Canada’s Co-operators names winners of its annual award for young leaders

‘Engaging with this outstanding group of changemakers from across Canada through our leadership academy is an honour’

Canadian insurer Co-operators has announced the winners of its annual Young Leaders Award for co-operative changemakers aged 18-35.

The co-op selected 12 winners for “exemplifying the passion, innovation, and leadership qualities that reflect the fundamental nature of co-operative values”.

“We are thrilled to support and invest in these up-and-coming leaders in the co-operative and mutual space,” said Shawna Peddle, associate vice president of citizenship at Co-operators. “Engaging with this outstanding group of changemakers from across Canada through our leadership academy is an honour and we’re privileged to help them sharpen their skills so they can continue to make a difference in their communities.”

The winners will be offered a spot on a 12-month leadership academy featuring workshops, learning sessions, and networking events.

They are: Alexandra Leavey from Alterna Savings Belleville, ON; Brandon Riddell from People Design Co-operative Toronto, Ontario; Cora Wiens from Eadha Bakery Co-op St. Germain South, MB; Florence Lamothe from Tёnk Canada Montreal, QC; Geneviѐve Bélanger Villanueva from Retournzy coop Montreal, QC; Hagre Selam “shimby” Zegeye-Gebrehiwot from Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative Regina, SK; Jillian Jones from Access Credit Union Ashren, MB; Kailey Griffin from North Central Co-op Edmonton, AB; Katy McCreadie from connectFirst Credit Union Vulcan, AB; Kristen Murray from NL Federation of Co-operatives St. Johns, NL; Lisa van Essen from Artspace Housing Co-operative Edmonton, AB; and Rosa Poirier-McKiggan from International Centre for Co-operative Management Glitter Bean Café Co-operative Halifax, NS.

“I’m beyond grateful to participate in this amazing opportunity, and I’m really looking forward to connecting and networking with other young leaders to strengthen and build our leadership skills,” said Jillian Jones of Access Credit Union. “Many thanks to Co-operators and CMC for making this opportunity a reality.”

“I had the privilege of being involved in the selection process and to read about the accomplishments and motivations of many worthwhile candidates,” said Daniel Brunette, director of strategic alliances and initiatives for Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada. “I cannot wait to see how these recipients will help shape the future of the sector in the months and years to come.”

Set up 78 years ago, Co-operators has more than $58.2bn in assets under administration.