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Univeral Women’s Network Awards – Winners, 2021


2021 Women of Inspiration Award recipients!

Women of Inspiration lead, inspire, and motivate others to greatness!

(Calgary, AB, November 14, 2021)  For the second year in a row since the pandemic, Monica Kretschmer, the powerhouse founder and CEO, Universal Womens Network™ (UWN) celebrated the achievements of women from diverse industries ages 12 – 100. As the heart of the UWN—the organization behind the important national awards event, Monica honoured a diverse collection of women of all ages from across industries driving change in their networks, workplaces and communities. Showing the passion and the resilience that she celebrates in other women, these awards elevate women to be seen, heard and valued. The result was stunning. Virtual WOI2021 Awards celebrating 150 finalists and awarding 45 awards in diverse categories. #WOI2021Raisethebar

Observers, nominees, and winners alike describe this year’s virtual event as powerful as well as empowering the movement to SupportHER™. Now in its seventh year, the Women of Inspiration™ Awards have recognized the achievements of over 1,000 women from diverse industries, and backgrounds.

“Universal Womens Network™ and Women of Inspiration™ Awards is about celebrating and elevating women along with SupportHER™ allies and awards partners (RBC, Raymond James Ltd., AMJ Campbell, HEXO Corp., Randstad Canada, SureCall, Mitacs, Banff Sunshine Village, Canada’s Valour Games, Turbo Images) committed to diversity, inclusion and equality across North America,” Kretschmer says with conviction, “Especially in 2021, emerging from the pandemic, another year full of struggles, tragedies and uncertainty. We recognized the achievements of women, who thrived throughout a year of unbridled change. A Women of Inspiration™ Award empowers women to step into the spotlight, to be heard, to lead and take action to Raise the Bar for all women. These women show us the possibilities, the future and the opportunities to inspire our youth and drive the change to break the “brick ceiling”. Our network embraces a culture of diversity, inclusion and equality and welcomes our SupportHER™ allies to the conversation to be a part of the solution. Every woman has a unique gift, her voice matters and contributes to the economy.”

Through the Women of Inspiration™ Awards, we see the impact of all women from diverse industries, walks of life, and ages recognized for their achievements, contribution to the economy, and impact around the world. They are everyday heroes, entrepreneurs, pilots, scientists, innovators, artists, healthcare, executives and visionaries from youth to lifetime achievement.

The 2021 ceremonies also included a tribute to a Woman of Inspiration™  whose leadership is recognized by the citizens of Canada.

“This year was especially meaningful as we honored Hazel McCallion, former Mayor of the City of Mississauga. As Canada’s longest-serving mayor, Hazel “Hurricane” McCallion led her city for 12 consecutive terms from 1978-2014 retiring at age 93. Hazel put Mississauga on the map. Born on February 14, 1921, Hazel turned 100 earlier this year. Businesswoman, philanthropist, and politician— it is and honour to celebrate Hazel McCallion. She’s an extraordinary leader who has empowered and inspired women of all ages,” Says Kretschmer.

When we celebrate one woman; we celebrate ALL women. These incredible women coming together is beautiful, powerful and inspiring.  This year, we celebrated all women, we saw each nominee step up and contribute, inspire others to lead, and show courage in the face of fear. It’s this ability to create an impact even in times of intense change that sees women carving the path forward.”

See Ripple Effect…. 17 Award recipients shared their experience about being recognized. See the end of the Press Release for inspiring words from 2021 Women of Inspiration™ Award recipients.

2021 Women of Inspiration™ Award Recipients:  Meet WOI Award Winner.

Tribute to Hazel McCallion – 2021 Women of Inspiration™ Lifetime Achievement

 Advocate and Catalyst for Change – Trish Guise, High Conflict Divorce Specialist

 Authentic Leader Awards

  • Andrea Linger – Associate Vice President, Practice Management, and Head of the Women Canadian Advisors Network, Raymond James Ltd.
  • Fatima Israel – Head of Brand, Marketing and Communications, EY Canada
  • Heather Lochnan – Head of Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Ottawa Hospital
  • Kayla Isabelle – CEO, Startup Canada
  • Laura Didyk – Vice President, Client Diversity, BDC
  • Marcela Lay – Senior Vice President, Head of Client Strategy and PMO,  Y Media Labs
  • Payal Puri – Senior Director, Technology Adoption, Loblaw Companies Limited
  • Stephanie Leheta – Assistant Vice President, Customer Experience, Canadian Tire Bank
  • Victoria Nguyen – Vice President, Project Delivery, Alternate & Retail Solutions, Capital Markets, CIBC

 Black Women Leader Award – Evangeline Chima, Founder, Black Mentorship Inc.

 Customer Experience Award – Eldeen Pozniak, President, Pozniak Safety Associates Inc.

 Cultural Ambassador Award  – Patti Jannetta – Founder and President, JANATA Entertainment Group.

 Difference Maker Award – Dr. Smita Pakhale, Clinician-Scientist  and Founder, Bridge Engagement Center (The Bridge)

 Diversity and Inclusiveness Award presented by Randstad Canada – Katherine (Katie) Dudtschak, Executive Vice President, Regional Banking, Personal and Commercial Banking, RBC

 Dream Builder Award presented by AMJ Campbell – Jennifer Green, Director of Competitions and Young Women’s Initiative,  Skills Ontario

 Economic Empowerment Award – Sonya Shorey –, Vice President, Strategy, Marketing and Collaboration, Bayview Yards and Area X.O Invest Ottawa

 Game Changer Award – Suzie Yorke – Founder and Board Member, Love Good Fats

 Health and Wellness Award – Amber Zenith – Co-Founder, HIGH Fitness

 Indigenous Leader Award presented by HEXO Corp. – Jennifer Ménard-Shand- Founder and CEO | Director, Client Happiness, Staff Shop Inc.

 Influencer Award – Vahen King – Founder, Going Farther

 Integrity Award – Rose Marie Gage – Founder and Principal of Great Governance Matters and MPOWRU, Independent Board Director

 Immigrant Leader Award – Ariyike Akinbobola – Senior Business Immigration Analyst, Fragomen

 Innovation Award – Sarah Jordan, CEO, Mastermind Toys

 Mentorship Award – Erin Bigney – Director Research, Canada East Spine Division

 Millennial Leader – Charlie Wall-Andrews – Executive Director, SOCAN Foundation

 Nest Award presented by Banff Sunshine Village – Koleya Karringten, CEO Absolute Combustion

 Raising the Bar Award – Helen Filipe – Founder and Executive Director, Azul Education Services

 Rising Leader Award – Rebeca McLaren –Founder, Polemicial Zine

 Rural Leader Award – Kara Alicia Kennish – Third Generation Tim Hortons Franchise, Owner

 Social Impact Award – Meseret Haileyesus, Founder, Canadian Centre for Women’s Empowerment

 SupportHER™ Award – Chantal and Brian Milloy, Co-Founders, Levvel Inc.

 Trailblazer (STEM) Award presented by Mitacs – Jaime Leverton, CEO, Hut 8 Mining Corp.

 Transformational Leader Award

  • Christine Dagenais – Founder and CEO, Bright Wire Leadership
  • Theano Evangelou – Personal Development Expert, Relationship Doctor, Theano Inc.

 Vision Builder Award – Phoebe Wasfy, Principal, Philopateer Christian College

 Women-Led Award presented by SureCall – Robin Kovitz, President and CEO, Baskits Inc.

 Women in Media Award –Tracie Gray, Professional Broadcaster

Youth Excellence Award presented by RBC

  • Olivia Day, Multi-Sport and Super G Racer
  • Zafina Zaman, Youth Motivational Speaker

More about the Universal Womens Network™

The Universal Womens Network™ is a global platform committed to advancing gender equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). We strategically partner with organizations committed to gender diversity and recognize the achievements of women through Women of Inspiration™ Awards across North America. We are advocates of Universal Women-Owned™ and Universal Women-Led™ businesses, and champion female entrepreneurs along with allies who SupportHER™.


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