Nominees Announced for the 2019 YWCA Women of Distinction Awards

Comments 1 by Rebecca Bollwitt

In celebration of International Women’s Day, YWCA Metro Vancouver has announced its 66 outstanding nominees for the 36th Annual Women of Distinction Awards.

Patricia Graham accepts her award in 2012

The full list of nominees is follows….

Nominees for the Women of Distinction Awards

Arts, Culture & Design

  • JESSICA BOUCHARD, Associate Director of The Polygon Gallery
  • LAURA BYSPALKO, Managing Director of the Indian Summer Arts Society and Co-founded the Indian Summer Festival
  • DANA CLAXTON, Department Head of the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at UBC
  • ANICKA QUIN, Editorial Director of Western Living Magazine and Vancouver Magazine
  • CLAIRE SAKAKI, Executive Director of Bard on the Beach
  • KELLY TWEEDDALE, President of Vancouver Symphony Society and VSO School of Music
  • JENNIFER TWINER McCARRON, CEO of Thunderbird Entertainment & Atomic Cartoons

Business & the Professions

  • TRACEY ARNISH, Chief Member & Employee Officer at Coast Capital Savings
  • SHELLEY BROWN, Retired Partner and Board Member at Deloitte
  • NICOLE BYRES, Lawyer and Partner at Miller Thomson LLP
  • EMILY CLOUGH, Lawyer and Partner at Clark Wilson LLP
  • CAREY DILLEN, President of YYOGA
  • CONNIE FAIR, President & CEO of the Land Title and Survey Authority of BC
  • MICHELLE GRANT, Senior Vice President at Ernst & Young
  • CATHY IMRIE, CFO & Senior VP of Ocean Wise Conservation Association
  • KRISTI MILLER, Founder & National Managing Director of First West Capital
  • LISA SOUTHERN, Lawyer and Founder of Southern & Associates
  • PENNY WILSON, CMO of Hootsuite

Community Champion

  • JOYCE FOSSELLA, Executive Director of Warriors Against Violence Society
  • BIANCA FUSCO ZANATTA, Reach for Outer Space
  • ANNA GODEFROY, Co-Founder and Director of Binners’ Project
  • MO KORCHINSKI, Project Manager for Unlocking the Gates Peer Health Mentoring Program
  • COLLEEN YEE, Inspector of the Centralized Operations Services Section of the Vancouver Police Department

Education, Training & Development

  • MARGOT LEIGH BUTLER, Academic Director of UBC’s Humanities 101 Community Program
  • SONIA BUTTERWORTH, Assistant Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education at the UBC Faculty of Medicine
  • BETHANY EDMUNDS, First female Associate Dean of Computing at BCIT, TEC Hub
  • DOREEN MANUEL, Director of the Bosa Centre for Film and Animation at Capilano University
  • TANIS SAWKINS, Director of the Partnership Development Office at Vancouver Community College
  • SHERYL STAUB-FRENCH, Professor of Civil Engineering at UBC
  • MARIE THOM, Early Learning Teacher Consultant at Richmond School District No. 38

Entrepreneurship & Innovation

  • STEPH CORKER, Founder of The Corker Co
  • CAROLYN CROSS, Chairman and CEO of Ondine Biomedical
  • ASHLEY FREEBORN, Founder and Managing Director of Smash + Tess

Environmental Sustainability

  • ANNA MATHEWSON, Manager of Sustainability for the City of Surrey
  • SHELBY KITT, Member of the Sustainable Transportation Action Research Team at SFU
  • LAUREN HORNOR, Partnership Lead, Western Canada for Swim Drink Fish Canada
  • SHELINA BABUL, Associate Director & Sports Injury Specialist, BC Injury Research & Prevention Unit, BC Children’s Hospital and Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, UBC
  • NURJEHAN “JANE” DEVJI, Recently retired CEO of Delta View Campus of Care (now Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre)
  • SHEILA D. EARLY, Forensic Nursing Educator, Founder of the first sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) program in BC
  • ALLISON EDDY, Chief of Pediatrics at BC Children’s Hospital and Head of Pediatrics at UBC
  • VICTORIA LEE, President and CEO of the Fraser Health Authority
  • HEIDI OETTER, Registrar and CEO of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC
  • CAMARA VAN BREEMAN, Nurse Practitioner at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice


  • LYNDA EDMONDS, CEO of Fraserside Community Services Society
  • FIONA FAMULAK, President of the Vancouver Regional Construction Association
  • GENESA GREENING, President & CEO of BC Women’s Hospital Foundation
  • LISA HUBBARD, Executive Director of North Shore Neighbourhood House
  • NINU KANG, Director of Communications and Development at MOSAIC
  • NGRID KASTENS, CEO of Pacific Community Resources Society
  • PATTI MACAHONIC, Executive Director of the Ann Davis Transition Society
  • CHRISTINE MOHR, Executive Director of Options Community Services
  • ALONA PUEHSE, COO of Open Door Group

Research, the Sciences & Technology

  • SUZANNE LEWIS, Chief Medical Officer & VP Research at the Pacific Autism Family Network
  • CAREESA C. LIU, Researcher at Simon Fraser University
  • MARIANNE VIDLER, Pre-eclampsia and Eclampsia Monitoring, Prevention and Treatment Research Program Manager, Faculty of Medicine at UBC
  • CHERYL WELLINGTON, Scientist, researcher and Professor at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at UBC

Young Woman of Distinction

  • TANVI BHATIA, Program Facilitator for Leave Out Violence
  • PRECIOUS ILE, Chair for Coast Capital Youth Get It Community Council
  • ZEBA KHAN, Founder of PERIOD at UBC
  • SHAWNA NARAYAN, Founder and Executive Director of Empower The Future
  • ROCHELLE PRASAD, Founder of a non-profit called Camp We Empower
  • JENNIFER WILDI, Coordinator of Canuck Place Visits and Chair of School Visits with the Reading Bear Society

Outstanding Workplace

  • ACL

Vote for the Connecting the Community Award

In addition to the award category in which they are nominated, all nominees are eligible to win the Connecting the Community Award – the only award category where the recipient is selected by popular vote. Each nominee has chosen a YWCA cause that is important to her for a chance to donate $10,000, courtesy of Scotiabank, to the YWCA program of her choice. VOTE NOW »

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Attend the Awards

Tickets are now 65% sold out for the awards ceremony and dinner on Monday, May 13, 2019 at the JQ Parq Marriott in Vancouver.

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

Miss604 is a proud sponsor of the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards, since 2010.

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1 Comment  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Bianca Fusco ZanattaWednesday, April 17th, 2019 — 12:24pm PDT

    Thank you for the plug – hope to see you at event!

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