On Friday, May 13, the Surrey Board of Trade hosted the 13th Annual Surrey Women in Business Awards Luncheon, with Presenting Sponsor Prospera Credit Union. This event recognizes the hard work of Surrey’s businesswomen and their contributions to the community, with 400 guests in attendance as the event returned to an in-person format.
Master of Ceremonies Keri Adams of CTV Vancouver led the afternoon’s program. Over 400 guests enjoyed presentations by Major Vicki Ferg of the Canadian Armed Forces, and Keynote Speaker, sponsored by DP World Canada, the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould. Jody delighted the crowd as she shared her lessons in leadership, followed by a book signing.
“The Surrey Women in Business Awards recognizes women that are making Surrey such a dynamic and vibrant city,” said Anita Huberman, President and CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “The Surrey Women in Business Team through the Surrey Board of Trade are revving up the recognition and opportunities for women in business.”
The energy and excitement was contagious throughout the audience as the following winners were announced in six categories in order by photo image:
Professional Category: Kathrin Matadeen, TD Bank (not able to attend, TD representative accepting on her behalf)
Following her undergraduate degree and MBA, Kathrin Matadeen began her career at TD Bank in 2001. Currently, Kathrin is the Vice President for Commercial Banking at TD. She leads a team of 34 banking professionals serving the needs of local businesses by offering customized services to help business owners meet their financial goals. Outside of work, Kathrin sits on the Downtown Surrey BIA Board of Directors, is the National Co-Lead for TD Business Banking Women in Leadership Committee and serves on the School of Business External Program Advisory Committee of the University of the Fraser Valley and on the Abbotsford Community Foundation Finance Committee.
Emerging Leader Category: Rochelle Prasad, SPARK Foundation
Rochelle Prasad is the Founder of SPARK Foundation, a non-profit organization that offers life education programs to young people across Canada. She is the youngest committee member on the City of Surrey’s Community Service Committee and the Provincial Committee on Diversity in Policing. Rochelle was awarded the Top 50 Change Makers in Canada by Globe and Mail, International Princess Diana Award, Canada 150 Award in Leadership, Surrey’s Top 25 Under 25 Award, and the Governor-General Sovereignty Award. She is also the author of Because We Can, a book about taking action for a better world that genuinely starts with oneself. She is also a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal advocate.
Social Trailblazer Category: Florence Sufen Kao, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society
Florence Sufen Kao came to Canada in 2007 with a world of experience as a senior HR manager. Her first job was at SUCCESS before she transferred to DIVERSEcity as a Labour Market Settlement Worker in 2010. Today, Florence is the heart and soul of DIVERSEcity’s Immigrant Entrepreneur Program. As the program lead, she organizes and coordinates the program, develops curriculum, hosts workshops, liaises with funders, facilitators and partners, does outreach and marketing, and handles the one-on-one client self-employment counselling facilitation. As a result of her hard work, the program was recognized with a National entrepreneur CANIE Award for service.
Not-for-Profit Leader Category: Vandna Joshi, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society
Vandna Joshi serves as Manager of Employment Programs at DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society. This client-centred organization supports newcomers and other diverse communities in building the life they want in Canada. As a senior manager, Vandna oversees the funding, development, implementation and outcomes of most employment programs offered at the non-profit. She strives to support and encourage the women at DIVERSEcity, both staff and clients, with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed in their own right and offers guidance and her heart to create a compelling, loyal and hard-working team that sees high retention rates.
Corporate/Leadership Category: Alexandra Haukaas, PCB Freight Management Ltd.
Alex Haukaas is a logistic professional who has been in the freight forwarding, Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (NVOCC), and brokerage industries for over 18 years. She has worked in all modes of transportation, including air, ocean, rail, and project cargo. She oversees over 10,400 shipments a year. She is currently the Operations Manager at PCB Freight Management Ltd., a position she assumed during a global shipping crisis caused by the pandemic. In addition to her day job, she has served on the BC Kids Help Phone – Home for the Holiday Committee and volunteers at South Meridian Elementary as Co-Vice President of the PAC and as Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.
Entrepreneur Category: Maria Santos-Greaves, Surrey Hearing Care
Maria Santos-Greaves is the President and Operations Director of Surrey Hearing Care Inc., which provides comprehensive hearing care services, including thorough hearing evaluations, a complete line of digital hearing aids, assistive listening devices, and counselling. With over 25 years of experience and sheer determination, Maria built a clinic from the ground up. Initially only having one location with three staff, Surrey Hearing Care now has four locations with 15 diverse employees. Maria is a member of the Board of Directors of the Multicultural Helping House Society, a non-profit organization that provides help to new immigrants in Canada.
Prospera Credit Union
DP World Canada
Fasken, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, KSW Lawyers, Manning Elliott LLP, MNP and Richards Buell Sutton LLP
New York Institute of Technology – Vancouver, Scotiabank, Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel, Value Property Group and Western Community College
Central City/Blackwood Partners
CTV and The Surrey-NOW Leader
Nominations were submitted in six categories and judged on the nominee’s work in Surrey, proven business acumen, leadership, and community involvement and service.
For further information, please contact Anita Huberman, President and CEO, Surrey Board of Trade, at email@example.com or at 604.634.0342. – 30 –