On Thursday, March 8th, the Surrey Board of Trade hosted the 9th Annual Surrey Women in Business Awards Luncheon, with Presenting Sponsor Vancity. This event recognizes the hard work of Surrey’s businesswomen and their contributions to the community, with a sell-out crowd of over 450 guests in attendance.
Master of Ceremonies Tamara Taggart of CTV News led the afternoon’s program and Keynote Speaker The Right Honourable Kim Campbell delighted the crowd with humour and wisdom as she recounted her political life while advocating for women’s leadership. The Vignette Speaker Commodore Marta Mulkins inspired the audience as she narrated how she chose and excelled in the predominantly male Naval Service.
“The Surrey Board of Trade’s Surrey Women in Business Awards inspires and illuminates guests in an ongoing way – and this year’s event on the heals of women campaigns and #MeToo campaigns, especially resonated with both female and male guests,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.
Excitement was contagious throughout the room as winners were announced in six categories. The winners were:
Entrepreneur Category: Yvonne Hogenes – Malary’s Fashion Network
Yvonne is the sole proprietor of Malary’s Fashion Network. Ever since she started the business, Canadian designs, customer service and personalized shopping have been an essential part of Malary’s shopping experience. While other brick and mortar retailers are disappearing from the landscape, Malary’s stands strong as the “go to” destination for trending women’s fashion. Malary’s Fashion Network now includes a retail flagship store along with manufacturing and distribution of her renowned TAB Custom-fitted bras and FIRMA Energywear across Canada and USA.
Professional Category: Shalini Das – Symbiosis Pediatric Therapy Inc.
Shalini is an Occupational Therapist and Behaviour Consultant, and owner and founder of Symbiosis Pediatric Therapy Inc. With over 20 years of experience in the health care industry, Shalini started Symbiosis Pediatric Therapy to deliver a full-spectrum of private pediatric therapy services through a large, state of the art facility in Surrey. Under Shalini’s guidance, Symbiosis expanded to two more locations in South Surrey and Abbotsford.
Not-for-Profit Leader Category: Ingrid Kastens – Pacific Community Resources Society
Ingrid leads a multi-award winning not-for-profit that works with the most marginalized persons in BC. She is the Executive Director at Pacific Resources Society. Prior to her role as Executive Director, PCRS’s leadership team was comprised mainly of older Caucasian males. When she assumed the position, she transformed the team to be reflective of breadth of gender, age and ethnic diversity, thereby, helping the agency thrive by listening to diverse voices – notably women’s voices at the leadership table. Ingrid is currently on the Board of Child Welfare League of Canada, the voice for vulnerable children in Canada.
Corporate/Leadership Category: Rowena Rizzotti – Lark Group
A highly successful health care leader, Rowena has extensive experience in executive-level leadership roles across multi-site, complex health and business environments. In her current role as Vice President of Healthcare and Innovations at Lark Group, she created the Health and Technology District, a series of high-tech buildings across from Surrey Memorial Hospital and oversees its expansion and growth. Rowena served as VP of Operations for BC’s largest private seniors care operator and served as a Chief Operating Officer for BC’s Northern Health Authority. She earned significant acclaim for her senior leadership of Fraser Health's Clinical Programs and Operations, including Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) and for overseeing the largest investment in BC’s history; a $500 million critical care tower in Surrey.
Social Trailblazer: Elly Morgan– KPU-Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Elly is an expert in the field of Leadership Development on two levels. At one level, she is an innovative leader as she transformed and led a career program for women called Career Choices and a Life Success program (CCLS) at Kwantlen Polytechnic University for the past 25 years. At a much more challenging level, she works tirelessly to broaden the reach of her teachings outside KPU and provide the skills and environment for women to lead their lives effectively both professionally and personally.
Indigenous Entrepreneur: Roxanne Charles – Roxanne Charles
Roxanne Charles is a mixed media artist. She is an active and proud member of the Semiahmoo First Nation in Surrey where she promotes art, language and culture. She has over 10 years of experience in Indigenous art and social advocacy. Her art includes sculpture, painting, jewelry engraving and weaving. She is recognized as a professional artist with a long exhibition history. Her work often explores a variety of themes such as spirituality, identity, hybridity, the environment, urbanization and various forms of structural violence. She is also a contemporary storyteller whose goal is to touch, move and inspire others through her work.