K-W Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year took time last night to recognize and pay tribute to some outstanding women in the community.
At an awards ceremony at LOT 42 Global Flex Campus, with the assistance of our Masters of Ceremonies, Brady, Adele and Tara from CHYM 96.7 and guest speaker Leslie Gordon Christie “The Buff Mom”, the following women were recognized for their outstanding contributions to this community:
Arts & Culture (sponsored by Piller’s Fine Foods) recognizes women for enriching the culture of our community through creation or promotion of the arts on a volunteer or professional basis.
Nancy Regehr (Waterloo)
Nancy Regehr is a tireless supporter of Arts & Culture in Waterloo Region. As board chair of the Grand Philharmonic Choir, she has led the transition from a working to a governance board. Nancy holds a certificate in non-profit and voluntary sector management from Ryerson University. She helped run the peace and development focused charity, Project Ploughshares, for many years. Now retired, she is vice-chair of the board of Menno Homes, and also chairs the Centre for Security Governance.
Community Service (sponsored by Rogers TV) recognizes women for generously volunteering their time to programs and services that make our community a better place.
Tracy Shonk-Lacey (Waterloo)
For 35 years, Tracy Shonk-Lacey has impacted the lives of hundreds of local youth involved with the CISV chapter in Waterloo, participating in international peace camps and engaging in leadership roles that work toward promoting respect for cultural difference. Passionately leading by example, Tracy creates opportunities for local youth and the CISV participants they meet from around the world to grow together as positive global citizens and take action to make their communities a better place.
Entrepreneur (sponsored by RE/MAX Solid Gold Realty Ltd. Ken Cameron) recognizes women for initiating and/or administering an enterprise or business.
Jennifer Knapp (Cambridge)
Jennifer has been recognized with multiple Awards over her 30 year business career, from Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the 80’s to more recently BMO Celebrating Women Award for Innovation & Global Growth and the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce Chairs Award in 2016. She supports many community organizations including Centre for Family Business, Advisory Boards for Entrepreneurship and currently serves on the Board of Governors for Conestoga College. She is Co-Founder of Knapp Fasteners Inc. which serves a global marketplace of 20 Countries in precision Aerospace & Military components. Knapp is the only Fastener Distributor in Canada to hold the prestigious GIDEP designation where she trained with NASA employees to receive this certification.
Group Achievement (sponsored by TD Bank Group) recognizes achievements by a group of women that impact and/or improve our community or society.
SHORE Centre (Kitchener)
For the past 45 years, SHORE Centre has been a fierce advocate for choice, reproductive health and accurate sexual health education. Their commitment, passion and consistent adaptability to the needs of the community is inspiring. They are truly leaders in our community, working tirelessly to make it a better place each and every day. There aren’t enough awards to recognize how important their contributions are to Waterloo Region and beyond.
Health & Wellness (sponsored by Greater KW Chamber of Commerce) recognizes women for promoting and helping others achieve and promote mental, physical or spiritual well-being in her career or community involvement.
Mary Mueller (Kitchener)
In her 30 years as a public health nurse, Mary has provided support and counselling to the most vulnerable members of our Region, educated health providers locally and nationally, and advocated politically for policy change with respect to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. As a soccer coach and team manager for over 20 years, she has been a positive role model and mentor to many young girls. She is passionate about advocating for our region to include the needs of refugees and immigrants. Mary’s compassionate and determined nature means she never stops finding ways to contribute to the well-being of our community.
Lifetime Achievement (sponsored by Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest) recognizes women for being a role model, mentor and/or advocate for positive and social change throughout her lifetime.
Linda Fabi (Cambridge)
During an exceptional career with the Waterloo Region District School Board that spanned almost 40 years, Linda Fabi has made an incredible difference in the field of education, and in the lives of many students. In retirement, Linda continues to make a difference in our community, tirelessly contributing her expertise as a volunteer and advocate for many organisations in Waterloo Region, inspiring those around her with her contagious smile and the remarkable dedication that go into all she does.
Professional (sponsored by Rogers radio Group CHYM 96.7/Country 106.7/570 News) recognizes women for dedicating themselves to the pursuit of excellence in their chosen career.
Dr. Diana Parry (Kitchener)
With a well-earned reputation for being solution-oriented and a remarkable willingness to work with, not against, people with diverse perspectives, Dr. Diana Parry works tirelessly to advance gender equity and support female leadership at the University of Waterloo and beyond. In doing so, she has transformed UW into a global leader for best practices in human rights, equity, and inclusion by fostering an institutional climate in which women flourish.
Science, Technology, Engineering & Math – STEM (sponsored by S.G Cunningham) recognizes women for outstanding advancement to the field of STEM
Dr. Julia Biedermann (Kitchener)
Dr. Julia Biedermann holds a BASc, MASc and PhD in civil engineering and is a professional engineer who currently holds the position of Executive Dean for the Schools of Engineering, Technology and Trades at Conestoga College. She has dedicated her educational and career endeavours to the STEM fields and sits on numerous STEM-related councils and boards at the local, provincial and national levels. She is also a strong advocate of promoting young women to enter careers in STEM.
Sports & Recreation (sponsored by Movati Athletic) recognizes women for actively participating, coaching or volunteering in sports or recreation.
Rhonda-Marie Parke (Kitchener)
Finding time to train as a business owner and mother of 3 is challenge enough for any athlete. For Rhonda-Marie Parke, a visually impaired runner, she requires guides to help her get out and train for the ultra-marathons she runs. Her Achromatopsia causes her vision to be overwhelmed by daylight and she is legally blind. When she’s not running, Rhonda-Marie gives talks about enabling athletes with disability in sport and seminars for athletes on caring for your body to ensure performance.
Young Adult (14 to 21) (sponsored by the Kitchener Fire Department) recognizes young women for leading by example and being a role model to her peers.
Maggie Sutherland (Waterloo)
Maggie was the recipient of the Young Women in Public Affairs award offered by the Zonta Club. She is a mature, assertive, confident young woman. She epitomizes superior intelligence and leadership skills. She is extremely gifted, hardworking, and dedicated to helping others. She offers her leadership skills and knowledge to school and community activities in which she is involved. Maggie is the embodiment of compassion for others and offers help wherever and whenever she can.
Residents of the Region were encouraged to nominate their choice for Women of the Year and were invited to enjoy this evening with these distinguished women.