Karen O’Neill named to Most Influential Women list for 2014

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(ISN) – OTTAWA – The Canadian Paralympic Committee is celebrating today the naming of CEO Karen O’Neill and fellow sport leaders to the prestigious Most Influential Women in Sport and Physical Activity List for 2014 from the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS).

The annual list features remarkable individuals who are senior leaders and influencers in Canadian sport and physical activity. The women on the list are role models and have made a significant impact that reaches beyond their sport or area of expertise.

In 2014, during her first full year as CEO of the organization, O’Neill led the Paralympic community through a full strategic review. This exercise has enhanced clarity, focus and guidance to all stakeholders. This strategic plan, called “Forward with Purpose,” will take the Canadian Paralympic movement purposefully into the future. Achieving podium performances is harder than ever before and O’Neill is setting the groundwork for future success. Formerly COO of the Rick Hansen Foundation, O’Neill serves on the board of the True Sport Foundation.

Along with O’Neill, four additional women with links to the Paralympic movement have been named to the list for their work in 2014:

– Lorraine Lafrenière, CEO, Coaching Association of Canada (Kanata, Ontario)
– Debbie Low, President & CEO, Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (Toronto, Ontario)
– Anne Merklinger, CEO, Own the Podium (Ottawa, Ontario)
– Chantal Petitclerc, Chef de Mission, 2014 Commonwealth Games (Montréal, Quebec)

“On behalf of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, our congratulations to all recipients, especially those involved in advancing the Paralympic movement, including: Lorraine Lafrenière, Debbie Low, Anne Merklinger, Chantal Petitclerc and Karen O’Neill,” said Gaétan Tardif, President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

“I want to particularly thank Karen for providing inspired leadership for the Canadian Paralympic Committee. Our Board, and indeed all our partners, recognize the difference Karen has made to the Paralympic movement in Canada.”

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