2020 Women of Distinction Nominees | Environmental Sustainability

Recognized nationally, the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards honours individuals and organizations whose outstanding activities and achievements contribute to the well-being and future of our community.

Congratulations to the 2020 nominees in the category of Environmental Sustainability.


Meredith is Executive Director of Student Energy, a global non-profit empowering young people to accelerate the sustainable energy transition. Since 2015, she has helped quadruple the organization in size to serve more than 50,000 youth in 150 countries and has grown the annual budget from $288,000 to more than $1 million in 2019. Meredith co-designed the Student Energy Chapters program, post-secondary level clubs that teach students practical skills to take action on energy in their communities; there are now 42 Chapters across Canada and globally. Meredith played a key role in developing Student Energy’s “Space for Youth” and in 2019 worked with the Government of Canada to design and launch the first-ever young leaders’ delegation in Vancouver, where 60 young people from 25 countries came to participate contributing to panels and ideation.


Elaine is Founder and Executive Director of Sea Smart, a charity she started in order to inspire passion for ocean conservation and to empower young people to take action to protect the environment. Since 2016, "Dr. E” has taught more than 20,000 students in Metro Vancouver and more than 300,000 kids were taught in more than 20 countries using Sea Smart’s free online curriculum resources. Elaine developed the Species at Risk Hackathon, a positive, solutions-based curriculum that teaches youth about ocean issues; Marine Biologist in Training summer camp for girls to address gender barriers in STEM by empowering girls to become future scientists and conservationists, and Summer Camp at the Beach to get kids connected to nature. A media expert, Elaine was asked to contribute to critical campaigns including Vancouver’s plastic straw ban.


Connie is Founder and President of Intengine Enterprises, a database that links over 50,000 environmentally progressive businesses and organizations with like-minded users. Connie created Intengine to serve as a meeting place for environmental leaders and the general public to share ideas, collaborate and direct consumption to earth-friendly providers. Connie also created the Intengine Global Change Foundation, which provides funding, access, tools and education for sustainability advocates and leaders. Connie’s vision to facilitate the transition to a more sustainable economy has compelled her to co-found and serve as Director of Agora Energy and co-found Polymer Research Technologies. She is also an active mentor and has helped hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs through the Women’s Enterprise Centre, UBC, Minerva Foundation for BC Women and Women’s Executive Network.

Meet the 2020 Women of Distinction Award nominees in other categories.

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