Vote for the Connecting the Community Award

Comments 2 by Rebecca Bollwitt

YWCA Metro Vancouver has announced 68 outstanding nominees for the 35th Annual Women of Distinction Awards, which will take place on Thursday, June 7, 2018 at the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver. For the 9th year, you can now vote for the Connecting the Community Award, presented by Scotiabank!

YWCA Women of Distinction Awards 2012

Vote for the Connecting the Community Award

In addition to the category in which she was nominated, all individual nominees are eligible for the Connecting the Community Award. This is an opportunity for Women of Distinction nominees to gain recognition through social media and raise awareness of YWCA Metro Vancouver’s programs and services in the following areas:

  • Early Learning and Care
  • Reducing Child Poverty
  • Safe and Affordable Housing
  • Healthy Choices for Youth
  • Preventing Violence Against Women

The recipient of the Connecting the Community Award will be determined via online voting. Each nominee selects a YWCA program area with which she most identifies and submits a quote as to why.


Voting ends Friday, May 11th at noon. The nominee with the most votes will be announced at the Women of Distinction Awards on June 7th. Scotiabank will donate $10,000 in the recipient’s honour to her chosen YWCA program area.

YWCA Women of Distinction Awards 2012

Women of Distinction Awards Nominees 2018

This year’s nominees (who are all eligible for the Connecting the Community Award) are:

Arts, Culture & Design

  • Diane Brown, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Ruby Slippers Theatre
  • Mary-Jo Dionne, Principal of Mary-Jo Dionne Productions
  • Nancy Lee, Chapel Sound Festival
  • Alison Meredith, Associate Director (Development) Audain Art Museum
  • Esther Rausenberg, Trustee of the Vancouver Art Gallery
  • Kim Spencer-Nairn, Founder of the Capture Photography Festival

Business & the Professions

  • Christine Bergeron, Executive Lead (SVP), Member Experience and Community Engagement at Vancity
  • Leslie Collin, Director of People and Culture at Unbounce
  • Wendy King, Vice President, Legal, Risk and Governance
  • Carol Leong, Vice President and Investment Advisor at TD Bank
  • Kirsten Sutton, Vice President and Managing Director of SAP Labs Canada
  • Heidi Worthington, Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer at Pacific Blue Cross

Community Champion

  • Narima Dela Cruz, Founder of the Surrey Philippine Independence Day Society
  • Amy Fong, Founder of Vancouver Diaper Circle
  • Amy M George, Elder of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation
  • Joanne Griffiths, Founding member of Canuck Place
  • Sarah Maitland, Founder of the Writers’ Exchange
  • Andrea Thomas Hill, Founder of Cause We Care Foundation
  • Joanne Wild, Inspector with the Vancouver Police Department


Education, Training & Development

  • Susan Hutchinson, Director of Crofton House Junior School
  • Rosalind Poon, Teacher Consultant for Richmond School District
  • Leila Rahemtulla, Instructor in Continuing Studies, SFU and BCIT’s School of Business.
  • Mara St. Onge, Founder of Blingja Concepts
  • Colleen Vaughan, Vice-President, Academic at the Justice Institute of BC

Entrepreneurship & Innovation

  • Noel Asmar, Noel Asmar Group
  • Becky Brauer, Head of Culinary at Fresh Prep
  • Lauren Carbis, The Prevail Project
  • Bonnie Foley-Wong, Pique Ventures
  • Mandy Gill, Mandy Gill Motivates
  • Melanie Greenough, Founder and CEO of
  • Debra Lykkemark, Chairman and Founder of Culinary Capers Catering and Special Events
  • Tea Nicola, WealthBar
  • Edoye O. Porbeni, Future Health Ventures Inc.
  • Carol Robinson, Owner of Harbour West Consulting

Environmental Sustainability

  • Maureen Jack-Lacroix, Be The Change Earth Alliance
  • Wilma Leung, Senior Manager, Technical Research and Education at BC Housing
  • Brianne Miller, Founder and CEO of Nada
  • Vanessa Timmer, Co-Founder and Executive Director of One Earth
  • Christianne Wilhelmson, Executive Director at Georgia Strait Alliance

Health & Wellness

  • Betty Calam, Associate Professor, Department of Family Practice, UBC Faculty of Medicine
  • Christine Loock, Developmental Pediatrician at Children’s and Women’s Health Centre of BC
  • Roanne Preston, Head of the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, UBC
  • Tara Sedlak, Medical Director, Leslie Diamond Women’s Heart Health Clinic at Vancouver General Hospital
  • Christy Sutherland, Medical Director of PHS Community Services Society (PHS) and Education Physician Lead with the BC Centre on Substance Use
  • Elizabeth J. Watt, Abbotsford Youth Health Centre


  • Jennifer Breakspear, Executive Director of PHS Community Services Society
  • Sharon Gregson, Collingwood Neighbourhood House
  • Maria Hudspith, Executive Director of Pain BC
  • Teri Nicolas, President & CEO of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation
  • Julia Staub-French, Executive Director of Family Services of the North Shore


Public Service

  • Cheney Cloke, Strategic Transformation Team at Fraser Health
  • Amanda Farrell, President and CEO of Partnerships BC
  • Satwinder Kaur Bains, Director of the Asian Studies Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley and an Associate Professor in Social, Cultural, and Media Studies at UVF College of Arts
  • Linda Lupini, Executive Vice President of BC Emergency Health Services
  • Zulie Sachedina, Vice President, Human Resources and the first General Counsel for Providence Health Care
  • Lisa Spitale, Chief Administrative Officer of the City of New Westminster

Research & the Sciences

  • Connie Eaves, Distinguished Scientist at the Terry Fox Laboratory of the BC Cancer Agency
  • Shanna Knights, Director of Research at Ballard Power Systems
  • Gina Ogilvie, Senior Advisor of Research at BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre

Young Woman of Distinction

  • Tara Bosch, Founder and CEO of SmartSweets
  • Veronika Bylicki, Co-Founder of CityHive
  • Jasmine Mander, Head Coach in the BC Soccer Premier League
  • Cecilia Pang, ajourney2success & Art2Heart
  • Mary Zheng, When I Grow Young


YWCA Women of Distinction Awards

Where: JW Marriott Parq Vancouver
When: Thursday, June 7, 2018
Tickets: Sold out!

Follow the YWCA of Vancouver on Facebook and Twitter for more information along with the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards @YWVanWODA on Twitter.


YWCA Metro Vancouver is dedicated to achieving women’s equality. Their mission is to touch lives and build better futures for women and their families through advocacy and integrated services that foster economic independence, wellness and equal opportunities.

Miss604 is the proud Social Media Sponsor of the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards, since 2010

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2 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Patricia FingarsonThursday, April 12th, 2018 — 10:40pm PDT

    You appear to have missed at least one name on the voting list… Maria Hudspith is not on the list

  2. Rebecca Bollwitt, Miss604 Rebecca BollwittFriday, April 13th, 2018 — 10:07am PDT

    HI Patricia, I will let the YWCA team know, thanks!

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