Smith celebrates alumni named to Canada's Most Powerful Women for 2017

Posted on November 27, 2017

Kingston, ON – The list of Canada’s Most Powerful Women for 2017 was recently released and 11 of this year’s Top 100 women are graduates of Smith School of Business programs.

Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 is published annually by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) to celebrate the professional achievements of female leaders across Canada in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. Recipients are chosen by an independent advisory board.

Smith is proud to celebrate the achievements of remarkable alumni:

Valerie Mann, BCom’86, received the KPMG Professionals Award. She is a Partner at Lawson Lundell LLP. Recognized as one of the best lawyers in Canada in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, technology and corporate law, Valerie is the chair of the firm’s technology law group and co-chair of its mergers and acquisitions practice group. Her practice includes acting for entrepreneurs and early-stage companies through to public companies as well as for those who finance technology ventures including venture capital companies. She is a three-time Top 100 winner.

Patti Perras Shugart, BCom’86, received the HSBC Corporate Executives Award. She is Managing Director & Global Head, Corporate Banking & Global Credit, at RBC Capital Markets where she oversees more than 500 professionals in Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia who specialize in lending, trading credit and loan portfolio management for corporate and institutional clients. Named a Champion of Change by Women in Capital Markets and a recipient of their Leadership Award in 2010, she plays a key role in advancing women, diversity and inclusion both at RBC and in the industry. Patti is also a board governor at Branksome Hall and sits on the advisory board for Smith School of Business. This is her second time on the Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100.

Katherine Cunningham, BCom’90, received the KPMG Professionals Award. She is Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer at Sun Life Financial. Kathy is focused on accelerating the growth and momentum of Sun Life Financial’s Canadian business groups. She joined Sun Life Financial as senior vice-president and chief auditor in October 2014, where she was responsible for the company’s global internal audit team, assisting management in continually improving Sun Life’s risk management and control environment. She was formerly a partner at KPMG and currently serves as Director on the Macaulay Child Development Centre in Toronto.

Robin Kovitz, BCom’02, received the Entrepreneurs Award. She is President and Owner of Baskits Inc. Since purchasing Baskits in 2014, Kovitz has focused on making corporate and personal gifting easy by stocking unique, luxurious items and letting consumers shop the way they like: in-store, online or via catalog. She also serves as a consultant to the admissions marketing team at the Harvard Business School and on the board of the Harvard Business School Club of Toronto.

Sandy McIntosh, EMBA’05, was inducted into the WXN Top 100 Hall of Fame, an honour given to past recipients of awards who have continued to do notable work. She is Executive Vice-President, People and Culture, and Chief Human Resources Officer at TELUS. Sandy leads a team that drives the company’s innovative people and culture strategy for 47,000 team members around the globe. She joined TELUS in 2007 and has been championing the growth and development of the company team ever since, transcending traditional HR accountabilities and challenging the status quo. With her leadership, TELUS has been named one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures three times, as recognized by Waterstone Human Capital, and one of only six companies nationally to be inducted into its Top 10 Corporate Cultures Hall of Fame. McIntosh has also contributed to TELUS being recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers by MediaCorp for seven consecutive years.

Michele Romanow, MBA’08, received the CIBC Trailblazers and Trendsetters Award. She is Co-Founder of Clearbanc and the youngest-ever entrepreneur to join CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den. Tech titan Michele Romanow started three companies before her 28th birthday; she is the co-founder of e-commerce platforms and SnapSaves (acquired by Groupon). Her latest venture, Clearbanc, provides financial services to freelancers and independent contractors. She is a two-time Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 winner.

In addition, five women who graduated from Queen’s Executive Education Programs were honoured: 

- Christine Cooper, Head, Canadian Corporate Finance Division, North American Commercial Banking, BMO

- Margot Jordan, President and Chief Executive Officer, AST Trust Company

- Ruth Ann McConkey, President, GLC Asset Management Group LTD

- Brenda Rideout, President and Chief Executive Officer, Tangerine

- Catherine Wood, Senior Vice-President and Head of Online Brokerage, Digital Advice, Insurance Products and Marketing, QTrade Financial Group, Part of the Desjardins Group