Announcing the 2023 YMCA Women of Excellence Honourees, Presented by BMO

WOE Honourees 2023

The YMCA of Southwestern Ontario announced the 8 Honourees being recognized as the 2023 YMCA Women of Excellence.

Congratulations to the 2023 Honourees! 

Dr. Lauretta Frederking, Arts, Culture, Education & Training, is recognized as a true leader and a strong women’s advocate ensuring students can access an inclusive and empowering education above all else.   
Deb Matthews, Business and Professions, is recognized for a rapid political rise, building positive, inclusive and engaging work and volunteer cultures in politics, and taking every opportunity to support other women in their own journeys.  
Kathleen Holland, Breaking Barriers, is recognized as a leader and role model in the LGBTQ2+ community, ensuring everyone receives access to equal benefits, fair treatment, and safe spaces in the workplace. She has been a role model to countless women over the past 30 years.  
Allison DeBlaire, Social Justice, is recognized as a determined, inspirational, and empathetic advocate for those living in extreme poverty, and as community connector, Allison develops strong partnerships, mentors many, and transforms lives.  
Karen Fryday-Field, Entrepreneurs, is recognized as a powerful example for female entrepreneurs, working to address governance effectiveness and strategy, enabling results by advancing integrity, prudence, and equity, while sharing her energy and compassion with all. 
Dr. Jackie Schleifer Taylor, Health, Science & Technology, in her role as President and CEO of London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is recognized for her holistic and inclusive vision to think beyond the scope of LHSC as a London organization.   
Dr. Victoria Paraschak, Sport, Fitness & Recreation, is recognized as a leader in teaching a feminist perspective of sport, challenging traditional, gender-based norms in the face of resistance. She champions change to transform culture in sport and education, creating more equity and inclusivity for women.  
Maggie Mac Neil, Young Woman of Excellence, is recognized for her dedication and achievement as one of the world’s best female competitive swimmers, inspiring a new generation of young women by reaching incredible milestones while excelling academically.   

The recipients will be honoured at the YMCA Women of Excellence Gala on May 16 at RBC Place London. Over the past 39 years, the Y has celebrated the achievement of 128 women who have made outstanding contributions in the fields of arts, business, education, sport, science, breaking barriers, and social justice. Each of the women embody excellence in their field to the highest degree, and the Y’s belief in development of spirit, mind, and body as well as service to others.   

The YMCA of Southwestern Ontario will select 100 young women to be part of the Young Women of Excellence program, allowing access to gala free of charge. 

Tickets for the gala on May 16 are $175 per seat, or $1750 per table of 10.  

Funds raised from this event directly support the YMCA Community Starts Here campaign, helping to create opportunities so no one in our communities gets left behind.