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K-W Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year Awards handed out virtually

The night also paid tribute to Country 106.7's Jennifer Campbell, who passed away earlier this year following a battle with cancer
women of the year

For a 47th year, women across Waterloo Region were highlighted during the K-W Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year Awards.

They were held Tuesday night, and because of the pandemic, they were held online.  It was also the first time the awards were not handed out during KW Oktoberfest.

In addition to the awards, Country 106.7's Jennifer Campbell was honoured with a tribute from Cambridge country duo The Reklaws.

Campbell was an emcee at previous award ceremonies, and an advocate for the community on many levels.

Campbell passed away earlier this year after a battle with cancer.

A portion of the ticket sales went to support the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region.

The award winners came from a pool of a record number of nominees in eight categories:

  • Arts & Culture (sponsored by Home Hardware): Jayme Armstrong.

This award recognizes women for enriching the culture of our community through the creation or promotion of the arts on a volunteer or professional basis.

Armstrong has established herself as a force in the Canadian theatre scene with her involvement with Drayton Entertainment.

  • Community Service (sponsored by Rogers TV): Julie Sawatzky

The award recognizes women for generously volunteering time to programs and services that make our community a better place.

Sawatzky started the 519 community connection, and it has grown to have thousands of volunteers to help our community's need.

  • Entrepreneur (sponsored by Piller's Fine Foods): Jill Zappitelli

This award recognizes women for initiating and/or administering an enterprise or business.

Zappitelli is committed to her profession as a Human Resource professional. She opened her business, which quickly became a pillar for all businesses and organizations at all stages of their business cycles. H2R Solutions has quickly grown to a team of twelve staff and is established as a strong employer-brand.

  • Health & Wellness (sponsored by Greater KW Chamber of Commerce): Dr. Linda Lee

This award recognizes women for promoting and helping others achieve and promote mental, physical or spiritual well-being in her career or community involvement.

Dr. Lee provides dementia care to her patients. She has worked throughout her career to spread her novel approach of inter-professional care to other communities. Early in her career Dr. Lee became aware that people with dementia were going undiagnosed and under-treated. She witnessed the challenges that patients and their families faced. So she chose to do something about it. She revolutionized dementia care by creating the MINT Memory Clinic model. It integrates assessment, treatment planning, and links to community supports, all under one roof. Patients are supported by a team - physician, nurse, pharmacist, social work and occupational therapy. What started as one clinic in Kitchener, and has grown to be an internationally recognized model of care with over 110 locations across Canada.

  • Lifetime Achievement (Sponsored by Schlegel Villages): Donna Dubie

This award recognizes women for being role models, mentors and/or advocates for positive and social change throughout their lifetime.

Dubie strives in her work with the not-for-profit organization Healing of the Seven Generations, building community and healing for First Nations, Metis and Inuit people even during a pandemic.

  • Professional (sponsored by CHYM 96.7, Country 106.7 & 570 News): Jennifer Gordon

This award recognizes women for dedicating themselves to the pursuit of excellence in their chosen careers.

Gordon has done a lot for the community with the YW Kitchener-Waterloo, working with the In Her Shoes social enterprise to the community, and as a Senior Advisor at the Canadian Centre for Disability Studies.

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math (sponsored by Enbridge): Sherry Shannon-Vanstone

This award recognizes women for outstanding advancement to the field of STEAM.

Shannon-Vanstone actively engaged in volunteer work that inspires the next generation of female STEAM leaders.

  • Young Adult (14 to 25) (sponsored by the Kitchener Fire Department): Fatima Awan

This award recognizes young women for leading by example and being a role model to their peers.

Awan made an enormous impact in her four years at Southwood Secondary Secondary School, as a passionate advocate for all students.


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