Julia Chung, left, and Balbir Kaur Gurm are among winners of 2021 YWCA Women of Distinction Awards. (submitted photos)

Julia Chung, left, and Balbir Kaur Gurm are among winners of 2021 YWCA Women of Distinction Awards. (submitted photos)

Two Surrey-area women among YWCA’s Distinction award winners for 2021

38th annual awards saw more than 500 guests gather online Monday

Two Surrey-area women are among 13 recipients of 2021 YWCA Women of Distinction Awards, presented by Scotiabank on Monday evening (June 7) during a virtual event.

Balbir Kaur Gurm won Community Champion and Connecting the Community Award, and Julia Chung earned Entrepreneurship & Innovation honours.

The 38th annual awards saw more than 500 guests gather online for the organization’s second virtual awards event.

Gurm is the founder and chair of Network to Eliminate Violence in Relationships (NEVR), and a professor with the faculty of health at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

“Dr. Gurm started the grassroots, interdisciplinary group in 2011 and has grown to more than 200 members from more than 100 participating organizations, groups and individual members,” says an awards bio posted to ywcavan.org. “Dr. Gurm’s book, Making Sense of a Global Pandemic: Relationship Violence and Working Together Towards a Violence Free Society, was published in 2020 and includes multiple perspectives and resources to provide a comprehensive overview of relationship violence. It serves as an online platform and living resource. As a Nursing Professor, Dr. Gurm is a role model for nursing students. She introduces the concepts of violence being a community issue and facilitates nursing students to participate in community activities within their classes.”

Chung is CEO and co-founder of two women-owned and women-led organizations, Spring Plans and Admin Slayer.

“Both companies are structured to allow women to work flexibly and remotely, allowing them to learn, support their families and live outside of major cities, while still growing, developing and taking on impactful roles within the administrative professional and financial planning industries,” says a bio. “She co-founded two non-profit organizations, Advice Only Financial Planners’ Forum and Financial Planning Association of Canada, that support the professionalization and diversification of the financial planning industry. Julia is a board director with the Family Enterprise Xchange, which supports family businesses and the professional advisors who work with them. She has co-authored three ebooks, while being recognized in mainstream media as an expert in business and personal finance.”

Other award winners this year are Nadine Westerbarkey (Arts, Culture, Design), Joy MacPhail (Business & the Professions), Jo-ann Archibald – Q’um Q’um Xiiem (Education, Training, & Development), Melina Scholefield (Environmental Sustainability), Serena Kassam (Health & Wellness), Armin Amrolia (Non-profit), Sheryl Lightfoot (Reconciliation in Action), Noorjean Hassam (Reconciliation in Action – Indigenous Ally), Stephanie Simmons (Research, The Sciences & Technology), Eloise Moss (Young Woman of Distinction) and Clio (Outstanding Workplace).

Since 1984, YWCA Metro Vancouver has paid tribute to more than 330 award recipients and more than 1,950 nominees.

Nominations for the 39th annual YWCA Women of Distinction Awards presented by Scotiabank are now open at ywcavan.org/woda-nominate.


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