Community Builders Awards


Meet the Judges

Sharon Baiden
Sharon Baiden The chief administrative officer with the Greater Sudbury Police Service since April 1995, Sharon Baiden is actively involved in the community having served as the founding co-chair of the Luncheon of Hope and as chair of the Games Organizing Committee for the 2011 Special Olympics Ontario Provincial Floor Hockey Championships. She has served on many boards. Inducted into the Special Olympics Hall of Fame in October 2011, Baiden was recognized by the YWCA as a Woman of Distinction in May 2011. She is a proud recipient of a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and in May 2013 was inducted into the Order of Merit of the Police Forces.

Peter Dal Bianco

Peter Dal Bianco The well-known businessman operated retail, consumer electronics and video rental outlets in Northern Ontario for more than 40 years. In 2007, he won two awards for Entrepreneur of the Year: one was from Northern Ontario Business, and the other from the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce. In 2014, he and his partner split the Bianco’s brand and sold off the retail operation. Today, his Bianco’s Management Consulting Group advises businesses and mentors start-ups. Clients include NORCAT’s Innovation Mill and Northern Ontario Angel Association.

Nicole Gauthier

Nicole Gauthier As a regional co-ordinator with the Northeast Cancer Centre, Nicole Gauthier is responsible for the co-ordination of public-led cancer prevention and screening activities across northeastern Ontario, improving awareness about the importance of regular cancer screening. She has an undergraduate degree in health promotion and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary health, where she studied to understand potential impacts of the interactions between increased physician immigration, the feminization of medicine and the geographic maldistribution of physicians in Northern Ontario. She is innovative and passionate about health and wellness and strives to help make Northern Ontario a healthier place to live. She is a recent recipient of a 40 Under Forty award.

Monique Legault

An accomplished artist, muralist, and business owner, Monique Legault won a 40 Under Forty in 2015. She has been an artist since she was in her teens. At the age of 20, she opened Petal Pushers home décor in New Sudbury. She now owns the Monique Legault Studio as part of the Shoppes on Upper Elgin. She is a member of the Sudbury Arts Council and she hopes to make a difference in the arts community by connecting young and old in one goal, to make Sudbury into the arts capital of Ontario.

Lise Poratto Mason

Lise Poratto Mason Now a partner with Mason Poratto-Mason LLP, Lise Poratto-Mason has practised law for 30 years in her hometown of Sudbury. She was a public sector lawyer with 13 years of service as solicitor and director of administrative services with the former City of Sudbury. She has served as a volunteer with many professional associations, community committees and boards. She is currently a member of the McCullough Hospice Board as well as chair, executive and member of the board of directors of the Sudbury Airport Community Development Corporation. She completed her undergraduate studies at Laurentian University and graduate studies in business and law at the University of Windsor and Western University. She and her husband and law partner, James Mason, have been married for 37 years and have three sons.

Darlene Palmer

Darlene Palmer Recently retired from Cambrian College, Darlene Palmer spent eight years with the college, first as director of business development, and in her final two years as the executive director of the Cambrian College Foundation. In that position, she negotiated the largest single private donation in the college’s history. Previously, she worked in broadcasting and marketing. She currently serves on the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce board. In this position, she co-chairs the Ring of Fire Task Force and sits on the municipal issues committee. She has been a Rotarian for 18 years and is currently the president of the Sudbury Sunrisers Rotary Club.

Blaine Smith

Blaine Smith A graduate of Laurentian University’s sports administration program, Blaine Smith worked for the Sudbury Wolves organization for more than 30 years and has served on the OHL board of governors for 20 years. Most recently, he has worked with Wolves’ owner Dario Zulich in his bid to secure a new event centre. Smith was instrumental in establishing numerous community campaigns including: the Sudbury Wolves Kids Feel Better Hospital Campaign, the Wolves’ Adopt-a-School program, the popular Christmas Hockey Camp for Kids. He also served as executive director for the Sudbury Minor Hockey Association for five years in the 1980s.

Sarah Woods

Sarah Woods As source protection and stewardship co-ordinator with Conservation Sudbury, Sarah Woods helps co-ordinate programs associated with drinking water source protection and manages the tree planting program. She holds a BSc in biology from Laurentian University and an MSc in natural resources sciences from McGill University. She is particularly interested in improving stewardship of the natural environment through education and community involvement. She is vice-chair of VETAC, Sudbury’s Regreening Committee, a member of the Watershed Advisory Panel, and is the former co-ordinator and research manager of the Junction Creek Stewardship Committee.