The WCT Leadership Excellence Awards recognize the contributions and leadership of women, men and organizations who champion diversity and opportunity for women in Canada's communications and technology sectors.
A must-attend event for Canada's vibrant communications and technology sectors, our Leadership Excellence Awards Gala is where the industry's most influential leaders and brightest stars come to celebrate and honour the outstanding women, men and organizations who have paved the way for diversity, equity and inclusion in Canada's digital workforce.
Expand your network, foster meaningful connections and make impactful collaborations at this year's Gala, hosted at Ottawa's National Art Centre on May 1st, 2023.
5:00 pm - Cocktail Hour
6:30 pm - Dinner and Awards Ceremony
Buy Your Table / Become a Sponsor
AWARD SPONSOR • 9 AVAILABLE SPONSORSHIPS
FOR YOUR INVESTMENT OF $10,000, YOUR COMPANY WILL RECEIVE:
- Logo placement and sponsorship recognition in program and awards ceremony script as Award Sponsor
- Opportunity to present sponsored award
- Complimentary table that seats 8 people – $5,000 value
- Preferred table placement
- Logo placement in event marketing campaign including Globe & Mail ad, event signage, promotional emails, online event listing and gala webpage
- Logo placement on event signage
- Complimentary full colour/half page advertisement in gala program – $750 value
- Logo recognition projected on slide loop during the event
COCKTAIL OR DESSERT RECEPTION SPONSOR • 2 AVAILABLE
SPONSORSHIPS FOR YOUR INVESTMENT OF $7,500, YOUR COMPANY WILL RECEIVE:
- Recognition as Cocktail or Dessert Reception host
- Three complimentary tickets to the Gala - $1,875 value
- Logo placement on event signage
- Logo recognition projected on slide loop during the event
- Logo placement and sponsorship recognition in the gala program
PURCHASE AN AD
$1,500 FULL PAGE, $750 HALF PAGE
The Gala Program Book will be placed on our guests’ tables at the dinner event. Your message will be seen and carried home by individuals who support WCT, serve in leadership roles on our Board of Directors and committees, and volunteer their talent and time to further the mission of our organization.
OTHER SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES INCLUDE AUDIO VISUAL, SIGNAGE, DÉCOR, AND IN-KIND SPONSORS FOR PROMOTIONAL GIVEAWAYS. PLEASE CONTACT SHANNON SEARS AT INFO [at] WCT-FCT.COM FOR MORE DETAILS.
Congratulations to our 2022-23 Award Winners
COMPANY OF THE YEAR: PARIVEDA
At Pariveda Solutions ®, we’re comfortable solving problems without a clear solution. Our founding purpose, continues today, of developing people with the missions of our clients so we enable all stakeholders to thrive and realize their potential. It can be summed up in the words, Learn. Coach.Give.™ We provide business, software and technology consulting with the desire to help our clients achieve lasting success. Your success is
our success. We are not your typical consulting company. We bring curious minds, and we’ll sit on the same side of the table with you. Listening, sharing big ideas and rolling up our sleeves to help make those ideas happen. Because executing is the most important outcome.
WOMAN OF THE YEAR: SUNDEEP SANDHU
Sundeep Sandhu is the Vice President of Cybersecurity at Rogers Communications. She is responsible for driving transformation and innovation for cyber security across Rogers and helping to protect Canadians. Sundeep has 20+ years of leadership experience building strategic cyber resilience programs, automated cloud security frameworks, award-winning enterprise cyber risk automation and cyber training programs. Known for building high-performing teams, Sundeep has changed the face of cyber security with her focus on STEM and building diverse cyber leaders. As Co-Chair for the Rogers Technology Inclusion & Diversity program, she developed a multi-year strategy to increase representation for equity deserving groups across Technology. She is a strong advocate for building strategic partnerships and strengthening collaboration between private and public organizations. Through Toronto Metropolitan University, she is a member of two Advisory Councils for the Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst - the Accelerated Cybersecurity Training Program (ACTP) & the Emerging Leaders Cyber Initiative (ELCI), which supports advancement of women and non-binary diverse cyber leaders in Canada.
DIVERSITY CHAMPION: ERIC GALES
Eric Gales is the Commercial Sector Country Manager and AWS Director for Amazon Web Services Canada (AWS). With over 30 years of technology industry experience, Eric sets the strategic direction for the core elements of the AWS Commercial Sector business. He’s responsible for driving customer obsession in all core AWS Canada operations including business development, sales, partner alliances, marketing, solutions architecture, support, and training. Prior to joining AWS in October 2015, Eric built a strong profile within Canada in senior roles as VP and General Manger at VMware Canada, and as President of Microsoft Canada. Before coming to Canada, Eric was the General Manager at Compaq UK. While born in the UK, Eric loved Canada so much that he became a citizen. He resides in Oakville with his wife and two teenage children. In Eric’s spare time he plays recreational hockey, and has a private pilot’s license flying out of Burlington Airpark.
EMPOWERMENT AWARD: PANIZ GORJI
Paniz is a Solution Specialist with Microsoft Canada supporting the Financial Services industry. Prior to joining Microsoft, she held a variety of Sales and Business Development roles with some of the largest corporations across North America including Oracle, ADP, and Xerox. Her passions include leading organizational transformations through adoption of technology and helping leaders build a more inclusive workplace by bridging the gender gap. She currently sits on the programing committee of Dr. Roberta Bondar STEM Career Development, WCT. Paniz is a content creator, hosting “VOICES with Paniz” Podcast, and an active member of LinkedIn.
ENTREPRENEUR AWARD: SHARI VAN DE POL
With a background in Computer Engineering from McMaster University, Shari van de Pol went from developing software to leading teams to create key solutions for companies such as IBM Canada and at locations including Chalk River Laboratories for Atomic Energy of Canada. Shari attended Ontario Veterinary Collage, becoming a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, prior to founding the agri-tech company CATTLEytics. As CEO, Shari grew CATTLEytics to become an organization that provides hardware, software, and data analytics solutions in agriculture, impacting not only small family farms, but also providing services for large global agricultural technology companies such as TELUS Agriculture.
MENTOR AWARD: CHANTAL BRINE
Chantal Brine is a builder- of people and businesses. This started with her own building in leaving Bermuda to attend Saint Mary’s University to study Psychology, Business, and Human Resources. Chantal then made NS her home and began supporting leaders in the private and public sector as a Consultant. This led to work in a North American technology company, where Chantal led the development and execution of human capital strategy for four years as the company size tripled. After reconnecting with her passion of helping others find careers that they love, Chantal started the journey to what would become EnPoint.
RISING STAR AWARD: ALICIA JARVIS
Alicia Jarvis is the Senior Product Manager of the Accessibility Portfolio at Bell. Since August 2021, she has directed the vision, strategy and execution of complex digital accessibility and inclusive design initiatives, working to make the company’s products and services (such as Bell Fibe TV) more accessible for individuals with disabilities. Alicia holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from York University and is a board member of both Universal Design Network Canada and Access 2 Accessibility. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Bell Excellence and Innovation Award in Q4 2022.
TRAILBLAZER AWARD: ELIZABETH ALVES
Elizabeth Alves was named Vice President, Enterprise Strategy and Sustainability in June 2019. Ms. Alves joined Cogeco as Senior Director, Internal Audit, in 2008. She has also held the positions of Vice President, Internal Audit and Vice President, Internal Audit and Risk Management. Prior to joining the Company, she held various positions with ING Canada and began her career in 1995 as an auditor with Arthur Andersen. Ms. Alves was Chair of the Québec Regional Board of Canadian Women in Communications and Technology from 2014 to 2018. In June 2016, she was elected as Chair of the Board of the Fondation En Cœur, of which she has been a member since 2014.
WCT LEADER AWARD: IRENA ZHIVOV
Irena Zhivov is a passionate, tireless leader who brings people and teams together to execute projects, champion women’s career development and build strong networks. Currently leading the North American PMO for Likewize, a technology services organization, she works hard to be a forward-thinking portfolio management leader focused on driving business transformation, promoting best practices and providing management stewardship across organizational teams. She is the Chapter Chair for the WCT GTA Chapter and has previously served as the Chair of the Rogers Women’s Network and as the Employee Resource Group Lead bringing cohesion to the groups across Rogers, championing best practices.
WCT LEADER AWARD: SHAZIA ZEB SOBANI
Shazia is an accomplished multilingual senior executive with domestic and international experience in highly transformative, multi-stakeholder complex technology driven projects. She is results oriented, people centric, decisive leader with proven success in creating systemic change while spearheading operational excellence and driving efficiency and optimization of resources. She excels in dynamic, demanding environments that focus on capturing the synergies between doing well in business and doing good in our communities.
In her current role as Vice President Customer Network Implementation, she is focused on accelerating fast and high quality broadband connectivity to boost community based economic and social outcomes with an intention to minimize the digital divide. She is passionate to build a team and culture that fosters innovation, risk taking and perseverance.
Outside of work, Shazia shares her passion for coaching and mentoring at the Calgary Immigrant Women's Association and University of Calgary where she is involved with regular adult learning programs, helping aspiring professionals make their dreams come true. She sits on the board of Women in Communication and Technology, is an advisor to TELUS Diversity & Inclusion council and is engaged with University of Calgary Continuing Education Program.