2019 Zenith Award Winners

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Jody D. M. Johnson, TransCanada Corporation

In Calgary, Jody Johnson “was a member of the Board of the Calgary Girls’ School for seven years, including three years as Board co-chair. She has been a member of fundraising committees for Future Generations, raising funds for programs for women and children in Afghanistan, the Calgary Counselling Centre, Youth in Motion, and the Glenbow Museum.” Presently, Johnson is the “Co-chair and a member of the Board of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, Canada’s public foundation for women and girls. “As Co-chair and a member of the Board, Johnson has oversight of the strategic plan for the Foundation, and a focus on placing the Foundation in position to be a catalyst for the most innovative programs, policies and public engagement efforts creating transformative change in the lives of women and girls in Canada.”

Sukesh Kamra, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

Sukesh Kamra was instrumental in co-developing the Norton Rose Fulbright strategic knowledge management career development and competency framework for all knowledge management professionals globally. The competencies were produced following consultation with partners and key stakeholders. They encapsulate the core abilities that the firm wants every knowledge management professional to fulfil at each stage of their career. It is also used as part of the promotion criteria during annual appraisals. Kamra then proceeded to convince our leadership that a particular type of role is required to address the changing nature of our profession on the operations side. A multi-disciplinary background with diverse non-legal credentials embedded within the business was essential. He demonstrated the need through a business case and was successful in influencing our leadership to invest in these new roles.

Tina Lie, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP

Together with two other racialized women, Tina Lie founded a group called GROWL (Group of Racialized Ontario Women Litigators). Since its inception in the fall of 2017, GROWL has grown to more than 80 members across dozens of law firms and government workplaces in the Greater Toronto Area. GROWL has hosted multiple networking events for its members, as well as substantive panel discussions designed to promote inclusion and collective experience-sharing among its members. For instance, last year it hosted a wine and cheese discussion featuring Atrisha Lewis and Janani Shanmuganathan, lawyers who wrote in popular legal industry publications about the challenges they face as racialized women lawyers. “GROWL is also receiving increasing recognition in the wider legal profession as an important voice for racialized female litigators."

Robert Love, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Robert Love was quick to identify the winds of change and the true magnitude of technological disruption to be caused by autonomous vehicles. In 2016, he co-authored the first of its kind legal white paper on the cross-industry impact of autonomous vehicles (https://blg.com/en/News-And-Publications/Documents/Autonomous-Vehicles2016.pdf). “Subsequent to the release of ‘Autonomous Vehicles, Revolutionizing Our World’, Bob zeroed in on the impact of autonomous vehicles to the insurance industry. In November, 2016, Canadian Underwriter published his article ‘Unknown Roads Ahead’. Love also contributed to the policy thinking with respect to autonomous vehicles. He was invited to present before the Federal Senate Standing Committee on Transportation and Communications to help the Committee better understand what the Canadian government needed to consider before AVs could travel on Canadian roads."

Susan Manwaring, Miller Thomson LLP

Overall, Susan Manwaring has become a change agent in the evolution of social finance in Canada by working with clients, providing thought leadership within the sector, and guiding governments through this new area. She helps organizations design innovative structures, identify and unlock creative sources of revenue, lay the groundwork for social investments, and navigate a changing landscape of regulatory and financial risk. She also works closely with the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, which is a leader in bringing modernization and new forms of financing to Canada. “On Sept. 18, 2018, Manwaring appeared before the Senate Special Committee on the Charitable Sector to present on charitable sector funding with a focus on new sources of funding, including social finance and related areas such as social enterprise.”