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Board of Directors
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education
Director, Centre for School-based Mental Health
University of Western Ontario, London, ON
"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”
– Jack Layton
Dr. Claire Crooks is one of the lead developers and researchers of the Fourth R, a relationship-based program aimed at preventing violence and related risk behaviours in adolescents. The Fourth R has been implemented in over 1000 schools in Canada and the United States and is identified as a best practice program by the Public Health Agency of Canada. She is particularly interested in the development and evaluation of strategies that meet the unique needs of Aboriginal youth, and is the lead author of Engaging Aboriginal Youth: A toolkit for service providers (2010, Trafford). Claire is also a co-founder of the Caring Dads program, a parenting intervention for men who have maltreated their children. In addition to being an author of the program manual, she has been involved with training, consultation, and research on the Caring Dads project.
Claire is co-author of more than 40 articles, chapters, and books on topics including children’s exposure to domestic violence, child custody and access, child maltreatment, adolescent dating violence and risk behaviour, intervening with fathers who maltreat their children, strength-based programming for Aboriginal youth, and trauma. She is a co-author of Adolescent Risk Behaviors: Why teens experiment and strategies to keep them safe (2006, Yale University Press). She is on the editorial board of the Violence Against Women journal.
Claire is actively involved with training judges, lawyers, and other court personnel through her work as a faculty member for both the U.S. National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence. She conducts training in the areas of custody and access evaluations, violence prevention, bullying, media violence, vicarious trauma, and self-harm among adolescents. She has testified before the Canadian Senate Committee on Human Rights about the intersection between domestic violence and child custody as a children’s rights issue.
Claire received her undergraduate education at Princeton University in New Jersey and obtained her M.A. and Ph.D. from Queen’s University in Ontario. She lives in London, Ontario with her husband George and their three young children.
President & CEO, Actua
Jennifer Flanagan is the co-founder and President and CEO of Actua, a national charitable organization that engages Canadian youth in transformational experiences in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and contributes significantly to future innovation in Canada.
Jennifer leads a national network of university-based organizations across Canada that deliver interactive STEM programs annually engaging 225,000 youth in 500 communities. Over the past decade, Jennifer has led the development of specialized national programs to engage underserved youth populations including Aboriginal youth, girls and young women, youth living in rural and remote communities and other at-risk youth. To accomplish this work, Jennifer partners with leading corporate sector companies, governments and other non-profits.
Jennifer is a long-time advocate for the empowerment of girls and young women having served on the Boards of the Girls Action Foundation and the International Network for Women in Engineering and Science. In addition, Jennifer has served on many other national and international boards and committees dedicated to furthering educational opportunities for youth. In 2007, Jennifer was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women and in 2011 she was the recipient of a Y Women of Distinction Award (Education and Training) and was named one of Ottawa’s Top Forty Under 40. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of New Brunswick and a Master of Management from McGill University in Montreal.
Co-chair, Canadian Women's Foundation
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Julie George, presently Canadian Women's Foundation Board co-chair, has been a philanthropist and committed volunteer in the non-profit sector for over 25 yrs. As a proud dual citizen, Julie feels a responsibility to help drive social change in Canada. She helped develop Juno House, a center of excellence for adolescent girls and their families in Calgary and subsequently created the Juno House Foundation to build capacity and support those in need of its services. She is also a member of the board at Women Moving Millions.
Julie is a member of the William Roper Hull Foundation Board after being chair of Hull Child & Family Services for 5 yrs. She is a past volunteer of Kids Help Phone and was President of the International School Parents Forum in London (TASIS) while living overseas. She took various leadership roles on school councils where her children attended school, among those Western Canada and St. Mildred's Lightbourn School in Ontario.
In the 70's, Julie taught in an inner city high school in Houston, Texas which she credits as being a defining introduction to the importance of making change happen.
She and is the proud parent of three grown children, 3 grandchildren, and has been married for 39 yrs. The family is very active in skiing hiking, biking, golfing, and exploring new places together.
Women Moving Millions
New York, NY and Vancouver, BC
Born in Vancouver, Jessica Houssian fell in love with feminism as a little girl and has been stomping her feet for women’s equality ever since. With a B.A. in Women & Gender Studies (Bates College) and an M.Sc. in Fundraising & Grantmaking (New York University), Jess loves living and working at the intersection of women and philanthropy – and is inspired by the power it has to transform the world. Prior to her work with Women Moving Millions, Jess was a partner at Inspired Philanthropy Group – a boutique consulting firm supporting individuals and corporations to help create authentic, effective impact. In another life, Jess served as Associate Features Editor at Harper’s Bazaar magazine, where she learned to write, edit, and treat deadlines with respect. Jess currently serves on the Board of Directors of UNICEF Canada and the Canadian Women’s Foundation, where she Chairs the Anti-Human Trafficking Grants Committee. She serves as Board Chair of RefugePoint, and is a Trustee of The Houssian Foundation.
Communications Manager, Communications Nova Scotia
Halifax, Nova Scotia
For close to two decades, Angela has worked as a communications professional, journalist and television producer. As a journalist, she created, produced and hosted the television series ‘Our Community’, for CBC Television, which featured stories from Nova Scotia’s diverse communities.
Since 2004, Angela has worked for the Nova Scotia provincial government’s communications agency, Communications Nova Scotia. In that time she has managed communications for the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal and the Public Service Commission. She also helped develop the strategic direction of the province’s Office of African Nova Scotia Affairs. She currently works with the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage and on a part-time basis, teaches Foundations of Journalism to first year students in the journalism program at the University of Kings College in Halifax. On a quarterly basis, she is also the managing editor for the Halifax based Black Business Initiative’s magazine, ‘Black to Business’.
Angela has been interested in women’s issues, particularly those related to disenfranchised women and women of colour, for most of her life. She was the director of the Dalhousie Women’s Centre in Halifax from 2002 to 2004 and coordinated the Girls TV & New Media Camp and the Girls TV Camp & Club in Halifax and Ottawa for the Women in Media Foundation (formerly the Women’s Television Network Foundation) for girls aged 10 – 14 from 2000 to 2004.
She has facilitated workshops or coordinated programs for the Canadian National Griot Awards; Canada’s Forum on Diversity and Culture; Atlantic Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health; Cole Harbour Community Network; Black Business Initiative; and the National Film Board of Canada.
With the Nova Scotia Government, Angela is a founding member and co-chair of the African Canadian Women in the Public Service Network and its marketing and communications committee chair. Angela enjoys being a member of an initiative that is striving to build a provincial public service that recognizes the contributions of African Canadian Women, their aspiration for growth and advancement and promotes accordingly.
jody d.m. johnson
Associate General Counsel, TransCanada
Jody is Associate General Counsel at TransCanada Corporation in Calgary, Alberta and leads the Litigation, Arbitration and ADR department. In her thirteen years with the company, she has conducted and participated in numerous mediations, arbitrations and lawsuits in defense of and on behalf of TransCanada. Being part of the Litigation, Arbitration and ADR department, she works with a wide variety of business units within the company, including power, pipelines, land, risk, insurance and HR and her practice takes her to many of the provinces across Canada.
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Jody completed the French Immersion program and spent a year at the University de Grenoble in France. She obtained her BA at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario in 1993 and her law degree at McGill University in Montreal in 1997. She was a member of the Board of the Calgary Girls’ School for seven years, including three years as Board co-chair. In addition to the Calgary Girls’ School, she has been a member of fundraising committees for Future Generations, raising funds for programs for women and children in Afghanistan; Discovery House women’s shelter; the Calgary Counselling Centre; Youth in Motion; the Glenbow Museum; and the Chickwagon.
Jody has a keen interest in the advancement of women and children. Additionally, her passions include her children, travelling, hiking, biking, skiing, literature and cooking.
Principal, Laborero Consulting
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
- Maya Angelou
Crystal Laborero is a band member of Sapotewayak Cree Nation and is presently self employed as a Consultant. Crystal is the former Director, Human Resources with Tribal Wi-Chi-Way-Win Capital Corporation (TWCC). She is the founding CEO of TWCC’s wholly owned subsidiary, Aski Financial. Crystal has extensive experience in Aboriginal human resource issues as well as community development. In a previous role, Crystal was Director of Aboriginal Relations for United Way of Winnipeg where she was charged with the responsibility to develop a first of its kind strategy that builds and enhances relationships with the Aboriginal community.
Crystal was also pivotal in the development of the Aboriginal Employment Initiative with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and the Business Council of Manitoba. This initiative was the first of it kind in Canada as it brought together two major business groups, two levels of government and representation from a national Aboriginal organization. Crystal also spent 10 years working with Royal Bank Financial Group in many capacities ranging from management to human resources where she specialized in the Recruitment & Retention of Aboriginal employees. She was also part of the team to open the first on-reserve branch for the bank in Manitoba located at Peguis First Nation.
Crystal is the first Aboriginal woman in Manitoba to be appointed the Chair of the Manitoba Women's Advisory Council, reporting to the Minister responsible for the Status of Women. Crystal is married and has four daughters.
Assistant Professor (Faculty of Education), Univeristy of Regina
Angela Snowshoe is a proud member of Ojibway (Loon Clan) and Métis Nations from Northwestern Ontario. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Western Ontario and is an Assistant Professor in Educational Psychology at the University of Regina.
Angela has an ideal balance of clinical and research experiences with youth and adults from diverse and under-serviced populations in community and school environments. Her strong orientation to social justice issues and decolonizing agendas is evident in her work as a professor, clinician, and researcher. Her research interests include the role of cultural connectedness in promoting mental wellness among First Nations youth, their families, and their communities.
Angela is particularly keen in blending quantitative and Indigenous methodologies to increase the relevance of her research for First Nations communities. She is recognized by her colleagues for her practical guidance on conducting strengths- and community-based research and therapy with First Nations peoples.
Co-Chair, Canadian Women's Foundation
Chief Financial Officer, Ontario Power Generation
"Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons. Love yourself, trust your choices, and everything is possible."
- Cherie Carter-Scott
Beth Summers is the Chief Financial Officer at Ontario Power Generation Inc. (OPG).
OPG is an Ontario-based electricity generation company whose principal business is the generation and sale of electricity in Ontario. OPG’s focus is on the efficient production and sale of electricity from its generating assets, while operating in a safe, open, and environmentally responsible manner.
Beth Summers was appointed to her current position in September 2014. She is responsible for providing financial leadership and support to OPG’s operational units and support services groups. She has overall accountability for financial strategy, controllership, accounting, reporting, business planning, investment planning, taxation, treasury, and pension and nuclear fund management. She is a member of OPG’s Enterprise Leadership Team.
Prior to joining OPG, Beth Summers was the Chief Financial Officer of Just Energy Group Inc. She was responsible for all aspects of finance, including external reporting, treasury, tax, business planning and forecasting, risk management, and internal audit. Ms. Summers was previously at Hydro One Inc. where she held positions of increasing financial responsibility, including the Chief Financial Officer.
Beth Summers began her career with Ernst & Young in the audit practice area where she provided services to a broad range of companies, including those in the utility, manufacturing, consumer products, and financial services industries.
Ms. Summers is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA), and obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Marilyn has 30 years of experience in public affairs, government, education, strategic planning and social justice. She is a former Deputy General Secretary of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), and handled media and government relations for its predecessor, the Federation of Women Teachers’ Associations of Ontario (FWTAO). From 1992-95, Marilyn was seconded to the Office of the Premier of Ontario as Director of the Public Appointments Secretariat.
Marilyn was a researcher with the New Democratic Party at Queen’s Park from 1973-78, special assistant to Stephen Lewis and Michele Landsberg from 1978-81, and executive assistant to NDP Leader Bob Rae from 1981-85. She managed more than 15 provincial and federal elections and party leadership campaigns from 1973-95, and was a member of the Ontario NDP’s Provincial Executive, Women’s Committee and several election planning committees.
Marilyn has been a board member and vice-president of the Social Planning Council of Metro Toronto, a member of the Child Poverty Action Group, a member of the national fundraising committee of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), a board member and Vice Chair of LEAF, a Board and Executive member of the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People (now YPT), a Director of the Canadian Education Association (CEA), and a member of the Breakfast Fundraising Committee for the Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF). She has also volunteered at Out of the Cold programs at Metropolitan United Church and Regent Park Community Centre.
Currently, she is a board member of the LEAF Foundation and chair of the Girls’ Fund Advisory Committee of the CWF. She also volunteers at Christie Gardens, a seniors residence near her home in Toronto. Marilyn is married to Peter Mosher and has two sons, Max and Tom Mosher.
Shannon L. Valliant
Secretary/Treasurer, Canadian Women's Foundation
Senior Vice-President, Commercial Strategy, Rogers Enterprise Business Unit
Shannon Valliant was appointed Senior Vice-President, Commercial Strategy in July 2014. In this role, Shannon is accountable for operationalizing the corporate strategy for the Enterprise Business Unit to achieve aggressive growth targets across wireless, wireline and business services. Her accountabilities include commercial planning, pricing, sales operations, bid and contract management and value management.
Prior to joining the enterprise team, Shannon spent 18 months as the Vice-President of Device Management and Experience at Rogers. Her focus was on the wireless business with a mandate to drive device leadership, spearhead device experience initiatives, manage the $1B cost of acquisition and retention budget and grow the wireless accessories portfolio.
For Shannon’s first five years at Rogers, she was the Vice-President, Financial Operations for the Media Business Unit which includes Canada’s premier group of category-leading broadcast, specialty, print and on-line media assets. Her responsibilities included strategic planning, competitive analysis, mergers and acquisitions, investment monitoring, forecasting, and financial and new business analysis.
With over 25 years of experience, Shannon has held senior executive positions with both global firms and start-up organizations. She has proven expertise in operations, corporate and operational finance, restructuring, and raising capital in private equity markets.
Shannon graduated on the Dean’s List from the Honours Bachelor of Commerce program at Queen’s University at Kingston, is a Chartered Accountant, and was a Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, Canada’s first and only national public foundation dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls.