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 2017 Award Nominees


Behind every program or initiative, is a diversity champion leading the way. We recognize that even large efforts start with a single person who makes inclusion a priority and dedicates their time and effort to putting that cause front and center. Award nominees in this category have made a name for themselves professionally as someone who rallies, educates, and exemplifies the ideals that a diverse workplace is a strong workplace.


  • Stephen Kinnis – Baker’s Helper, Solly’s Bagelry
  • Harry Jung – CEO, Dunlevy Food Equipment
  • Lily Lok – Human Resources Manager, The Cleaning Solution
  • PJ Juneja – Site Manager, Maple Leaf Storage
  • Tyler Day – Head Chef, Railtown Café
  • Gwen Dimen – Diversity & Inclusion Advisor, YVR
  • Raj Padhiyar – Controller, Michael St. Clair Fine Cleaners
  • Yves Houles – Hanger Sorter, Michael St. Clair Fine Cleaners
  • Robert Hodgson – Linen Presser, Michael St. Clair Fine Cleaners
  • Mahendi – Owner, Michael St. Clair Fine Cleaners
  • Taylor Chobotiuk – HR Manager, Tacofino Restaurant
  • Ndabezinhle Dube, Human Resources Consultant, KD Global Consulting Inc.
  • Jason Cain – Owner/Operator, Cain’s Your Independent Grocer Kamloops
  • Jamie Gummo – People & Culture Business Partner, LUSH Cosmetics
  • Carol Simpson – CEO, Focus Professional Services
  • DS Sheppard – Financial Services Representative, Vancity
  • Phil Jackson – Manager, Trees Organic Coffee
  • Ryan Peterson – CEO, Finger Food Studios
  • Rocky Hunter – Owner, Dominos Pizza Kamloops

The Strong Voices Award nominee is someone who is an outspoken and positive role model for diversity and inclusion in their community. By taking the spotlight, whether in the media, in public, or online, this award winner shines a light on the benefits of integrating different groups into the workforce and is an icon for positive change.

  • Mia Schartau – YouTuber
  • Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia and Sergio Cocchia – Co-CEOs, CREW Management Ltd. and Co-Founders, Pacific Autism Family Network (Winner)



Accounting for 98% of businesses in BC, the majority of small businesses have less than 20 employees. Robust Human Resources programs are often not a reality, yet many small businesses impact lives through inclusive values. The Small BC Business Category recognizes business that have demonstrated a commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. These companies exemplify that no matter of size, a team made up of many different strengths is smart business sense. Both workplace atmosphere and employee impact are important factors, in addition to specific examples of tapping into diverse talent pools, such as persons with disabilities, women, Aboriginal people, recent immigrants, youth, LGBTQ2S.

  • A Bread Affair
  • COCO Café
  • Culinary Capers
  • Earthwise Tree Services (winner)
  • Global Bridge Investment Services Inc.
  • Launch Academy
  • Michael St. Clair Fine Cleaners
  • Nandy’s Flavours of India
  • Nature’s Wonders Florist
  • New World Technologies
  • Schoening Funeral Services
  • Solly’s Bagelry
  • Spruce Goose & Chop N Block
  • Swiss Chalet Kamloops
  • Trumps Fine Foods
  • Valley Acrylic Bath Ltd (finalist)



Beyond policies and procedures, nominees are expected to demonstrate efforts and progress in identifying and employing diverse employees and engaging them in an inclusive workplace. The Large Business category recognizes businesses that show leadership as diversity and inclusion champions by looking beyond traditional recruitment and retention strategies.

  • Cain’s Your Independent Grocer
  • Cineplex Odeon Kamloops
  • Dominos Pizza Kamloops
  • Ecoservice
  • Edgewater Casino (Finalist)
  • Finger Food Studios
  • HyperWallet
  • London Drugs (Finalist)
  • LUSH Cosmetics
  • SAP (Winner)
  • Shaw Communications
  • Simon Fraser University
  • Taseko Gibraltar Mine
  • Teck Resources Inc.
  • Westpark

Diversity and inclusion within the Public Sector’s workforce is essential to serving a diverse public. Nominees in the Public Sector category include all levels of government, universities, utilities, health, the police, and municipalities. They have clear goals and easily identifiable reporting metrics when it comes to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. They consistently seek out new ways to innovate and creative programs to engage different groups within their community.

  • BC Public Service Agency – Aboriginal Youth Internship Program (Winner)

A social enterprise is a business that trades to create positive social impact, be it social, cultural, community economic and/or environmental outcomes. The business has a clear sense of its ‘social mission’, which is publically identified.  Nominees in this category demonstrate an inclusive and diverse workforce, tapping into the strengths of people who are often marginalized.

  • Binner’s Project (finalist)
  • Blue Sky Ranch
  • COCO Café (winner)
  • Focus Professional Services
  • Potluck Café Society (finalist)
  • Rebuild Construction



With approximately 26,000 non-profit organizations in BC, the sector employs over 120,000 British Colombians.  The work of NPOs has significant impact on communities across the province. The Non-Profit Organization category recognizes those organization that beyond a mission to serve the community, as an employer, they walk the talk in demonstrating a sense diversity and inclusion to their own workplace.

  • Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society (finalist)
  • Free Geek (finalist)
  • Launch Academy (winner)
  • United We can


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