Super Women and Friends Gala 2010

Comments 46 by Rebecca Bollwitt

On Saturday morning I found out that the Vancouver Sun had listed me as one of their BC Top 100 Women of Influence. I had a bit of a heads up about a story since I was contacted earlier in the week for a photo, however I did not realize the scope of this article.

The list was sorted by category; from Politics and Community, Arts, Sport, and Communications. Grammy-winners are noted alongside gallery owners, CEO’s, business-owners, and fashion designers. It was such an honor to all see women such as Alexandra Samuel on the list as she has been an inspiration and women of influence in my life (and the Vancouver social media scene in general).

While I didn’t want to compose an entire post about this prestigious honor, I thought it tied in well with the Women in Leadership Foundation’s Super Women and Friends Gala, which I have been meaning to feature.

When November 6th, 2010
Where Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, Vancouver
Tickets Available for $150, tickets include a 3-course dinner, entertainment listed below, and access to a mini-makeover bar.

Copyright Claudette Carracedo Photo-11 Copyright Claudette Carracedo Photo-9 Copyright Claudette Carracedo Photo-2 Copyright Claudette Carracedo Photo-13 Copyright Claudette Carracedo Photo-8 Copyright Claudette Carracedo Photo-3 Copyright Claudette Carracedo Photo-5
Photos © Claudette Carracedo for WIL

This year’s theme is “Sea of Possibilities” and promises to be a night of inspiration, celebration, a fashion show with JC Studio, Wear Else and Invito Couture, entertainment, mini-makeovers and prizes. Attendees will also hear a Canadian success story from Top 100 Entrepreneur Joyce Groote of Holeys as she shares her personal story of success.

The gala also serves to raise awareness and funds for the Women in Leadership Foundation’s mentorship program. Last year I gave away tickets to contest winner Lili De Carvalho, who ended up partnering with Veronica Heringer (Manager at Radar DDB & Social Media Marketing Coordinator at Vancouver Latin American Film Festival) through the mentorship program.

If you would like to attend this inspiring evening, please leave a comment about about a SuperWoman in your life that has inspired you the most. Entries need-not be more than 100 words.

A winner will be selected on Thursday, November 4th. They will receive two tickets to the gala where they will be able to enjoy food, entertainment, and some remarkable networking opportunities.

Follow @WIL_FDN on Twitter in the meantime for news and updates.

Update The winner is Deborah Ledon – have a fantastic time at the event!

46 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. jessie sheppardMonday, November 1st, 2010 — 12:26pm PDT

    My Mom is the most inspiring woman in my life. She raised 3 girls on her own, working 2 jobs and still managed to be around for the little things. She made my, now pretty fantastic, life possible and I could never repay her… although this would certainly help!

  2. VanessaMonday, November 1st, 2010 — 12:45pm PDT

    The superwoman in my life is my grandmother, the youngest of 8. Her past is riddled with domestic and verbal abuse. She was abandoned and orphaned at a young age and worked in hard labour her entire life. She raised 5 kids in the projects and food was always scarce if ever available. Despite all this, my mom sings the highest praise for my grandmother. Often praising her gentle mothering and sweet personality.

  3. KarenMonday, November 1st, 2010 — 1:08pm PDT

    Congratulations to you, Rebecca! I’m thrilled to see you recognized!

    I see that Julia Levy from QLT made the cut. But there were a lot of inspiring powerful women at QLT back in the glory days (large thanks to Julia for her hiring practices). I nominate Alexandra Mancini who was then the VP of Regulatory and Clinical Affairs.

  4. ElleMonday, November 1st, 2010 — 1:12pm PDT

    A SuperWoman who inspired me was my fourth year English professor. Being head of a traditional university department showed me true strength for reaching the top in a place historically adverse to feminine leadership. She also took these experiences and was open to encouraging her students to think critically about their educational institution. Add to that her exceptional teaching skills, her friendly and genuine interest in her students, and her quiet pride in her sexuality, she showed me that teaching wasn’t just a job and being a student could be so much more.
    Caring and mentoring others is a responsibility that we don’t have to pick up, especially in a busy world, but this prof showed me family values that can grow outside the family.

  5. Mom-in-lawMonday, November 1st, 2010 — 2:02pm PDT

    Congratulations Rebecca. You are a wonderful addition to our family.

  6. Lori JMonday, November 1st, 2010 — 2:37pm PDT

    The woman who inspired me is my mother. She had a very difficult childhood and yet she was a very strong, loving, fun and interesting woman who only had a grade 9 education but had a thirst for knowledge that was contagious. She went on to raise 6 kids with so much love, taught us we can accomplish anything we want, that caring about others is so important in spite of getting hurt along the way. Never give up and work hard if you stumble get up and keep going. She was a woman before hr time. However, what I remember the most is her laugh and how proud of me she was and how excited she got about my accomplishments – in life and career. I try everyday to make her proud of me even though she has been gone for 15 yrs.

  7. CarolynMonday, November 1st, 2010 — 2:45pm PDT

    I came to your site to send you a big congrats for your award! Then came across this event and couldn’t resist in sharing my inspiring woman story!

    I too am inspired by my Grandmother. She competed in rowing in university, has a teachers degree, 4 kids, 11 grand kids, 9 great grand kids, an e-mail account, and always rode the bus!! At the age of 97 she continues to teach me everyday, remains curious herself and make us laugh with her “Jeanisms.” So much so that this summer I featured her in my blog.

    Thanks for reading!

  8. TiffanyMonday, November 1st, 2010 — 4:14pm PDT

    The SuperWoman in my life is undoubtedly my mother. She has been through so much and yet has a wonderful and spiritual outlook of life. I am at that age where she had me, and I cannot comprehend how she managed it all, a career, 2 kids, and spare time for those school projects and games. My mom is my SuperWoman.

  9. EmmaMonday, November 1st, 2010 — 4:33pm PDT

    A SuperWoman in my life who has greatly inspired me is my grandmother. British-born, she came to Canada with her siblings during WWII and ended up staying and supporting the war effort as a Wren. She had four children and after her first husband died at a very early age, she moved with her two youngest children to Africa to work for AMREF, an organization with which she is still involved. Her life just astounds me, and her dedication to charity work is inspiring. She’s also quite the writer.

  10. Vanessa TamMonday, November 1st, 2010 — 4:37pm PDT

    My superwoman has to be my mother. I was diagnosed with cancer as a young child and if it wasn’t for her love, support, and hard work I really wouldn’t be where I am now! I’m eternally grateful.

  11. mariaMonday, November 1st, 2010 — 4:49pm PDT

    Definetly my sister inspires me the most. She is a single mother raising 2 very young kids and doing it all.

  12. JanetMonday, November 1st, 2010 — 4:52pm PDT

    The SuperWoman in my life is my sister Jennifer. She doesn’t know it but she has become a fantastic, well-rounded, kind, gentle person who thinks about her family long before she thinks about herself.
    I have always looked “up-to” my younger sister. She has been there for me in good times as well as horrible times in my life, she is someone I laugh with, someone I cry with, someone that I steal clothes from….I am lucky to have a sister that I can call my best friend. She is MY SuperWoman


  13. sherMonday, November 1st, 2010 — 4:58pm PDT

    My grandmother is the most amazing woman in the world, she came from a third world country not knowing a word of english. She worked every single day cleaning and working at a steel mill to build a solid foundation for her young family. My beautiful grandmother, inside and out, made sure she installed very valuable morals in every single one of her children, grandchildren and now great grandchildren. She is my hero and I hope to be everything that she was and te person who she is today

  14. MarinaMonday, November 1st, 2010 — 6:04pm PDT

    Congrats on the honour Rebecca!

    My SuperWoman is my grandmother – she has survived poverty, hunger, abuse, personal tragedy, and war. She has an amazing outlook on life, and can teach us all a thing or two about what’s important in life!

  15. brianne sheppardMonday, November 1st, 2010 — 6:10pm PDT

    Congrats on being Honored! My little sister is actually my Superwoman (and she commented above! Don’t tell her I entered her!) She moved from our small town 3 years ago in order to go to school and make a name for herself. She works 30 hours a week, goes to school full time and still manages to call me daily. She is smart, funny, VERY well loved and being a natural leader, is a prime candidate for this dinner. I know she would make the most of the opportunities that arise, and will likely be the keynote speaker in a few years :).

  16. Grace NgMonday, November 1st, 2010 — 6:56pm PDT

    My mum. The Super worman! She was a young mother with 5 children ranging from 12 to 2 years when my father passed away. I followed her as she went to home to do hand washed laundry and to government agencies to collect milk supplements. Later on an opportunity came she runs a candy store in a school canteen. No words of self pity but always seizing the day. She worked hard and capitalised on every opportunity. She poured out all her love for her children and all have become successful and responsible citizens. This came from one who kept on going and never gave up.

  17. Veronica HeringerMonday, November 1st, 2010 — 10:41pm PDT

    Hello Rebecca,

    How nice to be in one of your blog posts. *blush*

    Congratulations on the BC Top 100 Women of Influence. It’s very well-deserved!

    I know that I mentioned it to you before, but going to the Women in Leadership Superwomen and Friends gala last year changed my life. Being surrounded by many inspirational stories through a whole night really made me realize that it was time to stop complaining and start achieving my goals. We spend too much time creating excuses for ourselves that it’s very hard to hide from the truth when it hits you right in the face.

    At the 2009 WIL gala, I decided to come back as a mentee in the program. Luckily, I passed their screening and got matched with a very inpiring mentor who helped me to find my way into my dream job. That night also inpired me to leave my comfort zone and start saying hi to people who I admire (it was awkward sometimes… and I hope you don’t remember what I said to you when we first met!)

    I hope whoever wins the tickets this year enjoys the opportunity to get inspired and become a superwoman like us! ;0)

    Congrats on the well-deserved nomination!


    Disclaimer: this is not a contest entry!

  18. Deborah LedonMonday, November 1st, 2010 — 11:21pm PDT

    My hero was my grandmother. Born in Cuba she lived a hard life filled with abuse and incredible loss. Despite, she never missed a chance to laugh, to lift another’s spirit or generously give when others would not. Through the years, she taught me the things that have shaped who I am today: to honor, respect and support the group called “Women” that I was born into; that we are not what happens to us in life but how we handle what happens to us in life; that no matter how bad a situation, it could always be worse; that difficult did not mean impossible, and to never miss out on a dance. Most importantly, she taught me that I was not just an immigrant but the perfect mix of Cuban and Canadian. I had the strength and independence of the Canadian woman and the passion of a Latin. I had worth. My “Abuelita” will always be my Superwoman.

  19. scribecalledsteffTuesday, November 2nd, 2010 — 10:48am PDT

    My mom. She overcame poverty and other tragedies to give my brother and I a great upbringing, but when she finally decided to end my parents’ marriage, at the age of 46, she got her real estate license, became a Medallion-level agent, learned how to sail, raced yachts in the Mediterranean, and climbed mountains in China. The rest of the time, she was the mom that made candy and tried to have us all home for dinner.

    Just taught me it’s never too late to get around to things you want to do, a lesson I’m appreciating as the age of 40 comes down the road (in three years).

  20. Lili Vieira de CarvalhoTuesday, November 2nd, 2010 — 11:01am PDT

    Hi, Rebecca! Congratulations on being one of the 100 BC influential women.

    I am glad to see you are partnering again with Women in Leadership Foundation. I learned about the program through your last year’s blog post. My comment about an inspiring woman won the prize and I was able to invite Veronica Heringer as my ‘plus one’ and attend the gala. That’s an amazing event that celebrates an outstanding mentoring program. This year I became a mentor with WIL and had a very rewarding experience on one of the most fulfilling volunteering experiences I ever had. So, I want to thank you once more for providing me with the opportunity of getting to know Women in Leadership Foundation and all the fantastic women that are part of the program.

  21. JenniferTuesday, November 2nd, 2010 — 11:05am PDT

    My mother Miriam is the Super Woman in my life. I was born with a metabolic disorder that requires strict control and severe limitations on my diet. It was an unbelievable challenge for her to get me to drink my medicine, and I remember her reading me story after story, only turning each page after I had taken a sip. I am thankful for her incredible patience. She is always there to guide me, to gently but firmly correct me when I make a misstep, to celebrate my achievements and encourage me to use my God-given abilities. She is my best friend. I hope that one day I can be a wise and wonderful mother just like her to my own children.

  22. AnneTuesday, November 2nd, 2010 — 11:59am PDT

    Congratulations Rebecca! It truly is inspiring to be surrounded with so many strong and amazing women here in Vancouver. I actually found out about the Women in Leadership Foundation through my darling friend Veronica 🙂 What a fabulous time to be female!

  23. SandraTuesday, November 2nd, 2010 — 12:03pm PDT

    My older sister Virginia is an inspiration…she has a very busy career and family life with her husband and two teenaged children, but she finds the time to always be involved with the PAC meetings and volunteering for the various community events as well. I hope to become more involved with the community one day too!

  24. GwenTuesday, November 2nd, 2010 — 3:33pm PDT

    My mother is a super woman. She always managed to keep our house a warm place and could budget like no one else I know. The way she is with people makes me want to more like her.

  25. XingTuesday, November 2nd, 2010 — 8:58pm PDT

    My grand-mother was a super woman in my life. She never went to elementary school so she never learned to read or write. After she got married and had children, she made an effort to be literate so that she could help her kids with homework. She showed me that one can overcome personal struggles with determination no matter at what age.

  26. IreneWednesday, November 3rd, 2010 — 9:43am PDT

    I have two SuperWomen in my life. My aunt was my childhood inspiration. She traveled the world as a performing artist, stayed single despite the social pressures and sent us gifts from exotic places. Seeing her life made me aware of the possibilities available to all women.

    My mother is my other SuperWoman. She struggled through teen and early adulthood with an emotionally abusive step-mother. She still doesn’t think she’s a strong woman, but she is a absolute rock for all her 8 children. We’ve caused her many griefs over the years and continue to choose paths that cause her pain. Through it all she continues to love and support us, to always be there to hear about our lives and to give whatever advice we’re willing to hear. She taught me that if you choose to follow your heart and look for truth, you will find happiness.

  27. SanazWednesday, November 3rd, 2010 — 10:02am PDT

    I know so many inspiring women that makes it hard just to pick one, they are unique and great in their own way.

  28. MichelleWednesday, November 3rd, 2010 — 10:03am PDT

    Congratulations to you Rebecca – I have been following you for quite some time and I have to say that this is a well deserved award!

    I have been fortunate enough in my life to have THE most amazing SuperWoman of a mother who has been a pillar of strength to my family, to her community and to anyone who ever needs a helping hand. Despite some pretty tough situations that she has endured, including my Dad coming out of the closet after 30 years of marriage, she always remains focused, positive and always there for anyone who needs her. She has taught me to look at the glass half full and to always make sure you are taking care of your #1, you. On top of this, she has always been a great role model and supporter to the communities she lives in – be it working with seniors, people with disabilities, or fundraising for a multitude of charities. I am in the process of starting my own business and on top of everything else she does, she is always there to give me a word of support/encouragement and keep me realistic in my goals and life. In my world, I could not have asked for a better SuperWoman.

  29. DeeWednesday, November 3rd, 2010 — 10:18am PDT

    My grandmother was the Superwoman in my life. She grew up in very modest conditions and raised 10 children in a 2 bedroom home. She immigrated to Canada in the 1970’s and was the centre of our family. What I remember most about her is her kindness, determination and strength.

  30. EnnieWednesday, November 3rd, 2010 — 8:49pm PDT

    The SuperWoman in my life that has inspired me the most is my mom because my grandmother died when my mom was in her early teenaged years; therefore, she had to take responsibility of the whole household and her seven younger siblings. As a result of living in an impoverished environment, she is always donating money and clothing to charities.

  31. VickyWednesday, November 3rd, 2010 — 10:51pm PDT

    Congratulations on the honour!

    I love to read and have been inspired by many a novelist, so a SuperWoman in my life is actually an author: Lucy Maud Montgomery. I grew up reading her Anne of Green Gables series and fell in love with the beauty, hope, and sense of possibility that they inspired. They were the formative books of my childhood and adolescence, and I’ve returned to them again and again in my adulthood. I’d always thought that Montgomery’s own life story must have been as cheerful as Anne’s. After learning about her own severe struggles with depression, and with a husband who was mentally ill, I marvel that she was able to write so beautifully—and prolifically—in the midst of such heart-wrenching pain. I find her words of beauty and hope that much more moving now because they came from a place of darkness and despair.

  32. maggzThursday, November 4th, 2010 — 10:27am PDT

    I’m lucky to be surrounded by female freinds and family who inspire me every day. Also lots of men who make me think damn I can do this…

  33. BeverlyThursday, November 4th, 2010 — 10:29am PDT

    My mom is a superwoman. She came to Canada with my grandmother when she was 20. She worked a few jobs to pay for her tuition and pay for rent. She took care of my grandmother who was unable to work. She showed courage and determination throughout her life. My mom has been a role model for me.

  34. SophieThursday, November 4th, 2010 — 10:30am PDT


    The super-woman in my life is my mother-in-law. She lives in Nigeria and raised 7 amazing children while working for 35 years as a Police Officer in one of the most dangerous countries in the world. She took in dozens of extended family members, taking care of them and helping to pay for their education. She is intelligent, caring, strong, understanding, and fun. She never thinks of herself and always puts others first. I can never repay her for raising her son (my husband) to be such an outstanding person.

  35. KristinaThursday, November 4th, 2010 — 10:34am PDT


    The current superwoman in my life is my mother-in-law. Not only does she have to take care of her ailing mother, her 14 year-old son and two kids (brother and sister) she adopted a few years ago in order to keep them out of the foster system, she offered to take care of our 16 month old son full-time when I went back to work – all without hesitation. She is a wonderful influence on our son – both spoiling him and disciplining him when necessary (which is not very often as she’d rather spoil him!) which I completely respect, especially as her 6 grown kids are successful and respectful individuals in their own rights. She frowns upon us offering her money and she always has too much pride to ask for help. I just don’t know how she does it but she won’t let us put our son in daycare and for that, I am thankful beyond words and completely indebted to her.

    Love you Mom!!

  36. JoannaThursday, November 4th, 2010 — 10:46am PDT

    My mother is a superwoman. I know everyone says that but she really is amazing. There is something perfect about everything she does. Setting the table, making a pie, icing a cake, decorating a house, caring for grandchildren, running a business, looking after my grandmother. There is nothing she doesn’t do without the utmost attention to detail. She is always there to hold my hand, to give me a hug, and to encourage me to do more and be better.

    But what is truly inspiring… after winning a year long battle with colon cancer my mother lost her own mother. Despite having one of the worst years on record she remains strong, positive, and driven. My mother is my hero.

  37. Christabel ShalerThursday, November 4th, 2010 — 11:10am PDT

    Although my mom is the most inspiring woman in my life, I am also very inspired by Majora Carter. I interviewed her for the Vancouver Observer last year It was fascinating to learn about how she transformed industrial wastelands into thriving green spaces. As I spoke with her, I noticed that she sees potential in every single person. She speaks about serious subjects with grace and elegance. We spoke about the difficulties encountered as a woman, in relation to cultural innovations.
    One quote stuck with me:
    Carter: “My advice is to support each other. As women we are taught that we should be competing with each other, but it doesn’t work. As one of us gets stronger the rest of us become stronger, simply by virtue of us being there. There is plenty of room for us to work together and develop beautiful collaborations.”

  38. KathyThursday, November 4th, 2010 — 11:12am PDT


    I read that article and saw that you were in it.How exciting is that?
    I have known a superwoman for about 2 years,who has helped me more than she knows.
    Recently,she took the time to teach me the beginnings of how to crochet.

    Her name is Bridgette and I think she deserves to be recognized.

  39. Carrie SikmanThursday, November 4th, 2010 — 11:23am PDT

    The superwoman in my life is a lady called Jane. Jane lost her 8 year son, Jimmy to leukemia, gave birth to her third child, after Jimmy’s relapse only to discovering that he had a perforated bowel which would need to be operated on immediately. The surgery got screwed up and her son ended up profoundly deaf and suffering from major co-ordination problems as a result and to top it off her mother began to suffer serious dementia. Only 2 years after Jimmy died, when my parents set off down the dirty road to divorce Jane was constantly there for me with open arms and a smile, with never a moments thought for her own pain and suffering. She was a pillar of strength and is one of the most courageous, loving and kind women I have ever known!

  40. KerrileeThursday, November 4th, 2010 — 11:49am PDT

    My mother, no question. She is an inspiring woman who never gives up. She taught my sister and I to always strive for more, and to listen to our inner voices for guidance. I have just left my job of 9 years and am starting a business. Girl power!!!

  41. KellyAnne TeBrinkeThursday, November 4th, 2010 — 11:54am PDT

    My sister, Andrea, is definitely a SuperWoman in my life! She was married at 18 while working on her Nursing degree and ten years later she is still married to her wonderful husband, has three little boys and wakes up everyday with a new zest for life.

  42. ewanEYEThursday, November 4th, 2010 — 12:08pm PDT

    My superwoman is Frieda Granot. Her work at UBC (and beyond) with women in business is amazing. She is a champion in this arena and works tirelessly to change the status quo. She is an educator & advocate that impacts so many.
    recent article:

  43. BriarThursday, November 4th, 2010 — 12:16pm PDT

    The Superwoman in my life is my younger sister. She leads a carefree, independent, confident life – one to be admired. She has travelled the world, completed her studies, and set lofty goals for herself all in 4 short years. She finished her Business Degree last year in Australia, after working for two months in Beijing for the Olympics. In two weeks, she sets out on another adventure to live in Dubai. She is kind to everyone and makes everyone feel special. We can be doing absolutely nothing and I still laugh the whole time. I am very happy at home, running my business, spending time with my husband – but I love hearing her stories and listening to her view of the world. She inspires me to be spontaneous (very difficult for me!) and to live life to the fullest!

  44. Ken GardnerThursday, November 4th, 2010 — 2:46pm PDT

    My Mom is my super woman in my life. Sorry to my girlfriend 😉

  45. MelissaThursday, November 4th, 2010 — 2:51pm PDT

    One of the Superwomen in my life is my high school french teacher Ms. K. I truly admired her ability to overcome the obstacles in her life despite her disability. I give her credit for wanting me to continue learning other languages, particularly on improving my french. She has shown more commitment and dedication to her students than I have ever experienced from any educator. She taught me to never sacrifice quality in anything I do.

  46. Louise BoutinThursday, November 4th, 2010 — 4:32pm PDT

    One of the Superwomen in my life is my daughter, Jacqueline Symons. I am amazed at all that she has accomplished in her life. She has surmounted the challenges of a difficult youth, completed university and received her teacher’s certification at UBC. She has traveled to study in France and worked as an English teacher in a local high school. She now teaches French at John Oliver where she has become a valued part of the teaching staff. She volunteers for everything and strongly believes in giving back to the community. She cares deeply about her students and they reciprocate by being involved. Her talents include winning the drama award in high school for her portrayal of Fagen. She designed her own costume and choreographed her scenes. She has been the guiding influence to her step brother and sisters, helping them make positive choices in their lives. She has made many friends who are now scattered around the world and keeps in touch with them all. She inspires me to do the best I can.

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