While Diane Shannon knew that she was being honoured along with 11 other amazing women at the Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta’s third annual Women of Inspiration event on June 21, what she didn’t know was the surprise her fiancé Roger had arranged. Diane’s mother, children and grandchildren had traveled to the event unannounced from their homes in Edmonton, Gibbons and Creston, BC.
Her face lit up and the tears started flowing the moment she realized that her family had come to share in her special day. When asked a day later about what it meant to have her family at the event, Diane’s response spoke volumes.
“Just thinking of it makes me weepy,” she said, reaching for the tissues.
“Diane’s quote in the video pretty much sums up the kind of leader she is,” said Kiran Malik-Khan, Director of Stakeholder Relations, who was joined by a number of United Way colleagues at the event.
“You can lead with kindness and understanding, instead of demanding power,” said Diane in the video that was played introducing the Women of Inspiration.
Diane was honoured along with Angela Scoble, Dawn Booth, Angela Ross, Ana Maria Mendez, Christina Traverse, Cheryl Alexander, Barb Henning, Neerja Gupta, Flor Connors, Theresa Wells and Cheryl Golosky.
“What stood out for me about the Women of Inspiration experience was realizing how powerful it felt to have all 12 women gathered at the front of the room,” shared Valerie Winters, Executive Assistant. “So much has been, and will be, accomplished because of the amazing things these ladies do every day. They truly are excellent role models for young girls here in Wood Buffalo.”
“Whether their passion was boldly or softly spoken, the one thing that struck me as the common denominator among this diverse group of individuals was their true authenticity,” said Cindy Walker, Director of Resource Development.
Diane moved to Fort McMurray from Edmonton six years ago and has been a tireless advocate of the social profit sector and The United Way of Fort McMurray.
“Going above and beyond what is required is central to Diane’s personal and professional work ethic,” reads the description on the Girls Inc website. “She’s always modeled the importance of being of service to others.”
The staff, Board and volunteers of United Way congratulate Diane and all these amazing women for being recognized as Women of Inspiration.