Kristine Bugayong, chief executive officer of the Red Deer and District Community Foundation, looks at photos of the 2019 Women of Excellence Awards nominees, which were revealed at Festival Hall in Red Deer Thursday. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

2019 Women of Excellence Awards nominees announced

The nominees were announced in Red Deer Thursday

Some of central Alberta’s most excellent women are getting recognized for all their hard work.

A record-breaking 56 nominees for the 2019 Women of Excellence Awards were announced at Festival Hall in Red Deer Thursday evening. Last year’s 51 nominees was the previous record.

The 12th annual awards gala, which takes place June 19 at the Sheraton Hotel in Red Deer, celebrates the innovation, leadership, achievement and talent of central Alberta women.

Kristine Bugayong, chief executive officer of the Red Deer and District Community Foundation, said this year’s nominees are outstanding.

“They try to better the lives of the people that surround them … by being good examples to people, by being role models, by being mentors,” she said. “The work that they do is quite significant to the lives of those around them.”

READ MORE: Mulder receives Lifetime Achievement Award at 2018 Women of Excellence Gala

For the first time, there will be an award recognizing women in the field of construction.

“We want to make sure women are aware that construction is an option as a career. We all know it’s still male-dominated – women have a place and have excelled in that field,” she said.

Bugayong said she hopes the awards gala continues to grow each year.

“This is a platform to share these women’s stories to the region.

“The more people who become aware of the program and the more people who want to share their stories, the better,” she said. “The whole goal is to inspire others to be better people.”

Tickets for the 2019 Women of Excellence Awards Gala can be purchased online at

List of categories and nominees:


Judy Andres, Shelley Brandshaw and Donna Trottier

Arts and Culture

Doreen Bergum, Erin Boake, Randi Boulton, Stephanie Grue, Lorna Johnson and Heidy Panameno

Athletics, Recreation and Fitness

Rachel Andres, Tammy Cunnington, Kari Elliott, Suzan King and Riana Luck

Business and the Professions

Suzanne Alexander-Smith, Ryan McDougall, Nancy Paish and Tammy Schlamp

Community Building

Shauna Bossert, Shelley Hanlan, Danielle Klooster, Teresa Kutynec, Theresa ‘Corky’ Larsen Jonasson, Christina Ray and Sherri Smith

Women of Excellence in Construction

Treena Dixon, Martine Francis and Sue Neufeld

Education and Training

Bev Manning


Autumn Dyck, Denise Harty, Travis Mills, Diana Rude and Estie Vandervelden


Erin Findlay, Sarah Grass, Sharina Kennedy and Nancy McAteer

Health and Wellness

Velma Karpa, Vanessa Higgens-Nogareda and Nicole Schmitt

Human Services

Christine Harris, Karyn Kay, Amy Komarniski, Elsie Machell, Yvonne Peebles, Tabitha Phiri, Heather Reynolds, Dana Rondeau, Jessica Schurman, Gillian Wallis, Linda Yargeau, Alvina Zaidi and Crystal Zens

Young Woman of Excellence

Tatyanna Stoesz and Ola Zein Alabdin

A lifetime achievement award will also be presented to an exemplary woman, who for many years of her life, has been a role model for the community.

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