The award recognizes excellence and achievement in any field, particularly when it comes to contributions in the community. Thirty recipients garnered the honour this year.
Ms. Abu Hakima was cited for being a "high-tech visionary" and "tireless volunteer", as well as being one of Canada's few female chief executives.
"It's a huge honour, and I share it with my family, my parents, my siblings, and also my team – everyone that I’ve worked with over my career so far, because i think it’s very important to work very well with teams," she said in an OBJ interview.
A former Nortel employee, Ms. Abu-Hakima is on the board of directors for the Ontario Centres of Excellence and chairs the management board for one of the centres, which deals in communications and information technology.
The centres are Ontario-government funded initiatives devoted to research with the aim of commercialization.
She also funded a number of scholarships at the University of Ottawa, where she is an adjunct professor.
"I feel the community has been really good to us, and to me, personally. I just want to make sure that the talent pool is continuously developed for our children for years to come."
Ms. Abu-Hakima spun AmikaNow! off from the National Research Council in 1998 and led it to a successful exit in 2004.
She has been at the helm of Amika Mobile since she founded it in 2008.
The firm sells enterprise software that, in an emergency, autonomously finds devices on both wired and wireless networks before issuing an alert.
Amika Mobile particularly marketed to university campuses, having been initially founded after concern about emergency response during the Virginia Polytechnic and State University shootings in 2007.
Born in Montreal and the daughter of two university professors, Ms. Abu-Hakima said learning and giving back were two values taught to her from an early age.
"We were been brought up with that idea that it’s not really charity, but helping the community – and making it a stronger community."