A local woman was recently awarded for her entrepreneurship.
Ladner resident Nicole Stefenelli was awarded the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the entrepreneurship category.
Stefenelli is founder and chief executive officer of Urban Impact, the first multi-material recycling company in Metro Vancouver.
She said she was "delightfully surprised" and in disbelief when her name was read out at the 29th annual Women of Distinction Awards last month.
"It's remarkable to be distinguished like that," she said. "It's such an honour."
Stefenelli founded Urban Impact more than 20 years ago after a trip to Europe.
She said she was really impacted by how recycling was being done there and when she returned home she decided to try to bring that style of recycling to the region. She was seeking to prove that it was viable for commercial businesses to reduce waste disposal costs and go green.
Urban Impact started out as a small operation - it was essentially just Stefenelli and a truck.
Today, she said, the company is 100 employees strong and has two processing plants - in Richmond and New Westminster - a fleet of collection trucks and just opened an office in Calgary.
In addition to just collecting and processing recyclable waste, Urban Impact can provide customized recycling programs, employee education and annually hosts local Grade 4 and 5 student tours.
Stefenelli said while the award bears her name, it is something she is looking forward to sharing with the entire company.
"Truly, it's our company."