2016 Award Recipients

Rebecca Short  (Arts & Culture sponsored by Piller’s Fine Foods)
For over 29 years Rebecca Short has been a volunteer, a resilient Chair and a dedicated promoter of the Arts Awards Waterloo Region, Region of Waterloo Arts Fund, Economic Development Advisory Committee and a board member of the Clay and Glass Gallery. Rebecca is recognized for her unique perspective and being culturally sensitive on the interplay between community, culture, the arts and communication to diverse audiences. Simply she loves being a part of the local arts community.


Georgia Cunningham (Community Service sponsored by Rogers TV )
Georgia has been volunteering for 30 years and has supported healthcare, arts & culture, youth sports and social programs. Whatever she does, she commits to it with her whole heart and gives tirelessly of her time. She is a true professional and treats every volunteer project with the same attention to detail that she applies to her professional work. Her greatest gifts are her lovable nature and wide network of supporters. When she embraces a special cause, she inspires the commitment of a multitude.


Lina Shamoun (Entrepreneur sponsored by RE/MAX Solid Gold Realty Ltd. Ken Cameron)
International award-winning visionary stylist and entrepreneur, Lina Shamoun is the owner and chief artistic stylist of Artline Salon, renowned for its avant-garde styles and impeccable technique.   With an average annual growth rate of 30%, many of Artline’s styles appear in magazines worldwide, and clients come from as far away as USA and Germany.  A strong supporter of youth and apprenticeship, she is founder of the successful community charity event entitled “Hair United”.  Earlier this year Lina was the recipient of the gold medal in the “Progressive Style and     Cut” category at the OMC Hair World Championship held in Seoul, Korea.

best-friends-of-bbbs-waterloo-regionBest Friends of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Waterloo Region
(Group Achievement sponsored by TD Bank Group)
The Best Friends of Big Brothers Big Sisters is a unique organization in many ways, not the least being their commitment to and success in raising essential funds for the BBBS of Waterloo Region. Launched in 1989, this dynamic group of women has created unique fundraising events, including the Region’s best gala and The Chefs’ Gourmet Dinner. In keeping with the example set by its founding president, Betty Thompson, the Best Friends have raised over 1 million in funds for the BBBS agency.


laura-callum-websiteLaura Callum (Health & Wellness sponsored by Greater KW Chamber of Commerce)
Laura has a strong commitment to the health and wellness of others. She tirelessly gives of her time and knowledge to support food security initiatives, from committees to programs, to her work as a Community Nutrition Worker. Laura’s long term community involvement includes a breakfast program; a Neighbourhood Market; the Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable and Special Olympics. Laura is motivated by her family and personally, to make a difference in the wellness of her community.


ann-bilodeau-websiteAnn Bilodeau (Lifetime Achievement sponsored by Michael Harris, MPP Kitchener-Conestoga)
Ann Bilodeau is passionate about serving her community and has been an active member and volunteer for over 40 years. Her boundless energy and contagious enthusiasm captivates all who have the privilege of being part of her efforts to ensure an inclusive society; one where everyone has opportunity to reach their full potential. Ann believes that true inclusion is not in a written philosophy; it needs to be inherent in everything we do, every day.


Cynthia Davis (Professional sponsored by CHYM 96.7/Country 106.7/570 News)
Cynthia is an experienced courtroom advocate who practices in the areas of medical malpractice, personal injury, construction and commercial law. She actively mentors young lawyers and students, is a Trustee on the WRLA and was recently elected as Vice-Chair of the OTLA’s Medical Malpractice Section. She also volunteered with the Canadian Cancer Society, was on the Board for Focus for Ethnic Women and, most recently, was the Chair of the KidsAbility School Authority.


 Dr. Shohini Ghose (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math – STEM sponsored by Wilfred Laurier University Faculty of Science/Office of Research) Dr. Shohini Ghose is a Professor of Physics and Computer Science at Wilfrid Laurier University and is not only an accomplished theoretical physicist with an international reputation but a strong champion for the advancement of women in science locally and internationally. From making the Globe and Mail’s list of “Hot Shot Professors” to being named a TED 2014 Fellow, Shohini continues to raise the profile of women in science, acting as a mentor and champion for so many young women. With the support of Wilfrid Laurier University, Shohini launched the Centre for Women in Science, to build a strong community for women in science through research, advocacy and action.


Kaitlyn Weaver (Sports & Recreation sponsored by Depth Training & Physiotherapy) Kaitlyn began as a hard-working, determined skater who was looking to improve her skills and make a new partnership in the sport; she then turned an Olympic dream into reality. After ten seasons, she is so much more than that young girl from the US – she is an ambassador for the sport, a great role model for younger skaters, and most importantly a great friend. Her dedication to her sport and bettering herself is contagious. People look up to her everywhere she goes.


Nooran AbuMazen (Young Adult sponsored by the Kitchener Fire Department)Nooran is a brilliant young woman who has put Waterloo Region on the national and international map with her academic achievements.  Having competed locally, nationally and placed second internationally, she is a successful scientist, now beginning her university studies.  With her passion for brain science, Nooran inspires other youth to aim high in their quest to explore, research, and innovate