YWCA Metro Vancouver Announces Recipients of 36th Annual Women of Distinction Awards

YWCA Metro Vancouver is pleased to announce the recipients of its 36th annual Women of Distinction Awards, presented by Scotiabank. More than 1,300 guests and volunteers gathered last night at the JW Marriot Parq Vancouver to honour 66 inspiring women and organizations for their achievements.
This year’s recipients are:
Arts, Culture & Design
Dana Claxton – Department Head of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at UBC
Dana was awarded a fellowship from the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. She has a forth-coming book on her Lakota Sioux research.
Business & the Professions
Connie Fair – President and CEO, Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia
Connie is fulfilling her bold vision for BC’s property systems by transforming organizations using a customer-centric approach and leveraging technology.
Community Champion
Colleen Yee – Inspector of Centralized Operations Services Section, Vancouver Police Department
Colleen created the VPD’s Women’s Personal Safety Workshop, the first of its kind in North America.
Education, Training, & Development
Bethany Edmunds – Associate Dean & Vancouver Lead Computer Science Faculty, Northeastern University
Bethany was the first female Associate Dean of Computing at BCIT and created the TEC Hub, evolving new best practices in computing education.
Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Carolyn Cross – Chairman & CEO, Ondine Biomedical; Founder, Women’s Economic Business Advisory Council.
Carolyn has shifted Ondine’s focus to treat life-threatening infections across the healthcare spectrum with the company’s photodisinfection technology.
Environmental Sustainability
Lauren Hornor – Partnership Lead, Western Canada, Swim Drink Fish Canada
Lauren has helped build the movement to include nearly three million members. She also launched Fraser Riverkeeper, its Water Monitoring program, and the Annual Fraser River Cleanup.
Health & Wellness
Sheila Early – Forensic Nursing Educator
Sheila founded the first sexual assault nurse examiner program in BC, is a co-founder of the Forensic Nurses’ Society of Canada and the first non-American elected President of the International Forensic Nursing Association.
Ingrid Kastens – CEO, Pacific Community Resources Society
Ingrid helped create the first school for students with FASD, the first housing for LGBTQ2S youth and an internationally recognized Starbucks Baristas in Training Program.
Research, The Sciences & Technology
Suzanne Lewis – Chief Medical Officer & VP Research at Pacific Autism Family Network
Suzanne leads innovative research collaborations in the discovery of new genes and environmental factors causing Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Young Woman of Distinction
Jennifer Wildi – Coordinator of Canuck Place Visits; Chair of School Visits, Reading Bear Society
Jennifer focuses on enhancing the quality of life for children receiving palliative care and supporting underprivileged families. She coached Nordic ski athletes with disabilities.
Outstanding Workplace
ACL has created Job Shadowing Days, Emerging Manager training, The Change Agents program, extended unpaid leave and a 15- week maternity or paternity top-up program, and has a Board that is 50 per cent female.
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 320 award recipients and 1,810 nominees.
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 child care to housing, health and fitness, employment services and leadership, YWCA Metro Vancouver touches lives in our communities.

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