2023 Impactful Actions Awards Finalists Announced



The Impactful Actions Awards recognize leaders making a profound impact in communities globally 

WATERLOO, ON | AUGUST 16, 2023 — Profound Impact is proud to announce the finalists for this year’s Impactful Actions Awards.

Presented annually, the Impactful Actions Awards recognize leaders who are making a profound impact on communities globally by inspiring collaborative solutions to difficult problems. The award launched in 2021 and has now grown to include two categories (Young Leader and Lifetime Achievement) to attract and honour a diverse range of nominees. 

“We were inspired by this year’s impressive nominees and are excited to recognize two recipients of the Impactful Actions Awards,” says Sherry Shannon-Vanstone, Founder and CEO of Profound Impact. “It’s never an easy decision to narrow down our finalists and winners, but our judges feel confident in our choices this year.”

The finalists in the Young Leaders category are as follows (in alphabetical order):

  • Leigh Zachary Bursey, an activist, journalist, former three-term politician, singer-songwriter, recording artist and author.
  • Hui Huang Hoe, the founder of elerGreen, a cleantech startup recovering polymers, metals and chemicals and medical waste.
  • Tabatha Laverty, the VP of Marketing and External Relations at the Accelerator Centre, and a non-profit leader with a passion for equity and inclusion.

These are the Lifetime Achievement finalists (in alphabetical order):

  • Mike Farwell, host of The Mike Farwell Show on CityNews 570 and leader of the Farwell4Hire campaign, which has raised over $1.25 million in funds to support Canadians living with cystic fibrosis. 
  • Lynn Smith, a proud member of the Peavine Métis Settlement who is leading her northern community through a significant change to take control over monitoring the impact of climate change on their land and waterways.
  • Stephanie Thompson, the founder of STEM by Steph and a passionate engineer and community leader who is always pursuing new and innovative ways to promote science, technology and learning in the Niagara area.

“These finalists showcase what it means to make a profound impact in the world, and we are honoured to share their stories of impact,” Shannon-Vanstone says. “Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate someone for the Impactful Actions Awards this year.”

The inaugural Impactful Actions Award was presented to Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur, former President & Vice-Chancellor (2010-2021) and Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo, in 2021. In 2022, Profound Impact presented the Impactful Actions Award to Kehkashan Basu, M.S.M., who is the Founder and President of the Green Hope Foundation. 

The 2023 Impactful Actions Awards winners will be announced during the Profound Impact Day virtual event on September 14, 2023. 



Based in the Toronto-Waterloo technology corridor, Profound Impact’s AI-powered tool – Research Impact – helps academic and industry researchers find the perfect funding match. With over $300 Billion in research funding opportunities, 100,000s industry partners and 8.8 Million researchers globally, finding the optimal grant for academic and industry innovators is often overwhelming and unnecessarily time-consuming.  More than just a search engine, Research Impact offers automatic, targeted and timely matching.  Profound Impact’s customers include top North American research institutions, universities and industry partners.  CEO and Founder Sherry Shannon-Vanstone is a serial technology entrepreneur with an unparalleled track record.  She has had five successful start-ups and exits in Silicon Valley and Canada, including two IPOs and acquisitions.

Website: www.profoundimpact.com 

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Katherine Hill