(From left) Acting Surrey Mayor Vera LeFranc with Surrey Women in Business Award winners Christine Day (Luvo Inc.)

(From left) Acting Surrey Mayor Vera LeFranc with Surrey Women in Business Award winners Christine Day (Luvo Inc.)

Surrey Board of Trade honours top businesswomen

Surrey Board of Trade held its 7th annual Surrey Women in Business Awards luncheon last week.

Surrey Board of Trade held its 7th annual Surrey Women in Business Awards luncheon last week, doling out awards to seven women in five categories.

South Surrey’s LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic founder and president, Sara Hodson, received the award in the ‘Entrepreneur’ category; MaryAnne Connor, of NightShift Street Ministries Society, took the ‘Social Trailblazer’ category; Surrey Libraries’ Melanie Houlden was named Not-for-Profit Leader; MNP LLP’s Amanjit Lidder won the ‘Professional’ category; and Janice Comeau, of LMS Reinforcing Steel Group, took the Corporate/Leadership title.

Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, described women entrepreneurs and leaders as “a dynamic and growing segment of the global ecosystem.”

Canada’s theme for International Women’s Day was that women’s empowerment leads to equality. This includes access to education, financial independence, living free from violence, participation in government processes,”Huberman said in a news release. “Surrey’s business women have developed a strategy, created a vision and marketed this vision, culminating in their recognition at the Surrey Women in Business Awards program.”

The board also announced its Women in Business Entrepreneurship Initiative at the luncheon.

The initiative will focus on funding, growth, mentorship and leadership for female business owners, guided by a newly created Women in Business Team.

Over 2016-2017, SBOT will identify women-led ventures in Surrey; provide services and support through collaborative partners; and implement the board’s mentorship program, which trains mentors to enhance their own leadership skills.

“The Surrey Board of Trade has positioned itself to reduce the gender gap by actively supporting female entrepreneurship,” Huberman said. “We know that we need to work together to improve the access to and the quality of programming that empowers and champions women with equal opportunity for success.”.