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North Van resident a champion for change

Noteworthy Neighbours

This year's recipient of the Champion for Change award, North Vancouver resident Michelle Pockey, admits she didn't start out with a plan to found a national organization.

She simply wanted to put a structure in place so working women could support and transform each other and their work, and improve the opportunities for advancement for future generations, according to a press release.

Twenty years later, this "lawyer-cum-socialpreneur," as she is described in the statement, has built a strong national network for both emerging and experienced businesswomen from the Vancouver-based alliance she founded, the Professional Women's Network.

Pockey is also a partner in legal firm Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP and has more than 15 years of experience in litigation and business law.

Pockey's achievements were recently honoured with the annual Champion for Change award at a presentation by the Vancouver chapters of the Women Presidents' Organization and Abbotsford-based GroYourBiz, Dec. 3 at the Vancouver Lawn Tennis and Badminton Club. The award recognizes B.C.-based women leaders who champion for change through innovation to benefit the greater community.

Pockey is the second Champion for Change award recipient. Last year's was Dr. Elizabeth Bryce, director of infection control at VGH and Health Sciences Centre, recognized for championing MRSAid, a technology intended to reduce the risk of surgical infections.

The inaugural award selection criteria challenged the selection committee to look at what women were doing to instigate change, said West Vancouver resident Carolyn Cross, CEO of Ondine Biomedical Inc., in the statement. Cross is also a Women Presidents' Organization member and co-founder of the Champion for Change award. This year, it became clear that Pockey has been a gamechanger all along, having founded the now-national Professional Women's Network, hosted a successful annual leadership conference since 2009, strategized with several influential organizations and mentored countless women and men, added Cross. Send information for Noteworthy Neighbours to emcphee@nsnews.com.