Board of Directors

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

2021/2022 YWCA Niagara Region Board of Directors

Julie Rorison (President)

Julie is a public servant and community leader with experience in municipal government, communications and strategic planning. Julie has worked closely with many different groups of people including supporting elected officials as an advisor, communicator and leader. She has also worked with senior leaders in municipal government, university administration and currently with senior leaders and municipal stakeholders at a provincial agency. Julie enjoys working directly with stakeholders and people who share their passion for innovation and change. She strives to be part of diverse and dynamic teams to deliver results for her hometown and women and families in Niagara.

In addition to her professional roles Julie is passionate about her volunteer work as president of the YWCA Niagara Board of Directors and as the founder of the Niagara Leadership Summit for Women, an annual community conference promoting women’s leadership development.

Julie holds a Masters in Political Science from McMaster University and an Honours Bachelor in Political Science (Public Administration) from Brock University. In 2020 she was recognized as Outstanding Young Alumni by her peers at the Brock University Alumni Association for accomplishments in the first chapter of her career – of which the YWCA has been a driving force.

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.

Jennifer Warren (Second Vice President)

Jennifer Warren is a digital strategist 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.

Jennifer recently completed 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 Niagara College 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.

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.​

Rachel Kleiman (Secretary)

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 a Regional Manager at Anchor Rehabilitation Support Services where she oversees rehabilitation therapy services in Niagara and Hamilton. Previously, she was the Executive Director of the Hamilton Brain Injury Association.

Rachel loves to be involved in her community and a big part of that is through her dedication to volunteering and supporting local. Rachel was recently recognized for her commitment to the non-profit sector as a “40 Under 40” recipient in Hamilton. Rachel currently serves as Secretary on the YWCA Niagara Region Board of Directors and a Director on the Hamilton Brain Injury Association Board of Directors.

Erin Amirault




Erin is Associate Director, Finance Operations and Systems for the Regional Municipality of Niagara. Prior to joining the Region in 2017, Erin held progressively more senior finance and accounting roles across several industries including manufacturing, retail, travel, and not-for-profit. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Saint Mary’s University and an MBA from Brock University.

Raised in Newfoundland and Labrador, Erin is now a Lincoln resident, by way of Halifax and Toronto.  She previously spent six years volunteering on the board of a non-profit organization that operates more than 20 childcare centres across Niagara.  Erin believes that quality, affordable, and accessible childcare is one of the keys to ending gender inequity.  As such, she connects with the YWCA’s mission and vision and appreciates the opportunity to help further them by serving on its board.

Sarah Cacilhas

Sarah is the Senior Manager 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.

Shawna Chen

Shawna Chen is an associate professor of entrepreneurship and the LCBO Spirit of Inclusion Initiative Research Scholar (2021-2024) at Goodman School of Business, Brock University. She is passionate about empowering the overlooked and underestimated. Her research interests focus on mentoring and training the mind of women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ2S+, as inequality in labor, capital markets, and workplaces continue to undermine representation in industries and among start-ups. Her research is funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Prior to entering academia, Shawna was an investment banker and a serial entrepreneur in information technology with multiple exits. Shawna is a newcomer in Canada and a registered yoga instructor (RYT-200). During her spare time, she enjoys exploring the Niagara region with her partner and kid or practicing yoga.

Kate Chiera

Kate is a senior accountant at Durward Jones Barkwell & Company where she provides accounting, assurance and tax services to not-for-profit organizations and privately-held, owner-managed businesses in a variety of industries. Kate received her Chartered Professional Accountant designation in 2020 after graduating from Brock University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Accounting (Honours) degree with First Class Standing.  She also completed an international exchange at the University of Torino in Italy.

Kate is a lifelong Niagara resident and an active member of the community, participating in  various charity events and initiatives, including offering personal tax preparation services to vulnerable members of the community.

During her spare time, Kate is an avid traveler and has been to over 20 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.


Kathy Moscou

Kathy Moscou, is Interim Associate Dean Academic Affairs, Faculty of Design and Assistant Professor, Faculty of Design at OCAD University. 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, 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 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 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 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 mother of five and grandmother to three beautiful granddaughters.

Joanne Heritz

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 PhD is in Comparative Public Policy from McMaster University. She has Master 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 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.

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 sons. She also serves as a volunteer on the Board of Director for INCommunities. 

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.

Meaghan Rusnell

Meaghan Rusnell is the Executive 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 Masters in Leadership from the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Public Policy from Guelph University. She lives in Niagara with her husband and two sons.