SURREY — An annual event Tuesday (March 8) recognized the hard work of Surrey’s women-led business and organizational leaders, in celebration of International Women’s Day.
More than 300 guests attended Surrey Board of Trade’s seventh annual Surrey Women in Business Awards luncheon, held at the Sheraton hotel in Guildford.
Emcee Steve Darling, of Global BC, introduced keynote speaker Christine Day, CEO of Luvo, who spoke about her journey as a young CEO at Starbucks for 20 years, taking time to be with her family, becoming CEO of Lululemon and now CEO of the frozen food health company.
Later, award winners were announced in five categories, detailed below. All descriptions are supplied by event organizers with Surrey Board of Trade:
Sara Hodson – LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic
Sara Hodson is Founder & President of LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic in South Surrey, delivering clinically supervised exercise and education to prevent and treat chronic disease. Sara lives to maximize clients’ health, in spite of their health issues, and has fun while doing it! LIVE WELL’s 3 pioneering clinics (two in Surrey) specialize in helping sedentary people with health conditions such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease overhaul their lifestyle by offering medically-designed, customized fitness programs, nutritional counseling, goal-setting, and habit formation in a safe, supportive and supervised environment. She and her staff work in the emerging field of Exercise is Medicine, to help people live healthier, more active lives while reducing the burden of chronic disease on the health care system.
Amanjit Lidder – MNP LLP
Amanjit is a partner in the MNP’s Surrey office and the Regional Tax Leader for the Lower Mainland Region. Amanjit provides specialized tax services to small and medium-sized organizations in a variety of industries, helping her clients pursue attractive tax opportunities. Working one-on-one with clients, she provides advice and strategies for corporate & personal tax planning, estate & succession planning and corporate reorganizations, as well as mergers & acquisition planning. She is currently on the British Columbia Tax Conference Program Committee and is a former member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) Income Tax Education Committee. She holds a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Accountant (CA) designation, qualifying in 2001.
Melanie Houlden – Surrey Libraries
Melanie is the Chief Librarian for Surrey Libraries, and is responsible for planning, leading and delivering a range of library services to meet the evolving needs of Surrey residents. She recommends and implements strategies, policies, and plans to achieve the vision, mission, goals, and values of Surrey Libraries. She helps create an organizational culture that is energetic, achievement-oriented and client service-focused, achieving the highest professional standards in the management and delivery of library services. She works with senior staff at the City of Surrey to deliver aligned and seamless services in accordance with Surrey Council priorities. With over 32 years of progressive public library experience, Melanie has served as a role model for hundreds of women in the profession and in Surrey.
Janice Comeau – LMS Reinforcing Steel Group
Janice has been the Chief Financial Officer of LMS Reinforcing Steel Group since January 2013, and has 33 years of experience as a chartered accountant. Janice demonstrates her ability to drive financial results at LMS through strategic financial planning and execution; building a motivated, skilled professional team; and implementing business controls across all financial functions. At any given time, LMS has 200+ projects underway and 650 employees on payroll. At the time Janice was hired, there were significant issues related to working capital management. Under Janice’s leadership, LMS has achieved greater project profitability, enhanced communication with clients, earlier detection of issues and has greater insight into team performance.
MaryAnne Connor – NightShift Street Ministries Society
MaryAnne Connor is Founder and President of NightShift Street Ministries Society, based in downtown Surrey. Her vision for NightShift continues to grow. Originally a nightly service to feed the hungry, the ministry is now an all-encompassing centre of caring, a place for all people to find purpose. MaryAnne continually ensures that services are relevant to people in need and easily accessible to everyone. In addition to supporting the mission of the ministry, MaryAnne created a clothing donation program that operates through Sisters Thrift Boutique. Not only does this ensure a supply of clothes and blankets free of charge to those who are in need, but work experience for those who seek employment in the mainstream. One of the first apps for an online thrift store was created for Sisters to help drive revenue to support the operations of NightShift.