Kate Ashbridge is the Supervisor of Waste Disposal Operations at Niagara Region with 14 years of experience in waste management operations. Kate has a Bachelor of Science from Trent University and a strong interest in environmental sustainability. With her work in waste management, she is able to champion diversion projects and is focused on waste reduction and recovery.
Bio Coming Soon.
My name is Adriana Cardenas. I am a creative thinker and goal oriented person. My career goal is to work with people in need and help them improve their quality of life by identifying resources and services available to them. I have a Therapeutic Recreation background and I have had the great opportunity to serve my community in the private and non-for profit sectors. I worked for a LTC facility for around 7 years where I developed my interpersonal, creative and organizational skills through the creation and implementation of Recreational programs for seniors. In my current role with Hospice Niagara, I am leading community volunteers as well as working on delivering client center services through community programs for people living with a life limiting illness.
Mandy is an energetic, strategic, and passionate Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) with extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector. Proven success developing and implementing donor-centered, results-driven fundraising strategies including revenue generating events, corporate partnerships, donor prospecting, stewardship, and retention and direct mail programs. Mandy is a lifelong resident of the Niagara Region, a community she loves and has devoted her fundraising career to bettering the community that raised her. Mandy is a mama to two children and that role informs how she invests her time, her passion for fundraising, and her belief that we are raising the generation that will change the world.
My name is Heather Crouse, I am 26 years old and I am currently employed with the Town of Pelham as the Senior Facilities Operator for the Department of Recreation, Culture and Wellness. I have been with the Town 6 years now.
Raised in Smithville, one of my first jobs was a skate patroller on the weekends for public skates. From there I am now leading a group of staff and in charge of delegating work among other things. I now live in Fenwick and moved here when I was hired in 2017 as a part time arena employee for the Town of Pelham. I have since then acquired my Certified Ice Technician Designation. Moving into the Town that I represent has given me more passion for projects and work that I do here, especially because I am a resident myself I would want the same level of quality for all residents.
Melissa DeBeau is currently the Service Manager at Skycomp Solutions Inc, a locally owned Managed Service Provider (MSP) with a focus on providing technology support to businesses with 10 to 100 employees. Melissa’s career journey includes noteworthy roles in the non-profit sector, having contributed her skills to Hospice Niagara and Wellspring Niagara. A St. Catharines native, she is deeply invested in her city’s growth and actively participates in various philanthropic initiatives. Melissa holds a Business Administration – Operations Management diploma from Niagara College, and her dedication to community service shines through her active membership in the Rotary Club of St. Catharines.
Christine has spent the past 21 years as part of Meridian, managing both personal and small business financing. Her responsibilities as Senior Small Business Advisor include lending, investing and cash management. She combines her education and certifications (FPSC and CSI) with her broad experience to help identify Member needs and discover the right solutions. She invests the time and effort to build deep relationships with Members, gaining an intimate understanding of their businesses. Becoming an extension of her Members’ teams and a trusted business advisor is vital.
Elizabeth Duguay moved to Niagara Region at the start of 2022 to attend Niagara College’s Environmental Management and Assessment post-graduate program. Upon graduating, she joined Walker as a Project Support Specialist in their Environmental Division. In this role, Elizabeth assists in the long-range planning of the company’s environmental operations, performs community outreach and engagement activities, and provides support to various corporate and divisional initiatives.
With an academic background in Urban Planning from the University of Waterloo and previous work experience in city-building and sustainable development, Elizabeth is passionate about making meaningful contributions to the creation of livable communities that prioritize residents’ well-being, offering amenities, services, and environments that foster a high-quality of life.
My name is Jennifer Greenland. I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator and am the Child Care Fee Subsidy Supervisor for the Niagara Region. I began my career with Children’s Services as a Centre Supervisor in our Directly Operated Centres. After leading teams at three of our five sites, I decided to take a slight detour in my career path. In my Fee Subsidy role, I am still serving the community, however, it is in a different capacity. My work now is more behind the scenes with the families of Niagara. While I loved the daily interactions with the children and families in the Centres, navigating through the legislative side of subsidy with clients is proving to be very rewarding.
Erin Hagar is an accomplished Human Resources expert with a passion for cultivating vibrant and inclusive work environments that drive organizational triumph. With a distinguished background as a graduate of Niagara College’s Human Resources Management Diploma Program, Erin is deeply committed to attracting, nurturing, and retaining top-tier talent through strategic talent acquisition and fostering effective employee relations.
In her current role as the Human Resources Manager at SunOpta Inc. in St. David’s, Ontario, Erin has excelled in shaping comprehensive Human Resources strategies, employing innovative methodologies, and conducting meticulous assessments to ensure optimal organizational alignment. Her decade-long tenure primarily in manufacturing sectors, including food production and aerospace, alongside her consultancy work with small and medium-sized enterprises, has fortified her expertise.
Beyond her professional commitments, Erin cherishes her personal time, embracing moments with her family. Whether relishing leisurely strolls with her beloved dogs—Ozzy, Elvis, and Floyd—or savouring moments with her supportive husband, she finds solace and joy in the simple pleasures of life.
Nyarayi Kapisavanhu is the Founder and Executive Director of TOES Niagara. TOES Niagara is a not- for- profit organization based in Welland, working across the region, with women and their families, from diverse communities and backgrounds, giving them the Tools Of Empowerment for Success (TOES), through multi-lens educational workshops, programs, and other support services using her five pillars of Empowerment; Economic Development, Education for Sustainable Development, Leadership Development, Social Development and Personal Development.
Nyarayi is also the founder of the Advocating for Black Excellence awards of Niagara (ABEAN) inaugurated in 2015, an annual Black History month targeted scholarship fundraiser for Black youth enrolled into a post secondary education institution, which to date has awarded more than $30,000 worth of scholarships. She is also the founder of ‘What they see is what they will BE’, Black youth mentorship program that is run through both the District and Catholic school boards of Niagara.
Nyarayi’s passion is providing training and education to enhance the economic and social status and the development of leadership skills of the marginalized in order to improve their prospects. She is a strong believer in Education for Sustainable Development, which allows every human being to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future. Nyarayi is heavily involved in the community and sits on many boards and committees, locally and internationally, in various capacities. Locally, she is the current president of the Niagara District Council of Women, a Board Trustee at Brock University as well as Regional Appointee to the Niagara Region Police Service Board. She also sits on a number of committees such as the Local Immigrant Partnership, the Committee to End Violence Against Women (CEVAW) among others. She is also past president of SOFIFRAN (Solidarite de Femmes Immigrantes Francophones) and a former YWCA board member.
Sarah brings over a decade of non-profit Child Care management experience at the YMCAs of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford and Niagara. She has held multiple positions within the Child Care team with her current position being the General Manager of Children’s Services for the YMCA of Niagara.
Sarah is a passionate child care advocate who works closely with local school boards, and community partners to ensure that families in Niagara have access to quality child care. Sarah leads a team of 250 educators who offer quality care to families in the Niagara community.
She and her family live in Smithville.
Morgan is a strong community leader with a passion for advocacy and connectedness. Through thoughtful engagement, she works to uncover needs and fuse partnerships to foster long-term solutions across the Region. Her passion for Small Business, Financial Literacy and Community seep through in everything she does. Celebrating 10 years with Meridian, Morgan works as an Assistant Branch Manager here in Niagara and is passionately building various events & community projects. She is a Small Business owner as well and hosts various pop-up events throughout South Niagara.
Jim McEwen is an Adaptive Technology Specialist at Niagara College. For over 20 years he has been working with students with disabilities and teaching them technology and strategies to help them succeed. Jim is passionate about helping students and believes that the right adaptive technology used well can change everything. In 2023 he completed a project where he cocreated a virtual reality simulation addressing inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. He also worked on the Niagara College Accessibility Hub creating articles about document accessibility.
Melissa Montague is the Manager of Accounting Services at Niagara Region. She brings more than 15 years’ experience in municipal finance, with previous roles at local area municipalities. Melissa has an honours diploma in Business Accounting from Niagara College and is a current Brock University student pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting). In addition, Melissa holds a Diploma in Municipal Administration (with honours) from AMCTO and is the 2019 recipient of the Excellence in Academics award. Melissa’s passion for financial management process efficiencies has helped her lead the accounting services team to success.
Sandra Angelini, a dedicated and results-driven Interim Clerical Supervisor with 21 years of experience of medical administration operations. I possess strong leadership and organizational skills, ensuring the smooth and efficient functioning of the clerical team. Expertise includes optimizing workflow processes, training staff, and implementing systems to enhance productivity. Sandra thrives on the challenge of managing diverse tasks and excel at fostering a collaborative and motivated work environment. With a proven track record of achieving operational excellence, She is committed to helping organizations reach their administrative goals.
A visionary communicator with a heart dedicated to empowering women and fostering change in her community, Megan navigates the world of communications with a strong sense of purpose. A recent graduate, Megan’s passions led her to the YWCA Niagara Region, where she now shines as the Communications Manager, using her skills to amplify the voices of our most vulnerable. This past year, Megan orchestrated the annual Niagara Leadership Summit for Women, a transformative day of empowerment that resonates far beyond its walls, deep into our community. She has supported many impactful initiatives including Annual Food Drives and The Coldest Night of The Year campaign that supports the hurt, the hungry, and the homeless, demonstrating her commitment to igniting social change. Megan’s boundless energy, strategic brilliance, and empathy continue to breathe life into her remarkable journey of making the world a warmer, more compassionate place for all.
Angela Roy is currently a Manager of the Reproductive Child Health and Nurse-Family Partnership Programs at Niagara Region, Public Health. Angela completed her undergraduate studies from Brock University with a Bachelors degree in Health studies and Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing through McMaster University. In 2022, she graduated from Athabasca University with a masters degree in Health Studies with a focus on education. Angela has dedicated most of her professional career to public health nursing worked collaboratively across many programs and held varying positions in leadership. In addition to her public health work, Angela is also part-time faculty at Niagara and Conestoga College, in the Healthcare Leadership programs. Angela is a life-long resident of Niagara and resides in St. Catharines with her husband and two sons. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading and hiking throughout the many wonderful trails in Niagara.
Sherlette Rutherford is a registered nurse currently practicing at Niagara Health as a Nurse Educator. She received her Bachelor of Nursing from the University of New Brunswick in 2014. Over the years, she has practice nursing both in the community and acute care. Sherlette is passionate about personal and professional development and is committed to lifelong learning. She is currently enrolled at Trent University completing her master’s in nursing. She is a thoughtful and compassionate leader who strives for excellence in all things. She is intentional about making a difference in the lives of everyone she encounters. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family and being active.
Kelly Spence (she/her) is the Communications and Outreach Coordinator for the Lincoln Pelham Public Library (LPPL). Before joining LPPL in 2017, she worked as a freelance author, editor, and project manager in children’s educational publishing and as the Editorial and Rights Coordinator at Crabtree Publishing.
Kelly earned a Bacher of Arts in English and Liberal Studies from Brock University and holds a certificate in publishing from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University). She lives in Beamsville with her husband and two daughters and can often be found with her nose in a book.
Kaitlynn Valeriano is a creative marketer with more than 12 years of experience in driving strategic marketing programs. She is currently the Marketing Manager of the Environmental Division at Walker Industries, where she oversees brand management and the development of integrated marketing programs across the Division’s businesses in the renewable energy, resource recovery and waste management industries. Kaitlynn is also dedicated to implementing creative campaigns and leading events that enhance relationships with the community and key stakeholders.
Niagara has always been home to Kaitlynn. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Brock University and lives in Grimsby.
Bio Coming Soon.
Joe Vrbanek is a Utilities Leader with more than 15 years of progressive project management experience in the electricity transmission and generation sector. He currently manages a team of project managers at Ontario Power Generation delivering capital power system generation projects with an annual spend of $60M/year.
Joe completed his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and master’s degree in electrical and mechanical control theory (artificial intelligence) from Lakehead University. He also obtained his master’s Certificate in Project Management from The George Washington University School of Business.
Joe is a licensed Professional Engineer (P. Eng) and a Project Management Professional (PMP). In his spare time, Joe enjoys golfing, cycling, hockey, working out, cooking and playing the guitar.
Joe lives in St Davids with his family.
David has over 10 years of experience in delivering operational service improvements as a federal public servant and as the general manager of his family’s past hotel business. He is currently learning more about commercial real estate brokerage and multifamily residential development.
He has in-depth practical understanding of how people, processes, and technology come together to deliver tangible improvements. As a general manager of a hotel he also gained an intimate understanding of small business leadership as well as legal, accounting, and human resource management issues.
David has undergraduate degrees in engineering and political science from the University of Waterloo. He was raised in St Catharines and currently lives there with his family and enjoys volunteering with the Niagara Health System and as Treasurer of Nelephant Montessori School.
Diane has been a life-long resident of the Niagara Region where she spends time working and living in the area with her family.
Diane has over 22 years’ experience at Meridian Credit Union delivering on a Member first experience in the Wealth department.
She invests time in collaboration with team members and all Lines of Business to ensure an effective and efficient manner
She has a passion for involving herself in helping and learning from others.
With Cancer and Type 1 Diabetes affecting family and friends, this has lead Diane to volunteer on the Terry Fox committee for 10 years and participate on the JDRF – Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation walks and donations initiatives.
From the 2022 Niagara Canada Games, the experience that I gained working with diverse group of athletes and coaching staff was profound. I was a resource for the Volunteer Program for my bilingual skills
As a graduate from Niagara College, she has made a commitment to a lifelong learning from computer programming, to Wealth licensing and Compliance to Management programs and Projects.
Diane is looking forward in continuing to grow her connections in the community.