Business in Vancouver has announced five recipients for this year's Influential Women in Business awards.
The five honourees for 2023 have been recognized leaders in their respective fields and contribute their time and expertise to the broader British Columbian business community through board work, as advisors and mentors, and through donations of time and resources.
2023 Influential Women in Business Award recipients:
Lynda Brown-Ganzert, founder and CEO, RxPx
- Lynda Brown-Ganzert founded and led Curatio through a successful exit to form RxPx, an award-winning global digital health platform. She is an industry trailblazer who helped establish the Centre for Digital Media in Vancouver.
Radha Curpen, Vancouver managing partner, Bennett Jones
- At Bennett Jones, Radha Curpen is the firm’s national leader in ESG strategy and solutions, and co-head of its environmental law practice. She is currently chair of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.
Jeanette Jackson, CEO, Foresight Canada
- A multi-award winning sustainability champion, Jeanette Jackson has led Foresight Canada through rapid growth, supporting nearly 900 startups and ventures across the country in the process.
Leah Nguyen, chief investment officer, InBC Investment Corp.
- A highly accomplished financial services and technology-focused leader, Leah Nguyen is guiding the investment strategy of B.C.’s $500 million InBC investment fund.
Lillian Tummonds, vice-president of office operations, Cadillac Fairview
- At Cadillac Fairview, Lillian Tummonds runs 5.5 million square feet of commercial office space in Western Canada. She is past chair of BOMA BC and board chair of the Museum of Vancouver.
Nominations 2024: May 1st, 2023 to September 25th, 2023
The Honourable Melanie Mark
Elected in 2016, HLI HAYKWHL ẂII XSGAAK, 馬蘭妮, Melanie Mark, is the first First Nations woman Member of the Legislative Assembly in British Columbia's history, representing the riding of Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. During the 41st Parliament, she was appointed as the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. Today, Melanie remains the only First Nations woman to have served in cabinet and served as Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. Melanie is Nisga'a, Gitxsan, Cree and Ojibway. She was born and raised in East Vancouver and has deep roots in Northern B.C. and Manitoba.
Melanie is unapologetically passionate about social, environmental and economic justice; and she entered politics to disrupt the status quo. Within two months as Minister, she paved a new path by creating the first provincial tuition waiver program for youth from the foster-care system and removed all fees for adults accessing Adult Basic Education.
She is most proud of her work as Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training to address the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action, namely supporting Indigenous teachers and language fluency, and in 2018 launching the world's first Indigenous Law program at the University of Victoria.
Melanie firmly believes that education is the great equalizer and often says, "a rising tide, lifts all canoes."
Melanie's work is inspired by her daughters Maya and Makayla and the desire for them to have greater access to education and opportunities as they grow up. Family is very important to Melanie, and her time with Maya, Makayla, and her extended family keeps her grounded and motivated.
Melanie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Simon Fraser University. She holds a Criminology Diploma from Douglas College/Native Education College and an Advanced Executive Certificate from Queen's School of Business.
Melanie believes strongly that the changes we need to inspire and support future generations, require all of us to get on board and paddle together.
Editor-in-Chief Business in Vancouver
Hayley Woodin is the editor-in-chief of Business in Vancouver and an experienced business reporter who has covered a wide range of industries and sectors. She is an Overseas Press Club Foundation Scholar, a Pulitzer Center Fellow, a Pulitzer Traveling Fellow and a former Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada Media Fellow. Hayley holds a master's of science degree in journalism, honours, from Columbia University.
2023 Michelle Pockey Leadership Award Recipient
As a prominent lawyer and community activist, Michelle Pockey dedicated herself to making a positive difference in the world. A winner of the Influential Women in Business Award in 2016, Michelle worked tirelessly for 20 years advancing women in business, law, First Nations and non-traditional sectors. She was an inspiration to others every day of her life until her passing from cancer in June 2016.
To help support Michelle’s legacy and advance other women along their leadership journeys, Business in Vancouver and Minerva BC, proudly supported by Vancity, have partnered to recognize this exceptional female leader through the creation of the Michelle Pockey Leadership Award. This award gives first priority to an Indigenous woman and single parents, and second priority to women pursuing law, justice, Indigenous or environmental studies.
Tara-Lynn holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and is currently enrolled at the Faculty of Law at Thompson Rivers University. She will graduate from the program in April 2024. This bursary is intended to assist with her schooling and living expenses in her final year of the program.
Tara-lynn has demonstrated her leadership through her work at the Interior Academy as an Indigenous Student Advocate and is currently the president of the Indigenous Law Students Association of Thompson River University Law. Along with her spouse, she founded the university’s Pow Wow Club where students can have a place to dance and stay connected with their culture.
After graduating, Tara-lynn plans to focus on the area of Indigenous law to help improve the quality-of-life of Indigenous people in BC and aspires to one day become a judge.