ATHENA Leadership Award®

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The criteria for the ATHENA Leadership Award are:

  • The individual assists women in realizing their full leadership potential. This can be in the form of mentoring, providing employment or education opportunities, or any other demonstration of investment in the welfare, professional or otherwise, of women.
  • The individual demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession.
  • The individual provides valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community.

2017 Athena Leadership Award Nomination Form

 

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Past Recipients

Click on the names below to learn more about our recipients.

2016: Shawna Nelson

2015: Suellen Beatty

2014: Robin Chapman
ATHENA Leadership Model:
Relationships, Giving Back, Collaboration, Courageous Acts, Learning

2013: Deb Young
ATHENA Leadership Model:
Authentic Self, Giving Back, Courageous Acts, Fierce Advocacy

2012: Monica Kreuger
ATHENA Leadership Model:
Authentic Self, Giving Back, Courageous Acts, Learning

2011: Dale Lemke
ATHENA Leadership Model:
Authentic Self, Relationships, Courageous Acts, Celebration and Joy

2010: Smita Garg
ATHENA Leadership Model:
Authentic Self, Relationships, Collaboration, Fierce Advocacy

2009: Lenore Swystun
ATHENA Leadership Model:
Authentic Self, Relationships, Giving Back, Courageous Acts, Fierce Advocacy

2007: Myrna Bentley (1954 – 2014)
ATHENA Leadership Model:
Authentic Self, Relationships, Giving Back, Courageous Acts, Learning, Celebration and Joy

2006: Marla Adams
ATHENA Leadership Model:
Authentic Self, Relationships, Courageous Acts, Fierce Advocacy

2005: Gerlinde Sarkar
ATHENA Leadership Model:
Authentic Self, Relationships, Courageous Acts, Fierce Advocacy

2004: Nancy E. Hopkins
ATHENA Leadership Model:
Authentic Self, Relationships, Courageous Acts, Fierce Advocacy

2003: V. Lynne Pearson
ATHENA Leadership Model:
Authentic Self, Courageous Acts, Fierce Advocacy

2002: Leanne Bellegarde Daniels
ATHENA Leadership Model:
Authentic Self, Giving Back, Courageous Acts, Fierce Advocacy

2001: Shelley Brown
ATHENA Leadership Model:
Relationships, Giving Back, Collaboration, Courageous Acts, Fierce Advocacy

 

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Athena 2016 Leadership Award Winner: Shawna Nelson

2016: Shawna Nelson

Shawna demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in all of her endeavors. Shawna is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Sherat

on Cavalier and The James Hotel in Saskatoon. Through her strategic leadership she has developed engaged and passionate teams, delivering effective results in sales, marketing, and in maintaining market share in a competitive and growing marketplace.

Shawna is an active member of the community through volunteering on various board positions and organizations such as Lawson Heights School Home and School Association and School Community Council, Saskatoon Women’s Network, Convention Saskatoon, National Advisory Council with Tourism Saskatoon, current Chair of the Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, The Princess Shop, Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan Jeans and Jewels Major Fundraiser Gala, 2012 and 2017 Canadian Country Music Awards, and many others. She is passionate about helping women tap into their full potential and displays this by hosting the monthly Shaken with a Twist Networking event which promotes and shares stories of local inspiring women in our community.

 

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2015: Suellen Beatty

CEO, Sherbrook Community Centre
Suellen has been the driving force of the internationally recognized long-term care home, Sherbrooke Community Centre. She has led a team of highly engaged and gifted women to create a world-class organization in healthcare. Suellen and her team have successfully influenced the culture of the organization so that residents can live full and abundant lives, and high-per¬forming staff are attracted and retained.

Suellen has been at Sherbrooke Community Centre for 28 years and held the CEO position for 20 years. Suellen’s career has focused on the mentoring of the women in her own organization, the extended healthcare field, and in her personal life. She has worked hard to create a nurturing environment where people are safe, inspired, engaged, and consistently growing. Suellen is passionate about sharing her wisdom and knowledge and supporting others to excel in implementing ideas that improve the quality of life and the community.

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2014: Robin Chapman

Investment Advisor, TD Wealth Private Investment Advice, Chapman Wealth Management Group

The ATHENA Leadership Model Attributes: Relationships, Giving Back, Collaboration, Courageous Acts, Learning

Robin has more than 25 years of experience in business and financial consulting. She is a high net worth wealth manager for TD Wealth Private Investment Advice. Her view of business in this market segment is to develop a model that is truly client centric. Robin and her team have developed a model that ensures clients’ needs are provided for in a personalized-tailored plan. Whether it is assisting clients to manage, grow, preserve, and transition wealth, her team invests fully in the client relationship.

Robin learned at a young age the value of volunteerism and giving back to one’s community. She has volunteered in many roles within Business Professional Women, being the past Chair of the International Women’s Day dinner and past Chair of the Bursary committee. Robin has volunteered her time with many other organizations in our community. Such organizations include Meewasin, St. Paul’s Hospital, United Way Dinner Date, Saskatoon & Region Home Builders Association, YWCA and more.

Robin believes in mentorship and sharing with others. She has donated her time to volunteer as a mentor with the Betty-Ann Heggie “Womentorship” program at the University of Saskatchewan. She believes strongly in the merits of the program and has donated a space for a protégée to attend this valuable leadership program. Robin has also volunteered as a mentor throughout her professional career and with her current company. Robin has donated her time as a guest lecturer within a marketing class taught by her good friend at the University of Saskatchewan. She also believes in supporting women in business, community and wealth education. As a part of her business, she has developed leadership and wealth education workshops. Robin is appreciative of her clients, colleagues and community but could not do it all without the support of her family. She greatly values the support she receives at home from her husband, son and golden retriever Ms. Buddy.

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2013: Deb Young

Principal, Meet With Approval

The ATHENA Leadership Model Attributes: Authentic Self, Giving Back, Courageous Acts, Fierce Advocacy

Deb is currently the Principal with an event management company called “Meet with Approval”. Her professional leadership experience has centred on the conceptualizing and operation of several successful restaurants in Saskatoon, including Granary and 2nd Avenue Grill. In addition, Deb has marketing experience with Quantum Capital and the Obasa Group. Deb has provided leadership and mentored young staff working within her restaurants and also through the Edward’s School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan. In addition, as a consultant through her current business “Meet with Approval”, Deb has provided significant help to those setting up and operating busy food service establishments. Deb’s community leadership is extensive as she served on the Board of Credit Union Centre, Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, and Civic Election Events Manager for Don Atchison and Director for the Saskatchewan Organization for the Deaf. Deb is currently the Director for “Farm in the Dell”, a non-profit organization that provides residential and vocational opportunities in a farm-like setting for adults with developmental disabilities.

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2012: Monica Kreuger

President & CEO, Global Infobrokers Inc.

The ATHENA Leadership Model Attributes: Authentic Self, Giving Back, Courageous Acts, Learning

Monica is the founder and CEO of Global Infobrokers Inc., a firm dedicated to entrepreneurship development and workplace training, and a home to the Praxis School of Schools. As well, she is co-founder of DanceEgypt Dance Co. Monica is a passionate educator, sharing her knowledge and expertise in a variety of medium. She has delivered courses for the College of Commerce at the University of Saskatchewan, has travelled to many countries for conferences and speaking engagements, and has co-founded the Praxis International Institute, Canada’s only private high school dedicated to entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, and global citizenry. Monica has provided valuable input to decision-making at the community and provincial levels and has acted as a mentor in many capacities. She is actively involved with Junior Achievement, the Raj Manek Mentorship Program, the Princess Shop, and more. She works tirelessly with community groups such as Saskatoon Women’s Cooperative and the Saskatoon Open Door Society.

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2011: Dale Lemke

President at Display Systems International & Co-Founder at QuickLinkt Solutions

The ATHENA Leadership Model Attributes: Authentic Self, Relationships, Courageous Acts, Celebration and Joy

Dale is President and Owner of Display Systems International (DSI) and has been the driving force and creative power behind DSI since its inception. Currently, DSI is third largest provider for TV and listing data in North America, serving millions of viewers who receive their TV listings information from DSI on a daily basis. In 2010, Dale was awarded a place in Industry Canada’s List of Persons of Major Influence in Saskatchewan under the heading, “The List of National Influencers for the New Economy in Canada”. Dale is active in many business organizations and mentorship programs. He is the immediate past-president of Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, serves on the Canadian Youth Business Foundation Loan Review Committee, is a founding member of SAINT (the Saskatchewan Angel Investor Network), and a mentor for the Raj Manek Mentorship Program, just to name a few. Dale is a supportive and positive role model to his children, employees, peers and individuals in his community.

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2010: Smita Garg

The ATHENA Leadership Model Attributes: Authentic Self, Relationships, Collaboration, Fierce Advocacy

Smita Garg has been professionally and socially involved in assisting newcomers in meeting their full potential in terms of professional achievement, personal goals, and successful integration as contributing residents of the city. Her dedication and work in this field spans numerous organizations culminating in the Immigrant Action Plan for the City of Saskatoon. She was the Immigration Community Resource Coordinator for the City of Saskatoon, a pivotal role that required the advancement of immigration related settlement and integration issues by bringing together agencies in the government, business, housing, settlement, health, education, and justice sectors, both at an inter and intra sectorial level. She worked on projects & programs that not only created awareness around immigration, but also enhanced the welcoming nature of our community. City of Saskatoon was the recipient of the Saskatchewan Municipal Award specifically for its Immigration initiatives under the Community Development Leadership category for 2010.

Smita completed her MBA in International Marketing from Temple University, USA and her experiences have ranged from being a ‘domestic engineer’ to working in the manufacturing sector, language service business, market research industries, and immigrant serving agencies. The importance of education, cultural competency, mentoring and advocacy at all levels has always been important to her. This is reflected in her passion to bring the global to the local in her professional and volunteer roles. These have included activities such as fund-raising for various associations, being a mentor to children in inner-city schools and adult newcomers, numerous diversity awareness presentations, and serving as a board member in non-profit organizations. A `serial immigrant’ she has lived in six countries over four continents and currently calls China home. She has a passion for issues related to migration and unity in diversity. Her husband, three daughters, and parents are her constant inspiration and ardent supporters.

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2009: Lenore Swystun

Founding Director, Prairie Wild Consulting Co.

The ATHENA Leadership Model Attributes: Authentic Self, Relationships, Giving Back, Courageous Acts, Fierce Advocacy

Lenore is the founder and principal partner of Prairie Wild Consulting Co. In 2012, she received the Dr. James Pooler Award for distinguished planning achievement through the University of Saskatchewan’s Regional and Urban Planning Program. She was recently appointed a Professional Associate by the Regional and Urban Planning Program for her work in advancing participatory based, trans-disciplinary regional and community planning practice. She remains actively engaged in International work through professional association with organisations such as CC-UNESCO’s Man in the Biosphere Program, the Canadian Institute of Planners, and Project for Public Spaces. Most recently, Lenore was appointed to the Executive Committee of Canada’s United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organisation.

Lenore is a former municipal elected representative (Saskatoon City Council); an awarded community builder; and, recognized business leader – recently awarded for leading one of Saskatoon’s top small businesses in 2014. Lenore is currently the Vice-President of the Saskatchewan Environmental Industry Managers Association (SEIMA) and sits as a member of the City of Saskatoon Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee. Lenore is passionate about serving through all aspects of work and play, a vision of a peaceful and sustainable world.

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2008: Transition Year, No Recipient

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2007: Myrna Bentley (1954 – 2014)

Former President and CEO, Concentra Financial Services Association and Concentra Trust

The ATHENA Leadership Model Attributes: Authentic Self, Relationships, Giving Back, Courageous Acts, Learning, Celebration and Joy

Myrna was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Concentra Financial Services Association and Concentra Trust. Throughout her career, she achieved the respect, admiration, and friendship of people across the credit union world. Myrna served on the boards of many non-profit organizations, including the Saskatoon Community foundation, STARS, Credit Union Central of Saskatchewan, and Affinity Credit Union. Myrna received much recognition and numerous awards, from both her career and volunteer work.

Helping those in need was important to Myrna. She valued her opportunity to be part of the Saskatoon Community Foundation serving eight years on the board. Her volunteerism with the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada also allowed her to lend her knowledge, caring, and work ethic in Malawi, Peru, Columbia, Thailand, and Indonesia. She was recognized internationally for her years of service, receiving the 2014 Global Co-operator Award, presented by the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada.

We are proud to recognize the legacy and great contributions of Myrna Bentley.

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2006: Marla Adams

Chartered Account, Deloitte Canada

The ATHENA Leadership Model Attributes: Authentic Self, Relationships, Courageous Acts, Fierce Advocacy

Marla is a chartered accountant and licensed trustee in bankruptcy, with more than 20 years of experience in both personal and corporate insolvency. Marla leads a group of bankruptcy advisors at Deloitte Canada in both Regina and Saskatoon. Marla is a former president of the Saskatchewan Insolvency Practitioner’s Association and member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Insolvency Practitioners Association. She sits on the Board of Directors of the United Way and is a volunteer and member of Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan. Marla has also served as a Director and assumed various leadership roles in organizations including Heart & Stroke, YWCA, Wanuskewin Heritage Park, Credit Granters Association of Saskatchewan and Toastmasters.

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2005: Gerlinde Sarkar

Management Consultant, GEOMARC Technologies Inc.

The ATHENA Leadership Model Attributes: Authentic Self, Relationships, Courageous Acts, Fierce Advocacy

Gerlinde is a Management Consultant for GEOMARC Technologies Inc. Before her retirement from SIAST as Academic Director of Research, Planning, and Program Development, Gerlinde worked on numerous short term international assignments in many developing countries, providing workshops in strategic planning, labour market research, program and curriculum planning, and evaluation frameworks. Gerlinde has a rich background in volunteering, both locally and internationally. She is passionate about helping women in developing countries, providing them with education and tools to secure a better economic future. In 2011 she volunteered in Haiti and also in Tanzania, where she helped two women’s group start their own businesses. Gerlinde is a board member-at-large at Saskatchewan Intercultural Association. Gerlinde has been highly active in the Canadian society and received the Saskatchewan Centennial Leadership award in 2005 for her contribution to the community.

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2004: Nancy E. Hopkins

Partner, McDougall Gauley LLP

The ATHENA Leadership Model Attributes: Authentic Self, Relationships, Courageous Acts, Fierce Advocacy

Nancy is a partner with the law firm McDougall Gauley, LLP. She currently serves as a director of a number of corporations. On the Board of Cameco Corporation, she chairs the Nominating, Governance & Risk Committee and is a member of the Audit Committee. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Growthworks Opportunity Fund Inc., where she chairs the Audit Committee. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, she chairs the Governance Committee. Among her other board service, Nancy is a former Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Saskatchewan, the Saskatoon Airport Authority and SGI Canada.

In 2002, Nancy was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, which is awarded to Canadians in recognition of the outstanding contributions they have made to their respective communities. Nancy is also a recipient of the Women’s Executive Network’s 2013 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards in the Corporate Directors category. These Awards celebrate and highlight the professional achievements of women across the country in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Award winners were selected based on their strategic vision and leadership, commitment to their communities and the financial performance of their organizations.

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2003: V. Lynne Pearson

The ATHENA Leadership Model Attributes: Authentic Self, Courageous Acts, Fierce Advocacy

Lynne previously held a number of positions with the federal government, including Queen’s Printer for Canada and the CEO of the Canada Communications Group, CEO of Consulting and Audit Canada, Executive Director of Training programs Branch at the Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC), and CEO of Training and Development Canada. She also held senior positions with the federal and Saskatchewan governments, including Regional Director General, Saskatchewan Region, Employment and Immigration Canada; and Deputy Minister of the Saskatchewan Department of Consumer and Commercial Affairs. She served as Chair of the Board of Directors of CSA Group, a non-for-profit membership association serving business, industry government and consumers.

Lynne also volunteered her time as a member of several other Board of Directors including: SaskPower, where she chairs the Audit Committee; Saskatoon United Way, where she chairs the Personnel Committee and Wanuskewin Heritage Park, where she is Vice-Chair. She is Secretary/Treasurer of the Canadian Federation of Business School Deans. She was recently appointed as an independent Director of the Financial Services Ombudsnetwork, whose role is to establish and maintain standards for ombudservices in banks, investment and mutual fund dealers and insurance companies. In 2002, she also received the Lt. Governor’s Gold Medal for distinguished public service, from the Institute of Public Administration of Canada.

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2002: Leanne Bellegarde Daniels

The ATHENA Leadership Model Attributes: Authentic Self, Giving Back, Courageous Acts, Fierce Advocacy

Leanne is the first aboriginal woman lawyer with MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman and the first aboriginal and woman to chair the Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners. Leanne’s work with FSIN, Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, and appointment to the Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners has allowed her to give something back to the Aboriginal community. Her role on the Board of Police Commissioners has played an important part of bringing the perspective of First Nations people to the Board. Many youth see Leanne as a role model because of her passion to serve and speak up. She has continued to make initiatives to expend opportunities to Aboriginals and hopes to continue to rise to the challenge.

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2001: Shelley Brown

Partner, Deloitte Canada

The ATHENA Leadership Model Attributes: Relationships, Giving Back, Collaboration, Courageous Acts, Fierce Advocacy

Shelley is a prominent member of the Canadian business community. She was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in both 2010 and 2012. Recently, Shelley is announced as 2014 Grandey Leadership Honouree. In the community, she has volunteered her leadership to many charities and non-for-profits, including the United Way of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon SPCA, St. Paul’s Hospital and Tourism Saskatoon. She is currently a board member of the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan and vice-chair of the board of Canadian Institute of Chartered Accounts. In 2002, Saskatchewan Business Magazine named her one of Saskatchewan’s “10 Most Influential Women”. Shelley is also a recipient of a Sterling Award in 2000 for her contribution to the community.

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