Each year, Change Makers is our opportunity to celebrate the trailblazing women of the Bow Valley who our affecting positive change on a local and global scale. Last year, our winners were Dr. Elizabeth Hall-Findlay, Alanna Pettigrew, and Lorraine Widmer-Carson – three long-time Bow Valley residents.
Get to know our 2018 Bow Valley Women of Distinction:
Dr. Elizabeth Hall-Findlay is a world-renowned expert, teacher, and mentor in the historically male-dominated field of plastic surgery. She has performed surgery for teaching purposes around the world and her contributions to breast surgery are globally-recognized as the “Hall-Findlay” technique. In 1983, Dr. Findlay established a plastic surgery practice in Banff that is fully-operated by women, where she has helped thousands feel better about their bodies.
Alanna Pettigrew, founder of Banff Food Rescue, has been a tireless volunteer with Banff Food Bank and Banff Light Horse Association and an advocate for adults with disabilities. In 2016, after Alanna began approaching local grocers about reducing food waste, Banff Food Rescue was born. Banff Food Rescue’s mission is “Keeping Good Food from Becoming Food Waste” which is achieved by taking food items from local grocery stores that are about to be thrown out, and distributing them free of charge to community members. Alanna’s work has since inspired other community initiatives – the Banff library’s “Free Little Pantry” and the Canmore Food Recovery Barn.
Lorraine Widmer-Carson’s passion for building and supporting community initiatives in the Bow Valley is evident. During her 12 years as Executive Director of the Banff Canmore Community Foundation, Lorraine helped establish a community-focused grants program that has reinvested more than $1 million locally since 2004. Other key initiatives spearheaded by Lorraine include SHINE, a community program that believes in the power of kindness; and the SPACE Lab, a Bow Valley gathering space for young adults with zero tolerance for drugs or alcohol. Always looking to inspire those around her, Lorraine created a women’s philanthropy circle, hosting events where women could gather to explore the impact of values-based giving. Lorraine is a champion for age, diversity and gender balance on committees and boards of directors, and has provided invaluable mentorship to young adults who are interested in philanthropy, generosity and open-mindedness at the community level.