It was an evening of celebrating and honouring women on Friday, for the 2018 Cold Lake Women of Influence Awards. Cold Lake High School Science Teacher, Jennifer Dusyk-Johnson was honoured as the Overall Woman of Influence
The event saw the most-ever nominees with 43 women honoured as nominees and three new categories, allowing the committee to hand out eight awards; Arts & Culture, Business & Professional, Community & Volunteerism, Health & Wellness, Science & Technology (new), Younger Women 19 + under (new), Older Women 65 + older (new), and Overall Woman of Influence.
Awards recipients were selected by a committee that is comprised of a group of local women who have come together to celebrate International Women’s Day and to honour the various ways that women enhance and invigorate the Cold Lake community.
The awards were handcrafted glass creations, made by Cathy Aust of Shakti Glass Works.
Overall Woman of Influence – Jennifer Dusyk-Johnson
Recognized in her community and her profession as outstanding, Dusyk-Johnson has worked as a teacher at the Cold Lake High School for over 20 years. Her passion for sciences and dedication to her craft has inspired her students.
She has taken a leadership role with the student union leadership group and in that capacity she has traveled with her students to Edmonton and Vancouver. She has also traveled to Nicaragua to interact with youths and adults in isolated communities in the rainforest.
She brought ideas back that inspired students to join Connecting Classrooms. Through the program students in Cold Lake video conferenced with students in Nicaragua; promoting fair trade and growth in that region.
“I want to give a big shout out to all the wonderful women that were nominated and for all that you do in our community. Now more than ever it’s important for women to support each other and for men to support each other,” noting all the younger women in the crowd, Dusyk-Johnson said it was great to see the youth involved in the awards.
Everyone has something to offer and we can all make the world a better place. Continue serving your community. – Jennifer Dusyk-Johnson 2018 Overall Woman of Influence.
Arts & Culture – Linda Hayward
“I am truly honoured,” Hayward said as she collected her award. “It really has been my privilege to assist people in the music community and very rewarding to help younger people bring music into their lives.” Hayward is a renowned music teacher and the president of the Cold Lake Music Festival.
Business & Professional – Nadine Deslauriers-Friesen
The jewelry designer, who moonlights as a teacher (or is it the other way around), has seen her work on a multitude of Hollywood stars and models. She has been invited to gifting suites at the Emmys and Cannes Film Festival. “I am quite honoured and humble to have been chosen as it was a huge surprise to me. Also in my category there was some pretty amazing women who deserved it as much as I did,” said the designer.
Community & Volunteerism – Cathy Gauthier
As the organizer of the Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC), Gauthier goes above & beyond her duties. She champions conferences and provides social outlet activities. “This is quite an honour and a big surprise,” Gauthier spoke to the crowd on the impact you have on other people, “everyone makes a difference in someone’s life.”
Health & Wellness – TJ Unger
Moving to Cold Lake in 2012, brought with her a positive attitude and strong work ethic. Unger worked at the Cold Lake Health Centre for four years, and was instrumental in developing the cardiac rehabilitation program. Unger is the owner of Elevation Health.
Science & Technology – Marsha Hayward
Hayward has completed several research projects and has traveled through Canada’s northwest documenting plants. Based on her experiences she wrote a book on Canada’s northern peoples. “I think it’s fantastic that there’s so many people in our community that are such an inspiration,” Hayward said the award came as a surprise to her.
Younger Woman – Sarah Hildt
Grade 12 student, at Cold Lake High School, Hildt has been recognized by the teaching staff for her work ethic and leadership skills. Hildt has received the highest grade average in grade 9, 10 and 11. “Thank you so much, this means so much to me,” Hildt commended her fellow nominees and thanked the organizing committee.
Older Woman – Linda Grant
Proving that women of any age can contribute by actively seeking out new ways to contribute to society. She is an example of aging gracefully, while dispelling the negative stereotypes of aging.
The Cold Lake Women of Influence Committee seeks to acknowledge women who use their individual strengths and abilities to further themselves, their families, their organizations and our community. Our Committee includes women from various professions who fill many different roles within the community. We recognize the multitude of ways in which women contribute to make Cold Lake the successful, flourishing community it is.