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October 11-19 2019
Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest 2019
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Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year Awards Recognizes Outstanding Achievements in Waterloo Region


(Waterloo Region, ON – October 8, 2019) – Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year took time last night to recognize and pay tribute to some outstanding women in the community.

All nominees and attendees were celebrated at an awards ceremony at Lot42 and featured a speaker panel led by Julie Adam, Senior VP of Rogers Radio Group sponsored by Deloitte. With the assistance of the Master of Ceremonies, Jennifer Campbell from Country 106.7 the following women were recognized for their outstanding contributions to this community:

Arts & Culture (sponsored by Piller’s Fine Foods) recognizes women for enriching the culture of our community through creation or promotion of the arts on a volunteer or professional basis.

Nicole Guse
After seeing the incredible impact KidsAbility had on her son, Nicole created a musical show in 2013 as a fundraiser for KidsAbility. She has continued to produce a show each year since then and has been able to donate over $126,000 to KidsAbility to date. She is the sole creator of this show, where she auditions the children who take part, hires professional artists - from the singers to the band, writes the musical charts, and rehearses everyone for weeks leading up to the show. Her one and only goal is to give back.

Community Service (sponsored by Rogers TV) recognizes women for generously volunteering their time to programs and services that make our community a better place.

Jane Tuer
Jane Tuer is an energetic, enthusiastic individual who has a lifelong passion to support literacy. 29 years ago, she started volunteering for the Literacy Council of K-W, and as Jane puts it, “literacy just sucked her in”. Currently, Jane is the Executive Director of Project READ Literacy Network Waterloo-Wellington. She is dedicated to increasing literacy levels and having the community understand that literacy is a real issue that affects us all. She is an active member of the community and works on many committees and boards.

Entrepreneur (sponsored by RE/MAX Solid Gold Realty Ltd. Ken Cameron) recognizes women for initiating and/or administering an enterprise or business.

Ada Barlatt
Ada is a dynamic entrepreneur who helps other entrepreneurs. Since its inception in 2016, her business, OperationsAlly, has been a one-woman show. The company is an efficiency consulting firm that helps implement systems and solve workplace work flow frustrations. Business owners who have worked with Ada will quickly tell you that she genuinely enhanced their company and optimized their business systems. Ada is not only an absolute pleasure to work with, but she also gets results and is an inspiration to her community!

Group Achievement (sponsored by Rogers Communications) recognizes achievements by a group of women that impact and/or improve our community or society.

Coalition of Muslim Women of KW
In 2010, a small group of local Muslim women organized a meeting in response to Quebec’s Bill 94, legislating Muslim women’s clothing. Following the initial success, these women banded together to form the Coalition of Muslim Women of KW (CMW). CMW started as a grassroots group with zero budget created by newcomer women facing many barriers. Now it is a registered non-profit with $240,000 annual budget, 4 staff, 200 volunteers, fostering understanding and creating women’s growth and leadership.

Health & Wellness (sponsored by Greater KW Chamber of Commerce) recognizes women for promoting and helping others achieve and promote mental, physical or spiritual well-being in her career or community involvement.

Jackie Gerlach
Jackie is consistently described as being giving, thoughtful, caring, compassionate, and an amazing individual. She is a local Nurse Practitioner and a tireless advocate who serves and supports those in our community who struggle, are underprivileged, and are marginalized. Whether it is someone dealing with HIV, a person who is experiencing homelessness, or a newcomer, she thoroughly absorbs and commits herself to each individual that she meets.

Lifetime Achievement (sponsored by Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest) recognizes women for being a role model, mentor and/or advocate for positive and social change throughout her lifetime.

Joan Driver
Joan Driver is an enthusiastic 86 year old who has earned herself the nickname “Gramma Driver” over her 49 years of volunteering in schools with the WRDSB. In the spirit of supporting the growth of local youth, Joan started the first Beaver colony in the tri-city region with the Boy Scouts of Canada in 1975. Joan was an active Scouting leader for 17 years, as well as a Brownie and Girl Guide leader. Joan is a passionate, inspiring woman who has dedicated her life to children in the KW region.

Professional (sponsored by Rogers Radio Group CHYM 96.7/Country 106.7/570 News) recognizes women for dedicating themselves to the pursuit of excellence in their chosen career.

Wendi Campbell
Nearly 30 years after organizing her first food drive, Wendi continues to be a passionate leader and advocate for food security. Throughout her 20 year career at The Food Bank, she has demonstrated her commitment and unwavering drive to reduce food insecurity in Waterloo Region and beyond. An innovator, Wendi takes risks and pushes boundaries to ensure no one goes hungry and the 34,552 people struggling to put food on the table have access to the vital supports and services they need.

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math - STEAM (sponsored by EthelTech Information Systems) recognizes women for outstanding advancement to the field of STEAM

Dr. Hilary Bergsieker
Hilary is a psychology professor at the University of Waterloo. She is not only a scientist herself, but she uses her scientific work to increase the success and participation of other women in science. Hilary and her research team are helping to make adolescent girls feel welcome in science classes and careers, and creating evidence-based workshops on leadership and inclusion that increase equity for women working in science fields.

Sports & Recreation (sponsored by Movati Athletic) recognizes women for actively participating, coaching or volunteering in sports or recreation.

Loren Gabel
Loren is a resident of Kitchener, graduating from Clarkson University in Potsdam New York with a degree in Communication. As a member of the Canadian National Women’s Hockey team, Loren continues to train in Kitchener and to share her experiences with others by volunteering her time to promote her sport to younger children. Loren motivates others through the example of her own hard work, and demonstrates the dedication necessary to reach your goals and be one of the top athletes in Canada.

Young Adult (14 to 23) (sponsored by the Kitchener Fire Department) recognizes young women for leading by example and being a role model to her peers.

Meena Waseem
Over the past 5 years, Meena has engaged her fellow youth in discussions around mental health awareness, diversity, inclusion, and the needs of victims of natural disasters. She has been fully committed to each club, organization, assembly, public talk, or project she has worked on. She leaves a lasting impression on everyone she meets and epitomizes the definition of a leader. As an outstanding public speaker, she is able to mesmerize an auditorium, while working to create positive change in her community.

Residents of the Region were encouraged to nominate their choice for Women of the Year and were invited to enjoy this evening with these distinguished women. Tickets for all our nominees were hosted by Sobeys.

Watch for the feature presentation of the 2019 Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year Awards ONLY on Rogers. The awards gala will be televised on Sunday, October 15 at 7pm on Rogers TV, Cable 20. Details at www.rogerstv.com.

About Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival. The not-for-profit organization was founded in 1969 by a group of volunteers committed to contributing to the social and economic vitality of Kitchener and Waterloo, Canada. Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest annually provides $22.2 million of economic benefit to the community, while not-for-profit organizations associated with the festival raise an additional $1.5 million each year for their cause. Hosted in the twin cities because of the strong German heritage, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest celebrates German food, music, fashion, and more! The nine-day festival runs every October and is operated by eight year-round full-time staff, over 400 volunteers, and 1,300 community and service club volunteers. Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is one of the top three most recognized event brands in Canada. For more information visit www.oktoberfest.ca.
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For additional information:

Alfred Lowrick
Executive Director – K-W Oktoberfest Inc.
519-570-4267 x222

Katie Owens
519-570-4267 x238


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