2017 Zenith Award Winners


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.

Barbara Norell, Harper Grey LLP Vancouver

Barbara Norell is a strong proponent of initiatives supporting leadership and re¬tention of women in law. Barbara is the firm’s diversity officer, an advocate for women and a sought-out mentor, gener¬ous in sharing her time and knowledge. She leads the firm’s participation in the BC Law Society’s Justicia Project and assisted in drafting model maternity and parental leave policies and a guide to leadership for women. She initiated a TAGLaw women’s initiative aimed at increasing the retention and leadership of women lawyers among member law firms of the global association. She was instrumental in creating TAGLaw’s first women’s leadership session and addressed its 2016 international conference on this subject. She’s an enthusiastic mentor of young women in the firm and through the CBA Women Lawyers Forum.

Lida Nouraie, Desrosiers Joncas Nouraie Massicotte LLP

At only 35, Lida Nouraie has appeared seven times before the Supreme Court of Canada in cases that are important for the Canadian criminal justice system. As a result, the Criminal Defence Lawyers Association of Montréal has mandated Lida for all its appellate interventions. She is a strong advocate for women in law and in society. She acts as legal counsel for the Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec, intervening more than 1,000 times for the rights of women. She founded and is President of Project Innocence Québec, a non-profit helping people with wrongful conviction cases. At the University of Québec in Montréal, she teaches a course where students work on wrongful conviction files. She created a scholarship for female law students and serves as a member of the Québec Bar Committee on Women in the Legal Profession.

Kerry L. O'Reilly Wilks, Vale Canada Ltd.

Kerry O’Reilly Wilks is an exceptional legal and business advisor, rising quickly in the predominantly male mining sector since joining Vale in 2008. She is now responsible for corporate, treasury, securities, governance, finance, tax, strategic alliances and marketing. She’s a board member of St. Michael’s Hospital and a passionate advocate for the neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU) serving the city’s most vulnerable women. Her “Malachy’s Soiree” raised $250,000 in 2015 and $500,000 in 2016 for St. Michael’s. She spearheads a major toy drive for the hospital’s inner-city pediatric clinic every December and hosts parties for inner-city kids. She prepares holiday baskets each year with messages of strength, perseverance and hope for women in NICU over the holidays and mentors NICU moms. In 2015, Kerry received a University of New Brunswick Alumni Award of Distinction.