Tonight, PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise (PARO) honoured the top twenty PARO women of the last two decades. The recipients of the Top 20 in 20 Awards were announced at a gala event in celebration of PARO’s 20th Anniversary.

Nominations for the Top 20 in 20 Awards opened in June 2014 with the final recipients selected by a panel of community influencers. All award winners have experienced success throughout the past 20 years and encompass one or more of PARO’s values, which include cooperation, ownership, integrity, responsibility, simplification and peer support. “Every day these women raise the bar of making a social impact with economic values. There is something so very special about a community of driven women uniting these standards,” said PARO executive director Rosalind Locyker. “Tonight we celebrate women, create new connections and encourage others to believe that success is achievable. PARO praises these women for their successful focus and passion for their communities.”

The PARO 20 in 20 Award recipients are:
1. Levina Collins- Collins Consulting
2. Alice Sabourin- Beedaubin Resources
3. Sharla Brown- Keynote Events
4. Linda Bruins- Evergreen a United Neighbourhood
5. Rebecca Johnson- Rebecca Reports- for the RECORD
6. Donna Brown- P.C. Medic
7. Suzanne Tighe – Nurse Next Door
8. Laura Fralick- Investors Group
9. Cindy Maki- True Vision Energy Coaching
10. Angela Halvorsen- Rainy River Futures Development Corporation1. Stephanie Ash- Firedog Communications
12. Cindy Crowe- Blue Sky Community Healing Centre
13. Norma Fawcett- Elder Blue Sky Community Healing Centre
14. Colleen Martin- Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund
15. Madge Richardson- North Superior Workforce Planning Board
16. Sherri-Ann White- A Beautiful New You
17. Sheila Fortes- Office Works
18. Bonnie King- King Konsulting
19. Marcia Arpin- All the Daze Productions
20. Helene Fontaine- Freedom & Relaxation

Award recipient Linda Bruins has been involved with PARO for several years, serving as board president from 2007 to 2013. In 2002, Bruins had an idea for a business and was told to talk to the organization. “My neighbour told me about a group that would help you start a business; with much interest I called them and was invited for a meeting. After 12 years I won’t ever leave this group,” said Bruins. “It’s been a time of learning, supporting, and making this community a better place. Through PARO I’ve learned how to do a business plan, financials, and annual planning that has assisted me in operating a successful business and eventually a not- for-profit organization. By being open to learn and work with the team at PARO, I have been able to open many doors to many opportunities.”

“The Top 20 in 20 Awards fosters the spirit of enterprise by celebrating successful women in entrepreneurship,” said Lockyer. “These women will continue to inspire us for the next 20 years to strive for greater heights of success.”

The 20 in 20 Awards concludes a yearlong series of events that highlighted PARO’s history, women success stories, community socio-economic impact and future goals.