Announcing our 2021/22 Board of Directors Nominees

May 20, 2021

YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin announces proposed slate for Board of Directors for 2021/22.

Erica Arnett – Erica has a Health Sciences degree from UWO and has been working in Public Health for over 15 years.  Erica recently completed her MBA.  Erica was a member on the Youth Employment Counselling Centre (YECC) Board for four years and served on the policy review committee. Erica continues her 2nd year as Past President. 

Sherene Casey – Sherene is in her 2nd term with the YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin, having served for nine years from January 2006 to June 2014.  Sherene served as Treasurer, Vice President and President. She now enters her 6th year of her 2nd term with the YWCA. Sherene has also served as Treasurer for the Elgin-St. Thomas United Way and is currently employed with Scotiabank as a Branch Manager. Sherene, along with her family, are committed to giving back to their community.

Carrie O’Brien – this is Carrie’s 5th year on the YWCA Board and her 1st as our Board President. Carrie grew up in Elgin County and studied Environmental Science at Western University followed by Urban Planning/GIS at Fanshawe College.  Carrie is employed as a Land Planner with Drewlo Holding Inc, and is a strong advocate for the environment, loves animals and being outside. She has spent time volunteering for the Ronald McDonald house, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and helping various organizations with walks/fun-raising events. 

Holly White – will be starting her 4th year with the YWCA Board after having been a YW staff member previously.  Holly left her position as Bridges Out of Poverty Coordinator to return to Kings College where she has completed her master’s degree in Social Work.  Holly brings to the Board knowledge of YWCA programming; client needs and a social work framework that is so crucial to many of our participants.

Ashley Dunn – has been a Sr. Financial Advisor with Scotiabank for over 5 years, where she help’s people commit to achieving their financial dreams. Originally from Aylmer, she now calls St. Thomas home with her husband and daughter.  Ashley strives to be a positive role model to her daughter by instilling a strong sense of core values.  Ashley believes everyone has a responsibility to make the communities where they live and work a better place, so she volunteers with several organizations.  This is Ashley’s 4th year on the Board and 1st year as Vice President.

Claire Hinatsu – Claire grew up in St. Thomas and is a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department at the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital.  She completed her Nursing Degree at the University of Western Ontario.  Claire will be returning to the University of Western Ontario in the fall of 2019 to obtain her Bachelor of Education degree.  Claire is a member of the soccer club and is both a player and a former coach.  Claire loves being outdoors whenever possible.  Claire begins her 4th year on the Board and is serving as our Secretary.

Linda Funk – Is a registered Dental Hygienist with Southwestern Public Health and has extensive experience working with the Low German Speaking Mennonite community.  She is currently a Lead Researcher in Situational Assessments. When Linda was a newcomer to Canada, she and her family utilized programs and services of the YWCA.  Linda begins her 3rd year on the YWCA Board.

Erin Woolley – has her Bachelor of Education at Western specializing in Early Childhood Education.  Prior to that Erin worked with the YWCA St. Thomas and was instrumental in the development of the Youth Homelessness Protocol as well as the development and implementation of Bridges Out of Poverty.  Erin begins her 3rd year with the YWCA Board.

Maria Fiallos – Maria immigrated to Canada when she was a young girl and has thrived in this community while keeping strong connections to her roots in Nicaragua. Her strong link to her ancestral lands come from the three businesses she runs related to importing, roasting, and preparing coffee and is solidified with her charitable organization that encourages education, alleviates poverty, and preserves the environment in the communities from which the coffee beans are sourced. Maria has actively supported the YWCA at the Women’s Day event, as a guest speaker and workshop facilitator.  In 2018 she was awarded the Newcomer Leader Award from St. Thomas Elgin Local Immigration Partnership in recognition of the community building efforts here in St. Thomas. Maria is grateful of the opportunities she has had living in Canada and shows her appreciation by giving back to the community whenever she has the opportunity. Maria begins her 3rd year with the YWCA Board.

Helen Button – Helen grew up in rural southwestern Ontario. She attended grad school and worked as a writer in the communications field for several years before becoming a lawyer. She recently joined a law firm in St. Thomas after practicing for five years in Simcoe, Ontario, and is happy to be living closer to family and some of her favourite places. Helen is an active volunteer and has held positions on several not-for-profit boards, including the Norfolk Association for Community Living, Routes to Roots Film Festival, and the St. Williams Conservation Reserve Community Council. She also enjoys choral singing, hiking, cooking, and reading. She is excited to join the board and is looking forward to contributing to the important work of the YWCA of St. Thomas-Elgin. Helen will be starting her 2nd year on the YWCA Board.

Pam Huber – is returning to the YWCA Board having previously completed a full term which included serving as Treasurer and Co-Chair of our Spring Fever Fashion Show.  Pam was born and raised in St Thomas. Pam attended Kings College and has been happily married for 45 years. Proud Mom of 2. Even prouder Nanny of 3. Pam worked in the financial industry for 40 years and has now been retired for 5 years.  In addition to the YWCA, Pam is also a volunteer at Christmas Care and the School Breakfast Program. Pam is beginning her 2nd year in her 2nd term.

Susan Boehm – is returning to the YWCA Board having served a full term previously, including 2 years as the YWCA Board President.   Susan has always worked in the Health Care Field, first as a Respiratory Therapist and then in Audiology.  Her career was highlighted by being the Provincial Trainer and Community Screener for the Infant Hearing Program and she worked closely with the Ministry of Youth and Children’s Services as well as the University of Western’s National Center for Audiology to develop a province wide protocol for Newborn Hearing Screening. Susan retired last year and in addition to volunteering with the YWCA has submitted her application to be a volunteer with Harvest Bowl which creates dry soup mixes for distribution county wide.  Susan is a resident of Malahide Township and will provide strong connections to East Elgin. She is starting her 2nd year of her 2nd terms.

Katie Jacobs – grew up in St. Thomas being heavily involved in sports within the City. She graduated from Western University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology and later pursued her master’s degree in Integrative Biosciences, graduating in 2018. During her time at Western, Katie volunteered with organizations such as Hockey for the Blind and Early Outreach Conference, a program run by students. Katie is now back living in St. Thomas, coaching our women’s midget team (hockey) and working at LHSC as an Injury Prevention Specialist. We welcome Katie for her 1st year of her 1st term!

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