Yaël Eisenstat is the keynote speaker during the 2021 Surrey Women in Business Awards. (submitted photo)

Yaël Eisenstat is the keynote speaker during the 2021 Surrey Women in Business Awards. (submitted photo)

Former CIA officer/White House advisor guests at Surrey Women in Business Awards

Finalists in six categories announced by Surrey Board of Trade

“Democracy activist” Yaël Eisenstat will be the keynote speaker during this year’s Surrey Women in Business Awards, the 18 finalists for which have been named by Surrey Board of Trade.

During the April 30 virtual event, Eisenstat will share her “unique experience and journey as a special advisor to then-Vice-President Joe Biden, as a CIA officer facing counter-extremism overseas to the dangers back at home, starting with Silicon Valley and then implementing national security expertise at Facebook. She will offer her lessons to women as they navigate male-dominated professions.” Eisenstat’s bio is posted to yaeleisenstat.com.

The 12th annual event recognizes “the hard work of Surrey’s businesswomen and their contributions to the community, in six award categories. Tickets are $45 for members and $60 for all others, at businessinsurrey.com, or call 604-581-7130.

Finalists in the Entrepreneur category are Sandra Christian (Creative Kids Learning Centers), Daniela Fisher (Naturally Given) and Connie Marples (Boosh Food).

For the Professional award, the finalists are Dr. Victoria Lee (Fraser Health), Aynsley Price (PwC) and Dr. Ramen Saggu (Pacific ABA Academy).

The three finalists in the Not-for-Profit Leader category are Christine Buttkus (SurreyCares Community Foundation), Devinder Chattha (Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society) and Feezah Jaffer (Surrey Food Bank).

Corporate Leadership finalists are Valentina Araneda (GroupHEALTH Benefit Solutions), Danica Gallaher (SitePartners) and Marlyn Graziano (Kwantlen Polytechnic University).

Emerging Leader finalists are Tara Coleman (Nana’s Kitchen and Hot Sauce Ltd.), Rochelle Prasad (SPARK Foundation) and Chelsea Thomsen (KB Honey Family).

Those up for the Social Trailblazer award are Nerissa Allen (Black Business Association of BC), Shelly Lynn Hughes (Fresh Magazine and Project Her Inc.) and Edoye Porbeni (SilverFit Whole Health Studios).

• RELATED: SBOT announces ‘long-awaited’ 2020 Surrey Women in Business Awards winners; Erin Brockovich was the keynote speaker.

• Meantime, the YWCA had announced eight nominees from Surrey for its 38th annual Women of Distinction Awards presented by Scotiabank, of the 76 nominees in 12 categories for 2021.

The Surrey-area nominees are Roanne Weyermars (in the Business & the Professions category), Balbir Kaur Gurm (Community Champion), Krista Milne (Community Champion), Julia Chung (Entrepreneurship & Innovation), Gurleen Brar, Bremiella De Guzman, Rochelle Prasad and Shakti Ramkumar (the latter four all in the Young Woman of Distinction category).

Award recipients will be announced at a virtual event on June 7. More event details are posted to ywcavan.org/2021-nominees.


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