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Women of Distinction Awards 2016

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Deanne Howlett

on 16 January 2017

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Transcript of Women of Distinction Awards 2016

Dr. Ailsa Craig
Doctor Ailsa Craig is a highly respected Professor at Memorial University, and a community leader who makes substantial contributions to feminist pedagogy and mentorship.She is a pioneer in innovative teaching, most recently working on a community engagement project to develop a new Disability Studies course. Ailsa leads the way in programming and training in gender diversity awareness both on and off campus, and actively involves mentoring young women, LBGTQ youth, and activists in all projects. Underpinning Ailsa’s teaching and mentoring accomplishments is a commitment to social justice, gender equality and empathy.
All of Ailsa’s work – from curriculum development to political activism to community building and support- is driven by a feminist intersectional ethic of care and actively works against structural inequality while working to build community relationships that support and nurture.

Heather Watkins
In 2010 Heather Watkins became an integral part of the Neuropsychiatric patients Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, a non-profit organization for brain-injured persons and their families that is dedicated in providing neurocognitive rehabilitation, advocacy and research. Since being introduced to the NPA, she has contributed hundreds of hours of volunteer service. Now an active patient advocate as well as board member for the organization, Heather endeavors through her role to build bridges between governments and communities to break down barriers that brain-injured persons face in accessing various services within and outside of healthcare. Her collaborative position involves working across the healthcare, research and non-profit sectors to advance the cause of helping brain-injured persons throughout Newfoundland and Labrador and beyond. Always on call supporting patients and families by whatever means necessary, the organization would not be here today if not for her relentless commitment.
Holly White
Holly’s work is focused on inclusion. She actively strives to bring all voices to the forefront and works to enable those who are traditionally marginalized to take action. Holly takes a very individualized approach to empowering young girls and women. She recognizes that there is not a one size fits all solution for female empowerment. Holly’s dedication to continue to empower students of all ages, and share her knowledge and skills is reflected in her efforts to develop mini-enrichment curriculum for junior high school students on topics related to leadership and personal/professional development. Holly embodies what it means to be an effective educator.
Meaghan Burridge
Courtney Brown
Courtney is a bold and outspoken ambassador for her gender, epitomized in one theatre season where she performed a one-woman adaption of Othello. Courtney gives very generously of her time and energy. She has contributed countless hours toward the growth of various theatre companies over the last years, working behind the scenes so others important work can see the light of day. She is adamant in the power of theatre for education and change. Her current projects focus on issues not only dramatic but social and political: modern life in rural communities, the millennial generation’s battle with sex norms and mores, and climate change to name a few.
Jennifer Cranford
YWCA St. John's
Women of Distinction Awards 2016

Andrea Maunder
Anna Smith
Brittany Cummings
Clara Rendell
Danielle Irvine
Debbie Forward
Dr. Doreen Neville
Dorothy Vaandering
Heather Carroll
Helen Cleary-Escott
Helen Murphy
Holly Foley
Jamie O'Dea
Janet Lee
Janet Murphy Goodridge
Jenne Nolan
Among the top athletes in the province, Jennifer is a leader and role model for young women. She is looked up to and respected by many; those who know her speak highly of her drive and dedication. Jennifer brings her strong work ethic to her job, her academic career, and to the sport of bodybuilding. She lends a helping hand or advice to those who ask, and strives to motivate and support young women to pursue their goals.
Jenny Wright
Jillian Hand
Katie Wadden
Kristie Jameson
Lauren Smee
Lindsey Hynes
Mackenzie Dove
Malin Enström
Chief Judge Pamela J Goulding
Rebecca Matthews
Ruth Lawrence
Sheilagh O'Leary
Shena Quinton
Dr. TA Loeffler
Teri-Lynn Jones
Newfoundland and Labrador cuisine is garnering an international reputation for creativity and that’s due in no small part to restaurateur Andrea Maunder. Since 2007, she has owned and operated Bacalao, an award-winning restaurant dedicated to an innovative interpretation of Newfoundland cuisine, with a passionate focus on local produce, products, seafood, game and spirits. Andrea runs the front of house and is the self-taught pastry chef and wine director. Bacaloa turns Newfoundland cooking on its head by using traditional ingredients and local foods to create fine dining twists on old favorites. She supports the provincial economy by buying everything from garlic to game and seafood to spirits from local businesses and suppliers.
Andrea passionately promotes the best that Newfoundland and Labrador has to offer tourists, especially when she travels internationally for food events and public appearances, using every opportunity to spread the word about our province’s unique gifts.
Brittany Cummings is a young woman with a huge heart and limitless energy. She focuses her attention on an extremely vulnerable population-animals that have been neglected and mistreated by humans. In Newfoundland, Brittany is a committed volunteer with Molly’s Dream, a group that cares for the ever-growing populations of feral and abandoned cats in the CBN area. But her passion for animal welfare does not stop at home. She travelled to Namibia in south west Africa in 2013 and 2015 to spend a month working with volunteers to help wild animals under threat. Her dream has always been to become a veterinarian and she has completed some university studies toward that goal. But going to school has been put on hold while she works full-time to pay the bills and devotes the rest of her time to her animal welfare work, which Brittany says she cannot bear to abandon.
Clara Rendell is a female pioneer in the largely male world of Corrections. Clara has spent 32 years in Federal Corrections in Newfoundland and Labrador. She has risen from a Parole Officer to Area Director for this Province. She has developed an effective approach to her work that has attracted national attention. Clara has used a quiet, non-intrusive style to deal with offenders and staff alike. She teaches by quiet example and caring interventions very effectively. She inspires very capable and grounded females to enter this difficult field. She educates the Canadian Corrections system as to the unique circumstances of this province. Clara ensures that both staff serving offenders and the offenders themselves are not compromised by the challenges they face within this province. Where deficient Clara has found alternative approaches to offset deficiencies.








Dr. Doreen Neville is a leader in the fields of healthcare and post secondary education. She has served her community through her work and volunteerism over the course of her career. Her research in healthcare delivery and access has helped shape policy creation and implementation across the province. She is a visionary pioneer in the healthcare outreach and education sector. As an Associate Professor of Health Policy/Care Delivery at Memorial’s Facility of Medicine, she has passed on her wisdom and ethic of care to medical students and graduate students. In her role as Memorial University’s Associate Vice-President “Academic”, she was instrumental in creating Memorial’s Teaching and Learning Framework. Doreen is an accessible administrator, a powerhouse leader, and a transformative educator, who values and respects others in both professional and personal settings.

Dorothy has made great contributions to her community in the area of restorative justice in schools. She has demonstrated great leadership in leading and mentoring change towards supporting relational school cultures. Her work has assisted many individuals by helping them to reflect upon and to adjust their relationships with self, family, friends, and colleagues. People who understand Dorothy’s vision and her work have a different sense of what is possible to achieve in their communities. She has helped individuals to find meaningful ways to connect to each other and to resolve conflicts. Dorothy is the epitome of how a single individual can create and sustain change from the ground up.

Heather, in the implementation of her feminist values, is utterly dedicated to the service of the many communities to which she belongs. As an educator, she is indiscriminately devoted to the passing of these values to her students, a group which pans continents and backgrounds. Heather is a woman who is unafraid of any challenge, who greets opposition with respect and reason, who welcomes every point of view presented, no matter her personal opinion, with an open mind a jovial spirit. Her generosity, thoughtfulness, and sense of decency, combined with her courage global awareness and strong sense of purpose make her an extraordinary person. She is a trail blazer the launcher of many projects that seek to break down every barrier which continues to sustain inequality especially in the global classroom.
Helen was well respected as an RCMP Communications Strategist. Her colleagues in the Force hold her in high regard and have invited her back since her retirement to promote the RCMP Musician Ride in 2015 and sit on the RCMP Fallen Members Community Fund. She volunteers as Communications Director with St. Mark’s and created the communication strategy to bring people back to church, particularly the LGBT community. She also developed the media campaign for a refugee family in St. John’s and sits on the transition team to help them adjust. She also volunteers with the Church Lads Brigade and runs the annual Klondike Night Fundraiser, and helped create “Where Once They Stood” with the Spirit of Newfoundland which is a dinner theatre dedicated to our history at Beaumont Hamel. Helen works tirelessly to inspire young people particularly girls, to be leaders and to make her community a better place.
Helen Murphy is a long time community developer, chorister and piano teacher. For ten years, Helen has been the volunteer choir director for the Stella’s Circle Inclusion Choir, which includes adults who face many barriers such as mental health issues, addictions, homelessness, poverty and unemployment. Helen is a practicing mental health advocate in her approach to the choir. She selects songs with positive messages and lyrics that are relevant to choir members, including songs of social justice, inclusion, relationships and trust. The joy of singing and the specific songs chosen by Helen helps members to focus on positivity. Audiences also see the joy and hear the messages of hope. Helen’s commitment to creating a safe singing space for all, regardless of their confidence, contributes to the overall enjoyment.
Jamie is a young woman who has already made significant contributions in the field of politics. As a leader in the Liberal Party, she has worked tirelessly to advance the values of the party and to encourage women to get involved in political life. Her achievements in the Liberal Party will pave the way for other young women interested in politics to seek leadership roles in civil service and in our provincial political parties.
Through her work at the NL Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre, Janet influences people every single day. She supports individuals who have been impacted by sexual violence in all of its forms. Janet uses information and education to change attitudes, to break down myths about sexual violence and also mentors over fifty dedicated Crisis Line Volunteers. She also helps volunteers grow personally and professionally by inspiring them with her empathetic and caring approach in the beginning then encouraging them to take the lead as their confidence grows. Janet guides, teaches, and supports the very foundation of the NLSACPC by empowering the crisis line volunteers to believe, support, and empower others.
Janet is a driving force, mentor and leader in the field of breastfeeding and best practice initiatives. Her skill, knowledge and kind diplomacy has steadfastly steered our province on a course of supporting, promoting and protecting breastfeeding as the norm for infant feeding.
She is forever cheerful and concerned with the wellbeing of others, and despite dealing with a recent significant illness, continues to work to ensure that our province follows a course of best practice to support our young families. Janet’s career of advocacy for women and their babies has resulted in profound changes in health delivery in our province and her skill in developing and mentoring others has ensured that this work will continue and flourish. She is indeed a woman of distinction, and countless women from all walks of life are thankful for her contribution to the health of our children.

Jenne is a passionate collaborator. She is more anxious that all the voices around the table be understood and powerfully combined then she is about advancing an agenda of her own. She has been a vital force within our city’s most exciting grassroots community projects. She has worked to inspire a team that successfully challenged our government to reinstate the Family Violence Intervention Court. She also helped build a campaign to fight the stigma around mental illness, which brought about the CC4MH and the All Party Committee on Mental Health. She was a founding member of the NL Social Justice Co-op and the Nancy Riche Front Door Forum. She works so very hard, but with joy and hope and always acknowledging the work of others. Jenne shines her light on others each day.
Jenny is the Executive Director at the St. John’s Status of Women Council and previously worked with Choices for Youth and the Child and Youth Advocate’s Office. She is the kind of person that makes you proud to be a woman; she is strong, smart, fearless, and completely devoted to making the world a better place. A Newfoundlander by choice, someone with Jenny’s impressive resume can work anywhere in the world but she chose our beautiful province to be her home. Her love for Newfoundland and its people is apparent in everything she does. Her unwavering dedication to helping those in need is an inspiration to all that know her.

Eight years ago Jillian became the first DONA certified doula in Newfoundland and Labrador. Fuelled by a passion for supporting women and their families and making a positive difference for families in their birthing experiences she dove into this role, inspiring so many others around her that the doula community in St. John’s today is about 40 strong. She was instrumental in founding the Doula Collective in 2008 and has held executive positions since its inception. Additionally she is the Eastern Canada Director for DONA International. Doula care is about centering the woman in her birth experience, intrinsically championing the advancement and inclusion of women in their births, setting them up for positive parenting and postpartum experiences. Jill selflessly works to pursue this goal. Providing emotional and physical support and education to pregnant and birthing women was a natural progression of her feminist orientation.
Katie has developed a rich and promising academic career in the field of research in stroke rehabilitation. She is also an extremely active volunteer. Her unique ability to rally a community behind her endeavours, to spread awareness of critical health components, and to raise funds for needed initiatives truly sets her apart. Her passion to raise awareness of holistic health, accessibility to nature, and cancer research has made a significant impact within the community.
As Executive Director of the Food Security Network, Kristie demonstrates leadership, innovation, tenacity, and inspires others to follow her as an example in building a stronger community. She helps others to develop community-based solutions to ensure access to healthy food for all, especially in our northern communities. Thanks in large part to her leadership, women across Northern Labrador have been developing skills and confidence that is making a tangible difference in their communities and improving their health and well-being. Kristie finds opportunities to enhance communities and promote food security. She develops relationships with ease and fosters meaningful collaboration in a way that includes everyone and imparts lasting knowledge and skills. As a very young woman in a leadership role, she is the kind of leader that people want to work for and embodies what strong female leadership is. Her style is inclusive, kind and supportive, it puts people at ease, and it is comforting yet strong. Kristie is having an invaluable impact that sets people who work with her and for her on a much stronger path forward.
Anna is not only a resourceful and innovative young woman, but a remarkable person, with an incredible sense of the issues young people care about – including education, mental wellness, gender identity, and long-term economic prospects. With strong writing skills, creativity, and strategic thinking, she has demonstrated ability to work in an ever-shifting government environment (in the office of Public Engagement) with a community-minded approach. For the last decade, Anna has worked with Oxfam Canada to champion the rights of women and girls, first at Memorial University as an educator and organizer, and since 2010, as a national Board Director. Anna worked this past summer to support the Women’s Policy Office in their efforts to engage young women in the upcoming elections. As a result of the partnership, Anna developed and published a comprehensive guide to running workshop for young women that educated participants about the continuing realities of gender inequality.
Danielle Irvine is an accomplished artistic director and recognized theatre director. She works in a media industry where she is in a position to give work to women and champion their place in a field still predominantly by and for men. Danielle champions her gender by choosing stories depicting women at their best and worst, in their dramatic moments of success and failure, joy and pain. Her immersive approach to theatre often dovetails with her 25 plus years of tour guide experience: infusing history with life and vivid modern significance, and always championing Newfoundland.
Debbie’s ability to ‘think outside the box’ has been a trademark of her leadership style. Always willing to push the envelope just a little further, Debbie’s strategic endeavors have won her great favors amongst her members and nursing counterparts across the country. As quoted by Roy E. Disney, ‘When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.’ Debbie’s vision has always been clear – registered nurses matter and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador deserve the best health care possible.
Holly is a mother, researcher, learner, activist, and creative spirit, who expands her viewpoint beyond the norm, actively and passionately challenging mainstream patterns of thought and behaviour. Holly is an empowered individual who is well-rounded, balanced, and driven. She is a force to be reckoned with, an inspiration, and a visionary. Holly is a proud and empowered feminist who reaches out to other women and girls, and who knows we become more powerful in collaboration with one another. Her work directly impacts women, as evident in the creation of the GIRL Run Club, co-founding of a women’s spirituality group – Feminine Arising, co-creating of Redefining Self-Care, a women’s retreat. Holly embraces her female energy, and facilitates others to do the same, in an empowering and engaging light.
At only 29 years old, Lauren Smee is making an impact on her community. She is a musician, a teacher and a leader. As Artistic Director of the Suzuki Talent Education Program, a violinist in the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, a teacher to students of many ages, and a valued friend, Lauren is an inspiration and mentor to many, especially young women. Lauren is known for her warmth, her democratic leadership style, and her deep appreciation for the talents of her colleagues and friends.
Lindsey is a major motivator to women, who has used her own journey to help influence others to achieve their own personal fitness goals. Starting as a Zumba Fitness Instructor she then expanded to create Burlesque Fitness. With success in these two classes, she travelled to New Jersey where she became the first Vixen Workout Instructor in Canada. Her professionalism, enthusiasm and real life personal progress shows others what they are capable of. Lindsey has championed the inclusion of women by making them feel comfortable in their own bodies.
Mackenzie is an avid volunteer with a wide range of non-profit organizations and is a leader with everything she contributes to. At the age of 20, Mackenzie has made significant contributions to, not only her community, but the province and has helped to encourage the development and well-being of other young women of Newfoundland and Labrador through her actions. Serving as President of Newfoundland and Labrador Youth Parliament for 2015 she helped to bring forward the first Session in 51 years which had more women than men participate. In high school, she encouraged and acted as a role model for young women to get involved with underwater robotics and helped to lead her team to an International victory. As Miss Achievement Newfoundland and Labrador 2013/2014 she assumed the responsibility to represent the contributions of the young women of our province and the role to inspire others to live up to their potential.
By placing her subjects at the centre of her creative process, Malin has made a significant contribution to the lives of women in this province. One Out of Nine is a collection of photographs that empower breast cancer survivors to tell their own stories, illuminating diverse experiences that had previously remained unspoken and unheard. When a group of breast cancer survivors trusted Ms. Enström to give voice to their experiences, they did so hoping no woman would endure her journey silent or alone. The results exceeded these hopes. The work’s impact extended to women and their families, while stimulating a broader public discussion about the complicated complexity of women’s experiences with breast cancer. Through her fearless, collaborative and compassionate approach to photography, Malin has given us an honest, full and accurate portrayal of women’s lives and their resilience in the face of disease.
Meaghan is a major contributor to breastfeeding learning and supports and is also a pioneer in the yoga community of this province. She empowers, inspires and motivates others to learn, achieve and participate and has shown a particular interest in helping women, girls and mothers. Meaghan’s passion for health and wellness motivates others to live a purposeful and inspired life.
Chief Judge Pamela J. Goulding has distinguished herself as an advocate, barrister, lawyer, jurist and judicial administrator. She is a champion of freedom and justice for women and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. As a pioneer in the legal community, she was the first woman to head Public Prosecutions and the first to become Chief Judge in Newfoundland and Labrador in over 400 years of legal history. She has served as an inspiring role model for young women building careers in what had long been a male-dominated profession of lawyers and judges. Leading by example and as an effective and skillful innovator serving to improve the criminal justice system for the people by working inside its intuitions, she has advanced and continues to advance the true case of justice.

In 2010, Rebecca co-founded the organization Taking Strides with her mother. This organization collects used sports equipment for underprivileged families, allowing them to partake in physical activity. Rebecca also volunteers at the Women’s Resource Centre at MUN and is an active member of the MUN Gender Studies Society. A 21-year old with a lot of passion and drive, she is a Psychology Major and Gender Studies minor at Memorial University and is in her fourth year of studies. She plans to attend medical school with the aspiration to become a doctor in women’s health. Rebecca is a part time Crew Leader at the Summit Center Swimming Pool in Mount Pearl where she has worked for over four years. She also works at MUN Medical School as a Gynecological Teaching Associate where she teaches medical students how to preform breast exams and other gynecological procedures.
Ruth Lawrence is an award winning actor, writer and filmmaker. She was named the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council's 2011 Artist of the Year and in 2013 was honoured with the Queen's Jubilee Medal. Ruth embodies a powerful combination - a passion for the arts, community and activism which makes her a women of distinction, and a powerful force for change. She has affected the lives of so many women and their families deeply. Ruth never asked for or wanted recognition for the incredible work she put into launching the Shine a Light on Tibbs’s Eve fundraiser; she always gave the recognition to the artists and the women she has supported instead. She is a community leader who continually uses her gifts as a prominent artist to lift, to heal and enhance our community. As an activist, she shows up and stands up to create change when people are hurting, wronged or unsafe. She keenly understands and lives by the belief that art has the power to heal and to transform communities. Her leadership has inspired others to get involved–from organizing a community demonstration against cuts to the arts, to organizing a fundraiser in support of women’s programming. Her sense of humour, her kindness, her art and her unrelenting compassion for others is truly extraordinary.
Sheilagh is an avid community volunteer, a long-time social advocate, an environmentalist and also an entrepreneur. As a role model in both the social and political realms, she has dedicated significant time and energy to advocating for women to be better represented in politics. She is well known recently as a St. John’s City Councillor and also for her tireless contributions to raise awareness and funds for mental health in this province.
Shena is deeply committed to her community. She has played an important role in local recycling efforts, volunteered for her children's high school's "safe grad", and has been instrumental in organizing a Neighbourhood Watch program in her community. She has contributed countless hours in community building by organizing annual block parties, community fundraising initiatives, and supporting many numerous families and individuals through her charitable endeavours. She exhibits energy and dedication to making her community of Mount Pearl a better place for all to live.

TA Loeffler is well-known as an avid athlete, adventurer, coach and Professor of Outdoor Recreation at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She has developed a reputation for excellence in experiential education and inspires hope, possibility, and vision in those whose lives she touches. She is known to many as an incredible mentor and a true inspiration. Her educational impact upon youth and young women in particular sets the bar for endless possibilities; encouraging and daring women to be anything they dream to be.
Teri-Lynn has been actively involved in real estate for ten yours. She started her career in Toronto and relocated back to Newfoundland in 2012. She is known for her knowledge, enthusiasm, energy and positive attitude. In 2014 Teri-Lynn was appointed Broker/Manager of REMAX Infinity Reality, one of the fastest growing real estate offices in the province. As Broker/Manager, Teri-Lynn helps support and grows our real estate organization and works with agents to ensure continual satisfaction, training, compliance and long term goal setting. She creates a comfortable and trusting environment for clients and industry professionals.
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