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Press Release

January 29, 2019

2019 President’s Award Winner

The 2019 President’s Award goes to Elspeth Hagan, General Counsel, Global Compliance, McCain Foods Limited.  The WGCC President’s Awards are awarded annually to up to two women general counsel who have served on the WGCC Board and have, in the previous year, made a significant contribution to the Mission of the WGCC at either the national or chapter levels.  

Elspeth Hagan

Elspeth has been involved with WGCC since 2016.  Under Elspeth’s leadership, the WGCC Atlantic Chapter has become vibrant and engaged. They have partnered to put on some truly ground-breaking and important events, notably including the Practising Courage Conference (CBA-NB (WLF) and WGCC; co-chaired by Tiffany Mackay French, Mélanie Tompkins and Elspeth Hagan), a fundraiser featuring Marie Henein to raise awareness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action.  A special fund was created for the Empowerment and Education of Indigenous Women under the Fergusson Foundation (http://www.fergussonfoundation.ca/); the fund is approaching the goal of $50,000 as donations continue to come in.  Elspeth has served on the WGCC Conference organizing committee each year since its inception three years ago. Elspeth is a diversity champion who has served on the WGCC Board and embraced its mission with great passion. 

Congratulations Elspeth!

Elspeth Hagan and Cheryl Foy

WGCC Board Update

The WGCC thanks its outgoing Board members, Julia Shin Doi (Past President), Mary Ellen Bench (Director – Membership and Awards), Dorothy Quann (Director – Partnerships and Sponsorships), Terra Rebick (Director – Website and Communications), and Karen Gilmore (BC Chapter Lead). 

WGCC thanks its continuing Board members: Elspeth Hagan (President), Bindu Cudjoe (Vice President), Alena Thouin (Treasurer), Hilda Wong (Secretary), Cheryl Foy (Past President), Trish Callon (Partnerships and Sponsorships), Alexa Abiscott (Ontario Chapter Lead), Deborah Greenberg (Quebec Chapter Lead), and welcomes new members: Andrea Cotroneo and Judy Naiberg – 2020 Conference Co-Chairs, Angela Nikolakakos (Director – Website and Communications), Elizabeth Fanjoy (Director – Membership and Awards), Erika Tse (BC Chapter Lead) and Ellen Desmond (Atlantic Chapter Lead).

About Women General Counsel Canada

Women General Counsel Canada is a grassroots organization established by senior women in general counsel and legal executive roles who recognize that:

  • The role of general counsel is a unique leadership role bridging law and business
  • The role of general counsel involves unique leadership challenges and opportunities
  • Women in the general counsel role face additional challenges and opportunities

Our mission is to help women in general counsel and executive legal leadership roles succeed as legal and business executives through:

  • Networking with other senior women
  • Relationship-building with other business leaders
  • Leadership skills development
  • Advocacy for the in-house profession
  • Mentoring and teaching future female in-house leaders
  • Giving back to the broader community


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