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Langley’s Women of Distinction nominated for YWCA honours

Former Miss Canada, Tara Teng’s work as a modern day abolitionist has earned her a nomination for a YWCA Women of Distinction award. She is one of three Langley finalists for the awards. - submitted photo
Former Miss Canada, Tara Teng’s work as a modern day abolitionist has earned her a nomination for a YWCA Women of Distinction award. She is one of three Langley finalists for the awards.
— image credit: submitted photo

A trio of Langley women are finalists for this year’s YWCA’s Women of Distinction awards.

Among them, are an insurance broker, an entrepreneur and an abolitionist.

Glenda Ouellette, vice president of broker distribution at ICBC, is nominated in the category of Business and Professions.

An accomplished industry leader for 20 years, Ouellette aspires to establish women as part of the decision-making process within the insurance industry by encouraging networking opportunities and mentoring her colleagues. She has volunteered on council and as president for the Insurance Institute of B.C. Ouellette extends her energy and skills to many organizations to make the community a better place, including James Cameron School and 2277 Royal Canadian Army Cadets.

“I’m a passionate supporter of education and it starts with early learning and childcare. I believe quality childcare, like that offered by the YWCA, is foundational to success in life,” said Ouellette.

Nominated in the category of Entrepreneurship, Sandee Krause is an outstanding business and community leader, who has transformed Krause Berry Farms & Estate Winery into a thriving and sustainable agri-tourism destination and world-class food supplier in Langley Township.  Her entrepreneurial spirit ensures the farm’s growth and enables her to provide meaningful work for employees year-round. This year marks the opening of an onsite winery, tasting room and restaurant, further evidence of  Krause’s continuing efforts to grow and diversify the business.

“It’s a natural choice for me to support the YWCA’s healthy choices for youth programs,” said Krause. “Each year I employ seasonal youth, offering similar support in a safe working environment, where they can learn new skills from role models who help face the challenges of transitioning into the work force. Investing in them begins with believing in them, providing training for today and encouragement for tomorrow.”

Nominated as Young Woman of Distinction, Langley’s Tara Teng is a human rights activist who reigned as Miss Canada 2011, using the platform to bring awareness across Canada and Asia on the plight of humans sold into slavery. She has mobilized and lobbied the governments of Canada and Korea to speak out against this injustice, launched Freedom Week 2011 to speak against human slavery and exploitation. Teng also takes time to mentor student leaders and lobby local communities to take action against human trafficking and slavery.

Her extensive advocacy work earned her a nomination by the Globe and Mail as one of the Top 25 Transformational Canadians and as a next generation leader by the Canadian Women of the Year awards.

“Human Trafficking is one of the most extreme forms of violence against women,” said Teng. “As an abolitionist, I support the YWCA Vancouver initiative preventing violence against women because gender-based violence is a root cause of exploitation and trafficking. This horrific crime is happening in every Canadian city and cannot be tolerated.”

The YWCA’s 2012 Women of Distinction Awards will be handed out on Thursday, May 24 at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver. To purchase tickets or for more information, go to ywcavan.org and click on the purple link.

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