B.C. home to 19 of country’s top 100 most powerful women

Nineteen women across British Columbia have been honoured in the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) eleventh annual Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards.

Shahrzad Rafati, CEO, BroadbandTV, was among 19 B.C. women included on WXN's list of top 100 most powerful women in Canada

Nineteen women across British Columbia have been honoured in the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) eleventh annual Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards.

The winners were announced December 3 and will be honoured at a gala dinner in Toronto December 4.

The criteria for each category vary by category, but each category includes community service as a requirement.

“I’m seeing that there is good representation in a large number of spheres [among the winners from B.C.], like I saw last year,” Pamela Jeffery, founder, WXN, told Business in Vancouver. “There is a really nice group of leaders from B.C. who are very successful, leading organizations in completely different spheres, from those who are corporate executives to entrepreneurs to those in government and the public sector.

“You continue to have representation across the economy.”

The winners, by category, from B.C. are:

Sun Life Financial Arts and Communications Award:

  • Nini Baird: chair, Telus Vancouver Community Board; and
  • Shahrzad Rafati: founder and CEO, Broadband TV Corp.

Scotiabank Corporate Executives Award:

  • Dr. Amiee Chan: president and CEO, Norsat International Inc.;
  • Christine Day: CEO, Lululemon;
  • Janet Holder: EVP, western access, Enbridge Inc.;
  • Tina Osen: president and CEO, HUB International Insurance Brokers;
  • Kay Priestly: CEO, Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd.; and
  • Kim Thompson: SVP, advisory services, Credential Financial Inc.

CIBC Entrepreneurs Award:

  • Shannon Rogers: president and general counsel, Global Relay.

Telus Future Leaders Award:

  • Lindsay Nahmiache: partner, Jive Communications.

KPMG Professional Award:

  • Shelley Brown: partner, Deloitte;
  • Karima Es Sabar: president and CEO, The Centre for Drug Research and Development;
  • Monique Mercier: SVP, chief legal officer and corporate secretary, Telus; and
  • Lisa Vogt: partner and chief diversity and engagement officer, McCarthy Tetrault LLP.

Public Sector Leaders Award:

  • Mary Ackenhusen: COO, Vancouver Coastal Health;
  • Michele McKenzie: president and CEO, Canadian Tourism Commission; and
  • Lori Wanamaker: deputy minister, Ministry of Justice, and deputy solicitor general, Province of British Columbia.

Glencore Trailblazers and Trendsetters Award:

  • Ratana Stephens: founder and COO, Nature’s Path Foods; and
  • Hali Strandlund: SVP residential mortgage investments and broker relations, Fisgard Asset Management Corporation.

Jeffery created and launched the WXN Top 100 Most Powerful Women awards in 2003 as a way to motivate and inspire women.

“When I was coming up with this idea, someone actually said to me, ‘Do you think you are going to find 100 women to honour?’ and I picked the number 100 back in 2003 because I wanted it to have an impact,” she said. “I wanted people to stand up and pay attention to the fact that there are many women in this country who are not known but who are leading organizations.

“One of my goals in establishing the awards was to get the word out that these are the women who are top leaders in our country, these are the kinds of things they are doing, and in part to show them to the next generation of Canadian women.”