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Eight Burnaby women nominated for these annual distinction awards

YWCA Metro Vancouver is set to recognize Burnaby entrepreneurs, businesses and community leaders at its gala in May.
The annual YWCA Metro Vancouver Women of Distinction Awards, pictured here in 2023.

Eight women that live or work in Burnaby have been shortlisted for the YWCA Metro Vancouver's 2024 Women of Distinction Awards.

The local nominees for the 41st annual event that celebrates female entrepreneurs and the advancement of gender equality include (by category):

Business and Professions 

  • Carol Mills – President and CEO, HUB International Greater Vancouver  
  • Heather Wilson – Chief Officer, Burnaby Fire Department  
  • Sarah Hoffman – President and CEO, Pacific Blue Cross 
  • Dr. Yabome "Satia" Gilpin-Jackson, PhD – Vice President, People, Equity and Inclusion, Simon Fraser University

Community Champion

  • Sobhana Jaya-Madhavan – Associate Vice-President, External Relations, Simon Fraser University  

Health and Wellness 

  • Ramya Hosak – Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships at the Kidney Foundation of Canada

Reconciliation in Action - Ally 

  • Denise Mullen – Director, Environment, Sustainability and Indigenous Relations, Business Council of British Columbia  
  • Mary Gerges – Executive Director, Reconciliation and Equity Strategies, BC Housing 

In a release sent to the NOW, YWCA Metro Vancouver spokesperson Saphiya Zerrouk said the nominees represent the future and wellbeing of the community through the contributions of their respective fields.

"This signature fundraising event is about bringing our diverse community together to empower one another," Zerrouk explained.

As well, Burnaby-based businesses Microserve and Global BC have been nominated in the "outstanding workplace" category.

In total, there are 106 nominees from across the region for the 2024 Women of Distinction Awards, which have recognized nearly 2,200 women since its inception in 1984.

The gala and ceremony is scheduled to take place Monday, May 13, at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver.

"We boldly envision a just and equitable world for women, families and allies," YWCA's mission statement reads.

"We deliver affordable housing, early learning and child care, training and employment services, and a range of holistic programs that help support individual, collective and economic wellbeing."