YWCA Vancouver announces annual award recipients

YWCA Metro Vancouver is pleased to announce the recipients of its 31st annual Women of Distinction Awards. More than 1,060 guests gathered at the Westin Bayshore to honour inspiring women and organizations and their achievements.
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’s recipients are:
Arts, Culture & Design
Shaira SD Holman, Co-founder and Artistic Director at the Vancouver Queer Arts Festival. Shaira has been instrumental in successfully celebrating and showcasing queer artists.
Business & The Professions
Lisa Vogt, Partner & Chief Diversity and Engagement Officer at McCarthy Tétrault LLP. A nationally recognized lawyer and Chief Diversity and Engagement Officer for McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Lisa champions diversity and inclusiveness for women in the workplace.
Community Building
Shashi Assanand, founder & Executive Director of the Vancouver & Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Support Services Society. Shashi has empowered immigrant and visible minority women to thrive in Canada.
Education, Training & Development
Janis Sarra, Professor, UBC Faculty of Law & Director at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. An innovative educator and an expert in corporate law, Janis connects research and education to enable law students to grow as future leaders.
Shannon Rogers, President & General Counsel at Global Relay. Shannon and her team have turned Global Relay from a technology start-up into a vibrant, internationally-recognized cloud services provider.
Environmental Sustainability
Lyda Salatian, Founder & Program Director at Lower Mainland Green Team (LMGT). Lyda has inspired and mobilized more than 1,800 eco-volunteers to conserve local parks.
Health & Wellness
Victoria Bernstein, Director, Post-Operative Cardiac Surgical Unit at Vancouver General Hospital. A visionary cardiologist at VGH for more than 40 years, Vicki pioneered medical innovations to improve patient outcomes and mentors other female cardiologists.
Non-Profit & Public Service
Darlene Marzari, Former MLA and Vancouver City Councillor. Darlene has spent her career helping people to work collaboratively to set priorities and build healthy communities at the local and regional level.
Technology, Science and Research
Jennifer Gardy, Senior Scientist at British Columbia Centre for Disease Control. An inspiring scientist, communicator and mentor, Jennifer’s scientific work at the BC Centre for Disease Control has revolutionized how infectious disease is approached world-wide.
Young Woman of Distinction
Isabel Chen, Co-founder and Executive Director at Keep Safe Initiative. A UBC medical student, social justice activist and founder of the Keep Safe Initiative, Isabel finds creative solutions to long-standing social problems.
Innovative Workplace
Pacific Blue Cross has been adapting its workplace since the 1970s to better serve and inspire its employees.
Connecting the Community
Kristi Blakeway, Vice Principal at Thomas Haney Secondary. An inspirational educator, Kristi is the force behind the powerful, real world social project, H.E.L.L.O. (Helping Everyone Locate Loved Ones) in the Downtown Eastside.


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