2017 Zenith Award Winners


Brenda MacDonald, Ontario Power Generation

Brenda MacDonald has 22 years of demonstrated leadership as strategic legal and business counsel. Brenda is recognized for building and leading high-performing legal teams, with proven leadership experience in a broad scope of matters. She ensures her team has the necessary tools to advance their careers, including facilitating mentor-mentee relationships, leadership courses and executive coaching. She’s a conscientious mentor to her team, assisting them in reaching senior positions. Brenda is an executive member of OPG’s women’s caucus and has continuously challenged the status quo at OPG, positively influencing policies on the advancement of women. She is board secretary of the Association of Corporate Counsel (Ontario chapter), promoting diversity, women’s programming and networking opportunities. Brenda is a recipient of the Bell Canada President’s Award for 2001, 2006 and 2007.

Sheila MacPherson, Lawson Lundell LLP

Sheila MacPherson and Tamela Coates are partners in the Lawson Lundell’s Yellowknife and Calgary offices, respectively, who have led, implemented and fostered the advancement of women in law. Their work includes: facilitating the use of practice-management coaches in the areas of leadership for women, efficiency, organization and timekeeping; supporting the adoption of flexible work arrangements and parental leaves for both male and female lawyers; participating in the Justicia Project to promote the retention and advancement of women in private practice; and a teamwork approach to files, particularly as initiated by Sheila in Yellowknife, allowing lawyers to enjoy more time off. With Sheila’s and Tamela’s leadership, the firm anticipates female partnership will reach 50 per cent by the end of 2017, and they have been recognized by nearly two dozen national, provincial and local awards.

D.J. Miller, Thornton Grout Finnigan LLP

D.J. Miller was the first female equity partner at Thornton Grout Finnigan, where now half of the firm and half of the equity partners are female. She was elected 2016 President of the Turnaround Management Association (TMA), Toronto Chapter. As President, she encouraged women to step forward for executive positions, resulting in all four executive positions being held by women, a first for TMA Global. She served on the executive committee of TMA Global and introduced a Network of Women (NOW) initiative from TMA Global to the Toronto TMA in 2015. She has helped TMA raise over $330,000 for local charities providing opportunities for women and girls. Miller was chosen Canadian “Insolvency Litigator of the Year” in 2016 for her work in securing hundreds of millions of dollars in incremental recoveries for Nortel pensioners.

Barbara Munroe, WestJet Airlines Ltd.

Barbara Munroe was recently promoted to WestJet’s executive team as Executive Vice President, Corporate Services and General Counsel. Since joining WestJet in 2011, Barbara has been essential to its tremendous expansion, including: introduction of regional carrier WestJet Encore; the purchase of 65 new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft; a wide-body fleet introduction with the purchase of four Boeing 767s; and an increase in scheduled routes to over 100 destinations in over 20 countries. Through all this change, the culture of WestJet has remained the same, due in part to Barbara’s leadership. She regularly speaks to WestJetters at town-halls, is an active member of WestJet’s cycling team, and as a breast cancer survivor, and she proudly participates in WestJet’s support of the annual CIBC Run for the Cure. Barbara was appointed to the board of Crescent Point Energy in 2016.