Canadian businesswoman, former cabinet minister and philanthropist The Honourable Belinda Stronach, P.C., was presented the 2017 Longines Ladies Award at the gala dinner of the Pan American Conference presented by Longines held on the eve of the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
Stronach is known in the horse racing industry as the Co-Founder, Chairman and President of The Stronach Group, an industry leader in world-class horse racing, entertainment and pari-mutuel wagering technology.
In 2010, she resigned her position as Executive Vice-Chairman and board member at Magna International Inc., thus leaving behind the automotive business to focus on a different kind of horsepower.
Her ambition is to modernize the sport of Thoroughbred racing and engage a new generation of fans by embracing technology and social media; creating innovative events such as the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational, which is the world’s richest horse race; and by providing superior guest experiences at all of The Stronach Group properties.
Having been recognized as one of the world’s most powerful women by the World Economic Forum, Fortune Magazine and TIME Magazine, to name a few, this visionary leader extended her influence to politics by serving as a Member of Parliament in the Canadian House of Commons from 2004 to 2008, holding such prominent cabinet positions as Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal. While strongly committed to public life, she is equally committed to social change.
In 2008, she founded The Belinda Stronach Foundation with the mission to develop socially innovative programs to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges, including malaria, education and the empowerment of girls and women.
Stronach’s impressive life achievements have been honoured and recognized many times, including Canada’s “Top 40 Under 40” award, three honourary doctorates of laws (McMaster University in 2003, Brock University in 2009 and the University of Windsor in 2011), the Paul Harris Fellow Award (one of Rotary’s highest honours), and the Beth Shalom Humanitarian Award (one of Canada’s oldest and most distinguished awards).
Says Stronach of her achievements: “I was once called a disruptor. I think that’s one of the best compliments I have ever received.”