YWCA's Women of Distinction Award nominees announced

Dec 19 2017, 2:19 pm

Women from across Metro Vancouver are being recognized for their hard work in 10 different fields with the YWCA’s 2015 list of nominees for the annual Women of Distinction Awards.

This marks the 32nd year for the awards which highlights the success of individuals and organizations contributing to the well-being and future of our community. Awards will be handed out to women in 10 categories as well as one for Outstanding Workplace and the Connecting the Community Award.

All nominees are eligible for the Connecting the Community Award and must utilize social media to raise votes in their favour, after which the winner will received $10,000 from Scotiabank toward the YWCA program of their choice.

The public can vote in this award category from April 22 to May 15. All recipients will be recognized during the Women of Distinction Awards dinner on May 26 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Without further ado, here are the 2015 nominees:

Arts, Culture Design

Julie Blue – Director, Singspiration

Jennifer Cutbill – Director, Vancouver Design Week

Jacqueline Dupuis – Executive Director, Greater Vancouver International Film Festival Society (VIFF)

Diana Kaarina – Director/Owner, Broadway Edge Performing Arts Studio, Inc.

Ramona Luengen – Composer, Conductor & Educator

Emily Molnar – Artistic Director, Ballet BC

Bonnie Nish – Executive Director, Pandora’s Collective

Marlie Oden – Founder & Managing Partner, Bridge Communications

Myriam Steinberg – Co-Founder, In the House Festival

Business & Professions

Kathy Butler – Managing Director & Head, Wholesale Banking British Columbia, CIBC World Markets Inc.

Wendy Chu – Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Operations, Peterson Group

Lawrie Ferguson – Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer, Coast Capital Savings

Lianna Mah – Vice President, Business Development – Associated Engineering

Kristi Miller – Vice President, First West Capital

Michelle  Osry – Partner, Deloitte

Michelle Pockey – Founder, The Professional Women’s Network and Partner, Fasken Martineau

Katie Schaeffers, VP Creative & Strategy, brand.LIVE Management Group

Laurie Schultz – President & CEO, ACL

Jennifer Traub – Partner, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Sheila Tucker – Associate Counsel, Davis LLP

Community Champion

Kristal Barrett-Stuart – Founder, The Sparkle Project BC

Michaela Davies – Founder, the Academy for Young Writers, Pirates, Astronauts and Wizards

Tarah Ferguson – Creator & Founder, Tarah Talking Tech

Barbara Fitzgerald – President, Mom2Mom Child Poverty Initiative Society

Heather MacKenzie – Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, The Cinderella Project

Claire Robson – Founder & Lead Artist, The Queer Imaging & Riting Kollective for Elders (Quirk-e)

Laura Saimoto – Board Director, Vancouver Japanese Language School & Japanese Hall

Barb Snelgrove – Owner/Media Consultant, megamouthmedia

Cheryl Young – Founder, Executive Director & Treasurer, Fibromyalgia Well Spring Foundation

Education, Training & Development

Natacha Beim – CEO & Founder, CEFA Early Learning Schools

Wendy Gilmour – Apprenticeship Facilitator, Vancouver School Board

Jennifer Kirkey – Instructor, Physics Department, Douglas College

Joanne Melville – Founding Member, Canadian Women in Science and Technology

Sandra Singh – Chief Librarian, Vancouver Public Library

Corey Zylstra – Executive Director, Reach Learning Centre


Alexandra Greenhill – CEO, myBestHelper

Judi Hess – CEO, Copperleaf Technologies Inc.

Debra Saimoto – Owner, Great West Paper Box Co. Ltd.

Parise Siegel – President, Rosemary Rocksalt/Siegel’s Bagels

Lisa Tuningley – President, T-RAIL Products Inc.

Environmental Sustainability

Tzeporah Berman – Co-Founder, ForestEthics Advocacy

Maureen Cureton – Green Business Manager, Vancity

Marcia Smith – Senior Vice President, Sustainability & External Affairs, Teck Resources Limited

Victoria Smith – Director, Communications & Community Engagement, University Sustainability Initiative, University of British Columbia

Health & Wellness

Paola Ardiles – Founder, Bridge for Health

Jan Christilaw – President, BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre

Vivian Eliopoulos – COO – Vancouver Acute, Vancouver Coastal Health

Sally Thorne – Professor, UBC School of Nursing

Non-Profit & Public Service

Maxine Davis – Executive Director, Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation

Jill Earthy – Regional Director, BC & Yukon, Futurpreneur Canada

Michelle Fortin – Executive Director, Watari

Cynthia Johansen – Registrar/CEO, The College of Registered Nurses of BC

Nancy Keough – Executive Director, The Kettle Society

Tara McDonald – Executive Director, Your Local Farmer’s Market Society

Linda McGowan – MS Ambassador, Multiple Sclerosis Society & Consumer Advocacy Manager, MVT Canadian Bus Inc.

Catherine Ouellet-Martin – Executive Director, Fraser River Discovery Centre

Barinder Rasode – Community Engagement Leader

Krista Thompson – Executive Director, Covenant House

Carolyn Tuckwell – President & CEO, Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC

Technology, Science & Research

Alma Barranco-Mendoza – Chief Information Officer, Canadian Space Society & Co-Founder, Infogenetica Natural Products

Liisa Galea – Professor of Psychology, University of British Columbia

Meredith Powell – Founder, The Next Big Thing Foundation

Dominique Weis – Director, Pacific Centre for Isotopic & Geochemical Research

Young Woman of Distinction

Selin Jessa – Immunology & Geography Student, McGill University

Zoya Jiwa – Founder, Simply You & University Student, Simon Fraser University

Patricia Louie – Graduate Student, Social Justice, University of British Columbia

Suneet Maan – Law Student, UBC Law School

Jenna Reed-Cote – Founder & President, Phoenix Attitude Inc.

Outstanding Workplace



Goldcorp Inc.

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