From left, Surrey Women in Business award winners Yvonne Hogenes, Rowena Rizotti, Ingrid Kastens, Elly Morgan and Shalini Das at the Surrey Board of Trade-hosted event on Thursday (March 8) at Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel. (Submitted photo)

Surrey’s ‘Women in Business’ award winners celebrated on International Women’s Day

Six awards announced at annual SBOT event, which featured speech by former PM Kim Campbell

Surrey’s Women in Business award winners were celebrated during an annual luncheon hosted by Surrey Board of Trade on Thursday (March 8).

The ninth annual event, hosted by CTV News’ Tamara Taggart and presented by Vancity, featured guest speaker Kim Campbell, the former Tory prime minister and current chair of the nation’s Supreme Court Advisory Board.

The awards recognize “the hard work of Surrey’s business women and their contributions to the community,” according to the business organization.

• READ MORE: Surrey Women in Business Award finalists announced, from Feb. 23.

• ALSO: In 2017, Margaret Trudeau spoke and local women were celebrated, from March 2017.

Six award winners were announced during the event, held on International Women’s Day.

Winner of Entrepreneur category award is Yvonne Hogenes, of Malary’s Fashion Network.

According to a release, Hogenes is the sole proprietor of the businses, which is described as the “go to” destination for trending women’s fashion amid brick and mortar retailers disappearing.

The business now boasts a retail flagship store, along with manufacturing and distribution of the “renowned” TAB Custom-fitted bras and FIRMA Energywear across Canada and the U.S.

The Professional award went to occupational therapist and behaviour consultant Shalini Das, who is owner and founder 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,” notes a SBOT release. “Under Shalini’s guidance, Symbiosis expanded to two more locations in South Surrey and Abbotsford.”

Ingrid Kastens, executive director of Pacific Community Resources Society, was given the Not-for-Profit Leader award.

“Ingrid leads a multi-award winning not-for-profit that works with the most marginalized persons in B.C.,” a SBOT release notes, which adds that previous to her moving into the role, “PCRS’s leadership team was comprised mainly of older Caucasian males.”

Kastens “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.”

The Corporate/Leadership award went to Rowena Rizzotti, vice president of health care and innovations at The 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,” a SBOT release states. “She created the Health and Technology District, a series of high-tech buildings across from Surrey Memorial Hospital and oversees its expansion and growth.”

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 B.C.’s history; a $500 million critical care tower in Surrey.

Elly Morgan, of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, was given the event’s Social Trailblazer award.

“Elly is an expert in the field of leadership development on two levels,” according to a SBOT release. “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.”

The Indigenous Entrepreneur award went to mixed media artist and Semiahmoo First Nation member Roxanne Charles.

A release notes Charles promotes art, language and culture and has more than a decade of experience in Indigenous art and social advocacy.

“Her art includes sculpture, painting, jewelry engraving and weaving,” it adds. “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.”


Former premier Kim Campbell (keynote speaker at the awards) stands with Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman at the Surrey Board of Trade-hosted Women in Business Awards on March 8 at Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel. (Submitted photo)

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