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Influential Women winners of Northwestern Ontario announced

Awards recognize outstanding community and regional accomplishments of women

The great Northern tradition continues with the announcement of this year’s Influential Women of Northern Ontario Awards (IW) for 2019.

The May 27 event at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre celebrates the Northwestern Ontario winners. It is the first of two award luncheons this week recognizing 13 individuals from northwestern and northeastern Ontario.

The northwestern Ontario winners are:

Executive of the Year: Madge Richardson, executive director of the North Superior Workforce Planning Board in Thunder Bay (Sponsor: tbaytel) 

Entrepreneur of the Year: Melissa Hardy-Giles, owner of Origin Recruiting and Hardy Giles Consulting of Fort William First Nation and Thunder Bay. (Sponsor: Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce) 

Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Ashlyn Ransome, owner of The Pasta Shoppe in Thunder Bay (Sponsor: Victoria Inn and Convention Centre) 

Aboriginal Leadership: Atikokan’s Marlene Davidson, president of the Metis Nation of Ontario and the Atikokan Metis Council (Sponsor: Ontario Power Generation) 

Tradeswoman of the Year: Raquel Glavish, civil engineering program co-ordinator at the Confederation College in Thunder Bay (Sponsor: North Star Air) 

Influential Community Trailblazer: Patricia Forrest of Kakabeka Falls, senior co-ordinator of partnerships and initiatives, Destination (Northern Ontario Sponsor: Northern Ontario Angels) 

The winners from Northeastern Ontario will be revealed at an awards luncheon at the Quattro Hotel and Conference Centre in Sault Ste. Marie on Thursday, May 30.

The IW program was launched by Northern Ontario Business in 1997 as a way to acknowledge the outstanding accomplishments of women who are making a difference in their communities and contributing to the region’s economic success.

More than 300 remarkable women have been recognized since the program’s inception and the roster of award winners continues to grow.

“What a remarkable group of women we are honouring this year,” said Northern Ontario Business publisher Abbas Homayed.

“Their accomplishments demonstrate the hallmarks of true community leaders. We extend our sincerest congratulations to all the deserving winners for 2019.”

Northern Ontario Business extends its gratitude to events sponsors, the City of Thunder Bay and the City of Sault Ste. Marie, the judges and award sponsors.

The winners' profiles and photos will be posted shortly on the IW website after the awards at