Leadership Awards

Ascend Canada Leadership Awards

Connect. Learn. Unleash Your Potential

Each year, we honour individuals who exemplify personal dedication, professional achievement, and commitment to the community.

A decorative image of Ascend Canada's Awards.

Why should I nominate someone?

  1. Our Community is worth it
  2. Acknowledge those who may not be seen
  3. Recognition is FREE
  4. Show your gratitude! If not now, then when?

How should I nominate someone?

Send completed nomination package to awards@ascendleadership.ca

Key Dates

  • December 9, 2022 – Nominations for 2022 awards program closes
  • January 23 to 27, 2023 – Short-listed nominees may be contacted for further information
  • February 13 to 17, 2023 – Recipients are notified
  • May 2023 – Awards will be presented at the Ascend Canada Gala.  The date will be finalized in due course.

For any questions, please email us at awards@ascendleadership.ca

Nomination Categories

Mentor of the Year Award | Sponsored by Electronic Arts

This award recognizes the dedication, guidance and leadership of an individual who has made a significant contribution to several Pan-Asian individuals’ quality of life and professional development through:

Leadership: Providing ongoing career guidance to develop leadership capabilities in others.

Sponsorship: Promoting and advocating for mentees.

Community Involvement: Demonstrating commitment to diversity and inclusion related mentorship initiatives.

Student of the Year | Sponsored by Sun Life

A Pan‐Asian individual who is enrolled in school and is under 25 years of age who has demonstrated early leadership qualities through personal performance, volunteerism and making a difference in the community through their impact, leadership and commitment to learning and development.

Impact:  Has made a positive impact at school (i.e., high school, post-secondary) and in the community to advocate for change.

Leadership: Demonstrating inclusion through leadership; an individual who ‘walks the talk’ and is seen as a leader amongst their peers.

Development:  Is proactive and committed to engaging in continuous learning opportunities that are focused on developing skills and capabilities.

Social Impact Award | Sponsored by RBC

A Pan-Asian individual who creates value through sustainable solutions in the community and being a differentiator on the most important societal challenges by making an impact, demonstrating strong leadership, and creativity.

Impact: An Individual who develops or improves the processes, methods, systems, products or services that have meaningful impact in one or more the following areas: social, economic, environment, cultural, health, political, scientific and technological.

Leadership: A change agent in the industry that has created and implemented a tangible strategy that has positively impacted others.

Creativity: An individual who creates a concept and/or approach that truly disrupts conventional thinking and methodologies when dealing with real world issues within the community.

Inclusion Champion of the Year | Sponsored by CIBC

Individual who has advanced inclusion in their organization and the community with measurable impact.

Impact:  Through their passion and clear vision, this individual has been able to break new ground and play a key role by removing barriers and enhancing the community to enable a more inclusive society.

Leadership: This individual has demonstrated extraordinary commitment and leadership by creating effective solutions or ideas to meaningfully spark change in the workplace and/or community and foster inclusive behaviours.

Sponsorship: This individual advocates for an environment that is free of bias and discrimination.

Woman of Distinction Award | Sponsored by Manulife

A Pan-Asian female who has dedicated her efforts to empower other Pan-Asian women and advance their careers.

Impact:  An individual who has been a trailblazer and shown a measurable impact for gender equality through their significant contributions to the organization and community.

Leadership:  This individual has demonstrated exemplary leadership by modeling inclusive behaviours, achieving excellence professionally and impacting and influencing other leaders to embrace inclusivity.

Sponsorship: This exceptional individual is an advocate of women and is passionate towards unlocking their potential. This individual is a role model who has inspired many women.

Past Ascend Winners


Mentor of the Year | Angie Harrop, Talent and Engagement Director, Bell
Student of the Year | John Johnson, Student, MD/MSc Candidate U of Alberta
Social Impact Award | Ampai Thammachack, Founder, Step Above Stigma
Inclusion Champion of the Year | Muriam De Angelis, Diversity, Equity &Inclusion leader at EY
Woman of Distinction | Kathy Cheng, President WS & Co and Co-Founder of Redwood Classics Apparel
Executive of the Year | Reetu Gupta, President & CEO, The Gupta Group


Mentor of the Year | Pradeep Mathur, Sr. Director, Risk, CIBC
Rising Star of the Year | Leah den Bok, Student
Innovator of the Year Award | Anna Hu, Co-Founder & CEO, Brizi Inc


Mentor of the Year | Zahra Ebrahim, Executive Advisor, Deloitte
Rising Star of the Year | Daniel Rodic, CEO, Exact Media
Innovator of the Year Award | Frank Nguyen, Co-Founder & CIO Help Wear




Rising Star of the Year | Larry Lau, Co-Founder ATMOS Marketing 
Mentor of the Year | Baskaran Rajamani, Partner,Deloitte
Volunteer of the Year | Shivan Thakur, Operations


Mentor of the Year | Jeannine Pereira, Diversity, Inclusiveness and Human Equity Leader, EY
Rising Star of the Year | Kevin Vuong, Associate, TD Bank