YMCA Women of Excellence
The YMCA Women of Excellence Awards is a unique event hosted every two years by the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario. All proceeds from this event support the YMCA Strong Kids campaign, ensuring everyone has access to YMCA programs and services regardless of their ability to pay. It is one of the many ways the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario fulfills its goal of developing spirit, mind and body in people of all backgrounds, beliefs and abilities in our community.
2021 Award Honourees:
Arts, Culture, Education & Training
Sponsored by TD
Recognizes impactful contributions to the creative arts, culture, or heritage in the community; or leadership in education through teaching, research, training and development or alternative learning programs.
Michele Beaudoin, Arts, Culture, Education & Training, is recognized as a champion in higher education for her advocacy work and empowerment of future leaders, and as a driver for change through her extensive contributions in community service.
Business & Professions
Sponsored by PwC
Recognizes achievement in a business or profession in the public, private or non-profit sector.
Michelle Baldwin, Business and Professions, is recognized for her commitment as a social innovator and community connector. She is congratulated as a change-maker and sought after nationally for her visionary leadership.
NEW! Breaking Barriers
Sponsored by Scotiabank
Recognizes a self-identified woman of colour, LGBTQ2+ member, or woman with a disability who through their personal or professional experience, has broken down barriers for themselves or made significant improvements that benefit others in their profession, industry or community.
Amanda Kennedy, Breaking Barriers, is recognized as an educator and leader, bringing people and communities together in the spirit of healing, truth, and reconciliation, and creating spaces and opportunities for Indigenous youth and women to thrive.
NEW! Social Justice
Sponsored by RBC
Recognizes impact and advocacy in Social Justice through work or by taking action against social, ethnic, or gender inequalities.
Aruna Koushik, Social Justice, is recognized as a skilled and effective human rights advocate, a catalyst for positive impact locally, nationally, and internationally, and lives by the responsibility to leave our world a better place.
Sponsored by Ivey Business School at Western University and Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Recognizes achievement in organizing and operating a business or businesses, taking on considerable financial risks and other initiatives to do so.
Kyle MacDonald, Entrepreneurs, is recognized as a powerful example for female entrepreneurs shattering barriers in the tech industry, revolutionizing self-service banking, and for her commitment as a mentor and employer to hundreds.
Health, Science & Technology
Sponsored by 3M
Recognizes outstanding achievement or contributions to the health, wellness, science, or technology industries.
Elana Johnson, Health, Science & Technology, is recognized for her leadership in midwifery, gaining official recognition for the profession under the Regulated Health Professions Act, and her ongoing community efforts to improve the lives of children and youth.
Dr. Margery Holman
Sport, Fitness & Recreation
Sponsored by EY
Recognizes significant impact and contribution to fitness and athletics, through recreation community programs, education and amateur or professional sports.
Dr. Margery Holman, Sport, Fitness & Recreation, is recognized as a trailblazer in Sport as a coach, official, and academic. She has been called on nationally and internationally for her expertise and advocacy regarding challenges and opportunities for women in this field.
Young Woman of Excellence
Sponsored by Brescia University College
Recognizes a young leader (18 to 30 years of age) who demonstrates inspiring commitment, achievement, and leadership in their community, school, or workplace.
Maame De-Heer, Young Woman of Excellence, is recognized for her commitment, achievement, and leadership in providing young women in low-income settings the tools for success, as well as serving as a role model for many young Black women.