Western women lead way in award winners

Special to Western News Six Western community members were named among eight winners of the 2015 Women of Excellence Awards. Western winners included Lisa Fischer, far left, Caroline Ehrhardt, fourth from left and then to right, Lynne C. Leitch, Gillian Kernaghan, Tina Bax and Colleen Hanycz. Also honoured were Lorna Bruce and Kathleen Murphy.

Special to Western NewsSix Western community members were named among eight winners of the 2015 Women of Excellence Awards. Western winners included Lisa Fischer, far left, Caroline Ehrhardt, fourth from left and then to right, Lynne C. Leitch, Gillian Kernaghan, Tina Bax and Colleen Hanycz. Also honoured were Lorna Bruce and Kathleen Murphy.

A wave of purple pride washed over the 2015 Women of Excellence announcement Tuesday morning as six of eight winners of the biennial award were members of the Western community. Sponsored by the YMCA of Western Ontario, the awards honour women in the community for their outstanding contributions and tireless dedication in their chosen field.

“We are delighted that so many accomplished and passionate women with such distinct and compelling backgrounds have been selected as our 2015 Women of Excellence honourees,” said Ruthe-Anne Conyngham, Women of Excellence co-chair. “This is a sincere tribute to the talent and hard-working contributions of women in London and the surrounding community.”

Among the Western-connected winners were:

  • Colleen Hanycz (Arts, Culture, Education and Training category) – The principal of Brescia University College was recognized as an outstanding visionary leader who has transformed Canada’s only women’s university into a vibrant, bold and innovative community;
  • Caroline Ehrhardt (Young Woman of Excellence category) – The fourth-year Health Sciences student was recognized as one of the top track-and-field athletes in the country and a model of what a student-athlete should represent and strive to be;
  • Tina Bax (Entrepreneurs category) – The Western alumna, BA’93, BEd’95, was recognized as a leader in the Canadian international education industry, and as the founder of Culture Works ESL, Inc., the first private school to teach ESL to international students on Canadian university campuses contributing millions to the local and Ontario economy;
  • Gillian Kernaghan (Health, Science and Technology category) – The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry professor and Western alumna was recognized for her collaborative style of leadership, progressive leadership and bold vision;
  • Lisa Fischer (Sport, Fitness and Recreation category) – The Western alumna, BSc’86, MD’93, and director of Primary Care at the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic was recognized locally, provincially and nationally as an expert in the management of sport related injury and specifically in the area of sport concussion; and
  • Madam Justice Lynne C. Leitch (Outstanding Achievement category) – The Western alumna, LLB’78, was recognized for her contributions to the practice of law, her involvement on numerous judicial committees, judicial education, international project work and international conferences.

Also honoured were Sergeant Lorna Bruce (Business and Professions category) and Kathleen Murphy (Community and Volunteerism category).

The women will be honoured at the YMCA Women of Excellence Gala on May 7 at the London Convention Centre.