Erin Brockovich was the keynote speaker at the Surrey Board of Trade’s 2020 Surrey Women in Business Awards on Friday, Oct. 23.

Erin Brockovich was the keynote speaker at the Surrey Board of Trade’s 2020 Surrey Women in Business Awards on Friday, Oct. 23.

SBOT announces ‘long-awaited’ 2020 Surrey Women in Business Awards winners

Erin Brockovich was the keynote speaker

After a months-long delay, the Surrey Board of Trade has announced the “long-awaited” 2020 winners for the Surrey Women in Business Awards.

The board hosted the 11th-annual awards digital event, which still included Erin Brockovich as the keynote speaker.

The event was originally scheduled for March, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I will always have a very special memory of this Surrey Board of Trade as I was scheduled to be with you in person and was to depart on March 12 for your March 12 event,” said Brockovich as she first addressed the event.

“It was becoming clear at that moment that covid-19 was a real story, a real pandemic. There was much to worry about. It was becoming widespread and it was upon us. It was so uncertain and it was frightening.

“I agonized, I truly did, over the dicey decision and had to make a difficult choice on that night and decided not to fly out. The event was cancelled and I learned shortly after the prime minister’s wife had COVID.”

READ ALSO: Sophie Gregoire Trudeau tests positive for COVID-19: PMO, March 12, 2020

Brockovich, who said she is “best known for uncovering a corporate deception in a small town in Hinkley, California that was being poisoned by a toxic chemical that was harming the people which resulted in the film Erin Brockovich,” introduced herself during the digital event, reminding everyone she is not Julia Roberts.

She spoke about being dyslexic and how she didn’t fit into the “so-called box.”

Brockovich said her mom taught her the word “stick-to-itiveness,” reading her the definition from the dictionary.

“Propensity to follow through in a determined manner. Dogged persistence, borne of obligation and stubbornness,” she said. “Persistent, I got. Determined, check. Stubborn, my middle name.”

When she was in Hinkley, Brockovich said her instincts were on “overdrive.”

“I knew that something was wrong. This is the moment where moms across America, moms across the world, women across the planet are rising. This is a very big moment and I’m watching it unfold and I’ve been living it for years,” she said.

“They’ve found that stick-to-itiveness. They work with others, they have compassion, they understand the idea of being labelled or hearing that you are ‘just a mom,’ that ‘you could be overreacting,’ that ‘you don’t know what you’re talking about.’“All of this can send moms and women into action. They know what they see, they know what they experience and just like I did as a young girl, I knew (what) I knew.”

The Surrey Women in Business Awards are meant to “recognize the hard work of Surrey’s business women and their contributions o the community.”

Anita Huberman, the board’s CEO, said the event “inspires and illuminates guests in an ongoing way.”

This year’s winners are:

• Jean Su of GenerationsE Software Solutions Inc. for the Small Business Entrepreneur category

• Joy Mauro of Turnabout Luxury Resale for the Large Business Entrepreneur category

• Emily Kearns of Ankenman Assoicates Architects Inc. for the Professional category

• Azra Hussain of the Surrey Hospital Foundation for the Not-for-Profit Leader category

• Stephanie Howes of Kwantlent Polytechnic University for the Corporate/Leadership category

• Cherie Storms of Pacific Customs Brokers Ltd. for the Emerging Leader category

• Theresa Campbell of Safer Schools Together for the Social Trailblazer category

BusinessSurreywomen in business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Newton Elementary School in Surrey, according to an information bulletin Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Image: Google Street View)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at second Surrey elementary school

Newton Elementary closed for two weeks, set to reopen Dec. 14

Joy Johnson, seen here during an installation ceremony on Oct. 22, is Simon Fraser University’s 10th president and vice-chancellor. (Submitted photo)
SFU’s Surrey campus tackling COVID-19-related research

‘We can learn now,’ SFU president Joy Johnson said, ‘so should something like this happen again we’ll be prepared. We have to learn from this current pandemic’

Cambridge Elementary School music teacher Darlene Lourenco is “on the mend” after contracting COVID-19. She had a two-week stay at Surrey Memorial Hospital, including in the ICU. (Photo: submitted)
Surrey music teacher at home after two-week hospital stay battling COVID-19

Meantime, Surrey Teachers’ Association sends letter with safety demands to board of education

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski, Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Hail to the chief – an in-depth interview with Surrey Police Service’s first boss

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski will assume his historic new role on Dec. 14

Tanvi Pandhi, a Grade 12 student at Fleetwood Park Secondary, took part in the Surrey school district’s survey of students in grades 10 to 12, with a focus on health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey students voice concerns about mask wearing, distancing in schools

Surrey school district has been surveying students in grades 10 to 12

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

Most Read