Board of Directors
President: Renee Oxley
Renee Oxley is the Managing Director, Compliance within Enterprise Risk Management at ATB Financial. Previously she was responsible for ATB’s Internal Controls over Financial Reporting program with Enterprise Finance. She has also worked with internal audit at the ATCO Group of Companies and was Manager, Financial Reporting and Internal Controls at ATCO Gas. Renee is a Chartered Accountant and obtained her designation while working for PwC in Edmonton and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta. Renee also volunteers as the Treasurer for the Citie Ballet; Edmonton’s resident professional ballet company. She is honoured to be working with a strong group of women supporting the YWCA and its goals of providing leadership, advocacy and support for women and their families.
2014 - 2016
Vice-President: Hilary Anaka
Hilary is a communications professional with experience in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. As communications manager at Finning, she spends her days communicating with 4,500 plus employees across Western Canada and believes communication is key to motivating, building trust, increasing engagement and creating a sense of community. Growing up on a farm near Andrew, Alberta, Hilary moved to Edmonton to attend the University of Alberta where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She is currently completing a Master of Arts in Professional Communication at Royal Roads University. A proud Edmontonian and a strong believer in giving back, Hilary has also volunteered with Edmonton Police Service’s Victim Services Unit, the Zebra Child Protection Centre and the Edmonton Folk Music Festival.
Vice-President: Carlee Ruddy
Carlee Ruddy is a Senior Consultant in Addiction and Mental Health with Alberta Health Services. She has worked in the area of addictions and mental health for the past nine years and is passionate about recovery, harm reduction principles, and client-centered care. She holds a BA in Sociology and an MSc in Psychiatry, both from the University of Alberta. She has conducted research in the areas of homelessness and addictions and mental health to help shed light on the experience. Carlee has been committed to volunteering with the YWCA and she is enthusiastic about empowerment and equality for women. Carlee is honoured to sit on the YWCA Board of Directors to help enrich the lives of women and motivate young girls in the Edmonton community.
Treasurer: Kathy Demuth
Kathy Demuth is the Chief Financial Officer of ZCL Composites Inc., a TSX-listed public company. ZCL Composites is North America’s leading provider for corrosion free, environmentally safe, liquid storage solutions. Kathy has been CFO of ZCL since December of 2010. Prior to that, she had been the Vice President Finance since joining ZCL in May 2009. Kathy was also the Internal Audit Manager for Finning (Canada) a division of Finning International Inc. from April 2008 to April 2009. Kathy also held progressively more responsible roles with Grant Thornton LLP Chartered Accountants from 1994 to 2008 and while there, obtained her Chartered Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Certified Internal Auditor designations. Kathy also volunteers her time with Ironteam – Cops for Cancer in support of cancer-related charities. She is a past volunteer with The Boys and Girls Clubs of Edmonton as a finance committee member, and with Junior Achievement, among others. Kathy is delighted to be working with the YWCA in their goal to be a strong voice for women’s issues and determination to end violence against women and children.
Secretary: Geeta Passi-Shourie
Geeta has over 15 years of experience in financial industry. This experience includes Risk Consulting at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, providing internal audit services, developing risk and governance frameworks and helping manage their market, credit and operational risks arising in the course of their business activities. Geeta previously worked with KPMG as part of their Enterprise practice and worked with Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs and helped them with their Accounting and Tax needs. Geeta also worked with ATB Financial where she gained experience in different areas including Internal Audit, Governance and Commercial credit underwriting. Geeta holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Alberta and a Certified General Accounting designation. She is currently in the process of obtaining her Certified Internal Auditor certification. Geeta was previously a board member of Edmonton Suzuki Piano Society and she also travelled to India to volunteer with “Free the Children” to help build a school in a village. She has experience volunteering with various community and charitable organizations. Geeta is passionate about initiatives supporting women since it empowers them and enables them to compete on an equal footing with their male counterparts.
Ann has a Masters in Occupational Therapy from the University of Alberta and works with children at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in both physical medicine and mental health. Ann has traveled to Indonesia as both a student and mentor assisting in developing Occupational Therapy practice abroad. Her Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology also fuels her passion for sport. Ann feels strongly about physical activity and its role in empowering youth and women. She currently plays Australian Rules Football for the Edmonton Emus and is involved in the youth development program. Raising a new daughter of her own, Ann is eager to be a part of the YWCA as it is an organization that both supports and applauds the courageous women in our community. Through music, sport and a love for travel, Ann would like to help build a local and international community that inspires women, men and children to work towards social justice and gender equality.
Michelle Chan is an Obstetrics and Gynecology Resident Physician at the University of Alberta. Michelle holds an MD from the University of Calgary, and a Bachelors of Science & Women’s Studies from the University of Alberta. She volunteers with Resident Doctors of Canada and has previously worked with Calgary’s Federation of Medical Women of Canada. Michelle has previous experience with community non-profits, mentorship, academic research, project management and event planning. Michelle believes that it is a privilege to care for women, and feels equally privileged to join the YWCA board to advocate for and to empower girls, women, families and their communities. Michelle is a foodie who also enjoys adventure, laughs, yoga, and running in Edmonton’s beautiful river valley.
Ambitious and motivated, Rachelle is continually seeking to be inspired and to in turn inspire others, especially women. Rachelle is the Finance Manager for GMS Aggregates Inc. and has been for the last nine years. While working at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Rachelle obtained her Chartered Accountant designation and then later worked as assistant controller for McCoy Corporation/Farr Canada. Rachelle holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta and a Masters in Professional Accounting from the University of Saskatchewan. She has also previously served as Board Member for the Clean Scene not for profit organization in Edmonton, assisting youth in living a drug and crime free lifestyle. She enjoys playing women’s ball hockey and travelling with her husband and two kids. Rachelle is extremely proud to be amongst an incredible group of women to advocate for equality for women and to stimulate women of all ages to be confident and happy.
Danita Haysom is a passionate supporter of women’s equality and actively participates in the Edmonton community through multiple volunteer positions including serving on the Norquest 1000 Women, A Million Possibilities Advisory Committee and as a mentor with the Alberta School of Business MBA mentorship program. Danita currently works as a Management Consultant specializing in organizational transformation. In this role, Danita works with organizations to ensure that their people strategies enable achievement of their overall business strategy. She brings over 20 years of experience in functional HR and consulting roles and specializes in talent management, HR transformation, strategic change and diversity and inclusion. She is the proud mother of two, self-proclaimed feminist daughters aged 11 and 13. Danita holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and is a Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP).
Anar Jassani is a Senior Consultant within Deloitte Canada’s Human Capital Consulting practice. During her time at Deloitte, Anar has fulfilled several Lead roles related to Training, Change Management, Project Governance, and HR Transformation. Anar is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion at Deloitte through her role as Chair of Deloitte’s International Women’s Day event in Edmonton, and as Campus Recruiting Lead for the Edmonton office. Anar brings a wealth of cross-functional experience across HR, Marketing and Sales working with numerous clients in a range of industries including Consumer Goods, Metals & Mining, Technology, Education, Healthcare, Forestry and Natural Resources. Prior to Deloitte, Anar graduated with an MBA in Organizational Effectiveness from The Wharton School of Business, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Development and Industrial Relations from McGill University.
Laura has a passion for humanity. Both her paid work and volunteer ventures show this commitment. Laura is the Director of Resource Development and Public Engagement at HIV Edmonton working to raise both funds and awareness regarding HIV and AIDS. She holds a Masters in International Social Work from the University of Calgary and has lived overseas in both Panama and Papua New Guinea. She continues her commitment to International issues by being an Emergency Response Unit (ERU) delegate for the Canadian Red Cross ready for rapid deployment in response to conflict or disaster. In 2015 she deployed to Sierra Leone to respond to the Ebola epidemic, a positively life-changing experience for her. In recognition of her humanitarian efforts, she was a recipient of Avenue Magazine's "Top 40 Under 40". Laura is an intrepid traveller, (mostly) a bicycle commuter and enjoys whimsical jaunts to Edmonton’s river valley with her big mutt Seamus. She volunteers with the Canadian Red Cross locally with the Detention Monitoring and Restoring Family Links program and is thrilled to be in her second term with the YWCA Edmonton.
2011 - 2016
Pamela Lafferty is currently the Manager of Income Tax Reporting at Enbridge where, for the past two years, she has managed the tax financial reporting and tax compliance for various Enbridge entities. Pam earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta. She started her accounting career at PwC, where she obtained her Chartered Accountant designation and advanced to the role of Senior Manager in the Tax group. During her 11 years in public practice, she gained a breadth of tax and business experience working with a variety of clients from not-for-profit organizations to private and public corporations. Pam was a member of the Women Up Front Committee at PwC and is currently a member of the Women@Enbridge Committee; both of these committees are focused on addressing gender equality and the advancement of women in the business world. Pam was born and raised in Edmonton and feels privileged to now sit on the YWCA Board of Directors and contribute as a leader in addressing women’s issues in the Edmonton and surrounding community.
Beverly Loo is a Senior Manager at Ernst & Young (EY). She has over 8 years of assurance and advisory experience serving clients, both private and public, in a wide variety of industries including engineering services, retail, insurance, gas utilities, oil and gas services, and pharmaceutical companies. Beverly is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta. Beverly is actively involved in many initiatives at Ernst & Young holding roles such as EY Edmonton’s Inclusiveness and Diversity Champion, EY Edmonton’s Connect Community Leader, EY Entrepreneur of the Year Edmonton Champion, EY Professional Women’s Network Committee Member, and Pan Asian Professional Network (PAPN) Steering Committee Member – representing Canada in EY’s America’s PAPN Steering Committee. Beverly is excited to be part of the YWCA team and looking forward to making a difference for all women in the Edmonton community.
Naomi is a Privacy Officer and Legal Counsel within the LP Ethics & Compliance team at Enbridge. Prior to joining Enbridge in 2009, Naomi conducted a wide range of litigation work with the Department of Justice Canada and clerked with the Alberta Court of Appeal in Edmonton. She’s worked with several legal institutes including the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice and the Center for Constitutional Studies. Naomi graduated from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law in 2005 and continues to contribute to the Faculty as a sessional instructor. Naomi is deeply committed to work that enhances women’s equality and wellness. She is currently a committee member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Women’s Law Forum as well as a supporter of Edmonton’s Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters - entering her 5th year of being a Big Sister to 14-year-old Emily who regularly continues to inspire her. She previously volunteered with the University of Alberta Sexual Assault Center as well as the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), which works to advance the substantive equality rights of women and girls in Canada. Naomi is honored to be a part of the dynamic YWCA Board and looks forward to serving in a capacity that helps further the health and equality of women and girls in our community.
Meryl Whittaker is the Assistant Deputy Minister of Municipal Assessment and Grants for the Government of Alberta in the Municipal Affairs Department. Previously, she was the Chair of the Municipal Government Board, an adjudicative tribunal, and the President & Chief Executive Officer of the Alberta Local Authorities Pension Plan Corp. where she worked for 15 years. Earlier in her career, she held strategic planning and legal positions with the City of Edmonton and with private sector law firms in Edmonton. Meryl is a lawyer and has been a practicing member of the Alberta Law Society since 1988. Ms. Whittaker holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Laws, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Alberta. She is also a graduate of the Directors Education Program of the Institute of Corporate Directors and holds an ICD.D designation. Meryl is dedicated to giving back to the community of Edmonton where she has resided for over 30 years. She is particularly passionate about empowering women and mentoring children. She is also currently a board member of the Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area.