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Pandemic Innovator

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Pandemic Innovator

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Presented by:

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This award honours an exceptional woman who is an industry trailblazer who develops innovative solutions in response to the pandemic. Perhaps she enhances scientific, technological and/or industrial spaces to advance solutions and outside-the-box thinking. Or, perhaps she has leveraged her skillset in the fields of engineering, applied sciences, social sciences, life sciences, technology, or a skilled trade to support individuals and her community. She leverages her success to advocate for others. She is motivated to make real change and facilitate opportunities for others through her bold new ways of thinking.

Hamilton Winner:

Andriana Lukich

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Andriana Lukich

Andriana Lukich is the Director, Digital Solutions at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. She holds a HBSc Kinesiology and an MBA from McMaster University, a PMP certification and is Prosci Change Management certified. Throughout her decade of healthcare experience, she has held multiple roles all focused on leading change initiatives and supporting staff through transformational projects. The digital projects she has championed include enabling virtual care between patients and providers; rapidly developing a COVID-19 screening tool for staff, patients and visitors; creating a city-wide patient self-scheduling tool to support booking of COVID-19 tests; and supporting the implementation of COVID-19 Assessment Centres. Andriana’s commitment to digital transformation has attracted support and spurred innovation across Canada.

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Halton Winner:

Lisa Lunski

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Lisa Lunski

Lisa Lunski, coordinator for the Friday Night Community at Wellington Square United Church in downtown Burlington, has been an active community leader  for decades. Lisa has spent the last ten years growing a community that fosters positive relationships and decreases isolation for those most vulnerable, while also providing a hot meal once a week. Leveraging her relationships built within the community, Lisa advocates for affordable housing, food security and positive social change. During the pandemic, Lisa has adapted and inspired a team of 50 volunteers to coordinate a Meal Bag Program, which continues the vision of the Friday Night Community, despite the COVID-19 constraints. Lisa is a true community champion at heart and embodies a “nobody left behind” philosophy.

Hamilton Nominees

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Dr. Alison Fox-Robichaud headshot

Dr. Alison Fox-Robichaud

Dr. Alison Fox-Robichaud is a Professor of Medicine, an Intensivist, & Director of Medical Education. She holds a BSc in Biology and Chemistry, as well as a MSc in Medical Sciences from McMaster University. She completed her MD at the University of Ottawa, followed by Internal Medicine, Critical Care and Postdoctoral training at the University of Calgary. Her research interests include the pathophysiology of sepsis and how evidence is transferred into clinical care. She is the Scientific Director of the Canadian Sepsis Research Network, with over 95 peer-reviewed publications and has been the recipient of numerous awards for her work. Her medical expertise, and collaboration with community, medical, and academic stakeholders has been integral to leading and standardizing therapies in critical care settings during this pandemic.

Diana Wetherly headshot

Diana Wetherly

Diana Wetherly is the Director of Sales & Marketing at Carmen’s Group. With over a decade of global marketing experience in hospitality, Diana brings an array of best practices across cultures and industries to her role. As a leader, her ability to identify areas of opportunity for business growth has won her the respect of many of North’s America’s well-known brands. At Carmen’s,Diana’s vision is to cultivate a group of innovative and forward-thinking team members. With a lens on elevating the customer experience, her focus is on establishing a strong infrastructure to support growth and drive revenue through brand differentiating sales tactics. With fresh marketing programs, strong brand awareness and strategic partnerships, Diana’s commitment is to ensure Carmen’s Group remains top performing in the industry.

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Doris Ciardullo

Doris Ciardullo started with the Hamilton Police Service in 2012 as the Procurement Supervisor and was promoted to Director of Fleet, Facilities and Procurement in March 2020. Doris has supported countless initiatives in Procurement, Stores, Fleet and Facilities throughout her role as Procurement Supervisor. Most recently, Doris has been heavily involved in the new ISD Building project. Her knowledge and experience in this project and the overall portfolio was a major contributing factor in the success of the project.
Doris has over 30 years of work experience as a procurement professional in both the private and public sectors. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration Degree and the Certified Public Procurement Officer designation.

Erin Mitchell headshot

Erin Mitchell

Erin Mitchell is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, where she completed her BA and MA in English. Upon her return to Canada, she completed her MBA at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Coming full circle and landing back in Niagara Region, Erin has maintained a consistent presence within the wine industry in various branding, marketing, and strategic planning roles at notable Niagara wineries. Erin joined the Megalomanic team in early 2020, and has utilized her business acumen and philosophy to reenergize the winery. She has fostered a culture of excellence where passionate people are encouraged to perfect their respective crafts every day.

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Dr. Frances Lasowski

Dr. Frances Lasowski is a Chemical Engineer with expertise in biomaterials and drug delivery, and training in commercialization. As Executive Director of the C20/20 Innovation Hub, she manages an interdisciplinary team of trainees and scientists working on a range of research projects to treat eye conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. As a co-founder and CEO of 20/20 OptimEyes Technologies, Frances has entrepreneurial experience with the commercialization of technology for ocular applications. Frances is the former President of the McMaster Graduate Students Association and was the McMaster Site Coordinator for “Let’s Talk Science.” She continues this passion for science outreach and student engagement through the STEM activities for children and youth delivered through C20/20.

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Karen Mossman

Karen Mossman, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Medicine and VP (Research) at McMaster University. She completed her undergraduate Honors BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Guelph, her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and her Post-doctoral Fellowship in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, both at the University of Alberta. Dr. Mossman joined McMaster University in 2001. Her research focus is understanding the interactions between viruses and their hosts, both in normal healthy cells and in cancer cells, with the goal of developing novel therapy approaches for emerging viral infections and cancer. In addition to administrative roles within the Office of VP Research, she serves as Chair of the Board of the McMaster Innovation Park and McMaster HealthLabs.

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Leanne Sneddon

Leanne Sneddon has been the Director of Human Resources for the Hamilton Police Service since January 2019. Her public service career in Human Resources spans over 20 years and her commitment to serve the community is what drives her work. Leanne graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in psychology and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resources Management. As a life- long learner, she has completed many certificates, including a certificate in Human Resources Law from Osgoode Law School and certificates in labour relations and mental health leadership from Queen’s University. She is a certified Human Resources Leader with the Human Resources Professional Association and is a Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation.

Marla Robinson headshot

Marla Robinson

Marla Robinson has been with Mohawk College for 20+ years in a variety of leadership roles, including faculty, apprenticeship research, and more recently, industry consultation and program design. As one of the first women to graduate from Mohawk College’s Mechanical Engineering Technician program, Marla has broken stereotypes and encouraged women to consider trades and technology as viable career choices. While completing her graduate program in Educational Leadership, Marla joined the Community Partnerships and Learning team as Special Projects Academic Coordinator to share her expertise in designing and delivering innovative employer-informed programs within the City School by Mohawk mandate. With a focus on creating employment and educational solutions amidst a pandemic crisis, Marla is a leader in supporting community change initiatives.

Dr. Rosa Da Silva headshot

Dr. Rosa da Silva

Dr. Rosa da Silva is an Assistant Professor and Associate Chair (Undergraduate Studies) in Biology and a McMaster Distinguished Teaching and Learning Fellow. She has won several awards (McMaster Student Union, McMaster President, Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities) for her dedication to post-secondary education and her innovative interdisciplinary curriculum design that enhances student learning and engagement. This innovative, visionary leader was a life-line during the COVID-19 pivot to virtual learning – she supported instructors, promoted teaching excellence, and ensured the most positive student experience possible, including creating at-home lab kits. Dr. da Silva’s passion for STEM education and incorporating cutting-edge technologies to enhance teaching and learning continually inspires and energizes her colleagues and students alike.

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Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly

Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly is a visionary social entrepreneur, thought-leader, executive, and Chartered Director. Tracey reimagined how universities could serve the needs of adult learners and created the York University School of Continuing Studies, the largest and most successful start-up in North America in three decades.

She thrives on innovation and building rapidly scaling organizations. She also enjoys supporting her community and speaking with audiences on topics related to the future of work, talent development, and the future of higher education in Canada and around the world.

As a Chartered Director, Tracey currently serves on the Board and chairs two committees for Achēv, one of Canada’s leaders in developing human capital, and has led a national professional association.

Vicki Gruber headshot

Vicki Gruber

Vicki Gruber is Manager, Port Security and Harbour Master at the Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority. Vicki joined the Harbour Master’s Office/Port Patrol team in 2006, assuming the role of Patrol Supervisor in 2014. Later that year,

Vicki was promoted to her current role, where she oversees port security, emergency response and harbour operations for the Ports of Hamilton and Oshawa. Of the 17 Canadian Port Authorities, Vicki is one of only two female Harbour Masters.

Vicki is involved with numerous community and professional organizations. Among them, she has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Mission to Seafarers Southern Ontario and Vice Chair of the Community Awareness and Emergency Response Group.

Halton Nominees

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Elise Naccarato headshot

Elise Naccarato

Elise Naccarato is the founder and Artistic Director of Myriad Ensemble, a women’s choir based in Burlington, as well as both Artistic Director of the Hamilton Estonian Choir and Apprentice Conductor with Chorus Niagara. She is a community choral leader, quickly establishing herself as a young conductor who is innovative, dynamic and a strong advocate for women in the arts. She is committed to raising the voices of women through the collaboration, exploration and performance of women’s choir repertoire. Elise holds an Honours Bachelors of Music, Diploma in Voice Performance, Masters in Choral Conducting, and is currently pursuing her MBA in Innovation Leadership. Elise has been privileged to work with esteemed conducting professionals and choirs across Canada.

Hayley Harlock headshots

Hayley Harlock

Hayley Harlock is the founder of The Flipside Life (TFSL), an inclusive community she established in 2019 dedicated to supporting physician families by connecting the spouses and partners of physicians and trainees. Hayley holds a Master of Social Work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, and previously practiced as a medical social worker at SickKids Hospital in Toronto. Hayley is married to a vascular surgeon and has a firsthand understanding of the unique challenges that physician families experience during training and practice.
As a champion of physician families, Hayley is on a mission to ensure that all physician families are connected, supported and thriving. Hayley and her husband, Dr. John Harlock, live in Burlington with their three children.

Renee France Boudreau headshot

Renee France Boudreau

Renee France Boudreau is the owner of Wisp, but she is much more than ahair stylist alone – she is a leader, and an innovator within her community and industry. As the third generation stylist in her family, Renee is dedicated to  leaving her own unique mark.

With over 18 years of salon experience, Renee is a natural mentor who has invested thousands of dollars in educating herself and her team. As a true leader in the industry who lives and breathes hair, the development, safety, and happiness of her team continues to be Renee’s biggest career accomplishment.

In recent years, Renee has been focused on building her team, giving back to the community, and  developing a podcast and leadership program for salon owners.

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Stephanie VanderLingen

Stephanie VanderLingen is an inspiration for her entire team  at Canadian Tire Fairview, one of Canada’s Largest stores. Stephanie’s positive, “can-do” attitude is infectious and when faced with the prospect of closing our store during the early 2020 Covid lockdown, she was the guiding force that led the way to transition. With her leadership, we were able to   serve thousands of customers in our parking lot or deliver purchases directly to their homes. Stephanie built new teams, new processes, and ensured her team and customers’ safety was a top priority throughout. And she accomplished all this without the title of Owner or Store Manager. Stephanie is a courageous and innovative leader who knows how to rally and inspire people to accomplish great things.

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