2021 Excellence Awards Finalists

WBE Canada’s Excellence Awards showcase and celebrate achievements in supplier diversity amongst our certified WBE community and our corporate and government member organizations. The winners of the 2020 Excellence Awards will be presented during this year’s Annual Conference “Moving Forward Together: Driving Change Through Supplier Diversity ” November 10, 2021.

Here are the WBE Canada 2021 Excellence Awards finalists by category and in alphabetical order.

Top Corporation in Supplier Diversity

2021 Top Corporation in Supplier Diversity: Finalists

This category recognizes a WBE Canada Corporate Member who is making a distinct and describable difference in the advancement of Supplier Diversity in Canada

Sponsored by:

TELUS
ABC Technologies

ABC Technologies is a strong supporter and advocate of WBE Canada, first as a Certified WBE and then in 2016 becoming a Corporate Member. As a company that recognizes the importance of diversity, ABC Technologies awards contracts to under-represented suppliers that meet their contractual requirements. In partnering with different groups of suppliers, ABC hopes to level the playing field, increase market competition, and boost economic activity for certified businesses. ABC Technologies is dedicated to the success of women-owned businesses, through participation in networking and matchmaker events, introducing new WBEs to Supplier Diversity, helping them grow through exposure to opportunities and steering them to success.

BMO

As one of WBE Canada’s founding corporations, BMO continues to demonstrate its passion and advocacy for Canadian supplier diversity and promotion of diverse suppliers. BMO has had a long-standing, established supplier diversity program, in which they provide opportunities to and network with certified diverse businesses, hold their large non-diverse suppliers accountable for supplier diversity, and embed supplier diversity into the procurement sourcing process. This past year BMO embarked on several aggressive growth initiatives that include expanding the supplier diversity council to have an enterprise focus and enhanced level of leadership with executives from each line of business and several functional areas; setting supplier diversity goals at the line of business level; and launching BMO’s first-ever diverse business development program, BMO Elevate.

City of Toronto

In 2016, the City of Toronto launched its Supplier Diversity Program as part of their Social Procurement Program. Since then the City has actively engaged WBEs in their supply chain and championed them through all their divisions continually improving its policies and programming to incorporate more WBEs and increase spend with women-owned businesses and other diverse suppliers. The City also supports other government organizations who are starting SD programs, providing input, feedback and insights. As a Government Member, the City of Toronto is a true champion of WBE Canada’s Government Membership Pilot, taking advantage of their membership benefits such as the Accelerator program, and participating in events such as WBE Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Forum held in June 2021, workshops and panel discussions during annual conferences and special events.

Top WBE Supplier

2021 Top WBE Supplier: Finalists

This category recognizes a certified women-owned business which demonstrated excellence in business and support for other women owned businesses.

Sponsored by:

Toyota
ELAM

ELAM's mission is to help organizations overcome the communication challenges and cultural differences they face as they expand and grow into a diversified workforce. Serving international clients, managing partners, or collaborating in cross-country teams are just some areas where companies face communication challenges. ELAM currently has 100+ multilingual trainers offering language classes throughout Canada, the US, Europe, and Hong Kong. ELAM’s award-winning signature courses have grown exponentially post-Covid, going from 50% in house / 50% virtual training pre-Covid to 100 % virtual training in 2021.

Finavator

Finavator is an award-winning FinTech and Payments consultancy. With two decades of extensive industry expertise driving innovation across both the retail and payments industries, the Finavator team is passionate about supporting the growth of industry leaders and startups to help build a more collaborative ecosystem. Building a strong network has been a key ingredient in Finavator’s growth over the past few years. Their goal of financial inclusion has led them to build an expertise around technology and payment infrastructures that are needed by stakeholders of all sizes. By speaking at big events and making authentic and genuine connections, Finavator has been able to grow, survive hard times, while also lifting others up. Finavator has implemented a 50/50 gender equality policy across hiring. Their mandate is to continue to address diversity, inclusion, and equity as their team continues to grow.

Robinson Global Management Inc.

Robinson Global Management Inc. is a multidisciplinary management consulting firm specializing in public sector procurement, dispute resolution, process risk review, negotiation and contract management. Since certifying in May 2019, RGM has enjoyed incredible growth and in 2021 currently holds contracts (both direct and vendors of record) across the global public sector valued over 6x their first year’s contracts awarded to date (approximately $8.4+M). RGM has increased customer and shareholder value through the development of new business lines external to the Canadian region, in the US and Caribbean which focuses on innovative, ethical and sustainable procurement. Extending their offerings outside of their core services for SMEs, including many other WBEs, is designed to increase focus on women-owned businesses seeking to pivot or add public sector procurement into their portfolios. This new business line has led to RGM’s year over year growth as they enter the 3.5 year mark in business.

Most Improved Supplier Diversity Program

2021 Most Improved Supplier Diversity Program: Finalists

This category recognizes a WBE Canada Corporate Member that has made a distinct and describable difference in their Supplier Diversity Program

Sponsored by:

TD Bank
Supplier Diversity Leader

2021 Supplier Diversity Leader: Finalists

This category recognizes a procurement professional within WBE Canada’s Corporate Membership who is a champion among peers.

Sponsored by:

Pivotal Growth
Carol Attak, BMO

Over her 20 years of experience in Supplier Diversity, Carol has built strong relationships with corporate peers, client leaders, diverse suppliers and advocacy councils and has leveraged these relationships and her subject matter expertise to help mentor and grow diverse suppliers in various ways, as well as share knowledge to help companies grow their supplier diversity initiatives.

Celso Afonseca, Staples Promotional Products

As Manager, Account Services & Program Operations / Supplier Diversity Business Partner at Staples Promotional Products, Celso is a leader and role model for countless WBEs who are just starting out or currently working with Staples Promotional Products as innovative and trusted suppliers. Celso’s leadership and expertise is well respected amongst all diverse suppliers and his presence at WBE Canada events, his willingness to provide mentorship to help WBEs grow and be successful continues to make a positive impact on everyone he meets.

Lisa Ross, Magna International

Lisa Ross is consistent and diligent in her commitment to the actions she will take on behalf of WBE's. She is passionate about advancing Supplier Diversity within her organization. She leads with poise, honesty, and authenticity. She is focused on helping suppliers better understand their relationship with Magna and its customers and the importance of being a quality WBE supplier.Lisa was heavily engaged with WBE Canada in 2021 - actively participating in events and providing insights to other Corporates around developing SD programs .

WBE Rising Star

2021 WBE Rising Star: Finalists

Awarded to a certified WBE who, within their first 3 years of certification, has demonstrated significant achievements or progress.

Sponsored by:

IBM
Drizzle Honey

As an Environmental Scientist formerly leading beekeeping projects for both culinary and agricultural research, Aja Horsley founded Drizzle Honey in 2015. Available in over 800 stores across Canada and through various e-commerce channels, Drizzle has recently expanded into US markets including, Food Service and Corporate & Promotional products. Drizzle Honey became WBE Canada certified in 2020, is a Certified B Corporation and is backed by Dragons’ Den Investor, Arlene Dickinson

KIMBO Design

After becoming WBE certified in September 2019, KIMBO Design placed #248 on the inaugural Report on Businesses ranking of Canada’s Top Growing Companies jumping from #438 the previous year. Then in December, they officially went international and became certified from Canada’s International eCommerce Essentials and Trade Accelerator Program (TAP). Later, when the pandemic hit in March 2020, the team worked remotely keeping all their employees; in fact, KIMBO Design expanded! Since becoming a certified WBE, they have won numerous exclusive Government and Corporate contracts.

The Roundtable

Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Toronto, The Roundtable helps leaders build the mindsets they need to navigate change, disruption and growth. A recognized team and group coaching authority, the Roundtable’s innovative group coaching programs deliver learning that is entirely relevant to today’s workplaces and empowers leaders to coach each other. Over the course of the last two years, The Roundtable has experienced tremendous business growth, doubling its business year over year in part as a result of significant projects with WBE Canada Corporate member.

Supplier Diversity Leader

2021 Top Volunteer: Finalists

This category recognizes an individual who has demonstrated significant contribution as a volunteer of WBE Canada in 2021.

Sponsored by:

Cotton Candy


Lorena Diaz, Accenture

Lorena is Program-Project Manager / Ventures and Acquisitions at Accenture and has been a volunteer on WBE Canada committees since 2018. She is highly engaged, willing to step into whatever role is necessary, is always prepared with creative insights to tackle whatever she takes on, earning the respect of her peers and those she works with on the WBE Canada Team. Lorena’s commitment to WBE Canada and her eagerness to work with others while representing Accenture, one of WBE Canada’s founding corporate members, is incredibly valued by all who have the privilege to know and work with her.

Madeleine Baker, TELUS

As Director, Business Solutions at TELUS, Maddy has been an incredible asset to the WBE Canada Board of Directors since 2017. She has been a board director, chaired 2 committees and most recently was appointed to the role of Chair. Maddy’s strong commitment, ongoing initiative, leadership and dedication have been invaluable in leading the Board’s strategic direction that has resulted in WBE Canada’s continuing success in growing Supplier Diversity in Canada. Maddy has continually demonstrated innovation and creativity in delivering lasting results that has resulted in the strong growth seen in all of the various working committees that make up the WBE Canada Board.

Michèle Leduc, ZIP Communication

As President, Creative Director and Strategist at ZIP Communication, a creative communications agency located in Montreal and a certified WBE since 2017, Michèle is currently an active member of WBE Canada’s Supplier Advisory Committee. As a member of SAC, Michèle is also a member of the WBE Canada Board as the Chair of Engagement subcommittee, one she developed from scratch to provide feedback and insights to the President on an ongoing basis. Michèle’s creative ideas, initiative, leadership and dedication as well as her strong commitment to the success of the Supplier Advisory Committee has resulted in her bringing forward multiple recommendations to improve WBE Canada’s communications and WBE Engagement.

WBE Canada Champion

2021 WBE Canada Champion: Finalists

The WBE Canada Champion category recognizes an individual or organization that demonstrates commitment to supplier diversity in Canada, namely through referring new Corporate Members and/ or WBEs to WBE Canada, tracked through membership and certification applications approved between October 1, 2020 and July 31, 2021

Sponsored by:

WBE Canada
BDC

BDC has been a supporter of WBE Canada for many years and in 2019, became a corporate member. BDC recognizes the impact supplier diversity has on Canadian women-owned businesses, and has been excited to share the work of WBE Canada with women-owned businesses who might benefit from WBE certification or organizations with buying power and potential to impact the growth of Canadian women-owned businesses.

BMO

As one of WBE Canada’s founding corporations, BMO continues to demonstrate its passion and advocacy for Canadian supplier diversity and promotion of diverse suppliers. BMO has had a long-standing, established supplier diversity program, in which they provide opportunities to and network with certified diverse businesses, hold their large non-diverse suppliers accountable for supplier diversity, and embed supplier diversity into the procurement sourcing process. This past year BMO embarked on several aggressive growth initiatives that include expanding the supplier diversity council to have an enterprise focus and enhanced level of leadership with executives from each line of business and several functional areas; setting supplier diversity goals at the line of business level; and launching BMO’s first-ever diverse business development program, BMO Elevate.

City of Brampton

After becoming a Government Member in 2020, the City of Brampton immediately began to develop their Supplier Diversity (SD) program, taking full advantage of the many benefits of their membership including working with WBE Canada’s Supplier Diversity consultant Jamie Crump and the Accelerator program.. Shaping their SD Program in 2021, the City of Brampton has done an incredible job of educating their internal buyers about the steps needed to include diverse suppliers in their invitational procurement processes as well as reaching out to WBEs about how to do business with the City and to other suppliers on how to get certified. As Canada’s ninth largest city, employing more than 6000 employees across seven key operational divisions, Brampton’s program development has progressed rapidly in advance of the year-end launch. Developing a Supplier Diversity program within a year, and factoring in the pandemic, is a testament to their commitment to inclusive, social procurement policies.

2021 President's Award: Winner - To Be Announced during Awards Ceremony

This category recognizes an individual or organization who has demonstrated significant contribution in supplier diversity benefiting or promoting Canadian women-owned businesses in 2021.

Sponsored by:

WBE Canada

2021 WBE Leaders: Winners - To Be Announced during Awards Ceremony

This category recognizes certified women-owned businesses that are actively engaged with WBE Canada Community or our partner organizations.

Sponsored by:

Sun Life Financial

Best luck to all 2021 Excellence Awards Finalists!