About

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.

Our Vision

A world of equality, opportunity, and
choice for women.

Our Mission

To lead, support, and advocate for women, girls, and families when and where they need us.

History

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.

Our History

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

2016-2018

President: Pamela Lafferty

Pamela Lafferty is currently the Manager of Income Tax Reporting at Enbridge where, for the past four 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 spent three years as 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 Edmonton and the surrounding community.

2016-2018

Vice President: Naomi Schmold

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 honoured 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.

2017-2018

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. Georgia is proud to join the YWCA board and help advocate for women, girls and families in the city of Edmonton.

2014-2018

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.

2016-2018

Beverly Loo

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.

2017-2018

Clarice Anderson

Clarice Anderson has a Masters in Indigenous Land-Based Education, is a teacher, a consultant for Alberta Education, and most importantly, a mother. She always finds new adventures in raising four 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. Clarice has over 15 years of experience in her profession and always embraces new challenges. Avid about fitness, Clarice advocates for healthy activity. She has impressed this passion on her students and loves to see them develop and thrive. She has represented her Cree culture and education around the world, most recently in presenting 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 in an effort to aid and advance Reconciliation and Women’s Rights in Canada.

2017-2018

Kathleen Elhatton-Lake

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. Kathleen is honoured to be part of an outstanding group of women on the YWCA Board. She is passionate about advocating for women and girls and looks forward to contributing to the community.
2017-2018

Supriya James

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 four 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 excited to have this opportunity to give back to the community of Edmonton by working together with an inspiring and passionate group of women to facilitate and advocate for empowering and supporting women in their lives and their careers. She is especially passionate about supporting immigrant women in their journey into our community.

2017-2018

Kimberley Pejs

Kim is an HR 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 Leadership Development Certificate to the Board. During her seven years with Shaw Communications, she led strategic HR projects, new process initiatives and coached leaders to be the best they can be. Currently, Kim is working part time as an HR Consultant and building HR infrastructure with a growing manufacturing company. Kim believes in the positive impact strong role models, support systems and education have on girls and women to be their best. Kim is proud to be working with the YWCA to make a meaningful difference.
Marina-Banister-Headshot_2018
2017-2018

Marina Banister

Marina Banister is a born and raised Edmontonian, 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, this work led to her 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 where she advocated for the academic interests on behalf of undergraduate students. Marina has participated in every level of student governance at the U of A 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. When Marina is not working, she enjoys riding her bike year-round, listening to talk radio, and staying up-to-date on municipal politics.

Phalyn-Chenard-Headshot_2018
2018

Phalyn Chenard

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 with us was being a coach for 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.

Rebecca-Lee-Headshot_2018
2018

Rebecca Lee

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 current 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 focused on women’s empowerment and development as an active member of the Junior League of Edmonton.

Megan-Unterschultz-Headshot_2018
2018

Meghan Unterschultz

Meghan Unterschultz is a funds development and social profit management professional with a background in business strategy, organizational development, strategic human resources, donor stewardship, communications, government relations, and community engagement. 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. Previously, as VP People & Culture and Associate Executive Director for the Francis Winspear Centre for Music | Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, she oversaw business planning, HR, communications, and a $3 million public funding portfolio to support artistic, venue, and educational programming operations.

Meghan has a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree from Queen’s University, certificates in Human Resources Management and Management Development through University of Alberta, 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 mentor and serves on the Goodwill Industries of Alberta board, supporting persons with disabilities to enhance their lives through meaningful employment. She served on the Parkland Turning Points Society board, which offers counselling programs to end the cycle of family violence.

Your Support
Makes a Difference

When you support YWCA Edmonton, you transform the lives of thousands of women and families in need.