Meet The Winner Of The Inaugural Iris Unger Recognition Award 2019-10-17

YES launches award recognizing positive community impact

Advisory Council
Lionel Blanshay
Rob Braide
Bill Brownstein
Scott Conrod
Charles B. Crawford
Peter R. Johnson
Guy Laframboise
Timothy Leyne
Peter McAuslan
Andy Nulman
Philip O'Brien
Herschel Segal
Robert Walsh

Board of Directors
Past President, YES
John Aylen
John Aylen Communications

President, YES
Doris Juergens
NATIONAL Public Relations

Vice-President, YES
Elisabeth Laett
Xaphan Group

Treasurer, YES
Gavin Correa, CPA, CA, CFP

Secretary, YES
Larry Markowitz
NATIONAL Public Relations

Samantha Bateman
Integria Consulting

Paul Dery-Goldberg
Spiegel Sohmer Avocats/Lawyers

Pino Di Ioia
BeaverTails Pastry/Moozoo Juices Gelateria

Cindy Fagen
SAP Labs Canada Inc.

Hilary Radley
Hilary Radley Designs Inc.

Geoff Wagner
Cherine Zananiri
Talent and Career Strategist

Aki (P) Tchitacov
Executive Director

Charitable Tax Number:


YES launches award recognizing positive community impact
MONTREAL, QC (October 17th, 2019) – YES, a charitable non-profit that provides resources, tools and strategies to improve employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for Quebecers, will be awarding the first-ever Iris Unger Recognition Award at their annual benefit event and silent auction, Tune in to YES, next week.
The Iris Unger Recognition Award recognizes artists and entrepreneurs whose project best reflects the values that Iris Unger, YES’ former Executive Director, instilled during her 18 years at YES: dedication and passion, success through hard work, and a true commitment to making a difference in the community. 
The winner of this year’s award is Sinthusha Kandiah, whose Divinart Foundation uses proceeds from henna art to give back to marginalized populations. Examples of her impact are her work with Chez Doris in Montreal, where she donated housing materials for newly housed women, as well as her work to provide resources for newly arrived women experiencing domestic violence. Abroad, she has donated technological tools to visually impaired students and educational institutions in Sri Lanka, and is embarking on a new micro-financing project with an organization based in India this year.


Sinthusha Kandiah, Divinart Foundation founder and winner of the 2019 Iris Unger Recognition Award, uses proceeds from her henna business to give back to the community.

Kandiah explains “It’s always been important to me to invest in vulnerable communities. As a woman of colour and first-generation Canadian, it is essential for me to lead by example and to create a path for others pursuing non-traditional careers.”
The Iris Unger award will be presented at YES’ annual benefit event and silent auction, Tune in to YES next week. The event, which will feature live circus entertainment from Le Monastère, food and drinks from Montreal’s hottest concepts, and a spectacular silent auction, will be held at St. Jax next Thursday, October 24th. Proceeds from the event go toward helping YES help more people find employment or start and grow their business.
Event info:
Tune In To YES: A Benefit Event & Silent Auction
When: October 24, 2019, 5:00-9:00 PM
Where: Centre St-Jax, 1439 Ste-Catherine Street W 
More information and ticket sales available at

About YES:
As a not-for-profit organization, YES enriches the community by providing English-language support services to help Quebecers find employment, and start and grow businesses.
We help people start successful careers – for themselves, and for our community.
For promotional photos, press inquiries and interviews, contact:
Kathy Slotsve
Director of Communications &
Stakeholder Engagement
514-878-9788 ext. 337   

Aki Tchitacov
Executive Director
Tel: 514.878.9788 ext. 301
Cell: 514.292.9546