TORONTO – NOVEMBER 27, 2013 – Women of Influence celebrated the recipients of the 2013 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto tonight.

The six award winners, representing the best of what the country has to offer, were recognized for their contributions to the local, Canadian, and global economies. Diane Francis, editor-at-large at the National Post, hosted the ceremony, which is now in its twenty-first year.

“RBC is honoured to support and recognize women entrepreneurs who have taken their passion for an idea and made it into a business from start-up to success,” said Andrea Bolger, executive vice president, Business Financial Services, RBC Royal Bank. “It’s this entrepreneurial spirit that we celebrate at these annual awards – the extraordinary vision, determination and achievements of women entrepreneurs across Canada.”

Local entrepreneur Judith Bobbitt was among the country’s best business owners recognized at the gala. Ms. Bobbitt took the HUB HKMB Impact Award. It recognizes an entrepreneur’s significant impact on the local economy. This is determined by evaluating how, in developing or expanding her business, the award recipient has made an outstanding contribution to the development of her local economy by creating jobs, encouraging others in the community to do the same, and by continuing to foster economic prosperity and professional development.

The Awards program identifies finalists from three regions across Canada (West, Central, and East) and the 2013 winners call places from Vancouver to Halifax home. All the nominees share a strong entrepreneurial vision and a relentless passion to pursue their dreams and make something better, in their communities, their industries, and their country.

“On behalf of everyone at this year’s RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards, we are so very proud to highlight the successes of the award recipients,” said Carolyn Lawrence, President and CEO, Women of Influence Inc. “Each winner is incredibly deserving of all the accolades bestowed upon her and the resulting momentum to propel the growth of her business. These women are incredible role models for future generations.”

 The complete list of 2013 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards recipients are:

Hub HKMB Impact Award
Judith Bobbitt, President, Oceans Ltd.

Deloitte Start-Up Award
Lisa Tuningley, President, T-RAIL Products Inc.

RBC Momentum Award
Victoria Sopik & Jennifer Nashmi, CEO and Co-Founder / CFO and Co-Founder, Kids & Company

TPH Sustainability Award
Tamara Barker Watson, CEO, Whitestone Developments Ltd.

TELUS Trailblazer Award
Shannon Rogers, President & General Counsel, Global Relay

PROFIT Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship
Suzanne Lee West, President and CEO, Black Shire Energy Inc.

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For interview requests or further information please contact: Carolyn Lawrence, President, Women of Influence, 416-567-1201 clawrence@womenofinfluenceinc.ca

About the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards
The RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards are the pre-eminent national business awards recognizing the country’s leading female entrepreneurs.  The program kicks off in March with a call for nominations. Nominees are then required to submit a thorough application including a business plan and video questionnaire. Candidates are judged by a nationwide committee, subjected to a due diligence interview by Deloitte, and finally selected within each of the 6 award categories including: Start up, Impact, Momentum, Sustainability, Trailblazer and Excellence. For more information, CLICK HERE.

About Women of Influence

Women of Influence Inc. is North America’s leading organization dedicated to the professional advancement of women. It offers solutions to corporations through corporate consulting on Gender Intelligence, and solutions to women through executive leadership workshops, nationwide events, and media. It produces and hosts the renowned Deloitte Women of Influence Luncheon Series, RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards and the Top 25 Women of Influence, in addition to publishing the Women of Influence quarterly magazine. Women of Influence has a community and reach of 120,000 in nine cities across North America including Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Waterloo, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, New York City, and Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.womenofinfluence.ca.