Surrey Women in Business Awards

Surrey Women in Business Awards

In March 2024, the Surrey Board of Trade will host the 15th Annual Surrey Women in Business Awards, presented by Prospera Credit Union. The event recognizes the hard work of Surrey’s businesswomen and their contributions to Surrey. Some of the best and brightest women of Surrey’s business community are celebrated and receive well-deserved recognition. The purpose of the event is to inspire, motivate and educate the audience.

Past keynote speakers include:

  • Chantal Kreviazuk – 2023
  • Jody Wilson-Raybould – 2022
  • Yael Eisenstat – 2021
  • Erin Brockovich – 2020
  • Betsy Meyers – 2019
  • Right Honourable Kim Campbell – 2018
  • Margaret Trudeau – 2017
  • Christine Day – 2016
  • Right Honourable Justin Trudeau – 2015
  • Marcella Szel – 2014
  • Rebecca Legge – 2013
  • Rose Keith – 2012
  • Launi Skinner – 2011
  • Kathleen Casprowitz – 2010

Female Statistics

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Strong women are often called assertive – like it is negative. Women are straightforward about their wants and needs. They repeatedly rub people the wrong way. However, strong women are complex. They may have a background that has created the need to be gritty, tenacious, and passionate in a way that other people take offence to.

Many of us have been interpreted as demanding or even bossy. But the truth is that strong women can also be very sensitive and thoughtful. Here are eight things that we believe a strong woman brings to all of her encounters:

1.   She stands up for herself. Strong women are outspoken when it comes to confronting others about being treated poorly. When an injustice has taken place, they speak up rather than let it roll off.

2.   She invests in herself. Whether it’s learning something new, pushing themselves to be healthier, or taking a big step outside their comfort zone, these women know that investments they make for themselves and their life offer guaranteed dividends.

3.   She has boundaries. When a strong woman makes decisions, she checks in with herself to see if she wants to do it and has the time and space to invest in an opportunity. She says yes to opportunities that strengthen herself and no to those that diminish.

4.   She celebrates other women. Strong women encourage other women. They focus on recognizing and celebrating the strengths they see in other women. She is vocal in her support.

5.   She knows her worth. While she doesn’t always feel beautiful, intelligent, charming, interesting or even strong, she knows that she always brings value. When she finds herself in a situation when someone devalues her, she’ll either make it known or leave at the first opportunity.

6.   She doesn’t rely on others’ opinions about her life. While she may internalize negativity, she makes an effort to let the negative comments pass and doesn’t allow the remarks of others to stop her from what is right for her. She understands that negativity says more about the person flinging it than it does about her.

7.   She is confident. Most strong women have a well-defined sense of identity, and their actions are in line with their morals and beliefs. They do not have a need to win others over as much as they need to stay true to their own beliefs.

8.   She decides to be strong. There isn’t a woman among us who has not experienced fear, anxiety, insecurity and other negative emotions that can tear us down. Strong women choose to commit to themselves. We truly embrace the idea that we will never give anything, or anyone, the power to break us.

A strong woman can walk into the room and hold her own with class, grace, and style. It’s never about being rude or demanding. Rather, it’s more about maintaining a personal commitment to guide herself through difficult situations.


The nomination deadline is January 17, 2024.


Award Categories

The Surrey Board of Trade reserves the right to move a nomination into another category. Previous winners of the award may not be nominated again for a period of 3 years.

Entrepreneur (small business)
Is an owner or significant shareholder of any business with up to 20 employees

Entrepreneur (large business)
Is an owner or significant shareholder of any business with 20 or more employees

Corporate Leader
Holds a senior/executive level position in a public or private-owned business.

The nominee has a professional designation, i.e. accountant, notary, lawyer, engineer.

Not-for-Profit Leader
Nominee holds a paid position as CEO, Executive Director or senior manager.

Emerging Leader
This award identifies future leaders known for their innovative, meaningful contributions to the improvement of their profession and the efficiency of their workplace. Nominees in this category may hold entry to mid-level management positions.

Social Trailblazer
A founder or leader of an organization, initiative, or project that makes a significant social, economic, or environmental impact by building progressive and sustainable solutions to a complex issue facing our local community.


Work in Surrey
Leadership Skills
Proven business acumen
Community involvement
Include ONE reference letter
Must be either a Surrey based business or a member of the Surrey Board of Trade


Please submit your nomination to:

Rhona Doria
101-14439 104 Avenue
Surrey, BC V3R 1M1
T: 604.634.0344
F: 604.588.7549

Previous Winners


Entrepreneur  – Large Business
Lesley Jones, EconoWise Sunrooms & Patio Covers Ltd.

Entrepreneur – Small Business
Kamaljit Lehal, Lehal Law Corporation

Gurjit Kaur Tiwana, Invictus Law LLP

Not-for-Profit Leader
Amanda McNally, Peace Arch Hospice Society

Corporate Leadership
Lisa Skakun, Coast Capital Savings

Emerging Leader
Anamika Sangar, Surrey Schools – Community Schools Partnership

Social Trailblazer
Dr. Jennifer Marchbank, Surrey Pride Society, SFU, Youth 4 A Change


Professional Category
Kathrin Matadeen, TD Bank

Emerging Leader Category
Rochelle Prasad, SPARK Foundation

Social Trailblazer Category
Florence Sufen Kao, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society

Not-for-Profit Leader Category
Vandna Joshi, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society

Corporate/Leadership Category
Alexandra Haukaas, PCB Freight Management Ltd.

Entrepreneur Category
Maria Santos-Greaves, Surrey Hearing Care


Sandra Christian, Creative Kids Learning Centers

Dr. Ramen Saggu, Pacific ABA Academy

Not-for-Profit Leader
Devinder Chattha, Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society

Corporate Leadership
Marlyn Graziano, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Emerging Leader
Tara Coleman, Nana’s Kitchen and Hot Sauce Ltd.

Social Trailblazer
Nerissa Allen, Black Business Association of BC


Entrepreneur (Small Business)
Jean Su, GenerationsE Software Solutions Inc.

Entrepreneur (Large Business)
Joy Mauro, Turnabout Luxury Resale

Emily Kearns, Ankenman Associates Architects Inc.

Not-for-Profit Leader
Azra Hussain, Surrey Hospital Foundation

Corporate Leadership|
Stephanie Howes, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Emerging Leader
Cherie Storms, Pacific Customs Brokers Ltd.

Social Trailblazer
Theresa Campbell, Safer Schools Together


Entrepreneur Category
Santoshi Desai
Orange Oranges Technologies Ltd.

Professional Category
Rupinder Khunkhun
Grandview Law Group LLP

Not-for-Profit Leader Category
Ninu Kang

Corporate/Leadership Category
Alison Fuller
Venturis Capital Corporation

Social Trailblazer Category
Sonia Andhi Bilkhu
Shakti Society


Entrepreneur Category
Yvonne Hogenes
Malary’s Fashion Network

Professional Category
Shalini Das
Symbiosis Pediatric Therapy Inc.

Not-for-Profit Leader Category
Ingrid Kastens
Pacific Community Resources Society

Corporate/Leadership Category
Rowena Rizzotti
Lark Group

Social Trailblazer Category
Elly Morgan
Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Indigenous Entrepreneur Category
Roxanne Charles



Entrepreneur Category
Noel Asmar
Noel Asmar Group Inc.

Professional Category
Sonia Virk
Virk Viyas & Associate Lawyers

Not-for-Profit Leader Category
Louise Tremblay
The Semiahmoo Foundation/Semiahmoo House Society

Corporate/Leadership Category
Dona Hurry
Mansonville Plastics Group of Companies

Social Trailblazer Category
Paola Ardiles
SFU/Bridge For Health



Entrepreneur Category
Sara Hodson
LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic

Professional Category
Amanjit Lidder

Not-for-Profit Leader Category
Melanie Houlden
Surrey Libraries

Corporate/Leadership Category
Janice Comeau
LMS Reinforcing Steel Group

Social Trailblazer Category
MaryAnne Connor
NightShift Street Ministries Society



Entrepreneur Category
Angela Herd
The Family Hope Clinic

Professional Category
Dr. Jane Fee
Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Not-for-Profit Leader Category
Coreen Windbiel
Surrey Association for Community Living

Corporate/Leadership Category
Hanne Madsen



Entrepreneur Category
Tracy Bell
La Belle Fleur Floral Boutique Ltd.

Professional Category
Mary Jane Wilson
Wilson Rasmussen LLP

Not-for-Profit Leader Category
Neelam Sahota
DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society

Corporate/Leadership Category
Kathy McGarrigle
Coast Capital Savings



Entrepreneur Category
Jill Martyniuk
Romancing the Home

Professional Category
Christine Trischuk
Christine Trischuk Consultants

Corporate/Leadership Category
Peggy White
Guildford Town Centre

Innovator Category
Wendy Bollard
Peninsula Productions Society

Not-for-Profit Leader Category
Christiana Flessner
Canadian Wheelchair Foundation



Entrepreneur Category
Kim Russell
Canadian Tourism College

Professional Category
Vivienne Wilke, CGA, MBA
City of Surrey

Leadership Category
Ellie King
Royal Canadian Theatre Company

Corporate Category
Amy Hennessy

Not-for-Profit Executive Category
Kathleen Kennedy Strath
Kinsmen Lodge

Community Achievement Award
Bonnie Burnside



Entrepreneur Category
Lorraine Duclos
PDQ Post Group Inc.

Professional Category
Karen L. Baillie
Laurel Place

Corporate Category
Heather Bell
Nav Canada

Leadership Category
Jonquil Hallgate
Surrey Urban Mission

Not-for-Profit Category
Beth Barlow
Surrey Libraries

Community Achievement Award 2011
Karla Pearson



Entrepreneur Category
Yvonne Hogenes
Malary’s Fashion Network

Professional Category
Joanne Curry
Simon Fraser University

Corporate Category
Susan Robinson
Irly Distributors Ltd.