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Women celebrated for contributions in Thunder Bay

The annual Influential Women of Northern Ontario luncheon recognizes women for their achievements.
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Women from across northwestern Ontario were celebrated for their achievements on May 25 during the 2017 Influential Women of Northern Ontario Awards.

The annual event recognizes women across sectors who have made a difference in their communities, creating economic wealth, bettering their community, or serving as mentors to other women.

This marks the 20th anniversary of the awards, which is an initiative of Northern Ontario Business (NOB).

“The quantity and quality of nominations continue to create a difficult task for our judges,” NOB publisher Abbas Homayed said in a release. “The accomplishments of this year’s winners are truly remarkable. We congratulate all the winners for 2017."

Eight women from northwestern Ontario were selected to receive awards, which were presented during a celebratory luncheon at the Victoria Inn in Thunder Bay.

A list of the awards and winners follows:

  • Executive of the Year: Joanne Berube, executive director, Marathon Family Health Team (Marathon)
  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Nadia La Russa, business owner, teacher, volunteer (Thunder Bay)
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Sherri-Ann White, owner, A Beautiful New You (Thunder Bay)
  • Business of the Year: Cloverbelt Local Food Cooperative, led by Jen Springett (Dryden)
  • Tradeswomen of the Year: Stephanie Drost and Ceilidh Boyd, firefighters, Thunder Bay Fire Rescue (Thunder Bay)
  • Aboriginal Leadership: Sandi Boucher, motivational speaker and activist (Thunder Bay)
  • Influential Community Trailblazer: Marilyn Grudniski, CEO, Little Lions Waldorf Daycare (Kakabeka Falls)
  • Young Influential Essay Scholarship: Peyton Harris, Saint Ignatius Secondary School (Thunder Bay)

A second celebratory luncheon will be held honouring winners from northeastern Ontario on May 29 in Timmins at the Senator Hotel & Conference Centre.



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