Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top 50 Women Leaders of Montreal for 2022. This Canadian city is North America’s number one host city for international events and has previously been ranked the number 1 destination for tertiary studies. As a result, Montreal has a vast population of diverse women leaders who come from all backgrounds. Their expertise vary but their dedication and knowledge are invaluable to the organizations they serve.
Among this year’s awardees are Marion Hill, Senior Vice President of Renewable and Power Grids for DNV, who has committed herself to accelerating an energy transition in hopes of leaving a positive impact on society and the planet. Catherine Ross, General Counsel and Senior Vice President of People and Culture for the ALDO Group, uses her technical skills and human qualities to unite associates around the company’s brand and social responsibility initiatives. Also awarded is Nancy Tawil, Chief Scientific Officer of Phagelux Inc., who has over 15 years of research experience in the areas of bacterial infections, anti-infectives, bacteriophages, and the treatment of multidrug resistant infections.
We applaud this group of women leaders for their achievements in their respective fields. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Women Leaders of Montreal for 2022.
1. Solenne Lafeytaud
VP & Chief Corporate Affairs & Engagement Officer, L'Oréal
Solenne Lafeytaud began her professional career 22 years ago. Today, she is the Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs & Engagement Officer of L'Oréal. For more than a century, L’Oréal has devoted itself solely to the beauty business. As Canada's #1 beauty leader, their mission is to offer cosmetic experiences that reflect and recognize the many forms of beauty within diversity and individuality. Lafeytaud is known for her passion and energy. She takes on the responsibility of building communications and stakeholder engagement strategies. Her focus is on building strong external relations as well as reinforcing employee engagement, boosting loyalty towards L’Oréal Canada both externally and internally.
Previously, Lafeytaud held several positions in marketing, sales, and human resources. In 2005, she served with SAP, holding the global positions of VP and head of corporate communications for SAP Industries and Customer Advisory. Lafeytaud graduated from Monash University with an MBA in HR and marketing, and from Emlyon Business School with an undergraduate degree in business, management, and marketing.
3. Cynthia Saucier
Vice President of UX, Shopify
Cynthia Saucier is the Vice President of UX at Shopify and has been with the company since 2015. Shopify helps people achieve independence by making it easier to start, run, and grow a business through an all-in-one commerce platform. Saucier has always been passionate about human beings and their means of communication. She has always sought a deeper understanding of how people think, interact, and connect.
Saucier is also the author of Tragic Design. Tragic Design examines real case studies that show how certain design choices adversely affected users and includes in-depth interviews with authorities in the design industry. She is regularly invited to speak at events around the world where she shares her point of view on all things design. Saucier graduated from the University of Montreal with a degree in industrial design.
5. Marion Hill
SVP of Renewable & Power Grids, DNV
Marion Hill is Senior Vice President of Renewable and Power Grids at DNV. Hill is committed to the purpose of accelerating a just energy transition to a carbon neutral economy to address climate change and positively impact society and the planet. Driven by its purpose, to safeguard life, property, and the environment, DNV is a trusted voice for many of the world’s most successful and forward-thinking companies across the energy value chain.
Hill leads a team of over 300 professionals across North America providing leading technical advice on power markets, offshore wind, solar, storage, onshore wind, hydrogen, transmission, and carbon capture projects. In the first 6 months of 2022, Hill’s teams have provided advice on 65 GW of renewable energy projects in North America. With her focus on equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging, and inclusive leadership style, she has built a unique high-performing team. She is a results driven leader with 19 years of experience leading technical and commercial teams to exceed business objectives. She has demonstrated her unique ability to lead teams through change and industry transformation.
8. Sandy Vassiadis
VP of Global Corporate Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility, BRP inc.
Sandy Vassiadis is the Vice President of Global Corporate Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility at BRP inc. Headquartered in Valcourt Quebec, BRP inc. is a global leader in the world of powersports products, propulsion systems, and boats built on 80 years of ingenuity and intensive consumer focus. Their brands include Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft and pontoons, Can-Am on and off-road vehicles, Alumacraft and Quintrex boats, Manitou pontoons and Rotax engines for karts and recreational aircraft.
Since April 2021, Vassiadis has overseen all BRP global corporate communications strategies and content creation, media relations, community engagement, and CSR. She is a communications executive specializing in public affairs and corporate brand, and is recognized as being a highly experienced communicator, skilled at building strong corporate reputations. She is an inspirational leader and has a track record of exceeding expectations. Vassiadis was born and raised in Montreal where she also completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Montreal and continues to devote time and energy to supporting charitable organizations in the city. Before joining BRP, Vassiadis was VP of communications & CSR at a food manufacturing company, and prior to that, she spent 10 years in management roles specialized in communications in a leading financial institution.
9. Catherine Ross
General Counsel & SVP of People and Culture, ALDO Group
Catherine Ross is the ALDO Group’s General Counsel and Senior Vice President of People and Culture, having joined in 2008. Ross began her career in law, first working at Goodman Phillips & Vineberg. After five years in private practice, she decided to make the big move into the corporate world and served as legal advisor at Bombardier and Rio Tinto Alcan, right before finding her professional “true love” at the ALDO Group where she started as legal counsel.
She has since had the opportunity to broaden the scope of her responsibilities. Becoming a member of the company’s leadership team as General Counsel was one of Ross’s proudest career moments, and a few years later, she was also given the reins of the People and Culture and Corporate Communications teams. This opportunity allowed her to develop her full potential, beyond her legal background. In the role of Senior Vice President of People and Culture, Ross sees a unique opportunity to use all of her technical skills and human qualities to unite associates around strong values that will make the ALDO Group shine, particularly through its employer brand and social responsibility initiatives.
12. Lauren Scott
VP of Marketing & Sustainability for Intelligent Spaces Group, Acuity Brands
Lauren Scott is the Vice President of Marketing & Sustainability at Acuity Brands' Intelligent Spaces Group. Scott specializes in translating climate initiatives into meaningful action to deliver on commitments to the building and renewables sectors. Her marketing and communications background is leveraged to promote social and environmental responsibility as an approachable, yet critical part of business operations.
At the beginning of her career, Scott got her start in marketing at a Montreal-based media company. During this time, she was completing her B.Comm., where she founded and implemented the business school's first student association dedicated to sustainability. She then went on to work in the non-profit sector, serving as the national spokesperson for an international animal welfare organization, before becoming the communications manager for two of Canada's largest cancer fundraising events. This was followed by managing the PR/communications for a hyper-growth cleantech start-up; before taking on the Canadian communications advisor role for a market-leading wind turbine manufacturer. Prior to her current role, Scott served as marketing director at Distech Controls, a subsidiary of Acuity Brands and an international innovator in the intelligent building space. Scott’s career has been marked by her nomination as a 2020 Woman of Inspiration by the Universal Women's Network, as well as being shortlisted as Industry Woman of the Year by the ControlTrends Awards (2020). She has pursued certificates in "Reconciliation through Indigenous Education" (UBC), "The Health Effects of Climate Change" (Harvard University) and “Corporate Sustainability Management: Risk, Profit, and Purpose” (Yale School of Management). Scott’s philanthropic efforts include serving on the board of Sierra Club Canada Foundation, the Canadian arm of one of North-America's largest environmental advocacy groups. She has held the role of the board president, and has chaired the National Development Committee, and currently chairs the National Communications Committee.
13. Marie-Chantal Savoy
VP of Strategy & Communications, LOGISTEC
After 20 years with an iconic brand, Marie-Chantal Savoy emerged with a conviction that companies and leaders who inspire and mobilize their people to realize a strategy, and do so from a place of authentic purpose, are the ones that truly thrive. Grounded in this belief, Savoy’s innovative approach to brand strategy brings a unique methodology for strategy development and execution together with the cultural commitment and organizational capability required to make change happen. Over the past 30 years, this creative approach has helped her collaborate with visionary leaders in many industries to drive meaningful change. Savoy had the chance to be a part of the impressive journey CN went through from 1997 to 2017.
In 2017, Savoy was entrusted with the task to lead the branding strategy of LOGISTEC Corporation - a major North American player in the logistics and environmental industries. She has been working closely with Madeleine Paquin, LOGISTEC, president and CEO, one of the most influential businesswomen in Canada and her talented team. LOGISTEC Corporation has declared talent a priority and will focus on the talent innovation imperative to create an unparalleled competitive advantage and is experiencing record growth.
View the complete list of awardees.
15. Nancy Tawil
Chief Scientific Officer, Phagelux
Dr. Nancy Tawil is the Chief Scientific Officer of Phagelux Inc. and is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Polytechnique Montreal. Tawil has a solid multidisciplinary background in human physiology (BSc McGill), chemical engineering (MEng. Ecole Polytechnique), and biomedical engineering (PhD Ecole Polytechnique). Tawil's research focuses on the development of and innovative delivery systems which allow the sustained release of novel antimicrobials, including bacteriophages. These strategies are nested in the current need to resolve biofilms and multi-drug resistant infections.
In her current role as the Chief Scientific Officer at Phagelux Inc., she is responsible for the management of a global, multidisciplinary team. She oversees laboratories and scientists in Canada and China. Her success as a leader in the industry of bacteriophage and lysin research has allowed for global partnerships and advancement of alternative antimicrobial therapy globally. She has successfully translated two of Phagelux's technologies into human clinical trials, one of which is currently led by Mayo Clinic in the United States. Professor Tawil has supervised over 20 graduate and undergraduate students and has been issued patent rights and named inventor on 22 patents. She is an invited speaker at multiple international conferences and governmental councils, including the World Anti-Microbial Resistance Congress, and the US Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic- Resistant Bacteria (PACCARB) where she promotes Canada’s standings as a leader in research and· innovative development in the field of antimicrobial development. Tawil’s expertise and interests include drug delivery, physico-chemical characterization, polymer chemistry, periprosthetic joint infections, novel combination devices, antibiotic resistance, and nanotechnology.
17. Corinne Bulota
VP of the Infrastructure, Energy & Materials Industry, Dassault Systèmes
Corinne Bulota is Vice President of the Infrastructure, Energy and Materials Industry at Dassault Systèmes. She has more than 20 years of experience in various fields of engineering and construction, including energy and major infrastructure projects. Through her professional career, Bulota has acquired the reputation of successfully managing and achieving large projects, from their design phase to their completion, while meeting the target cost, schedule, and compliance requirements.
For more than seven years now, Bulota has held senior management positions in very large corporations and has demonstrated leadership and influence to be a major actor of change and innovation in her sector. In 2021, she decided to join Dassault Systèmes to become a key player and enabler of the digital transformation of her industry. Her mission today is to support organizations and people in achieving their goal to develop sustainable, innovative, and more effective major infrastructure projects and businesses using virtual experiences. Although Bulota is now working from Dassault Systemes headquarter in Paris, France, she is a Montreal native and graduate from the “École Polytechnique de Montreal”.
19. Véronique Tougas
President, Groupe Cambli
Véronique Tougas is the President of Groupe Cambli. She has been the main shareholder of Groupe Cambli since 2016 and has been serving as president of the family-run business since 2010. Cambli Group offers three categories of products, including armored vehicles for transporting valuables, tactical vehicles specially designed for high-risk police interventions, and trucks for the transportation of beverages made by the Hesse division. It has been the North American leader in secure cash transportation for more than 50 years and has decades of experience in making world-class armored vehicles with smart security systems. A determined entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the manufacturing sector, Tougas is known for her leadership and professional achievements in Quebec and internationally. In particular, she succeeded in doubling Groupe Cambli’s profitability in 18 months, managed several growth phases and developed the company’s business in the Middle East and in Africa. More recently, she implemented a diversification strategy leading to the creation of Exora Solutions, the new sanitizing equipment division.
In addition to being a seasoned shareholder, Tougas is an experienced director who is actively involved in the Haut-Richelieu region business community. With a flair for mobilizing talent and building valuable, lasting business relationships, she has served on several boards of directors, including NexDev, InnoSecur, Fort St-Jean Corporation, Fondation du Cégep de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and SJM Group. In 2005, she co-founded Divine Olive, an olive oil production company in Morocco. Tougas is also an ambassador for the Centre de transfert d’entreprise du Quebec (CTEQ).
20. Charlène Brahim
Co-Founder & CMO, Humanify
Charlène Brahim is the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Humanify. Humanify operates, manages, and optimizes customized, on-demand recruitment and talent attraction projects. She founded the company based on her dream to revolutionize the recruitment agency model by changing the lack of transparency, recruiter commission, heavy costs and uncertainties related to percentage-based billing on candidate’s salaries. Since Humanify was born, she has consistently built this dream with her team, clients, and their collaborators.
In addition to her roles with Humanify, Brahim is also the co-founder and host for Hiring Stories Podcast and the Meet-R organizer for Meetup. She previously served as an executive assistant with EY and as a director of recruitment and client experience for MATAIA. Brahim’s educational background is in psychology and human behavior.
23. Ziyi Shi
Vice President of Legal & Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Real Ventures
Ziyi Shi is currently the Vice President of Legal and the Diversity & Inclusion Lead at Real Ventures, one of Canada’s most established venture capital firms. In her role, she oversees all legal aspects of the firm’s operations, from investment transactions to governance and commercial matters. She also leads the organization’s D&I initiatives, including the annual diversity survey among all Real portfolio companies. Ziyi is passionate about founder education and bridging the information gap for under-represented groups in the technology and investment sectors.
Ziyi joined Real in 2018 having previously practiced as a corporate & insolvency lawyer at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Montreal. While at Osler, she worked on a number of high-profile venture capital and other transactions, and helped establish the Quebec Emerging Managers Program for young investment management firms. Ziyi holds a master’s degree in laws (Magister Juris) from University of Oxford, where she was awarded the Law Faculty Prize for the highest grade in Principles of Financial Regulation. She also holds an undergraduate degree in civil law from the University of Montreal, as well as a basic European and French law certificate from the University of Paris 2 (Panthéon-Assas).
26. Michelle Laflamme
Founder, President & CEO, Emovi
Michelle Laflamme is the Founder, President, and CEO of Emovi, Inc., a medical device company that developed the KneeKG, the first in-clinic device that meets the global need for identifying and quantifying knee biomechanical dysfunctions causing knee pain and symptoms. Laflamme has more than 20 years of experience in business and commercial development in life sciences, particularly in biopharmaceuticals and medical devices.
Laflamme previously received first prize in the Technological and Technical Innovations category from the Quebec Entrepreneurship Contest. With the support of PME Mtl, Desjardins Group, the City of Montreal, and the Quebec Government, she formed the CTS Health Technology, an organization dedicated to helping medical businesses market innovative medical products. Additionally, she was a finalist in Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year® competition. Laflamme is a chairman and member of the board of directors of PME Mtl Centre-Est, an organization dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs, and is a member of the board of directors of MEDTEQ, an industrial research and innovation consortium in medical technologies in Quebec. She was recently appointed administrator of Axelys, a new company set up by the Quebec Government to accelerate the commercialization of innovations. She also sits on the entrepreneurship action table in Laval and Montreal, is actively involved in Réseau Mentorat to support entrepreneurs and she is also a member of the investment committee of Evol, Laval. Prior to Emovi, Laflamme served as VP of business development of ProMetic Life Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company, where she led private and public funding, clinched strategic alliances and agreements with partners of international scope for the development and commercialization of products. She earned a master’s degree in laws from the University of Montreal and is a member of the Barreau du Quebec.
27. Kim Fuller
Founder & CEO, Phil
With over 25 years of experience working with local, national, and international charities in marketing and fundraising, Kim Fuller is a force to reckon with. She excels at boiling down complicated strategies and issues to make them bite-sized and easy to digest, making each step towards progress fun for everyone. She diligently carries out her intrinsic values of equity, collaboration, and ambition, never settling for less. To do this, Fuller mobilizes her creativity and wit to reach and surpass her personal and professional goals, working towards one common one: making the world better. Raised by two entrepreneurs in the advertising industry, Fuller knew from a young age that she wanted to follow suit in some capacity. It was upon working with charities as a freelance graphic designer that the social sector called to her, beckoning her to do good. When she founded Phil she was a sponge, soaking up every situation thrown at her. And, while the first three years of entrepreneurship were the most difficult, her own fiery curiosity fueled her desire to keep going.
Fuller named her company Phil because it’s the Latin root for “love”. They do what they love, and love what they do. Phil is a catalyst for social good, delivering strategic, fundraising and communication support to socially missioned organizations, helping them achieve positive impact. As a certified B Corp and advocate of the “business for good” movement, together with leaders from over 5500 other B-Corps, Phil is helping redefine success in business and making the world a better place. As a pioneer in the social sector, Fuller firmly believes in inclusive leadership. She challenges outdated practices daily and paves the way for progress so that women, children, and marginalized groups are respected and communities can thrive. She often says her biggest inspiration is Phil’s clients, who manage to persevere in the face of what seem like insurmountable obstacles. Today, Fuller is busy leading a team of superstars making Phil a holistic solution for all social sector organization needs.
View the complete list of awardees.
30. Brigitte Nepveu
President & Lawyer, Brigitte Nepveu avocate
Brigitte Nepveu is a President and Lawyer for Brigitte Nepveu advocate. She first joined the firm in 2019. Brigitte Nepveu avocate (BNA) offers successful entrepreneurs and business leaders access to the advice and solutions that will allow them to overcome their many business challenges. Specializing in commercial law, corporate law, and intellectual property, Nepveu has been working closely with entrepreneurs interested in promoting various inventions for close to 20 years. Eager to build durable relations with her clients, she assists small and medium sized enterprises and start-ups at various steps of the business development process, from business incorporation and organization to structural optimization and venture capital financing files, including mergers and acquisitions and other liquidity events. Nepveu is a true business advisor to her clients, acting as the point of contact for all their legal questions, and always making sure to identify the right contributors for the issues related to her areas of expertise. A specialist in corporate governance and conformity, she also sits as corporate secretary and governance counsel on several private corporations’ boards of directors.
As a lawyer with a science background, Nepveu is recognized in Quebec’s life sciences community. She has been representing and advising companies specializing in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and clinical research. She is also very active in the world of new technologies and start-ups where she assists companies in addition to being involved with major business accelerators and incubators in Montreal. Nepveu has taught at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Law from 2005 to 2018. She has also been involved in another law firm’s continuing legal education program for several years. She is actively involved in her community, especially within the arts sector. With a background in jazz and contemporary dance, she currently sits on the board of directors, executive council and honorary committee of Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, as well as on the Honorary and Financing Committee of the Théâtre Aux Écuries. Brigitte is also president of iNovation Studios Inc., a dance school located in Brossard.
31. Rouguietta Touré
National Program Manager, Pharmascience
Scientist Rouguietta Touré has always wanted to impact lives through better care and services. Using her master's degree in microbiology to strategically help those creating Quebec's pharmaceutical landscape, she's assisted several large organizations in their commercial and strategic development, as well as consolidating customer relationships. With more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry within the province, her partnership network is wide, strong and built on credibility while she supported the growth of major industry players. Personal and professional realities came together when Touré initiated several projects promoting both cultural and neurological diversity: founding president of Ado-Spectrum, an organization whose mission is to promote the growth and personal development of autistic adolescents, she also co-founded the diversity and inclusion committee in the pharmacy community, incubated by the Association professionnelle des pharmaciens salariés du Québec.
In addition, Touré is a member of the selection committee for 2023 scholars, fellows and
mentors of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, which offers financial support to exceptional doctoral researchers while supporting the development of future Engaged Leaders who inspire innovative approaches as they blaze new trails in the Social Sciences and Humanities. After joining Distribution Pharmaplus as commercial director, she was mandated to design, develop, and implement the deployment of Groupe Horizon Santé, a group of independent, multidisciplinary pharmacists. She oversaw the creation of branding, business strategy, professional services development, and the planning and execution of new member recruitment. Previously responsible for business development at McKesson, she worked in client development and the consolidation of business contracts. She then evolved within McMahon Pharmaceutical Distributor where she was responsible for increasing the awareness and presence of the Brunet banner in Quebec. Currently National Program Manager at Pharmascience, Touré is a seasoned and creative businesswoman with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, who excels in high-stakes contexts, and knows how to use her strong negotiating skills to meet the biggest challenges of any organization.
33. Maude Fréchette
Co-Founder, Lawyer & Partner, YULEX
Maude Fréchette is a Co-Founder, Lawyer and Partner of YULEX, Attorneys & Strategists. YULEX offers entrepreneurs and their businesses, both at the start-up, growth, and maturity stages, strategic, pragmatic, and accessible legal services in business, intellectual property, and technology law, both locally and internationally. The firm is also part of Interlegal, an international legal network offering expertise in commercial law.
For almost twenty years, Fréchette has supported small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs during times of expansion and growth. She is frequently invited as a speaker and trainer for entrepreneurs. She has been involved over the years in many non-profit organizations as a director and advisor. She currently acts as one of the directors of the Compagnons de Montréal’s board, a non-profit organization dedicated to adults living with an intellectual disability or an autism spectrum disorder. In 2009, she won the AJBM Corporate Lawyer of the Year award. Maude Fréchette earned an undergraduate degree in the University of Quebec at Montreal and a graduate degree in business law in University of Montreal.
35. Jo Anne Stratton
Assistant Professor, McGill University
Jo Anne Stratton is an Assistant Professor at McGill University, one of Canada's best-known institutions of higher learning and one of the leading universities in the world.
Stratton completed her postdoctoral research under the guidance of Dr. Jeff Biernaskie and Dr. Raj Midha at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute. She focused on understanding how glial and immune cells impact nervous system function. In 2013, Dr. Stratton completed her PhD at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health under Dr. Tobias Merson and Dr. Trevor Kilpatrick. She focused on understanding the degenerative, regenerative, and immune responses of the PNS and CNS following glia death. Dr. Stratton has published and been awarded several best oral and/or poster presentation prizes at international and national conferences for her work.
37. Alissa Sklar
VP of Marketing, GIS Planning
Alissa Sklar, Ph.D. is Vice President of Marketing for GIS Planning, a service from the Financial Times. As the leader in online economic development solutions, GIS Planning serves over 13,000 communities in 44 states and 5 Canadian provinces, as well as the U.K., Italy, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Ukraine, Finland and Panama. Their Geographic Information System (GIS) software provides real estate, demographic, and industry data to help companies and site selection professionals evaluate business locations through powerful online mapping analysis.
In addition to developing marketing campaigns and collateral for ZoomProspector, Sklar also works closely with clients to develop, plan, and implement the marketing of their web resources for economic development. Her dynamic webinars and conference presentations are known throughout the industry. With a Ph.D. and MA in communication and cultural studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Dr. Sklar has worked extensively in both academic and private sectors, serving as a full-time faculty member for several years at Concordia University’s Department of Communication Studies, research faculty at McGill University, an educational technology consultant, blogger and multiple award-winning journalist. In addition to her professional work, Dr. Sklar has done advocacy work for the past 10 years for governments and schools on guiding kids' safe, responsible and creative use of digital technologies. Her research and writing focus on information and communication technologies and culture. She believes that using these technologies thoughtfully and effectively requires a skillful combination of knowledge, critique and creativity. Dr. Sklar has provided strategic teaching and training in educational, cultural, and business settings for a variety of audiences, synthesizing and presenting complex information in accessible and practical ways.
39. Tess Kuramoto
Head of Communications, Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design
Tess Kuramoto is a multidisciplinary Strategist and Experience Designer who has worked across multiple industries over the past decade. She is currently Head of Communication for the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, a Co-Founder of (Montreal) Design Club which now has chapters across 3 different countries, along with leading all things creative at Kur-o Studio which she founded last year. She is passionate about empowering younger designers and along with creating meaningful, life-centered and impactful work. Her experience is truly diverse from leading design to scale multiple high-growth tech startups, to running a cross-Canada initiative to teach 10,000+ women and girls how to code, to leading a product design team as their Creative Director that won the Unesco Prize for Literacy.
Kuramoto graduated from Concordia University with an undergraduate degree in sustainable design, from Nanyang Technological University Singapore with an undergraduate degree in industrial and product design, and from the University of Colorado Denver with an undergraduate degree in neurobiology and behavior.
View the complete list of awardees.
40. Sara Mann
Founder & Principal Designer, Sara Mann Interior Design
Sara Mann is the Founder and Principal Designer of Sara Mann Interior Design (SMID).
SMID takes a fresh emphasis on Sara’s 10 years of experience in creating exceptional interiors. Sara is driven to envision, to create exciting and remarkable designs. She has cultivated project experiences with development companies, preeminent hotels, restaurant groups, property management companies and within the aviation industry. Her design philosophy is to inspire her clients dreams and visions; to evoke emotive, functional, and conscious interior designs. Sara's universal intention stands out by her clarity of vision and her quest for technical precision, in which no detail is overlooked. Sara's talent is to aptly blend her artistic passion she infuses in each of her projects with utmost purpose and tenacity.
In addition to her roles with SMID, Sara is the founder of Oshen Jewels, luxury hand-crafted artisan jewelry using natural gemstones and precious metals. She was previously the interior designer for Global and Challenger Business Jets for BOMBARDIER and was mentored by Andres Ecobar (lemay+ESCOBAR), one of the most prolific talents in the interior design industry. Sara's achievements stand out as she brings sensitivity and passion to each of her hand-crafted jewelry and interiors as it is fundamental in creating meaningful and timeless designs.
42. Chakameh Dadpay
Director of SAP Enterprise Applications, PwC Canada
Chakameh Dadpay is the Director of SAP Enterprise Applications of PwC Canada. She first joined the company in 2017 as senior manager of enterprise applications. Dadpay is a key member of the eProcurement practice at PwC Canada in Montreal. She has a sound background in procurement and supply chain systems both in industry and consulting services. For more than 10 years she has been focusing on e-procurement transformation, technology enablement, supply chain performance, operational excellence and business process improvement. Her knowledge of e-procurement solutions including SAP Ariba, SAP ECC, SRM, Ivalua and Coupa as well as her project execution background, combined with her commitment to efficiency, enable her to have an integrated vision of the impacts of operations management on enterprise performance.
Previously, Dadpay was a senior consultant of advisory services and management at KPMG where she was the technology lead focused on transformation of clients' procurement and supply chain functions with the use of Ivalua and Coupa platforms. Before that, she was a category manager at SNC-Lavalin. Earlier in her career she worked with École Polytechnique de Montreal as a research associate. Dadpay earned an MBA from McGill University, an MS in mechanical engineering from Concordia University, and an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from the University of Science & Culture
43. Sophie Labelle
Director of Engineering, Suncor
Sophie Labelle began her professional career 24 years ago. Today she is the Engineering Director at the Suncor Montreal refinery. She is responsible for improving capital efficiency and delivering the capital plan, optimizing unit performance including energy efficiency and improving process safety performance towards industry leading. She is also a member of the refinery leadership team, a board member of the East Montreal Industry Association (AIEM) and the chair of the refinery Energy Transition Committee.
Labelle joined Suncor in 1998 as a process engineer. She has worked in a variety of roles including operations, engineering, supply & logistics, and strategy, which has taken her to Mississauga and Calgary. Throughout her career at Suncor, Labelle has demonstrated a strong leadership, a proven track record in delivering on commitments and a drive for operational excellence which led to her promotion in 2016 to plant director of the St. Clair, Ontario Ethanol Plant. After years of working across Canada, Labelle decided in 2018 to get closer to her roots and accept the position of engineering director at the Montreal refinery. Labelle graduated from the University of Sherbrooke with an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering. Over time and through her various experiences, Labelle has developed an authentic, engaging, and inclusive leadership. She is passionate about empowering people to reach their full potential. Her vision is to build highly performing teams and develop robust work processes to achieve outstanding results.
45. Tolulope Agiri
Deputy Director & Head of Human Resources, The International Civil Aviation Organization
Tolulope Agiri (Tolu) is the Deputy Director and Head of Human Resources for The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ICAO is a United Nations specialized agency, funded and directed by 193 national governments to support their diplomacy and cooperation in air transport as signatory states to the Chicago Convention. ICAO’s core function is to maintain an administrative and expert bureaucracy supporting these diplomatic interactions, and to research new air transport policy and standardization innovations as directed and endorsed by governments.
Tolu, an experienced HR executive with almost 3 decades HR consulting and practice experience across industries and nationalities, is known for her authentic and passionate approach to aligning Human Resources to Business. She worked with KPMG Nigeria before joining Unilever in several HR roles across Nigeria, Africa, the Middle East, and Turkey. She left Unilever as HR director, Nigeria to join the United Nations World Food Programme as regional head of HR for the Southern Africa Bureau with oversight for driving HR strategy and operations across Southern Africa countries. Prior to joining ICAO, Tolu also worked as the Group CHRO at Interswitch Group, a pioneer and leader in digital payments in Africa. Tolu graduated from the University of Lagos with an MS in industrial relations and personnel management, and from the Obafemi Awolowo University with an undergraduate degree in psychology. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria where she has been involved in various roles and committees geared towards developing the HR practice in Nigeria. She is a thought leader and sought-after conference speaker. Tolu is happily married to Abayomi and they are blessed with two young adult children Ifeoluwapo and Oluwatimilehin. She is passionate about developing the next generation of leaders and mentoring young women.
46. Kyria Kilakos
Co-Founder & Managing Director, Indica Records
Kyria Kilakos began her professional career 25 years ago. Today, she is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Indica Records. Indica Records was built on strong relationships among its family of brilliant artists and partners around the world. They are known for their strong DIY and artist friendly ethic. Founded in 1997 by legendary Montreal indie-rockers, GrimSkunk, Indica Records was started with a grassroots, do-it-yourself approach and an overriding belief in "artist first" vision. Armed with the mandate of supporting independent releases for great touring bands, lacking label support in Canada, Indica has since grown by leaps and bounds and has expanded its repertoire to encompass a variety of genres beyond the rock/punk/alternative music on which the label was founded, including folk, pop, indie, world and electro/rock.
A record industry veteran, Kilakos has been involved in some of the most notable indie success stories including Half Moon Run, The Franklin Electric, Phantogram, Hollow Coves, to name a few. She is currently managing Hey Major and Carlyn. In 2017, Kilakos co-founded MTL Women in Music, the Quebec chapter of Women in Music (Canada) and of the international non-profit organization of the same name created in New York in 1985. WIM is an organization with a mission to advance the awareness, equality, diversity, and opportunities of women in the musical arts through education, support, empowerment, and recognition. Kilakos graduated from Concordia University.
47. Denise Kehler
Head of Delegated Portfolio Management, Willis Towers Watson
Denise Kehler is the Head of Delegated Portfolio Management for Willis Towers Watson (WTW). WTW provides data-driven, insight-led solutions in the areas of people, risk and capital. Leveraging the global view and local expertise of their colleagues serving 140 countries and markets, they help sharpen strategy, enhance organizational resilience, motivate workforces, and maximize performance. Kehler is known for being a strategist for WTW. Her leadership has been recognized as a key component in building and maintaining portfolios for Canadian clients.
Prior to joining WTW, Kehler was the president, CEO and chief investment officer for the Teachers’ Retirement Allowances Fund where she provided leadership and direction to the organization in the areas of investments, governance, finance, stakeholder relations and communication. She also previously served as the chief investment officer for the Public Employees Benefits Agency where she was charged with development of policies and strategic investment advice for $8B in assets for 14 legal entities including the Public Employees Pension Board and the Municipal Employees Pension Commission. Kehler graduated from the University of Regina with an MBA and an undergraduate degree in business administration.
48. Jessica Trudeau
Director of Marketing and Innovation, TriNmax
As Director of Marketing and Innovation at TriNmax, Jessica Trudeau is responsible for creating and accelerating the company's marketing strategy, as well as developing brand recognition globally. She enjoys learning from data, improving processes and taking an agile approach to continuously enhance the experiences she designs. Specialized in retail and services, she has been involved in several major marketing campaigns and large ecommerce projects for both multinationals and local SMEs. She also brings an innovative marketing vision that centers firmly on customer experience. Her expertise allows her to efficiently analyze the business processes and the needs of different departments within an organization.
From a young age, Trudeau has stood out for her leadership skills and passion for challenges. As an example, later this year she will be roaming the Moroccan deserts on an ATV with a compass when she participates in the 22nd edition of the rallye Trophée Roses des Sables 2022, which supports several philanthropic causes. Beyond her work in marketing and sales, Trudeau is very involved in her community, especially in health-related charities. She currently sits on two boards of directors, that of the Fondation Un Bec Soufflé as a director and of the Centre d'action bénévole de la Vallée-du-Richelieu as a governor. In addition, she acts as ambassador for several other foundations.
49. Émilie F. Grenier
Head of Creative, Thinkwell
Émilie F. Grenier wants you to forget, for an instant, where you are. Using the real world as her canvas, she weaves narrative threads with traces of augmentation to transform spaces from the banal to the magical, instilling her work with a quiet sense of wonder. As Head of Creative at Thinkwell Studio Montreal, Grenier sets the creative vision for the studio and leads her team to create large-scale multisensory experiences for an international client base. She believes that the key to running a successful team involves not only a commitment to a shared vision, but allowing space for individuals to flourish, trusting that they will reach objectives in their own way.
Working over the last 15 years in a range of disciplines and mediums including theatre, film, experimental digital narratives, VR, and AR — a platform-agnostic approach to technology has always been at the heart of Grenier’s process. Whereas her earlier creations had an intimate scale, featuring wearable technologies and performance, in her later work with institutions such as the National Film Board of Canada, Arte, Daily tous les jours, Cirque du Soleil, Musée National des beaux-arts du Quebec and now Thinkwell Studio Montreal, her vision has expanded to the creation of immersive spaces in both built and natural environments. She is drawn to the possibilities that technology offers less to wow, but to produce a magical suspension of disbelief. Grenier is a Phyllis Lambert - UNESCO Creative Cities fellow, and holds a master’s degree in design innovation for Material Futures from London’s Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design. As a mother of two young children, she is continually tuning into the supernatural to elevate the everyday. She strives to create meaningful work that will last generations, whether in a glass box in a museum, or ephemerally in memories.
View the complete list of awardees.