2024 Women of Distinction Awards

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2017 Winners
2018 Winners
2023 Winners
2024 Nominees
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A Gala Event Honouring Women

The Women of Distinction Awards celebrate the unwavering dedication and remarkable achievements of women who have profoundly shaped our society. These awards serve to highlight the importance of female leadership and the incredible strides made toward progress and innovation. By recognizing these exemplary individuals, we not only honour their contributions but also inspire future generations to continue this legacy of excellence and impact.

Save The Date

YWCA’s Women of Distinction Gala

Your presence at the gala ensures not only a glamorous night but also meaningful support for initiatives that uplift and empower women. Save the date for this special occasion, where we honour and recognize the achievements of extraordinary women while making a difference in the lives of many through the YWCA’s vital programs.

Event Information

Empowering Women

Join us to celebrate the magnificent Women of Westman at our Women of Distinction Gala. All proceeds go towards YWCA programs.

Award Categories

Award recipients are recognized within nine distinct categories, with nominees potentially fitting into several categories. However, they may only receive an award in one category each year. Judges reserve the right to determine the most appropriate category for each winner based on the nominations received.

Agriculture

Nominate visionaries in the agricultural sector who not only champion sustainable farming practices but also lead innovative advancements that set new standards for environmental stewardship and food security.

Arts, Culture, Design

Recognize cultural luminaries who not only preserve and promote the richness of our arts but also forge new paths in artistic expression, enriching our societal fabric with creativity and heritage.

Business Leadership, Entrepreneur

Endorse trailblazing women in business who are redefining the essence of leadership, merging economic success with ethical practices, and mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Community Leadership, Social Action

Celebrate the compassionate leaders who are making a significant difference in our communities, advocating for social justice, and providing support to those in need through tireless community service.

Healthy Living, Recreation, Wellness

Applaud the advocates of healthy living who are dedicated to promoting wellness, encouraging active lifestyles, and fostering holistic health practices in the community.

Education, Mentorship

Advocate for the educators and academic pioneers who are transforming the landscape of learning, by not only imparting knowledge but also inspiring a lifelong passion for education.

Science, Technology, Trade

Acknowledge the innovators and experts in the STEM fields who are not only pushing the boundaries of science and technology but also paving the way for women in trades and technical disciplines.

Young Trailblazers 17 and Under

Propel forward the young leaders who are already making significant impacts, demonstrating that age is no barrier to influencing and inspiring their peers with their visions for a better community.

Young Woman of Distinction 18 – 25 Years

Recognize the 18 to 25-year-olds stepping out to shape the world, leading with passion and innovation, and making significant contributions to their fields or communities.

Lifetime Achievement

This award honours women who are 55 years or older who have made significant and varied contributions to the community in any of the Women of Distinction categories. She is a role model who has tirelessly contributed to the community in many ways, for many years, as an advocate, volunteer and/or mentor. She exhibits strength, wisdom, and character that serve as an inspiration to those around her.

Meet Our 2024 Recipients and Nominees

To all the recipients and nominees of the 2024 YWCA Women of Distinction, congratulations! Your family, friends, and community are immensely proud of each and every one of you.

Congratulations

Laura McDougald-Williams
Recipient : Agriculture

Congratulations

Katy Martin
Recipient : Arts, Culture, Design

Congratulations

Tracy Baker & Angela Chambers
Recipients : Business Leadership, Entrepreneur

Congratulations

Tanya LaBuick
Recipient : Community Leadership, Social Action

Congratulations

Catherine Arnold
Recipient : Healthy Living, Recreation & Wellness

Congratulations

Susie McPherson Derendy
Recipient : Education Mentorship Award

Kerri Malazdrewicz

Congratulations

Raya Turner
Recipient : Science, Technology, Trade Award

Congratulations

Jordan-Blayne Bjornsson
Recipient : Young Trailblazers 17 and under Award

Congratulations

Madeline Johnson
Recipient : Young Women of Distinction 18-25 Years Award

Akunna Imoh Chidera

Congratulations

Wendy Bulloch
Recipient : Lifetime Achievement Award

Marilyn Palmer

Highlights from the 2024 Women of Distinction Awards Show

YWCA Westman was pleased to host 39 Nominees, their friends, families, and colleagues at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium on May 14, 2024. This event was contributed to by many female entrepreneurs, artists, and volunteers, celebrating the contributions and accomplishments of women from around southwestern Manitoba.

Laura McDougald-Williams

Laura McDougald-Williams Laura McDougald-Williams is passionate about agriculture both as a farmer and a lawyer. She co-manages a grain operation with her husband Dustin with a focus on sustainability and environmental stewardship, earning them the title of Manitoba’s Outstanding Young Farmers.
A Partner at Meighen Haddad LLP, Laura is a sought-after agriculture advisor and presenter on succession planning and risk management. She has presented at the Farm Women’s Conference and Ag Days and has been featured in Country Guide and Canadian Lawyer. Laura is currently the Vice-Chair of Manitoba’s Outstanding Young Farmers and is a member of the Canadian Association of Farm Advisors.

 

Roberta Galbraith

Roberta Galbraith, a fifth-generation farmer and passionate advocate for farmer wellness, brings over three decades of diverse experience to RNR Galbraith Farms. With 16 years in agricultural finance, 16 years leading a not-for-profit, and nine years with a commodity organization, she balanced work with raising five children and managing a first-generation family farm. A graduate of the University of Manitoba Agriculture Diploma program, she champions continuous improvement and opportunity. A founding member of the Manitoba Farmer Wellness Program, she fosters mental health support. She believes in the power of collaboration and innovation to overcome challenges and achieve success in farming and beyond.

Dana Maxwell

Dana Maxwell is the leader of Ag-Quest, a wife, and mother to two young children. She believes in community, in supporting others, and in integrity. Dana has significantly contributed to the Canadian agricultural industry as Chair of the Prairie Recommending Committee for Wheat, Rye and Triticale and by delivering inspiring and informative presentations at various industry conferences and events. Dana is an ambassador for agriculture and encourages youth to explore the industry. Dana values her home rural community of Minto and hopes that her contributions have a positive impact on the community to ensure its vibrant future. Dana is currently the Secretary for the Minto Nursery School Board, and the Chair of the Minto and Area Philanthropic Committee. Dana is an active volunteer in the community and intends to raise her family to have her shared values.

Janelle Vachon Lach

Janelle Vachon Lach lives on a cattle/grain farm operation north of Plumas, where she farms with her husband and his parents. In 2021 she started a market garden business called Mad Dog Produce. After spending 5 years working for another market garden, she decided to start her own operation that is now entering its fourth season in operation. She also raises chickens and ducks for meat and eggs. Janelle loves animals and is blessed to have a farm full of them including two big pups, five cats, two horses and a mini mule. Her winters are spent curling on the semi-competitive circuit and summers are spent with her hands in the dirt.

Katy Martin

Katy is a Mom, a Loss Mom, a Wife, an Artist, an Entrepreneur and an Educator. Born and raised in Northern ON, she developed a love for art as far back as she can remember. Katy attended the University of Guelph and earned a bachelor’s degree in fine art, while soon after receiving a degree in Education. She now lives and works as an art teacher and Visual Artist in Neepawa, MB. Inspired by light, surprising colour combinations, and deep meaning, her goal is to infuse these elements and form works that speak to the light in us all. Whether Katy is creating life-sized human tape sculpture installations, or ethereal landscape paintings, or publishing a book, the most common themes that pop up throughout her work are themes of nature, resiliency, loss, beauty, and united social progression.

Kaitlyn Mitchell

Kaitlyn has loved the performing arts her entire life and it is told that she sang before she talked. After graduating from high school in Baldur, Kaitlyn went on to study business and graduated from Brandon University with a major in Business Administration and minor in Philosophy. For 10 years she built a career in private sector accounting supporting a multitude of Westman businesses. In February 2023 Kaitlyn started her next chapter as General Manager of the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium where she can combine her childhood passion and career knowledge to build her dream job.

Monique Roy- Keller

Monique has been a dancer since she began to walk. Monique started Steppin’ Time Dance Studio in the Fall of 1995 and has fostered the growth of the studio to the largest in Brandon with more than 400+ active students. Monique has generously shared her talents as a teacher and choreographer with more than a decade of Neelin High School, Mecca Productions and now Crocus Plains High School. Many young performers have developed their talent and confidence under Monique’s guidance. Monique’s unique, nurturing approach allows performers of all ages and levels of experience to discover the love of dance, to develop confidence in their abilities and to shine on stage! It is her role as mother to Ruby and Rhodes, and wife to Richard, that brings her most joy and of which she is most proud.

Leanne Zacharias

Cellist Leanne Zacharias is an interdisciplinary artist and educator who collaborates with composers, songwriters, architects, and artists of all stripes. Once in the Houston Symphony Orchestra, she evolved toward more adventurous creative work and her unique immersive concerts in museums, galleries, chimneys, stairwells, rowboats, and other unorthodoxsites have been presented around the world. An energetic teacher, she adjudicates throughout Canada, the US, and Mexico. On faculty at BU’s School of Music, she has been a juror for the Juno Awards, Canada Council for the Arts and lectured at New York’s Parsons Design School, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Banff Centre for Arts. Her solo album Music for Spaces appears on Redshift Records.

Tracy Baker

Since 1997, Tracy Baker, CFP, RRC, has built a successful financial planning practice founded on trust, commitment, and honesty. She is known for translating clients’ objectives into unique, flexible financial plans. Balancing her career with family life, Tracy pursued further education, earning her Certified Financial Planner designation along with other Financial Planning credentials. Tracy is the host for the Professional Networking Group for Women in Westman who meet regularly to network, share experiences and educate one another on a topic of their choice. Married to Shawn and mother of two grown children, Tracy is deeply involved in her community, notably through her work with the CFS Foundation, ACC Foundation Board, and the Rotary Wine Festival committee.

Angela Chamber

Angie Chambers is the founder and chef de cuisine at Chez Angela Bakery and Café. She is married to her husband of nearly 25 years, and proud mother of three children. Starting from a booth at a farmers’ market in 2017, she has grown her business to a staff of 27 that operates 7 days a week with a focus on local-first and from-scratch baking. Her local establishment is part of a resurgence in Brandon’s downtown, where it contributes to local service organizations and builds a space for community groups to meet. She is a graduate of both Brandon University’s Business Admin program as well as Manitoba’s Institute of Culinary Arts at ACC.

Whitney Sharkey

Whitney grew up in The Pas and moved to Brandon in 2005. She graduated from Brandon University in 2010 and completed her CA designation in 2012. Whitney puts high priority on volunteering in the community and she holds board positions for many non-profits. In her spare time, she can be found at the gym, outside in her garden or spending time with her husband and two daughters. At 35 years old Whitney left her position at a large national accounting firm to join a smaller firm called Accent CPA and open an office in Brandon where she continues to help clients with accounting and tax advisory services.

Tammy Thompson- Nadeau

Tammy Thompson Nadeau, a member of Pine Creek First Nation recently achieved a significant career milestone. After five years as a Finance Manager at Murray Chevrolet, Tammy was promoted to General Manager of Marshall Motors. Becoming the first female Indigenous General Manager in Westman after a successful 28 years in finance. She established her own financial consulting company in 2023, “Tammy in Brandon.” Through this venture, she educates individuals about credit and financial management. Tammy’s commitment to community service led her to join the Brandon Urban Aboriginal Council, advocating for reconciliation and promoting understanding of Indigenous peoples within the Brandon community.

Sarah Ferguson

Sarah Ferguson joined the CU system in 2011 as an ACC summer student at Westoba Credit Union. After finding success as a coach and leader, she took on a new challenge earlier this year as a Fintech Implementation Coordinator at Innovation Federal Credit Union. Sarah is passionate about mentoring and collaborating with other young leaders and was recognized with the CCUA National Young Leader Award in 2023. She also volunteers her time to JA Canada, promoting financial literacy and success skills with local high school students. At their home in Brandon and their summer camping spot, Sarah loves being outdoors with her husband Daniel, and their boys, Bowie and Berkley.

Diane Finley

Diane Finley is part owner and the managing partner of Vanish Skin Clinic. Starting out in this industry at age 19 as a hairstylist and opening Haven Salon and Spa when she was 25. Diane has always loved working with clients and helping them feel good about themselves. In 2019 she merged Haven with Vanish Skin Clinic. At this point Diane decided to step back from doing hair and focus entirely on running and managing Vanish. In 2020 Diane and her business partner bought Simple Solutions, which brought them an experienced Nurse Injector. Most recently they have relocated to a new location in Downtown Brandon. They are so excited about the new space and can’t wait for you all to come see!

Jillian Nesbitt

Jillian Nesbitt is a mother, mental health advocate, and co-creator of girl., a women’s clothing boutique based in Brandon, MB. She has an extensive background in the social services – including the Winnipeg Children’s Access Agency, The Children’s Advocate, and Child & Family Services – and currently works as a Mediation Practitioner with Lighthouse Wellness Clinic. A people person, Jill believes in the power of connection & community, and that it’s the little moments that make a juicy life. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Jill moved to Brandon in 2014. She enjoys dinner parties, sunny days, heart-to-heart, and adventures with husband Ryan and daughter Kennedy.

Dr. Archana Krishnan

Dr. Archana Krishnan is a passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) with half a decade of experience in the financial industry. As Manager of Business Intelligence at Stride Credit Union, she champions initiatives that empower emerging leaders and promote cultural awareness. Archana is Chair of Credit Union Young Leaders of Manitoba, where she leads efforts to inspire and empower young professionals. She is dedicated to breaking barriers for first-generation immigrants and women of color, fostering a more inclusive and equitable future. Archana’s commitment to community engagement, driving meaningful change, and amplifying underrepresented voices has earned her recognition as a youth leader in business leadership.

Tanya LaBuick

Tanya LaBuick, Owner of LaBuick & Co. has 31 years’ experience in project management and is a globally certified Project Management Professional (PMP). At 25 Tanya was managing budgets over 250K, and by the age of 30 she managed the operational delivery of an Olympic and Paralympic Look program with a budget of over 14 million, a team of twenty, and over 25 subcontractors. In 2018, Tanya became an equity partner in both CW2 Construction and Design Ltd., and Guardian Fencing Ltd where she fulfills the role of Chief Operating Officer. Tanya is trained in leadership, change management, and negotiation. Tanya believes in passion and performance, kindness, and loyalty. She also believes her pup Cash, cats Molii and Lenii, peanut butter M&M’s, and purple pens are the keys to happiness

Cally Brown

Cally Brown grew up in Rapid City, MB, and found her way back to this small town after travelling through post secondary education. Cally is a teacher in this area, as well as a mother of four children. She is an active member of her community by being part of the Rapid City & Area Daycare board, the Nursery School board, the Rapid City & Area Lions Club, and an active member of the Rec Hockey program to provide volunteer hours and services to meet the needs of her community.

Alyssa Wowchuk

Born and raised in Brandon, Aly Wowchuk (she/her) has two major passions -advocating for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and local history. Aly volunteers with several organizations like Bee City Brandon, BUAPC, Brandon Pride, and the United Way. She loves animals and has been a long-time volunteer with Brandon Humane Society. She has been part of projects that help preserve and showcase the history of Brandon. Aly is a proud queer woman and has enjoyed her time with Brandon Pride and she’s especially excited for this year’s Pride Week and observing the 20th anniversary of same-sex marriage being legalized in Manitoba.

Kayla Gillis

Kayla grew up in the small community of Oakburn, MB. At a very young age she started volunteering within the community with the local 4-H group, Ukrainian Dancing group and other organizations. After graduation she attended ACC in Brandon and obtained her Diploma in Agribusiness. With over 17 years of experience in the Agricultural and Finance industries Kayla currently is employed with RBC. She resides in Dauphin with her Husband Tyson. In her spare time she can be found on her husbands family farm in the combine, gardening or cooking or spending countless hours volunteering. She has recently received the Global Citizen Award and Community Leadership Award.

Shannon Chapman

Passionate advocate for animal welfare and military family support, Shannon Chapman is a co-founder of One At A Time Rescue (OAAT) and a driving force behind the Teal Up campaign. With OAAT, Shannon has spearheaded efforts to provide essential resources and support for vulnerable orphan animals, while Teal Up celebrates and empowers Canadian military children nationwide. Through innovative initiatives and dedicated leadership, Shannon is committed to making a positive impact in the community, promoting resilience, compassion, and support for all.

Jennifer Watson

Jennifer Watson was born and raised in Brandon and has always been an active participant in the community. She is the current Executive Director for Brandon First, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing events to Brandon and the Secretary-Treasurer and Volunteer Coordinator for the Salamander Summer Music Festival. Jenn is also a piano teacher, painter, and cross stitch artist, who loves to spend time with her husband Dane and 12-year-old son Dade.

Catherine Arnold

Catherine Arnold is a devoted and empathetic counselor dedicated to assisting individuals in navigating life’s complexities. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and boasting over twenty years of experience, Catherine has adeptly guided numerous clients in surmounting personal challenges and enhancing their mental well-being. Her therapeutic approach centers on empathy, attentive listening, and cultivating a supportive environment for self-discovery. Catherine firmly believes in the resilience of each person and is unwavering in her commitment to empowering clients to lead enriching and purposeful lives. Outside of her professional endeavors, she finds joy in activities such as hiking, crocheting, volunteering and cherishing moments with her family.

Chelsea McCrimmon

Chelsea is a certified yoga teacher (RYT 500). She owns a studio, Luna Muna, attached to her home in Brandon, where she offers group and private classes. She believes firmly in the power of yoga as a means of healing people on both a physical and mental level. She loves to show people that the practice is available to anybody, regardless of any perceived limitations. She likens yoga to a tool that can be added to the “toolbox” that we carry through life. Not only does it promote flexibility and strength in the body, but also the mind.

Mattie Braden

Mattie Braden has been a fitness instructor in the Brandon community since 1994, mostly in a volunteer capacity at the Brandon Family YMCA. Having taught a variety of group fitness class formats over the past several years, she enjoys encouraging and supporting others in their journey towards having an active lifestyle. Mattie shares two beautiful daughters with her husband, Troy, and works as a school counsellor in Brandon School Division.

Whitney Roberts

Whitney is the owner/operator of Tour Fit Club, a spin, yoga, and pilates studio located in Brandon, MB. Together with her husband, Whitney founded the studio in 2016. A graduate of ACC and a certified spin, yoga, and pilates instructor, Whitney is deeply passionate about movement and wellness and finds joy in helping others discover the same. She is committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and empowerment within her team and community at Tour. Beyond the studio, Whitney enjoys spending time with her husband, two young sons, and their two dogs

Susie McPherson Derendy

Susan is a sister, cousin, auntie, mother, grandmother and friend and relative to many. Born and raised in Churchill MB along the banks of the Churchill River, calling Brandon home for 38 years. A Cree Knowledge Keeper at the Indigenous Peoples Centre at Brandon University, member of the Indigenous Education Senate Sub Committee and Knowledge Keeper at Assiniboine Community College where she sits on the Indigenous Education Advisory Circle, Susan is a lifelong learner committed to Truth and Reconciliation. She has been on the Indigenous Education Senate Sub Committee at BU and is committed to a balanced education. There is a western worldview knowledge system and there is an Indigenous worldview knowledge system…adding that we would do well to learn from both

Kerri Malazdrewicz

Born in Carman, MB and educated at the University of Manitoba and Brandon University, Kerri is a high school social science teacher in Brandon, MB, teaching in the Brandon School Division for 17 years. She is a teacher advisor for her high school’s student council and travel club, which has led to her role as President for the Manitoba Student Leadership Association and many amazing trips with students to the Canadian Student Leadership Conferences in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. She has also escorted students overseas on numerous adventures as well. Kerri is a wife and mother to 2 busy boys, and currently spends her spare time as a Beaver Scouter for Brandon Scouts Group. If you have ever attended a Touch-A-Truck Brandon event or took part in Westman Love Local Bingo, you have Kerri to thank for those ideas (and the many amazing people that helped her pull them off)!

Raya Turner

Raya Turner is a Métis woman from Brandon, MB, who recently completed her Honours Bachelor of Science. She is excited to begin her Master of Science degree at BU performing biological research. Raya is passionate about scientific learning and promoting our natural curiosities about life and nature. She is an outreach co-coordinator for BU’s Let’s Talk Science group, a national charitable organization that promotes learning opportunities for youth in the community. Raya is proud to be a woman in science and hopes to empower other women and girls who are interested in STEM within our community.

Christy Wood

Christy grew up on a farm near Cypress River, MB. She graduated highschool at Glenboro, MB on a Friday, moved to Brandon over the weekend, began working as a vehicle detailer/cleaner and started the Automotive pre-employment the following fall. In a class of 12 students, only 2 were females. She was signed on for an Apprenticeship and had the privilege to be mentored by Mr. Isaac Wall and worked alongside Mrs. Chantelle Yeo for a period of time. Mr. Wall passed in 2013. In 2014 Christy seized the opportunity to become co-owner of One Stop Repair.

Heather Thomas

Heather was mainly raised in Forrest, MB and attended elementary and high school there. After high school, she attended post-secondary school, worked part-time, and enjoyed volunteering a few nights a week. After the birth of her twin sons in 2016, she joined her husband and brother-in-law’s construction company as an Office Manager. In 2020, Heather took over the safety program and fell in love with the safety industry. In September 2023, she started her own safety consulting company and has enjoyed meeting clients, working with industry professionals, and continuing her professional development.

Katie Peters

Katie Peters is the General Manager at Alair Homes Brandon and within that role, she oversees and executes the strategic marketing plan and culture strategy, manages the company’s policies and procedures, and offers training on those to every employee. Her role further developed this past year into providing operational support within the company-internally and externally, as well as maintaining brand and overall compliance. She also provides oversight and management of both the Company’s COR Safety program and the Warranty Management Program. Wearing multiple hats, Katie works directly with the Partners of the company to help achieve strong company health on all levels.

Danielle Isfeld

Danielle Isfeld is currently entering her fifth year of study within her double major chemistry and biology undergraduate degree at Brandon University. Under the supervision of Dr. Michael Charette, she dedicates her research to a rare genetic disorder of ribosome biogenesis known as Bowen-Conradi Syndrome, predominantly characterized by an infant’s inability to thrive. Throughout her final year of undergraduate studies, Danielle will continue to advance in her research throughout the completion of an honours thesis program and continue to seek new roles influencing pediatric care and developing her passions and aspirations of pediatric medicine.

Heather Dodds

Heather grew up in Brandon, then got her Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) degree at the University of Manitoba. She is married with 3 children, who are almost all grown. Leveraging her experience in business and IT, she led her team to deliver solutions that meet the unique needs of MNP. Heather is particularly passionate about change management and strategic alignment, which she sees as critical components of successful project implementation. Through strong communication skills and ability to build relationships with stakeholders, she ensures that the solutions delivered align with the business goals and objectives of their Firm. Heather takes pride in fostering a collaborative and inclusive work environment that values diversity and encourages teamwork.

Jordan-Blayne Bjornsson

Jordan-Blayne Bjornsson is in Grade 11 at Neelin High School in Brandon and is very involved at school and in the community. She is on many committees at school including being head photographer of Neelin Yearbook, Secretary of Choir Executive Council and a volunteer in the beginner dance class in her spare. In the community she has volunteered with Westman Dreams for Kids, United Way and is the volunteer choreographer for Westman Drama Ministries. She shows leadership through development teaching and inspiring young people through dance and the love of performance. Her leadership skills and dedication are evident in all she does!

Madeline Johnson

Madeline Johnson, a determined nineteen-year-old from Forrest, Manitoba is currently enrolled in psychology studies at Brandon University, where she juggles her academic pursuits with a multitude of roles in her community (teaching piano, organizing youth events, tutoring and childcare programs) and has devoted several years to youth basketball programs. Beyond that, Madeline prioritizes many other roles in her life, including her passion for photography and her career as a model, where she is represented by several international agencies. With a zest for life and an ambitious heart, Madeline inspires those around her with boundless energy and unwavering commitment to making a difference.

Akunna Imoh Chidera

Akunna Imoh, an immigrant from Nigeria, is a passionate advocate for mental health and community empowerment. With a background in psychology from Brandon University and a heart for service, she has dedicated herself to supporting vulnerable populations and promoting well-being. As a leader in Brandon University’s Peer Wellness Educator Program and the Canadian Red Cross’s Friendly Calls Program, she fosters connections and provides resources to those in need. Her commitment to diversity and inclusion drives her efforts to empower women of color and promote positive change within her community. Akunna is a beacon of resilience and compassion, inspiring others to thrive.

Wendy Bulloch

Wendy grew up on a farm in Southwestern Manitoba. She is a graduate of the Faculty of Home Economics and has a Certificate in Adult and Continuing Education from the University of Manitoba and a Certificate in Leadership from the University of Saskatchewan. A proud Mom and Grandma. A resident of Brandon for 38 years. Wendy has enjoyed many amazing learning opportunities in her career. She has been recognized as a “process builder” to people and organizations. Her favorite poem The Road Not Taken, has been her mantra.

Marilyn Palmer

How do you put 45 years of philanthropism into a 100 words? Marilyn has since age 20 been actively involved either in or designing youth programs. In her younger years she was involved with the Young Women’s program in her church, building character and promoting life goals. Being a leader within Scouting saw her promoting a love of nature and development of leadership skills. Since then she has turned her love of horses to the youth and families through her riding school, youth volunteer program and mental health wellness programs.