Surrey Women in Business Awards

Surrey Women in Business Awards

Female Statistics

On Thursday, March 9, 2017, the Surrey Board of Trade hostED the 8th Annual Surrey Women in Business Awards Luncheon, with Presenting Sponsor Vancity Savings Credit Union. The event recognizeD the hard work of Surrey’s businesswomen and their contributions to Surrey. Thank you to SFU – Surrey for being our speaker sponsor as we welcomed the impeccable Margaret Trudeau to Surrey.


The event’s philosophy has been rooted in the purpose of educating our audience. 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.

It’s a story that has been heard many times: a goal oriented businesswoman works long hours, does a great job and puts her heart and soul in to her job but doesn’t quite know how to climb the career ladder to the boardroom or find the resources to be a business owner. The numbers speak for themselves. More than half the companies in Canada have no female directors. And only 2% of chairs and chief executives are women in Canada.

Some facts:

  1. In 2013 it was reported that Canada is falling behind other countries when it comes to putting women on corporate boards, according to a report by TD Economics. While participation in the labour force has increased significantly for women, that change has yet to be reflected at the top of Canada’s largest companies, according to the report.
  2. According to a University of Ottawa report, putting the Surrey Board of Trade’s government advocacy hat on, Canada lacks a coordinated national women’s economic development strategy. Their report suggests, “(A) national strategy would support increased funding to existing women-focused small business training programs and program expansion. The report also indicates that to clear the path for more Women-owned businesses would be to increase access to commercial capital and dedicated financial resources.
    Further a strategic Small and medium sized business procurement policy is an under-utilized mechanism to enhance supplier diversity for different levels of government and hence, Canadian competitiveness.”
  3. In Canada, 4 out of 5 businesses are started by women. Representing 47% of small and medium-sized enterprises, women-owned businesses are growing at a faster rate than those run by men

Women business owners generate almost 40% of their sales in foreign markets and provide jobs for 1.7 million Canadians.

Today’s Canadian woman in business and in leadership positions:

  1. Is more likely to be highly educated
  2. She’s probably married, as self-employed women are more likely to be married than Canadian women in general (77 percent as opposed to 58 percent of the general population).

Through the years at this event the Surrey Board of Trade sees Surrey’s business landscape, full of entrepreneurial women who have developed a strategy, have created a vision and communicated this vision to bring them to be recognized at this prestigious awards program.

This year’s event will feature Margaret Trudeau as keynote speaker.

margarettrudeau_cropMargaret Trudeau is a Canadian icon, celebrated both for her role in the public eye and as a respected mental-health issues advocate. From becoming a prime minister’s wife at a young age, to the loss of both her son and her former husband, to living with bi-polar disorder, Margaret tirelessly shares her personal stories to remind others of the importance of nurturing the body, mind, and spirit.

Margaret is the author of four books, including her bestselling title, Changing My Mind, which charts her life’s ups and downs, and her latest title, The Time of Your Life, which offers women an inspirational and practical approach to creating a healthy, happy, secure and satisfying future.

Margaret sits on the Executive Advisory Board of the UBC Mental Health Institute as a community advocate, and she is the Honorary President of WaterAid, a charitable Canadian non-governmental agency that is dedicated to helping poor communities in developing countries build sustainable water-supply and sanitation services.

She is also the proud mother to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Download the event e-program

2017 Finalists

Entrepreneur Category

Noel Asmar – Noel Asmar Group of Companies

Noel Asmar is a creator, builder and innovator. Seeing the effect that a uniform can have on a business, Noel developed in 2002 – the first online uniform company catering to a market that had been largely overlooked and neglected. Her talents as a designer, marketer and business developer have seen her brand grow into an international success, now servicing more than 4,000 properties in over 60 countries worldwide including Four Seasons, Ritz Carleton, Elizabeth Arden, Aria, Sandals Resorts, and Harrah’s. Creating new divisions of the Noel Asmar Group of Companies, Noel finds motivation in developing new, unique and creative design solutions for niche markets, including her successful Equestrian, Contemporary Fashion and Handbag collections, as well as Pedicure Bowls & Accessories.

Leanne Cordeiro – Salon Cordeiro

Salon Cordeiro is a premier boutique hair salon, offering a complete range of contemporary hair styling for both men and women. Leanne has been working in the hair industry for 12 years, and opened Salon Cordeiro in June of 2010 at the age of 25. At that time, the salon employed 4 stylists and 1 apprentice. Today, the salon has 21 employees, and in 2016 generated $1.2 million dollars in annual revenue. Just as she was on the verge of repaying the loans she took out to start the business, Leanne again took a major risk by incurring new debt in order to invest approximately $2 million in the purchase and development of a greenfield commercial building, comprising approximately 5,000 square feet, doubling their square footage on the ground floor. The new building reached completion at the conclusion of 2016, and Salon Cordeiro officially relocated just prior to the holiday season. This increased space has already allowed for the addition of new staff members, eventually hiring up to as many 32 stylists.

Galia Shukr – Prestige Performance Consulting Ltd.

Galia has 32 years of experience in business with a professional background encompassing local, national and global experience in business performance excellence, business development, sound business architecture, program management and technology integration. Galia’s firm, Prestige Performance Consulting (Prestige), employs up to 10 independent contractors across Canada and California to help small and medium sized businesses achieve higher performance in their bottom line results and profitability. Success didn’t come easy for Galia. As a child, she experienced threatening situations as she survived a dangerous civil war in the Middle East, before immigrating to Canada in the early 80s. Working in a male dominated industry, Galia experienced set backs. Through her determination and resiliency, she has been recognized internationally for her work.

Professional Category

Mandie La Montange – The Intueri Group

For the past two decades, Mandie has worked as a generalist and leader in Human Resources, and 4 years ago co-founded The Intueri Group. The Intueri Group is a blended practice consultancy, drawing on partner expertise and integrating the fields of Financial Planning, Human Resources (HR), and Risk Management. As a management advisory firm, they specialize in succession and business transition strategies for small and medium sized enterprises and family business. As HR Practice Lead, Mandie is responsible for working with business owners, directors, leaders and management on the assessment and development of strategic people plans and the implementation of in-house long term support structures. Mandie has worked broadly across the HR field, developing expertise and experience in most areas and has held positions ranging from hands-on, tactical to executive leadership and advisory.

Parminder Mann – All Care Counselling

Parminder is a Registered Clinical Counsellor, registered with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. She has been practicing counselling for 2 years and has established her own counselling practice in Surrey. Her practice at All Care Medical Center is one of the largest medical clinics in Surrey comprised of multiple specialists, general practioners and physiotherapists. Parminder has 2 employees and has expanded her practice to a second location in Burnaby. Parminder has also donated space at her practice to Moving Forward Family Services, a non-profit which provides free or affordable counselling services for those who are unable to afford the cost of counseling. Parminder appears on the Harpreet Singh Show on OMNI TV to educate the public on various mental health issues. She has written articles for the South Asian Health Magazine in the past. Her goal in her practice is to increase awareness, to encourage people to seek help, and to normalize mental health.

Sonia Virk – Virk Viyas & Associate Lawyers

A first generation immigrant in the legal field for 13 years, Sonia is the co-founder of Virk Viyas & Associate Lawyers in Surrey. After moving to Canada in 2000, Sonia was required to have her degrees assessed and re-qualify in order to practice law. She completed her Canadian law degree at the University of New Brunswick before returning to Surrey. Sonia used networking to build her presence in the community, and in turn, build her practice. She is often invited by the media to be the legal expert to discuss current legal issues. In 2007, Sonia was elected as the youngest President of the Indo-Canadian Business Association, and the first woman to hold the seat. She has also been appointed to BC’s Small Business Rountable, and serves on the Board of Directors for G&F Financial Group, holding the 2nd Vice-President position since 2015. In March 2016, Sonia was appointed as a public member to the board of the College of Dieticians of British Columbia.

Not-for-Profit Leader Category

Judy Krawchuk – Sophie’s Place/Child Development Foundation of BC

Judy Krawchuk is the Vice President of the Child Development Foundation of BC. She oversees and supports 2 teams of staff, in addition to the Victim Services, Ministry of Child and Family Development, RCMP, Steering Committee and Management Teams. For 18 years she has had personal input into managing and growing The Centre’s annual Gala of Hope, and the annual Run, Walk and Roll event – including all of the logistical and sponsor relationships related to both events. Both events have grown from infancy to become premier events of not only The Centre but of the South Fraser Region with the Gala raising $312,000 net in 2016! Judy is also the Director of Sophie’s Place Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, launched in 2012, and is the key player in the program’s ongoing growth and success. Today, the need and recognition of Sophie’s Place continues to grow, helping children that have been victimized. In 2016, Sophie’s Place won the Police and Business Partnership Award at the recent Surrey Police Officer of the Year Awards.

Dr. Noreen Simmons – BC Family Hearing Resource Society

Dr. Simmons knew from early on in her education and career that she wanted to work with children. Working with the deaf and the hard-of-hearing community was a perfect fit for her. Being at the BC Family Hearing Resource Society, first as an Interventionist, then as Executive Director, has allowed Dr. Simmons to move intervention services into the 21st century by introducing telehealth-based options for parents and children in remote communities. Now families throughout BC can receive specialized therapy, learn American Sign Language (ASL), interact with deaf and hard-of-hearing role models, and meet online with other families of deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Dr. Simmons has established formal research collaborations with UBC and the University of Alberta. Recognizing that research can directly contribute to the improvement of the quality of intervention services, she encourages donors to endow funding for interested staff members who wish to pursue research projects, attracting top quality service providers to join the society.

Louise Tremblay – The Semiahmoo Foundation/Semiahmoo House Society

Louise Tremblay holds a Master of Arts Degree in Leadership that she partially fulfilled by conducting research on the barriers that people with disabilities face when looking for employment. Since, she has become a professional advocate for people with disabilities and other vulnerable adults, while applying her strong people skills along with her business experience to support a number of non-profit societies. Louise holds many positions, including Director of Development with The Semiahmoo Foundation which supports Semiahmoo House Society, an organization that provides services to people with disabilities and their families, and Regional Mentor with the BC Association of Community Response Networks, whose mandate is to create awareness about abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults. In addition, she volunteers on the Board of Directors of Seniors Come Share Society, an organization that provides services to an aging population. Louise is a strong advocate for inclusive workplaces and leads by example by hiring and nurturing a diverse team that reflects the mandate of the organization.

Corporate/Leadership Category

Dona Hurry – Mansonville Plastics Group of Companies

Dona Hurry joined Mansonville Plastics Group of Companies in 1982. Throughout the years Dona worked closely with Mr. Cormier, the late President of the company. She served as the Vice President when Mr. Cormier passed in 2015. She then took on the leadership role as the President and Director for  Mansonville Plastics Group of Companies. Mansonville currently employs over 80 full-time employees and over 20 contractors. Along with the management team, she continues to carry out the founder’s vision and legacy in providing expanded polystyrene solutions, fulfilling customer needs with quality products and services, while enacting her vision of product. She has cultivated a safety culture in the organization, investing significant resources, both financially as well as in human capital, to develop and implement a comprehensive health and safety management system.

Marian Maletta – Westminster Savings

Marian’s entire 30+ year career has been in the financial services industry where she has worked at a variety of levels from front-line Customer Service Representative, to Financial Services Representative, Personal Account Manager and finally advancing to management positions. This has provided Marian with a sound knowledge of all aspects of branch operations. While she was a Financial Services Manager at Westminster Savings Credit Union’s King’s Cross Branch in Newton, branch assets increased by 151% in 3 years and won the 2007 Branch of the Year. In her current role, as Branch Manager in the Cloverdale branch, the results are tremendous growth in assets growing between 14% to 23% every year despite tough economic times when began her role in 2008.

Emily Taylor – Surrey City Development Corporations

Emily Taylor is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and a member of the Executive Team for the Surrey City Development Corporation (SCDC). Emily has been a CPA, CA for 22 years, and has been with SCDC for 5 years. SCDC is a wholly owned subsidiary of the City of Surrey which operates and functions separately from the City but ultimately works to take on development projects which support the vision and growth for Surrey. As CFO, Emily is responsible for all financial functions for the corporation including financial projections, cash flows, and financing to ensure that SCDC continues to grow and prosper. In addition, as part of the Executive Team she works closely with Board Directors to help guide the organization specifically with respect to finance, human resource, governance, risk management, IT and asset management issues. Emily has restructured the financial operations of SCDC and the reports and recommendations to the Board and to their Shareholder (City of Surrey). Creating more structured, streamlined reports and analysis for the Board has helped facilitate important decisions for Surrey.

Social Trailblazer Category

Paola Ardiles – SFU/Bridge for Health

Paola has published and contributed to work in various public health areas including: mental health promotion, health literacy, cultural competency, immigrant & refugee health, and women’s mental health. In September 2012, the Canadian Mental Health Association-BC awarded Paola with the Dr. Nancy Hall Public Policy Leadership Award of Distinction, for her work to advance the mental health agenda in Canada. Paola joined Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Health Sciences in 2013 to design and teach a new curriculum on Health Promotion in the Canadian Context for the Master of Public Health program. In 2013, Paola founded Bridge for Health (B4H), a local and global network focused on social innovation to promote health and wellbeing. Since then, Paola worked tirelessly on this voluntary effort to engage students, academics, professionals, activists, and organizations to share their talents, ideas, and solutions in the B4H creative space. To ensure voices from partners and global members, Paola created a B4H global advisory group made up of research and policy experts from South America, the US and Europe. The results from this group were captured in Bridge for Health’s briefing report, which resulted in the creation of a youth symposium at the World Health Organization’s international conference in Shanghai in November 2016.

Alice Sundberg – Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition

Alice has been involved in social housing advocacy, education and development since 1981, including 16 years as a Development Consultant for co-op and non-profit housing, and 11 years as the Executive Director of the BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA). She currently teaches 2 credit courses in Langara College’s Social Housing Management Certificate Program. She also delivers workshops for BCNPHA on housing development, grant writing, gaining community acceptance, and board development. In addition to providing consulting services to non-profit and government clients, Alice volunteers her time and expertise to housing-related boards and committees. She served as co-chair of the Metro Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness from 2005 to 2015 and is currently Vice-President of the Progressive Housing Society. She led the development of the Surrey Poverty Reduction Plan (THIS is how we end poverty in Surrey) and has coordinated its implementation through the Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition since 2012.

Jen Temple – Trademark Group

For the past 24 years, Jen has worked at the Trademark Group, and is an Asset Manager for Hillcrest Shopping Centre in Surrey. Jen believes that it takes everyone working together to make Surrey the best it can be. Jen works with many agencies to try to be a part of the solutions, including the Surrey RCMP, the City of Surrey, Parks & Recreation Departments, and Surrey high schools. Jen has recently launched a program called CHAT (Clayton Heights Activity Team), to make sure young people in Clayton Heights have a safe space to go in the afternoons and evenings. After experiencing issues with troubled youth and nuisance behavior for the past 13 years that Trademark has managed the shopping centre in Clayton Heights, she sought the help of the Cloverdale Recreation Centre and Pacific Community Resources Society. The creation of CHAT has now morphed into a Pilot Project as part of the City of Surrey’s Public Safety Strategy, which connects people ages 13 to 18 to support to increase their confidence, life skills, employability, health and sense of belonging and work to prevent and reduce crime in the area.


Nominations are now closed for 2017. Check back for the release of the 2018 nomination form later in the year.

Award Categories

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

  • Entrepreneur
    Is an owner or significant shareholder of any business size.
  • Corporate/Leadership
    Holds a senior/executive level position in a public or private-owned business.
  • Professional
    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.
  • 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.


  • Proven business acumen
  • Outstanding leadership skills
  • Notable achievements in her area of expertise
  • Exemplary community involvement
  • Demonstration of a balanced lifestyle


Please submit your nomination to:

Heather Booth
101-14439 104 Avenue
Surrey, BC V3R 1M1
T: 604.634.0341
F: 604.588.7549

Previous Winners


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

2011 Winners

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.