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Celebrating Women of Influence

The Women of Influence in Local Government Award celebrates women who have made significant contributions to the field, whether on the administrative or political side of life. Women who have demonstrated grace under pressure. Women who have worked collaboratively and lifted up others along the way in the pursuit of affecting positive change in communities.

2022 Award Recipients

The 2022 recipients are Wendy Landry, Mayor of the Municipality of Shuniah; Joanne Vanderheyden, Mayor of the Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc; and Genelle Davidson, Director of Financial Services at the City of Kelowna.

Wendy Landry, Municipality of Shuniah

As a member of Red Rock Indian Band, Landry strives to educate people about Indigenous Peoples. She is the mayor of the Municipality of Shuniah (Ojibwe for silver or money), located on the shores of Lake Superior outside of Thunder Bay, ON. She is the first First Nations woman in Ontario to serve as a mayor. In April of 2017, she was elected to represent 37 municipalities as the President of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association. She is also on the executive board of the Association of the Municipalities of Ontario, and a Senior Advisor of Indigenous Relations with Enbridge Inc.

Joanne Vanderheyden, Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc

Vanderheyden is the first female mayor of the Municipality of Strathroy. She also served as warden of Middlesex County for an unprecedented four terms. She has been part of Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) board of directors since 2015 and is currently serving as past president. Her advocacy roles have been key in discussions around one of today’s most significant policy challenges – providing affordable, decent, and safe housing. Vanderheyden is also a founding member of the Women’s Caucus of Middlesex County.

Genelle Davidson, City of Kelowna

Davidson is the first women to serve as the City of Kelowna’s Divisional Director of Financial Services. She has implemented foundational programs that provided strong financial management for a city that had grown from mid-sized to large. She created financial principles and strategies that set clear direction, implemented the first strategic plan for the division, and developed corporate finance goals that set the city up for sustainable financial success. She also provided exemplary leadership for the Government Finance Officers Association of British Columbia. Davidson served as president during the COVID-19 crisis, ensuring strong financial management was maintained.

2021 Award Recipients

The 2021 Women of Influence in Local Government honourees included:

2020 Award Recipients

The 2020 Women of Influence in Local Government honourees included:

2019 Award Recipients

The 2019 Women of Influence in Local Government honourees included:

  • Vicki-May Hamm, Mayor of the City of Magog, Quebec
  • Pam Davis, Senior Management Analyst at the City of Boulder, Colorado
  • Pat Vanini, retired in 2019 after 23 years with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario
  • Delia Reiche, Development Liaison at the County of Brant

For a recap of 2019 award honourees see the article
Municipal World honours Women of Influence in Local Government.