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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

2022 Women in Business Award finalists announced

The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) is pleased to announce the finalists and the bestowed award recipients for this year’s Women in Business Awards (WIBAs), powered by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and BCM Insurance.

“Every year, the number of nominees we receive and the incredible work they do in our community never ceases to amaze us,” said Grace Eldajani, Chair of the GNCC’s Women in Niagara Council (WIN). “This year, we received a record 160 nominations and 80 entries. Niagara is home to so many brilliant, dedicated, and hard-working women, and to draw finalists and winners from among them is always incredibly difficult.”

The Women in Business Awards (WIBA) is an annual event to recognize the leadership and success of women in our business community. The WIBAs aim to encourage more women to seek out and reach for leadership roles in business, non-profits, and in their community.

“These awards are all about expressing our appreciation and admiration for women who inspire, lead, create, and solve,” said Mishka Balsom, CEO of the GNCC. “One day is not enough to showcase the ability and talent of our finalists. We hope that everyone who is proud to support female leaders will join us.”

This year’s finalists are:

Business That Gives Back Award, sponsored by Niagara Community Foundation:

  • Two Sisters Vineyards
  • Queen Bean Café
  • Westview Centre4Women

Community Impact Award, sponsored by Niagara College

  • Alexis Kleiman
  • April Mitchell-Boudreau
  • Diana Myrie
  • Gynette Smith
  • Kimberley Cathline
  • Sandra Easton

Corporate Leadership Award, sponsored by Hatch

  • Erin Hagar, Airbus Helicopters Canada Ltd.
  • Faith Winter, Canadian Tire Bank
  • Marie Fucile, Youngs Insurance Brokers Inc.

Cultural Arts Award, sponsored by CAA Niagara

  • Kate Leathers, Carousel Players
  • Kristin Messina,
  • Rima Boles, Niagara Pumphouse
  • Sarah Kaufman, Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum

Emerging Business Award, sponsored by Niagara Region Economic Development

  • Charlotte Scace, Cluō Inc.
  • Cheryl Vanditelli, Queen Bean Café
  • Renée Delaney, Small Scale Farms

Entrepreneurship Award, sponsored by Kane’s Distributing

  • Alicia Yap & Olenka Lyle, ClaraDerma+
  • Annemarie Bolle, Hero Dog Treats Inc
  • Shannon Passero, Shannon Passero Design
  • Tammara Scaringi-Stanek, On Demand Staffing

Excellence in the Not-for-Profit Sector, sponsored by the Brock University Faculty of Social Sciences

  • Kim Rossi, Pathstone Foundation
  • Lorraine Snihur, Habitat for Humanity Niagara
  • Michelle Lewis, Young Caregivers Association
  • Samantha Sendzik-Sinclair, Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara Region (LDANR)
  • Yaneth Londono, Links for Greener Learning

Excellence in Trades Award, sponsored by Kraun Electric

  • Allison Wood, Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc.
  • Catherine O’Donnell, Willow Cakes and Pastries
  • Samanntha De Coteau, Summit Sisters

Health Care Hero Award, sponsored by Alectra Utilities

  • Brittany Mott, Seneka Caruso, Niagara Hearing and Health
  • Dr. Jennifer Tsang, Niagara Health
  • Kristen Marischuk, Counselling by Kristen
  • Lisa Miele, LV Physiotherapy
  • Rosanna Sim, Advantage Speech Pathology Services

Innovations in Hospitality and Tourism Award, sponsored by DDL & Co.

  • Heidi Fielding, Fielding Estate Winery
  • Kim Viney, Niagara Parks
  • Madison Vine, Andrew Peller Ltd
  • Tamara Jensen, Dispatch Restaurant

Science and Technology Award, sponsored by Innovate Niagara

  • Alexandra Griffith, Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics Inc
  • Dr. Ana Cristina Vega Lugo, Niagara College
  • Krista Flachs, Hatch
  • Rachael LeBlanc, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

Young Professional Award, sponsored by Ridley College

  • Agnieszka (Agusia) Krzywinska, Adjective Noun Studios
  • Brianne Bradley, Beattie Stationery Limited
  • Janice Graham, Endless Pawzabilities Pet Boutique
  • Katie MacCabe, Wandering Spirits
  • Nikki McKnight, The Ops Shop
  • Sara Dudley, The Sunscreen Company
  • Shannon Fernandes, Town of Lincoln
  • Stephanie Reis, Ferox Estate Winery

At the awards, Debbie Zimmerman is to be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Since 2003, Debbie has been the CEO of the Grape Growers of Ontario, the official organization that represents over 500 farm families producing grapes on over 17,000 acres across the province.

Debbie was actively involved in local politics for 36 years, starting in 1978 as a local alderman for the Town of Grimsby. In 1989 Debbie was elected to Regional Council, and elected as Regional Chair for the Regional Municipality of Niagara in 1997, a position that she served in for two terms.

Debbie has been the recipient of many awards including the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce “Community Leadership Award” in 2013, the “Niagara Award” in 1998, the Niagara College “Board of Governors Award” in 2001 and the YWCA “Woman of Distinction” award in 2003.

For 2022, the Ruth Unrau Legacy Award has been created in the name of Women in Niagara co-founder Ruth Unrau, to be conferred upon a woman who shares Ruth’s spirit and dedication to advocacy for women in business, and who has lifted up female entrepreneurs through her work and support. The award recipient will have championed women in trade and commerce, and empowered others to achieve success. For the inaugural year, Ruth herself will be the recipient.

For more information and tickets, visit

Media attendance at the WIBAs is welcome and does not require the purchase of tickets. Please announce your arrival to staff.

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