empowers and celebrates women founders, entrepreneurs, and trailblazers. I can attest to how meaningful this group is as I started my own company at age 50. Monica is herself a phenomenal force and woman to celebrate also. The Awards gala last night was so well done, so inspiring—I can't wait to have the chance to do this in person in the future.

Suzie Yorke, Founder and Board Director, Love Good Fats | 2021 Women of Inspiration™ Game Changer