Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 50 Women Leaders of Toronto for 2022. Crucial players to the companies and organizations they serve, these individuals are experts in a variety of areas including technology, non-profit, beauty, finance and more. As Canada’s largest city, and the 4th largest in North America, Toronto is bustling with women who are leading top companies into new territories year after year. This year’s awardees are highly thought of and true professionals in their fields.
Among this year’s awardees are Lara Skripitsky, Vice President and Chief Technology & Operations Support Officer for McDonald's, whose passion for technology and innovation enables organizational change across people and processes; Sharon Barnes-Simmonds, Chief Financial Officer of Action Against Hunger, who leads the financials for the organization working to save the lives of malnourished children by providing communities with access to safe water and sustainable solutions to hunger; and Christina Fung, Senior Vice President of Consulting Services in the CGI Toronto Banking Group, who works closely with senior executives on business strategies, delivering complex business roadmaps, and creative solutions to achieve high value and outcomes.
We applaud this year’s awardees for their hard work, dedication, and tenacity. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Women Leaders of Toronto for 2022.
1. Lara Skripitsky
VP and Chief Technology & Operations Support Officer, McDonald's
Lara Skripitsky is a Vice President and Chief Technology & Operations Support Officer of McDonald's, the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with over 37,000 locations in over 100 countries. Skripitsky has passion for and a solid command of consumer technology and innovation across mobile, digital and social media, ecommerce, and emerging technologies. She also has deep experience in evolving traditional business practices into technology driven models and orchestrating organizational change across people and processes. Skripitsky has 25 years of experience. She began her career in 1997.
Before joining McDonald's, Skripitsky was a director of digital marketing at Johnson & Johnson and before that, a director of marketing and programming at Rogers Communications. Earlier in her career she worked with Katimavik as a project manager. Skripitsky graduated from Ivey Business School at Western University with an MBA in general management and marketing and from Queen's University with an undergraduate degree in women's studies and English.
2. Martha McIver
VP of Canada HR & Head of People, CBRE Canada
Martha McIver is a culture creator, advocate for positive change, helps senior leadership achieve their business goals and brings care to corporate workplaces. She joined CBRE in 2009 as the VP Human Resources for Canada. In this role she is responsible for managing all aspects of Canadian HR support for the Advisory, Global Workplace Solutions, and Property Management business units. This includes initiatives to improve employee engagement as well as collaborate with America’s People Centre of Excellence functions including recruitment, compensation, diversity & inclusion, benefits, payroll, talent management, and learning & development.
Prior to joining CBRE, Martha was VP of human resources with Hewlett-Packard Canada, and VP of human resources for Agilent Technologies Canada. In addition to her Canadian HR experience Martha has HR experience working with leaders and employees in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Brazil. After graduating from Queens University with a degree in psychology, Martha held recruitment and compensation roles for a Canadian consumer goods company. She has her CHRL designation from the Human Resources Professional Association.
4. Christina Fung
SVP of Consulting Services, CGI
Christina Fung is a Senior Vice President of Consulting Services in the CGI Toronto Banking Group and has led business and technology transformation initiatives with different banking clients. CGI is among the largest IT and business consulting services firms in the world. Fung works closely with the senior executives in banks on business/IT strategies, delivering complex business roadmaps, and innovative technology solutions that achieve the expected value and outcomes. At CGI, Fung has held key roles including delivery executive, account executive, and head of products.
Prior to CGI, Fung worked in various leadership positions in Canadian banks, global financial institutions, and global software companies. She has brought broad end-to-end experiences and insights to her clients from business strategies and technology innovation to delivery management. She enjoys working with clients and being their trusted advisor, collaborating with global business units to create winning strategies and opportunities, and helping members in achieving their career goals. Fung earned an undergraduate degree in engineering from Queen's University.
5. Sanyam Sethi
Vice President, Ipsos Public Affairs
As Vice President at Ipsos Public Affairs, Sanyam Sethi works closely with government departments, ministries, multilateral and non-profit organizations, think tanks and associations. Through her deep subject matter expertise and actionable insights, she designs and leads strategic and bespoke research and consulting programs that support the development of efficient and effective policies, public service delivery frameworks, communications strategies, and marketing initiatives.
An economist by education, Sanyam found her passion for understanding people, societies, and cultures through her work as a social researcher in diverse geographies, starting from Asia to the Middle East and North Africa and now, North America. Inspired by her lived and on-the-ground experience of working across countries, Sanyam developed a keen interest in the intersectionality of international development through equality and inclusion. Sanyam holds Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) certification by the Government of Canada (Women & Gender Equality Canada) & has also hosted webinars on Gender & Equality. She is passionate about driving positive social outcomes and has led imminent research on topics such as heath, education, governance, quality of life, gender, early childhood development, equity, diversity, and inclusion, among others, for various government and not-for-profit organizations both within and outside Canada. Over 12+ years of her career, Sanyam has established herself as a trusted partner and a leading public affairs researcher. She is a sought-after speaker and presenter and can be spotted on Canada’s major TV and radio networks, such as Global News and CTV, talking about research on important topics of social and economic relevance.
6. Leilah Ambrose
VP & Creative Director, Edelman
Leilah Ambrose is a Vice President and Creative Director for Edelman, a global communications firm that partners with businesses and organizations to evolve, promote, and protect brands and reputations. Their 6,000 employees in more than 60 offices deliver communications strategies that give the clients the confidence to lead, act with certainty, and earn the lasting trust of their stakeholders. Ambrose has threaded herself into the creative, culture and clientele, working on some of the world's biggest brands across a wide range of verticals including tourism, automotive, not-for-profit, CPG, QSR, telecommunications, corporate reputation development, and personal care. She has 18 years of experience. She began her career in 2004.
Before joining Edelman, Ambrose was an associate creative director at TAXI and before that, a senior writer at Grip Limited. Earlier in her career she worked with Bruce Mau Design as a writer and designer. Ambrose graduated from the University of Toronto - Victoria University with an undergraduate degree in English and film studies.
8. Gordana Terkalas
SVP of Human Resources, Aecon Group
Gordana Terkalas is Senior Vice President of Human Resources, leading people initiatives at Aecon, including the corporation’s Diversity & Inclusion Council, is a member of the Ethics & Compliance Committee, and leads the Organizational Change Management Community of Practice. She is a versatile HR leader who has grown her career in fast-paced, entrepreneurial organizations calling for significant agility and progressive thinking.
Terkalas has practiced HR in various industries including consulting engineering, technology, and healthcare. Throughout her career, she has garnered extensive experience in both operations and corporate services across all facets of the HR function, from organization design, talent acquisition and total rewards to employee development, talent and succession management. She earned an undergraduate degree in commerce from Ryerson University, as well as a CHRL Designation and is a member of the Association of Change Management Professionals.
9. Lynn Roger
Chief Human Resources Officer, Bayshore HealthCare
Lynn Roger is the Chief Human Resources Officer of Bayshore HealthCare, the first to hold this role for the organization. Bayshore HealthCare is one of the country’s leading providers of home and community health care services and is a Canadian-owned company. Roger is a transformational strategic HR executive with over two decades of business transformation with proven results in developing and leading world-class HR programs and operations. She leads organizations through successful change to power organizational agility through critical thinking, staying ahead of the curve, embracing emerging technologies and innovation.
A former senior executive at BMO Financial Group, Rogers is an authentic and engaging leader with deep experience in transformational change and a reputation for connecting talent strategies to the business and customers. She is a passionate supporter of mental health, mentoring female leaders, and will be a key driver in Bayshore’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiative. Roger earned an MBA in financial services from Dalhousie University and a certificate in human services from McGill University.
View the complete list of awardees.
11. Kate Dobrucki
VP of Communications, dentsu international
Kate Dobrucki is the Vice President of Communications at dentsu international. She prides herself on her ability to lead high-performing teams in a faced-paced environment. Her passionate approach to quality communication and branding has driven rapidly successful growth for all of her clients in the digital economy. Responsible for dentsu Canada’s reputation, influence and culture, Dobrucki leads a central team of communicators and marketers with a clear vision and strong focus. With her team, she streamlined regional communications and led the development of an immersive on-boarding process to foster a positive and energizing experience. Dobrucki led the construction of foundational internal and external channels for clients, colleagues, and partners and ensured clear, concise, and constant communication.
An avid volunteer, Dobrucki sits on the Special Olympics Toronto Council while also spending her Monday and Wednesday evenings as the head coach of the Special Olympics ski team, Toronto Speed Demons. Her true passion comes through in her mentorship, a champion for female empowerment, Dobrucki recently co-founded two women in business initiatives at dentsu - Female Foundry a mentorship, co-creation and support program for Canadian female entrepreneurs, and Womxn Who, an acclaimed podcast where Dobrucki and her co-host Simren have conversations with womxn who challenge the status quo, womxn who ask for what they want, and womxn who hold the door open for other womxn. She is a graduate of King’s University College where she earned an undergraduate degree in history with a specialization in warfare.
12. Jacqueline Loch
EVP of Social & Emerging Platforms, SJC
Jacqueline Loch is the Executive Vice President of Social and Emerging Platforms for SJC, Canada's largest privately owned communications company. SJC partners with clients to provide marketing solutions that inform, inspire, and empower audiences across every platform. Loch first joined the organization in 2015 and has held executive roles including VP of content solutions, VP and group publisher for the Women’s Group, and EVP of customer innovation. Loch has 33 years of experience. She began her career in 1989.
Before joining SJC, Loch was a VP and group publisher at Groupe TVA and before that, a VP and group publisher of consumer solutions at TC Media. Earlier in her career she worked with Rogers Media as a VP of content solutions where she launched and executed the award-winning "Canada's Best Beauty Talent" program with L'Oreal Canada, a 12-part web-isodic reality series, multi-brand and multi-platform delivering exceptional ROI for L'Oreal Canada. Loch serves on the board for The Content Council and with the National Media Awards Foundation. She graduated from OCAD University with an undergraduate degree in communication and design.
14. Sarah Palmer
VP of Digital Infrastructure, BAI Communications
Sarah Palmer is the Vice President of Digital Infrastructure for BAI Communications. BAI Communications is a world leader in shared communications infrastructure, pioneering the future of advanced connectivity, and delivering the ubiquitous coverage that can transform lives, power business ambitions and shape the future of our cities. Palmer has over 20-years of experience leading high performing commercial and operational teams in the technology, telecommunications, and IoT sectors, where she held roles including director of market development, executive general manager of product, executive general manager of service delivery and now her current role where she is on an international assignment in Canada.
During her executive career, Palmer has launched dozens of products in wholesale, consumer, and enterprise markets and led sales teams across the globe. She started her career studying Japanese language and economics at Sydney University and attended the prestigious Sophia University in Japan, participating in the Comparative Culture program. She most recently had the privilege of completing Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management program. Palmer is a skilled leader in strategy, product, business development, and business transformation. She is passionate about customers and delights in delivering customer centric solutions that transform business both in terms of operational efficiency and revenue growth.
15. Joanna Kervin
VP of External Approvals & Implementation, Crosslinx Transit Solutions
Joanna Kervin is the Vice President of External Approvals and Implementation of Crosslinx Transit Solutions. She first joined the company in 2018. Crosslinx Transit Solutions is a design and construction consortium established to deliver and maintain the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. Kervin’s goal throughout her career has been to make communities and cities move better with an eye to accessibility and equity, while ensuring that transportation infrastructure is well designed and safe for all who use it.
A University of Waterloo alumnus with a degree in civil engineering, Kervin found her calling in the transportation engineering field, initially working with two major Toronto area engineering firms, later moving into the public sector with the City of Toronto. As a manager of transportation planning, she focused on inter-regional transit, leading many major initiatives. She later moved to the Toronto Transit Commission, as the third-party planning and property director of TTC’s $3.2B Line 1 Extension that opened for passenger service in 2017. In 2018, she received the Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) H. Robert Burton Distinguished Service Award for her work and leadership with ITE and in the transportation field over the last 30 years.
A member of the Women’s Championship Team of the Urban Land Institute, Toronto, she continues her support of women in the infrastructure field and has shared some of her story of delivering big transit projects on the ULI Electric Cities Podcast. She recently became a mentor with the Prosperity Project, supporting and mentoring young women who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. Kervin regularly guest lectures at Universities across Ontario, covering a wide range of engineering, planning and infrastructure experiences.
16. Tina Berry
VP of Field Enablement & Effectiveness, Visier
Tina Berry is the Vice President of Field Enablement and Effectiveness for Visier. Visier is a recognized global leader in people analytics and on-demand answers for people-powered business. Founded in 2010 by the pioneers of business intelligence, Visier focuses on revealing the fundamental questions and actionable truths capable of elevating employees and business to new heights. Headquartered in Vancouver, BC with offices and team members worldwide, Visier has 15,000 customers in 75 countries around the world, including enterprises like Adobe, BASF, Bridgestone, Electronic Arts, McKesson, Merck KGaA, Uber, and more. Berry is known for being a seasoned leader with an extensive background in sales and sales enablement with a diverse range of experience in providing strategic insight to enhance profitable business growth and success. She is a passionate creative thinker with a proven track record for developing and delivering innovative programs that add value and deliver results.
Before joining Visier, Berry was a director at SAS where she was responsible for developing and delivering the Global Sales and Customer Advisory Academy Programs for the organization. Prior to that, she was a senior account executive and team lead for Computer Associates. Earlier in her career she worked with TD Bank Financial Group as a financial advisor. Berry graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University.
18. Nicki Sabapathy
VP of People & Culture, RenoRun
Nicki Sabapathy is the Vice President of People and Culture for RenoRun. RenoRun is a leading ecommerce platform for construction and building materials that are disrupting the construction industry. They enable construction, contracting, and renovation professionals to build the world using technology. Sabapathy is an accomplished global HR executive with over 20 years of experience in the field. She is a trusted business partner and servant leader with broad experience in all aspects of HR and organizational development. Her industry experience in various sectors including high tech, communications, automotive, manufacturing, and distribution make her an agile, highly motivated leader with a proven track record of success both at a strategic and operational level.
Sabapathy was recently named on the Global 100 Executives list for HR by HRD magazine for 2021 and recognized on the Globe and Mail's Top 10 Executives in HR in Canada for 2020. Prior to joining RenoRun she served with Shopify as the director of global talent and before that, the head of human resources for Canada with Cisco. Sabapathy graduated from York University with an undergraduate degree in psychology and from the University of Toronto with a graduate degree in human resources.
20. Heather Graham
VP of Regulatory Writing & Scientific Publication, Certara Synchrogenix
Heather Graham started her professional career in the pharmaceutical industry more than 17 years ago, and today she is the Vice President of Regulatory Writing and Scientific Publications at Certara, Inc a global leader in biosimulation. In her current role, Ms. Graham leads a global organization spanning 8 countries and comprising more than 150 regulatory and scientific experts. Throughout her career, Ms. Graham has led a number of new medicines and vaccines to global approval in major markets (such as Canada and the US) in addition to developing markets, where patient access to medicines can be more challenging. Ms. Graham is passionate about patient centricity in drug development, and has worked throughout her career to incorporate the voice and perspective of patients in the regulatory decision-making process.
Ms. Graham earned an undergraduate degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology from York University in Toronto. She is a certified executive and life coach with a passion for people-centered leadership and nurturing and developing talent, including the next generation of women leaders in the pharmaceutical industry.
View the complete list of awardees.
21. Kristin Wozniak
SVP of Analytics, Insight & Strategy, Cossette Media
Kristin Wozniak began her professional career 16 years ago. Today, she is the Senior Vice President of Analytics, Insight & Strategy of Cossette Media. Crossette Media a strategic partner, gathering experts across all disciplines to offer integrated brand experiences unlike any other. They play with powerful, high-potential brands, and act local, with global impact. Starting her career at the CBC, Wozniak says her career changed dramatically after having a baby. She decided the traditional approach to corporate life was not going to work for her and openly challenged the notion that emotions don’t belong in the office. Since then, she has focused on creating working cultures that recognize and celebrate the realities of people’s personal lives (e.g. who is a better multi-tasker than a working mom!). This “more human” approach to corporate life has also impacted her approach to data and analytics, where she champions the idea of bringing “humanity back into data”. She calls this “data-informed decision making” versus the traditional “data-based decision making”, which allows data experts to bring their experience and emotions into the decision making process.
Kristin was named Media Leader of the Year in 2021 (by the Canadian Media Directors Council) and her team and colleagues describe her as an empathetic, strategic, and resilient leader who creates safe spaces, empowers and advances talent, champions diversity, and creates meaningful positive change. Prior to Cossette Media, Wozniak developed the analytics and insight discipline at Wavemaker Canada (formerly MEC) and also managed the audience research team at CBC, where she co-led the first team in Canada to incorporate digital video viewing data into traditional television measurement methodologies. Wozniak completed her master’s in communication and culture, with a focus on media and policy at York University and earned her undergraduate degree in communications from McMaster University.
22. Paula Amy Hewitt
General Counsel, Chief Privacy Officer & Corporate Secretary, Field Trip Health
Paula Amy Hewitt is the General Counsel, Chief Privacy Officer, and Corporate Secretary for Field Trip Health. She first joined the organization in 2020. At Field Trip, they are redefining mental health and well-being through ground-breaking work in psychedelics and psychedelic-enhanced psychotherapy. As a member of senior management, Hewitt serves as a strategic thought partner and advisor on a full range of matters, including business strategy, commercial transactions, procurement, regulatory & privacy compliance, governance, and dispute resolution. She manages the global legal function, advising on all legal matters including commercial contracting, employment & human resources, transactional documents, intellectual property, financings, strategic partnerships, and vendor relationships. She is also responsible for the development, implementation, and ongoing monitoring of the privacy program at Field Trip and for managing risks related to information privacy laws.
Hewitt has broad experience gained through a career in private practice at law firms and in executive roles within Canadian and multinational financial services companies. She is a privacy specialist, holding the CIPP/C, CIPM and CIPT designations. In addition to her JD, Hewitt holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from McGill University and a graduate certificate in risk management from the University of Toronto.
24. Deborah Sikkema
Chief People Officer, Entourage Health
Deborah Sikkema is the Chief People Officer at Entourage Health, a publicly traded, Canadian producer and distributor of award-winning cannabis products. Sikkema leads the people strategy, driving talent acquisition, leadership, and organizational development in alignment with the company’s business goals which includes being recognized as an industry employer of choice. Joining Entourage in 2020 during a transformative period encompassing the merger and acquisition of two companies, Sikkema is recognized as a strategic business and HR leader whose contribution was pivotal to the M&A. Under her guidance, the company integrated 300 employees, while overhauling the HR and people departments to establish development and goal-setting programs. She also introduced a benefits plan that included a health spending account with medical cannabis coverage, health & mental wellness coverage, and established a company-wide shares option plan for all permanent employees.
Sikkema is a top-performing people leader with over 20 years of human resources experience at some of Canada's top companies, including Shoppers Drug Mart, Canadian Tire, and Holt Renfrew. A graduate of Western University's Psychology program, she also holds a master's degree in industrial relations and human resources from the University of Toronto. She is a member of the Women's Executive Network, Women of Influence, and the Strategic Capability Network and a Certified Talent Management Practitioner (CTMP) through the CTMP Society of Canada.
26. Sharon Barnes-Simmonds
Chief Financial Officer, Action Against Hunger
Sharon Barnes Simmonds is passionate, driven, and caring. She is a qualified accounting professional with a penchant for giving back, Sharon migrated to Canada from Jamaica in 2003 and has worked in the for-profit and non-profit sectors for more than 15 years. Her senior-level experience has taken her to organizations such as the Region of Peel and the Toronto International Film Festival [Director Accounting] and more recently in the INGO sector at Children Believe [Director, Finance & Administration]. She is currently the CFO at Action Against Hunger Canada, a global organization fighting poverty and hunger on a worldwide scale.
Sharon earned her accounting designation from ACCA in the U.K., then later her MBA from the University of Manchester. She followed that up by earning her Chartered Professional Accountants designation from CPA Canada. She has also volunteered on several boards in the non-profit sector and is currently the president for the Kiwanis Club of Toronto Caribbean, she is also a board member of the Regent Park School of Music. Sharon also sits on the board of The New Humanity Initiative, an organization founded to tackle the issues of diversity. Sharon’s previous board engagements as Treasurer includes Roots Community Services Inc (formerly United Achievers Community Services Inc) and PACE Canada Inc. Her other volunteer engagements include giving talks on the university circuit for her professional Accounting Association CPA Ontario as well as round table and panel discussions for ACCA Canada and ACCA North America. She is also a mentor for various groups of young professionals, including the Black Female Accountants Network of which she is a member and she also works actively with her high school alumni association, Manchester High School of Jamaica.
27. Shawn Patterson
Senior Vice President, AXON Communications
Shawn Patterson is a Senior Vice President for AXON Communications. AXON is a global healthcare communications agency that ignites change in healthcare. Through the power of life-changing communications, they contribute to medical advances that improve lives. At the core of every scientific innovation and advancement, there is a simple and compelling story to be told. They know how to tell that story, how to use the right tools to reach the right audiences at the right time, and to provoke meaningful change. With 16 years of progressive experience at AXON, 10 years as the SVP of operations, Patterson has demonstrated expertise in strategic communications and education. Enhanced by results focused operational management and leadership skills, she has been a key contributor to the growth and expansion of the company. Patterson excels at aligning key initiatives with overall business and organizational objectives through detailed analysis, budget management, and cross-team collaboration.
Patterson continues to hone her presentation and facilitation skills and is driven by her passion for learning. She believes in the art of active listening and is energized by creative problem-solving and innovative solutions. She is motivated by striking the right balance between technology, human connections, and achieving or exceeding business objectives. Prior to joining AXON, Patterson served as a senior account manager with Shepell.fgi where she developed and delivered employee assistance, disability management, and cross-cultural services for employers in North America and around the world. She is a graduate of the University of Guelph where she earned an undergraduate degree in English literature and drama.
28. Laetitia Pacaud
Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer, Epic Investment Services
Laetitia Pacaud is Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer at Epic Investment Services. As part of the Executive Leadership team, Laetitia is responsible for the execution of business strategy across North America, as well as overseeing corporate and operational services to support the company’s strategic direction and corporate culture. With 20+ years of finance experience, Laetitia’s fundamental reporting standards, combined with her multidisciplinary and strategic approach, drive value-based business decisions for the organization and for clients.
Before taking her current role, Laetitia was EVP of business development at MDC Group where she led growth initiatives across its North American platform, overseeing 12 million sq. ft. of cross-border commercial real estate and spearheading MDC’s second U.S. Multi-Family Fund. Before that, she was a founding member and president of Strathallen Capital Corporation, which closed its largest transaction with the privatization of One REIT, acquiring 44 assets with a value of $703 million. Originally from Australia, Laetitia moved to Toronto to join Caber Capital Inc., a trader of commercial real estate focusing on value-add projects. Laetitia earned an undergraduate degree in business from Southern Cross University in Lismore, Australia, and obtained the Chartered Professional Accountant designation.
30. Eman El-Fayomi
Head of Learning Resources, Canadian Digital Service
Eman El-Fayomi is currently the Head of Learning Resources with the Federal Government’s Canadian Digital Service (CDS). Previously, she served as the Head of Design at CDS leading a team of 25+ in-house service, interaction, and content designers to create accessible and inclusive services for the people of Canada. El-Fayomi’s current work has been leading a team to create a centralized space for Learning Resources to support the Government of Canada’s accelerated mission towards digitization. Particularly, these learning resources are aimed at public servants working to change how they design and deliver their services.
Prior to joining the public sector, El-Fayomi was an interaction design professor at Sheridan and spent over 10 years working on design/UX teams with a variety of private sector, civic tech, and non-profit organizations across Canada. She is also a PhD student at Carleton University, studying information technology, specializing in inclusive design and human-computer interaction. Her PhD research is focused on improving the accessibility of virtual collaboration tools, educational technologies, facilitation techniques, and design software for people who use assistive technology. El-Fayomi is a member of the Creative Interactions Lab at Carleton, working with Dr. Audrey Girouard, and her research is funded in part through the READi program at Carleton (Research in Education, Accessibility, Design, and Innovation).
View the complete list of awardees.
31. Jessica Savage
CEO, MSL Canada, North Strategic, Notch Video
Jessica Savage began her professional career 21 years ago. Today, she is the Chief Executive Officer of North Strategic, a communications agency that drives earned media programs for the clients. The company is a passionate, entrepreneurial group with a wide range of consumer marketing, corporate communications, and brand building experience. Savage is a strategic communicator specializing in thought leadership for C-suite executives of some of North America’s leading brands. Never one to shy away from a challenge, she moves between her teams, multiple projects and big brands, guiding clients through good times and crises across the Canadian earned media and influencer landscape. As an agency-led expert across multiple media channels and platforms for more than two decades, she has built thoughtful, creative campaigns and brand moments within the technology, real estate, retail, CPG, finance, and travel industries.
Internally and interagency, Savage is a builder of culture-first environments. She has helped develop and expand a supportive network of peers who are driven by shared values, including a desire to learn, grow, and to have a little fun along the way. Savage graduated from Western University with an undergraduate degree in classical studies.
32. Dylen Postnikoff
VP of Brand Marketing & Communications, Shaftesbury
Dylen Postnikoff is an award-winning global brand strategist and marketing leader with over 15 years of expertise in directing best-in-class creative and global campaign strategies in the entertainment industry. As the Vice President of Brand Marketing & Communications at Shaftesbury, Postnikoff leads the Social Media, Digital, Podcast, and PR Teams responsible for connecting audiences to Shaftesbury's brand IP, including the international hit series Murdoch Mysteries, while driving consumer growth and demand in the domestic and global market.
Prior to joining Shaftesbury, Postnikoff served as head of TV entertainment and content marketing at CBC where she spearheaded 360° multi-season, integrated marketing campaigns for shows such as Emmy® Award-winning Schitt's Creek and international award-winning Kim's Convenience, Anne with an E, and Workin' Moms. In 2010, she co-founded Hank Studios. As the executive director of marketing, she was responsible for developing and executing branding, marketing, and communication strategies that drove engagement and growth for CPG and entertainment brands. For the past three years, Postnikoff served as a board member of WIFT-Toronto. She has been featured in several industry publications and has been invited to speak at a variety of conferences and events including the Canadian Academy, Data Marketing Conference, and Reelworld. She is a recurring Juror for the International Emmy® Awards and an active member of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, Promax, and Women in Film and Television-Toronto. Postnikoff earned a master’s degree in political science from York University, an MBA certificate from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an undergraduate degree in political science from Simon Fraser University.
33. Frances Martin-DiGiuseppe
Founder & Principal, Q4 Architects
Frances Martin-DiGiuseppe is the Founder and Principal at Q4 Architects, a full-service architectural firm based in Toronto with offices in Calgary and Ottawa. As the principal of a woman led firm, Martin-DiGiuseppeis committed to creating a diverse workplace which promotes collaboration and inclusivity. The Q4 Architects’ team of 60+ members includes over 50% women and focuses on creating a collaborative work environment. With a deep passion for responsible architecture with a social mission, Martin-DiGiuseppe has designed and developed housing and institutions which provide support to individuals under social, mental, and physical stress. Some of her notable work include Marnie’s Lounge at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Wellspring Cancer Care Centre in Oakville, and Chapelle Housing in Edmonton for women and children escaping domestic violence.
Martin-DiGiuseppe is deeply committed to creating real homes for real people and over the past 35 years she has led some of the most innovative ideas in housing. She strongly believes that the future of Q4A lies in architecture that improves everyday lives by incorporating user-friendly innovation, offering creative solutions to specific challenges, by being responsible to the greater community we live in and being aesthetically beautiful. In recent years, she has been an active advocate for multi-generational housing, her research, ideas, and concepts on the subject have been widely published. When Martin-DiGiuseppe is not designing, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her family, and reading.
35. Helen Kontozopoulos
Co-Founder & Chief Tech Evangelist, ODAIA Intelligence
Helen Kontozopoulos co-founded ODAIA in 2018, an AI-powered commercial insights SaaS platform for Pharma companies. Their mission is to reduce patients’ time to therapy by facilitating meaningful interactions with healthcare providers through human-centric software powered by AI. As Chief Technical Evangelist, Kontozopoulos brings her understanding of artificial intelligence, customer analytics, and digital transformation to drive ODAIA’s thought leadership efforts, ultimately helping pharma teams adopt AI in their work and leverage data science and AI to achieve a competitive advantage.
Additionally, Kontozopoulos is the host of the 'Making Impact' podcast where she talks to life sciences leaders and how their work is impacting lives. She has been teaching product development, design, and entrepreneurship for 9 years at the University of Toronto in the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Computer and Mathematical Sciences. Kontozopoulos co-founded UofT's Department of Computer Science Innovation Lab (DCSIL), an incubator that supports students and faculty to commercialize their innovations in emerging technologies.
37. Nahrin Jalal
VP of Developer Relations, Aptible
Nahrin Jalal began her professional career 13 years ago. Today, she is the Vice President of Developer Relations of Aptible. Aptible was founded to build trust on the internet. They do this by making it easier for companies to go from having an idea to releasing it to the world safely and securely. Aptible’s products are designed to help modern companies deal with security and compliance requirements quickly. Jalal is a results-oriented professional experienced in developer education, community management, and developer advocacy. She is passionate about building inclusive communities, addressing real-world needs with pragmatic software solutions, and creating technical content that is accessible to all skill levels.
In addition to her responsibilities with Aptible, Jalal is the Toronto director for Women Who Code and a lead web development instructor for UforChange. She previously served as a head of developer relations with CodeSee and before that, a developer educator for Vonage. Jalal graduated from Western University with a degree in dietetics and philosophy and earned a certificate in web development from Juno College of Technology.
38. Charlotte Anderson
Owner & CEO, ALPHA Health Services
Charlotte Anderson is the Owner and CEO of ALPHA Health Services. She founded the organization in 2021 and also serves the role of Chief Executive Officer. ALPHA Health Services is Toronto's leading physiotherapy and healthcare clinic. Anderson has experience working in a number of different health care settings, but primarily in outpatient orthopedics, treating a wide range of conditions related to sport, work and the rigors of daily life. She owns and operates several clinics in Toronto and Muskoka, and provides physiotherapy locum services throughout the year in Whitehorse, Yukon.
Anderson is a registered physiotherapist with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, and the Yukon College of Physiotherapists. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a master’s degree in physiotherapy, and was awarded the Goldie Lewis Award upon graduation for the demonstration of strong personal attributes. She completed her PhD in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, her post-doctoral fellowship at McMaster University and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto in the faculty of Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. She was the recipient of the 2018 Physical Therapy Practitioner Exceptional Achievement Award from the University of Toronto for demonstrating expertise in a clinical content area, a best practice approach to delivering patient centered care, and for participating in the development of her practice and the development of others in their clinical area. Anderson has received several awards and research funding for her research.
39. Zemfira Khisaeva
Co-Founder and President, yWhales
Zemfira Khisaeva brings over a dozen years of corporate governance and successful strategy creation and execution experience. She co-founded yWhales after having worked as a senior finance executive at Scotiabank, one of Canada’s largest financial institutions. An exposure to new and emerging technologies combined with the challenges of Web2.0 adoption by traditional banking has made her shift her attention to Web3.0, a foundational building block of the future of finance. In the past decade, Khisaeva has successfully invested and advised a number of Web3.0 companies. Her experience in creating top performing teams and being at the forefront of disruption has been widely recognized externally. She is a founding member of Singularity University Canada and has been named one of Canada’s top women in Fintech in 2019.
Prior to joining Scotiabank, Khisaeva was a consultant at McKinsey & Co, where she initially advised enterprises on strategy, investment due diligence and M&A, later specializing in business turnarounds and operations. She holds a PhD in solids mechanics from McGill University in Canada and a Candidate of Science degree in materials science from Ufa Petroleum University in Russia. Her early career involved co-founding a nanotechnology start-up in Russia, building Space Antenna structures at MDA Space Missions in Canada and designing the next generation aircraft at Bombardier Aerospace in Canada and China. Khisaeva is passionate about making the world a better place.
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42. Dr. Patricia McCarney
President & CEO, World Council on City Data
Patricia McCarney is President and Chief Executive Officer of the World Council on City Data (WCCD). Having founded the WCCD in 2014, McCarney is building a globally standardized data platform for cities worldwide. As host of this knowledge platform, the WCCD is the leading global city database with ISO certified, and globally comparable city data for a growing network of smart, resilient, and prosperous cities. In her role, McCarney currently holds the position of Core Partner to the United Nations Program titled, Making Cities Resilient – a Strategy and Vision for 2030.
In addition to her roles with WCCD, McCarney is a professor of political science at the University of Toronto, Canada. She has served as associate vice president for international research and development at the University of Toronto. McCarney received her PhD from MIT in 1987. Her education crosses political economy, city planning, and international development. Before joining the University of Toronto, McCarney worked as a professional staff member in a number of international agencies, including the World Bank in Washington, and the United Nations - HABITAT in Nairobi. She holds several positions in the Canadian and international standards industry. Within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in Geneva, she is currently Chair of the Working Group on City Indicators in ISO Technical Committee 268, Sustainable Development in Communities. She also currently serves on the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) Canadian National Standards Strategy Advisory Committee to the President of SCC. She also recently served on the Mayor of Toronto’s Bid Committee to attract the global headquarters of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) to the City of Toronto.
44. Krystal Lunardo
Co-Founder & CEO, The Sistines
Krystal Lunardo is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Sistines, a clean beauty company built on the ideals of co-existing, environmental consciousness and consumer awareness, while retaining the self-care experience. Sistine proves how we can co-exist with guilt free compromise by giving the most impactful groups in the beauty industry the ability to shop consciously, while enjoying the high-end appeal of clean skincare. Recently recognized by Coveteur, Refinery29, Fashion magazine, Hypebae, Women’s Health Mag, The KIT, and Seventeen magazine, Sistine has already made its mark on the beauty space since its founding in 2019. The synergy of art and culture as a whole boosted Lunardo’s attraction to media and with her current platform as a charismatic TV personality, she’s using her expertise in the field to unravel the layers of all things beauty.
In addition to her roles with Sistine, Lunardo is a TV host for ET Canada’s Beauty Beat with Krys where she navigates the structures and progressive forms of beauty. She graduated from the University of Toronto with an undergraduate degree in theory of architecture and fine art history.
46. Carrie Patterson
Managing Director, MindUP™
In 2020, Carrie Patterson stepped into the role of Managing Director at MindUP™ | The Goldie Hawn Foundation. The foundation is a not-for-profit organization founded to help children develop the knowledge and tools they need to manage stress, regulate emotions and face the challenges of the 21st century with optimism, resilience and compassion. Patterson has a long and extensive career specializing in non-profit and youth development organizations and brought to the role proven leadership, a strong track-record of advocacy for children and youth around the world, and a strong business sense. As the Managing Director, Patterson is responsible for supporting the CEO in the areas of strategic planning, the digital transformation of the MindUP program, online training, fundraising, partnerships, and the overall operations of the organization.
Patterson brought with her a wealth of knowledge to MindUP from her previous role as chief operations director of the global organization, WE Charity. At WE Charity she played an integral role as the leader of WE Schools, an innovative experiential service-learning program that engages educators around the world to empower youth with the skills, knowledge and motivation to bring positive change in themselves and the world. Patterson was instrumental in new program development and the implementation of a number of programs including: WE Well-being, a program focused on social and emotional learning and the promotion of positive well-being in young people, WE Teachers, a program focused on creating trauma-informed classrooms and building teacher capacity, AP with WE Service, a program combining the academic challenge and rigor of Advanced Placement® with WE’s service-learning model in partnership with the College Board. Patterson earned an undergraduate degree in business administration from Wilfred Laurier University and is beginning a Global MBA with Ducerres University this fall.
47. Emilia Huniewicz
Managing Director, Capital Transfer Agency
Emilia Huniewicz is an experienced professional and advisor with over 12 years of experience and success in key account management, investor relations, and business development across capital markets and financial services industries. She has an extensive background in M&A, operations management, and financial analysis and is currently the Managing Director of Capital Transfer Agency where she focuses on providing comprehensive transfer services to clients listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, NEO, OTC and the Canadian Securities Exchange.
Before working at Capital Transfer Agency, Huniewicz was part of the sales executive team at Donnelley Financial Solutions where she mainly helped influence decisions with insightful technology, industry expertise, and data insight at every stage of the business and investment lifecycles. Earlier in her career, she served as the relationship manager for Broadridge Financial Solutions and Kingsdale Advisors. Huniewicz earned an undergraduate degree in human resources and social counseling and is currently pursuing an MBA degree in leadership and sustainability. She has also earned various certificates from the New York Institute of Finance.
48. Michelle Lochan
Managing Director, Building Black Entrepreneurs
Michelle Lochan is the Managing Director of the Building Black Entrepreneurs program (BBEP) a project of the Festival Management Committee (FMC), producers of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival. An award-winning entrepreneur including the Start Up Canada Women’s Entrepreneur Award, she is known for her work as a business advisor that helps businesses at all stages navigate funding sources, resources and programs of the start-up ecosystem in the GTA, Ontario, and across Canada to accelerate business growth. Her insight, experience and mentorship give individuals insight into the importance of having and leveraging IP to secure external funding. Michelle is an engaging public speaker on the topics of entrepreneurship, economic and community development.
Prior to joining the Building Black Entrepreneurs program, Lochan worked for the Government of Canada in economic development where as an officer she managed core projects with budgets between $10 million to most recently the $100 million-dollar national COVID 19 business relief programs. She is certified as a business incubation manager through the International Business Incubation Association and operated a private pre-seed incubator, MarketStart. Lochan graduated from Carleton University with an undergraduate degree in sociology and anthropology.
49. Lindie Gerber
Executive Creative Director, Movable Ink
Lindie Gerber is a long-time brand executive, mentor, and design leader in the technology and creative industry. She is the Executive Creative Director of Movable Ink - a leading software company powering creative personalization for the world’s leading brands where she facilitates the formulation and implementation of brand strategy on an organizational and operational level. As the global head of the Movable Ink brand, she leads several cross-functional initiatives across the marketing, product, design, sales, strategy, and operations teams. As Chair of the Design Guild, her focus is bridging brand and product design with the aim of delivering a cohesive experience across the customer journey.
Prior to Movable Ink, her work spans across multiple industries, from start-ups to enterprise brands in Africa, North America, East Asia, and EMEA. She’s held senior positions directing some of the world’s leading brands, including Nike, Coca-Cola, Garmin, Fiat, and the FIFA World Cup. Beyond her role, Gerber frequently speaks on panels on the role and importance of diversity and inclusivity in the workplace and acts as a mentor and advocate for early-career professional development in support of LGBTQA+ individuals and minorities in the creative and technology industry. She earned an undergraduate degree in visual communication, visual arts, and industrial psychology from Stellenbosch University and is working towards a master’s degree in visual arts from the University of South Africa.
View the complete list of awardees.