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Board of Directors
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.
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.
Dr. Kristin Blakely-Kozman
Kristin Blakely-Kozman has a PhD in Sociology and Women’s Studies and is trained as a qualitative researcher in the Chicago School of Ethnography. She is both personally and academically interested in understanding social inequalities and collective action, with a focus on gender stratification and the ideological underpinnings of women’s political mobilizations.
She has taught courses in the sociology of women, gender, sexualities, social theory, and public policy and currently teaches in the Sociology Department at Glendon College of York University. She has also participated as a panelist and session organizer at regional and national academic conferences and is a frequent guest speaker on feminism and gender issues in schools and at non-profit organizations. Kristin is co-author of “Gendered Worlds” (2008), an Oxford University Press textbook and has published in such journals as Contemporary Sociology, the Journal of International Women’s Studies, the International Journal of Qualitative Methods, and the Journal of Family Issues.
Kristin was a board member of YWCA Toronto, serving as Vice-President, President, cabinet member of the Elm Centre capital campaign, and Chair of the Nominations Committee. She also served on the board of YWCA Canada, chairing the Young Women’s Leadership Committee and founding the National Advocacy Committee. In 2009, she was named YWCA Canada’s Outstanding Young Woman. Kristin was a representative at the United Nations for Sociologists for Women in Society - an organization of feminist sociologists, attending and reporting on the Commission on the Status of Women.
As part of her commitment to the advancement of women’s reproductive health care, Kristin serves as a cabinet member of the Women’s and Infants’ Health campaign at Mount Sinai Hospital and previously served on the hospital’s Governing Council. Kristin lives in Toronto with her husband and three sons. She is an active parent volunteer at her children’s schools.
Co-Chair, Canadian Women's Foundation
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.
paula smith, cpa, ca
Treasurer, Canadian Women's Foundation
Assurance Partner, GTA Leader, Retail and Consumer Products, EY
Paula is a partner at Ernst & Young LLP (EY).
At EY, Paula has gained a broad base of retail experience, both in the specialty retail and general merchandise sectors, and with consumer product clients. Paula currently has market responsibilities for leading EY’s retail & consumer products practice in the Greater Toronto Area.
Paula has extensive experience working with private and public companies and providing IFRS and US financial accounting, reporting and advisory advice, particularly in the retail and life sciences sectors. Most recently she has taken multiple Canadian Reporting Issuers public in the US. She is knowledgeable in IFRS and US GAAP and has in-depth experience with internal controls over financial reporting requirements (SOX 404). She has over 20 years of experience with EY in Toronto, including a two-year secondment to the Canadian national audit practice and a three year secondment leading EY’s Human Resource team for its largest practice (responsible for performance management, compensation and recruiting).
Paula has experience in her not for profit role as a member of the Kingsway College School Finance Committee. She also has extensive experience in the boardroom through her public company portfolio, advising clients around governance and financial/business risks. Paula graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a Bachelor of Business Administration with Distinction and is a Chartered Accountant and U.S. CPA.
Co-Chair, Canadian Women's Foundation
"Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons. Love yourself, trust your choices, and everything is possible."
- Cherie Carter-Scott
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.
Chief Financial Officer, Pulse Seismic Inc.
Pamela Wicks joined Pulse Seismic Inc. in 1998 as Controller, was promoted in 2007 to Vice President of Finance, and was appointed Chief Financial Officer in March 2010. Pam has extensive experience conducting and negotiating complex financial deals and transactions. She was the finance lead for a significant asset purchase transaction in 2010 that doubled Pulse’s 3D seismic data library and led to a substantial increase in market capitalization and enterprise value. As CFO, Pam plays a significant role in investor relations for Pulse, including meeting with institutional investors and discussing financial results with industry analysts. Prior to joining Pulse, Pam held accounting positions within the Canadian east coast offshore oil and gas industry. She graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1987 with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree and obtained the designation of Certified Management Accountant in 2001.
In addition to being the Chair of the Canadian Women's Foundation Calgary Events Committee, she sits on the board of the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters and is ICD.D non-profit certified.