News & Press: News

An Evening of HR Excellence

April 5, 2019  
Posted by: CPHR Manitoba

CPHR Manitoba’s HR Excellence Awards is an evening that celebrates the successes, achievements and impacts of HR in Manitoba and all the individuals and employers who are advancing the human resources profession and driving business excellence.

For the past 17 years and counting, CPHR Manitoba members and businesses have gathered to hear the stories of all the innovative individuals and teams who have risen to the occasion and made a lasting impact to their workplaces. And on the night of April 4, 2019, at The Metropolitan Entertainment Centre (The MET), they heard 16 stories from proud nominees in the Professional and Business Excellence Awards and one from our newly-honoured Fellow CPHR, Roma Thorlakson.

Janice Harper, Chair of CPHR Manitoba, and Michelle Whyard, Chair of the Awards Gala Nominations Committee, opened the event to recognize, support and celebrate all of CPHR Manitoba’s members and organizations who were nominated.

“Tonight we are honoured to celebrate all of the professionals and businesses who are leading by example to advance the industry and drive business excellence,” Harper declared.

Whyard then placed heavy emphasis on the importance of sharing stories, stating, “Every day, I hear stories about HR professionals and businesses being proactive, addressing these and other HR-related matters while creating new opportunities for growth, advancement and success for the company and the hard-working individuals behind it. I know the HR profession is humble but these are stories that need to be heard, recognized and celebrated.”

Each nominee’s story painted a vivid picture of their dedication to the profession and captured the innovation within the workplace.

Ron Gauthier, CEO of CPHR Manitoba, delivered the first award of the evening. Two $1,000 scholarships – one for a student in an Accredited Certificate or Diploma Program and one for a student in a Degree Program – were awarded to Jay Michno and Jayden Joseph for their outstanding portfolio of academic, leadership, extra-curricular and human resource activities.

The Rising Star Award – sponsored by The University of Manitoba Extended Education was presented to Brittany Enns, CPHR Candidate, Manager of Human Resources with RAPID RTC and Jennifer Harding, CPHR Candidate, Human Resources Generalist with MacDon Industries. Both individuals were equally recognized for their impressive accomplishments and results in the first five years of Human Resources experience.

The HR Professional of the Year Award – sponsored by Manitoba Blue Cross – was presented to Laura Matlashewski, CPHR, Manager of Total Rewards with Manitoba Public Insurance for developing, championing and implementing an initiative, program or project that clearly and measurably demonstrated a positive impact in the organization.

A three-course dinner was served between presentation of the Professional Excellence Awards. The first course started with tomato vegetable soup, followed by Napa Valley chicken – prepared with sun-dried tomato pesto cream, fire roasted peppers, melted aged cheddar and mozzarella cheeses and served with oven-roasted twin chateau potatoes, fresh asparagus and seasonal vegetable medley – and finished with tiramisu and coffee.

After dinner, the HR Executive of the Year Award – sponsored by Roquette Canada Limited – was presented to Janice Harper, CPHR, Executive Vice President of Human Resources with New Flyer Group for her leadership and implementation of strategic responses to address economic, social, technological, political or demographic trends that could impact the organization and human resources practices.

Upon accepting her award, Harper acknowledged the other award nominee and all the great professionals and workers in the room who are working towards making their workplaces better. 

Harper was then welcomed back to the stage to present the Fellow CPHR.

“The Fellow CPHR recognizes leadership, outstanding achievements and exceptional contributions to the human resources profession on a local, provincial and national scale. The Fellow is an individual who has strategically positioned the human resources profession with ideas, policies, practices and advocacy work and exemplifies the values of the CPHR Code of Conduct.”

With great honour and an acknowledgement of the other Fellow CPHRs in the room, Harper presented the Fellow CPHR to Roma Thorlakson.

"It is an honour and a privilege to be in a leadership role that represents the CPHR designation and its path to self-regulation in Manitoba," says Thorlakson. This goes beyond serving the members -  it's serving the best interests of the public - and I want to thank Laura Haines-Morrissette, Ron Gauthier and the members: with your invested interest and support, we were able to put together our submission and bring it forward to government. Thank you."

 The second part of the evening recognized the Business Excellence Awards; each award category divided in to a Small/Medium Business category (with less than 250 employees) and a Large Business category (with more than 250 employees).

The Employee Development, Relations & Total Rewards Award – sponsored by People First HR Services – was presented to F.H. Black & Company Chartered Professional Accountants Inc.  for their initiative or program that fostered collaborative work environment, supported employees to continually improve and/or created effective total rewards structure.

The Health, Wellness and Safe Workplace Award – sponsored by Safety Services Manitoba – was presented to Mosaic Newcomer Family Resource Network for this year’s award for helping employees stay healthy, well and safe; protecting them and their organization, using all measures at their disposal.

The Organizational Strategy and Engagement Award – sponsored by ACHIEVE Centre for Leadership Workplace Performance – was presented to GHY International (in the Small/Medium Business category) and The University of Winnipeg (in the Large Business category). Both organizations have programs and initiatives that enhance organizational productivity, morale and culture. And in turn, they support business success and increase the value of human resources.

 Harper concluded the ceremony of events with a personal message to all nominees. “Congratulations to all of the nominees and award recipients – your journey has only just begun. We know this is the beginning of all the wonderful things still to come for each and every one of you and we look forward to celebrating the future successes and achievements of HR with you.”


Chartered Professionals in Human Resources Manitoba (CPHR Manitoba)
1810-275 Portage Avenue / Winnipeg, Manitoba / R3B 2B3
tel. 204.943.2836 / fax. 204.943.1109 / email. hello@cphrmb.ca

For additional information please visit: CPHR.CA

People Leading Business.™