The YW has a strong volunteer Board of Directors that serve as great ambassadors of the programs and services we offer.
If you are interested in becoming a YWCA Niagara Region Board Member, recruitment will begin in Summer 2020. Once the recruitment process has been completed the Board Development Committee adds potential new Board Members to the Slate of Officers for voting in at the Annual General Meeting held each November.
2019/2020 YWCA NIAGARA REGION BOARD OF DIRECTORSLaurie Andrews (President)
Laurie retired from General Motors in 2016 after spending 36 years working in finance and manufacturing around the world including Oshawa, London, Buffalo, St. Catharines, Korea and California. She has an undergraduate degree from Western and an MBA from York University. She and her husband love the Niagara Region and have settled in Welland. She is a past board member of the United Way of St. Catharines and District.
Julie is a lifelong Niagara resident, Brock University graduate, and she is proud to serve her community at the City of St. Catharines working on strategic priorities, policy, communications and government relations. Since 2014 she has led the Niagara Leadership Summit for Women, an annual event to celebrate women in leadership and inspire the next generation of young women and leaders. In 2016 Julie was a delegate at the UN Conference on the Status of Women with YWCA Canada. Julie is passionate about community development and is excited about the positive future of her hometown being led through the creative and dynamic talent of emerging leaders.
Carolyn is a partner at Durward Jones Barkwell & Company where she provides accounting, assurance, tax and consulting services to not-for-profit organizations and privately-held, owner-managed businesses, emphasizing a comprehensive, proactive and timely approach to providing professional advice. Carolyn received her Chartered Professional Accountant designation in 2006 after graduating from Brock University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Accounting (Honours) degree with First Class Standing. Carolyn is a lifelong Niagara resident and actively participates in the community by attending various charity events and golf tournaments. She is a past member of The Tourism Partnership of Niagara’s Finance and Audit Committee and has previously served on the United Way of Niagara Falls and Greater Fort Erie Board of Directors and Agency Allocation Review Committee. Carolyn enjoys spending her free time with her husband Dave and their two young daughters, Juliana and Emily.
Joanne is a resident of St Catharines. She is an Instructor in the Department of Political Science at Brock University where she currently teaches Public Policy and Public Administration. She also teaches courses in Canadian Studies and Political Theory, and has taught at Waterloo and McMaster. Her PhD is in Comparative Public Policy from McMaster University. She has a Masters degree in Political Science from Brock University and a Master of Information Studies degree from the University of Toronto. Research interests focus on representation of marginalized minorities, urban politics and urban Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Joanne formerly was the Merritt Branch Librarian in the St Catharines Public Library system, where she supervised branch activities and facilitated adult and children’s programs. Community volunteer experiences include Canadian Blood Services and Out of the Cold.
Margaret Andrewes has a wealth of community leadership experience garnered from a lifetime of intersecting volunteer and career opportunities. In the 1980s, she began her work with libraries. Since then, she has found herself in several far-reaching library leadership roles at the local, provincial and national levels where she honed her skills in policy-making, strategic planning and advocacy. In November 2010, Margaret completed her second term as a municipal councillor in the Town of Lincoln. In 2013-14, she chaired the capital campaign to raise $4 million for the new library and arena complex in her hometown. She is an active member of the Rotary Club of Lincoln and a Paul Harris Fellow. In the broader Niagara community, Margaret is a founding co-chair of the Niagara Best Start Network. She and her husband, Philip Andrewes, reside on their family farm in Beamsville.
Enabling connections and capacity for building community is both a passion and pursuit for Margaret. And, her dedication to nurturing and enabling not-for-profit boards to govern effectively and creatively is ongoing. In her opportunity as a YWCA board member, she recognizes the ever growing need to ensure that Niagara’s women and their families have a secure support system in place as they grapple with everyday issues that undermine their ability to live full and productive lives.
Madi Fuller is the Project Manager of ncTakeOff, Niagara College’s entrepreneurship and innovation hub for students. She is a graduate from Brock University in political science and is a proud Niagara implant as she has decided to make the region her home after graduating. Madi loves to get involved in her community and she is currently the chair of the St. Catharines Youth Advisory Committee along with member of the YWCA Leadership Summit for Women Planning Committee. In her spare time, Madi likes to read, hike all of Niagara’s trails, and speak to people about women empowerment and youth involvement.
As the Human Rights and Anti-Racism Advisor (HRARA), Kattawe Henry has been working in the Human Rights and Equity office at Brock University since October 2018. Operating under an Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression framework, Kattawe works to prevent and address harassment and discrimination in the Brock community. With the goal of improving the understandings of race, racism, and Anti-Racism both on and off campus, she acts as a central resource for assistance in addressing issues of racial harassment and discrimination. Born and raised in St. Catharines, Kattawe has a lived experience of intersectional feminist issues of the Niagara region as well as an academic understanding of the theories and complexities of feminist issues.
As a Brock alumnus with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Master of Arts in Gender Studies and Feminist research from McMaster University, Kattawe brings a background enriched with experiences and understandings of the difficult conversations that are essential to developing lasting and effective change. She is moved by the resilience of marginalized communities and has committed her research and professional career to understanding the themes of racism, mental health, and sexual violence and harassment to understand and draw parallels to the social and structural nature of racism.
She chooses to spend her personal time enjoying quality time with friends and good food, listening to music, and shopping.
Sheryl is a partner at Sullivan Mahoney LLP practicing in its Employment and Labour Law Group. Sheryl was raised in and has been a long-time resident of Niagara-on-the-Lake, recently making the move to relocate her law practice from Toronto to the Niagara Region (St. Catharines and Niagara Falls). Sheryl has a wealth of knowledge and experience in all aspects of employment, labour and human resources law, advocacy, governance, strategic planning, leadership, relationship building and provision of training. Sheryl believes that only with education and understanding can we overcome barriers that exist for all members of our society to equally participate and flourish. To this end, Sheryl is passionate about writing, presenting at educational conferences, providing training and appearing on TV as well as an expert witness before the HUMA Committee in order to share her wealth of knowledge and experience. Sheryl is the author of Sexual Harassment in Canada: A Guide for Understanding and Prevention and is on ongoing contributor to The Niagara Independent’s business column. During her spare time, Sheryl strives to give back to her community and does so by supporting and volunteering at various community organizations, engaging in fundraising and sitting on a number of Boards and committees locally.
A Ruby Award Nominee 2015, and a recipient of the Diversity Network Toronto’s Black Role Model Award, November 2017 and The Niagara Centre Canada 150 Business Leadership Award, February 2018, Nyarayi is a multi-lingual communicator, community leader, entrepreneur and world changer at heart. She has a BEd, a B A Honours French and a Masters Degree in Business Administration and since her arrival in Canada six years ago, Nyarayi worked for Niagara College and Ontario Office Works, before founding TOES Niagara in 2013 which now has branches in South Africa and Zimbabwe. TOES Niagara is an organization that works with women from diverse communities and backgrounds, giving them the Tools of Empowerment for Success. TOES Niagara’s mission is empowering immigrant and marginalized women through multi-lens educational workshops, programs and other support services to enable, assist and inspire these women to believe in their abilities as a means of ensuring that their conditions in life are improved.
Nyarayi is a Pan Africanist, Afro- Feminist and Activist who has taught, delivered papers and facilitated workshops on Women’s empowerment, Women’s rights, Gender equity, Race, Privilege and Oppression and Innovative Community Development on many platforms. She has an International Development background which gave her extensive work experience working with marginalized and disadvantaged communities using participatory approaches
Nyarayi is also the founder (2017) of the ABEAN (Advocating for Black Excellence Awards of Niagara) a Wilma Morrison scholarship fundraiser whose proceeds are used to empower black youth to access post- secondary education in a bid to increase their employability chances. She is also the creator of #RecognizeOwnandWalkinYourMagnificence, a series of talks and workshops designed to help marginalized girls and women, victims of abuse and those experiencing low self-esteem, to dismantle the voices of the oppressor (whatever their oppressors maybe) and reconnect with and use their untapped voices.
A teacher at heart, having taught at both high school and university, Nyarayi’s passion is providing training and education to enhance the economic and social status and the development of leadership skills of women, especially racialized women, in order to improve their prospects. She is a strong believer in Education for Sustainable Development, which allows every human being to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future. Nyarayi is heavily involved in the community and sits on many boards and committees, locally and internationally, in various capacities.
Nyarayi and her husband also own and run LENT WORKS, a multi service organization based in Johannesburg, South Africa, servicing Sun City-Sun International and the Department of Tourism. She is a wife to Tony Forestieri and a mother to an 8 year old daughter Eyrie and a 19 year old son Luke. In her spare time Nyarayi likes to travel, read, listen to music or enjoy good food and wine in the company of loved ones.
Sandra is an Assurance Manager at Durward Jones Barkwell & Company and previously worked as an accountant for a manufacturing company in Quebec for 6 years. Sandra works with a wide variety of businesses within the Niagara region and her experience spans many industries, including not for profit, manufacturing and tourism. She is happy to provide assistance in English or in French. Sandra graduated from University of Montreal in Quebec with a Bachelor of Accounting degree in 2014 and received her Chartered Professional Accountant designation in 2017 .
Since moving to Fort Erie from Montreal, she has been an active member of the Niagara region community and is happy to provide her assistance whenever needed. She volunteers at the YMCA of Niagara, in the Move for Kids Campaign and in their youth volleyball league. She also proudly supports her community through her attendance at a number of local charitable events and fundraisers.
In her spare time, Sandra likes to stay active by going on long walk with her spouse Alex and their golden doodle Katsu or ride her bicycle on the beautiful trails of the region with the Sunflowers cycling club.
Kathy Moscou, is Adjunct Professor with Brock University Faculty of Applied Health Sciences and partial load professor and Niagara College. She is a licensed pharmacist in Ontario, Canada and Washington State, USA. Her research of pharmacogovernance and comparative health policy addresses equity in drug safety and governance to foster healthy communities. Kathy has also worked with Indigenous youth in Manitoba and Ontario, exploring their perspectives on success, leadership and a healthy neighborhood, as well as building research capacity. Kathy has made a lifelong commitment to serving community, and as such served on several boards including the YWCA Brandon, MB, Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, and SKETCH, Toronto. She is pleased have the opportunity to contribute to the Niagara region as a member of the YWCA board. Kathy is a visual artist, mother of five and grandmother to three beautiful granddaughters
Alex Pedersen is a Communications Specialist at Niagara Casinos where she helps manage social media platforms and media relations for performing artists coming to the Avalon Theatre. She received her Bachelor of Arts Honours in Sociology from Queen’s University and a post-graduate diploma in Integrated Marketing Communications from Conestoga College.
Alex is passionate about the Niagara community and is always looking for ways to get involved. She actively participates in local community theatre groups, both on stage and behind the scenes, is a mental health advocate and enjoys being involved in the YWCA’s No Fixed Address event.
During her spare time, Alex enjoys exploring the town of Ridgeway, where she and her husband Frank live.
Bev is a Registered Nurse with a passion for research and health promotion. She currently works as a Public Health Nurse at Niagara Region, specializing in child and family health. Bev has previously worked as a Research Coordinator at both Niagara Health and McMaster University. She spent two years working in England as a Project Manager for Public Health England. Bev has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Brock University and a Master of Science in Health Studies from the University of Waterloo School of Public Health and Health Systems. She has lived in Niagara for most of her life, and now resides in St. Catharines with her husband and son. She also serves as a volunteer on the Board of Director for INCommunities.
Meaghan Rusnell is the Director of Government and Community Engagement at Brock University. Previously she worked as a Senior Consultant at Playbook Communications (since bought by Navigator) and as a Legislative Assistant for a Federal Member of Parliament. Prior to working in government relations, Meaghan worked in social service sector. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Public Policy from Guelph University, Crisis Intervention Certificate from Fanshawe College and is currently enrolled in the Community Engagement, Leadership and Development Certificate at Ryerson.
Jennifer is digital strategist and a graduate of the Niagara College Business Administration program. With experience as an entrepreneur and strategic marketer, she specializes in brand development and helping organizations communicate effectively with their audiences.
Jennifer has been a contributor to the community as a student leader, volunteer, and advocate on poverty reduction, student and women’s issues.
A lifelong Niagara resident, Jennifer lives in St. Catharines with her husband and two sons.