Jennifer Dusyk-Johnson is Cold Lake’s 2018 Woman of Influence

Jeff Gaye

The Cold Lake Women of Influence Awards drew record attendance last Friday.
“It went extremely well,” said Kayla Vick, a member of the Women of Influence committee. “Last year we were excited to have 180 people in attendance. This year we had about 315.”

The number of nominees was also at an all-time high. Forty-three women were nominated as Women of Influence in eight different categories, including three new ones: Older Woman, Younger Woman and Science and Engineering.

The Overall Woman of Influence award was won by Jennifer Dusyk-Johnson, a teacher at Cold Lake High School.

The keynote speaker was Bonnie McFarlane, a comedian and writer from Cold Lake who has found success in the United States. “Bonnie was hilarious, she had everybody in stitches,” Vick said. “She was also inspiring.”

While McFarlane works in the bright lights, Vick says she is particularly inspiring because she started here.

“Part of why the event is so successful is that you can draw inspiration from local role models,” Vick said. “You can find someone and seek out mentorship opportunities, or reach out and see how they found what their passion was and how they were successful in their life’s work.”

“I think Jennifer Dusyk-Johnson encapsulated it best – everybody has a special talent or passion. And it’s really about chasing those passions, the things you are good at, to benefit your community.”

Cold Lake’s 2018 Woman of Influence Award Recipients:

Overall: Jennifer Dusyk-Johnson

Arts and Culture: Linda Hayward

Younger Woman: Sarah Hildt

Older Woman: Linda Grant

Science and Engineering: Marsha Hayward

Business and Professional: Nadine Friesen

Health and Wellness: TJ Unger