Women Empowerment Awards
2023 Award Recipients
TORONTO, September 22, 2023 - Last night at the Park Hyatt in downtown Toronto, the second annual Women Empowerment Awards presented by Rogers Communications Inc. in association with Mantella Corporation, celebrated the accomplishments of 10 diverse women from varying industries across the country. The awards were created to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women in Canadian business, leadership, mentorship, global impact, diversity, equality & inclusivity, community service, rising stars and lifetime achievement.
“It was a true honour to meet so many inspiring women and hear their stories through the Women Empowerment Awards. We celebrated the achievements of remarkable women who have shattered glass ceilings, inspired change, and uplifted communities. The event not only recognized their outstanding contributions but also served as a beacon of inspiration for countless individuals seeking to make a difference in the world.” said President and Founder, Women Empowerment Awards, Klaudia Zinaty.
Meet Our 2023 Women Empowerment
Dr. Nardin Samuel - Co-Founder, Cove Neurosciences Inc.
Dr. Nardin Samuel is a Resident Physician and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Toronto. Her work has been focused on non-invasive brain stimulation for various neurological indications.
She co-founded Cove Neurosciences, a software enterprise developing advanced analytics for brain data processing and interpretation, with the goal of revolutionizing clinical practice in psychiatry and neurology through a paradigm-shifting approach to disease management.
Her work is currently being applied to investigate possible novel stimulation therapies for patients with neurologic disorders and she is one of the few women in her training program in neurosurgery, who conducted rigorous research within Canada and the United States to support my mission to advance female leadership in the field.
Yvette Raposo - Boxing Trainer
Yvette has 25 years in the fitness, boxing and speaking industry. She is a former boxing champion and award-winning speaker in 2018, Yvette became the first professional female boxing ring announcer in Canada, officially marking her as a trailblazer in her sport for stepping into a position traditionally held by men.
One of her proudest accomplishments to date, is the mentorship opportunity she currently provides for assistant coaches and students at the University of Toronto through her boxing movement & mindset program.
With a Masters in Neuro Linguistic Programming, her message remains consistent: “think like a fighter to live as a champion”.
Global Impact Award
Kelly Lovell - Founder & CEO BridgingTheGap Ventures
Kelly is known for creating effective global programs that engage next-gen audiences, upskill underrepresented talent, and mobilize action for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
As a 3x TEDx speaker, UN Speaker and youth-led innovation expert, her initiatives have reached 330 million online, curated edutainment experiences in 170 countries and provided free upskilling to 5500+ young people worldwide—of which 80% were from underrepresented and underserved groups. As CEO of BridgingTheGap Ventures, Kelly produces future-focused content and impact campaigns for stakeholders to tap into the global youth sector in an authentic and relevant way to drive actionable results.
She's also the Founder and Global Chair of YOUNGA, the largest global festival for impact that uses mixed reality to connect young people with decision-makers to co-create solutions for UN Decade of Action.
Kathy Cheng - Founder & President Redwood Classics Apparel
Kathy Cheng is the President of WS & Co., a premier apparel manufacturer in Canada, and the Founder of Redwood Classics Apparel. She has ensured that the company prioritizes local and sustainable production, contributing significantly to economic inclusion. Kathy’s innovative practices in fashion have set an industry standard, and her persistent dedication to sustainable manufacturing processes and responsible business practices exemplify her contribution to the nexus of fashion and sustainability.
In 2022, Kathy received the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council Technology Innovation Award, the WBE President’s Award for her commitment to supplier diversity, and the LGBTQ+ Ambassador of the Year Award in recognition of her continued championing of diverse voices in her community.
Rogers Communications Entrepreneur of the Year Grant Award
Marie Wolfish - DEO & Founder, MC Beauty Cosmetic Clinic
Marie Wolfish, is the Founder and CEO of MC Beauty Cosmetic Clinic and DermaGlow MD. Marie has forged a reputation as an industry leader in the realm of medical aesthetics and for nearly a decade, she honed her expertise, fortifying a solid foundation in the dynamic and fast-paced industry of cosmetic aesthetics. Emboldened by her wealth of experience and education, she embarked on a new venture, opening a single treatment room in her house and expanding into a clinic in March of 2020. With a continued pursuit of results and client service, Marie launched another company DermaGlow MD at the end of 2021, an exclusive medical grade skincare line to provide top of the line ingredients and products to her patients.
Rising Star Award
Arissa Roy - Founder, Project Power Global
Arissa is a youth activist, children's book author, and documentary maker. She founded 'Project Power Global', an international organization that advocates for global education equity. She leads a team of youth working on grassroots, policy, and community impact. Arissa has worked with several organizations including 'Plan International Canada', 'Unsinkable', the 'Canadian Partnership for Women and Children Health', and “Fridays for Future” to champion social justice, mental health, and climate action. She has impacted 50,000+ people worldwide. She is a young leader in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 4 space.
Diversity, Equality & Inclusivity Award
Lorin MacDonald - Founder & Principal HearVue Inc.
Born with profound hearing loss, Lorin MacDonald is a human rights lawyer supporting people with disabilities, an accessibility advocate, and the Founder of HearVue, a social enterprise dedicated to disability awareness and communication.
For over 30 years, Lorin has displayed her leadership, passion, and commitment to accessibility and inclusion. She is one of Canada's top advocacy voices, steadfast in her belief that Canadians with disabilities have an unfettered right to full participation. Her impact as a change agent is remarkable given its cross-disability breadth: the arts, health care, legislation, education, access to justice, and communities have been beneficiaries of her expertise and dedication.
Mantella Corporation Entrepreneur BIPOC of the Year Grant Award
Dr, Poh Tan - Founder & CEO STEMedge Academy Inc.
Dr. Poh Tan is the Founder and CEO of STEMEdge Academy where she and her team help educators find ways to succeed in their own teaching environments.She is a two time TEDx Speaker, a United Nations Delegate for National Council of Women of Canada and was the past President of Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology. Dr. Tan aims to inspire and guide BIPOC female students, encouraging them to pursue careers in STEM/STEAM fields by sharing her stories on the challenges and successes of being a BIPOC female in the scientific field. Through her company and academic research, she works collaboratively with organizations in bringing a positive impact to their community through meaningful science outreach initiatives and continually strives to empower young learners, challenge societal norms, and create positive change in the world.
Businesswoman of the Year
Lori Morris - Founder, Lori Morris Design
For thirty-six years, Lori Morris has been reinventing the standard in luxury interior design. A creative tour-de-force that embraces a forward-thinking philosophy, Lori is a ‘no rules’ artist who parlays a unique and unyielding take on sumptuous interior design, with a sexy, distinctive edge. She leads an extensive team of female professionals in a male dominated industry in-house and abroad in the creation of her award-winning luxury spaces including a recent Winner for Best Private Residence Interior Design in Canada at the International Property Awards and Gold Winner (Internationally) of the International Design Awards. Her work is desired by the most exclusive clientele and has been featured in Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Marie Claire Maison Italia, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and many others.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Rosemary Sadlier - Sadlier Communications
Rosemary Sadlier OOnt (Order of Ontario) is a social justice advocate, researcher, writer, consultant, and, international speaker on Black History, anti-racism and women’s issues. She is the past President, serving for 22 years as the unpaid leader of the Ontario Black History Society – the only Provincial Heritage Organization in Canada with a focus on Black History. An advocate, building on the work of Dr. Dan Hill and others, she initiated and was the driving force of the secured commemoration of February as Black History Month at all levels of government achieving a national Declaration in Dec, 1995; consequently, she was the only non-elected leader invited to address the first national BHM celebration in Ottawa in February 1996. She secured August 1st as Emancipation Day municipally in 1994 and provincially in 2008 with a national declaration passed in March 2021 making this a national commemoration in Canada. She saw to the creation of the national day for the Hon. Lincoln Alexander. She gave deputations to the UN Rapporteur on Race Relations, the Federal and Provincial Governments and provided consultative work with the Royal Ontario Museum, the CMHR, The Ward Heritage Interpretative Group, the Bi-National Study of the Underground Railroad and heritage conferences.
Sadlier is dedicated to social justice and using the frame of Black History, seeks to educate and empower others.