YWCA Edmonton is a member of YWCA Canada, the oldest and largest women’s social service organization in the nation.
Founded in 1907, we’re a women’s organization that advances the wellness and growth of women, girls, and families. We provide education and services to thousands every year through leadership programs, counselling, outdoor education, and supporting people with disabilities.
A world of equality, opportunity, and
choice for women.
To lead, support, and advocate for women, girls, and families when and where they need us.
YWCA Edmonton has been a part of our community since it was founded in 1907.
Our first program, Cushing House, rented rooms to single women, newly arrived by train to Edmonton, for $60 per month. From those humble beginnings, YWCA Edmonton has become a cornerstone of our community, responding to the evolving social services needs of Edmonton.
At the heart from the start
YWCA Edmonton contributed support, experience and expertise to the development of many of the most important social services programs for women and children in Edmonton. Some of the Edmonton programs which began under the banner of or in partnership with YWCA Edmonton are:
- United Way, Capital Region (formerly the Edmonton Community Chest)
- Edmonton’s First Daycare
- Edmonton Association of Continuing Education and Recreation (EACER)
- Foster Parents Association of Edmonton
- The Business and Professional Women’s Club
- Big Sisters
- Women in Need (WIN) House
- Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton (formerly Rape Crisis Centre)
As we move into our next 100 years of serving Edmonton, we remain committed to empowering women and families and bringing new and effective social innovations to our community.
Board of Directors
President: Pamela Lafferty
Vice President: Naomi Schmold
Naomi is a Privacy Officer and Legal Counsel within the LP Ethics & Compliance team at Enbridge.
Over the years, Naomi has worked for Department of Justice Canada, the Alberta Court of Appeal in Edmonton, the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, and the Center for Constitutional Studies. She also contributes as sessional instructor to the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law, which she graduated from herself.
Naomi is deeply committed to work that enhances women’s equality and wellness. She currently serves on the Canadian Bar Association’s Women’s Law Forum, and is a long-time supporter of Edmonton’s Boys & Girls Club Big Brothers Big Sisters. She previously volunteered with the University of Alberta Sexual Assault Centre, as well as the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF).
Vice President & Secretary: Georgia Dewart
Georgia Dewart is a registered nurse and doctoral student at the University of Alberta.
As a labour and delivery nurse with a passion for women’s health, Georgia returned to graduate studies to research HIV care, health equity and harm reduction programs. She is interested in both research and community services that help improve the health of women and marginalized populations.
Born and raised in Edmonton, Georgia completed her BScN at the University of Alberta in 2013. She is actively involved in numerous volunteer roles including committee work, cofounding of the Alberta Nurses Coalition for Harm Reduction (ANCHR) and outreach in the inner city.
In her spare time, Georgia loves to travel and enjoys co-teaching a self-defense class for young girls and their parents.
Treasurer: Kathy Demuth
Kathy Demuth is the Chief Financial Officer of ZCL Composites Inc.
Kathy obtained her Chartered Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Certified Internal Auditor designations while at Grant Thornton LLP Chartered Accountants, where she held progressively more responsible roles during her time there. She then worked as the Internal Audit Manager for Finning (Canada), before joining ZCL. She was Vice President Finance at ZCL before eventually moving into her current role.
Kathy volunteers her time with Ironteam – Cops for Cancer in support of cancer-related charities. She is also a past volunteer with Edmonton’s Boys & Girls Club Big Brothers Big Sisters as a finance committee member, and with Junior Achievement, among others.
Clarice Anderson is a teacher, a consultant for Alberta Education, and most importantly, a mother to 4 energetic boys.
As a young girl, she always looked up to and admired teachers and those who shared their knowledge. This admiration became a driving force in her pursuit of higher education and a fulﬁlling career spanning more than 15 years.
Avid about ﬁtness, Clarice advocates for healthy activity. She has impressed this passion on her students and loves to see them develop and thrive.
With a Masters in Indigenous Land-Based Education, Clarice has represented her Cree culture and education around the world, most recently at the Annual Education Conference in Hawaii. As a proud member of Saddle Lake Cree Nation, Clarice feels a duty to share, speak and educate others to aid and advance Reconciliation and Women’s Rights in Canada.
Marina Banister is currently completing her degree in political science at the University of Alberta. Marina has a deep passion for student engagement and has dedicated herself to active involvement throughout her degree, earning her a Avenue Magazine Top 40 Under 40 award in 2017.
Before being elected President of the University of Alberta Students’ Union, Marina served as the 2015-2016 Vice-President Academic. She has participated in every level of student governance, including her Department Association, Faculty Association, Student Council, General Faculties Council, Senate, and affiliated committees. She also gives her time to the community, including serving as 2015–2016 Chair of the City of Edmonton Youth Council.
Marina works in a male dominated environment and is passionate about getting more women involved in politics. She often speaks in the media and conferences about youth issues and gender equity.
Phalyn has settled in Edmonton after years of testing out homes across Western Canada. She’s lived in farm communities, big cities, in the North and on the Coast, but couldn’t be more proud to call Edmonton home.
Since moving to Edmonton in 2012, Phalyn has become a dedicated community leader and volunteers her time to many local non-profit organizations. She’s served two terms on the Junior League of Edmonton’s Board of Directors, is a former United Way Employee Campaign Chair and has also participated on a variety of YWCA Edmonton Committees, though her favourite role was being a coach for YWCA WALK A MILE IN HER SHOES®.
Phalyn is passionate about sharing her non-profit experiences, mentoring young community leaders, and empowering women to develop their potential. She is an Edmonton real estate professional and has a background in corporate administration and office management.
Kathleen Elhatton-Lake is a litigation associate with Witten LLP. Previously, she clerked at the Alberta Court of Appeal and articled at a large national firm in downtown Toronto.
She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta and a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto. While in law school, Kathleen was actively involved in mooting and debating. She attended the World University Debate Championships on behalf of both the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto.
She is passionate about advocating for women and girls and looks forward to contributing to the community.
Supriya James is the Vice President, Human Resources for the Canadian Western Bank and has over 20 years of experience in diverse areas of Human Resource Management.
Supriya has lived and worked in 4 countries and has led the Human Resources function in several industries including banking, retail, property development, hotels and the government.
Supriya is passionate about building strong teams. In her career, her biggest reward has been the privilege of working with and developing some incredible, diverse talent in the businesses she has been associated with. Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Masters in Human Resources Management and Industrial Relations.
She is especially passionate about supporting immigrant women in their journey into our community.
Rebecca Lee is a Senior Manager at the Government of Alberta. She has over 10 years of experience in people resources, culture, and leadership development in both the public and private sector. She currently leads change management supporting the Government of Alberta’s Diversity and Inclusion Secretariat.
Rebecca is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR), holds a Bachelor of Management Sciences Degree, and is PROSCI Change Management Certified. She brings systems thinking and a disruptive mindset to challenging and fast-paced environments, with a bias for community and collaboration.
She is an active volunteer in a variety of board and committee roles with business and professional associations, and is focused on women’s empowerment and development as an active member of the Junior League of Edmonton.
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.
Kimberley Pejs is a Human Resources Business Partner committed to helping others succeed. She brings 13 years of HR Experience, a Bachelors of Commerce Degree, a Chartered HR Professional Designation and a Leadership Development Certificate to the Board.
Currently, Kim is working part-time as an HR Consultant and on building HR infrastructure with a growing manufacturing company. During her 7 years with Shaw Communications, she led strategic HR projects, new process initiatives and coached leaders to be the best they can be.
Kim believes in the positive impact strong role models, support systems and education have on girls and women to be their best.
Meghan Unterschultz is a fund development and social profit management professional. As Assistant Dean, Advancement with the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research, Meghan develops fundraising strategies to support research and successful outcomes for graduate students.
Meghan has a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree, certificates in Human Resources Management and Management Development, and holds the Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) designation. She is a candidate for the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) professional designation.
Community contribution is important in Meghan’s life. She volunteers as a Big Sister, serves on the Goodwill Industries of Alberta board, and previously served on the Parkland Turning Points Society board.