We take pride in ensuring we’re always improving, always being as efficient as possible and always taking responsibility to manage ourselves prudently to ensure the support we receive does the good it was intended.
That’s why we take great care to build and maintain a robust, talented Leadership Team and Board of Directors.
This team of professionals works with our dedicated supervisors and front-line staff to lead the YWCA toward saving and changing more women’s and children’s lives, and ultimately toward seeing more women and children thriving in our local community.
Director of Philanthropy & Communications
Director of Services
Director of Finance
YWCA Board of Directors
Neera Jeyabalan, President
My family and I arrived in Canada in the mid 80’s seeking political asylum. We were unable to reside in my native country of Sri-Lanka as it was in the throes of a violent civil war. Shortly after our arrival, my father passed away rather unexpectedly. Thus my mother, brother and I were left to soldier on. Along the way, we had the good fortune to meet many kind and generous people who helped us acclimatize to our new home and become a part of the Canadian fabric. To them, I remain eternally grateful. I now work as a cancer physician at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre. I am also a wife and mother to two young children. My work at the cancer clinic is humbling and daily I am reminded of the many faces of suffering. I now realize that my work does not end at the doors of the hospital – there are many others in our community in need. The work of the YWCA resonates with me as it affirms my belief that the foundation of a thriving healthy community is the absence of violence, poverty and oppression. I have so much to be thankful for, and my involvement with the YWCA is my way of reciprocating all the kindnesses that were bestowed to me in my time of need.
Wendy Hicks, Vice President
I have been a lawyer, a business owner, a government policy analyst, an editor, a graduate student, and now a university instructor. I teach courses in Politics, International Development, and Environmental Studies at Trent University. I am also an artist and photographer, with a passion for the beauty of our natural world. The work of the YWCA is deeply meaningful to me. As a family lawyer I met many women who were struggling to provide a safe and healthy life for themselves and their children. I thought that it could never happen to me, but when I found myself in an abusive relationship I was grateful to be able to turn to the YWCA for help. I joined the Board of Directors as a way of giving back to the organization that saved my life, helped me to understand the cycle of abuse, and gave me the tools to become a whole and healthy woman. I am committed to doing what I can to ensure that the YWCA will continue to provide life-saving and life-changing services for women and children. During my years on the Board, I have had the opportunity to learn more about the scope of YWCA programming, and to work with an incredible group of women. I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to an organization that provides such crucial supports to women and children in our community.
Tina Thornton, Vice President
I work as Manager of Special Assignments with Nexicom. I began as their Internet Helpdesk Supervisor six years ago and was promoted to Supervisor of Customer Service before taking on my current role. I have a Diploma in Computer Programming and Business Administration and recently completed a Certificate in Project Management, skills which help me in my current role. At an early age I found myself in a situation where I needed services provided by the YWCA. This experience both changed and saved my life. Now that I have completed my education and have developed professional skills, I want to give back to this amazing organization and the people it supports. I have volunteered for years but never had this level of fulfilment. I truly feel like my contribution is making a difference.
Yvette Peplinskie, Treasurer
I obtained my chartered accountant designation in 2004 and worked in public accounting until 2009 when I joined the County of Peterborough finance department. I have served as the Treasurer of several other not-for-profit organizations over the past 10 years, including the Women’s Business Network of Peterborough, Peterborough Family Resource Centre and Green Communities Foundation. I have been a member of the YWCA finance committee since 2013 and have enjoyed using my professional skills to help the YWCA. I was honoured to be asked to be a part of the Board of Directors. The YWCA provides a valuable service for our community and I am proud to contribute to its success. This is my first year a Board Member for the YWCA and I am excited to be a part of such a successful group of women, working to help other women and their families.
Alissa Paxton, Secretary
I’ve worked as the Convenor (Events Manager) at Sadlier House for six years, coordinating the tenant offices and event bookings at this not-for-profit student and community facility.I also volunteer on the federal riding association executive for the Peterborough NDP. The work that the YWCA does for women and children in Peterborough is incredible. Providing not only emergency services, but on-going counselling, housing, and food supports helping us all thrive. Entering my second year on the board I have already learned so much from the staff, volunteers, and other board members. It’s a privilege to help direct this organization and act as an ambassador in the community.
Noni Chowdhury, Member-at-Large
I have been in the field of medical research for 8+ years and am currently pursuing an MA in the field of immigration. I have a keen interest in the mental health of immigrants, particularly on resources available and ease of accessibility of those resources. Helping people in vulnerable situations has always been a big part of my life growing up. Being new to Peterborough, I looked for ways to give back to this community and felt that YWCA was a strong organization who gave women a chance to shine. I have gained the mentorship and support of some very talented and smart individuals who are just as passionate about helping others as I am.
Jennifer Harrington, Past President
After working as an engineer in the Oil & Gas industry, I returned to school to obtain an MBA and refocus my career in community development. This led to a two-year position at the Workforce Development Board where I was able to work with a number of different organizations in Peterborough. I currently work as a consultant with Laridae, a full-service management and consulting firm based in Peterborough. We work only with public sector and non-profit organizations. My previous volunteer experience includes chair of the Peterborough Partnership Council on Immigrant Integration (PPCII), chair of the Peterborough Workplace Integration Centre (PWIC) – both programs of the New Canadian Centre, and a board member of the Peterborough Singers. I want to make a difference in the community I live in and I feel the YWCA is the place I can do this. The YWCA’s mission and values are closely aligned to my own and I value the incredible work the organization does in the community. From a personal perspective, I have met many other amazing women on the board who are dedicated to making our community a safer place to live and I hope to continue to learn from them and grow as a volunteer.
Roslyn Deisinger, Board Director
I’m currently a Master’s student at the University of Toronto, researching healing post-sexual assault. I began working in public education with Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre and Draw The Line in 2018 as I’m passionate about working with those who have experienced sexual violence and assisting them on their healing journey. It’s a pleasure to also network with such diverse, inspirational women in my new role as YWCA Board Director.
Amanda Gray, Board Director
I have worked in post-secondary education for 10+ years. Working first at the Ivey School of Business, Western University and moving to Peterborough in 2012 to work at Fleming College. For the past few years, my focus has been working with international students, providing them with access to resources to help them in their studies at Fleming and in the community. Being new in Peterborough, I was looking for ways to get involved in the community and give back. After learning more about the YWCA and the work they do to support women and children, I realized that many of their values were closely aligned with mine. The work that the YWCA does to support and empower women and children is truly inspirational and I’m very honoured to be a small part of it.
Kristen Larocque, Board Director
I’ve worked as Project and Marketing Officer with Workforce Development Board since 2017. Over the past year, I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from a number of incredible women who embody graceful leadership and generosity and strength in their words and actions. This exposure has encouraged me to follow in their footsteps and make a difference in the lives of other women. Having had the opportunity to hear both current and past YWCA board members share the impact that the YWCA has had on them personally, I am eager to begin learning and contributing. I especially look forward to seeing the impact that humanitarian work brings to our community as a result of my participation on this board.
Amber McPhee, Board Director
For the last six years I have been working in the education sector. Recently, I began a new adventure working for Fleming College as a Labour Relations Specialist in Human Resources. Prior to this and most recently, I worked for the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (KPR) as both an Employee and Labour Relations Consultant and earlier as the Human Resources Specialist and Program Officer responsible for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion our schools. I have a B.A. in Women’s Studies and Criminology from Brock University and a post-graduate certificate from Ryerson University in Human Resources Management. For as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about people and of everyone’s human rights to live free from discrimination, harassment, violence and oppression. For my own reasons, I have a particular interest and investment in the rights of women and children. As such, the work being done by the staff and volunteers of the YWCA Peterborough Haliburton to support women and children to thrive after inconceivable difficulty, is beyond inspirational to me. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity I’ve been provided to serve as a Board Director for this incredible organization in my own small way.
Kathryn Moore, Board Director
I grew up in Peterborough, graduating from Trent University with a B.Sc., (biology) in 1985. I earned my dental degree (D.D.S.) from the University of Toronto in 1989. After completing a dental internship at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto I returned to Peterborough to practice as an associate dentist for 11 years in Millbrook, followed by the opening of my dental practice in Peterborough in 2001. I have held hospital privileges at PRHC since 1990 where I provided treatment to pediatric and handicapped patients. I have previously been a volunteer with the Peterborough and District Dental Society, the Peterborough Concert Association, PCVS parent council and the Trent Swim Club. In addition to my work with the YWCA I currently serve on the Board of the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough. I am an avid runner, cyclist and long-time member of the YMCA of Peterborough. I also was one of the dancing participants in the Peterborough Regional Health Centre Foundation’s Dancing with the Docs fundraiser. I live in Peterborough with my husband. I was attracted to become a volunteer, as I was aware of some of the work that the YWCA does in supporting women and children to thrive. The education committee was the first area that I was invited to work with and I was thrilled. I strongly believe that education is a fundamental factor in allowing women and their children to live independent rewarding lives. I have thoroughly enjoyed working as a Director with the YWCA. This experience has opened my eyes to the many needs of women and children in our community. In addition, I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with a diverse group of women on the Board who are all excited and eager to share their talents and time to help better the lives of others.
Rachel Pott, Board Director
Zebiba Sultan, Board Director
I was born and raised in Ethiopia, and moved to Canada looking for better opportunities. I worked as an office assistant and a customer service representative for a number of years in Vancouver, BC while raising my two wonderful boys. I moved to Peterborough in 2010, a year after my husband was killed in a tragic car accident.
Despite the fact that moving to a new city in my worst time was extremely challenging, it was one of the best decisions I have made for my boys and myself. I have received tremendous supports from my siblings and the people of Peterborough. I went back to school in 2013 and obtained my Accounting/Bookkeeping diploma and Payroll certificate. Currently, I am a bookkeeper in a non-profit organization where immigrants, refugees and other new-comers receive settlement and employment services.
The people who supported me when I needed help have inspired me to volunteer meaningfully in my community, and I truly believe that YWCA is the perfect organization to do this. I am honoured to join this group of amazing women, in the YWCA board of Directors, who are devoted to make our community a safer place to live. I am looking forward to working with them and contributing my time to the organization.
Jane White, Board Director
I have been a nurse for 31 years and have been working at Kawartha Cardiology Clinic in the Pacemaker Clinic for 21 years. I was attracted to the YWCA by their focus on family and children – initiatives that support their safety, well-being ability to thrive. As a new member of the YWCA’s Board of Directors, I am gaining an understanding of the structure of the organization and how the Board functions.
Kelly Zatorski, Board Director
I have been a dedicated member of the Trent University community since 2013, working in a range of positions that contribute to the success of both the students and the institution as a whole. I currently hold the position of Manager, Careers & Experiential Education in which I am responsible for expanding a variety of experiential learning opportunities and supporting career education. Prior to entering the public sector, I worked as a project manager and consultant for an online business technology firm. The overarching appeal of becoming involved in the YWCA Board is the exposure to so many different facets of the organization and the opportunity to be a part of discussions that might open up other opportunities for personal growth and development. My hope is that I can then take that progress and translate it back into the organization, and overall community, as a more significant contribution. There are issues towards which I feel a profound connection to and am drawn to contribute in a way that gives back to a community that I truly believe has given me so much. Being a part of a team with a shared goal, varying perspectives and diverse backgrounds is inspiring and I am drawn to this opportunity to become engaged in something of such significance.