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Local women honoured for contributions to community

Four local women who have each endeavoured to make our community a better place to live were honoured for their work last week.
The Women of Today awards were presented last Wednesday. From left to right: Taylor Roy, Shannon Leibel, Val Paulson and Judy Istace.

Four local women who have each endeavoured to make our community a better place to live were honoured for their work last week.

The annual SaskPower/Quota International of Estevan Women of Today awards were presented during a luncheon held at the Wylie-Mitchell Hall. The event also featured an inspirational speech from Regina-based motivational speaker Darci Lang.

Winning the four coveted awards this year were Shannon Leibel, Judy Istace, Taylor Roy and Valerie Paulson.

Leibel captured the SaskPower Outstanding Contribution to the Workplace Award. Employed at Sun Country Well Servicing, Leibel was described as a woman with commitment and perseverance, and was hailed for professionalism she brings to the job and willingness to take on tasks outside of her job description.

Leibel said she was up against some tough competition for the award in Susan Mack and Sue Resler and was honoured to know she has made a positive impact in the workplace.

The Ida Petterson Memorial Award for Outstanding Entrepreneur was presented to Istace. Like the award's namesake, Istace has enjoyed a great deal of success in the business community as the co-owner of a handful businesses including x-Siv.

In her nomination, Istace was called a passionate woman who never shies away from a challenge. She was also recognized for being a teacher and mentor to her employees, inspiring them to chase their dreams.

Asked about the key to her success, Istace was quick to point out that none of it would have been possible without the support of her family, staff and friends.

"We call it a family, we don't just have staff we have a family and it just makes my life easier," said Istace.

A native of Lampman, Taylor's impressive list of volunteer efforts helped her win the Shirley Orsted Memorial Award for Young Women of Today.

Named in honour of the former local educator, businesswoman and community leader, the award is presented annually to a young woman who has made significant contributions to the community.

That certainly appears to apply to Taylor who has not only made contributions locally but also on a global level. She is involved in a number of school activities including the Students Against Drunk Driving chapter.

She has also taken a great interest in humanitarian efforts, getting involved with Free the Children and travelling to the Dominican Republic.

"I went with some of my friends and we built a few houses and worked in a garbage dump and it was a real eye-opener," Taylor said. "I'm going to be interning for a year in Hamilton. I'm going to Mexico for five months and then touring all across Canada and teaching people about poverty and injustice and helping them if they have issues at home."

The final award presented at the luncheon was the SaskTel Outstanding Contribution to the Community Award. It went to Paulson, a woman who has given up much of her free time volunteering for a number of groups, most notably minor football, where she has been one of the lead organizers.

Paulson said Estevan and area is a volunteer-driven community and she is honoured to be recognized for her work.

"Being raised in a family that was a volunteer family whether it be in hockey or baseball just carried over into the way I am, and honestly, the community we live in, it's the way we survive," she said.

The luncheon also featured a special presentation as awards were presented to two charter members of the local Quota club - Evelyn Johnson and Susie Ross.

The event included a positive message from Lang who encouraged those in attendance to focus on the positive aspects of their lives in her presentation Focus on the 90 Per Cent.