Their stories inspire us, their work changes us, and their journey started just around the corner. Meet the empowered, successful women in your own backyard and join us in celebrating women near you, wherever you are.
Meet Caroline Arnouk, Trailblazers & Innovators honouree.
After working in the Ville de Montréal water service, Ms. Arnouk realized there was a need for a communication and coordination system to facilitate transportation for the city’s employees, engineers and building workers. In 2015, she founded OPA Technologies, the only geospatial platform designed to reduce transportation delays by facilitating the management of road mobility through the optimization of geospatial data. Today, OPA Technologies offers its software services to federal, provincial and municipal governments in Canada, public utilities and private business, to help them manage construction sites and improve the coordination of traffic and transportation services.
Meet Manon Girard, Community & Charitable Giving honouree.
For 30 years, Ms. Girard dedicated her professional and personal life advocating for social justice and equality in her community. Concerned by the news of local charities closing for the summer, Ms. Girard established Café Access, a unique gathering place for people of all social classes. Patrons unable to afford meals or coffee can dine for free, while more affluent patrons were encouraged to purchase menu items at a suggested price. With more than 30 partners, Café Access generated over 17,000 hours of volunteer work and received over 8,000 donated meals in 2018. In addition to serving as General Director of Café Access, Ms. Girard is a founding member of Alma in Transition and a member of the Executive Committee of the Collective for Quebec Without Poverty. Engaged in public service, Ms. Girard was a candidate for Quebec solidaire in the October 2018 elections.
Meet Sophie Gravel, Expansion & Growth in Business honouree.
A serial entrepreneur in the board game industry, Ms. Gravel founded Filosofia Éditions and quickly added Z-Man Games and Plaid Hat to F2Z Entertainment. The multi-million dollar umbrella company soon evolved into the largest publisher of hobby board games in North America, owning Pandemic and Dead of Winter and the English and French rights to Carcassonne, among many others. After selling F2Z Entertainment, Ms. Gravel created Plan B Games Inc./Jeux Plan B Inc. and expanded the business within months by acquiring a German publisher. As President of Jeux Plan B Inc., Ms. Gravel nurtured the company into a global enterprise, with Jeux Plan B Inc. games sold in over 30 countries and translated into 31 languages. The company’s most successful game, Azul, received numerous international accolades including the Game of the Year Award at the Spiel des Jahres and Deutscher Spielepreis in Germany and the ACEs d’Or at Cannes in 2018.
Meet Martine Bourgeois, Trailblazers & Innovators honouree.
In 1993, Ms. Bourgeois acquired the family farm, Ferme St-Ours, with her husband and sister. That was innovative in itself, at the time, as it was hard to imagine working on a farm and pursuing a career at the same time. As dairy activities made way for egg production, Ferme St-Ours expanded significantly through acquisitions and development projects. Today, the farm owns several operations, all at the leading edge of technology and animal welfare. It also produces specialty eggs, using a variety of advanced technology models: organic, free-range hens, percheries, etc. St-Ours has become the largest organic egg farm in Canada. Sustainable development is a priority, and the farm’s buildings were built to reduce the impact on the environment. For over 35 years, Ms. Bourgeois has been working for Shur-Gain, now Trouw Nutrition, where she served as Director of Poultry Nutrition and Development. Recently, she became the Director of Technological Transfer for poultry production. She was one of the first to take part in the development of products for the market, such as eggs enriched with Omega-3 fatty acids and organic eggs. She is truly a pioneer in the Canadian agricultural industry and has won many prizes, including “Agricultrice de l’année” from both Montérégie-Est and the province.