Bianca Fusco Zanatta nominated for its 36th Annual Women of Distinction Awards

YWCA Metro Vancouver is pleased to announce 66 nominees in 11 categories for its 36th annual Bianca Fusco Zanatta nominated as Women of Distinction Awards, presented by Scotiabank.

In addition to the 11 nomination categories, the individual nominees are eligible for the Connecting the Community Award. Nominees will select a YWCA program area in which they are interested and use social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook to promote votes. From March 7th to April 19th, the public can cast their votes online and the nominee with the most votes will receive the Connecting the Community Award. Scotiabank will donate $10,000 to the YWCA program area of her choice.

We are proud to present this year’s nominees:

Arts, Culture & Design

Jessica Bouchard – Associate Director, The Polygon Gallery

Laura Byspalko – Managing Director, Indian Summer Arts Society / Indian Summer Festival

Dana Claxton – Department Head, Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, UBC

Anicka Quin – Editorial Director, Western Living Magazine / Vancouver Magazine

Claire Sakaki – Executive Director, Bard on the Beach

Kelly Tweeddale –  President, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and VSO School of Music

Jennifer Twiner McCarron – CEO, Thunderbird Entertainment and Atomic Cartoons

Business & the Professions

Tracey Arnish – Chief Member & Employee Experience Officer, Coast Capital Savings

Shelley Brown – Retired Partner and Board Member, Deloitte

Nicole Byres – Partner, Miller Thomson LLP

Emily Clough – Lawyer and Partner, Clark Wilson, LLP

Carey Dillen – President, YYOGA

Connie Fair – President and CEO, Land Title and Survey Authority of BC

Michelle Grant – Senior VP, Ernst & Young Incorporated

Cathy Imrie – CFO & Senior Vice President, Business, Ocean Wise Conservation Association

Kristi Miller – Founder and National Managing Director, First West Capital

Lisa Southern – Founder and Lawyer, Southern & Associates

Penny Wilson – CMO, Hootsuite

Community Champion

Joyce Fossella – Executive Director, Warriors Against Violence Society

Bianca Fusco Zanatta – Founder, Reach for Outer Space

Anna Godefroy – Co-Founder and Director, Binners’ Project

Mo Korchinski – Project Manager, Unlocking the Gates Peer Health Mentorship Program

Colleen Yee – Inspector of Centralized Operations Services Section, Vancouver Police Department

Education, Training & Development

Margot Butler – Academic Director, Humanities 101 Community Program, UBC

Sonia Butterworth – Assistant Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education, UBC Faculty of Medicine

Bethany Edmunds – Associate Dean & Vancouver Lead Computer Science Faculty at Northeastern University

Doreen Manuel – Director, Bosa Centre for Film and Animation, Capilano University

Tanis Sawkins – Director, Partnership Development Office, Vancouver Community College

Sheryl Staub-French – Professor, Civil Engineering Department, UBC

Marie Thom – Teacher Consultant for Early Learning and StrongStart, Richmond School District No. 38

Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Steph Corker – Founder, The Corker Co.

Carolyn Cross – Chairman and CEO, Ondine

Ashley Freeborn – Founder and Managing Director, Smash + Tess

Environmental Sustainability

Lauren Hornor – Partnership Lead, Western Canada, Swim Drink Fish Canada

Shelby Kitt – Member of the SFU Sustainable Transportation Action Research Team

Anna Mathewson – Manager, Sustainability, City of Surrey

Health & Wellness

Shelina Babul – Associate Director & Sports Injury Specialist, BC Injury Research & Prevention Unit, BC Children’s Hospital 

Nurjehan Jane Devji – CEO (Retired), Delta View Campus of Care (now Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre)

Sheila Early – Forensic Nursing Educator

Allison Eddy – Chief of Pediatrics, BC Children’s Hospital

Victoria Lee – President and CEO, Fraser Health Authority

Heidi Oetter – Registrar and CEO, College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC

Camara van Breemen – Nurse Practitioner, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice


Lynda Edmonds – CEO, Fraserside Community Services Society

Fiona Famulak – President, Vancouver Regional Construction Association

Genesa Greening – President & CEO, BC Women’s Hospital Foundation

Lisa Hubbard – Executive Director, North Shore Neighbourhood House

Ninu Kang – Director of Communications and Development, MOSAIC

Ingrid Kastens – CEO, Pacific Community Resources Society

Patti MacAhonic – Executive Director, Ann Davis Transition Society

Christine Mohr – Executive Director, Options Community Services

Alona Puehse – Chief Operating Officer, Open Door Group Social Services Society

Research, the Sciences & Technology

Suzanne Lewis – Chief Medical Officer & VP Research at Pacific Autism Family Network

Careesa Liu – Scientist in Biomedical Engineering at Simon Fraser University

Marianne Vidler – Research Program Manager, Pre-eclampsia and Eclampsia Monitoring, Prevention and Treatment, Faculty of Medicine, UBC

Cheryl Wellington – Professor, the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at UBC

Young Woman of Distinction

Tanvi Bhatia – Program Facilitator, Leave Out Violence

Precious Ile – Chair, Coast Capital Youth Get It Community Council

Zeba Khan – Founder, PERIOD. at UBC

Shawna Narayan – Executive Director and Founder, Empower The Future Association

Rochelle Prasad – Founder, Camp We Empower

Jennifer Wildi – Coordinator of Canuck Place Visits and Chair of School Visits, Reading Bear Society

Outstanding Workplace


Finch Media

Glotman Simpson Consulting Engineers

Vancouver Airport Authority

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.

This year, we are proud to celebrate our 36th year of the Women of Distinction Awards. Since 1984, YWCA Metro Vancouver has paid tribute to more than 310 award recipients and 1,810 nominees.

Award recipients will be announced on May 13, 2019 at the Awards dinner at JW Marriot Parq Vancouver.

The 2019 Awards are presented by Scotiabank. Legacy Sponsors are BC Housing, Clio, Goldcorp Inc., iA Financial Group, Nature’s Path, MDA, Pacific Blue Cross, SAP, TD Bank Group, and UBC Sauder School of Business.

To purchase tickets for the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards dinner please visit our website:

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