Announcing the winners of the BCBusiness Women of the Year Awards

The winners and finalists in our new Women of the Year competition hail from businesses large and small across B.C.

The new competition honours exceptional leaders at businesses large and small throughout the province

Everyone knows that B.C. is home to some exceptional female business talent. Our new Women of the Year Awards aim to recognize the very best.

The finalists for the inaugural competition, who hail from organizations large and small across the province, were chosen by a panel of four judges listed at the bottom of this page. At the judges’ suggestion, we expanded the original four categories to six: Leader, Entrepreneurial Leader, Innovator, Community Builder, Change Maker and Rising Star.

Please join us in honouring the winners and runners-up at the Vancouver Club on September 28 (details below). The contenders are also featured in the April issue of BCBusiness, and we will post their profiles online in the coming days.

Here are the winners and finalists of our first annual Women of the Year Awards. 


Winner: Pauline Stevenson, founder and president, Excel Career College

Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade

Susannah Pierce, director, corporate affairs, LNG Canada Development 

Juggy Sihota, vice-president, Telus Consumer Health

Vivian Smith, executive director, Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation 

Entrepreneurial Leader 

Winner: Pilar Portela, president and CEO, Astra Smart Systems and i4C Innovation

Bridgitte Alomes, founder and CEO, Natural Pod 

Margaret Brodie, CFO and director, Rubicon Organics

Ashley Ramsay, co-founder and CEO, Yeti Farm Creative

Shannon Byrne Susko, founder and CEO, Metronome United


Winner: Julie Angus, co-founder and CEO, Open Ocean Robotics

Toni Desrosiers, founder and CEO, Abeego

Shevy Levy, co-founder and CEO, Lambda Solutions

Carlyn Loncaric, founder and CEO, VodaSafe

Brianne Miller, co-founder and CEO, Nada Grocery

Community Builder

Winner: Kelly Ann Woods, co-founder and CEO, Gillespie’s Fine Spirits; founder and CEO, Boozewitch Brands; founder and CEO, State B Cannabis Beverage Co.; founder, Squamish Craft Beverage Association

Tara Black and Marion Scott, co-founders and co-owners, Origin Bakery

Meredith Garritsen, founder and owner, Hervana Coworking Collective

Tessa McLoughlin, founder and director, KWENCH Enterprises

Alyssa Melnyk, vice-president, strategic engagement and communications, Castlemain Group

Change Maker

Winner: Livleen Veslemes, CEO, BioLytical Laboratories

Supneet Chawla, owner and CEO, Ace Trades and Technical Institute and Ace Community College

Tiana Sharifi, owner, Sexual Exploitation Education

Maryn Wallace, senior manager and client service leader, Deloitte Canada

Leeza Zurwick, owner, Happy Gut Pro

Rising Star

Winner: Laura Patrick, founder and CEO, Kids Physio Group

Shaina Azad, founder and CEO, Suva Beauty

Kyla Dufresne, founder and CEO, Foxy Box Wax Bar

Lyndsay Scott, owner, Kindred Cultures

Lulu Wang and Ashley Wu, co-founders, Sparks STEAM Academy


Katie Baker, director of programs, Minerva Foundation for BC Women

Laurel Douglas, CEO, Women’s Enterprise Centre; director, Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada; organizing partner, We for She; co-founder, Web Alliance of Women’s Business Networks

Jill Earthy, principal, Risery; entrepreneur in residence, Women’s Enterprise Centre; co-chair, We for She; adviser, Female Funders

Tina Strehlke, CEO, Minerva Foundation for BC Women

Grab tickets to our first annual Women of the Year Awards here