As part of the firm’s celebration of International Women’s Day 2019, the WeirFoulds Women Committee and the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee invited every person at WeirFoulds to submit a nomination to recognize the contributions of women at WeirFoulds. We were thrilled by the robust and plentiful nominations of the fantastic people and contributions to our firm, which were highlighted in a daily newsletter to all staff throughout the week. A total of 25 women were nominated. A selection of nomination statements are included below.
This award process is a celebration of the talented women who work tirelessly to deliver excellent client service and to create a welcoming and supportive work environment. Consistent with the theme for International Women’s Day 2019, #BalanceforBetter, the contributions throughout the week demonstrated the ways in which a more gender-balanced world leads to success.
WeirFoulds also hosted a lunch on Thursday, March 7, 2019 with Olympian and Team Canada hockey player, Renata Fast. Renata currently plays for the Toronto Furies of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and spoke with the firm about how she persevered in becoming a player for Team Canada and her overall journey at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
WeirFoulds actively participates in and promotes programs aimed at improving and celebrating diversity within the legal profession and the broader business community. For more information, visit www.weirfoulds.com/diversity-inclusion-equality-weirfoulds.
Caroline Abela, Partner
Caroline is described as a strong role model at the firm who is not afraid of confronting stereotypes about women and women advocates. Caroline has an extremely busy practice, and a full calendar in terms of speaking commitments and her many commitments to the legal industry at large, including having roles with the International Private Client Committee, ABA Section of International Law, the International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA), International Private Client Committee, ABA Section of International Law, OBA Estates and Trust Section, OBA Trusts and Estates Law Section , and The Advocates’ Society, Sub-Committee on Advocacy and Practice. What some may not know, is that on top of all of this, she also works hard and spends a lot of time working to advance the position of women in the firm.
Sandy Cardarelli, Legal Assistant
Sandy is described as a “true keeper” with a sense of humour that brightens the office. Her terrific sense of humour is matched only by her terrific work ethic. Her deep commitment to her role is evident in the excellent product she produces. She is always willing to get the job done, even if it means coming in on the weekends to do it. Sandy is described as always being personable and professional and a true resource for everyone that works with her.
Krista Chaytor, Partner
Krista has an extremely busy practice and successfully balances several commitments both at the firm, and outside the firm as well. She is currently a member of the Management Committee. Her nominator noted that she recently took the lead in organizing the preparation of a mock trial with experts, which was a very successful event. Krista went out of her way to ensure that everything ran smoothly. In addition, she was not only an organizer of the event, but she also actively participated in the event as a judge, providing feedback to lawyers at the firm. Krista is a great mentor and always willing to assist any firm member if it is needed. Krista really cares about the people and success of the firm. She also frequently shares praise for the contributions of other team members at the firm.
Nairne Holtz, Senior Reference Librarian
Nairne Holtz joined the firm in the role of Senior Reference Librarian and quickly overhauled the role. She is dedicated and extremely knowledgeable and quickly became a great asset to the firm. She looked at ways to get the firm more information at a reduced cost, and manages the flow of information extremely well. No matter how busy she is, she is always willing to assist with a quick question, or guide staff and lawyers through the stacks if they need help. Nairne is also a member of the EDI Committee at the firm, and brings great ideas to those meetings. It is a pleasure to work with her.
Ann Lattanzio, Compliance and Registrant Regulation Specialist Securities Law Clerk
Ann is described as a super woman. She started at the firm as a legal assistant and committed herself to learning securities law. She went on to become a paralegal and has been a securities law clerk at the firm for more than 15 years. She is described as an integral part of the Securities Law Group. She is relied upon by our lawyers and our clients alike. They have come to depend on her dedication and professional approach. They also really enjoy working with her as she is described as having a great attitude and zest for life.
Sandra Lukewich, Supervisor, Reception and Food Services
Sandra has been the “face “ of WeirFoulds for many years. She ensures our clients, contacts and guests get a warm welcome every time that they visit the firm. Many of the firm’s clients have come to know her very well over the years, and she has formed great relationships with them. Sandra is always ensuring that the client floor is running smoothly and that all of our guests are well looked after. She is also the traffic control for lawyers and staff who always remember that they have a meeting, but never remember where it is! Sandra, and the reception team, are the heart of the firm. They keep us moving forward every day!
Mariza Monteiro, Human Resources and Payroll Coordinator
Mariza is a recent addition to the team at WeirFoulds. She quickly became integrated with the business services team, staff and the lawyers. She is always up for pitching in and assisting other departments to ensure projects get done. She is a hard worker, but also very funny! Mariza has done exceptional work with Progress Place and the Transitional Employment Program that WeirFoulds has participated in for a number of years. She was even featured in their annual video that was played at the Progress Place annual sponsor and corporate partner breakfast. Mariza has been a great addition to our firm.
Sandra Noe, Regulatory Law Clerk
Sandra is described as an invaluable member of the WeirFoulds team. She always approaches every task with a positive attitude and manages to get the job done under tight time constraints. Sandra is always willing to take the time to help and mentor others, both within and outside of her practice group, even if that means answering endless questions from junior associates and assistants about human rights and labour board filings. Sandra is also passionate about issues related to equity and diversity, and is a member of the firm’s EDI committee. She is also involved in various community and academic initiatives outside the firm. For example, she recently spearheaded a campaign to fundraise for water security for an indigenous community in northern Alberta.
Daria Spokoinaia, Professional Development Administrator
Daria is a newcomer to WeirFoulds, but her warm personality, positivity and outgoing demeanor has resonated very quickly. She has been able to build relationships and trust very quickly and adapted to her new role fast. She is quick to help out on many projects that are outside her portfolio and has volunteered for many firm events and committees to date. Daria mixes ambition with a hard-working and “can-do” attitude which is a winning combination. She is an outstanding addition to the firm and has contributed to the productivity level of the whole team.
Josie Theocharidis, Legal Assistant
Josie had so many nominations that it would be impossible to sum up all of the wonderful endorsements she received. Her series of glowing endorsements might best be summed up with two sentences from one of her nominations, “Josie is a WF treasure. She has been the rock of the leasing group for almost 30 years.” Each of her nominators point to her being a dedicated, selfless, supportive, inclusive, outstanding, extraordinary, and infinitely helpful. She is always willing to go the extra mile for the firm and for her team. She is described as, “…just a wonderful person in general.”