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Seven Ivey alumnae named Canada's most powerful women

  • Communications
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  • Oct 24, 2022
Seven Ivey alumnae named Canada's most powerful women

Top, l-r: Karen Chan, Priscilla Luna, Erica Nielsen, Karen Peesker. Bottom, l-r: Eva Salem, Oricia Smith, Nurin Thawer.

The seven Ivey alumnae who made the 2022 Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women list come from a variety of industries, but share one thing in common: the ability to break ground and inspire others.

The annual awards from the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) recognize outstanding women across Canada who create meaningful change in the way they lead within their organizations and communities. WXN will celebrate each 2022 winner in person at its 20th annual Top 100 Awards Gala at the Fairmont Royal York Toronto on November 17.

Here’s a look at the Ivey recipients on the list:

Karen Chan, EMBA ’10

Karen Chan is the recipient of the Professionals award recognizing professionals in practice that play a leadership role within their organizations.
Karen Chan

Karen Chan is Executive and Project Lead at Adaptovate Toronto where she advises enterprise clients on business agility, transformation, and agile ways of working. Chan has been recognized for championing women in STEM and advocating for the engineering profession. Her leadership roles include past chair of hEr VOLUTION, past president of OSPE, and she serves on a several advisory committees including Women for STEM at Ontario Tech University and the Advisory Council for Western Engineering.

The WXN Top 100 Awards celebrates female leaders who fearlessly push boundaries in their careers, amongst peers and for their communities. The Ivey EMBA program taught me how to blend leadership and strategy with governance and compassion, and gave me the knowledge and tools to lead with confidence.”
– Karen Chan

Priscilla Luna, EMBA ’19

Priscilla Luna is the recipient of the Executive Leaders award, which recognizes women aged 40 and older who exemplify what it means to be a great leader and build confidence and champion others.

Priscilla LunaPriscilla Luna has spent 20 years within Loblaw and is currently SVP Enterprise Pharmacy Operations and Transformation for Shoppers Drug Mart. She began at store-level and went from pharmacy assistant to Shoppers Drug Mart franchise-owner. Luna then joined the corporate business in 2014 and progressed in executive roles in pharmacy and grocery operations, maximizing her business impact. Her people-first leadership style is exemplified by her investment in talent development, through a culture of empowerment and advocating for women in business.

Erica Nielsen, MBA ’02

Erica Nielsen is the recipient of the Executive Leaders award, which recognizes women aged 40 and older who exemplify what it means to be a great leader and build confidence and champion others.

Erica NielsenErica Nielsen is currently SVP, Personal Savings and Investments for Royal Bank of Canada and is responsible for the businesses that serve clients’ saving, financial planning and investment needs, including mutual funds, GICs, self-directed investing and robo investing. She is recognized as an outstanding business leader with the vision to take her team forward, and a plan to get them there. Nielsen is an active community member, co-chair of the Women’s Forum, and an advocate and mentor for young talent across the bank.

I’m honoured to have been recognized as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winners for 2022 by WXN, and to be in the company of such an accomplished and impactful group. The world’s current social, political and economic volatility has quickly revealed how vulnerable the security and independence of many people, and especially women, continues to be. Financial literacy and self-sufficiency are critical building blocks in achieving both. I’m inspired by this recognition and hope its impact might encourage women of all ages to explore the financial sector and recognize the choices and career opportunities it can provide.”
– Erica Nielsen

Karen Peesker, HBA ’92, MBA ’97

Karen Peesker is the recipient of the Professionals award recognizing women who are professionals in practice and play a leadership role within their organizations.

Karen PeeskerKaren Peesker is an assistant professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) and Director of the Ted Rogers Sales Leadership Program. Before her career in academia, she had a global career working in 15 countries. She brings a unique blend of corporate experience and academic rigour to students, resulting in her winning prestigious Provost's and Dean's Teaching Awards. As a multiple award-winning sales director and published researcher, she has led TMU to become a Canadian leader in sales education.

Eva Salem, HBA ’93

Eva Salem is the recipient of the Executive Leaders award, which recognizes women, aged 40 or older who not only exemplify what it means to be a great leader, but also build confidence and champion others.

Eva SalemAs Senior Vice-President of Marketing and Brand for Canadian Tire Corporation, Eva Salem leads marketing/brand activities for Canadian Tire, SportChek, Mark’s, Triangle Rewards and Canadian Tire Corporation, and oversees ESG strategy, sustainability initiatives, community involvement, content creation and sponsorships. She was named to The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business: 2020 Canada’s Best Executives and 2022 Marketer of the Year by Strategy Magazine.

Oricia Smith, HBA ’95, MBA ’98

Oricia Smith is the recipient of the Executive Leaders award, which recognizes women, aged 40 or older who not only exemplify what it means to be a great leader, but also build confidence and champion others.

Oricia SmithOricia Smith is President of Sun Life Global Investments and Senior Vice-President of investment solutions for Sun Life Canada where she oversees organizational development, management and growth. Smith is passionate about supporting diversity and inclusion. She is the co-founder of 100 Women Who Care Toronto West, a former trustee of the Sun Life Benevolent Fund and a former executive sponsor of Sun Life’s InvestHER Women’s Network.

Nurin Thawer, HBA ’05

Nurin Thawer is the recipient of the Mercedes-Benz Emerging Leaders award, which recognizes women between the ages of 30 and 40, who have been targeted for successive leadership positions within their organizations and have a proven passion for learning and innovation.

Nurin ThawerNurin Thawer is AVP of Portfolio Management and Enterprise Planning for Canadian Tire Corporation where she translates the $16-billion organization’s strategy into action. A first-generation Canadian with South Asian roots, she is passionate about promoting diversity & inclusion. Thawer is Co-Founder of South Asians at the Tire and Co-Chair of Canadian Tire’s Women’s Leadership Network. She is also a part-time college business professor and teaches yoga.