Campus Digest: Ten alumnae named among Most Powerful Women

By Communications Staff
December 11, 2013

Share this:View PDFPrinter Friendly

Ten Western alumnae have been named to Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 list, presented by the National Post and the Women’s Executive Network (WXN). The theme for this year’s Top 100 Awards was What Glass Ceiling? Named to the list were:

  • Christine Magee, BA’82, president, Sleep Country Canada, was named to the 2013 Hall of Fame;
  • Anne Marie O’Donovan, BA’82, executive vice-president and chief administration officer, global banking and markets, Scotiabank, winner of the Scotiabank Corporate Executive Award;
  • Jane Riddell, chief operations officer, GoodLife Fitness, winner of the Scotiabank Corporate Executive Award;
  • Patricia Callon, director and vice-chair, Toronto Hydro Corp., winner of the Accenture Corporate Directors Award;
  • Kelsey Ramsden, MBA’04, president, Belvedere Place Development Ltd., winner of the CIBC Entrepreneurs Award;
  • Catherine Karakatsanis, MESs.’91, chief operating officer, Morrison Hershfield Ltd., winner of the KPMG Professionals Award;
  • Rosemary McCarney, LLB’77, CEO and president, Plan International Canada, winner of the KPMG professionals Award;
  • Stacey Allaster, MBA’00, chairman and CEO, Women’s Tennis Association, winner of the Xstrata Nickel Trailblazers and Trendsetters Award;
  • Heather Payne, HBA’09, founder, Ladies Learning Code & HackerYou, winner of the Xstrata Nickel Trailblazers and Trendsetters Award; and
  • Marilyn Emery, MSc.N’74, CEO and president, Women’s College Hospital, winner of the Public Sector Leaders Award.

Also named was Kelly Lovell, founder and CEO, Kelly Effect, Lovell Corp., winner of the Telus Future Leaders Award. Lovell, currently taking a year off, plans to rejoin Western next fall to continue her joint HBMSc and HBA through the Ivey Business School.


  • Western alumnus Dave McKay, MBA’92, will be named president and chief executive officer of Royal Bank following the retirement of current president and CEO Gord Nixon on Aug. 1, 2014, the bank announced last week.
    “I am honoured to be asked by the board to lead this remarkable institution and work with group executive to ensure we continue to invest in and grow our businesses,” said McKay, currently group head, personal and commercial banking. “I am energized about leading our 79,000 employees who serve our more than 15 million clients globally and embody our values and brand in all that they do.”
    In line with RBC’s succession planning process, the Board of Directors said McKay will be appointed president at the Annual Meeting on Feb. 26, and then as president and CEO effective Aug. 1.
  • Annie Xie, HBA’12, and Andrea Down, HBA’12, achieved top marks on the Uniform Evaluation (UFE), one of the world’s most challenging professional entry examinations. The UFE is an important component of the CPA qualification program. In total, Ontario had 1,201 of the country’s 3,032 successful UFE writers and captured 20 of 54 National Honour roll spots, including those held by Down and Xie.
    Raised in Strathroy, Down is currently articling at KPMG LLP in London; a Toronto resident, Xie is articling at KPMG LLP in Toronto.
  • Hanna Spencer, professor emerita in Modern Languages at Western, is celebrating her this week with the Centre for Activity and Aging, from 2-5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13 at Ivey Spencer Hall. She turned 100 years old earlier this year. Spencer, who taught German at Western, emigrated to Canada from Czechoslovakia in 1939, fleeing from the Nazis. Her memoir, Hanna’s Diary, 1938-1941: Czechoslovakia to Canada, tells the story of a 24-year-old teacher in a German-speaking part of Czechoslovakia. Unable to associate openly with her partner, Hans Feiertag, a Christian composer, she wrote a diary at his request so that, once reunited, he could learn about her life while they had been apart. Feiertag was killed in Stalingrad in 1943.
  • Intended to recognize top administrative staff at Western, the new President’s Medal for Distinguished Service will laud those whose contributions go above and beyond their primary role at the university. Senate’s Honorary Degrees Committee began discussion of the establishment of the award two years ago, and in drafting the terms of reference, looked at practices and policies at other Canadian universities for recognizing long-serving staff.
    “We want to find a way to honour those who have served in an exemplary fashion here at Western,” said President Amit Chakma.
    While the award will focus on administrative staff, faculty may also be recognized for work or achievements that would not normally be covered by the professor emeritus designation or other service awards already in place.
    Nominees must have been retired or resigned from the university in any capacity (including Board or Senate membership) for at least one year prior to consideration and have no ongoing formal relationship with the university.
    Selection criteria for the award will also take into account length of service, individuals whose efforts have significantly enhanced the development and/or operations of one or more of the university’s areas of endeavour and individuals who have made a significant contribution to the life and development of the university.
    No more than one medal will be awarded per calendar year and there is no requirement there be an award every year. Frequency of the award is entirely dependent on the candidates put forward.
    To nominate someone for the inaugural President’s Medal for Distinguished Service, forms will be available on the Senate website (under Honorary Degrees Committee link) in the New Year. Nomination deadline will be March 1.


8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(holidays excluded)


Helen Connell

Jason Winders

Paul Mayne

Adela Talbot

Advertising Coordinator:
Denise Jones

Off-Campus Advertising Sales:
Chris Amyot, Campus Ad



Western News
Westminster Hall
Suite 360
Western University
N6A 3K7

Western provides the best student experience among Canada's leading research-intensive universities.