Thursday October 23, 2014




Event honours Women of the Year

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Review photo 4600 — Elise Thomsen

Women of the Year award winners
Award winners for Quota International of Weyburn's Women of the Year awards gather following the ceremony to celebrate all women and nominees. The awards luncheon was held Monday at McKenna Hall. From left are Stella Swertz, who received the Workplace Excellence award; Dawn Gutzke standing in for April Hoffman, who won the Young Woman of Distinction Award; Lynnette Richards, who won the Exceptional Entrepreneur award and Margaret Lukey, who won the M. Isabelle Butters Community Service Award. Elsie Lai, Melissa Vilcu and Andrea Morrice together, Connie Milligan, Susan Adderley, Rini Hoffman, and Mary Konotopetz were also nominated for the four awards.

Four women were recognized for their outstanding contributions to their community and professions on Monday.

Stella Swertz, a retired nurse who still works occasionally, won the SaskPower Workplace Excellence Award. Swertz said she worked with amazing people and felt so many more people should have been nominated and won the award.

“As Dr. Bellous said, we have wonderful people in our circle and I’ve been privileged to work with amazing leaders and people who, at every corner, help you out,” said Swertz. “This award is for every one I’ve ever worked with.”

Swertz, who was nominated by Valerie Pickering, worked for 36 years in the health care profession in various department.

Lynnette Richards was nominated by her husband, Jeff, and clients for the Access Communications Exceptional Entrepreneur Award, which she won. Richards started as an entrepreneur when she and James bought a rural hotel and turned it into a hopping bar known for its great food. Since then, Richards has gone on to start or run three more companies including LJ’s Hillside Store, Comit Technologies and TRG Bookkeeping, which is now her main focus.

“There were so many other people who did a great job up for the award as well so I feel very grateful to be able to be with them nominated as well.  To have gotten the award is just super,” said Richards.

Margaret Lukey won the Quota International of Weyburn M. Isabelle Butters Community Service Award. She has been volunteering on a variety of committees for over 50 years, including a church committee and the Town and Country Women. She has also served on the Wheatland Senior Centre Board and is a Twirler. Lukey was nominated by the Town and Country Women and said it was a little surreal sitting in the meeting hearing them decide to nominate her.

“I was just overwhelmed. I was very humbled. I’ve done volunteerism all my life and it’s just a way of life for me, and to be awarded is quite humbling,” she said. She added that volunteering is a family tradition she inherited from her mother.

April Hoffman was nominated for the Investors Group Young Woman of Distinction award by Dawn Gutzke, executive director of the Family Place. Hoffman was unable to make it, so Gutzke accepted in her place. She said she nominated Hoffman because of the fantastic work she did at the Family Place and all the lives she bettered there. Hoffman has excelled in other pursuits including taking on lead roles in musicals, in water polo and academically.

Hoffman is currently studying education at the University of Regina, where she is on the Dean’s Honour List.


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