Runte, Amies earn YWCA honour

A current University of Lethbridge faculty member, as well as a graduate and former employee are among the people selected by the YWCA as 2012 Women of Distinction.

Dr. Mary Runte (Faculty of Management) and Sarah Amies (BA '88 with Distinction), currently the program director of Lethbridge Family Services – Immigrant Services will receive their YWCA Women of Distinction Awards on Friday, Mar. 23 along with entrepreneur Vicky Vannatta Miller, lawyer and community volunteer Berga Moen and 87-year-old Edith M. Stewart, this year's "Wise Woman of Distinction."

The YWCA Women of Distinction Awards recognize outstanding women who live and work in southern Alberta.

Through a competitive process, the honourees are chosen from a group of nominations. The awards are based on the candidate's accomplishments, commitment and leadership. The Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony is a wonderful venue to showcase the talent and leadership of women in southern Alberta. Women honoured have been trailblazers, entrepreneurs, innovators, social advocates and volunteers.

Sarah Amies: Woman of Distinction in the Social Advocate category

Sarah Amies emigrated from the UK to Canada in 1974. She attended the University of Lethbridge and graduated in 1988 with a B.A. (Distinction) in Anthropology. She was the co-ordinator of the Applied Studies program at the U of L for nine years and a Student Program Advisor for five years.

In January 2001, Amies became the program director of Lethbridge Family Services – Immigrant Services. She is closely involved with the settlement and integration of new immigrants planning a make a life in Lethbridge, focusing especially on the empowerment and advancement of women with disadvantages. Under her leadership, Immigrant Services has expanded programming and services significantly, growing from a staff of three to 22 at present.

Amies has chaired the Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies' Communications committee and has well established business and community networks, particularly in the in area of developing and executing innovative community partnerships and collaborations.

She has extensive volunteer service including: Vibrant Lethbridge, Volunteer Lethbridge, Alberta Network of Immigrant Women, National Settlement Modernization Advisory Group, Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination, Family Violence and Elder Abuse Awareness and Prevention Committee and the Southern Alberta Ethnic Association.

Mary Runte: Woman of Distinction in the Spirit of Women category

Mary Runte has a PhD in Management from St. Mary's University and an MBA from York University. She is an associate professor of strategy and the director of social responsibility in the Faculty of Management at the University of Lethbridge.

Previously, Runte worked with a variety of nonprofit organizations, including Eastside Young Moms and the Society of Special Needs Adoptive Parents. Gender inequity, work-family balance, social responsibility and business ethics are her particular areas of interest and research, having numerous publications and having received major research grants to study these issues.

Runte was honoured as distinguished speaker for the Work-Life Conference at the University of Ochanamizu, Tokyo, Japan in 2007. She is the founding Division Chair for the Social Responsibility Interest Group of the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada.

Her tireless support of her students, especially female students in non-traditional fields, and her one-on-one mentoring throughout their academic careers is done on a volunteer basis. She is an incredible role model for students and colleagues alike as she advocates ceaselessly for ethical and principled business behaviour.

The Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony will take place on Friday, March 23 starting at 5 p.m. at the Lethbridge Lodge. The guest speaker is Leela Gilday, aboriginal singer/songwriter and a winner at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards.

Call 403-329-0088 or stop by the YWCA for tickets ($100 with a $50 tax receipt).