Mar 08, 06 Track and Field (M)
By Earl Zukerman
MONTREAL (CNW) -- Sarah Ali-Khan, a former McGill cross-country and track star, is among three finalists for the 13th annual Women of Distinction Gala, to be held on May 16 at the Hilton Montréal Bonaventure Hotel.
The event honours 10 women who have distinguished themselves in various spheres of activity and pays special tribute to a woman who has played a pioneering role in her field, and whose accomplishments have opened doors and paved the way for those who followed.
Ali-Khan, a native of Baie d'Urfe, Que., is the only woman to earn McGill athlete-of-the-year honours three times. Since completing her university eligibility in 2002, she has maintained her competitive training while completing a doctorate in pharmacology and last year, became the first McGill-trained woman to be carded by Athletics Canada.
She will be up against Tanya Maier and Katie Sheahan in the Sports & Wellness category.
Maier is a golfer, instructor and entrepreneur, while Sheahan, serves as director of Recreation and Athletics at Concordia University.
A nominating committee selected 31 finalists spread over 10 categories, and an independent jury consisting of nine influential personalities from various spheres of activity is responsible for choosing the winners.
"The goal is to recognize women who, through their daily actions, their personality and the paths they have taken in their professional and personal lives, have enriched the community and contributed to the advancement of women in society," said Nermine E.H. Vermette, chair of the gala's organizing committee.
Besides recognizing the contributions of these women, this event, whose theme is Coaching: the Key to Success, is also one of the main sources of funding for the Women's Y Foundation.
"The funds raised during this event, from the sale of tickets, from donations and from sponsorships, go to the Women's Y of Montreal, which allocates them to its various programs," said Christine Marchildon, chair of the women's Y Foundation. "This makes it possible for the Women's Y to carry out its social and economic mission in the community and to support thousands of women every year."
Finalists for the 2006 Women of Distinction Gala are:
Highest Distinction - Advancement of Women, presented by Ernst & Young
- Sheila Goldbloom, retired professor and active volunteer
- Louise Roy, Chair, Leadership for Tomorrow Forum, CIRANO
- Liliane M. Stewart, Chair of the Macdonald Stewart Foundation
Business and Professions, presented by Desjardins
- Jacynthe Côté, Senior Vice-President, Alcan Inc.
- Alice Keung, Senior Vice-President, Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, National Bank of Canada
- Johanne Lépine, President and CEO, Aon Parizeau Inc.
Arts and Culture, presented by Loto-Québec- Victoria Dickenson, Executive Director, McCord Museum of Canadian History
- Léa Pool, Filmmaker, producer and scriptwriter
- Chloé Sainte-Marie, Actress and singer
Communications, presented by Bell Canada- Francine Bastien, Retired journalist and communications consultant
- Sophie Cousineau, Columnist, La Presse
- Anne-Marie Dussault, Journalist and TV host
Education, presented by the National Bank- Annette Bellavance, Ambassador, Collège Regina Assumpta
- Ruxandra Botez, Professor, Ecole de technologie supérieure
- Susan Campbell and Sharon Hudson, Co-Directors, College Mother House
Entrepreneurship, presented by RBC- Christiane Germain, Co-President, Groupe Germain
- Madeleine Paquin, President and CEO, Logistec Corporation
- Marie Saint Pierre, President, Marie Saint Pierre inc.
Young Woman of Distinction, presented by Jacob- Hind Sergieh, Senior Analyst, Natcan Investment Management
- Kate Stinson, student, St. Catherine's College, Oxford University
- Karine Vanasse, actress
Science and Health, presented by Sun Life Financial- Antonia Maioni, Director, McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and political science professor
- Janine O'Leary Cobb, Retired teacher and President, Breast Cancer Action Montréal
- Sonia Lupien, Director, Centre for Studies on Human Stress, Douglas Hospital-McGill University
Community Service, presented by Hydro-Québec- Lisa Boyle, Executive Director, La Passerelle
- Pearl Eliadis, Chief Knowledge Officer, The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation
- Givette Titcombe Volet, Executive Director, L'Abri d'espoir
Sports and Wellness, presented by Scotiabank- Sarah Ali-Khan, Athlete, McGill University
- Tanya F. Maier, Golfer, instructor and entrepreneur
- Katie Sheahan, Director of Recreation and Athletics, Concordia University
Source:Catherine Guillemette-Bédard, Special Events Coordinator, Women's Y Foundation;
Media relations: Alain Labonté, Communications, (514) 523-9922 or (514) 815-2128 or