Ten Western alumnae have been named to Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 list, presented by the National Post and the Women’s Executive Network (WXN). The theme for this year’s Top 100 Awards was What Glass Ceiling? The newspaper wrote of the honoured Western community members, in part:
President, Sleep Country Canada
2013 Hall of Fame
Prior to co-founding the No. 1 mattress retailer in the country almost 20 years ago, Christine Magee, BA’82, spent 12 years in commercial and corporate banking. She takes an active role in mentoring students as a member of the advisory council of Western’s Ivey School of Business and through her involvement with 20 under 20 and the Women’s Executive Network. She has been recognized as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women in 2007, 2010 and 2011. In 2010 and 2011, she was also honoured with the Communication and Leadership Award from Toastmasters International. Magee sits on the board of the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation and on the Diabetes Campaign Committee. She is also an active member of the Women’s President Organization and honourary chair of the Hamilton YMCA.
Anne Marie O’Donovan
Executive vice-president and chief administration officer, global banking and markets, Scotiabank
Scotiabank Corporate Executive Award
Anne Marie O’Donovan, BA’82, has been instrumental in leading Scotiabank’s strategic initiatives that focus on key infrastructure platforms. Her priorities include implementing new technologies and processes to support business growth globally and improve efficiency, trading practices and governance. With some 30 years of experience working with Canadian financial institutions, she has vast expertise in shaping the direction of governance, risk management and internal controls. In her previous roles, she was Scotiabank’s chief auditor and North American enterprise risk management leader at Ernst & Young. O’Donovan is a chartered accountant with an FCA designation and sits on the boards of Indigo Books & Music Inc. and the Canadian Stage Company.
Chief operations officer, GoodLife Fitness
Scotiabank Corporate Executive Award
An accomplished athlete and fitness guru, it’s no wonder Jane Riddell, BA’77, MA’85, has spent more than 30 years with Canada’s largest fitness club chain. In 2012, she starred in the first season of Undercover Boss Canada as a Zumba instructor trainee, a maintenance worker and a salesperson. Riddell has completed two marathons, one of which was 750 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. As a youth, Riddell competed in the first-ever World Soccer Championships in Hawaii in 1982 and was captain of her varsity basketball team at Western. Riddell also has a passion for animals and champions an organization called Golden Rescue that is dedicated to finding homes for displaced golden retrievers.
Director and vice-chair, Toronto Hydro Corp.
Accenture Corporate Directors Award
A lawyer, corporate director and senior executive, Patricia Callon, BA’84, LLB’87, has more than 20 years of leadership, regulatory, governance and stakeholder engagement experience. Before joining the transition office, Callon led the Ontario Securities Commission’s Canadian Securities Administration Point of Sale Project, developed to protect investors by simplifying mutual fund disclosure. Prior to that, she was vice-president and associate general counsel at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, responsible for the bank’s Canadian wealth management operations. Between 2005-13, Callon was on the board of directors of Toronto Hydro Corp. and chaired its compensation committee.
President, Belvedere Place Development Ltd.
CIBC Entrepreneurs Award
Kelsey Ramsden, MBA’04, has had a diverse career. As head of Kelowna, B.C.-based construction firm Belvedere Place Development and founder of a monthly play subscription service for parents called Spark Play, this mother of three is used to rolling up her sleeves and getting her hands dirty. On top of these ventures, Ramsden is a consultant for both budding and big businesses and sits on numerous boards, such as the Pierre L. Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship. She is a well-known speaker, adept at delivering talks from community level TEDx events to small private c-suite engagements. She is also a media favorite for commentary on entrepreneurship and the value of nimble thought in our modern economy. In 2012, Ramsden ranked No. 1 in the Profit/Chatelaine W100 list.
Chief operating officer, Morrison Hershfield Ltd.
KPMG Professionals Award
Armed with 24 years in progressively senior roles at Morrison Hershfield, Catherine Karakatsanis, MESs.’91, has extensive engineering and management experience under her belt. In her current role, to which she was appointed in 2012, she is responsible for the company’s international and domestic operations and oversees 800 professionals in offices across North America. She has been active in the engineering community for more than two decades and is past president and chair of Engineers Canada. She also sits on the board of Engineers Without Borders. Last year, Karakatsanis was awarded the Engineering Medal of Management and was inducted into the Canadian Academy of Engineering as a Fellow.
CEO and president, Plan International Canada
KPMG professionals Award
As head of one of the largest international agencies in Canada, Rosemary McCarney, LLB’77, has been recognized around the world as a leading executive in the non-governmental organization sector. Under her direction, Plan initiated the call for an International Day of the Girl as part of its Because I am a Girl campaign. The day became a reality on Oct. 11, 2012. Before joining Plan, McCarney was executive director of Street Kids International. She has worked in more than 100 countries during her career, and her international economic development experience includes stints with the World Bank, International Finance Corp. and both the U.S. and Canadian agencies for international development.
Chairman and CEO, Women’s Tennis Association
Xstrata Nickel Trailblazers and Trendsetters Award
Recently named one of the Most Powerful Women in Sports by Forbes, Stacey Allaster, BA’85, MBA’00, has held virtually every role in the world of tennis. As current head of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), she is focused on maximizing the fan experience through a series of on-court and digital innovations. She has secured a record number of new global sponsors and is vigilant about enhancing the health and well-being of athletes through her work in streamlining the tennis calendar and directing new programs such as on-court coaching and electronic line calling. With her input, a new strategic plan for WTA has already increased prize money by more than 51 per cent. In her advocacy role, Allaster has been instrumental in securing equal prize money for male and female athletes at all four Grand Slam events.
Founder, Ladies Learning Code & HackerYou
Xstrata Nickel Trailblazers and Trendsetters Award
As founder of the non-profit Ladies Learning Code, Heather Payne, HBA’09, facilitates workshops for women who want to learn programming and other computer skills in a fun and collaborative environment. The company now has chapters in 10 cities across the country with more coming next year. HackerYou, meanwhile, is Canada’s original programming bootcamp and to this day is the only one of dozens around North America that is run by women. Payne spent a year working on a youth-focused project for Mozilla Foundation that recently garnered a $365,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. She was also an early investor in e-commerce provider ShopLocket, and helped startups such as Pinpoint Social and Shopcaster acquire their first users.
CEO and president, Women’s College Hospital
Public Sector Leaders
Marilyn Emery, MSc.N’74, has led Women’s College since 2007 and is currently leading a $500-million redevelopment project that is expected to advance women’s health, prevent and manage complex, chronic conditions and deliver better health-system solutions. She has more than 20 years of management experience, including a stint as CEO of Markham Stouffville Hospital and St. Joseph’s Health Centre, where she initiated innovations in quality service, patient satisfaction and financial performance. Under her direction, St. Joe’s attained the greatest improvement in patient satisfaction ever achieved by an Ontario hospital. Emery has been honoured as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women twice before.
Also named to the list was Kelly Lovell, founder and CEO, Kelly Effect, Lovell Corp., winner of the Telus Future Leaders Award. Lovell, currently taking a year off, plans to rejoin Western next fall to continue her joint HBMSc and HBA through the Ivey Business School.