Government of New Brunswick

2023 VIVE Recipients

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Abby David

Every Day Champion



Abby David is a determined and passionate woman, who immigrated to Canada with her family from Israel in 2014. Volunteering with YMCA of Greater Saint John assisting newcomers to find volunteer placements, she later became the supervisor of the Employment Services Team.

Through her work, Abby saw the challenges faced by newcomers – especially women and youth – and worked tirelessly to help them find meaningful pathways to employment and education. In collaboration with other stakeholders, her efforts led to the launch of a successful provincewide experiential learning program called ‘Skills Launch’ in 2017. Abby also collaborated with women's shelters and women-focused groups on designing programs addressing gaps and supporting newcomer women in reaching their full potential, such as the Rural Employment Language Initiative (RELI); initiatives for internationally educated nurses; The Bridge; and advocating for International Qualifications Recognition helping newcomer women become certified and licensed in New Brunswick.

Abby is now a Strategic Program Director at the new McKenna Institute at UNB, leading initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in the tech industry and beyond, empowering women and diverse underrepresented groups to develop pathways to careers in tech.

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Natasha Dhayagude

Business Champion



Natasha Dhayagude is the CEO and co-founder of Chinova Bioworks, whose primary mission is to use nature to reduce food waste. Since its start, Natasha and her co-founder, David Brown, have wanted to make an environmental and social impact in the world.

Natasha Dhayagude is committed to a strong, socially impactful company and has built a diverse team. As a female scientist, she creates opportunities for other women in leadership and STEM roles.

Males represent about 70 per cent of all senior executives in the workforce. Natasha wants to empower women to bring out their inner alpha, so they are seen and can obtain leadership roles. She enlists male allies to support these women. She is proud to have 90 per cent of women in STEM positions at Chinova and has no plans to end this trajectory.

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Hélène Savoie-Louis

New Boots Provincial Network, Community Champion

Saint John


Hélène Savoie-Louis is the Executive Director of MAP Strategic Workforce Services Inc, which includes the New Boots: Progressing Women in Trades provincial network. Hélène empowers her team by giving them autonomy, direction, and room to offer their own ideas and opinions. She inspires others by being her genuine self. She creates a safe space for all her team to be themselves, while continuing to grow their own professional paths by leading their programs.

Hélène has a Master’s degree in guidance counselling and a Bachelor’s degree in education. She truly believes there is no gender to a career path and the best teams are diverse teams!

One of the programs under Hélène’s leadership as Executive Director is New Boots: Progressing Women in Trades, which is a provincial network and resource hub that aims to promote, support and mentor women in non-traditional skilled trades sectors such as: construction, manufacturing, transportation, services and forestry. New Boots is a one stop toolbox for all girls and women who want to get into a trade or to help women who are in a trade achieve certification.

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Louise Imbeault

Community Champion



Louise Imbeault has made significant contributions to the defence of women's rights in all their diversity, is passionate about the feminist cause and is committed to the development of women. She has demonstrated her expertise on issues related to social justice, gender equality and women's participation in the francophone community in the province and across the country.

She is a founding member of the Board of Directors for Regroupement Féministe du Nouveau-Brunswick; she was Interim President of the Board of Directors of the New Brunswick Museum from 2015 until April 2017; and Co-chair of the City of Moncton Cultural Council from 2012 to 2018.

In 2018, Louise was named Chancellor of the Université de Moncton, a role attributed to someone who has a sense of leadership, diplomacy and an interest in the quality of education at the institution.

Louise continues her decades-long legacy of promoting issues related to gender equality and the rights of Acadian and Francophone citizens in New Brunswick and Acadia.

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Caroline Stephen & Kate Palmer

Youth Champions



Caroline Stephen & Kate Palmer are the founding members & co-chairs of the University of New Brunswick (UNB) Menstrual Health Society. From the beginning, they prioritized equal access to period products for all members of the UNB community. By working with the university, they installed free menstrual product dispensers in gender-neutral and women’s washrooms on the UNB Fredericton campus.

The UNB Menstrual Health Society started in January 2022 on the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton campus by a group of student volunteers. It began with a goal of making free period products accessible to the UNB community and has grown to establish several other initiatives, including public-school outreach, sustainable product distribution and community outreach.

Caroline and Kate started the society after personally experiencing a lack of access to menstrual products on campus. They have inspired the university to support them in taking action to reduce this inequity at UNB. The society has also been working to support UNB Saint John to soon implement free menstruation products on their campus.

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Stephanie Sanford

Government Champion



Stephanie Sanford has dedicated a significant portion of her life to improving safety in the lives of women and gender minorities in New Brunswick. She has accomplished this through her educational pursuits as a lifelong learner, as an instructor at University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University, and as a dedicated civil servant.

Stephanie joined the Policing Standards Branch in 2006. She now leads a team that is 92 per cent women in a traditionally male-dominated sector as Director of Crime Prevention and Program Development. Stepping into the role in March 2020, Stephanie not only guided her team through the pandemic, but she supported and encouraged them to grow personally and professionally.

Stephanie has translated her vision for a safer New Brunswick for women and all gender minorities into tangible and progressive measures. Stephanie’s Master’s degree thesis focused on the police response to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in rural communities which subsequently led to the transformation of IPV responses in the province. Stephanie was instrumental in the Coordinated Community Response Model, the Love Shouldn’t Hurt campaign, the Intimate Partner Violence Intervention Act and in training more than 800 police officers, Crown Prosecutors and Provincial Court Judges on IPV and standardized assessment tools.




2022 VIVE Recipients

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Through her academic, professional, and community engagements, Lyne Chantal has worked to ensure the concerns of diverse women are heard on issues related to pay equity, poverty, domestic violence, sexual violence and consent in relationships.

Lyne Chantal is a role model in the communities where she volunteers at the local, provincial, and national levels.

She was the founder of the Guignolée when she was a professor of education at the Shippagan campus for 10 years, which involved students, professors and people from the community coming together to help those in need.

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At 14, Vera Chen set out to bridge the gap between music opportunities and youth, offering free lessons and workshops for young people.

 As a visionary, she saw music lessons as a great tool to teach young people about music and the importance of mentorship. She invited other music students to mentor participants not only in music, but through group activities and team building workshops. The result was long-lasting friendships.

Seeing that young women in particular had little opportunities to learn music at no cost, she made extra efforts to reach out to young women in her community to engage them with her project and include them in the workshops.

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Cathy Simpson is an IT leader who has dedicated her career to building the region's tech capacity. She is a mentor and advisor for start-up entrepreneurs.

In 2015, Simpson created her own company, a social initiative called Up+Go, that delivers leadership and self-discovery programs for high school girls and introduces them to New Brunswick women who are doing extraordinary things, particularly in the areas of STEM, entrepreneurship, and leadership. 

She is dedicated to helping girls and women become more confident in their professional pursuits.

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Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Stevenson championed a resolution to use gender neutral language in the Two Rivers Pastoral Charge branch membership bylaws.

Rev. Dr. Stevenson has been appointed to serve on the Royal Canadian Legion, NB Command Tribute Service Committee that is revamping the Tribute to a Veteran Book. In this role, she is helping modernize the services to make sure they are inclusive of all groups.

Rev. Dr. Stevenson is an example of an effective ally who uses words and actions to help undo systemic barriers.

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Michele Cronin has worked with the City of Fredericton for over 26 years and is a member of their Diversity and Inclusion Team.

She created an invaluable opportunity for growth and development for female employees through the Authentic Leadership for Women course. In this program, women are brought together to advance their leadership skills through teachings and mentorship. One of the largest advantages to the course is the ability of the group to learn through sharing experiences.

Michele was also the team lead on an International Urban Cooperation (IUC) project that included a partnership between Fredericton and Parma, Italy and focused on studying gender equity in leadership roles in municipal government with legislated equality as the variable.




2021 VIVE Recipients

Emma Coakley, Grade 10 student (Saint John)

Johanne Perron, Executive Director of the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity (Moncton)

Sara Holyoke, General Manager of the Delta Hotels by Marriott Fredericton (Fredericton)

Dr. Karen Pearlston, Professor of Law at the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton)

Cheryl Hansen, Clerk of the Executive Council Office, Government of New Brunswick (Fredericton)



For more information, please contact:

Women’s Equality Branch
Economic Security (Unit)

20 McGloin St
PO Box 6000
Fredericton, NB
E3A 5T8
Phone: (506) 453-8126
Toll-free: 1-877-253-0266
E-mail: (For VIVE Awards nominations)