FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Top 20 Under 40 Young Professionals Recognized at the 2018 Northwestern Ontario Visionary Awards
Thunder Bay, ON, January 27, 2018 – Tonight, 20 of the brightest young stars from across the region were celebrated at the 4th bi-annual Northwestern Ontario Visionary Awards (NOVAs), a gala hosted by SHIFT Thunder Bay’s Young Professionals Network and held in Thunder Bay at the Victoria Inn to recognize young professionals in the region for their leadership, community engagement, business and professional achievement, volunteerism, civic pride, and mentorship.
“The quality of the nominees was extremely high this year,” tells SHIFT President Samantha Mihalus. “The top 20 were selected from a total of 79 nominees. It’s amazing and so inspiring to hear about how Northwestern Ontario young professionals are making a difference in their communities.”
The gala was a circus-influenced affair, complete with an aerialist, a magician and tarot card readers on site. The 350-person audience enjoyed musical performances by theatre group, Applauze Productions and local band, Tin Pan Alley. A special appearance from a local flow artist group, Mew Crew, kicked off the after party while the gala portion of the evening was, by popular demand, emceed by duo Spencer Hari and Amanda Mihalus.
Award categories were introduced to the 2018 NOVAs for the first time, which recognized a very diverse group of winners. NHLer Matt Murray was deemed SuperNOVA, the award that honours a young professional who has achieved international recognition for their work. He was unable to attend but his mother, Fenny Seinen, accepted the award on his behalf.
Samantha Mihalus continues, “The idea of awarding an athlete this time seemed fitting, given that all nominees and winners exemplify these exact qualities; self-discipline, dedication, focus, positive attitude, and raw hunger for what they are passionate about, just to name a few.“
“This was definitely the biggest production the NOVAs has ever been in its eight-year history. The winners are an impressive group of careerists, game changers, leaders, and champions of their communities who mentor and inspire others. There is remarkable talent in our young professionals, locally and regionally, and the NOVAs recognize their contributions and tells them that their work matters and that they are valued.”
2018 NOVA Recipients
Business and Professional Achievement Category
SHIFT Disturber NOVA
Community Champion Category
Civic Pride NOVA
Rising Star NOVA
People’s Choice NOVA
The official auditor of the 2018 NOVAs was MNP, with a panel of judges from across Northwestern Ontario selecting the winners. The NOVAs have recognized over 316 nominees in the last eight years with 80 award-winning young professionals from across Northwestern Ontario.
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