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Sangita Patel

Awardees 2019

Sangita Patel

Entertainment Reporter, ET Canada | Host, Home To Win

Sangita Patel is one of Canada’s most engaging media personalities. Audiences are drawn to her as an entertainment reporter for ET Canada, and she’s also the host of HGTV Canada’s Home to Win.

Sangita is well-known for love of inspiring others to achieve their health and fitness goals, sharing her personal fitness progress on her highly-watched website and hugely-followed social media channels. She is the recipient of a Trailblazer Award from the Reelworld film festival, was Anokhi magazine’s television personality of the year, and named one of Hello Canada magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People”.

A dedicated mom and a role model who is looked up to by women of every age, Sangita infuses everything she does with passion and professionalism.

Rumeet Billan

Awardees 2019

Rumeet Billan

2019 Game Changer, Twice named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women

Dr. Rumeet Billan is an award-winning, internationally recognized entrepreneur, learning architect, speaker, author and humanitarian. Her mission is to raise potential by designing experiences that build resilience.

Dr. Billan is the President and CEO of Viewpoint Leadership and an expert on Psychological Capital and Resilience. She completed her PhD at the University of Toronto and has designed and facilitated programs, courses, and training sessions across industries and sectors. She led the groundbreaking national research study on The Tall Poppy Syndrome which reveals the impact of the silent systemic syndrome on women in the workplace and is the National Ambassador for Not Myself Today®, an initiative of the Canadian Mental Health Association that aims to transform workplace cultures.

Dr. Billan has been twice named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network and has been featured in Forbes, The Globe and Mail and The Financial Post. Her talk on The Future of Education at TEDx was highly lauded and later adapted into a workshop for Ontario students. She recently authored Who Do I Want To Become? a book for anyone, of any age, who has been stumped by the question of what they’re going to be when they grow up.

Through her work, Dr. Billan provides a platform that encourages youth, women, communities and organizations to envision what could be possible. Since 2004, she has contributed to social impact initiatives that improve access to and the quality of education in North America, South America and Africa. In addition to building schools, supporting scholarships, breakfast programs, and soccer tournaments, her vision led to the creation and development of a teacher’s college in rural Kenya.

Dr. Billan continues to support causes and lead initiatives that promote human welfare.

Sonia Gokhale

Awardees 2019

Sonia Gokhale

Qualified Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries (USA)

Sonia is a Founding Partner of VentureSouq. VentureSouq is a UAE-based investment platform that invests into early-stage global tech and tech-enabled start-ups. Previously, Sonia was a Special Advisor to the Chief Investment Officer of Global Special Situations of Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC), a large sovereign wealth fund based in the UAE, focusing on venture capital and tech deals.

Prior to this role, Sonia was an Actuarial Consultant at Mercer Human Resource Consulting in its Dubai and Toronto offices. Sonia is a qualified Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries (USA). Sonia obtained a BSc from the University of Toronto (with distinction) and majored in Actuarial Science and Statistics.

Maneet Chahal & Jasmeet Chagger

Awardees 2019

Maneet Chahal & Jasmeet Chagger

Registered Nurses, Co-founder of SOCH Mental Health

Maneet Chahal and Jasmeet Chagger are registered nurses working in the field of mental health for 7 years. Maneet recently completed her Master of Science in Nursing degree from McMaster University where her thesis focused on studying the experience of the South Asian Punjabi community on accessing services for depression. Jasmeet is working on her thesis which examines the intergenerational perceptions of alcohol use and the impact of problem drinking on South Asian Punjabi families.

Maneet and Jasmeet co-founded SOCH Mental Health a non-profit community initiative providing culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health workshops to the South Asian Punjabi Community in Brampton.

To date, SOCH has conducted over 40 workshops, facilitated the first mental health event at a Gurdwara in the GTA and started their own international TV show called “Apni SOCH” in collaboration with the Sikh Channel. Maneet and Jasmeet are the 2018 recipient of Brampton’s Top 40 Under 40 and the McMaster Graduate Student Leadership Award.

Pranavi Suthagar

Awardees 2019

Pranavi Suthagar

Creator of not_sari, Designer + Illustrator + Creative Entrepreneur

Pranavi Suthagar also known as Not Sari is a Toronto based illustrator and designer. Her work explores ideas of identity as it relates to being a first generation Tamil Canadian. Through fusing her lived experiences into her work, she draws connections to her bicultural experience by way of nostalgia, cultural norms and rejecting societal expectations. Her work aims to empower and depict authentic narratives of South Asian people, in aims to occupy space within the mainstream art sphere.

Her work celebrates and highlights the diverse and nuanced experiences of South Asian women, especially of those whom are first generation and have witnessed the world in two ways – that of their parents and the Western world around us. Between the values and beliefs we learn from our parents, and that which we take in from our surroundings, I find there is often an ongoing reassessment of values, beliefs and identity we experience internally as it relates to belonging.

Jasmeet Sidhu

Awardees 2019

Jasmeet Sidhu

Senior Creative Producer, MasterClass.com

Jasmeet Sidhu is an award-winning photographer, journalist, and creative director with work spanning the worlds of tech, music, journalism, and film. Jasmeet has worked with some of the most notable names and companies in the world in New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Jasmeet is currently Senior Creative Producer at MasterClass.com, a VC-funded educational startup in San Francisco that is redefining the digital learning experience by bringing world-class experts (Stephen Curry, Serena Williams, Gordon Ramsay, Shonda Rhimes, and more) to share their talents in streaming, cinematic video.

This follows Jasmeet’s nearly decade of experience in journalism, photography and video production where she photographed and worked on music videos for Taylor Swift, Jay Z, Sia, Selena Gomez, and more. She previously worked at Facebook in New York on news and public content products, and as a reporter for the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily newspaper, traveling the globe to cover the AIDS crisis in Africa and the UN climate change negotiations in Europe.

Jasmeet grew up in Brampton and Mississauga and studied Peace and Conflict Studies as a National Scholar recipient at the University of Toronto. She completed a Masters degree in investigative journalism as a fellow at Columbia University.

Jasmeet has been profiled in Forbes.com, Glamour Magazine, the Toronto Star, the CBC, and the Globe and Mail. She is currently featured in the Ontario Grade 10 science textbook published by McGraw-Hill Ryerson. Her work has earned numerous accolades. At just 21, she was named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women, the youngest recipient in the history of the award. She was awarded the honor again in 2017. She is also a recipient of the Michele Landsberg Award for Women in Media, a recipient of the International Radio and Television Society fellowship.

Gurdip Dhaliwal

Awardees 2019

Gurdip Dhaliwal

Founder of Brookdale House, Truly a caretaker of hearts

Gurdip Dhaliwal, also known as “Mo’s mom”, came to Abbotsford, BC in the 70s. Her early years were spent working all manner of labour, from life on the farms to learning renovation and drywalling skills from her father. Since then, she has fought for stability and a livelihood for herself, and for women who needed support.

For over 25 years, Gurdip has also worked as a nurse’s aid, home care worker, foster mom and, most recently, the founder of Brookdale House, a boutique family-style assisted living home for seniors. Gurdip’s nurturing qualities are evident in her passion for gardening, but she is truly a caretaker of hearts, providing strength and solace to people in need.

Sangita Sharma

Awardees 2019

Sangita Sharma

Family Champion of the year

Sangita Sharma is a motivated and persistent individual that has constantly overcome many challenges and made many sacrifices for her family. When her husband had cardiac arrest several years ago and resulted in a vegetated state, she decided to fight the odds and work on improving his health and being a stabilizing force for her family.

She scarified her employment and has been in the hospital everyday which has helped improvements towards his health. Despite her many sacrifices, she had a vision that this would not impact her son’s education in the future. She continued to motivate her son to have a formal education and is currently supporting her son as a 2nd year engineering student.

Baldev Mutta

Awardees 2019

Baldev Mutta

Senior Creative Producer, MasterClass.com

Baldev Mutta has been in the field of social work for the last 45+ years. He is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Punjabi Community Health Services (PCHS). PCHS is a Health Service Provider in the Central West and Mississauga Halton LHIN geographic areas.

He has worked for the last 28 years developing an integrated holistic model to address substance abuse, mental health and family violence in the South Asian community.

He has received many community awards for his work on equity, community development, diversity management, and organizational change.

Jake Dheer

Award Presenters 2019

Jake Dheer

Senior Manager, Rogers Media Inc.

Jake Dheer is Senior Manager at Rogers Media Inc.. He served as Chairman of Carassauga in 2001 and 2002, Mississauga Board Of Trade in 2008, Mayor Hazel McCallion’s Gala for the Arts, Culture and Heritage in 2010, Sheridan College’s Big Picture Gala in 2010 and 2012 and Heritage Mississauga’s annual awards in 2013 – 2016. Jake remains a strong community activist and contributes in a leadership capacity on boards of several organizations including City of Mississauga’s Economic Development Advisory Board, Mississauga Chinese Business Association, Trillium Health Partners Foundation, Sheridan College’s Campaign Cabinet, Heritage Mississauga, Mississauga Tourism West Toronto Advisory Board, Mississauga Sports Council, Legends Row, Community Living Mississauga Tribute Dinner Committee, United Way of Peel Region, William Osler Health System Foundation’s President’s Advisory Council, Punjabi International Film Festival, International Film Festival of South Asia, and Volunteer MBC to name a few. He is also the Honourary Chairman for the Alzheimer Society of Peel.

Jake has been honoured with numerous awards and recognition in the broadcast industry and for his volunteer community engagement and humanitarian work including being named Mississauga’s 2005 Citizen Of The Year, 2009 Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International, 2015 Melvin Jones Fellowship from Lions International, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, Ted Rogers Innovation Award in 2011, Mississauga Board of Trade’s Employer Of The Year 2012 and, in 2013, was named one of Mississauga’s Top 30 Most Influential people by Mississauga News.

Jake’s enthusiastic stage presence has led him to emcee several high profile occasions in the GTA and has often been asked to be the Keynote Speaker at numerous events around the region.

Jake is married to Geeta and they have two children, Sonia and Arjun. He is a staunch vegetarian.

Jeet Dhillon

Award Presenters 2019

Jeet Dhillon, CFA, MBA

Vice President & Senior Portfolio Manager

With over 22 years of investment industry experience, Jeet provides investment counsel to private clients, corporations, not for profits, individual pension plans and trusts to help develop and implement investment strategies tailored to help meet their individual needs.

She takes a holistic approach to creating personalized long-term financial strategies to balance portfolio growth, asset protection and tax efficiency.

Prior to her current position, Jeet worked as Manager, Strategic Initiatives, assisting Senior Portfolio Managers with research and management of high-net-worth client portfolios while also spearheading strategic business initiatives for Private Investment Counsel.

Jeet is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute and the Toronto CFA Society. She graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and from Simon Fraser University with a Master of Business Administration.

Aleeza Qayyum

Emcees 2019

Aleeza Qayyum

Aleeza Qayyum is a grade 12 student at the Stephen Lewis Secondary School. While consistently exceling in her academics, Aleeza has played a significant role in the community. Since the beginning of her high school career, she has taken part in her school’s student council and has made her way up to become the president of the council. In addition, Aleeza has also been a part of the school’s extra-curricular community and has committed her time to other clubs such as the Math Club, French Club as well as her School Band.

Furthermore, outside of her academic circles, she has been a part of countless initiatives such as the Ink Movement and Red Cross. For the past four years, she has also been a Vision-Mate for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and is now a SHAD fellow as well. Aleeza currently serves as the Chairperson of Volunteering Peel and has been elected as the Director of Leadership Development for the Peel Students President’s Council.

Anchal Arnja

Emcees 2019

Anchal Arnja

Anchal Arjna is a grade 12 honours student who currently attends Jean Augustine Secondary School. Anchal has proven to be a prominent leader not only at her high school but also within her community by winning countless awards and excelling in multiple extra-curricular endeavours. She is consistently involved in her school’s social wellness and spirit events and clubs such as Inside Ride and the Athletic Council.

In addition, during the summer of 2018, Anchal established “Teens2Seniors”, which is an incredible initiative that strives to engage teens and seniors with one another to bridge the gap between social norms within both communities.

Ashleen Gill

Emcees 2019

Ashleen Gill

Ashleen Gill is currently a Grade 12 student attending the Jean Augustine Secondary School. While consistently excelling in academics and maintaining a impressive academic profile, Ashleen has proven her enthusiasm and leadership qualities by volunteering to lead many community-wide extracurricular activities and organizations.

In addition, she is the founder of an incredible initiative called “unlabelled” that has become a small movement which is continuously gaining momentum, to end gender roles, stereotypes, and labels. Furthermore, she has also led a brief workshop at the Principals’ Qualification Program that was offered by York University in Toronto, ON.

Chesta Dhawan

Emcees 2019

Chesta Dhawan

Cheshta Dhawan is a 13-year-old, grade 8 student attending the Roberta Bondar Public School in Brampton. Cheshta has consistently proven herself by maintaining stellar grades in all subjects while participating in numerous sports! Between managing her role as a captain of the senior girls’ volleyball team and a point guard of the senior girls’ basketball team, she also finds time to pursue her interests by joining the soccer, badminton and cricket teams.

In addition, she also expresses her talent and creativity by joining the Instrumental Band where she plays the flute as well as through creating competitive artwork. Her beautiful art was not only showcased at an assembly but was also selected as the school’s yearbook cover page!

Haroop Thiara

Emcees 2019

Haroop Thiara

Haroop Thiara is a student in , attending the Roberta Bondar Public School. Haroop is well known for being dedicated to her academics and her life outside of academia. Currently, she takes on the role of a leader in her school’s spirit council, which involves keeping close ties with the principle, planning and organizing events.

In addition, she is also actively involved in “Huddle Up”, an organization that helps prevent bulling and promotes positivity in school wherein she meticulously supports by organizing meetings and rehearsals. Furthermore, she has also created a choreography to present in front of the entire school.

Haroop is also, an athlete. She is a part of the girl’s league basketball team, girl’s hockey for the North Peel region and is a part of the girl’s soccer team.

Keerat Juneja

Emcees 2019

Keerat Juneja

Keerat Juenja is a 15 year old, Grade 10 student who attends Central Peel Secondary School. In addition to maintaining an honors average, Keerat has involved herself with an overabundant amount of extracurriculars such as badminton, which she has been playing for seven years. She played a tournament in Detroit where she won a bronze medal in a under-19 category being a under-16 player. Keerat also volunteers at a Punjabi and Kirtan class where she teaches children how to read in Punjabi and perform Kirtan. Keerat also takes time out to learn ethnic dance forms such as Bhangra and Gidha.

Furthermore, she represents Central Peel high school for their FRC Robotics Team where she is the head of marketing, Keerat is also a part of an outreach team, she was a mentor for a First Lego League Team where she helped students in grades 5 to 8 to learn how to program and come up with effective robot designs. Keerat is also a founding member of one of the first VEX all-girls team in Brampton, this team was created with an objective to encourage and promote all girls to explore and join the STEM fields.

Mankiran Dhillon

Emcees 2019

Mankiran Dhillon

Mankiran Dhillon, a grade 9 student at Mississauga Secondary School who has a passion for leadership in politics.

Through being a member of the Brampton Youth Council and volunteering with Sonia Sidhu, the Brampton South Member of Parliament, Mankiran is able to discuss and learn about the political issues within Canada.

She was also the president of her middle school’s anti-bullying awareness program, Time to Change. Through her active involvement in the middle school community she attained the Principal’s Award upon her graduation.

Simran Kaur

Emcees 2019

Simran Kaur

Simran Kaur is a grade 10 student at Mississauga Secondary School, who is a leader within both her school and within the local communities.

At her school, she is involved in both Varsity Girls Field Hockey and the Varsity Girls Lacrosse Team. Simran also holds the position of Arts Council Vice President where she has successfully advocated for the support of arts within the education curriculum. In addition, She has demonstrated her creative talents through event planning and designing school murals.

Furthermore, outside of her academic circles, Simran plays an active role in her local community through volunteering. She consistently volunteers her time at the Brampton Library, her temple and Roberta Bondar Public School.

Vyjayanthi Janakiraman

Emcees 2019

Vyjayanthi Janakiraman

Vyjayanthi Janakiraman plays an active role in the Peel District School Board’s community involving herself in many school-wide and community-wide extracurricular activities and organizations.

Currently, she serves as a chairperson at the Mississauga Youth Action Committee, which represents over 145,000 youth across the GTA. Her mandate entails discussing important issues and promoting community leadership and social justice.

In addition, she is also involved within her schools Cancer Drive as an executive member. Every April, the school hosts a charity week to help raise money to send children with childhood cancer to camps. She ensures multiple activities throughout the week are planned correctly.

We are grateful for each of our sponsor’s support and their contributions towards our mission to empower South Asian Women.

Together, we will build a more inclusive Canada.

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