PROFESSIONAL NOMINEES

For dedicating herself to the pursuit of excellence in her chosen career.

Award Presented by:

Megan Furman, Manager Public Relations, Home Hardware

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ELIZABETH-ALLEN

Elizabeth Allan

As the Director of Offsite Food Services for Little Mushroom Catering’s six satellite kitchen locations, Elizabeth is instrumental in fostering a safe space in the kitchen for women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and for those who identify as non-binary. Elizabeth also champions LMC’s rental kitchen program, which primarily sees renters from marginalized communities. Elizabeth not only schedules their time, but also helps them find avenues in which to sell their products, or suggest new packaging or marketing ideas to them. She continues to stay connected to her field by sitting on the Culinary Program Advisory Committee at Conestoga College, where she will help guide the curriculum at the post-secondary level.
Amy Cyr

Amy Cyr

Amy Cyr is an amazing chef who has won the Waterloo Region Record best local Chef Award. Her teaching background helps with her passion and now runs Tiny Home Takeout. She shows her commitment every day by putting in an average of 10-15 hours making sure no person goes without a meal. She runs a kitchen with around 160 volunteers single handedly. She keeps a positive attitude, runs a tight ship and cares deeply about every person and that everyone gets a healthy meal.
Cecilia Johnston

Cecelia Johnston

Cecelia is a young bipoc profession entrepreneur and she demonstrates what it takes to operate a successful local business. She empowers and employs other people within the community and treats them with compassion, respect and dignity. She has won many trophies and awards for recipes she has created herself within food festivals and food shows. She has won Readers choice awards for best place to get a muffin and bread. And top choice award for business of the year. She also does talks within different schools representing young black women in the Waterloo Region.
Shelby Plaskett

Shelby Plaskett

Shelby is the proud owner of Clean & Tidy Inc. and spends much of her time caring for those around her. Her company regularly volunteers at local park cleanups and at the Food Bank. As well, she chooses a local organization for monthly donations. She is a living working wage employer. She offers support, tips, training video, staff meetings, and inspections on cleans. For her clients she provides peace of mind giving them a feeling of not just a clean home but a safe clean, because she uses all natural cleaning products. Her clients can enjoy knowing they hire a company that really cares about the safety and items in their homes.
Amanda Strathearn

Amanda Strathearn

Amanda is a passionate, caring and determined leader of our Scotia Wealth Management office. In addition to being an amazing manager, Amanda also volunteers on the Board for the Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo. Amanda has the unique ability to be very caring and concerned for everyone, while at the same time be laser focused on business results. The combination of the two results in high performance and a great culture. Amanda is an active member and lifelong resident of KW and has worked in the finance and wealth industry for over 25 years. She holds an MBA from the University of Guelph and continues to expand her extensive industry training and education.
TRACY-VALKO

Tracy Valko

Tracy is a strong business and community leader. Her focus and drive have positioned Valko Financial among the top mortgage brokerages in Canada. Even while growing nationally, Tracy’s heart is in the community. During the pandemic she demonstrated resilience and resourcefulness in her outreach activities to continue to support local business owners and homeowners. She took her community spotlights online, and continued efforts with local charities to bring in donations for those in need.
Carla Beharry

Carla Beharry

Carla is a deeply passionate community antiracism educator. She is a brilliant thinker, writer and speaker and dedicated antiracism researcher committed to developing anti-oppressive, somatic, body-based approaches to reducing and eliminating discrimination in education and healthcare settings, and throughout our communities. This is some of the most important healing work of our time, and Carla is at the forefront in leading Waterloo Region toward this vital cultural shift.
Megan Eckhardt

Megan Eckhardt

Megan is an inspirational leader, supportive mentor and dedicated employee. In the male-dominated industry of cybersecurity, she makes a strong impact as the Senior VP, Sales Development, Operations, and Enablement at eSentire, a Canadian-based security company. She handles difficult situations with humility, confidence and poise. In the last two years, as her company underwent large changes, Megan picked up duties for unfilled executive positions to ensure a seamless transition. She has spearheaded several programs during her 7 years with the company, including the development of a co-op hiring program that encourages students in non-technical roles to explore a career in cyber security, hiring many students from local post-secondary schools and motivating other unit heads to do the same.
SUE-MACQUEEN

Susan MacQueen

Sue has been a physiotherapist for 41 years, recently retiring from her role as an Advanced Practice Physiotherapist with the Arthritis Society after 33 years. Her passion has been to develop innovative models of care to improve access to care for people living with arthritis. Sue served as the President of the Arthritis Health Professions Association from 2018-2020, collaborating with professional and patient advocacy groups. She has been awarded the AHPA Extraordinary Service and Lifetime Achievement awards and the Ontario Physiotherapy Association Leadership and Advocacy award. Sue has paved the way for future generations of arthritis health professionals.
ALLANAH-ROBINSON

Alannah Robinson

Alannah is a Senior Learning and Development Specialist at the University of Waterloo. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from UW, and a Master of Arts in Human Systems Intervention from Concordia University. She has over 10 years of experience working at the university where she has made significant contributions to the workplace culture and to the career growth of individuals across campus. Alannah is a passionate facilitator with extensive experience designing and delivering a wide-range of high impact learning experiences and supporting large-scale strategic initiatives within a post-secondary environment. Outside of the university, Alannah is trained in conflict management and mediation and works in the community as a mediator with two local organizations that focus on restorative justice.
Ashley Webber

Ashley Webber

Ashley has dedicated her career to empowering women business owners to thrive, impact the community, and build real client & customer relationships. Ashley is a cheerleader in the sense that she is always looking to encourage & inspire everyone around her whether it's through business partnership or coaching through her marketing agency Bonne Media, her personal social media presence, blog, or YouTube channel. Ashley supported, coached & partnered with dozens of businesses in the community to keep their doors open through the pandemic through pivoting to online engagement with their client’s & community to continue to have an impact, and see business growth.