2020 Women of Inspiration™ Nominees

2020 Women of InspirationNominees

Congratulations on being nominated as a Women of Inspiration™ who leads, inspires and motivates others to greatness!

2020 VIRTUAL AWARDS – Stay Tuned for More Details!

By nominating her, you are honouring her accomplishments, contributing to her legacy, validating her hard work and her contribution to the workplace. You are helping her see her worth and unknowing impact. You are taking action to SupportHER™, elevating role models to be recognized on a local, national and global level.


Your nomination empowers an inspiring woman through:

  • Local, national, and global exposure
  • Additional media and PR coverage
  • Connections with other like-minded, influential leaders
  • Opportunities to create change on a larger stage
  • Elevating her business, building her legacy as a leader in her industry
  • Recognition for her achievements and journey, and
  • Increasing her circle of influence, inspiring the next generation of leaders.

When you nominate, the ripple effect is far-reaching!

Since our inaugural awards on September 26, 2015, we have recognized over 700 women and awarded 150 Awards.

Woman of Inspiration™  is an extraordinary woman who leads by example, lives on purpose and inspires others to be more and do more. She is a modern-day hero, game-changer, mover and shaker, and role model who leads by example. With courage, confidence, commitment, and integrity, she inspires others to go further, making a ripple impact across her community and around the globe. We are moving the needle to recognize the achievements of women making an impact locally, nationally and globally. Recognize the leaders within your organization and champion to advance women in business.

Lara Smith

Lusomé and SheWorth - CEO and Co-Founder

Lara Smith is the founder and CEO of Lusomé sleepwear, the luxury technical pyjama brand proven to eliminate night sweats. Lara founded Lusomé as a tribute to her sister who battled breast cancer, as a common side effect are relentless night sweats. Lusomé is regularly featured on several TV home shopping networks and is now an award-winning, globally coveted brand. Lusomé has been featured in the largest media outlets including TODAY, 3 times. Lara was a finalist in EY Entrepreneur of the year in 2018, is a mentor and speaker for the Foundation for Women Entrepreneurs and frequent contributor to Thrive Global. Lara had her own moment of reckoning in terms of her self-worth as she found herself in an abusive marriage. Lara had achieved traditional success with Lusomé but it didn't protect her from making a devastating relationship choice. Lara became intent on unravelling this cypher: why do women who know better end up with partners that destroy them? Lara partnered up with Kim Mueller to create SheWorth in 2018, a space that offers science and solutions to women the world over. Lara wakes up in service of women every day and calls herself a champion of women’s worth.

Jessica Lui

Global Professionals Practicum (GPP) - Founder and CEO

Jessica was recently named Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women and Canada's Top 30 Under 30. She is best known for her work as the founder of Global Professionals Practicum (GPP), an organization that delivers programming that furthers educational equality and inclusion. She was recognized for her work as an inspiring social entrepreneur by President Barack Obama. Jessica is currently a management consultant at Deloitte; leading teams that advise Fortune 500s on adopting socially and environmentally responsible business practices. Previously, she served as UN Youth Ambassador and helped develop the SDGs.

Ajibola Abitoye

City of Fort Saskatchewan | Divinity Fashion Inc. - City Councillor | Founder and CEO

Ajibola (Jibs) Abitoye was elected as a councillor for the City of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, in October 2017, five years after immigrating to Canada from Nigeria. Abitoye was born in Lagos, Nigeria to a journalist father and an information technology mom. She moved from Nigeria to Fort Saskatchewan in 2012 after getting married to her husband, Joshua. She has a bachelor of science degree in economics from the University of Lagos and is certified as a project management professional and a fourth class power engineer from NAIT. Her previous work experience includes project cost controller at Dow Chemical, financial services representative at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), and credit risk analyst at the Guaranty Trust Bank in Nigeria. Abitoye has volunteered on the Family & Community Support Services Board, Navy League Cadet and as the chair of the Fort Saskatchewan Multicultural Association within her first year of immigrating to Canada. In 2017, she decided to take her involvement within her community to another level by running for city council. She ran against 14 incredible candidates and emerged with the third highest votes. She currently is serving a four-year term as city councillor until 2021. In November 2019, she started a fashion line called Divineity Fashion, after she had her daughter. It was borne out of a need to economically help women in her country of origin, Nigeria. In 2017, the family went back home to visit grandparents. She saw the economic condition in some areas and wanted to do something about it. She decided to start designing clothes and get them produced in Nigeria, thereby bringing business to empower women and families. A portion of the profit also goes to a local organization in Alberta supporting victims of domestic violence. In February 2020, she had the rare privilege of showcasing her collection at the prestigious New York Fashion Week, only three months after starting her fashion line. She showed eight designs on the runway with other designers from various parts of the world and has had a lot of success after that. She has been featured on CTV, Global Edmonton, CBC and various newspapers and radio stations, among others. She also mentors young immigrant girls to be a better version of themselves and is a committed worker in the church. She does all these things while being married and having three kids aged five years old and younger.

Blaise Hunter

Blaise the Trail inc - Fertility Expert & Heroine

Blaise is the new definition of strength. She doesn’t have a 6-pack, but she has resiliency. Blaise has soul muscles. Through battling a rare disease, near death experiences, countless setbacks, self-hatred and three miscarriages, she battled back and rose from the ashes to be her own Heroine. She is an author, award winning advocate and international speaker who tackles the realities of issues women face from body image and self-esteem to motherhood and infertility. She pushes back on the pressures of perfectionism women face in today’s world. Her mission is to empower women to love themselves and breathe their passion like fire. True strength shouldn’t just be measured by abs and biceps but rather the grit it took to survive and thrive. She leads a company of women to change the culture on how we look at strength and beauty. She is her own unsung hero and our modern-day superhero.

Jana Webb

Joga - CEO and Founder

Jana has pushed through personal challenges and has broken down barriers for women in a male-dominated industry. Her business has grown exponentially and her branding expertise is very strong. During COVID-19 she pivoted her business that was based on two closed industries to further develop and throve in an online format.

Her story is inspiring and she is a model for success

Tammy Sherger

I Am Worth It Project - Founder and CEO

A teenage mom, a 16-year chaotic marriage and stripped of her wealth when she made the courageous decision to leave and forge a new life for herself and her children, Tammy Sherger’s life is a case study in possibility and hope.

Teetering at the start of new beginnings for herself and her teenage children, Tammy was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at the age of 36. This defining moment took Tammy on an extraordinary journey traveling from deep despair and overwhelming regret to following her true passion and living a life far beyond what she had ever dreamed possible.

Unbeknownst at the time to Tammy, the seeds of the I Am Worth It Project were planted in a promise to herself that if she lived, she would live a life free from regret.

Meet Tammy Sherger … entrepreneur, business and life strategist who challenges you to look deep within yourself to discover who and what you can be, turning possibilities into realities. Tammy’s journey and her passion to share her experiences through both business and philanthropic endeavours are both inspirational and motivational. Tammy is waking women up around the globe and helping them realize their greatest potential. What a gift she is to all of us.!

Alma Arzate

Apotex Inc. - Global Director, Supply Planning

Alma Arzate has over two decades of global supply chain experience that she uses to help support multiple supply chain, education, women and immigrant-related initiatives. Alma leads by example and presses for women advancement as part of the founding core team of Apotex Inc.’s WIL Initiative. She acts as a keynote speaker and panelist at the Schulich School of Business, George Brown College, JVS Toronto and ACCES Employment. Recently, Alma acted as a chair as a part of Supply Chain Canada’s new initiative to recognize Canadian Immigrants Impacting Supply Chain.

Alma has more than two decades of broad leadership experience across global supply chain and operations in the automotive, electronics, medical devices, CPG and pharmaceutical industries. Originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, Alma relocated with her family to Canada in 2007. She resides in the GTA with her husband, their three children (ages 12, 15 and 21), and their rescued tabby cat.

Colleen Tsikira

Canvestus Group Ltd. - Real Estate Investor, Entrepreneur

Colleen is a role model, a leader, visionary and an inspiration. I haven’t known her too long but that doesn’t matter since it is the impact she has made and seeing how she continues to strive for the best for her and her family to continue to grow her business and helping others achieve that same success.

She is smart, hard working and always finding a better way. She doesn’t settle for average and continues to learn to further develop herself and business to excel. She has always known her goals and takes risks to achieve them.

I met Colleen as a fellow real estate investor myself where we joined a small monthly call among 5 women to help us stay accountable to our goals. Colleen’s shared her wisdom, her valuable insight as a seasoned investor and made sure we were on top of our goals.

She has become a friend and truly blessed to have met her. I look forward to what she will achieve and she will because she has the drive to succeed and bring to fruition her vision.

Gurjot K. Singh

Youth Activist / Community Leader

I am nominating Gurjot K. Singh for the following awards: Advocate and Catalyst for Change Award, Inspire Award, Integrity Award and the Millennial Leader Award.

If there is anything that this girl is, she is an inspiration. At only 24 years old, she has accomplished so much in the community, in the field of human rights and social justice, charity work, gender equality, animals rights activism and being a youth leader in her constituency council for Brampton West. Her achievements are endless; whether that be becoming the first duo-female presidents of the largest South Asian club at Western University, being one of many selected to participate in the Women in House Initiative at the Parliament of Canada, raising thousands of dollars each year for causes she is passionate about, starting petitions to raise awareness and being one of the many role models selected to participate in the Young Women's National Leadership Program. (YWCA). Recently being accepted into law school and starting an instagram page dedicated to amplifying oppressed voices, she has continuously tried to make the world a better place, is the most positive and kind individual, and she deserves the recognition of being known as a Women of Inspiration.

Susan de Ryk

Lakeridge Health - Interim President & CEO

Susan is an inspirational woman leader in the health care industry. She is the utmost professional and truly cares about the people she works with as well as all the patients in the health care system. She consistently goes out of her way to assist in vital and critical situations. Her job never ends and is truly committed 24/7. She seeks to always improve her skills and ensure she is doing the right thing. She is very intelligent and one of the most committed leaders I know. I really don't know where she gets all her energy as I don't think she ever sleeps. She is well connected and builds tremendous relationships with her colleagues. She is a very humble leader who inspires those around her to be the best they can be. I don't think anything could ever stop Susan as she would find a resolution for any problem that exists and work tirelessly until she knew it was on track to resolution. When you are dealing with Susan, you are the specific focus of her attention and she will do anything she can to help. Being in the industry she is and with the COVID right on her door step, there is nobody I know that puts everyone else first like she does. She is one to always give recognition and this is an instance at this stage of her career, where she deserves to receive the recognition. She is a transformational change leader who makes a difference everyday in this world. When I think about an inspirational authentic leader, Susan immediately comes to my mind. I can only aspire to live up to what she has accomplished in her career.

Chloe Shingoose

Chloe Shingoose Music - Singer Artist

Chloe Shingoose is 16 year old and is just finishing up Grade 10 in Stettler, AB. She loves to excel in everything that you put in front of her. She keeps herself very busy musically with Vocal Lessons from Tamara Beatty and weekly Guitar lessons. She has a passion for Country Music but loves all genres and ages. She has competed in many Festivals and Talent Shows played on stages with Brett Kissel for Brett W. Wilson Garden Party and performed at Women of Inspiration Gala with Michelle Minke. Chloe is also an athlete that enjoys every sport. This past year she played Bantam Elite Hockey out of Red Deer and is currently playing Softball with the Elnora Eagles. Somehow with all of this going on she still manages to keep her grades up and is always looking for the next adventure with STARS in her eyes. Chloe is an inspiration and role model to our youth. She continues to work passionately towards building her career, following her dreams and inspires all who meet her!

Eni Oszlai

RBC Insurance - Senior Insurance Specialist – Wealth Advisor

OMG is this lady on top of things! She is brilliant being a pianist, music manager, Award Winning Insurance Advisor and a Real Estate licences and a master of anything she puts her mind to. She is an enormous connector who loves to put people together regardless of their needs. She would even refer people to others in her industry if she feels they would be suited better for something she does not offer directly. She looks at people in a holistic fashion and acts accordingly.
Eni has a heart larger than earth and is always there for her family, friends, clients and associates, regardless of the situation. She loves to network and get to know people and has a heart of gold. She is truly deserving of an award!

Boluwatife "Bolu" Adefewi

Bolu - Singer Songwriter Age 13

Bolu is quite possibly the most inspiring person I met this year - and that is saying a whole lot. Not only an incredible student hoping to advance her studies ...but at only 13 years old, she has made a significant national impact. Not only is she a wonderful, singer- songwriter - who writes her own material and plays guitar - but she is a poised public speaker and performer who came to the world's attention when sharing the thoughts of her heart set to music. With the plaintive words "2020 What have you become.. why are people so cruel..it's time to make it right" her gentle call to action has touched the hearts of many. As a result of playing one small local event she was asked to perform at two bigger ones, was interviewed by Global news and was asked to play her song on two major Toronto radio stations - all this before it was ever professionally recorded. Her voice truly has power, and it is a life lesson for her and young people watching her that will never be forgotten - if you raise your voice up, you will be heard. And you can change the world.

Jeanette Jackson

Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre - Chief Executive Officer

As CEO of Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre, Jeanette is re-vitalizating the cleantech ecosystem in Canada and across the world. Jeanette’s team has supported over 500 entrepreneurial companies, generated over $250M in funding, and created over 5000 jobs in the cleantech sector. Jeanette is a network builder and a true game changer and innovator in advocating for a clean economy. It is a pleasure to nominate Jeanette Jackson for this award. She believes in, often talks about, and fully advocates for the UN Sustainable Development goals, which form a framework for the new model of cleantech innovation she is building. She is one of the hardest working and most focused people I know, and I truly believe that the work she does day in and day out is making a difference and helping to build a better and more sustainable future for all of us.

Keshia Holloman-Dawson

Black Law Students' Association (Calgary Chapter) - President

Keshia Holloman-Dawson has been my peer since we were both undergraduate students at the University of Calgary, as we both majored in Law and Society and attended many of the same classes. From the first time I met Keshia I was impressed to meet such a bright and thoughtful student, and she always demonstrated maturity and accountability above and beyond that of most of our peers. We have both pursued a career in law, and I am proud to that she is in my cohort at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law. Keshia is pursuing a joint JD/MPP (Juris Doctor and Master of Public Policy) degree. Only a handful of our cohort has endeavoured to advance their education in a joint program, and this speaks to her ambition and dedication to make waves in the realm of law and to impact emerging policy, equipped with this additional degree. Keshia is a passionate advocate for human rights, which is evinced by her current leadership in the Black Law Student's Association of Canada, of which she is the President of the Calgary chapter.

Over the years I have watched Keshia truly blossom. More recently, however, I have been in awe of this woman's dedication to the Black Lives Matter ("#BLM") movement, and her tireless commitment to social justice both on and off campus. The impact of her "Calls for Action" to the Faculty of Law, and collaboration with policy planners, in recent months has the potential to make a lasting impact to the legal community and the community as a whole. I have watched her stewardship of this impressive, well-considered research, and her representation - of the grossly underrepresented - Black community within the student body, faculty, and current practising lawyers. She has been at the forefront of instigating important, high0level discussions with the Faculty of Law to create a viable path to diversity within the legal profession, starting at the law school level. Her advocacy has not gone unnoticed: she has recently been featured in CBC news, and her messaging has gained public support from faculty members in universities across Canada. Because of Keshia's leadership, I am proud to see the University of Calgary taking meaningful steps toward a more equitable entry point into the legal profession, and enthusiasm among our peers to embrace diversity. Keshia Holloman-Dawson is a true inspiration, and I cannot think of a more deserving person to nominate for this award.

Cathy Preston

RBC Insurance - VP Life, Health, Travel Insurance

I am nominating Cathy Preston as I believe she is truly deserving of this award. Cathy is an extremely hard-working and passionate executive at RBC Insurance. She puts others before herself and is consistently encouraging other women in the company to be their best selves. She is always looking to come up with new and innovative ideas for RBC Insurance to try and provide more options for larger groups of people and populations to help support Canadians all over the country. She is very kind and an inspiration to so many. Even after all these years as part of the industry, she has not lost sight of what is important. She is 100% in this business for the right reasons and has impacted so many lives as a result of her strong leadership and advocacy.

Rakhi Voria

IBM - Director, Global Digital Sales Development

I am confident in the future of our nation when I meet an individual such as Rakhi Voria. I am the former US Ambassador to Bahrain and former Colorado State Senator and have known Rakhi for over 15 years. I knew from the day that I met her (when she was a business intern for the National US India Chamber of Commerce where I was the Chairman of the Board) that she was a visionary and would make a significant impact on the world. She chose to work in technology for this very reason – to change the world. As the Director of IBM Global Digital Sales and one of the youngest executives at IBM, Rakhi is responsible for several hundred digital sellers. Her work has empowered over 30,000 businesses to achieve more using technology. It is no surprise to me that publications regularly reach out to her for expertise on topics around technology, sales, and millennials She is an influential and inspiring young leader and has demonstrated that transformational businesses can be built even within large corporations. Rakhi’s contributions to building this business were significant, but I’ve been most impressed with her dedication to advancing women and millennials. At only 29 years old, she’s leading Women@IBM and representing IBM at at events all over the world. The work that Rakhi is doing is extremely impactful not only in furthering the fields of digital sales and technology, but also in developing women and millennials. She’s written multiple publications in Forbes on why we need more women in sales and why women should consider roles in sales and is becoming a sought-after speaker internationally. Her work in this space has influenced women around the world to explore careers in sales, a function where women are underrepresented across all levels. It is great to see someone so young drawing light to such an important topic!

Helle Bank Jorgensen

Competent Boards Inc. - CEO & Founder

I nominate Helle Bank Jorgensen because she is an authentic leader with an extensive background in business, law, and accounting; a very impressive combination. She is a Board Facilitator for the UN Global Compact Board Program. Helle is a global leader and making change globally!
Helle Bank Jorgensen is the CEO of Competent Boards which offers the global online ESG focused Competent Boards Certificate Program. The program is highly praised for its unique global dialogue and how it empowers Boards of Directors, Investors, CEOs, and executives to learn from each other about ESG and Resiliency. Based on her 30 years of experience as a strategic and operational ESG adviser, Helle built the program with the help of an extensive network of global leaders which she has engaged with over her career. As a board facilitator and member, she serves on His Royal Highness Prince of Wales A4S Global Expert Panel as well as WBCSD Governance & Internal Oversight High-Level Advisory Group. A business lawyer and state-authorized public accountant by training, Helle also advises global companies and investors on turning sustainability into strong financial results. She has been at the forefront of value-creating ESG and sustainability issues since she created the world’s first Green Account in 1991 based on lifecycle assessment, as well as the world’s first Integrated Report in 2002. Helle has written numerous articles on emerging best practices, is a keynote speaker for sustainability and ESG issues and has been interviewed by global media outlets for her extensive knowledge on these topics.

Lisa Genovese

Bottomline Marketing Inc. - President

Lisa Genovese is the President of BottomLine, an avid Calgary Business Contributor and incredible mentor. She is a true champion of the underdog. Over the years, she has been an instrument to grow BottomLine into a thriving, globally renowned company, supporting brands as they evolve their business to create more impact in their markets. Her leadership of her team is compassionate, caring, and empowers her people to rise to their own innate awesomeness. While she has come up against challenge time and time again, she always conducts herself with the highest of integrity, grows from each challenge, and continues to lift those around her. I cannot wait to see all the amazing things ahead for her.

Leanne Rzepa, RN BN IBCLC

Nourish Lactation Consulting - Founder and Owned

Leanne graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelors Degree in Nursing in 2000. She developed a passion for Breastfeeding as she began her career working as a Post Partum Nurse. She became an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in 2007 and founded Nourish Lactation Consulting in 2008. She could see from working within the hospital setting there was a need for additional in-home support for breastfeeding mothers. So NLC was established and has become Calgary’s premier choice for in-home breastfeeding support and education. Leanne has 3 beautiful daughters. Kayla, Alyssa, & Maya. She breastfed all 3 of them with major challenges throughout her journey. Leanne truly feels that her own personal experiences have taught her to better support the mothers, babies, and families she works with. Her passion is palpable, her experience extensive, and her support unparalleled.

Victoria Lennox

Nnineteen Ai - Entrepreneur

Victoria Lennox is one of Canada and Britain's leading proponents of innovation, entrepreneurship and technology to foster a more ethical, sustainable and safer future for everyone. Her more than 15 years in the start-up community, including investor and government relations, keeps us all on track and focused on building a nimble, responsive, AI-based technology platform for the short and long-term. Victoria is motivated to inspire other leaders through sharing a journey but also through discussing critical trends and opportunities using advanced digital technologies, including AI, for the future.

Lisa McCallum

Lisatalksdivorce - Founder, Divorce Specialist

I am nominating Lisa McCallum because of her drive, her vision, and her determination to help women overcome some of the most difficult times in their lives. Her dedication to working with, and creating solutions for women in divorce is an inspiration to not only those women she is helping, but to her co-workers who trust her to help their clients through some of the most difficult times in their lives. Her continuous efforts, and heart, are evident on a daily basis. Her creativity in solutions and creating additional solutions for different situations really leave no woman behind. She is an inspiration to us and is therefore my nominee for Calgary's Woman of Inspiration.

Karen Craggs-Milne

Conscious Equality Inc. - Founder & CEO

Karen is a leading go-to expert for organizations that are serious about ‘getting equality work RIGHT’.

A proud Kenyan-Canadian, Karen Craggs-Milne is a recognized global expert with over 20 years of international experience promoting anti-racism, equity, diversity, gender equality, and inclusion.

A true global influencer, Karen is an Obama White House recognized Gender Equality Changemaker (2016), Global Goodwill Ambassador for Sustainable Development Goals (2018), LinkedinGlobalSuperHero (2020) and Top 100 Caanadian Professionals (2020).

As Founder and CEO of Conscious Equality Incorporated, Karen works globally with NGOs, Corporations, and Governments to deliver on their equality mandates intentionally and with real impact.

Karen’s passion is to educate and equip organizations to truly "walk the talk". She is a gifted Trainer, Speaker, and a Strategic Advisor on issues such as anti-racism and allyship in business, walking the talk on diversity and inclusion, addressing institutional and systemic discrimination, healing toxic workplace issues including sexual harassment and bullying, creating inclusive respectful workplaces, among others.

Whether it is under a tree in a rural village in Ghana or in a boardroom with C-Suite Executives, Karen’s authentic and engaging approach promises to educate, transform and inspire you into meaningful action.

Bettina Pierre-Gilles

Mosaic Partners and Piikani Investment Corporation - Partner and Chair of the Board

Bettina is a Community Leader, an Executive and a proud mother who has mentored and assisted many people to reach their potential. She is a highly successful and influential Entrepreneur with a dedication to Alberta and Canada. She is a co-founder of Mosaic Partners, an organization that bridges economic development opportunities with Indigenous partners; an owner of Luxeum Renewables Group Inc and Phasis Consulting.
Bettina is currently on the Board of Governors for Bow Valley College, is the Chair of the Board and Managing Director for the Piikani Investment Corporation, is Chair of the Fundraising Committee for Soccer Without Boundaries and Secretary of the Board at Prospect Human Services.
Bettina is the proud mother of her 3 beautiful children, has 2 cats, 2 budgies and is an avid political volunteer.

Randi Goodman

Randi Goodman - CEO Toronto Women's Expo

Randi is a true humanitarian and advocate for acknowledging and empowering women and men . She is a 8 X #1 International Best-Selling Author, Publisher, and International Speaker. Randi’s passion for helping others lead her to produce several charity galas. Her strong business sense and experience operating a manufacturing company, prompted her to create business to business events including the Toronto’s Women’s Expo, Empowering Women to Succeed Conference and the Wealth Summit. Randi has produced nearly 200 #1 International Best-Selling Authors with her book series, Empowering Women to Succeed and 365 Empowering Stories, which have become major success' internationally, with six volumes in total. She has affected change in thousands of people's lives both personally and professionally helping others to build confidence, a strong sense of self all while giving them a platform to share their life stories in the world. She empowers women to become the true version of themselves, is a community builder, a 2nd Dan in Karate, and a 4th level CMA.

She is a true professional with a listening ear and compassionate nature which has made her a sought after top choice real estate professional in the world of buying one's dream home, commercial real estate investing, networking, marketing, social media, email marketing, digital marketing, building sales funnels, podcasting, book writing, publishing, and monetizing, She selflessly helps others step up their game. Her goal is to provide the best possible experience for those interested in purchasing or selling real estate as well as helping small business owners and entrepreneurs with useful knowledge offering them a platform to connect, She adds priceless value to help others enrich their self esteem, confidence, business sense (real estate and otherwise) and is truly the go to female extraordinaire. She is a health conscious woman (mind, body soul) who cherishes her family, and the proud mother of 4 wonderful boys.


Sr Vice President, Portfolio Manager

Tina is unique and outstanding because she takes everything above and beyond and still has time for family and friends. Tina makes a point of sending hand written cards in the mail just to say she's thinking of you. Tina exudes confidence but is never afraid to tell the truth, to advise a friend that it isn't always easy being a wife, mother or career women. She is an example to her children and both of them have been active volunteers along side their mom. Tina also has a passion for working with the Raymond James Canada Foundation, she is a member of the advisory committee, actively volunteering and helping clients create a legacy of giving that is important for those with a philanthropic desire. Each May Tina spearheads the “May Cares” month for her branch actively organizing volunteer hours for her co workers. Annually Tina has organized and sponsored for her team to volunteer at St. Mary’s Church for the Feed the Hungry program. Tina won the first award in the country for Community Leadership given out by the Raymond James Canada Foundation. There is so much more to say but not enough space!

Jennifer Commins

Pluck Tea - CEO & Founder

Jennifer is an inspirational leader that has the drive, passion and proven track record that has made a meaningful difference. The brand and business she has created has been rooted in a meaningful purpose of bringing an exceptional tea experience and doing good with ethical sourcing, sustainability and a passion for local ingredients. Jennifer's passion for excellence and quality is best expressed through her creative and innovative products that have inspired the love for the brand. I was so impressed with her formula for success that I recently had the privilege to join the company and contribute to the future growth.

Shelley Uvanile -Hesch

Womens Trucking Federation of Canada - Chief Executive Officer

Shelley is an inspiration to so many people not just the women that she meets, but all people, garnering admiration from all walks of life.
Shelley has become a great friend and I get to see how tirelessly she works to shine a light on the causes she believes in, leading the way for others to follow.
Her determination knows no bounds as she strives to bring women together, to build each other up. She leads by example, she inspires us to raise each other up building a better tomorrow for the girls who will follow.
She has an amazing resilient outlook on life, bearing her personal burdens without fanfare, her willingness to be there for others in their hour of need is unwavering.
Shelley has a ready smile, she is quick to laugh and joke. She is the kind of friend a friend would want to be.

Andrea Carter

Wealthy Woman Warrior - CEO & Founder

Andrea is the kind of person who fills a room with optimism while bridging the gap between where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow. She genuinely cares about helping women ignite their potential and stands by you, even when you think you have nothing left to give. She does so because she's been there, she knows what it's like to "go it alone", to feel "not enough" and to "struggle to believe that you are worthy". Her work in using neuroscience as a way to handle the pressure that prevents women from advancing has been instrumental in my career advancement and my ability to overcome adversity. She is a Woman of Inspiration who needs to be recognized.

Shannon Smith

Shannon Smith Photography - Founder

I am nominating Shannon Smith because she is an agent for change and a true champion of women.

Shannon is the founder of Shannon Smith Photography, and specializes primarily in boudoir photos. She works with women of all genders, ages and sizes. Her clients have often experienced immense trauma and helps them to see their true inner and outer beauty.

Shannon is a champion for size acceptance and inclusion of all races, sexes and gender. Often boudoir photographers don’t feature plus-size or trans women, and Shannon breaks down through these stereotypes through her art and social media.

Jasmine Daya

Jasmine Daya & Co - Founder, Managing Principal

If you open the dictionary up to the word "Inspiration," Jasmine's photo would appear. Ever since she was a law student she has created a road that has led her to establish one of the few female only owned law practices in the country. Moreover, she is now writing her 4th cookbook, a passion project she has been working on with her mother. Thanks to Jasmine creating Indian cuisine is accessible to anyone with a skillet and some skill. She has also penned a recently released novel. She is also a mother of three, a mentor and more. She is an inspiration to many younger women as well as her peers, both male and female.
I am honoured to nominate her for the Inspire Award!

Michaela Krizkova

PCF Souvenirs - Chief Executive Officer -

Michaela Krizkova is the CEO of PCF Souvenirs. PCF is one of North America's largest souvenir companies.

PCF Souvenirs
Total Duration 4 yrs 8 mos
Title Chief Executive Officer
Dates EmployedOct 2019 – Present
Employment Duration9 mos
LocationCanada & USA

Rajinder Atwal

Bathurst Walk-in-Clinic and Family Practice - Medical Director, Founder and CEO, M.D., C.C.F.P.

Dr. Rajinder Atwal is the medical director at Bathurst Walk-in-Clinic and Family Practice. As a physician Dr. Atwal has been true to her passion of helping people as a frontline worker during Covid. She is also the Founder and CEO of Covid 24-7 Canada and the Founder and CEO of Covid Kids Canada. Dr. Atwal is involved in Covid clinical research trials with the University of Health Network to test a promising treatment for Covid-19 using Peginterferon Lambda. She is the recent winner of Top Doctor of the Month from Doctors Choice Awards. Not to mention, she was named in the 2018 Leading Physicians of the World Directory. Dr. Atwal is also a clinical supervisor for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and a physician supervisor for Remicade Clinical Infusion trials. Furthermore, she is a leadership mentor and teacher. She is also a proud mother of three children.

Nadiya Manji

Curacion Group of Companies / Nadiya Manji Brand - CEO and Founder

Nadiya Manji is a thought leader in the area of utilizing emotional intelligence in leading your life and business. Originally from Pakistan, Nadiya has worked with numerous clients over 3 continents, for over 15 years and has decided to make Canada her home. Through many adversities, she has powered through to create a place for herself on the emotional intelligence and leadership stage. She strongly believes that emotional intelligence and leadership skills can be utilized in both our personal and professional lives. Nadiya is also a 2018 TEDx Speaker, Author and is currently completing her designation as a clinical hypnotherapist. I believe Nadiya is a prime candidate for this award as she has worked with many people helping break through their inner blocks and barriers to attain the best life possible. There is no one more deserving than Nadiya Manji.

Christy White

Fullscript - Director, Strategy & Business Operations

As the operational lead, Christy White is a vital contributor to all company milestones and achievements. She understands the functions of every Fullscript department and continuously optimizes operations to drive business growth.

Christy is a key player in the growth and success of Fullscript. She facilitates growth by empowering teams to maintain visibility into how their contributions are performing, advancing company goals, and affecting the efforts of other departments. With this level of understanding, all departments are able to make decisions that foster growth which can be tied back directly to Christy’s efforts.

Christy accomplishes all of this by facilitating cross-functional reporting and collaboration across the commercialization team, including Marketing, Sales, Fullscript’s Integrative Medical Advisory Team, Data, and Merchandising. Christy’s scope of responsibilities is relied upon from the executive leadership of Fullscript. She keeps a pulse on the operational functions of the company and makes reports which influence decision making.

Karen MacNeill

headveristy - Founder and Chief Product Officer

Dr. Karen MacNeill has the unique experience of having both competed and consulted on the World Stage. She is a former Canadian team athlete, performance psychologist, the lead Mental Performance Consultant for the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea and will perform the same role in the 2021 Olympics in Japan. Karen is also a registered psychologist and has helped leaders, athletes and individuals navigate countless mental health issues.

Karen is co-founder and Chief Product Officer of a mental wellness tech company called headversity, which offers preventative and personalized mobile resilience training to help people get ahead of adversity. With a background in both performance and applied psychology, Karen recognized the need for accessible, evidence-based and measurable tools to protect mental health, promote mental fitness, and build resilience. Utilizing her expertise and 20 years of experience working in the field, Karen worked with the headversity team to build an evidence-based mental wellness platform designed to measure, track and train resilience, which is being deployed across progressive North American organizations. Karen is a sought-after presenter and speaker having been invited as a keynote speaker to industry-leading conferences, organizational retreats and presented to aspiring leaders at the Young Women of Influence event. She has also been selected as a TEDx speaker and was to deliver this talk in April 2020.
During the pandemic, Karen has provided leadership and contributed to her professional community as the Chair of the COVID 19 Mental Health and Mental Performance Taskforce. She is also involved with a working committee that is charged with developing a mental health strategy for the Canadian Sport System. Karen's career achievements and volunteer efforts have been publicly recognized as she was a recipient of the Avenue Top 40 under 40 Award. Her passion and drive for helping others be their best also translate into her life as a mother, wife, and outdoor enthusiast.

Shone Thistle

Calgary Pride, Calgary Spoken Word Society, and Aspen/Boys & Girls Club of Calgary - Board President, Board Treasurer, Director of Philanthropy, Certified Fundraising Executive, Artist and Storyteller

Shone Thistle is a woman who does it all. She is the Board President for Calgary Pride, the Board Treasurer for the Calgary Spoken Word Society, the Director of Philanthropy for the Aspen/Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary, a Certified Fundraising Executive and an Artist and Storyteller. Shone is a proud activist and advocates for change, even when faced with extreme resistance. She has had to make many unpopular decisions in her career, all for the greater good of our communities, including the LGBTQ2S+, children and youth. A few examples include her tenacity to handle Pride in Politics, brokering Calgary’s first permanent rainbow crosswalks and leading Calgary Pride’s successful campaign to ban conversion therapy. As a successful leader, Shone has been professionally fundraising for the arts, culture and social sectors for more than a decade, leading teams to raise more than $100 Million.

Chelsea Angel

Western Law and Ivey Business School - Western Law/MBA Student (former Management Consulting Analyst at Accenture)

My sister Chelsea is the embodiment of the quote “be the change you want to see in the world”. Despite being one of the busiest people that I know, she has always supported me in the pursuit of my goal to become a Civil Engineer, a heavily male-centric field. My sister inspires me for a number of reasons. She is an aspiring lawyer concurrently completing her MBA and prior to law school, she had a successful career at Accenture. However, her defining characteristics are her extreme kindness, resilience and pursuit of equality. Chelsea has founded 2 mentorship programs to provide career and economic opportunities for women and underprivileged youth. She also led 2 corporate partnerships with non-profits dedicated to delivering educational services and career advancement of youth in Canada, India and Kenya. This summer, Chelsea is conducting research on using the law as a tool for Indigenous economic advancement.

Wendy Lumby

Faces of Wendy - Owner

Wendy has always pushed the limits for herself and for the equality for Women. She is with the Swan Lake Band, Manitoba. She is the only Aboriginal athlete ever to compete in Alpine Ski racing in the Olympic Winter Games and she has become one of the few Females to ever Coach at the World Alpine Championships. In a Male dominated environment, Wendy is a fearless leader, mentor and role model in the ski racing community for young Female Coaches and has brought her passion to the big screen. As a single Mum, her entrepreneurial spirit guided her to starting her Talent Agency. "Faces of Wendy" is one of the most respected in the business due to her honesty, integrity and hard work in advocating for her clients. Wendy is very proud of her Indigenous clients. She enjoys sending them all over the World and empowers them in achieving their acting dreams.

Angie Kim

Loblaw Companies Ltd. - Sr Director, Finance

Angie is a leader who stepped up and put herself on the frontlines during COVID. Having heard her on the UWN Virtual Series, I wanted to nominate her based on her story and everything she shared. Her more professional bio for why I’m nominating her is: Angie Kim is a finance lead for Loblaw Companies Ltd., Canada’s food and pharmacy leader, with a network of over 2,000 stores employing close to 200,000 Canadians. Angie received her B.Sc. with Honours from the University of Toronto and experienced various roles in sales, operations, and category management in her career. Since the drop of the pandemic, she has been volunteering to serve at the frontlines and has recently been featured on both Forbes and National Post in recognition of her servant leadership.

Klaudia Capalbo

Fashion Group International- Toronto Chapter - Regional Director

Category: Leadership
It is my distinct honour to nominate Klaudia Capalbo for the Women of Inspiration Award. Klaudia has had a varied career in the Fashion Industry and has shown herself to be a passionate and fearless leader in all of her endeavours – including teaching at a number of colleges and working in senior positions at a few media operations.
After serving 2 years on the board of Toronto’s chapter of Fashion Group International, she was elected as the Regional Director. At the AGM in January 2020, Klaudia presented an exemplary calendar of events including themes and venues. Sadly, due to Covid 19, only one event was held before everything was shut down but she and her board have run some creative online activities. Klaudia has secured a number of very high profile sponsors and once the pandemic is safely behind us, everyone is anticipating a fabulous 2 years under Klaudia’s leadership.

Darshita Patel

SunOpta Inc - Sr.Food Safety and Quality Manager

I am nominating Darshita Patel for the Millennial Leader Award. She has been an incredible leader. She has been very dedicated to what she does and always looking to take extra responsibilities. She leads a team from 15 other plants where she is continuously mentoring her team in achieving the goals as well as company's success.

Lorin MacDonald

HearVue Inc. - Founder & CEO

Lorin MacDonald is a human rights lawyer and Founder and CEO of HearVue, a social enterprise dedicated to increasing communication inclusion at in-person and online events via captioning. For decades, she has demonstrated her leadership, passion, and commitment to accessibility and inclusion in her volunteer and professional activities, all informed by her lived experience as a woman born with profound hearing loss. Recognized as one of Canada's top voices in accessibility and disability issues, Lorin's approach is grounded in evidence-based research and a desire to challenge communities and organizations to be more inclusive. Through education and as an in-demand speaker, Lorin continually strives to ensure those who are misinformed or unconscious of cross-disability accessibility barriers are equipped with the tools to create inclusive communities for all. She was recently featured in a Canadian Press article that was picked up nation-wide discussing the challenges of living with hearing loss during COVID-19.

Jodi Rai

heyHUMANTIS - Founder and Principal Consultant

I have had the privilege of knowing Jodi for 25+ years, seeing her growth from a curious university student to a compassionate and wonderful mother of two children, wife and human resources professional. Jodi pushes boundaries, takes risks and inspires those around her to speak about the delicate issues impacting humanity. She is on a mission to create solid human connections focusing on human rights, social justice, and self-awareness. In her desire to keep conversations going she founded her own company in 2018. Jodi also volunteers her time in the not-for-profit sector and with her parent advisory council advocating for how “we are all connected”. She encourages self-reflection, growth, and empathetic impact via her theory of change, Intentification™. While she is not diligently working in these roles, she has two new ventures: writing her book for creating meaningful employee experiences, and championing voices of women by co-founding Leverage26, a learning network.

Vanisha Breault

The Terminator Foundation - Founder and Executive Dirextor

Vanisha is like no other women I have ever met! If any one deserves an award for inspiring it’s Vanisha!
She has faced challenges like no other and is still standing strong while
Fighting to make a huge difference in the lives of community members.
She encourages people to be open with their stories, to feel no shame and she teaches strength by showing up and being there to support and help people through their journeys
She is the founder of The Terminator Foundation, and repeats daily
“the truth is you can recover”

*The Terminator Foundations vision is to reach all youth and young adults who are impacted by addiction and mental health and radically transform their lives through sports coaching, peer support, team training, endurance and triathlon participation while supporting efforts to terminate the shame and indignity of addiction with education,awareness and understanding. (Copied from the Terrminator website!)
Vanisha is strong, and inspiring! I am honoured to know her and privileged to learn from her!

Monica Dauenhauer

Monica is a pilot for Kenn Borek Air - Pilot

Monica is an accomplished Twin Otter Polar Pilot! Over the last 20 years, she has developed her considerable piloting skills flying missions around the North Pole and Arctic circle and the South Pole and Antarctic continent delivering such diverse cargo as: explorers, scientists, doctors, surveyors, equipment, fuel and supplies to various locations in the dramatic and extremely harsh climates of the far north and far south. One of few women in her field, she has competently and capably built her strong reputation through her incredible work ethic and remarkable skill set. She consistently demonstrates that there is a space and a place for women in this challenging work environment that is typically occupied by males. Monica is a tremendous advocate and mentor to other women working in this exhilarating and demanding industry. She is making a difference every day with her confident and sunny smile.

Maria Solano

National Latina Businesss Women Association -IE - Executive Director

Maria is a humble and dedicated women dedicated to serving the community She is the current Executive director for the National Latina Business Women Association inland Empire. Maria has been a community champion helping Women all across Southern California build their Dream. She is very hardworking, dedicated to serving others. A game-changer for Women across the country. I have met many women leaders and Maria is by fare a trailblazer. She starting with NLBWA-IE from the ground floor and has built and grown a women organization that helps give women of color a platform to become successful. What makes her an exceptional candidate is she never complains, she is so dedicated and gives of herself for help others. I have personally seen her work and for this reason, I am proud to nominate Maria Solano as one of your awardees

Lisa Kearney

Women CyberSecurity Society (WCS2) - Founder & CEO

Lisa is a tireless advocate for positive and enduring change. In a male-dominated field Lisa has devoted herself to create a more equitable cyber security industry. Working hard to overcome gender bias Lisa through her organization Women CyberSecurity Society has empowered countless women to be able to carve out successful cyber security careers.

Lisa is truly inspirational and I am very blessed and humbled by her friendship. she has inspired me to do more and to do my part in creating a more equitable tomorrow within the cyber security industry and for greater gender diversity.

Countless women (and men) owe their cyber security career success to Lisa. She is truly a Women of Inspiration.

Judith Virag

Clean Club Calgary - CEO

Experience and passion – these are what I believe help me transform cleaning into a higher quality of life for my clients with Clean Club Calgary. After building a successful career within the corporate world, working as an Executive Assistant for corporations such as Citibank, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the Calgary Flames, I took a leap of faith and started my own residential and commercial cleaning company. Combining my love of accountability, physical work, and solution finding, I set out to create a cleaning business built on honesty, loyalty, trust AND quality cleaning. Nearly a decade later, I’m proud that my company, Clean Club Calgary, is inspiring just that – loyal clients because of transparent conversations for improved quality of life.

To continue serving clients, I maintain my IICRC Certified House Cleaning Technician designation, along with providing opportunities for my team to enhance their skills. I believe that improving quality of life doesn’t just mean for clients, but for my staff as well. By ensuring we all have what we need to provide a quality clean, we are better able to build a two-way relationship, enhancing our clients’ trust in ourselves and in each other.

Still closely tied with my Hungarian roots – I immigrated to Canada at age 18 – I am involved with the Calgary Hungarian community, often volunteering at the Hungarian Hall.

Michaela Johnson

Michaela Renee Johnson - Be You Find Happy

Raised in a 27 foot fifth wheel with no electricity or running water, Michaela has gone on to blaze the path for women to learn to live a courageous life of authenticity and speak their truth with grace. In her award-winning memoir and debut book, Teetering on Disaster, she shared what it's like to create empowerment for yourself. Today, she's the author of several books, including her latest Empowered, a Motivational Journal for Women (Rockridge Press June 2020) and host of the top iTunes podcast, Be You Find Happy. She epitomizes the idea of inspiring from within.

Anastasiia Zavgorodnia

IT Leader/Project/Program Manager

Anastasiia was born a Leader. Being a child she already knew how to engage people around the ideas. Never forced, but inspire. Being a student she proposed a solution to help family doctors in her country. Being mom of three, full-time employed, having three University Degrees and volunteering in different non-profit educational programs, she continues to inspire people in Cybersecurity and Software Development for more than 16 years. Innovations and technology are in her blood.

Deborah Rodrigo

TEC Canada / HighStreet Insurance - Chair / Chief Operating Officer

Deb is a daily inspiration to all of those around her. She is an entrepreneurial, visionary leader who leads with authenticity, charisma and integrity. She is passionate about the growth and success of people and businesses within her touch and is wholly giving of her time and energy to grow and mentor both. She is a business woman who consistently fills you with the motivation and tools for you to do something worthwhile and be the very best version of yourself.

Margaret Adu

Aomega Group - Owner and Founder

Aomega Lodges, Margaret has been named one of the top 25 immigrants making a difference in Canada. Her Credentals include:

BSc. Dip. P.G. Arch
Owner and Founder of Aomega Group Inc.
President of the Ghanaian Canadian Association of Calgary
President of the PCH Council of Calgary

Margaret Adu, a highly accomplished architect, has gained significant experience in the areas of human resources, finances, planning and program delivery. Her combined experience in the areas of architectural and health service delivery ensures a solid and forward thinking individual for the future of PCH service delivery both in the city of Calgary and in the rural communities of High River and Airdrie.

Ashley Avinashi

Raising Humanity - Founder

Ashley has made a huge difference in my life and those of my family and community. I have had the pleasure of being in several conversations with her; Ashley's vision, words and compassion for humanity is immeasurable. She plants the seeds of a higher self that she knows and acknowledges is within each of us. She gives space and honours our individual journey while helping us rise up alongside her. Her gentle strength is unwavering, as she is determined to make a difference in this world. Ashley's words and work have moved me, inspired me and continue to make me re-think the choices I make on a daily basis. I am truly honoured and grateful for knowing her and the work she does at Raising Humanity.

Bonnie Spragg

Spragg's Meat Shop - Co-Owner

Bonnie is co-owner of the family-owned and operated farm and business, Spragg’s Meat Shop, which is focused on ethical, sustainable, local farming practices and is passionate about feeding Albertan families like their own. Bonnie has a thriving business that has survived the ups and downs of the Alberta economy, and she has adapted her company for the ever-evolving COVID-19 world to continue to bring her customers high-quality meat products. As a farmer and producer of meat products, this industry is typically dominated by men, but Bonnie has successfully run her business with her husband and daughter for over 15 years. Bonnie’s entrepreneurship skill has earned her many awards, including the 2019 Women Entrepreneurship Fund from the Canadian Government, a grant committed to supporting women entrepreneurs.

Shona Reilly

Calgary Economic Development - Trade, Business Development & Client Excellence

Shona is a breath of fresh air. She truly cares about your direction in life when it comes to business and will go the extra mile to help a Calgary Company out be successful. She is a great connector and her passion for helping others will take her to the next level in life

Geetika Joshi

Gigglez - Founder

I have helped Geetika a few times as a volunteer for her business, Gigglez. I have to say, Geetika’s drive really inspires me. She is one of the most hardworking people I know, and she never gives up until she reaches her targets. Geetika is very determined, talented and extremely passionate about Gigglez. I’m honoured to be a part of this brilliant journey of hers and I wish Geetika the best of luck for the future!

Nothabo Ncube

Nothabo Ncube "Dr Thabo" - Speaker, Coach, Mentor

Nothabo Ncube “Dr.Thabo” is an Inspirational TEDx Speaker, A Coach To Women and A Millennial Mentor To Young-Girls. Having overcome her own personal and professional obstacles, her powerful story encourages this generation to face their challenges and conquer them. Her story led her to meet the media mogul, Oprah Winfrey and just recently she shared her life journey on the TEDx platform. Through a whirlwind of inspirational lectures, round table discussions and media appearances on stages such as Global News TV, she positively influences, challenges and reconnects youth with their passions. She uses incredible wit and candor to empower young girls and women. Dr.Thabo envisions a world where all people are given the opportunity to become the best versions of themselves, not only to dream bigger dreams, but to create and shape the world they have always desired. Having lost her mother at the tender age of 14, at her mother’s death bed, she made a promise to her to be a doctor in Zimbabwe. Destiny led her to Canada where she and her family found themselves living in Community Housing in Toronto, subjected to social ills that could have deterred her from her path, despite these circumstances she rose from the ashes. Her journey leading to the fulfillment of the promise has been one filled with loss, pain, failures, mistakes, resilience, courage, faith, hope, grace and overcoming adversity.

Lynn McIntosh

Lynne McIntosh, Author & Coach - Author & Coach

Lynn McIntosh is truly a woman of inspiration as well as a thought leader in her field whose example and guidance helps other women - and men - regain their confidence and thrive after leaving a toxic relationship. Lynn is both a certified coach and hypnotist with several years of experience dealing personally with narcissistic personalities. She is also a co-author of two books on empowering women to succeed. Lynn regularly speaks on overcoming toxic relationships, dealing with narcissistic personalities and increasing personal confidence.

Lindsay Jones

Scotia Bank - Associate, Investment Banking

Lindsay Jones is an M&A Investment Banking Associate at Scotiabank, currently based in New York City. She transitioned from Energy Investment Banking in Calgary to her current role where she covers a wide variety of industries and jurisdictions in Latin America, working with corporate clients in the evaluation of merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities. She received a bachelor’s degree in Finance (with distinction) from the University of Calgary, graduating in the top ~1% of her business class. She continues to stay involved in her community where she commits to championing support for women in finance. Lindsay grew her personal efforts into a small mentorship program for women, then sought partnership with her bank to scale that program nation-wide, rolling out the “Scotiabank Rising Leaders Mentorship Program” across five universities. She is now working with the bank to expand the program to the United States. The program aims to support and develop women interested in finance while connecting them to a network of mentors and a cohort of like-minded women. Lindsay has also been involved, for over eight years, with L’Arche, an international organization that supports individuals with developmental disabilities. She has personally raised ~$28,000 for L’Arche and most recently joined the Board of Directors as its youngest board member. Lindsay also loves to travel and hike, visiting over 20 countries to date. Her favorite treks include Mt. Everest Base Camp and Mt. Kilimanjaro with her eyes set on climbing the tallest mountain on each of the remaining continents.

Mae Woods

Howbsy - Co-Founder

Mae co-founded a website to help her community during COVID19. The website went viral and has already passed 100,000 users. Howbsy.com shows store wait times during COVID19.

Marc Bombenon

SureCall - Chairman

Marc has been a supporter of women in leadership roles since the day we met. His genuine interest and authentic belief that female leadership in an organization or anywhere leads to a more collaborative and healthy environment has been key in enabling me as the CEO of our company to create a diverse and inclusive team. As a major cheerleader of women's empowerment I don't know any other partner more deserving of this award!

Karen Fonseth

DASCH - Chief Executive Officer

Karen is an inspiration to all who encounter her. My own leadership journey really started when I met her. Over the last 17 years she has guided my professional growth, through formal education and real life learning situations, tough conversations and personal epiphanies, her support is always personal and engaged. As CEO of one of Canada’s largest NPOs, Karen oversaw its growth from a $1 million budget to a $24 million budget. She is a strong believer is community engagement – most recently she has been involved with Children Believe, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada Foundation, The Winnipeg Football Club and Safe Haven Foundation. Because of this passion, Karen received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal of Honor for contributions benefiting Canadians. Karen truly does inspire and motivate others to greatness.

Kelly Addison

Kelly's Green Lounge - Founder, Owner

Kelly Addison is an inspiring and innovative female business leader in her local community as well as in an emerging industry where she has built an incredible network of supporters. With the challenges of covid she quickly pivoted her in person lounge to an online education and entertainment space that has had major international attention. She's been featured in local media, provincial media, media stateside and was recently even interviewed in Australia, bringing positive attention to the small town of Orono where the Mayor supports her work and emerging as a credible influencer who always has her communities best interests at heart.

Jolanda Slagmolen-Flores

Casa Flores Custom Cabinetry/Sencillo Cabinets - Co-Owner/Founder

Jolanda is co-owner of Casa Flores Cabinetry and the founder of Sencillo Cabinets, a sustainable business and brand that has persevered in the ups and downs of the Alberta economy. Jolanda consistently evolves her company for the needs of her clients, including founding a new brand of affordable cabinetry with a focus on simplicity and improving the client’s day to day lives. Additionally, she continues to adapt her business during this ever-changing COVID-19 world. Men typically dominate the cabinetry industry, but with her husband and her children, Jolanda had thrived and has become a leader in her industry, bringing unparalleled quality to clients. As an entrepreneur, Jolanda has received many awards for her business, including multiple repeat HomeStar and Houzz awards for her customer service and satisfaction. Jolanda was also a recipient of the 2019 Women Entrepreneurship Fund from the Canadian Government, a grant committed to supporting women entrepreneurs.

Tessa Ohlendorf

MightyHive - Managing Director, Canada

As MightyHive’s Canadian Managing Director, Tessa has long recognized that an organization is nothing without its people. Balancing the organization’s changing needs with her team’s needs for development, self improvement and continual learning is an art that Tessa has cultivated over years as a manager and figurehead in digital and business industries. Tessa is recognized across the industry as someone who is trustworthy, ethical, and who works tirelessly to be fair and equitable in business practice and in team management. Tessa continually works to create strong teams and healthy businesses through personal connection and empathy. She has developed a reputation as a successful leader by taking this approach, and is known in the industry as a trusted peer. Tessa exhibits leadership to her team and colleagues through respect and care for employees, and by taking a stand against unfair or disrespectful treatment with a focus on inclusion and diversity.

Serena Holmes

Tigris Events Inc - President & CEO

Serena is a deserving, inspiring and forward-thinking professional. It would be hard to choose which award would suit her best, as she exemplifies many inspiring qualities. If I had to choose, I would nominate Serena for the Authentic Leader or Customer Experience Award. She is the President and CEO of a national event staffing, planning & XM agency, that has been in business successfully for 16 years. She is a dedicated leader and mentor. Her business is her passion and she truly believes in building up brands, and furthermore, the people that work at them. She believes in transparency, accountability, respect and positive culture in the workplace. In addition to being dynamic and creative, she always adds her own flair to everything she does. Her work and reputation in the industry speak for themselves. I sincerely couldn’t think of anyone better or more deserving of either of these awards.

Michele Parotta

Mimi Cannabis - Founder

Michele Parrotta - aka Mimi Cannabis was recently featured in The Chicago Tribune in an article about shifting careers. After decades-long career in Hospitality at an age when others are thinking retirement, Michele entered a whole new industry becoming the much-loved influencer and head of the mimicannabis.com brand. Her focus is on counselling and consulting with boomers and seniors seeking cannabis medicine. Recently she attended an exclusive VIP Party with Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong in attendance, and he was extremely supportive of her work, telling her; "Don't stop!" She says she never will!

Carlene Donnelly

CUPS - Executive Directory

Carlene Donnelly is a fearless leader with a big vision of supporting vulnerable populations across Canada as they manage adversity, reach their potential and end the cycle of poverty and trauma for themselves and their families. By redefining the way non-profit organizations approach these challenges, she is setting a new standard of care and a new benchmark for measuring impact in the non-profit sector.

Cheryl Ivaniski

Holistic Diabetes Solutions - Global Wellness Authority, Dr. Holistic Medicine - Acupuncture, Speaker, Coach, 5 X Bestselling Author

Having survived serious health challenges, Cheryl set her sights sharply on mastering a Holistic Way of Living so she could serve health professionals, business professionals, colleges/academia and those with Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes. For over 28 years, Cheryl has shared her experience, education and expertise in Holistic Wellness, the Power of Mindset, Leadership Skills and Wealth Building Strategies internationally. She is a Global Award Winning Author also co-authoring books with some of the Top World Thought Leaders including Jack Canfield (New York Times Best Selling Author of Chicken Soup for the Soul Series), Les Brown, Dr. John Gray, Brian Tracey and others.

Scarlett Deva Antaloczy

Scarlett Deva - Singer-Songwriter, Pianist, Arranger/Composer, Conductor and Producer.

Hamilton based recording artist Scarlett Deva packsthe house at her annual end of the year show in that city filling the venue with her big voice and her huge talent. Well known for her tribute to famous women singers - from one iconic artist to another - Scarlett’s voice can embody them all. But it’s her originals that have been making the biggest impact over the last twelve months. In 2019 a song she recorded in the Hamilton area made it’s way all the way oversees - hitting #2 on the influential EURO INDIE MUSIC CHART, Interestingly, in addition to her incredibly accomplished musical journey this entertainer also spent a little time in Springfield! She once did the voice of Marge Simpson singing in Season 1, episode 4 of The Simpsons. She is also a respected healer and public speaker, merging music and healing in unique and wonderful ways.

Patricia Gagic

Patricia Karen Gagic Art Enterprise Inc. - President

Patricia Gagic has been internationally lauded as one of Canada’s most exceptional artists, author and successful entrepreneur. It is her work in human rights which defines her as an impactful Canadian woman on the world stage. She built a school and library for poor children and monks in Angkor Wat, Cambodia, an advisor to Help Heal Humanity (Haiti), a Board Member of Sir Edmund Hilary Foundation, Ontario Cabinet for Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Patricia received the Gold Medal at the SNBA in Paris for Photography. In 2017 she was presented the Excellence in the Arts for courage and commitment to human rights, dignity and freedom Award by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. In 2018 Patricia was inducted into the WXN Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada Hall of Fame. She has presented on the stage of the Harvard Club of Boston, Carnegie Hall and NASDAQ.

Karen Somerville

Canadians for Properly Built Homes - President

Dr. Karen Somerville is a woman of inspiration. Recognized in business and academe as an expert in organizational change, a certified board director, an accredited coach and more, Karen has overcome adversity and gone on to help people in so many ways. In addition to her many successful pursuits, Karen is the President of Canadians for Properly Built Homes, the only national, volunteer, non-partisan, not-for-profit consumer advocacy and protection organization of its kind in Canada. There, Karen brings people together and inspires them to contribute to positive outcomes in the service of others. As an advocate for social justice and a catalyst for change, Karen has made a real difference in the lives of thousands as she fights for their rights and well-being. Generous with her time and as a mentor, Karen is a true leader whose example inspires both women and the men who support them.
Nominating Dr. Karen Somerville for the Advocate and Catalyst for Change Award is a natural fit, and an opportunity for others to learn from her journey.

Dominic Vogel

Cyber.sc - Founder & Chief Strategist

Dominic is a consummate cybersecurity professional based in Vancouver, BC and is dedicated to supporting, promoting, mentoring, and inspiring women in the technology field. He is actively reaching out to new contacts to build his business network and learning how he can help them be successful in their careers. Dominic is incredibly passionate about connecting professionals in his network with one another for mutual business success and has been a fabulous champion for women wanting to advance their technology careers.

Christine Dagenais

Bright Wire - Founder & CEO

Inspiration is a force that works beyond itself. The most inspiring and influential people challenge us to aim higher, to seek different perspectives and demand the best of ourselves. Christine Dagenais is this force. Christine leads and inspires through example with integrity, courage, and an unwavering passion to develop others. She founded Bright Wire with a tireless work ethic and commitment to excellence that has attracted a team of dynamic experts equally committed to her vision and creating a new model for consultancy firms built on the strength of team, rather than individuals.
As an executive coach and leadership development expert, she has coached thousands of senior and executive-level leaders, many of them with Fortune 500 and 100 companies. She has developed proprietary coaching and leadership development assessments and curriculum and has authored the upcoming book, The Intentional MBA.
Despite winning numerous leadership awards herself, Christine continues to define her success by the success of those she coaches and mentors. I am inspired by her everyday.

Lucy Ruth

Lucy Ruth - CEO

Lucy is a bestselling author , motivational speaker and Guinness world record participant. Lucy's personal story is an inspiring one : The trajectory of her life changed at the age of ten when she lost her mother to suicide in her native, Zimbabwe. For years, Lucy struggled with depression and felt alone because depression was not a topic people discussed in Zimbabwe. This birthed a desire to connect with people. Having lived and worked in three continents: Africa, Europe and now North America, Lucy has been exposed to different cultures and experiences. While customs vary, she has seen a common thread in every place she has lived; the challenges people face are the same. Lucy has a vision to empower young people to believe in themselves and chase their dreams. Now a mother of three who works full time, she is also the founder of an online business selling African heritage products, a part of the Toronto Women’s Expo 2020 organising committee. Lucy is often called a voice for those who cannot stand up for themselves and has racked up an incredible and varied list of accomplishments

Connie Jakab

The Jakab Co - Owner

Connie is starting and growing the conversations that need to happy around mental health & parenting through her Bring them Closer Speaking and coaching, as well as with wellness in the workplace. The work she is doing inspires so many to listen, connect, and truly grow. She is clearly leading the way in changing the conversation around mental health and is lifting so many to do the same. A crucial leader in a time when connection is desperately needed. Connie Jakab is a Woman of Inspiration. Period.

Angela Sterritt

CBC - Reporter

Angela Sterritt is an amazing Indigenous reporter who is breaking boundaries for Indigenous people. She recently broke an important story about racial profile in banking, but is always on the cutting edge of sharing stories about Indigenous women in Canada and how they are achieving success. Angela is a catalyst for change for the better and is a role model to Indigenous women everywhere.

Angela Sterritt is an award-winning Gitxsan journalist, writer, artist and keynote speaker from British Columbia. Sterritt has worked as a journalist for close to twenty years and has been with the CBC since 2003. Sterritt’s book Unbroken, about missing and murdered Indigenous women and own story of surviving violence as an Indigenous girl, was acquired by Greystone books and is set to publish in 2021. Sterritt is a keynote speaker, emcee, and moderator including giving a Ted Talk, a Massey Lecture hosting Tanya Talaga’s talk and a number of other prestigious events. In 2020 she was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for best reporter of the year. Sterritt’s 2019 documentary won an RTDNA award for best long feature. Her reports have appeared in the Globe and Mail, The National, CBC’s The Current, and various other national and local news programs. She currently works with CBC Vancouver as a television, radio and online reporter. In 2018, Sterritt was chosen among three other Canadian authors to adjudicate the esteemed $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Political Book Prize. In that year she was also selected to be a juror for numerous journalism and arts awards across Canada.

Paul Doroshenko

Acumen Law - Partner

Paul Doroshenko is an amazing SupportHER. He is the owner of Acumen Law but he allows the women to take the lead. Paul listens to the numerous woman that he works with and defers to their ideas. I would not be where I am today without the support offered by Paul. He has been a champion of women and continues to be one.

Flora Terah

Wanawake Violence Prevention Team - Founder

She has turned her trauma and adversity into strength and inspiration. She shares her experience and wisdom, her hope, her incredible courage with others with such generosity and love. She truly leads by example, from the heart, and by being of service to those in need. She is dedicated to shining a light on violence against women and girls and on mental illness to bring about awareness and positive change. She is truly a champion of social justice and an example of the victory of the human spirit over pain and hardship. I am so grateful for her love, friendship, and leadership. She is a light in this world.
Moreover,she's a most amazing woman who has worked tirelessly advocating for human rights, children's rights, creating awareness of mental health issues, depression. She's faced personal challenges and used every one of them for positive outcomes. She's a motivational speaker who gathers an audience wherever she goes. She's travelled to a lot of cities to do so and has met with many well-known people, Bill Clinton, for Governor General of Canada Michaelle Jean and many more.

Mélanie Dussarrat

CIBC Capital Markets - Director, eFX Trading

It is with great pleasure that I nominate Mélanie. She is not only deeply committed and highly motivated to succeed in her career, but she is also an exceptional contributor in her community. Her drive and dedication are unparalleled. She is forthright, articulate and passionate, always inspiring others to step well outside of their own comfort zone. Both through her day to day job and with an assortment of external organizations, she displays her leadership in a variety of initiatives dedicated towards the development of young women within the industry. She wants to be the motor of change and see everyone around her reach their full potential. Mélanie sets a great example through her poise, maturity, professionalism, competence and her highly interpersonal approach to business in general.

Sudduf Wyne

Salam Sudduf - Founder

Sudduf is an influencer and an inspiration. She created the Muslim Entrepreneur Association, a space in which muslim women have the support, community and resources made available to them to allow them to become successful, intentional business leaders. Sudduf is courageous, kind and encouraging and her mission is to empower muslim women the world over. She is professional, hard working and full of integrity, and balances building her legacy with mothering her triplet toddlers, making her a total badass.

Jenn Lofgren

Incito Executive & Leadership Development - Founder, Executive Leadership Coach & Consultant

Jenn Lofgren helps executives across Canada and worldwide unlock their leadership potential and grow into inspired, authentic leaders. She is one of only 60 recipients of the esteemed Master Certified Coach (MCC) designation in Canada and 5% of coaches worldwide. She is a partner with the Women’s Executive Network (WXN), and was named to the 2019 WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100. Jenn has engaged in numerous mentorship relationships with women from diverse industries and backgrounds. She has mentored a female MBA student each year for the past six years, advised through the WXN Wisdom Mentoring Program, and currently mentors a female leader in the aviation industry. Jenn also serves on four boards, supporting struggling youth, the arts, the community, and local business. Jenn is a champion of local enterprise, an ally to women in business, an actively involved citizen and a passionate member of the global business community.

Joan Nwosu

Joan Nwosu Coaching - Founder

Joan Nwosu has always made it her duty to encourage, push, inspire, and motivate people to discover their hidden talents and ultimately achieve their purpose in life. She has helped lots of people become entrepreneurs by giving advice on how to start up, build, and sustain small businesses as well as coaching and dishing out those important tips on how to position yourself in the labour market in order to get the right job. She has been such an inspiration to me. An intelligent and purpose-driven lady anytime, any day.

Tracy Lamourie

Lamourie Public Relations - Founder, Creative Director

Tracy Lamourie is a well known long time advocate on a myriad of important worldwide issues and an award-winning international publicist working across industries from major entertainment projects to small businesses. Tracy is passionate about amplifying important messages and being a voice for those who most need one. Recognized by media around the world for her 20-year campaign that ultimately helped free an innocent man from death row to her work getting clients major media attention and for her local community work, Winner of the FIRST PLACE PLATINUM award Hamilton Spectator Readers Choice for PR 2018, Diamond 2019. She also won the MARKETING award at the MAGNETIC ENTREPRENEUR and AUTHOR AWARDS 2019 in Toronto and has been frequently quoted in the media including in an AUTHORITY magazine article "Rockstar Publicists - Be Real, Be Authentic, Don't Be Cookie Cutter with Tracy Lamourie." Tracy truly is inspirational in many ways and deserves this nomination!

Lisa Lisson

FedEX Canada - President

I nominate Lisa Lisson because she is the first Canadian and first woman to hold the post of president. She is a great leader and under her leadership, Fed-ex was placed, as top 50 ranking company on the Aon Hewitt Best Employers in Canada list. Currently due to COVID 19 as her team continue to support the global supply chain, they are also taking all the necessary steps to protect their customers and team members. Lisa is a widow with 4 children who lives each day with focus, gratitude and positivity. She is also the author of 'Resilience' Navigating Life, Loss and the Road to Success.

Anu Bidani

STEM Minds Corp. - Founder & CEO

She is a visionary who is committed to making a global impact on education and foster leadership in today's youth.

Sabine Weber

Sustainable Strategies & Solutions - Founder

Sabine Weber worked in fashion production in Europe and had a budget that rivalled some small countries. She was incredibly influential in Europe in the fashion industry. Her commitment to sustainability in the industry was unparallelled and ahead of its time. She was advocating for sustainable solutions in fashion before it was cool. She left Europe and came to Canada where she worked on a PhD and became one of the leading experts in textile waste And hosted the first ever symposium of its kind bringing together public officials from across the country to study the subject and create solutions. She has changed laws. She is considered one of the most integral professionals in this industry and now shares her wealth of knowledge as a professor at Seneca college. She is often described as a woman who cannot be bought – her integrity is unparallelled

Leanna Villella

Regional Councillor Leanna Villella - Regional Councillor

Leanna has been politically active for much of her adult life. Prior to that she was incredibly active in local charity and community events and was already a local household name. In the last municipal election she was elected as regional counsellor of Welland and has been the most transparent, spent the least amount of money in expenses, and has advocated for the most vulnerable every day since the election. She works tirelessly and is one of the most honest politicians I’ve ever met in my life. She is committed, integral and passionate about poor, mentally ill, and the elderly. The length she goes for her constituents I have never seen before in politics. Most importantly she spreads love and light everywhere she goes and uses her public platform not only to advocate for the vulnerable, but to inspire everyone who comes close to her

Renee Delaney

Small Scale Farms - Founder

Renee started off very poor, and as a single mother struggling with food insecurity, she learned to grow her own food which turned into a passion. Not just the gardening, but food insecurity. She studied the local food supply and created her own parallel economy. Through a community center she founded a social enterprise that not only offers prepared healthy meals with produce she grows herself, but for every meal purchased she donates a meal to people struggling with food insecurity. When Covid happened many of our local farmers got stuck with meat and produce they could not sell. Within days she mastermind an online ordering process that partnered people seeking grocery delivery with local farms and arranged for a whole delivery program. She deservedly was on the cover of every local newspaper. Her social enterprise is thriving as is anybody that comes in contact with it

Gemma Grey-Hall

University of WIndsor - Faculty of Science

Gemma Grey-Hall joined the Board of Directors in 2005. After nine years in pharmaceutical sales, Gemma is currently working in Advancement with the University of Windsor specializing in forwarding the strategic priorities for the Faculty of Science. Gemma is studying towards a CPA designation has completed a MBA and is a graduate of Leadership Windsor Essex class 2010. In addition to her board position at West, Gemma is active in the community in areas surrounding Women’s issues and non-profit capacity building. Gemma is passionate about the programs and services that WEST offers to help ease the transition to “Canadian work experience” for employment disadvantaged women.

Anuja Virani

Chintan Virani Architect Inc. - Owner, Project Manager

Anuja Virani has a degree in civil engineering and works as a project manager & officer at her own company Chintan Virani Architect Inc.
Anuja Sharma-Virani is a realtor since 2013; Member, OREA & WECAR; She has demonstrated commitment to community service; Awareness and interest in regional and social issues; Active with many other community groups and has served on other boards locally and internationally. Mentor for entrepreneurs at EPICentre, Odette School of Management, University of Windsor; Member, Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC); Member, Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC); Member, Windsor Construction Association (WCA); Member, Windsor Gujarati Samaj (GSW); Served as a committee member; Board of Directors, Women's Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc.

Ann Diab

BMO Bank of Montreal - Commercial Account Manager

Ann joined WEST Board of Directors in 2011. Ann is a graduate from the University of Windsor and more recently; a graduate of Leadership Windsor Essex Class 2015. Ann is employed with BMO Bank of Montreal as a Commercial Account Manager. She believes WEST serves as a great resource offering vast programs to support for newly immigrated disadvantaged women to enter the Canadian Workforce with skills and confidence. Coming from a family who immigrated into Canada over 40 years ago; she understands and values the commitment and dedication new immigrants carry into Canada to establish a livelihood for themselves and families. In addition to her Board position at WEST; Ann is active in promoting awareness and need for inclusion and proper services for children with intellectual disabilities.

Adelheide (Heidi) Exner

Exner Foundation for Academic Excellence in Law and Business - JD/MBA Candidate and Executive Director

I have known Heidi since she was an entrepreneur and trader – always 100% self-taught. In 2016 she forfeited a lucrative role trading commodities to chase her dream of practicing law. She earned her entire BA in just 2 years, with near-perfect grades. Now she is a JD/MBA candidate at UCalgary, the Chair of the Faculty of Arts Alumni Advisory Council, on the Board of Directors and Chair of Fund Development at Calgary Legal Guidance, the Executive Director of her own foundation that encourages contributions to the study of white-collar crime. Heidi is also a mentor and workshop facilitator to help women of color start businesses, and she mentors undergraduate students on campus too. Heidi has touched the lives of so many people that she has been nominated for Arch and Culbert Philanthropy awards, and she is also currently nominated for Avenue Magazine’s Top Under 40.

Lola Kushakova

Canadian Life Immigration Consulting - Entrepreneur, Founder of Canadian Life Immigration Consulting

Lola Kushakova is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC), a registered and licensed member of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) in good standing. She is a proud member of the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC) and a Commissioner for Taking Affidavits and administering Oaths for Ontario appointed by Attorney General of the Province of Ontario. Lola holds a Certificate of Achievement in Immigration Consultancy with Honours from the institute of Technology and Advance Learning, Humber College, in Toronto, Ontario, as well as two bachelor degrees with Honours, one in English and Arabic Philology from Uzbekistan State World Languages University and another one in Banking and Credit from Uzbekistan State Institute of Finance, Tashkent, Uzbekistan as well as Masters Degree in Banking and Credit from Uzbekistan State Institute of Finance, Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Lola is fluent in English, Uzbek and Russian with good knowledge of Arabic, Turkish, and French. Lola follows a boutique-like approach ensuring every client is given the personal attention they deserve. A unique and customized solution is developed for every client depending on their needs. Her firm takes pride inability to provide tailor-made solutions to every client. These vision-driven goals along with regularly updated knowledge of the Canada immigration laws have earned her firm a strong reputation among individuals, businesses and organization. Her cost-effective and high-quality consulting services are delivered in a timely fashion.

Jodeme Goldhar

The Change Foundation - Executive Lead, Strategy and Innovation

Jodeme’s passion is convening spaces for those in health and social are systems to work together around common goals to realize the potential for transformative improvement. The Change Foundation serves as a backbone to support large scale transformative change and ensures change opportunities are designed alongside patients, their families, and the providers.
The case for a more connected health and social care systems has never been stronger as it is with the global pandemic. It shows the cracks and fragmentation where integration, working as one team, was in place the response to the pandemic is stronger. Whereas the systems that are fragmented and disconnected, the response is tougher and people are suffering. Jodeme and The Change Foundation team has been working locally and globally to drive the imperative. Jodeme has been creating virtual communities of patients and families to inform health and social care responses so that they are people-centered.

Yvette Lagrois

Ontario Truck Training Academy - President

After a successful 2 decade career in Insurance Underwriting, I decided to utilize acquired business sense to a greater cause. In 1998, with my husband, Dennis, we opened the Ontario Truck Training Academy (OTTA) and combined our working knowledge to influence and create quality entry-level drivers. Ontario Truck Training Academy is an asset operation registered under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005, with 5 branches located in Mississauga, Oshawa, Peterborough, Belleville, and Kingston. OTTA has an EXCELLENT Safety rating with the Ministry of Transportation, a rarity in the truck training business.

With a corporate eye, we cater to training “right fit” for the ”right job”, embrace technology with driver simulators to assess that “fit” and analytics to maintain the “fit”. In 2019, I was honored from by Women In Trucking for “Top Women-Owned Business Award, recognizing my commitment to encouraging the employment of women in the trucking industry”.

Asawari Lele

Royal Bank Of Canada - Business Account Manager

Asawari supported me and my business ECC when I got my Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100™ Award 2019 and went above and beyond to try and help me get funds for my education consultant business (ECC Inc.) She is a big supporter of woman in business.

Aditi Loveridge

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Centre - Founder

Aditi is an inspiring woman who has taken her own tragedies and tough emotional journeys and turned them into supporting others to go through their own journeys. She has provided support as a doula and mindfulness coach whose friendly, empathetic, kind and down to earth nature is a huge aid in bringing a baby into the world and coming to terms with the new person you become as a parent. However, she also has a quiet strength and drives that she used along with her passion for helping people to seize her moment last year and created an amazing support center for those that have suffered from pregnancy or infant loss. She has enabled an amazing safe place and a team of people to allow families to have the opportunity to grieve and continue their lives with the correct support. She has used her vulnerability to help and inspire others.

Najwa Al-Dheeb

UNICEF - Health and Nutrition specialist

Dr. Najwa Al-Dheeb is one of few female public health experts in a male-dominated country and field. Despite her high level of technical capacity, in a time of increased skilled immigration due to the security situation in Yemen, she stayed and served Yemen in its worst era of two decades. She empowers her staff and believes in them. As one of her staff, I can say that Dr. Najwa is an emotionally intelligent leader. She deserved her leadership award for her management style and achieving high quality and level work in health and nutrition in Yemen. She has guided several CSOs and NGOs and supported with technical guidance. She has encouraged many young females to pursue their dreams and even female doctors to pursue public health and community medicine field. She is currently mentoring 16 people(13 females and 3 males).

Jolie Gan

Youth Leaders in Law - Founder and President

At 17, this young lady is a force to be reckoned with and an inspiration to everyone around her. For years, she has championed the need for diversity and inclusion in the workforce beginning with youth empowerment from a young age. She is very passionate about ensuring that youth from all backgrounds access resources for success in their future careers, shattering stigmas on culture, gender, race, and religion.

Youth Leaders in Law was founded when Jolie herself began to feel there were limited opportunities for her dream job. After experiencing these effects first-hand, Jolie took up the challenge to advocate for freedom and choice without stigma and providing opportunities for others. Personally, I believe this is a beautiful mandate that Jolie embodies wonderfully. For the Youth Excellence Award, I cannot think of a better candidate than her.

Renee Mendonca

Wings of Hope - Founder and CEO

It is my great honour to nominate RENEE MENDONCA an Exceptional Youth Leader, Changemaker and Humanitarian who is making a humongous impact through her ANTI VAPING CAMPAIGN which has helped 2,00,000 youth from 100 NATIONS addicted to vaping. Due to her strong letters to E-CIGARETTE COMPANY, JUUL withdrew all its SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING CAMPAIGNS and FLAVOURED E-CIGARETTES directed towards youth. She raised $ 1,50,000 and donated to ST JUDE HOSPITAL for the treatment of vaping addicts. She wrote letters to Presidents of 195 NATIONS to ban flavored e-cigarettes due to which 20 NATIONS have banned to date.

Deb Hymers

NSTEP- Nutrition Students Teachers Exercising with Parents - Founder & Director

Deb is the Founder of NStep, a nonprofit organization devoted to educating and ensuring young children learn about the importance of good nutrition and exercise in developing healthy lifestyle habits for themselves and their families. Deb has worked tirelessly for the past 10+ years in developing and delivering the curriculum in partnership with school boards and has been the organization's chief fundraiser- mostly through donations and grants. Her program is now delivered in Alberta, B.C. and I believe, Ontario. Deb is based in Calgary.

Karlene Millwood

Karlene Millwood International - President

Karlene Millwood is a Best selling author and an inspiring Speaker. Karlene is an award-winning author, screenwriter, playwright, speaker and life strategist who, through her company, Karlene Millwood International, is passionate about empowering others to SOAR to new dimensions of living. She has two published books, wrote, produced and directed a play in 2014 titled, Forgiven, and produced two short films, one of which she wrote and directed.

Lori Campbell

St. Paul's University College - Director, Shatitsirótha’ Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre

Lori Campbell is a 2-Spirit Cree-Metis woman who has overcome many barriers to arrive where she is today. I am nominating her for this award because she is a mentor and inspiration in my life and many other Indigenous people within our community. I would not be where I am today if it was not for Lori. Lori is director of the Waterloo Indigenous Student center, a Ph.D. candidate, and most recently ran in the federal election. Lori truly is wonder-woman and I do not know how she keeps up! Lori leads with integrity, focus, humility, courage, and passion. She is an activist, who continually devotes her time to bettering the lives of those around her and inspires people to make the world a better place. I am grateful for everything she has brought to my life and truly hope that she gets the recognition that she deserves.

Adele Spraggon

Adele Spraggon - Owner/Founder

I am nominating Adele because I feel she has the gift in supporting Women and Men in Personal Empowerment, Adele is an award-winning author from the book Shift, 4 steps to personal empowerment. Adele has supported and coached many individuals across the world. Adele is a leader and has supported me with my transition from the corporate world to opening and running my own business.

Towunmi Coker

TCLI Foundation - Founder/Executive Director

Towunmi Coker is the Founder of TCLI Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides educational and social programming with three core foundational pillars - financial stability, quality education and safe health practices, to vulnerable members from low-income and under-resourced communities. Towunmi is also a Public Health Practitioner and a Community Builder with a MBBS, University of Lagos; MBA South Wales University, and MPH University of Liverpool. Towunmi is wholly committed to inspiring, motivating and empowering vulnerable youth and women to be the best they can be. She is passionate about improving quality of life by promoting access to inclusive education, financial literacy and socioeconomic empowerment which can equip people with the relevant tools required to live a meaningful life while achieving their set goal. Towunmi has provided over 20 programs in Nigeria and Canada with 30,000 beneficiaries and volunteers.

Jabbar Al Janabi

Jabbar Al Janabi - Visual/ Multi-disciplinary artist/ director in theater, film making/acting and screenplay writing.

I nominate Jabbar because he is a very talented and accomplished artist who always supports women. He is involved in many artistic projects and always appreciates and empowers women in the workplace. Jabbar has a lot of ties to the Middle Eastern community in addition to the Canadian and other communities. Jabbar has an open mind and is always interested in ideas that pushes the envelope.

Di-Anne Robin

Osez L'harmonie - Coach et enseignante certifiée

Di-Anne is a very generous and knowledgeable woman. She is kind and she has been through very difficult times however she never stopped learning. She is an excellent coach who helps people overcome their challenges and mental blocks. She loves dancing and has zest for genuine connections.
I nominate Di-Anne because I think she plays an important role in shining her light where there is darkness.

Brooke Garcia

4Seasons Transportation Ltd. - President and CEO

Brooke is the President and CEO of 4Seasons Transportation Ltd,, a special-needs school bus company that is transforming the market sector. Still in her thirties, she has built the company to a level of 450 employees by creating a kind and caring environment where the focus is on the children. 4Seasons is the only company in Canada that only provides school transport for cognitive, behavioral and physically-challenged students. She has created a school that includes an expert behavioral team, and always puts the well-being of her valued staff first.

Sara Badiei

Finger Food Advanced Technology Group - Business Development Director

With her background in Engineering, Sara has a personal goal of getting more women and minorities excited about engineering and STEAM careers and believes that women need more positive role models – male or female. Sara’s has worked with a diverse group of organizations – including the Red Cross, Doctors without Borders and the World Bank in countries including Afghanistan and Gaza – and has even run for local office. Her background and experiences as an Afghan refugee, humanitarian aid, and engineer has provided her with strong sense of altruism and kindness that has made her not only a strong leader but an amazing mentor to young and aspiring engineers of all ages. Sara continues to inspire and motivate those around her to help younger generations pursue careers in STEAM and does so selflessly – This is why I am nominating her for the 2020 Women of Inspiration Awards.

Amanda Welliver

Paradigm Esteem - Owner Operator

Amanda Welliver is a businesswoman making a prominent difference by teaching others from her heart and with the passion of a changed life. Amanda was known as an ‘uncool’ youth who grew up in a broken family, ongoing emptiness, which overall contributed to her lack of self-worth. Amanda was taunted, teased and bullied severely by school peers that included always being picked last. Her lack of self-esteem and overall human worth eventually ended with a speech impediment, that caused her to retract herself from any social situation, greater severe stuttering, isolation, depression and self-harming low self-esteem. Amanda has now made a successful business out of inspiring others to be the best that they can be. Developing a mental health curriculum, textbooks, and workshops has allowed Amanda evident success. Today she is the proud Founder/ President of Paradigm Esteem. With her work recognized by multiple government and social agencies including first nation communities, has contributed to Amanda the ability to mentor, teach and love herself ‘As Is’.

Adebola Adefioye

Afro Women and Youth Foundation - Founder

I am nominating Adebola because she has demonstrated resilience and helps other women and youth to also build resilience. She is a social entrepreneur, mother of 3, a full-time student at the college, works part-time and still finds time to do community development work on campus and outside the campus. She is a mentor to other students, she works as a tutor, helping students who struggle with courses she has taken to understand course content better. She runs the Resilient Individuals through a Supportive Culture (RISC) club on two campuses of Seneca College and she is the founder of Afro Women and Youth Foundation (AWYF) where she advocates for women and girl child empowerment and mentors her focus group.

Summer Kath


Summer Kath is a designer of world-class Quartz kitchen and other counters. Her designs are world-famous. They are tantamount to art. Cambria Canada has a Gallery at 91 Parliament Street in Toronto. Cambria USA owns one of the largest Quartz mines in North America. They process quartz in Vaughan Ontario and other locations in Canada and the USA.

Kathy Carsley

Unity for Autism - Founder and CEO

Kathy Carsley is the Founder of Unity for Autism, an extremely efficient charity with less than 2% total annual administrative expenses and likely one of the most significant charities for Autism in Canada, providing significant support to dozens of organizations each year across the country. Kathy has raised millions of dollars single-handedly for thousands of Canadians touched by this cause and vitally important, raised the much needed awareness of the plight of families struggling to access services to enhance their child’s development and well-being. A very impressive Board of Directors, including Mayor John Tory.

Shae Invidiata

Free them - Founder

With an Associate in Marketing from Hawaii Pacific University and a Bachelor of Arts from The University of British Colombia, Shae joined the Invidiata Team in 2009 and has had the privilege to work alongside her father, Christopher Invidiata who has been servicing the Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga and Toronto community since 1984. Shae has helped to develop the Invidiata brand into some of the most elite luxury markets and continues to grow the company with her father and brother. In January 2010, Free-Them was founded by Shae Invidiata; an initiative dedicated to raising awareness and funds to end human trafficking in Canada by partnering with all levels of government, law enforcement, front-line organizations, and businesses to stop exploitation and Human Trafficking in Canada. Today Free-Them is a registered Not-for-Profit organization. Invidiata has been recognized in the community and in Canada for her philanthropic work.

Glori Meldrum

Little Warriors - Founder

Glori Meldrum is the founder of Little Warriors, a national charitable organization focused on the awareness, prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse. As a survivor of child sexual abuse herself, in 2014 Glori opened the Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch, a first-of-its-kind, world-class, evidence-based treatment centre to help children across Canada who have been sexually abused. Glori believes “it’s one thing to discover your life’s purpose; it’s another to do something about it.” Her commitment to this cause is unwavering. By rallying her community, she raised $30 million for the Be Brave Ranch through thousands of donations, work in kind and grassroots fundraising. Under Glori’s guidance and leadership, the Be Brave Ranch offers unique research-based programming – with 11 different types of therapy, children receive more than 200 hours of trauma-informed therapy during their year-long program. The ranch has helped nearly 400 families and provided over 80,000 hours of therapy.

Caroline Sangret

Terra HDD Solutions - Caroline Sangret

Caroline Sangret is one hard working mama I tell you. Caroline is extremely determined and puts in so much effort into everything she does, especially relating to business. No detail ever goes unmissed. Despite working full time as a Project Manager for Terra HDD Solutions she also volunteers weekly for the Association of Administrative Professionals as a Program Coordinator. She has put in a lot of time and energy volunteering and planning events for the board of administration which have all been known to be a HUGE success! On top of this, she is balancing caring for her five year old son. Caroline is an extremely success driven individual and hopes to become an entrepreneur of her own business too. She makes time for everything that is important to her whether that is her son, family, health and overall well-being. Caroline is the type of woman that will show up for her team no matter what and will always ensure things are done meticulously.

Maureen Smith

Womens Millionare Magazine - Founder and CEO

Maureen E. Smith is a Business Coach, Intuitive Visionary Life Coach, Qualified Mediator, Marketing & Real Estate Consultant, Publisher, Author, Promoter, Recording Artist, multi-talented entrepreneur. As an international trailblazer and creator of multiple businesses, she is an inspirational and leading thought business innovator, who inspires many to pursue their dreams and succeed in business through coaching, consulting and marketing with Women’s Millionaire, Women’s Millionaire Magazine, National Musician, White Eagle Promotions and White Eagle Properties Inc.

Additionally, Maureen Smith is a talented professional pianist / vocalist, entertainer, recording artist and songwriter of “Spirit, Songs of Inspiration “, music educator & performance coach. She performs as a solo pianist/vocalist and starred with her own band as producer and music director of “The Hit Legends Show” and worked internationally in the music industry for many years as CEO of White Eagle Music Promotions, White Eagle Records Ltd.

“Women’s Millionaire Magazine” is a Luxury Wellness Lifestyle magazine which educates both women and men on success in business, real estate, investing, finance, women’s spirituality, entertainment wellness, food and travel. Maureen Smith features and interviews leading entrepreneurs in Women’s Millionaire Magazine, which is sold both in print and digitally nationally across Canada in major book and magazine stores and the USA.

Karen Fellowes

Stikeman Elliott LLP - Senior Counsel

Karen is a leader and mentor to all women she encounters. She has used her role of senior lawyer, which includes being recognized as a QC lawyer, to help so many other women, both in Canada and around the world. She has volunteered in Nepal and other third world countries training young female lawyers on how to advocate for themselves. She is on the international board of IWIRC (International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation), and is on the board of PBLA (Pro Bono Law Alberta). She not only believes in but fights for equality and inclusion. Above all of this, Karen is kind, incredibly funny, creative and adventurous. I am privileged to call her a colleague but more importantly as friend.

Maeghen Cotterill

5 Elements Martial Arts - Owner, Head Instructor, President WKU Canada

Renshi Maeghen is a trailblazer in not only the martial arts community but in the sports community. She is an 11 time world champion in kick boxing and karate, and is currently the president of the World Karate Union Canadian chapter, making her the first female president of WKU worldwide. She spends an extraordinary amount of time speaking about mental health, sitting on boards, and fighting for inclusion, equality, and safety of females in sport. Renshi (a title granted to a 5th degree black belt) sponsors many low income students to train for free at her school, which is Canada's largest and founded by her. She is currently lobbying government to amend legislation related to equality and safety for women in sport.

Sibel Coskuner

RBC Dominion Securities - Investment Advisor

Sibel is an extraordinary single mom, who immigrated to Canada from Turkey to create a new life for her and her daughter. She is a leader in the wealth management industry, an engineer, an artist and a woman of inspiration on so many levels. Her passion for helping other women grow and build their wealth combined with her talent for visual art is so unique. Sibel holds many high level distinctions in her field internationally as well as in Canada.

Ejibola Adetokunbo-Taiwo

de Sedulous Women Leaders - Founder

Ejibola is an astonishing, selfless and fearless leaders who inspires and empowers women through entrepreneurship; her desire is to die empty of all the skills and potentials she’s got within her by impacting the lives of women around her. After facing a life-threatening sickness years back that almost took her life, she become even more committed to motivate women around her to reach for the best in their career and enterprise. Ejibola is a trailblazer and would go ABCD (above and beyond the call of duty) to celebrate and encourage all her women, she’s the exact type of woman that makes you believe your impossible dream is actually possible if only you can dare to pursue it, she is indeed a role model for every immigrant women especially those of us in the rural Canada. She is the Founder of “de Sedulous Women Leaders” in Canada with City chapters in Grande Prairie, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Toronto (and more to come).

Neeru Schippel

SSC Family Restaurants Ltd o/a McDonald's - Owner/ Operator

She has accomplished something pretty amazing. She has built the current market to an excess of 16 million in Edmonton and is 1 of 6 female operators out of a total of 91 in all of Western Canada. This is astonishing to me. Less than 10% of all Canada wide operators are female. She makes the time to take part in monthly fundraising for the community and sit on various boards in Edmonton while encouraging her 200 some employees to also give back. Many are immigrants and first generation individuals, she guides them in ways not only to have fun in life but always give back no matter how big or small.

Margot Grant Witz

Elizabeth Grant International Inc. - Vice President

Margot embodies the true spirit of an entrepreneur through her tireless work with her company and various board appointments, striving to make positive change. She is a leader in her field but also an ambassador for her family’s company, travelling the world to spread the word of the Elizabeth Grant brand. From a very young age, Margot has been “in training heels”, garnering invaluable tutelage from her President mother, Marion, and Founder and grandmother, Elizabeth Grant. Through hard work and forward thinking, Margot has been able to make the brand a recognized name around the world. Nevertheless, it’s not all business and networking for Margot. She also has a keen sense of the real world around her and a deep need to give back. This she does through running ‘EG cares’, the charitable division at Elizabeth Grant International and through volunteering with Look Good Feel Better.

Ameera Amerulllah

Canada Mortgage and Financial Group - CMFG - Broker and Owner

Ameera is an award winning Mortgage Broker who over her established career has had countless accolades speaking to her accomplishments. These have come via clients, lenders and other professionals who choose to speak to her professionalism and endless efforts. She has been nominated this year for the Community Trust Award for Alternative Broker Specialist of the Year, Brokerage of the Year (Fewer than 25 Employees) and Home Trust Award for Woman of Distinction. Often times you find that professionals excel in one particular area but Ameera has maintained a balance between the success of her business and humanitarian work. Her purpose is to be the voice for those that are vulnerable, empowering women to take on leadership roles, providing care and education to orphaned children, building affordable housing, educating others about financial literacy, eradicate elder abuse and human trafficking. She believes to have change, we must become agents of change.

Lulu Liang

Luxy Hair - CEO

Lulu Liang is the CEO of Luxy Hair, an 8 figure global beauty business and the #1 rated hair extension brand in the world. Lulu grew the team from 2 to 20 and has taken Luxy Hair to be one of the Top 50 Best Places to work in Canada. She is also the co-founder of Evergreen Journals, the creator of the Habit Journal - a product helping people build positive and lasting habits. Prior to Luxy Hair, Lulu was a Management Consultant at Accenture where she consulted on Strategy for Fortune 100 Tech Companies and Retailers. Lulu holds a degree in Commerce and Mathematics from Queen’s University where she graduated in the top 10% of her class. Lulu is passionate about continuous self and business growth.

Karen Seward Adams

Cloudmd - Chief Health Innovation Officer and Head of Mental Health

Karen has spent her career as an advocate for mental health. As the executive leader of shepell.fgi (warrenshepell, morneau shepell) she created awareness amongst corporations of the existence of mental health. She developed programs that offered the ability to cope with mental health and has been recognized as a pioneer by benefits Canada. She is the chair of the Ontario Shores Foundation for mental health. She coaches young women in business to ensure they overcome obstacles and barriers.

Merhan Keller

Merhan Keller, KissyK - CEO of KissyK

Merhan Keller is one of the bravest women who changed the way women are perceived in the middle east and specifically in Egypt. Egypt is ranked number 2 in sexual harassment and violence against women. Merhan Keller spoke up against the sexual harassment she was subjected to, in addition to the death threats she received from a famous and powerful football player in Egypt. As a result, Merhan has been bullied, mocked, threatened and she suffered a lot throughout her battle especially after deciding to fight him in court. Many women in Egypt created a twitter thread similar to #metoo movement and spoke up against the same football who has been terrorizing women for years. he has been accused of rape, sexual molestation and violence. After so many women supported Nerhan, the court finally ruled in her favor. she has sent a clear message to everybody in a male-dominated society that there is still hope and that women should stick together and support each other. Merhan is a model who is also a very active humanitarian.

Ehi Ade-Mabo

Ehi Ade-Mabo Empowerment Media - Mindset Coach

Ehi is a Phenomenal and selfless leader, she goes above and beyond for everyone around her, having been bullied in her teenage years because of her unusual physical traits, she is now determined to make sure no little girl or woman goes through the same painful experiences of a low self esteem. Ehi not only empowers women to push through their limiting beliefs, she also does this internationally with little girls in 3rd world nations, she believes its important to start mending a person's beliefs much earlier. I am nominating her because she does for the mind what a heart surgeon does for the heart...changing paradigms and limiting beliefs

Mikaella Celestin

Ottawa Hair Loss Clinic & Wellness - CEO

Mikaella is making a massive difference in Canada with Trichology. She is the first black owned operated Trichology clinic in Canada. She been helping peoples regaining confidence and growing their hair back by applying only holistic approach. She also an incredible business woman managing different businesses.

Mani Mukhija

Virago Network - Founder & CEO

Mani has been doing exemplary work in the field of women empowerment through her initiative of building a community of women professionals. The initiative is called- "The Virago Network". Her vision is to build a supportive international community of professional women, industry leaders and corporates from diverse industries to strengthen and improve the status of women in our society. She has been working hard to build a platform for Mentorship, Professional Guidance & Support that includes emotional support as well. She is putting efforts to connect with industry leaders and shine a spotlight on Female leaders & Entrepreneurs in order to create the Archetype of Women as Leaders who can then turn role models for the generations to follow.
She has taken initiatives towards women empowerment during her stay in United States and she was noticed and featured in media for doing so.

Ariane Roberto

Ary - Singer/Songwriter

Ary is an excellent role model. She sings in English, French, Hindi, Tamil, and can hold her own with Italian and German as well, Her live performances are remarkable, and I think she really shows young people that they can do anything with enough hard work and determination! We have performed in multiple shows together, she has raised the bar for all the performers each and every time, and I think she absolutely deserves a Woman of Inspiration Award!

Sabina Wex

Sabina Wex Consulting - Founder and CEO

Sabina has dedicated herself to promoting women in business as her career. She's only 24, but she has created a PR consulting business that is successful BECAUSE it uplifts other women in the process. She works so hard to make sure that the women she works for are seen as they truly are, whether that be women in STEM, women breaking barriers in tech or women entrepreneurs. She helps all her clients reach the people they need to speak to through her excellent relationship with media, like CP24, Refinery29 or The Globe and Mail.

Selene Vakharia


Selene works tirelessly to lift up business women in Northern Canada, thanks to her work of creating SMRT Women, a community of female entrepreneurs that help each other get unstuck so they can create profitable and sustainable businesses they love. Selene does her work out Whitehorse, but she is now bringing it to women across Canada with her online academy to help women across Canada (and around the world!) start, grow and love their businesses.

Jenna Lessner

Simply Nurtured - Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant

Jenna Lessner is a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant who goes above and beyond for her clients. After her own 130-pound weight loss Jenna became passionate about nutrition and helping other individuals improve their health and longevity. Jenna focuses her work around emotional eating and body positivity coaching which allows her to help her clients get to the root of their issues with food. Many of Jenna’s clients see the positive effects of her nutrition coaching ripple out into every facet of their lives, empowering them to live their very best life.

Gina Perrault

Restorative Sports Therapy - Founder/Phyisotherapist

Gina Perrault is a Living Inspiration to all who are blessed to be a part of her mission: To aspire to be our healthiest by accepting and loving who we are by nourishing our lives with Self Care, Self Love, Self Compassion and Self Passion. Gina’s strong calling to empower our youth has also led her to become an integral team member of the Orenda Society and a passionate mentor to her youth clients. As a physiotherapist, Gina is an integral part of the formation of many young athletes and her direction and guidance has allowed our youth to navigate through the highs and lows of competitive sports which has allowed them to grow into confident young men and women who serve as positive role models for their peers. Gina’s inspirational seeds will only keep growing in the lives of so many.

Monique Auffrey

Cayra - CEO

As CEO, Cayra, leads with a big heart and a sharp mind. As former CEO of the Discovery House Family Violence Prevention Society, a social profit agency in Calgary and a survivor of domestic violence, she is laser-focused in eradicating domestic violence and ending the traumatic cycle by focusing on building resiliency in traumatized children. Monique is recognized nationally and internationally for her achievements. From the very beginning of Monique’s career, she has been a global pioneer in developing programs to help vulnerable people. After graduating with a Masters of Social Work from Dalhousie University, she worked with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Canadian Red Cross and Mines Action Canada and Oxfam to deliver a mandated program of landmine awareness in the Atlantic Region. Monique is an active member of the Alberta Council of Women Shelters and has most recently been nominated to the Alberta Family Violence Death Review Committee (FVDRC).

Sharon Vinderine

PTPA Media Inc. - CEO

For creating a program that is based on positively impacting the lives of the communities that we work within. Sharon has changed the way consumers make purchasing decisions but has also made sure to positively change the idea that you don't get something for nothing. With Sharon's company, in fact, you do.

Maya Corona

Maya Corona Art & Design - Owner, Magic Colour Maker

Maya is an amazing woman who, at the age of 27, moved to Canada not knowing any English, to attend school in BC. Since then, she has started a successful graphic design and branding business with her husband. However, it is her most recent commitment to being her true self that inspires me every single day. This is her commitment to building her watercolor painting workshops and career as an artist. She is unlike anyone I've ever met - committed to her work, her children, her students. She is creative beyond belief and always willing to lift someone's soul when they are doubting their own artistry. She is pure light and helps other people discover the power of their own colors.

Geri Greenall

Spartan Delta Corp. - Chief Financial Officer

Geri’s ambition, intelligence, network and significant accomplishments complement precisely the stellar community of potential recipients. Geri has demonstrated strong female leadership and made incredible contributions to the business community (across multiple sectors including energy, technology, finance and political), providing significant impact to many organizations and boards, and making her highly deserving of the honour and opportunity bestowed by the Universal Womens Network. Geri currently is the Chief Financial Officer of Spartan Delta Corp. Prior thereto she co-founded and was a Portfolio Manager at a wealth management firm. She is also currently an Independent Director on Kelt Exploration’s Ltd. Board (a publicly traded energy company) and serves her community as a Director on both Discovery House Violence Prevention Society and Providence School boards.

Priscilla Kosseim

CGI - Cybersecurity Service Delivery Manager

Priscilla believes that supporting women through their educational and professional paths is the road that will lead them to progress to leadership positions in the business world. In 2016-17, Priscilla founded and led Carleton Women in Business (CUWIB), a not-for-profit organization that seeks to empower women by bringing awareness to the discrepancies present in women’s rights, equality and social justice. She articulates issues in health, education and entrepreneurship in both public and private sectors as they relate to economic and social development. Today, Priscilla oversees the allocation of the budget and provides advisory services to the executive team as the Chair of board’s association. She is also well-versed in translating the company’s missions and goals into operating plans with clear benchmarks and annual objectives. Priscilla also oversees two additional not-for-profits as a board member.

Dr Caroline Makaka

Ladies Of All Nations International - Founder ceo

Dr. Caroline Makaka is the Lady with a vision, an innovator, President /CEO of LOANI - Ladies of All Nations International which comprise of Beautiful Survivors, Galaxy of Stars, International Sisterhood of Strength, We Are The Change World Movement, Loani Global Book Club & Global Visionary & Innovators Leaders Empowerment. She is a Philanthropist, Advisory Board Member Global Peace Ambassador & Diversity & Inclusion Ambassador.
Dr Caroline Makaka has been selected as one of the Top 50 most inspirational black women in the United Kingdom. Some of the few Awards she has received in recognition of her work include, Philanthropy Award by Waterfront Awards in Canada , Women of Excellence Award at the House of Parliament in the UK & also she has been awarded as part of the Global Iconic Women Creating a better world for All. Dr. Caroline Makaka is also the Editor in Chief & Founder Of Loani International Magazine. In her own words. Now I am following my passion of serving humanity and spreading goodness to the world, connecting people across the globe, and utilizing the human capital in the right direction for uplifting the people and empowering fellow sisters.
My strength comes from my will to help make the world a better place. I will never rest until I help as many people as I can to lift themselves and do better.

Krista Malden

Community Now! Magazine - Publisher

I'm nominating the Founder, Publisher of Community Now! Magazine. From the moment we met her passion and commitment has been unwavering. Krista loves people and their stories. Community Now! Magazine focuses on Community, Education, Business & Innovation. Personally, as the Community Connector for We Are Calgary these elements are key in our city. Highlighting and bringing more awareness to how this is happening around us and the value of its contribution, needed more attention and she is bringing us the stories This improves day to day life, and our economy. She is grassroots with a focus to expand globally taking on content to expand in her first year of publication. It inspires me to continue to connect Calgary and learn more about the stories in our own backyard and how they contribute globally.

Louise Reid

Louise H Reid - Coach, Radio Host, Author

Louise focuses on uplifting other women and creating an environment that leaves them and others in a positive manner. With her internal global radio station, she high lights ordinary people doing extraordinary things, coaching and empowering women, to become the true version of themselves. She also leads panels or has been a guest on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Co-Founder of the 'Feminary' in Ottawa. A place for business women. She also volunteers to help new immigrants coming to Canada to find work and help with the cultural barriers that might come. A spokeswoman for young girls for equality in sports. With all this, she is a loving mother of four boys and an equal partner in her marriage with her husband. Always looking to help others and make the world a better place for this generation and the next one to come. This woman lives by example.

Sharon Zehavi

Sex Up Your Brand - Branding Strategist

Sharon immigrated to Canada after her house was bombed. She moved on her own and created a business here. She is now an international speaker and coach and she has her own TV segment. She just won an award for her chapter in the internationally best selling book series "Empowering Women to Succeed". She volunteers in non-profit organizations in Canada and in Europe. She is the most motivating and creative woman I know. And she is also a mom to an almost 2 year old baby!

Laura Grant

Alberta Bike Swap - Founder

Alberta Bike Swap is a private non-profit founded by Laura Grant and her husband Chris. They provide a safe, affordable and accessible alternative to buying or selling bicycles online. Alberta Bike Swap has always donated more than half the profit back to the community to fund other cycling-related non-profits, provide transportation security, and fund safe cycling. As a Software Product Manager, Laura designed the software for the bike swaps events and is designing a unique white label platform to take bike swap to the world market as Swaportunity. In 2021 Canada will ban single use plastic, so Laura got an industrial design patent on a dry cleaning garment bag (usefulbags.ca) and turned that into a social enterprise that pays farm women a living wage to sew textile produce bags from fabric that would typically end up in the landfill, the fabric waste is then vermicomposted.

Dianah Kamande


Dianah has continuously and relentlessly advocated for widows rights in Kenya and made sure they are economically empowered. Through her organization, she has used her experience as a gender-based-violence survivor to advocate against gender based violence.

Sandy Rao

Sandy Rao Therapy and Sandy Rao Events - Owner/CEO - Registered Psychotherapist

A firecracker for vibrancy, energy and ability to shine light on the issues that matters, Sandy wears many hats with compassion and integrity. Expert in Mental Health and Addictions, Consultant, Researcher, Preceptor, Clinician and CEO of her two businesses, her signature “good karma sessions” are noteworthy for people get access to care regardless of their financial status, and to have technology enabled options. To reduce health inequities for marginalized groups both home and abroad helped set up charitable fund for girls’ education and a small clinic for women in rural India. Her artisan Events business focus on celebrating milestones in one’s life that we often don't celebrate in order to change the discourse around what really matters in a life well-lived. Recipient of Leadership, Creative Disruptive, Innovator awards and nominations for Notable Young professionals, Women Achievers of Canada, UWN and DDS, at DDS, Toronto, Sandy was recognized as Women Achiever.

Sanchari Sen Rai

Education Consultants Canada (ECC) Inc. - Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

Sanchari Sen Rai is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of EDUCATION CONSULTANTS CANADA (ECC) INC. She is a mother, and a woman entrepreneur leading an all-women team that has helped thousands of international students work through the onerous process of applying to study in Canada. Being an immigrant herself, Sanchari believes it is vitally important and a social obligation for businesses to give back to the community all that one has learned and earned when one is in a position to do so to create empowering teams and individuals. Recently she has been awarded as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award winners (Entrepreneur Category). She has also been featured by Humber College alumni. She is making an impact on inspiring other young women who come here as international students and aspire to make a career for themselves and live the Canadian dream.

Evelyne Nyairo

Ellie Bianca - President and CEO Founder

Evelyne, a professional in the Oil and Gas Industry changed career paths in 2016 when the downturn in the sector effected her opportunities. She followed her passion and launched Ellie Bianca, an all natural skin oil which sells in retail stores throughout Canada and online. She established an education scholarship for women in Africa from the proceeds of her business and continue to educate and speak at forums about natural skin health and healing the body from within. She has made her own way from Kenya to Canada as a young student and succeeded with education and career. Truly an inspiration to all immigrants and empowerment to women that success is possible no matter the challenge.

Tina Iaquinta

Modern Concierge - Principle & Founder

Tina in a powerful Canadian entrepreneur and mother. She is a catalyst for growth and loves connecting people. She has an extraordinary vision. Her company, modern concierge, is leading edge in the service industry.

Krittika D'Silva

University of Cambridge - PhD Student

Krittika is a Gates scholar and Computer Science PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge. Her PhD research focuses on machine learning applied to spatio-temporal mobility models to predict changes in cities over time. Previously, she completed double degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science and worked at Microsoft Research and Google. In 2018, she worked at the United Nations Pulse Lab in Indonesia, an innovation lab formed to harness data science insights for policy. Her work modelled internal migration to support future resource allocation efforts in the South Pacific. She also worked with NASA FDL to utilize AI for astronaut health monitoring in deep space missions. She has received the Outstanding Senior Award in Computer Engineering, Presidential Scholarship, and Computer Laboratory Wiseman Award for her work. Her focus for the past decade has been to use technology to support the lives of people worldwide, particularly those in developing countries.

Stephanie Dumont

StreetDog Marketing Inc. - Entrepreneur/ Manager

Stephanie is a very inspiring entrepreneur who set out to follow her dreams. She has always had a passion for dogs and had the ability to turn what she loves into a successful business. Her passion shows through her work as she is extremely dedicated to her work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It has been an honour to be a part of the StreetDog Marketing team and to watch it grow everyday. People are naturally drawn to Stephanie and enjoy working with her. Stephanie's kindness and helpful personality are what bring her new clients continuously. I would not be where I am today if Stephanie did not take a chance with me and help mold me into my career. Stephanie is exactly what comes to mind when I think of a Woman of Inspiration.

Lauren Scott

Distech Controls AND Sierra Club Canada Foundation - Director, Marketing (Distech Controls) AND President, Board of Directors (SCCF)

I specialize in communications, with a focus on translating climate initiatives into strong action to deliver on commitments to the building and renewables sectors. My marketing and communications background is leveraged to promote social and environmental responsibility as an approachable, yet critical part of business operations. While completing my undergraduate, I founded and implemented the institution's first association for commerce undergrad and MBA students focused on sustainability. Since that time, I established roots in the non-profit sector, having served as a spokesperson for an international animal welfare organization, then managing the communications for two of Canada's largest cancer fundraising events. I also volunteer as the President of the board of directors for Sierra Club Canada Foundation, one of North America’s leading environmental non-profits.

Desiree Bombenon - 2019 Women of Inspiration Global Difference Maker Award

SureCall - President, CEO & Chief Disruption Officer

A Woman of Inspiration seeks to help others to achieve their best selves no matter the circumstance or the individual.

Desiree has been an inspiration to me, personally and to so many other people over the years. She approaches culture and equality both in our workplace and beyond with a level of passion and enthusiasm that is absolutely contagious! Having won consecutive awards for over 25 years in everything from leadership to employee engagement and service excellence it is evident that her attitude garners results. She was named in the top 100 most powerful women in Canada 2016 & 2017 and won the Calgary Business Leaders award in 2018. Our company SureCall has doubled in size and revenue from 2017 – 2018 and is a recognized champion of culture and diversity. As a woman entrepreneur, she has served on several boards including being the first and still only female Canadian Regional Chair for Young Presidents Organization, a worldwide organization of CEO and Presidents. She is improving the lives of women everywhere with her program - Hero Girls, which is a project she designed while at Harvard to foster gender equality and education for females in under-served communities. Hero Girls officially launched through HER International with its first group, on Oct 11th, 2018 the day of the Girl.