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Canadian Women In Communications Announces The CWC 2010 Annual Award Winners

The Canadian Women In Communications (CWC) recently took some time to recognize women within the communications world that have excelled in 2009. The winners are:
Kirstine Stewart
General Manager, CBC Television, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Kirstine Stewart is one of the brightest stars in Canada’s televison industry. Since joining the CBC in 2006 as general manager of CBC English Television, she has revitalized ratings and generated new revenue streams. As the network’s chief creative officer, she has overseen the launch of such hits as Dragons’ Den, Little Mosque on the Prairie, The Border, Battle of the Blades, The Tudors and The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos. Her strategy of programming original, quality Canadian content that reflects and showcases Canada has paid off, earning CBC-TV its highest audience share in years, while also garnering numerous awards and much critical praise. At CBC-TV, Kirstine has created a corporate culture that supports and promotes women’s career development. She has launched numerous initiatives that focus on helping her employees advance while maintaining a work life balance. Kirstine is an outstanding role model who has paved the way for other women to advance to the highest levels of the industry.

This award recognizes an outstanding woman who has made a significant contribution to the communications industry throughout her career, and who has contributed materially to the advancement of women within the industry.


Valerie Creighton – Change Leader
President and CEO, Canadian Television Fund

Change might intimidate some, but not Valerie Creighton. Throughout her career, she has expertly navigated change by repeatedly seizing the many opportunities it creates. Her career track record exemplifies the ability to successfully guide organizations through transition. In 2000, Valerie led SaskFilm’s restructuring while simultaneously boosting its productions volumes by 195 per cent in six years. With her distinct ability to guide those with contrasting views and interests into finding a common ground, Valerie possesses all the hallmarks of a great leader. Since joining the Canadian Television Fund (CTF) in 2006, she has led the organization through major restructuring initiatives, the most recent being its evolution into the Canadian Media Fund. Her strength as a charismatic leader lies in her ability to mentor, inspire and empower those around her to embrace change through common sense, humour and a focus on excellence.

Martha Fusca – Trailblazer
President and CEO, Stornoway Communications

Martha Fusca exemplifies the essential qualities of a trailblazer. She holds a unique place in the Canadian broadcast and production sectors as the first woman in Canada to launch, co-own and run television networks. Beginning her career as a producer of documentaries, in 2000 Martha founded Stornoway Communications, now the parent company of three TV networks. A leader in the industry, she also co-founded the Independent Broadcasters Group (IBG), an affiliation of independent, conventional television, pay and specialty licensees. A strong supporter of women in the industry, Martha acted as president and board director during the early days of Women in Film & Television – Toronto (WIFT-T). She also supports the development of independent productions across Canada, commissioning Mickey, the first independent television series to come out of Newfoundland and Labrador. She is a consummate role model demonstrating that there are no limits to what women can achieve in the industry.

Lina L. Lawrence – Technology Innovator
Director, IT Business Services, MTS Allstream Inc.

Throughout her career, Lina has married innovation with technology to resolve modern business challenges. At Bell Mobility, she launched the first Internet browser application in the telecom industry. She was instrumental in developing the first IT governance department that ensured IT, corporate governance and legislative compliance at one of the major pension plans. Gifted at leading and managing complex IT initiatives, she possesses the ability to energize her teams to achieve success in challenging environments. In her current role at MTS Allstream Inc., Lina’s team-building skills coupled with her flair for innovation have enabled her to successfully transition and develop the project management office and IT financial reporting function into business units that provide increased value to the organization. Lina has always recognized that success requires a team effort and continually strives to empower the leadership potential in those around her while managing for strong results.

Karen Lawson – Champion of Women’s Advancement
Associate Director, Business Development, Bell Business Markets, Bell Canada

Karen’s commitment to helping others and giving back was instilled early in life by the example of her mother, a strong woman who was widowed at a young age. She became a champion of women’s advancement to ensure that her two daughters would have equal opportunities in their career choices. She has been active on a variety of boards including Youth in Motion, KINSA and MircroSKills, to name a few. As board chair of Smart Women in Technology (SWIT), Karen developed a number of programs that encouraged young women to embrace careers in math, science and technology. For the past two years, she has managed the Women in Bell Business Markets that helped increase the visibility of women within the company. In this role, Karen spearheaded an internal speakers’ series that introduced women at Bell to key industry thought leaders. A committed mentor, Karen has coached many women to achieve their career ambitions.

Jodi Orr – CWC Leader
Taylor the Midday Host at 102.3 BOBFM, CTVglobemedia & Chair, CWC Southwestern Ontario Regional Board

Jodi Orr is an inventive, determined and effective community builder. Over the past year, she has taken CWC’s Southwestern Ontario Region to a whole new level. Not one to shy away from a challenge, Jodi engaged her broadcast colleagues to help create and launch a national radio and television public service ad campaign that showcased CWC programs and benefits. Through her efforts, members in the London area have had access to high-calibre speakers and role models, such as London Ontario’s Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best. Her work to engage her regional community has paid off, generating a significant increase in membership and attendance at CWC events. Always ready to pitch in and help, she works closely with numerous charities and causes, serving on the board of southwestern Ontario’s Make a Wish Foundation. As a volunteer leader, she has devoted her own time to CWC as a tremendous ambassador for the organization, its mandate and the women it represents.

Donna Whitney – Champion of Women’s Advancement
Director, Commercial Advanced Property Solutions, Rogers Communications Inc.

Since her career began, Donna has dedicated herself to supporting the career advancement of women, expertly leading numerous initiatives to foster women’s career growth. At Rogers, Donna is a founding member of the Rogers Women’s Network, which develops and encourages senior women to share their leadership competencies through education, networking, coaching and mentoring. She is also active in the Rogers Mentoring Program, helping to cultivate the next generation of corporate leaders. As chair of the CWC Regional Board in Toronto, Donna has increased the engagement of members through the introduction of a variety of new programs that address women’s career development needs. She is also a board member of CATA-WIT, a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of women in the technology sector. Leader, mentor and role model, Donna is a generous and effective contributor to the advancement of women.

Madeline Ziniak – Outstanding Leader
National Vice-President, Rogers OMNI Television

Madeline has spent her 30-year career championing cultural diversity in broadcasting. At OMNI, she led the network’s expansion from one multilingual and multicultural station into five that reach more than 40 ethnocultural communities in major markets across the country. Her initiatives have helped to raise public awareness on fundamental and sensitive issues, such as discrimination and domestic violence, which challenge everyone, including many members of the communities that OMNI serves. As an industry leader in inclusivity, she co-chaired the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ task force on cultural diversity in television. A recipient of the Order of Ontario in 2001, Madeline also received the Order of Canada in 2009 for her contributions to the development and growth of multilingual and multicultural media in Canada. Her strong, perceptive and determined leadership has helped break down barriers for Canada’s numerous multicultural communities by providing them with the opportunity to have their voices and cultures reflected through the medium of television.

The CWC Leadership Excellence Awards celebrate women of achievement who have distinguished themselves in any sector of the communications industry and have, in recent years, contributed to the industry through their achievements.