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TORONTO, Nov. 30 /CNW/ - Women of Influence is pleased to announce the 2010 recipients of the 18th annual RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Awards. The six award recipients were honoured at a gala event last night for their contributions to the Canadian and global economies and to their communities.

"RBC is extremely proud to be honouring the achievements of these extraordinary women," said Andrea Bolger, head, Business Financial Services, RBC. "Despite the challenges in today's economic environment, all of these women have forged ahead achieving greatness by successfully turning their vision into reality."

This year's award winners hail from across Canada. Last night's gala awards ceremony was hosted by Diane Francis, the National Post's editor-at-large and was attended by hundreds of members from the business community.

"We are inspired by this year's award recipients for their passion and dedication, contribution to the economy during a strenuous 2009, and for their commitment to having a positive impact on aspiring young female entrepreneurs. These women are leading the way for future generations," said Carolyn Lawrence, president & CEO of Women of Influence Inc.

The 2010 RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Awards honourees are:

Deloitte Start-Up Award Recipient: Virginia Poly, Poly Placements

Virginia Poly is president and founder of Poly Placements, a Toronto-based full, service recruiting company. Launched in 2006 in a home-based office, Poly Placements was listed as the sixth fastest growing start-up business in Canada by PROFIT magazine in 2009. Poly Placements now employs more than 45 people, and Virginia has been recognized as one of Canada's top women entrepreneurs in Canada, on the PROFIT W100. Virginia attributes their growth to their unique approach: The ROI of Happiness. "Recruiting is a fantastic opportunity - get the right people, and the whole organization benefits. Making the process more enjoyable is good for business: Happy clients, candidates and employees mean increased productivity, reduced time-to-hire, reduced recruiting costs, reduced turnover, and a better bottom line," says Poly. 

HKMB HUB Impact Award Recipient: Jane Shanab, Spark Inc.

Spark Inc. was founded in 2001 by Jane Shanab, based on her belief that outstanding work and impeccable service are the keys to business prosperity. Through consistently exceptional work, Spark Inc.  has become the 'go to' production team for their clients, creating sales and management conferences, product launches, customer events, road shows and award ceremonies, and numerous corporate communication and training programs based in various media. They pride themselves on always assembling the right team of driven individuals: experts in their fields and targeted to the needs of each project. Throughout, their principles remain unchanged - "deliver great corporate communications and events while making their clients' lives easy while we do it." The organization's name captures the fire and passion of their work, the chemistry they bring to client and supplier relationships, and their energy and enthusiasm when diving into projects.

RBC Momentum Award Recipient: Anne Whelan, CareGivers Inc.

Founded in 1992, CareGivers mission is to be the most trusted provider of high quality care in the communities they serve. They do this by providing home care, nursing, and residential services that are driven by the needs of their clients and informed by best practice. In an environment that values safety, integrity, and continuous improvement, their employees demonstrate a commitment to caring that goes beyond the job; they share a desire to make a real difference in the lives of the people they touch. CareGivers has pursued growth in their scope of services through accreditation, community building, training and a commitment to organizational development. In less than five years, they have grown from approximately 120 employees to over 500 throughout Eastern Newfoundland. They have plans to expand their services in several key locations in Newfoundland in the next six months, and to explore opportunities in other key markets in Canada.

TPH Sustainability Award Recipient: Robin Maloni, Oasis Bags

Oasis Bags started in 1989 as a very small business with its main product being cotton bags. At that time, nobody believed in reusable bags. The first orders had to be left on consignment to small businesses. With a lot of work and perseverance, the company grew, moving from smaller to larger warehouses, hiring sales people, and eventually moving to its current head office in Vaudreuil, Quebec. They now sell and ship worldwide, and in 2010 Oasis Bags USA was opened to better service their U.S. clients. Oasis Bags has excelled in what they do, being the first and only company in North America to be Ecologo certified on all their cotton and polypropylene bags. They constantly search for the best quality certified green products, at the best price, to meet their clients' specific needs, and then proudly stand behind every bag.

Bell Trailblazer Award Recipient: Sally Daub, VixS Systems Inc.

Sally Daub has served as president and chief executive officer since co-founding ViXS in 2001.  Under Ms. Daub's leadership, ViXS has grown from a small semiconductor start-up, to the leading provider of technologies at the heart of today's video revolution, by designing and developing smart network multimedia processors that enable anywhere, anytime entertainment.  Ms. Daub has consistently been recognized for her entrepreneurial and business expertise and talent, garnering numerous awards, including PROFIT Magazine's Top 100 Women Entrepreneur.

PROFIT Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship Recipient: Connie Clerici, Closing the Gap Healthcare

Connie Clerici is the passionate founder of a group of award-winning Canadian healthcare companies, known as Closing the Gap Healthcare Group, which provides work opportunities for close to 600 individuals across Ontario. Connie's passion is to help those most in need in society, and to be accountable for doing so. She ensures that ethics and compassion accompany sound business practices, such that her business consistently provides healthcare services of an exceptionally high quality.

About the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Awards
The RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards are the pre-eminent national business awards recognizing the country's leading female entrepreneurs. The awards are an initiative of Women of Influence Inc., an award-winning organization dedicated to advancing and fulfilling the needs of Canadian women in business. Women of Influence Inc. leads many national women's initiatives including the Women of Influence Luncheon Series, Young Women of Influence Evening Series, Senior Executive Dinner and Women of Influence Magazine. For more information, visit  or

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