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Woman & Young Woman of the Year Nominees 2015


Raffaella Tassone 2015  Luisa Cirimeli 2015 2  Linda Goodall 2015  Hui Yu Zhang 2015  Maggie Little 2015  Soren Meeuwisse 2015

Nelle Carter Woman of the Year Nominees 2015


Raffaella Tassone 2015


After training at the end of last year, throughout chaos and sickness, Raffaella completed a course with Amoena to be certified in professional Mastectomy fitting to help Women in our community. She will be dedicating a portion of her store to accommodate this needed service that should be ready by the end of this year. After the unexpected passing of her Father a few months ago, she is determined to carry on helping others.

Despite her chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and other ailments in 2009 she started “Let’s make a kid smile” Toy drive that takes place every Christmas, then donated to Green Haven shelter for Women, Jubilee House, and The Orillia Native Women’s Group and the Children’s Aid Society.

Raffaella was forced to move her business up to the West Ridge Plaza after being forced out of her Downtown location of 14 years, because of flooding in the building. This was not an easy transition to start over again, but she is adapting and finds comfort knowing her Father is right across the street in his final resting place so close to her new store. Raffaella has endured many challenges since she took ill in 2007 and yet finds a way to smile. She is an example of a true warrior of survival and stays positive and is growing stronger and healthier. She continues to pay it forward in many ways every day of her life and is admired and loved by many people in our community.



Luisa Cirimeli 2015 2


March 1, 2013 Luisa opened her own Clinic; part of her vision was to empower other female health professionals with several treatment rooms that Luisa rents out to other women entrepreneurs allowing them to create their own vision at an affordable fee. Luisa won Best Massage Therapist award for the past two years and won the Orillia Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur Initiative Award in 2014.

She hires co-op students to help further their interest and career choices. Luisa volunteers for many organizations like Show your support Orillia with contagious enthusiasm, also Dress for Success, Simcoe County Aids Association, Hospice Orillia and Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games. She was recently chosen from 23,000 volunteers representing 43 countries to attend a luncheon at Queens Park with the Honorable Elizabeth Dowdeswell who is the 29th Lieutenant Governor , Luisa represented the Toronto Pan American Games as part of the Medical Team. Only 200 volunteers were chosen for this luncheon.

Luisa shows that a single mother of 3 can overcome obstacles, build a successful career and give back to the community all while achieving her dreams. Luisa is a true inspiration to all women.



Linda Goodall 2015

CONNEXUS Community Church

Office Manager/Volunteer Coordinator Barrie/Orillia

Linda brings to her position strong organizational skills, compassion for the hungry, homeless and hurting and a desire to build and maintain community partnerships. She always finds time to meet with an individual needing one on one support and demonstrated her appreciation and thankfulness for all those that generously donate their time and talents to the Salvation Army programs. It would be impossible (space wise) to explain all that Linda is part of. To name a few…”Be Rich” campaign that encourages the congregation to share with the community always with an amazing warm smile.

A Mother of three school aged children, Linda finds time for Leadership, and compassion for a Breakfast Club, Board member for “Girls on the Run Simcoe County” La Leche League Canada, Orillia chapter. Linda led a Student trip to Guatemala over March break (2014) to support people needing help and compassion of Antigua. The students nicknamed her “Guatemama” She co-chairs Coldest Night of the Year and “Stop child trafficking” She is an amazing role model to Women. Nine personal letters of recommendation accompanied her nomination package!




Soren Meeuwisse 2015

Soren Meeuwisse 2015

OD/PARK Secondary School

Soren Meeuwisse has always been a young woman who continuously strives to meet her maximum potential, academically, athletically, and personally. This effort is exemplified by many areas of her life.

Throughout high school, Soren has never finished a course with an average lower than 90%, and she currently has an average of 95.8% for her completed Gr. 12 university-level credits.

Soren has outstanding time management skills to balance all she has going on. The sciences have always intrigued her the most, and so she hopes to be able to apply her love of science, empathy, and integrity as a pediatrician or sports medicine doctor. Soren also pushes her limits of her athletic abilities on a daily basis. Balancing her school and athletics is not an easy task; she trains for an average of 15 hours a week in various sports, always striving for constant improvement. Soren motivates and teaches young children the safety of bicycling, one of her goals is to qualify for world championship bicycling. She is on the executive board of Student Council and with her creativity, and enthusiasm creates posters and advertising for upcoming events in the school. She won the Orillia Athlete of the Year award for her excellence in cycling, skiing, and running in 2013. Her strength of character and intrinsic traits of persistence willpower, and dedication to excellence in school and community involvement will enable to reach her goals.


Hui Yu Zhang 2015

Hui Yu Zhang 2015

Twin Lakes Secondary School

Surpassing the norm once is likely to be the product of luck; however, consistency in exceeding expectations is the product of intelligence and dedication, and this, it is true academic excellence. Hui Yu has attained a 98% average. She accredits the success of her academic studies to her obedience to a “growth mindset” to focus on improvement and the understanding that setbacks are key to growth. This is described by Professor Carol Dweck of Stanford University.

Hui Yu consistently seeks advancement in the form of striving for higher goals outside of her secondary institution. She has won the Kwannis Laws of Life Jr. and Sr. Essay and the visual art pieces for Grade 9 Art Award. She has a passion for Mathematics. She placed 3rd in the Lakehead Jr. Math Contest and actively participates in Waterloo’s annual contests: Gauss, Pascal, Cayley, and Fermat, achieving in the top 25% each year. She won the National Chinese Professional Association Award for Academic Excellence and Community Involvement. She is taking all three Advanced Placement courses offered at Twin Lakes, which include Calculus, English and chemistry. Her Volunteerism in our community is a very long list as well. Hui Yu’s plan is to pursue pharmaceutical marketing. She wants to encourage ethical business practice in remedying any product that is intended to cure should not be rationed to make profit. This will be the compass that she will use to guide herself trying to regulate the notoriously ruthless industry. Hui yu also has a website and blog dedicated to nutrition and fitness in which she motivates readers to choose healthy alternatives at



Maggie Little 2015


Maggie is a dedicated student who always puts academics first. Since Grade 9 she has surpassed honor roll achievement with a 93+% average every year. One of Maggie’s interests are TV in which she had the honor of Shadowing Liza Fromer on the “Morning show” of City TV. This year in grade 12, Maggie decided to extend her math knowledge and be a part of the Advanced Placement Calculus course. Maggie has received early acceptance to McMaster, Western, Queens, and Guelph for engineering.

Volunteering has been a big part of Maggie’s life for a very long time. At 9 yrs. Old she went to Thailand where she assisted teaching English to refugee students through the Orillia organization Project Umbrella Burma (PUB) and has continued to assist in that program since returning with her family . Maggie has been a volunteer at the Mariposa Folk Festival for the last 3 yrs. She was part of a team to raise over $50k for Kenyan girls education, then the group went to Ecuador for 2-3 weeks to help build a school. She volunteers at the Sharing Place with logging over 100 hours. Recently she submitted an application to devote free time at Couchiching Jubilee House.

Maggie helped initiate the “Kindness Campaign” which allows the older girls in school to mentor younger girls to try eliminate the ‘mean girl’ status quo. Maggie has worked part time at Weber’s Hamburgers on Hwy 11 since 8th grade. She has been dedicated to student council every year since grade 9. Maggie also initiated programs to further enhance local clothing projects for the less fortunate and all clothing was donated to our Goodwill and Salvation Army. As far as University in the future Maggie is leaning towards environmental sustainability like alternate energy sources.


Link to The Orillia Packet & Times article: