Board of Directors

The YW has a strong volunteer Board of Directors that serve as great ambassadors of the programs and services we offer. 

2020/2021 YWCA Niagara Region Board of Directors

Julie Rorison (President)

Julie is a lifelong Niagara resident and Brock University graduate where she is Manager of Community Relations, connecting the University’s resources, researchers, staff, and students with community partners to support strategic priorities and help make the Niagara region an even better place to live, work and invest.

Julie is an active volunteer serving on the Board of Directors of the YWCA Niagara Region and connecting with the worldwide YW movement. She is the chair of the (WIN) Women in Niagara Council of the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce and the founder of the Niagara Leadership Summit for Women, an annual YWCA conference held since 2014.

Julie is passionate about community development, women’s leadership, and connecting the next generation of leaders with opportunities to make change. 

Sheryl L. Johnson (Vice President)

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 an 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.

Sandra Nuckle (Treasurer)

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 the University of Montreal in Quebec with a Bachelor of Accounting degree in 2014 and received her Chartered Professional Accountant designation in 2017.

Since moving 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 walks 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.​

Joanne Heritz (Secretary)

Joanne is a resident of St Catharines. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Brock University where she currently teaches Public Policy and Public Administration. She previously taught Canadian Studies and Political Theory and has taught at McMaster and Waterloo. Her Ph.D. is in Comparative Public Policy from McMaster University. She has a Master's and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science from Brock University and a Master of Information Studies degree from the University of Toronto. Research interests focus on the 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. Community experience includes volunteering and supporting voluntary sector and cultural organizations in Niagara. 

Laurie Andrews

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

Catherine Baillie

Born and raised in the east end of Toronto, Cathy is a recent transplant to the Niagara Region.  Cathy is the Learning and Organizational Development Specialist at Brock University.  Previously, she has worked in the Ontario Public Service as well as other post-secondary institutions.  Cathy holds a Master’s of Education from the University of Toronto as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from York University. 

Cathy has a wide array of interests including learning from Indigenous communities, mental health advocacy, and building community engagement. An avid lover of animals, Cathy volunteers with several animal rescue organizations.  At home, she has 2 kids, 2 cats, 2 dogs, 1 tortoise, and 1 very understanding husband. 

Sarah Cacilhas

Sarah is the Senior Manager Casino Players Club and Promotions at Niagara Casinos. With over 16 years of experience, Sarah is a marketing leader who has an authentic approach and vision that she uses to inspire her team to deliver unique experiences in a regulated industry. She has previous experience in media and community relations and non-profit organizations.

Sarah is a Brock University graduate and received her Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Business Communications. Sarah is a life-long Niagara resident and has many cherished memories of growing up in Niagara. That, coupled with being a recent graduate of Leadership Niagara, is why she is truly passionate about contributing to the region’s success through community involvement. She is very appreciative of the opportunity to serve on the YWCA board. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her family and traveling, she has been to 15 different countries.

Kattawe Henry

Kattawe has both 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 understand the themes of racism, mental health, and sexual violence and harassment to understand and draw parallels to the social and structural nature of racism.

Shelly Huxley

Shelley joined Ridley College in June of 2020 as the Director of Development. Prior to her arrival at Ridley, Shelley was the Director of Alumni Relations at Brock University. With more than twenty-five years of fundraising and relationship-building experience, Shelley has spent her entire career supporting education. Having gained her experience from four Canadian universities that include Laurier, Queen’s, McMaster, and Brock, Shelley has held a wide variety of positions in the field of Development and Alumni Relations, all with increasing responsibility. 
Shelley graduated in 1993 from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Sociology with a minor in Women's Studies. Shelley was born and raised in Niagara and currently lives in Fonthill with her partner, Iain, and her two children, Evan and Nathan.

Rachel Kleiman

Rachel is a lifelong Niagara resident and a proud Brock University and Mohawk College alumna, holding a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Social Service Worker Diploma. Rachel is the Executive Director of the Hamilton Brain Injury Association (HBIA) where she oversees the organization, programming and is an integral part of fundraising and community initiatives.

Rachel is passionate about breaking barriers to accessing support and connecting individuals to resources that help increase their quality of life. Rachel loves to be involved in her community and a big part of that is through her dedication to volunteering and supporting local. In her spare time, she can most likely be found with her family, on a walk with her dog exploring local trails, or continuing her education (most recently, she completed her Love Your Brain yoga certification). 


Kathy Moscou

Kathy Moscou is an Assistant Professor at OCAD University and an Adjunct Professor at Brock University Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. Her background is eclectic and unique, merging visual arts and health. Her lived experience informs her art, focus on Black cultural aesthetics, contemporary design for social justice, and research focus - equity and empowerment of Black and Indigenous youth in Canada, the United States, and across the African diaspora. She has contributed learning outcomes of post-secondary students for more than 20 years and has an equally long exhibition history. Kathy has a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Global Health; Master’s in Public Health; and BSc in Pharmacy. Her Ph.D. research of pharmacogovernance and comparative health policy addresses equity in drug safety and governance to foster healthy communities. Participatory research with Indigenous youth used Indigenous frameworks to explore characteristics of healthy neighbourhoods and holistic health derived from urban gardening. Her art has been exhibited in the Art Gallery of Southwest Manitoba, Royal Ontario Museum, M. Rosetta Hunter Gallery, Seattle, and Bellevue Art Museum.

Kathy has made a lifelong commitment to serving the community, and as such served on several boards including the YWCA Brandon, MB, Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, and SKETCH, Toronto.  She is pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to the Niagara region as a member of the YWCA board. Kathy is a mother of five and a grandmother to three beautiful granddaughters.

Alex Pedersen

Alex Pedersen is a Corporate Communications Officer at the City of Port Colborne, where she provides strategic communications support to all departments including the Mayor and City Council. 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. She recently enrolled in a Master of Public Safety, with a specialization in Emergency Management at Wilfrid Laurier University, and looks forward to being a student again.

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 a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Niagara. 

During her spare time, Alex enjoys paddle boarding, rock climbing, and finding unique and delicious restaurants to try across Niagara.


Beverley Richter

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 Directors for INCommunities. 

Meaghan Rusnell

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 the 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 Warren

Jennifer Warren is a digital strategist and strategic communicator with leadership experience in technology, marketing, and brand development. She has a passion for unifying business goals and user experience in scalable digital ecosystems. She has worked with household brands, local businesses, and start-ups, managing projects and products, and crafting strategic approaches to sustainable growth in digital adoption and revenue.

Currently on a sabbatical, Jennifer is completing an Executive MBA in Digital Transformation with McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business. She is an award-winning community leader with a lifelong passion for accessible education, poverty reduction, and women's issues. She currently sits on the YWCA Niagara Region Board of Directors and has been a Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor with the Strive Niagara pilot project. As a proud graduate and former student leader, she also sits on the Niagara College Alumni Council.

A lifelong resident of the Niagara Region, Jennifer lives in St. Catharines with her husband and two sons.