Arts & Culture
Angela Onuora is an award-winning filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist based in Waterloo Region. She is a first-generation Nigerian immigrant to Canada, and a mother to three dynamic young children, one of whom is on the Autism spectrum. Angela embraces resiliency and a passion for equity and inclusion, fueling her mission to ensure that all people experience a culturally vibrant, inclusive, empowered, and engaged Waterloo Region. Through her work in film and the arts, she showcases and empowers others to share stories of underrepresented and racialized people to raise awareness and shed light on their abilities to overcome, and inspire others.
Monica is a lifelong advocate of building community and providing care. Throughout her over 50-year career and through her volunteer work, Monica has made an undeniable impact on people. Monica’s volunteer work spans all facets of her community including the Breakfast Club, the Alzheimer’s Society, and Community Support Connections, as well as private citizens for whom Monica provides day-to-day care. In 2018, she coordinated Conestoga’s United Way campaign, which raised over $39,000 in one month, receiving the Rising Star Award from United Way Waterloo Region Communities. Now retired, Monica works part-time at Conestoga as a Standardized Patient for the School of Health & Life Sciences.
Entrepreneur Under 40
A multi-venture founder, local tech leader, and passionate women’s health advocate who has inspired many, Rachel Bartholomew is a powerhouse on the Waterloo Region entrepreneurship scene. Rachel has transformed herself from a soft-spoken young woman of promise to a profoundly courageous and entrepreneurial leader who is making significant contributions to women’s health and the Waterloo Region. Rachel’s personal experience with cervical cancer inspired her to create Hyivy Health, a Waterloo venture that provides and advocates for patient-centred pelvic health care services.
Entrepreneur Over 40
Jolene is a life-long entrepreneur opening her first business at 12 years old, selling homemade arts and crafts and flowers roadside at the family cottage. Today, Jolene leads a team of accessibility champions at her company, Accessibrand, empowering and educating other companies to integrate accessibility into their business operations. Jolene’s business model is about creating equitable access for all and meaningful work for professionals with disabilities. Jolene supports the success of others through value alignment and leading by example. Making a positive difference and being passionate about the work she is doing, is what motivates Jolene as an entrepreneur.
Community Support Connections'
Community Support Connections (CSC) is a non-profit organization that promotes the health of the whole person through our support services. Using a client-centred approach we offer personalized care to help people to live a healthy life in the comfort of their homes. The CSC Exercise Team is comprised of a group of 15 women who provide the Virtual Exercise Program. These ladies daily exude joy, enthusiasm, kindness, commitment, and know how. One can easily feel that each person is noticed, welcomed, accepted, valued and loved. They create intentional relationships and mutuality with all of us while providing gentle exercises that target all ages and ability levels.
Health & Wellness
Marian is a compassionate, innovative community leader who has dedicated her 27-year career to advocating for individuals struggling with substance use, alcoholism, and mental health in Waterloo Region. She currently serves as the Addictions Clinical Supervisor at Porchlight, having worked with those experiencing homelessness in Cambridge since the 1990s. Marian has diligently spent the last two decades building Cambridge Addiction Services, which includes two Recovery Homes providing supportive recovery living for up to 15 individuals at a time. Marian meets people where they are, and through a person-centred approach, helps them learn to believe in themselves again.
Professional Under 40
Chef Amy Cyr is the Kitchen Project Coordinator and Chef for Tiny Home Takeout, a non-profit organization removing the social barriers associated with food insecurity for those in the region by providing them access to restaurant-quality food at no cost. Amy has built and expanded the program to include partnering with Going Mobile and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. She has cultivated a team of 170+ volunteers with a positive work culture and brought food insecurity and poverty to the forefront of regional conversation.
Professional Over 40
Clarice Ward is a multi-career construction professional and 17-year industry veteran. Currently an independent contractor, Clarice is an advocate for the extensive opportunities within the Canadian Construction industry. Prior to emerging into construction/ account management, Clarice worked on construction sites for a decade completing the carpentry apprenticeship and in high-rise site health & safety. Clarice was the first woman to receive the prestigious Premier’s Award in 2019 for the Apprenticeship category; Colleges Ontario’s highest honour and was recently named Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Skills Ontario.
For the past 26 years, Sandra Henein has created legacies in the music industry, with a focus on Racialized communities. As Marketing Director for The JUNO Awards and Canwest, she helped launch 91.5 The Beat and created “Beat Rocks the Block,” a free outdoor concert in downtown Kitchener. Other notable achievements include an “Artists Against Bullying” program in local schools, The Mel Brown Music Festival, and “Black Exposed,” Canada’s only prime time FM radio with all Black Canadian artists on 98.5 CKWR.
Dinah Davis originally planned to become a math teacher at her high school guidance counsellor's suggestion because that’s what girls who are good at math do, right?! While at university to become a teacher, Dinah discovered her passion was in computer science and cybersecurity. This led her to a 20-year career in technology. Dinah has overcome many challenges over the years. She has become a fierce advocate for women in technology and an active member of the women in the tech community within the Waterloo Region. In 2015 she founded Codelikeagirl.io, an online publication focused on changing perceptions of Women in Technology.
Young Adult (14-23)
As a first-generation Canadian, Rachel is currently completing her undergraduate degree in health studies with a minor in gerontology at the University of Waterloo. Rachel is an exceptional role model who consistently uses her talents and time to volunteer in her local and international communities. Among her many accomplishments, Rachel is known in her communities for creating belonging, advocating for equality, and advancing opportunities for health and wellness. In 2021, Rachel received the prestigious Okafor-Ogbujiagba Award at the University of Waterloo, recognizing her leadership and advocacy around African equity on and off campus. She is currently the Director of Advocacy and Education for the Racial Advocacy for Inclusion, Solidarity and Equity (RAISE) group at the University of Waterloo.
Arts & Culture - Betty Anne Keller
Community Service - Nadine Green
Entrepreneur - Donna Litt
Group Achievement - Canadian Federation of University Women Kitchener-Waterloo (CFUW K-W)
Health & Wellness - Rachel Radyk (WaabanoKwe)
Lifetime Achievement - Vickie Murray
Professional - Susan MacQueen
STEAM - Adele Newton
Young Adult - Sarah Odinotski
Arts & Culture - Jayme Armstrong
Community Service - Julie Sawatzky
Entrepreneur - Jill Zappitelli
Health & Wellness - Dr. Linda Leee
Lifetime Achievement - Donna Dubie
Professional - Jennifer Gordon
STEAM - Sherry Shannon-Vanstone
Young Adult - Fatmia Awan
Arts & Culture - Nicole Guse
Community Service - Jane Tuer
Entrepreneur - Ada Barlatt
Group Achievement - Coalition of Muslim Women of KW
Health & Wellness - Jackie Gerlach
Lifetime Achievement - Joan Driver
Professional - Wendi Campbell
Sports & Recreation - Loren Gabel
STEAM - Dr. Hilary Bergsieker
Young Adult - Meena Waseem
Arts & Culture Hilary - Gauld-Camilleri
Community Service - Nancy Koebel
Entrepreneur Diane - Matyas
Group Achievement - Zonta Club of K-W
Health & Wellness - Tara Hebblethwaite
Lifetime Achievement - Brenda Halloran
Professional - Margaret Brockett
Sports & Recreation - Alyssa Lagonia
STEAM - Carol Leaman
Young Adult - Chloe Jang
Arts & Culture - Nancy Regehr
Community Service - Tracy Shonk-Lacey
Entrepreneur - Jennifer Knapp
Group Achievement - SHORE Centre
Health & Wellness - Mary Mueller
Lifetime Achievement - Linda Fabi
Professional - Dr. Diana Parry
Sports & Recreation - Rhonda-Marie Parke
Young Adult - Maggie Sutherland
STEM - Dr. Julie Biedermann
Arts & Culture - Rebecca Short
Community Service - Georgia Cunningham
Entrepreneur - Lina Shamoun
Group Achievement - Best Friends of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Waterloo Region
Health & Wellness - Laura Callum
Lifetime Achievement - Ann Bilodeau
Professional - Cynthia Davis
Sports & Recreation - Kaitlyn Weaver
Young Adult - Nooran AbuMazen
STEM - Dr. Shohin Ghose