Lift As You Climb

2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

This award recognizes a woman who has been an exemplary leader over the course of her lifetime, in one or more fields, and who has served as a role model for our community.
Award Sponsor: PotashCorp
Ms. Kathryn J. Ford Q.C.

Kathryn has practiced law in Saskatoon since 1977, principally in family law, estates, and conflict resolution. She played a significant role in introducing collaborative law to the local family law bar. She has been committed to finding new ways that are less adversarial and more respectful for those she represents. As she engages with individuals and groups, she brings out the best in each person, ensuring that all voices are heard, and that decisions are made collectively.

Within the legal community, you will often hear the words, “As Kathy Ford would say…” when citing some of her wise words. She has done considerable investigatory work, primarily in workplace harassment cases. Kathryn coached the mediation advocacy team at the College of Law for eight years. Her coaching of law students in the Mediation Advocacy Moot competitions, and her mentorship through the Law Society of Saskatchewan, has been important in fostering many new leaders for the future of her profession.

Kathryn served on the board of YWCA Saskatoon during a time of expansion of services when the current facility was built, garnering funding from both government and community donors. She previously volunteered on the boards of the City Hospital, Saskatoon Foundation, and LutherCare Communities. She has led a transformation of the Prairie Hospice Society to build it into a vibrant force filling a glaring need for hospice services. Kathryn also serves on the boards of the University of Saskatchewan and the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan.

Kathryn’s very inclusive view of community has spurred her to work hard in all of her efforts to improve the lives of Saskatoon people. She has helped people understand the law in lay terms and access resources, she has embraced the YWCA’s mission to help women and girls, and she believes in empowering individuals to help themselves.

2017 “29 and Under” Award Nominees

This award recognizes emerging leaders age 29 and under who are inspirational role models in their careers, academic achievements or community building roles.
Award Sponsor: CIBC
Maizie Bowkowy

Still in her teens, Maizie Bowkowy already has a long list of interests and is passionate about every project she pursues. Locally, she has established herself as an advocate for young women by promoting positive self-esteem and youth empowerment. Maizie became the youngest winner of the Wilson Centre’s Pitch Party by founding a charitable pet bed business called Doggy Naps (for every three pet beds sold, one bed was donated to an animal shelter). She continues to be recognized for her commitment to her community, all while attending Martinsville High School as an honours student. Maizie is a young woman to watch.

Ashlyn George

Ashlyn George’s enthusiasm for travel has led to an entrepreneurial career in digital content creation, storytelling and motivational speaking. A graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, she has traveled solo across 55 countries on all seven continents. Ashlyn’s career was forged as the popular 2015 Saskatchewanderer—a provincial ambassador profiling the best of Saskatchewan through social media. Her work has been profiled and shared by Canadian Geographic, the Huffington Post, Destination Canada, Tourism Saskatoon, Tourism Regina and the Royal Canadian Air Force. Ashlyn is an advocate for pursuing your passion and runs the successful travel website The Lost Girl’s Guide to Finding the World.

Renata Huyghebaert

As an undergraduate student at the Edwards School of Business, Renata Huyghebaert is actively involved in her campus community. She founded and served two terms as president of the International Women’s Movement – a student group dedicated to the empowerment and representation of women from diverse backgrounds. Most recently, Renata was elected to represent her undergraduate peers as VP Student Affairs on the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union (USSU). She continues to focus on social justice, sustainability, women in leadership and international student representation – and always recognizes the art of diplomacy and compromise. In 2016 Renata was named one of CBC’s Future 40.

Anna Tavares

Anna Tavares is a fourth year management student at the Edwards School of Business who also moonlights as a Business Attraction Specialist at the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority. She holds a BSc in industrial engineering from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil. Anna is passionate about female empowerment and gender equality, all while incorporating her thoughtful and caring leadership style with personal integrity. Inspired to create a platform to engage young women to network and achieve success on their own terms, Anna is the founder and current president of the University of Saskatchewan chapter of Young Women in Business.

2017 Arts, Culture and Heritage Award Nominees

This award recognizes the artistic achievement of women whose creative work or support of the arts, culture and heritage inspires our community.
Sandra Fraser

Sandra Fraser is Curator of Collections at Remai Modern, and previously held the positions of Acting Chief Curator and Associate Curator at the Mendel Art Gallery. Before moving to Saskatoon in 2010, she was Curator at the MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie, Ontario and taught Art History and Gallery Studies at Georgian College. She has curated over 20 exhibitions, published numerous essays and interviews, and advocates for the role that museums, artists and audiences play in the collaborative production of meaning and community. Sandra is vice-chair of AKA Artist-Run and serves on the Professional Development Committee for the Association of Art Museum Curators.

Dr. Joan Halmo

Joan Halmo’s heritage work has included restoration of Dr. Lyell Gustin Residence—now a Provincial Heritage Property—and stabilizing/preserving Trounce House (built 1883). As executive-artistic director of Gustin House, Joan organizes two annual concert series. She inspires and empowers girls and women to serve as leaders in cultural professions and volunteerism. Joan has volunteered with Project Ploughshares, worked to preserve heritage windows, served on the University of Saskatchewan Senate, and co-founded Allegro Montessori School. Joan holds piano performance diplomas, two Masters Degrees and a PhD. She teaches music, lecturing on music history and church music internationally, and publishing extensively. Joan was named 2015 Alumna of Distinction, Campion College, Regina.

Yvette Nolan

A theatre artist of Algonquin and Irish descent, Yvette Nolan has written 25 plays and is the author of Medicine Shows and co-editor of Performing Indigeneity. She was Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts for eight years, and works across Turtle Island as director, dramaturge, and educator.  She was the Saskatoon Public Library Writer in Residence in 2011-2012. In 2013, she founded Short Cuts Festival of 10 Minute Plays. She has served on the Word on the Street and Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre boards, and currently serves with the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance and the Saskatchewan Association of Theatre Professionals.

Dawn Woroniuk

Dawn Woroniuk has worked in media for over 25 years. Her roles included Music Director, Program Director, and Promotions/Client Services Manager. Currently she holds two positions as Director of Marketing for Sakamoto Entertainment and as Executive Director, Saskatoon Zoo Foundation. She has served on the Canadian Country Music Association board and is chair of PotashCorp Country Music Week 2017.  She has been a devoted volunteer for Creative Saskatchewan, the Children’s Hospital Foundation, Denny Carr’s Secret Santa, Tourism Saskatoon, and the YWCA. Dawn is passionate about the roles that music, arts, culture and heritage play in our lives.

2017 Athletics Award Nominees

This award recognizes women whose inspirational athletic leadership in sport, fitness or recreational programs benefits our community.
Award Sponsor: Kinsmen Club of Saskatoon
Darlene Danyliw

Darlene Danyliw promotes curling year round—both on and off the ice—in Saskatchewan and the US. She is Past President of Curl Saskatoon, coordinates the organization’s flagship Ride-to-Curl program for youth and participates on many bonspiel committees. Darlene is recognized for the respect and inclusiveness that she brings to her officiating and volunteer roles. In recognition of her contribution to the sport of curling, Darlene was named as the Saskatchewan finalist and Member Association Winner for the 2016 Curling Canada Volunteer of the Year Award. Her fellow curlers admire her tireless hard work and leadership in support of athletics in Saskatoon.

Carla Little

Born and raised in Weyburn, Carla Little helps hundreds of clients transform their lives with fitness and personal training through her company, Bridge City Fitness. Her clients receive inspirational weekly emails with fitness tips, healthy recipes and words of support. Carla’s positive attitude resonates with others, encouraging them to participate in her fundraising efforts for Caged for the Cure, Stuff the Bus, the Saskatoon SPCA, New Hope Dog Rescue and the Friendship Inn. For the past two years she has offered weekly Kickboxing classes at Whitecap Dakota First Nation. Carla’s passion for her clients and her community is matched only by her uplifting spirit.

Sandra Nicholat

Sandra Nicholat has been a figure skating coach for 36 years and has touched the lives of thousands of children. Working at Skate Saskatoon, with a team of club coaches, her encouragement has positively influenced many skaters and their families. Athletes coached by Sandra have competed at the Western Challenge, the National Challenge and the Canadians, as well as those who went on to become certified Skate Canada coaches themselves. She is also a mother of five and has been very active in her children’s lives. As a mentor, Sandra believes that involvement in athletics—beginning with grassroots programs—fosters youth development.

2017 Community Building Award Nominees

This award recognizes influential community builders whose leadership or volunteerism helps create a community where everyone can thrive.
Award Sponsor: Saskatchewan Blue Cross
Twyla Baschuk

Twyla Baschuk was brought up in a small Saskatchewan community where she learned the importance of giving to others. She is known in our community as “the Fairy Godmother” and owner of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo. She has transformed many lives with fairy tale endings. She is an active supporter and volunteer with over 20 organizations, including the Downtown Lions, Crisis Nursery, Mayfair Church, Jazz Festival, Folkfest, health charities, and has held numerous fundraising events. Twyla can be found handing out warm winter gear, sweet treats and notes of encouragement on the Saskatoon streets. She is compassionate and committed to making a difference.

Connie den Hollander

A partner with Knott den Hollander, Connie den Hollander has practiced law in Saskatoon for over 25 years, while raising a family, volunteering actively in the community, and providing mentorship within the legal profession and in board governance. She is leader in Saskatchewan’s collaborative practice community, assisting people to resolve conflict in respectful settlement, and she is recognized by Canada’s Lexpert as a leading practitioner in family law. Connie has received Saskatchewan’s Pro Bono Service Award for her volunteer work in pro bono clinics, and she serves as chair of Family Service Saskatoon, supporting families to have healthy, non-violent relationships.

Judy Hannah

Judy Hannah uses her beliefs in the value of all people and the importance of diversity as guides in her work to improve quality of life for people with disabilities. Over the past 14 years, working as director of strategic initiatives for the Saskatchewan Association for Community Living, Judy was a driving force in the creation of the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability program. She provides leadership to the Disability Income Support Coalition and is an advocate for flexible, person-centred services for people with intellectual disabilities. She has piloted a new model for community and government, to collaborate in order to create systemic change.

Carin Holroyd

Carin Holroyd is a leader who listens, sees what needs to be done, and harnesses the power of the community to multiply her impact. Carin is a specialist in international education who has influenced and promoted life-changing learning for students. Carin has raised and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars for charitable causes such as the UNICEF project on maternal health, Community Living, and Habitat for Humanity. She established and supports the Vietnamese Education Society, which has built several rural schools for Vietnamese children living in poverty, and works to protect vulnerable girls from human trafficking. Under Carin’s leadership, the Saskatoon community has acted to support a diversity of local and global causes.

Shirley Isbister

Shirley Isbister is a significant woman in the Métis community for her leadership and community building. She has served as president of the Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. for over a decade. She started out with one assisted living home, Infinity House, and has added Trotchie, Prichard, and Niwa homes. Women and men are reunited with their children in a safe and healthy environment. Shirley has made it her mission to build strong relationships with Child and Family Services, and CUMFI (pronounced “comfy”) now has capacity for 37 families at once. The growth within CUMFI is inspiring, and the program development is beyond what most people strive for in a career. Shirley believes in keeping the children first in decision making.

Shelley James

Shelley James is a philanthropist, business owner, and Amazon bestselling author. For 25 years, she has been the owner and operating partner of Hairstyle Inn Salons Group. Shelley has been involved in theatre, film, and TV for over 20 years, designing hair and wigs for Persephone Theatre, the U of S, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, Global TV, and numerous Broadway shows at TCU Place. She built TLC@Home 11 years ago, giving to children here in our community. Last year, TLC@Home reached 996 school children in core neighbourhoods, with a personal gift box of necessities and treasures to share the joy of Christmas. In 2017, HairStyle Inn Salons was named Canadian Community Service Salon of the Year as a result of their charitable programs.

Chantelle Johnson

Chantelle Johnson has been executive director of Community Legal Assistance Services for Saskatoon Inner City since 2012. She was born and raised in Canwood, Sask., and has BA and LL.B degrees from the University of Saskatchewan. Chantelle’s career has been dedicated to human rights and community work: prior to her work with CLASSIC, she worked as a policy and legal analyst with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. She also worked with the Child Sexual Exploitation Unit in Edmonton, as Crown Counsel in B.C. and as an intern at the Indigenous Law and Justice Branch in Australia.

Caval Olson-Lepage

Caval Olson-Lepage is a Certified Financial Planner and Investment Advisor with TCU Financial Group, and Qtrade Advisor. Her passion for her career and clients have more recently earned her a Wealth Professional Young Gun Award as well as a Qtrade Top Advisor Award in 2015. She is the current president of Business and Professional Women of Saskatoon, an organization that supports and encourages women to become leaders in the community through education, awareness, advocacy and mentorship. In 2016, Caval was named BPW Canada’s national chairperson for the committee to end violence against women.

Keisha Sharp

Keisha Sharp is passionate about working to improve the Saskatoon community. She is an In Motion consultant for the Saskatoon Health Region. In this position, she works to motivate individuals to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives. Outside of work, Keisha co-founded the Saskatoon chapter of Motionball for Special Olympics in 2014. Since then, she has worked hard to use the power of sport to integrate Special Olympic athletes into the Saskatoon community. Keisha also serves on the Board of Directors for Recess Guardians and Special Olympics Saskatchewan, and is a coach in the Special Olympics Active Start program.

Marlee Walker

Marlee Walker is committed to supporting mothers in their struggles and triumphs. She is an artist, community organizer, wife and mother, using her unique skills and abilities to fill a need she saw in her community, for support of mothers with young children. In 2016, Marlee experienced post-partum depression and the loss of her three month old son, Kolt. Through these experiences, she was inspired to start a Mommy & Me group for women in Quill Lake and the surrounding communities. Marlee has been an inspiration for the many women who suffer from isolation in motherhood, to build a stronger community and support each other.

2017 Education Award Nominees

This award recognizes exceptional educators in schools, institutions or community programs who are role models in their profession and community involvement.
Award Sponsor: Cameco
Claudette Degagné-Ellis

Claudette Degagné-Ellis is an early learning educator in French immersion with Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools. The parents of her students know her as warm, engaged, continually learning and developing herself professionally, and passionate about both literacy and the French language. Claudette completed her Masters of Education in 2015 while continuing to teach Grades One and Two full-time and raise two school-age daughters of her own. To her junior colleagues and student teachers, she is a mentor who shares her commitment and passion with the educators of tomorrow. Claudette considers it a gift to work alongside Saskatoon families and their young children.

Lana Elias

Since 2011, Lana Elias has been director of science outreach at the College of Arts and Science, University of Saskatchewan. She holds a BEd and BSc from the U of S, a PGC in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University, and a MSC in Instructional Media from Wilkes University. Lana has worked as a high school teacher with the Prairie Spirit School Division, owned and operated Einstein’s Toy Box, and worked with Sylvan Learning Centres. Lana is role model in science literacy for many girls and young women. Her science outreach work contributes to helping thousands of Saskatchewan youth better understand science and its relation to daily life.

Cathy Mills

Cathy Mills has excelled as an educator for almost four decades, including her time as a principal and superintendent. She has a Masters in Leadership and Administration from San Diego State University. After retirement in 2008, she became a consultant with the Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit at the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan. Cathy has spearheaded professional learning opportunities at events such as the Holocaust Knowledge Exchange Day and the Courageous Conversations Forum. During 2017 she will present at the National Congress on Rural Education in Canada and the Canadian Association of Principals’ Conference. Cathy’s work reflects her commitment to collaboration, diversity and social justice.

Dr. Janet Mola Okoko

Dr. Janet Mola Okoko is an assistant professor at the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan. She moved to Saskatoon four years ago after earning her PhD in Education from the University of Calgary. Previously, Janet worked as a teacher and educational administrator in her native country of Kenya, often with refugee children or children living in poverty. Her academic research delves into the implications of parental involvement in the education of their children, with a particular focus on immigrant and refugee families. Janet is active and engaged in mentoring and welcoming newcomers to the Saskatoon community from Kenya and other parts of the world.

Patti Rowley

Patti Rowley is the teacher we all wished we had in high school. She established Saskatchewan’s first Gay-Straight Alliance at Saskatoon’s Mount Royal Collegiate in 2001. She has been an advocate and ally for gender and sexually diverse students throughout her teaching career. She is the “go-to” person and mentor for school staff throughout Saskatoon and the province in creating accepting learning environments. She has influenced cultural change in education, moving from tolerance of gender and sexual diversity, to acceptance, to celebration. She supports youth in developing their own voices and ability to advocate for themselves. Her commitment to social justice is deep, her resolve consistent, and her joy infectious.

Kelly Van Damme

Kelly Van Damme has been learning and engagement coordinator at Saskatoon’s Remai Modern public art museum since 2015, supervising public art programming throughout the museum’s transition period. During this time, more than 15,000 community members of all ages have participated in Remai Modern programs. Prior to this role, Kelly held multiple education-related positions at the Mendel Art Gallery. With an MFA in Studio Art, she is also a sessional instructor in studio and art education with the University of Saskatchewan. Kelly is driven by the conviction that art is for everyone, and that it is a vital tool for both individual empowerment and community building.

Dr. Chelsea Willness

Dr. Chelsea Willness is a mentor, a leader and a passionate champion of community-engaged scholarship. She teaches in the Department of Human Resources and Organizational Behaviour, and is a Grandey Leadership Scholar at the Edwards School of Business. In 2016, Chelsea became Associate Dean, Research and Academic. She has been the recipient of multiple awards for her research and teaching, including the 2016 USSU Teaching Excellence Award. She is also known for her energized and engaged relationships with both her undergraduate and graduate students. Most recently, Chelsea launched an innovative experiential course that pairs business students with non-profit boards for an eight-month governance practicum.

2017 Entrepreneurship Award Nominees

This award recognizes successful entrepreneurs who have established strong business ventures, and who are committed to giving back to our community.
Joint Award Sponsors: Affinity Credit Union and Concentra
Mackenzie Firby

Mackenzie Firby was raised in Kenston, Saskatchewan. She attended the University of Saskatchewan and earned her BComm. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, she always wanted to own her own business, and it 2014 she entered the world of entrepreneurship by opening Two Fifty Two Boutique. She is passionate about community involvement, serving on volunteer boards, and supporting organizations including Heart & Stroke, Breast Cancer, Dress for Success and the Ronald McDonald House. Mackenzie and Two Fifty Two Boutique have been honoured with various SABEX awards, and she was nominated for the 2016 ABEX Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Shaina Lynden

Shaina Lynden is a member of the Yellow Quill First Nation and an officer with the Saskatoon Police Service. She obtained a BSc Kinesiology in 2005 from the University of Saskatchewan, and competed with the Huskie Women’s Basketball team. Shaina’s passion for people and community involvement led to her co-founding Ryde YXE Cycle Studio in 2016, which has quickly established itself as a community hub. As a police officer, entrepreneur, instructor and mom, Shaina is a role model in many ways and continues to challenge herself and others to live with gratitude, acceptance and positivity. Shaina’s vision for creating positive and impactful change in our community shines through in the Ryde YXE’s extensive charity involvement and weekly fundraiser Rydes. These are a direct result of her hopes to find ways to support not only those coming through their doors but those who are unable to do so.

Jessica Tetu

Jessica Tetu overcame adversity at a very young age, being raised in a home with extreme addictions. Shelter stays were regular, before ultimately the loss of their family home. She began a life on her own at age 15. Jessica is now a successful serial entrepreneur and highly sought after public speaker. Jessica speaks to teens on success through adversity, and helps lead women on their entrepreneurial paths. Jessica is the owner of Just For You Day Spas in Saskatoon, Regina and Lloydminster, Founder and CEO of Lia Reese Canada, and co-founder of Entrepreneur306 business consulting. Jessica believes that “success is within each person and you just need the courage to go after it.”

2017 Health and Wellness Award Nominees

This award recognizes exceptional work in health and wellness, improving the physical, emotional, social, or    spiritual health of individuals in our community.
Award Sponsor: Aurora Reproductive Care
Noreen Agrey

Noreen Agrey has always been an educator, starting as a teacher, them moving to health education, and primary prevention at the Prevention Institute in 1986. Noreen became the executive director in 2007. An exemplary leader in the workplace and community, Noreen has dedicated herself to achieving a healthy society. She has played a key role in bridging the gaps between research, policy, and practice in health awareness and primary prevention. She has been instrumental in building awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, early childhood mental health, parenting skills, child injury prevention, sexual and reproductive health, prenatal and maternal health, child traffic safety; she believes and promotes continual lifelong learning.

Jana Danielson

Jana Danielson completed her BComm and MBA at the University of Saskatchewan. She started her career teaching Pilates out of her basement, and eventually established her own commercial studio in 2010. Her vision to expand became a reality in 2015, when she opened a 9,000 square foot, state of the art facility. As owner of Lead Pilates, Cycle & Fitness, and Lead Integrated Health Therapies, Jana strives, with her team, to make clients’ lives better, through movement and manual therapies. The unique integrated  business model of Lead Pilates houses almost 100 movement classes per week, in addition to chiropractic, naturopathic, reflexology, physiotherapy, and massage therapy services.

Dr. Vicki Holmes

Dr. Vicki Holmes has been an exemplary, devoted family physician for four decades. She was born and raised in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, in family of eight children. After graduating from the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, she practiced family medicine in both Saskatoon and Winnipeg. Her passion and focus is women’s health, including prenatal, labour and delivery, and mature women’s health. Her diverse practice includes palliative care, Prairie Hospice, research, health promotion, and preventative medicine. Vicki is a pioneer in mid-life women’s health care, and was responsible for creating the Mid-Life Women’s Centre with a vision for a lasting community of excellence for menopause care.

Blanche Johnston

Blanche Johnston’s fresh approach to caring for and nurturing the whole body extends throughout her life. She has worked in our health and wellness community for over 30 years as a fitness instructor, activity director, trainer, lifestyle consultant, and exercise therapist. She was instrumental in building programs under the health region’s LiveWell Chronic Disease Management Program, including the Fitness Food Fun Program for LiveWell Diabetes, the Building Resistance to Diabetes program promoting the benefits of exercise. She has worked with Aden Bowman and Marion Graham collegiates and the White Buffalo Youth Lodge, promoting healthy lifestyles for parents, teens, and children.

Haylie Lashta

In her physiotherapy practice in Warman, Haylie Lashta works extensively with perinatal care. She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a BSc in Kinesiology, and an MSc in Physical Therapy. She provides care for general physiotherapy, ranging from acute and chronic injuries. She focuses on women’s health care, pre- and post-natal care, and infant assessment and treatment. Haylie is an advocate for awareness about the wide range of therapy options specifically for women’s health issues, for women at all stages of life. She provides educational presentations and seminars in the community and promotes integrated care by working closely with physicians, specialists and other providers.

Dr. Amy Morris

Dr. Amy Morris is focused on providing the best possible care to kids with cancer. She completed her degree in Pharmacy at the University of Saskatchewan, an Accredited Canadian Pharmacy Residency, and a Doctorate of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. But her real education came when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last fall at the age of 30. As a cancer survivor, patient advocate, and cancer activist, Amy speaks the truth about surviving cancer and how we can provide care for Canadians who continue to fight cancer. She found a positive message through her own difficult experience by bravely live streaming personal video of her chemo treatments and was a source of encouragement for thousands of viewers.

Dorthea Swiftwolfe

Dorthea Swiftwolfe is a Cree woman from Peter Ballantyne First Nation. Her greatest role in life is being mother and grandmother, of eight children, eight grandchildren, and many others who call her “Mom.” Dorothea began her career with the Saskatoon Tribal Council, and has worked in the school system as well. In 2007, she joined the Saskatoon Police Service Victim Services Unit as an Aboriginal resource officer, and then in 2013 took on the position of missing person liaison. In her roles, Dorthea has incorporated her love of family and teaching, her lessons from the Old People, and her passion for making her community a better, healthier place for the people who live here.

Patricia Tait

Patricia Tait is an Aboriginal woman who has worked in health and wellness for over 30 years. She is a wonderful Kokum who has dedicated her life and career for caring for the people, promoting kinship, sharing teachings and language, and restoring ceremonies. She co-authored Conflict Resolutions in First Nations Communities, Private Family Home Placements: Options for Aboriginal Communities, and Circle of Knowledge Keepers. She has been a long-time supporter involved with the HIV movement. She has been a passionate advocate for Aboriginal communities to heal for the well-being of future generations. Her expertise includes working with Elizabeth Fry, Corrections Canada, the Saskatoon Indian Métis Friendship Centre, Métis Addiction Saskatchewan, and the All Nations Hope AIDS Network Advisory Council.

Ceal Tournier

Ceal Tournier has worked directly in First Nations health and social service delivery at the community and tribal council level since 1991. She is currently the general manager of Health and Family Services for the Saskatoon Tribal Council. She is a passionate advocate for the necessity to develop and formalize a First Nations self-government framework within Canada and Saskatchewan, in which First Nations control their own destiny, built on the foundation of treaty and inherent rights. Working to ensure First Nations’ control over their children’s well-being has been and continues to be a priority in Ceal’s work.

2017 Leadership and Professions Award Nominees

This award recognizes leaders, professionals and managers who inspire positive change, and who are role models in their profession and community involvement.
Award Sponsor: Sherwood Chevrolet
Nykea Behiel

Nykea Behiel works as director of content for Vendasta, and oversees marketing content initiatives across multiple platforms to drive engagement, sales, retention, demand generation and positive customer behaviour. She manages all aspects of content production and strategy, driving company growth and creating a consistent brand voice. Creating alignment between multiple departments—sales, success, support, and research and development—Nykea ensures the company’s inbound marketing strategy resonates both internally and externally. Her emphasis on brand storytelling and innovative culture drives the marketing team’s growth mindset. Nykea is an engaging speaker who has presented for Saskatchewan Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs, Tourism Saskatchewan, Young Women in Business, and Ideas on Tap.

Kari Calder

Kari Calder is a successful business person, mentor, mother, and role model. She is one of the most successful realtors in Saskatchewan, in an industry dominated by men. She mentors and supports realtors to become established or get started in her industry. She was recognized as the number one individual agent with Century 21 Fusion, and as Sales Associate of the year for 2015 with Century 21 Canada, out of over 9,000 agents. On top of this, Kari is actively involved in many charitable organizations such as Camp Easter Seals and the Princess Shop’s Fairy Godmother program. She is a true leader and inspiration.

Joy Crawford

Joy Crawford is a Chartered Professional Accountant with PotashCorp, and is responsible for managing the business and accounting operations for the IT department. In her own leadership roles, she serves as chair for Quint Development Corporation, as governor at the University of Saskatchewan, and as mentor to women interested in all levels of politics. Joy is a founding board member for the Saskatoon chapter of Executive Women International and has served as community association president, on the city’s municipal planning commission, as a Big Sister, a university senator, and as president of the alumni association. A natural leader, Joy is committed to supporting diversity and encouraging women in leadership roles.

Uyen Huynh

Uyen Huynh was born in Vietnam, and her family fled the country as refugees in 1981. Uyen was raised in Saskatoon and attended MC College, completing her certification as hairstylist. She chose hairdressing because she was passionate about teaching a trade to women in poverty, and through her instruction, Vietnamese women are able to change their lives with new confidence, skills, and income. She is an inspiring public speaker who talks about her experience as a refugee. She also founded the Angel Program and Wigs for Cause, making and donating custom wigs for children undergoing cancer treatment, and she works with the Saskatoon Cancer Centre “Look Good, Feel Better” program. Uyen received the Athena Young Professional Leadership Award in 2016 from Business and Professional Women of Saskatoon.

Nancy Lautner

Nancy Lautner was born and raised in Saskatoon. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business with majors in Human Resources and General Business, and has her Early Childhood Education diploma. Nancy has been director of Tykes and Tots daycare since 2003, and has led the development of the centre’s vision and expansion. She is active in the early learning field and serves on the board for the Saskatchewan Early Childhood Association and Saskatoon Federation of Early Learning. She is also an accomplished musician, who has played with Stone Frigate Big Band and Saskatoon’s Legendary Rhythm and Blues Revue. Nancy was instrumental in the creation of the KidsCare program for families using the Ronald McDonald House.

Véronique Loewen

Véronique Loewen is manager of communications for AREVA Resources Canada Inc., and operates Verolingo Communications. Born and raised in Paris, France, Véronique graduated from Paul Valery University with her BA and MA in Applied Foreign Languages in French, English and Spanish. She also holds an MBA from Royal Roads University. She immigrated to Canada in 1993 and obtained her Canadian citizenship in 2000. She was the founding co-chair of Women in Mining and Women in Nuclear Saskatchewan, which has grown to 575 members, and she continues to mentor and advise members and the board. She is an active volunteer with the Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the Betty-Anne Heggie Womentorship Program.

Louise Oelke

Louise Oelke has an extensive background working and volunteering with a diverse range of people from many different cultures. She values accessibility, inclusiveness, equal opportunity and democratic processes, and is committed to the work she takes on. She is the Executive Director of Central Urban Metis Federation Inc. shelters, where single mothers and their children reside and work towards a safe environment for themselves and their children. Louise is committed to the Aboriginal community and is chair of the Saskatoon Indian and Metis Friendship Centre. During her time as president of Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan, she spent time reviving the organization, implementing strategies, and improving governance. Louise is a strong, exceptional leader and role model in our city.

2017 Research and Technology Award Nominees

This award recognizes women for excellence or discovery in research and technology, who are role models in their careers and community involvement.
Award Sponsor: University of Saskatchewan
Erika Dyck

Erika Dyck is a professor and Canada Research Chair in Medical History. In her research, she explores the interaction among patients, doctors, scientists, and policy makers as a series of exchanges. She sees these as a way to understand the dynamic relationship between scientific expertise and society, and the impact on the everyday lives of individuals. Her passion for social justice and mental health advocacy motivates her to share her findings in the community and amongst scholars and decision makers. Erika hopes her efforts will inspire other people to share their experiences and challenge the way we think about health and human rights.

Jacqueline Cook

Jacqueline is vice president of growth at Vendasta. She drives organizational growth, leads internationalization efforts, and investigates organizational data and customer insights, driving product strategy. Jacqueline is an alumna of The Next 36 Entrepreneurial Institute and was co-founder/CEO of Triumf Rewards. She is an international speaker and has represented Canada at G8, G20, APEC and G20 Young Entrepreneur Summits.  Jacqueline serves as board member for Care and Share as well as a mentor. She is a founding director of Saskatchewan Blue Cross Recess Guardians. Jacqueline leads many volunteer initiatives with local children’s organizations and champions education for women in the information, communications, and technology sector.