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Lindy Norris

Lindy Norris: 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient for Outstanding Young Alumni

Lindy Norris: 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient for Outstanding Young Alumni

March 4, 2019 — 

The recipients of the 2019 University of Manitoba Distinguished Alumni Awards are graduates who are outstanding in their professional and personal lives. These honourees encompass a wide range of achievement, innovation and community service and inspire fellow alumni, current students and the community.


I’m a middle child so I think it’s fair to say whatever stereotypes come with that apply to me. I was probably happiest when I was making a scene, breaking rules or doing something to get noticed.

When I was little, my mom described me as always up for a challenge, with a “little mischievous smile”. My dad described me as determined, competitive, tenacious – never satisfied with the status quo and “relentless in [my] pursuit of a goal”.

If I could go back in time, I would tell my younger self to go bigger. There were a lot of self-imposed limits or perceived limits I had on myself and for myself. I would have asked “if not you, then who?” And “if not now, then when?”

Growing up in the country gives you a different approach and perspective on life, in terms of coming together as a community, helping your neighbour, and being resourceful. I think that had a lot to do with why I became so involved.

If you have a voice and something to say, put your hand up and be part of the solution. There’s no way our community can be any better or stronger if everyone’s not participating and putting forth their own strengths and abilities to help others.

Every winter, a group of commerce students would do a polar plunge into a pool outside the Drake Centre for charity. I loved that about Asper: almost every initiative had a charitable aspect, so we were always connected and giving back to the community. By the time we graduated, giving back was indoctrinated into who we were.

I’m probably one of the most impatient people you will ever come across.

If you’re only focused on the bottom line and you still have people struggling in your own back yard, is that really a thriving community? Is that really success? I fundamentally believe as a person, a leader, and someone in business, that you can only be as successful as the pulse of your community. It’s on us to give back and take care of others as we rise.

The one thing I try and make time for every day is saying “Good morning” to somebody.

Developing into your own type of leader is very important. You can’t shoehorn a different approach into your life; you are who you are – be authentic and leverage your strengths.

It’s extremely important to carve time out for yourself, and also develop relationships with people you know will give perspective in a truthful way that helps you reach your goals. Staring into Instagram for hours on end is not going to help you do that. It might give you inspiration, but, everything in moderation. Human connection and mentorship is critical.

Have people in your life who keep you accountable, who push you forward and tell you the things you need to hear… and not necessarily what you want to hear.

The most important thing you can do is listen to people.

Sixty years from now, I hope Athena’s Leader of Tomorrow Scholarship is still going strong. So many young people have the capacity to be exceptionally successful, but need a small hand up to get there – whether a scholarship, an introduction, or an open door – and I want to bring others along as I go about my own journey, just as many did for me.

I hope my legacy is to have amplified the voices of women around the world, through providing or connecting them with opportunities to learn, thrive, and realize their potential.

About Lindy Norris

Lindy Norris, [BA/07, BComm (Hons)/09] wears many hats: tireless volunteer, community leader and business professional. At the young age of 27, Lindy founded Athena Leadership; a non-profit organization dedicated to providing leadership development, mentorship, and networking to women professionals in Manitoba. To help young women secure adequate financial support, Athena established the Leader of Tomorrow Scholarship Fund that is awarded annually to young Manitoba women who are standout community leaders exhibiting Athena’s values of empowerment, integrity, and philanthropy.

The University of Manitoba will recognize the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients for their outstanding achievements and contributions at the Celebration of Excellence gala on Wednesday, May 8, 2019.

Tickets are $85 and can be purchased online or by calling Alumni Relations at 204-474-9946, or toll free in Canada, 1-800-668-4908.


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