2018 Professional Category Finalists

Katherine Cooligan

Regional Managing Partner, Ottawa Office
Borden Ladner Gervais

Lynn Ferron

Principal Practice Leader, Registered Interior Designer, President Elect, ARIDO
HOK Inc.

Trina Fraser

Brazeau Seller Law

Katherine Cooligan is a family law lawyer with over 25 years experience, certified as a specialist by the law society. She is a driven community builder and is passionate about women in leadership. Katherine is a true inspiration, achieving this success not only as a woman but also as a mother.

Katherine graduated with a BA (combined major) in Law and Psychology from Carleton University, and then obtained her law degree at the University of Ottawa in 1989. She began her law career at Gowlings, Canada’s then largest law firm. In January 2006, she joined Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG), now Canada’s largest national law firm, as the leader of the family law group. Within 4 years, she was asked to manage Ottawa’s litigation group, and 4 years later, was elected as the Regional Managing Partner of BLG’s Ottawa office. She has recently been re-elected for a second term.

Katherine is a trailblazer. She is one of very few women in a senior leadership role in a national law firm and is the only woman at BLG to hold these senior management roles. She develops and leads the strategic business plan for the region, working with each practice group to ensure their activities achieve the firm’s overall goals – all while maintaining a busy family law practice and raising her three children.

She is an active board and executive member of the CHEO Foundation Board, a member of Women for Mental Health with the Royal, and is on the organizing committee for the Royal’s Leaders for Mental Health Breakfast. She was personally invited to join the Ottawa Board of Trade’s Capital Build Task Force. On top of her community involvement, she is very active in supporting the legal profession, as a guest lecturer at uOttawa law school, the chair of a monthly lunch and learn program for local lawyers, and a regular speaker at conferences.

Katherine has been profiled in several publications, including the Ottawa Business Journal, Ottawa Life Magazine, and The Best Lawyers in Canada®. Katherine was also recognized with the 2018 United Way Ottawa Spark Ignite Award.

Lynn Ferron is the Principal and Practice Leader of HOK, one of the largest global architectural and design firms in the world.  There are 24 offices in total and Lynn is responsible for the Interiors business of the Ottawa office location.  Lynn was the first female to be promoted to the position of Principal, Practice Leader in Ottawa’s 21 year history. She has also often been the only woman at the boardroom table when competing for large multi-disciplinary projects. This has never dissuaded her as she has a fierce competitive spirit and great shoes. (LOL). Her responsibilities include managing a team of Interior Designers, recruiting new hires, business development, networking, writing proposals, delivering projects and speaking at conferences. Lynn has led large, multi-year projects such as the RCMP National Headquarters 850,000 square foot campus as well as the Canada Revenue Agency NHQ  two building 34 floor workplace fit-up.  Lynn also sits on the board as incoming President for the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario, Eastern Ontario Chapter.  She supports the education of the next generation of professionals by actively participating on the Advisory Committee for the Algonquin College B.A. Interior Design degree program.  Through her passion for running, she has completed 25 full marathons including the coveted Boston Marathon on 2 occasions.  In regards to supporting her community, she has raised thousands of dollars by running with Team Diabetes in Rio, multiple years of the Sears 100k Relay to end Kids’ Cancers, the annual ARIDO Big Bike for Heart and the Leaders’ Breakfast for Mental Health. Lynn is the proud mother, (former hockey mom) of 2 sons who both currently study at Carleton University. She appreciates her husband Don, whose continued support enabled her growth in her career and serving her community.

Trina Fraser is the co-managing partner at Brazeau Seller Law, a business law firm downtown Ottawa.  Trina joined the firm as a first year associate in 1999 after being successfully called to the Ontario bar.  She was invited to become a full equity partner in 2009.

While having a broad business law background, Trina’s practice is now almost exclusively focused on the cannabis industry.  Identifying an emerging opportunity in cannabis law five years ago, Trina formed  BSL’s CannaLaw® group and acts as its head.  Trina has emerged as a leading practitioner in cannabis law in Canada and is often called upon for comment and opinion by leading journalists.  Trina represents licensed cannabis cultivators, processors, medical sellers, adult-use retailers and ancillary cannabis industry service providers.  She also advises the cannabis industry association Cannabis Council of Canada (C3).

Trina is also a registered trade-mark agent and provides counsel to her clients in protecting their intellectual property.

Outside of the practice of law, Trina is wife to husband Jason, and proud hockey mom to son Daxton (11) and daughter Emmerson (8). Trina is also a dedicated community activist and volunteer.  She currently sits on the board of directors of Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM), as well as Ottawa-based charity The Snowsuit Fund.


For purposes of this category, “Professional Services” means a vocation or occupation requiring special (usually advanced) education, knowledge and skills. All BYA Professional Services nominees must satisfy the following criteria:

    • Must have a professional designation or certification and be a member in good standing of their regulatory body or self- regulating body, if applicabl
    • Must be responsible for finding, building and actively growing her own business practice

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