Board of Directors Nominees 2024/25

June 3, 2024

We are proud to announce our proposed slate for Board of Directors for 2024/25.

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. Helen practiced for a number of years in Simcoe, Ontario, before moving her practice to St. Thomas in 2020. Helen is an active volunteer and has held positions on several not-for-profit boards, including the Norfolk Association for Community Living, Routes to Root Film Festival, and the St. Williams Conservation Reserve Community Council. She also enjoys choral singing, hiking, cooking, and reading.

Surbhi Chaturvedi – Surbhi has been into banking since 2009 where she has educated many people with financial literacy. For the last 15 years, she has helped many families and individuals achieve dreams of their perfect weddings, favorite car, dream home, and higher education. She believes setting a goal is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. Surbhi immigrated to Canada in 2019 and made St. Thomas her home with her husband and two beautiful kids. Working with TD she always feels thankful and blessed to be part of this community. She is passionate about her community and is always ready to be part of any event to help and give back to this lovely community. This will be Surbhi’s 2nd year on the YWCA Board. 

Alicia Connolly – Alicia is entering her 3rd year on the board of directors for the YWCA. Alicia completed Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Brock University. She is employed as a Family Resource Facilitator at LHSC Children’s Hospital, supporting families of paediatric patients, in a peer support role, empowering families and facilitating connections to community resources. Although she did not grow up in St. Thomas, Alicia has been a lifelong visitor, has called it home for the last decade, and continues to raise her daughter here. Alicia is passionate about 2SLGBTQI+ rights, as well as diversity, and inclusion. Alicia believes we all have a social obligation to leave the world a better place then we found it. 

Ashley Dunn – This is Ashley’s 7th year on the Board and 1st year as past Chair. Ashley has been with Scotiabank for over 9 years, starting as a financial advisor and transitioned to a Wealth Associate under Scotiabank Wealth Management, Private Investment Counsel working as part of a team of discretionary money managers.  Graduating from Fanshawe College, business finance program she now also holds her Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Investment Manager designations. Originally from Aylmer, she now calls St. Thomas home with her 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. 

Natalie Huston – Natalie is a committed and determined advocate for social justice, and specifically for the empowerment of women locally, nationally, and globally. She has a combined honours degree in Women’s Studies and Religious Studies with a minor in Psychology and has worked for many years in the social services field, providing the information, support, and advocacy required for everyone in the community to realize their potential and maximize their growth on the path to economic, physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Natalie is committed to this work from a gender-based lens that values and upholds the contributions, skills, and unlimited possibilities of women and girls as a way forward to achieve equity and fairness for people of all identities. Natalie is inspired by nature and spends her free time forest bathing and hiking.  This will be her 3rd year on the Board and she looks forward to serving the community for many years to come. 

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 6th year with the YWCA Board; 2nd year as Treasurer.


NEW Nominees! 

Julie Clarke – Julie has retired from a long career in Human Resources holding various leadership and executive roles in national, multi-national and global organizations.  She graduated with a Business degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and continued with post graduate studies in Human Resources.  Her focus has been in transforming both organizations and HR functions to ensure their long-term success.  Julie has been particularly passionate about helping people realize their potential through leadership development, talent management, employee engagement and learning solutions.  She has played an advocacy role in advancing employees’ rights in the workplace and building diverse, equitable and inclusive environments.  She has led corporate giving and community involvement programs as well as held positions on non-profit boards.  This will be her first year on the YWCA board of directors and she is very excited about this opportunity to give back.  Julie grew up in St. Thomas and then spent many years away in London and Toronto.  She returned to our wonderful community in 2018 with her young daughter.  She currently resides with her partner in St. Thomas and together they have a combined four children. 

Rachel Honsinger – Grew up in Elgin County where she now lives with her husband and 2 young children. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Sociology as well as a Certificate in Human Resources Management. She is a member of the Human Resources Professionals Association and has her Certified Human Resources Professional designation. She has been working as HR Manager for an agricultural operation in Aylmer since 2019, during this time she has worked closely with the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program specifically with workers from Mexico and Jamaica. She is now embarking on a career change and will be working in the finance industry as a Licensed Life Insurance Agent and Financial Advisor. Rachel has volunteered with several local organizations over the years, including the YWCA, and is excited to be getting more involved in the community by serving on the Board.  

Holly Hurley – Originally from Newfoundland, Holly moved to the St. Thomas area in 2012. She completed a Bachelor of Arts from Memorial Newfoundland and is currently employed with Public Services Health and Safety Association as the Director of Employee Experience and Human Resources. Holly also worked in manufacturing for over 15 years where she worked in Occupational Health and Safety and Human Resources. Holly is passionate about empowering women. She has 2 daughters and one son. Her core value is treating everyone with respect and kindness. This is Holly’s first year with the Board of Directors. 

Mackenzie Jackson – Mackenzie is originally from a town called Ajax, but has spent time in Toronto, Kingston, and Gatineau, Quebec before making St. Thomas her home. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts and Masters of Industrial Relations from Queen’s University and has spent the past five years working in Human Resources. She will be attending Western University as a law student in the fall. In her free time, Mackenzie enjoys weightlifting, cooking, and exploring her new home of St. Thomas. This will be Mackenzie’s first year on the board and she looks forward to making a positive contribution to her new community. 

Tori Taylor (she/her) – Tori has 9 years of technical project management experience, leading large and small-scale projects relating to data management, content management and software development. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Women’s Studies from Western University, where she led the Early Outreach Conference, participated on the University Student Council, and volunteered with the Gender Studies Student Collective. Tori planted her roots in St. Thomas 5 years ago with her long-term partner, Kat. She appreciates the community’s joy, spirit and creativity (especially in the summer when the Horton Farmer’s Market comes to life!). She tirelessly advocates for women, gender-diverse people and families, and looks forward to positively contributing to the city she loves so much. In her spare time, Tori enjoys flower gardening, long walks, reading, and trying new recipes. Tori is looking forward to her first year on the YWCA Board of Directors! 

Exit Site
Skip to content