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YWCA Metro Vancouver Announces Nominees for Women of Distinction Awards

April 26, 2011, Vancouver, BC: YWCA Metro Vancouver is pleased to announce 59 extraordinary nominees for its 28th annual Women of Distinction Awards.

This year’s nominees are:

Arts, Culture & Design
Morna Edmundson – Artistic Director, Elektra Women’s Choir
Meghan Gardiner – Actor, Playwright, Activist
Cori Howard – Founder, The Momoir Project
Marg Meikle – Member, Board of Trustees, Pacific Parkinson’s Research Institute

Business & The Professions
Laura Ballance – President, Laura Ballance Media Group
Christine Day – CEO, Lululemon Athletica Inc.
Connie Fenyo – President, Dye and Durham Corporation
Kathy McGarrigle – COO, Coast Capital Savings Credit Union
Jane Russell – Senior Vice President, Business Banking, TD Bank Group
Nancy Shewfelt – Senior Vice President, Investment Advisor and Wealth Management Consultant, Wellington West Capital Inc., The Shewfelt McMillan Group
Tamara Vrooman – President and CEO, Vancity Credit Union

Community Building
Christina Anthony – Director, Odlum Brown Limited; Founder and Chair, Forum for Women Entrepreneurs
Leila El-Khatib – Director and Middle East and Islamic Trainer, 6 Degree Seminars Inc.
Gladys Johnston – Volunteer Leader, Mount Seymour Thrift Shop
Judi Miller – Founder, Nite of Hope
Betty Murray – Registered Nurse and Counsellor
Linda Poole – Founder and Executive Director, Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival
Catherine Van Alstine – Partner, Odgers Berndtson

Education, Training & Development
Natacha V. Beim – Founder and CEO, Core Education & Fine Arts
Malgorzata Dubiel – Senior Lecturer of Mathematics, SFU
Barbara Finley – Director, Project CHEF Education Society
Corey Zylstra – Executive Director, REACH Learning Centre

Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Judy Brooks – Entrepreneur, Business Advisor and Mentor, Presenter
Irene Lee – President, Pure Nail Bar
Michelle Pockey – Partner, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
Beverley Pomeroy – Founder and CEO, Global Currents Enterprises
Andrea Scott – Co-owner, skoah inc.
Amelia Ufford – Co-founder and Director of Business Development, Debrand Services
Lisa von Sturmer – Director and Co-Founder, Growing City UrbanEco Enterprises Ltd.

Health & Active Living
Paige Larson – Proprietor, North Shore Sports Medicine
Verity Livingstone – Medical Director, Vancouver Breastfeeding Centre
Saleema Noon –  Principal, iGirl Empowerment Workshops
Pat Pawlett – Dragon Boat and Outrigger Canoeing Coach
Chelsey Walker – Executive Director, Whistler Adaptive Sports Program Society

Non-Profit & Public Service
Elaine Allan –  Executive Director, Shelter Net BC Society
Jan Bell-Irving –  President and CEO, Junior Achievement of British Columbia
Helen Burns –  President, Mercy Ministries Canada
Debbie Cameron –  Director, Mediation and Conflict Resolution Programs, BC Labour Relations Board
Moira Gookstetter – CEO, Gymnastics BC
Jodyne Keller – Constable and Homeless Outreach Coordinator, Vancouver Police Department
Linda Malcolm – Constable and Sex Industry Liaison Officer, Vancouver Police Department
Shawn Marsolais –  Founder, Blind Beginnings
Filomena Nalewajek – CEO, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice
Marcie Summers – Executive Director, Positive Women’s Network

Technology, Science & Industry
Kelly Findlay – Vice President of Finance, Imperial Metals Corp.; Chief Visionary Officer, Kelly’s Clinic
Janet Wood – Executive Vice President, SAP

Young Woman of Distinction
Sunpreet Bains-Dahia – Student, UBC
Sarah Betcher Rice – Coach, Kitsilano Demons’ Cheerleading
Alia Dharamsi – Former President and Founder, UBC Meal Exchange UBC
Alison Lee – Student, UBC
Kassandra Linklater – Student, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Diane Rizzardo – Volunteer; UBC Varsity Soccer Player
Brittany Segal – Volunteer, First United Church
Shazeen Suleman –  President, MusicBox Children’s Charity

Innovative Workplace
McCarthy Tétrault LLP
NOW Communications
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers
University of British Columbia

Recognized nationally as one of Canada’s most prestigious awards for women, the YWCA Metro Vancouver Women of Distinction Awards honour women whose outstanding achievements contribute to the well-being and future of our community. The Awards also honour businesses and organizations that support the wellness and diverse needs of their employees.

In addition to the ten original nomination categories, the nominees are also eligible for the Connecting the Community Award where they select a YWCA program area that they are interested in and use social media such as Twitter and Facebook to promote votes. From April 26 to May 27 the public can cast their votes for their favourite nominee. The nominee with the most votes receives the Connecting the Community Award and Scotiabank will donate $10,000 to the YWCA program area of her choice.

Recipients will be announced on May 31, 2011 during the awards dinner at the Westin Bayshore. Tickets are available from YWCA Metro Vancouver.

The 2011 Awards are presented by Scotiabank. Gold sponsors are BC Housing, BC Hydro, Envision Financial, Goldcorp Inc., Industrial Alliance Pacific, Port Metro Vancouver, TD Bank Group, Teck Resources Limited, Vancity and Vancouver Foundation.

YWCA Metro Vancouver is a registered charity, providing a range of integrated services for women and their families, and those seeking to improve the quality of their lives. From early learning and care to housing, health and fitness, employment services and leadership, YWCA Metro Vancouver touches lives in communities throughout Metro Vancouver.

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For further information, please contact:

Chantelle Krish
Public Relations Manager
tel 604 867 5767         



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