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A celebration of inspiration.

The Influential Women of Northern Ontario Awards is much more than an event honouring those who contribute to the wealth and economic growth of the region. It's an opportunity to be inspired by the drive and determination of the award winners, to connect and network, and to celebrate the vital role women play in their communities.

The 14th Annual Influential Women of Northern Ontario Awards and Trade Show luncheons were held in Thunder Bay May 31 at Valhalla Inn and in North Bay June 2 at Best Western. Both were sold-out events that included a trade show with various exhibitors.

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"The very fact the program has existed for 14 years is a testament to the need in our region to acknowledge women's contributions to creating wealth and jobs," said Patricia Mills publisher of Northern Ontario Business. "The statistics are out there - many small business owners are women and they go about doing their daily work and they don't expect to be recognized for it And when you do recognize thern, they are genuinely awed by the fact that someone took the time and cared enough to say thank you and I think that is why the program has continued to grow and be important."

The northwest winners included Nipigon's Levina Collins of Collins Consulting Services for the Private Sector Award; Dr. Nancy Luckai, Associate Professor at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay for the Public Sector Award; and Thunder Bay's Marija Harp, owner of Sweet Pea's Home Catering for Young Entrepreneur.

In thei northeast, the Private Sector Award was given to North Bay's Angela Johnston/ Regional Director of Sales, Northern Ontario Westmont Hospitality Group; Nancy Jacko, Vice-President, Medicine Care Centre at North Bay Regional Health Centre was named Public Sector Award winner; and Timmins' Leslie-Anne McKee, of J.J.'s Ranch, was winner of the Young Entrepreneur Award.

The Aspiring Achiever Scholarship Essay Winner was Charlotte Roy, a Grade 12 student at Marymount Academy in Sudbury. Her essayr Princess Dreams, explored how the post-feminist princess culture influences young giris today. The award also comes with a $2i000 scholarship.

The platinum sponsor was TD Bank, who, along with the support of other sponsors, exhibitors and door prize donors, contributed to the success of this year's events.

This year's panel of judges ihcluded Irene Kdzlowski, president of Sencia Canada Ltd.; Sue Prodaniuk, rector of communications for Confederation College; Erin Richmond, economic development offieer with the City of North Bay; and liisa Woolley, marketing manager for Northern Credit Union.

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Title Annotation:INFLUENTIAL WOMEN 2011
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Geographic Code:1CONT
Date:Jul 1, 2011
Words:429
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