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Veena Rawat is CWC's Woman of the Year

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Canadian Women In Communications
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TORONTO - Canadian Women in Communications (CWC) has announced the winners of its Annual Awards for 2003, with Industry Canada executive Dr. Veena Rawat taking the premiere award, Woman of the Year.

"This award recognizes a woman whose outstanding leadership and support of the advancement of women in both professional and volunteer spheres has made a significant impact on the industry," says the CWC.

Rawat is executive vice-president, marketing and business development, communications research centre, with Industry Canada. Her engineering career "has been filled with 'firsts,' including first woman to earn a PhD in electrical engineering from Queens University and now as the first public sector winner of the prestigious CWC Woman of the Year Award," says the press release.

"The firsts have continued throughout her career, most recently as the first woman to chair a United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Radio Conference in 2003 where she did such an exceptional job that she was awarded a gold medal for service to the United Nations. She has been a tireless role model and supporter of the advancement of women and under her leadership, the participating of women in engineering roles at Industry Canada has blossomed."

"Recognition is a critical component of women's advancement and the CWC Annual Awards give us the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women and those who support their advancement," said CWC president, Stephanie MacKendrick. "We had a record number of nominations this year and CWC would like to thank its members and the industry for submitting nominations and the judging panel who had the very difficult task of choosing winners from among the many worthy nominees."

CWC's Annual Awards are selected by a panel of distinguished judges from the communications industry and related fields. The judges work from a slate of nominations generated by individuals and companies within the industry.

Judging this year's awards were: Robert Buchan, partner Johnston & Buchan LLP; Pia Hane, senior consultant, IS strategy and planning, Telus and chair of the CWC Annual Awards board committee, Dean MacDonald, COO and executive vice-president Rogers Communications Inc., Carol Stephenson, Dean, Richard Ivey School of Business; Jay Switzer, president and CEO, CHUM Limited; Andr�e Wylie, vice-chair, broadcasting, CRTC; Janet Yale, executive vice-president government and regulatory affairs, TELUS.

The 2003 CWC Annual Awards will be presented at the CWC Annual Awards Gala, Monday, February 23, 2004 at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa. Both the Minister of Industry, the Honourable Lucienne Robillard and the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable H�l�ne Chalifour Scherrer will speak at the dinner. The MC for the event will be Marie-Anne Murat, anchorwoman, RDI and entertainment will be provided by Canadian recording star, Kathleen Edwards.

Winners of the rest of the impressive slate of awards are:

Employer of the Year: Corus Entertainment Inc.
This award honours an employer that has an outstanding track record in hiring and advancing women at all levels of the organization, demonstrating leadership in the promotion of women within the industry over time.

Corus Entertainment has built an impressive track record of advancing women. It is one of the industry leaders in the number of women on its Board of Directors, maintaining average of 40% to 50% of its seats held by women. At the Executive level, Corus has supported the advancement of women, who represent more than a quarter (27%) of executives reporting to the CEO or division presidents. At the level of director and higher, the figure rises to more than a third (36%) and in general management, 40% of positions are held by women.

In addition to making places for women throughout the organization, Corus's policies support their success. They include a work-life balance program that is promoted by the organization and utilized within the executive ranks, a compassionate leave program, anti-harassment policy, training programs on the radio side to increase the number of women in programming, participation in the Judy Project at the Rotman School of Business and the Banff Television Executive training program.

Trailblazer of the Year: Colette Watson, president, CPAC, and vice-president programming Rogers Cable Inc.
This award recognizes women and men whose strong leadership and significant actions have cleared a path for women in the industry.

Throughout her career, Colette Watson has shown that taking risks has its rewards, providing leadership and role model for other women. She has taken on new challenges at every opportunity, excelling in the cable industry at a time when there were few women executives in their ranks. She rose through the programming side and now handles a dual portfolio as President of CPAC and Vice President Programming for Rogers Cable Inc. At CPAC she led a re-branding exercise and on the Rogers side, immersed herself in the world of sports negotiations to bring OHL hockey games to the community channel.

Mentor of the Year: Kevin Shea, President, SheaChez Inc.
This award recognizes women and men who have devoted their time and effort to mentoring women new to the communications industry and those aspiring to career advancement.

Kevin Shea has made mentoring a key part of his leadership throughout his career in the broadcasting and cable television industries and has made a point of ensuring that women in the industry received opportunities for advancement. Kevin not only has opened doors for women in their careers, but encouraged them, promoted them, helped them network and reach their career goals. As one testimonial said, "He's a mentor's mentor. My professional life would not have been the same without his guidance, his inclusiveness, his patience and his example."

Volunteer of the Year: Sherrin Western, Director of Insight, Shervin Communications Inc.
The CWC Chapter Volunteer of the Year Award was created to honour one person each year whose time, effort and commitment has helped to build Canadian Women in Communications or has contributed significantly to the association's success.

As a volunteer for the BC Chapter, Sherrin designed a whole range of printed materials to promote chapter events and provide information on the local chapter leadership and programming. She extended that further to providing templates for promotional materials that could be used by other CWC chapters, including a style guide that helped all the chapters and the organization as a whole to develop a consistent visual look. In addition to her branding expertise, Sherrin has also made a significant contribution as a presenter leading workshops on "Surviving and Thriving in Corporate Chaos" in Vancouver and other chapters.

Jeanne Sauv� Professional Development Program
This program brings candidates from the private and public sector participate together in a program at the Department of Canadian Heritage, Industry Canada and the CRTC, and in private industry to foster better understanding between the public and private sectors. The participants in the 2004 Jeanne Sauv� Professional Development Program are:

Pamela D. Jones senior regulatory policy advisor Telus Communications Inc.
Satvir Nijjar business manager Global Television Network Inc.
Susan Johnston project officer, international telecommunications policy and co-ordination Industry Canada
Suzanne Bubic senior trade officer, trade and investment development directorate Canadian Heritage
May Lynn Loong senior analyst, industry analysis, consumer affairs and policy CRTC
Dani�le Chatelois project officer, international telecommunications policy and co-ordination Industry Canada

Astral Media Executive Management Scholarship
The winner of this scholarship will attend The Judy Project, a one-week executive leadership course at the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto, named after an extraordinary woman named Judy Elder.

This year's winner, Robin McIntyre, has spent her entire career working in non-traditional areas as a cable engineer. She has been involved in engineering at Rogers Cable in B.C., Hamilton and Ontario region since 1991 and is currently Director of Network Engineering for Rogers Cable in Ottawa.

In addition to her work at Rogers, she is an inventor who holds a US and European patent.

CWC/CBC Transformer Award
The CBC/CWC Transformer Award annually provides two women at the mid to senior stages of their career � one Anglophone and one francophone - with the practical tools and support to help them successfully manage change and transitions in their careers. A program has been tailored for each individual by CBC/Radio-Canada's Human Resources and Productions departments, and will include workshops, one-on-one coaching sessions, and networking with CBC/Radio-Canada leaders. The inaugural winners are Erin Petrie of Vancouver, BC and Yolande Goudreau, of Montreal, Quebec.

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