Our Board

Board of Directors


President: Francesca Ghossein

Francesca Ghossein is a lawyer at Field Law in Edmonton, practicing in the areas of professional regulation, and labour and employment law. She obtained her bilingual common law degree from the University of Ottawa where she sought opportunities to work on women’s issues and interned with the National Association for Women and the Law and the Department of Justice. She also holds a Bachelor of Science (Biology) from the University of Alberta. She enjoys figure skating, staying active, and learning new languages. She is passionate about supporting women and girls, and is honoured to contribute to an organization that provides such essential services to our community. Prior to being elected as President, she served as Chair of the Board’s HR & Nominating committee for two years.

Vice President: Kemi Kufuor-Boakye

Kemi Kufuor-Boakye currently works as the Director of Resource Planning at the University of Alberta. She is a graduate of the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and holds the designations of Chartered Professional Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor.  She develops and supports the budget planning process of the University of Alberta and takes responsibility for management, including forecasting and adjustments, throughout the fiscal year. Her promotion of clear processes and stated accountabilities have resulted in much more understanding and confidence in management of financial processes and controls, as well as overall organisational performance.

Kemi was the inaugural co-chair of the University of Alberta Library’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee from 2017-2019. A key focus of the Committee during that time period was EDI training for all staff in the Library, as well as a review of EDI related practices and needs within all the various departments. This work served as a foundation that continues to be built on today as EDI continues to be one of the Library’s strategic priorities.

Kemi is passionate about community service and is a current Edmonton Police Commissioner as well as being on the Finance and Audit Committee for the Canadian Research Knowledge Network. She recognizes the importance of representation and her role as an immigrant black woman in the community. Kemi believes that to truly embody and effectively govern inclusion, community boards should reflect the diversity of the community in which it serves.


Vice President: Amy Verhoeff

Amy Verhoeff is a corporate lawyer at Bennett Jones LLP, a national law firm, where she maintains a general corporate commercial practice with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, commercial transactions, private equity, and financial services.

Proud to be a born-and-raised Edmontonian, Amy holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in accounting and Juris Doctor degree both from the University of Alberta.

Amy is an active member in her local communities and is passionate about both empowering women and girls. In addition to her involvement with YWCA, she is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Stollery Women’s Network, currently serves as a co-chair of Edmonton Women in Finance’s Professional Committee and is on the Advisory Committee of the Edmonton Chapter of Young ACG (Association for Corporate Growth). She has also been involved with other non-profit organizations such as Compassion House Foundation. 

Amy is a self-proclaimed outdoor enthusiast. She is an avid golfer, backcountry skier, and hiker. 


Treasurer: Pamela Zrobek

Pamela Zrobek is currently the Treasurer at EPCOR Utilities Inc. Pamela has worked at EPCOR for the past 12 years and was previously the Corporate Controller and the Controller for EPCOR Distribution and Transmission Inc. prior to moving to Corporate.  She has been involved in all the financial aspects of EUI and EDTI including the internal and external financial reporting requirements and the oversight of the external audit.  She has also been involved in numerous regulatory applications and has been a witness before the AUC for several oral hearings related to the tariff applications.

Pamela earned her Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta in 1984 and afterward articled with Deloitte & Touche.  She received her Chartered Accountant designation in 1988.  After leaving public practice in 1991 Pamela worked at Lilydale Co-operative Limited (poultry processing) and MasterFlo Valve Inc. (flow control valve manufacture) prior to joining EPCOR.

Pamela is a past Chair for EPCOR’s United Way campaign and has volunteered for several charitable organizations.  Pamela believes in developing strong teams and strong people leaders.  She is excited for the opportunity to be an advocate for women and give back to the community.


Secretary: Kelsea Zalaski

Kelsea Zalaski is a Project Delivery Manager with AltaML, a machine learning start-up founded in Alberta. In this role, she leads a team of machine learning developers and business consultants with the goal of solving business problems through applied AI. Previously, she was a consulting professional in the People Advisory Services practice of EY LLP. Kelsea holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta and is a proud alumna of the school. While in school, Kelsea was an active participant in business case competitions which enabled her to compete both at a national and international level including the Asian Business Case Competition in Singapore. Kelsea is passionate about creating space for those historically underrepresented in the technology sphere and is excited to collaborate with the amazing women on the YWCA Edmonton board to continue to make a meaningful impact in our community.

Erum Afsar

Erum is a builder, creator and tree-shaker. She currently resides in Amiskwaciy Waskahikancurrently known as Edmonton on Treaty 6.

She obtained a degree in Civil Engineering from Queen’s University. Currently, Erum is Director of Enforcement with the Association of Professional Engineers and GeoScientists of Alberta (APEGA), Western Canada’s largest regulator. In this role, she is responsible for the Discipline and Compliance portfolios under the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act of Alberta that regulates approximately 77,000 professional members and companies. As well, she is Municipal Councillor with the Kananaskis Improvement District (KID), Alberta’s playground and host of the G8 meeting in 2002. On Council, Erum sits on the Budget and Audit Committee as well as represents Council on the Bow Valley Regional Housing Committee.

Giving back and involvement in her community is very important to Erum. She has been on many boards and committees including Anthology (supporting the Edmonton Public Library) and NextGen. Most recently, she was a Board Member with Islamic Family and Social Services Association (IFSSA). IFSSA just achieved Imagine Canada Accreditation and provides services related to food security, social housing, fostering healthy families and youth programs for Edmonton and throughout Alberta.

For her professional and community work she has received recognition as a Top 40 Under 40 by Avenue Magazine, The Next 10 by Alberta Venture and A Woman Who Inspires from the Canadian Council of Muslim Women.  From her alma mater she received Queen’s University Engineering Excellence: 125th Award for Engineering Alumni. As well, Erum has also been chosen as one of 250 leaders across Canada to participate in the 2020-2021 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.

She’s a parent to two girls and enjoys spending time with her family travelling, camping and being outdoors.

Her personal motto is “I am here to ‘do good’ and ‘to uplift others’”.


Sumira Duggal

Sumira Duggal is a Senior Manager, HR Partnerships & Programs with Canadian Western Bank (CWB), a Certified Talent Management Practitioner, and working towards her Certified Leadership Coach designation. As a Human Resources professional she supports business leaders with succession planning, talent management, business reorganizations, and other strategic initiatives with a people first lens, in addition, being an advocate and champion for team members across business areas. 

Her real passion lies around facilitating community investment. Sumira has centred her community investment and voluntary efforts around advocating and supporting newcomers to Canada, providing foreign trained professionals with the tools and mentorship to be successful by translating and leveraging their skills into the Canadian landscape.  Within CWB, she is the Co-Lead for CWB Global, an Employee Resource Group committed to supporting newcomers to Canada at CWB by creating opportunities for education, knowledge and information sharing with the goal to highlight the intersectionality between racialized newcomers, protected groups, and the experience of being new to Canada.  

Outside of CWB, Sumira is a business owner and Co-Founder of MNS, a philanthropic sock brand with the ethos to donate back to the community and support organizations and corporations to give back to those requiring social assistance and basic items, like socks. Through MNS, they have donated over 100,000 pairs of socks to local shelters and charitable organizations across North America.


Rachel Foley

Rachel Foley is a highly skilled and dedicated public servant, currently serving as a Chief of Staff with the Government of Alberta. Her extensive experience in governance and public policy has made her known for her exceptional strategic thinking and ability to navigate complex issues, delivering effective and innovative policies to improve the lives of Albertans. Rachel’s expertise spans various areas, including emergency services, social housing, and education. 

As an active volunteer and senior leader with Girl Guides of Canada for over 20 years, Rachel is deeply committed to empowering young girls and women and has actively supported the development of leadership skills, self-esteem, and confidence in members. Her volunteer work reflects her unwavering dedication to making a positive impact on society and as a new Board Member with YWCA, Rachel is excited to continue supporting women and girls to create a brighter future for all. 


May Han

May Han is a Finance Director with a Canadian institutional investor.  She has responsibility for finance, reporting, regulatory and compliance, strategy, risk management, and internal controls. Previously, she held Director of Finance roles with provincial pension plans administrators,pension fund manager, and invested time in public accounting practice. She holds a Bachelor of Management, Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation, and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designation.  

May also serves on other non-profit governance boards supporting their important causes.  

May is passionate about YWCA’s vision and mission. YWCA continues to make important contributions in advocating and advancing the needs and interests of the women and families they serve, and with meaningful impacts in the community. She is proud to serve and represent YWCA.


Meghan Klein

Meghan Klein is a social profit sector management professional with a background in strategy, organizational development, human resources, fund development, communications, arts, government relations, and community engagement. As Executive Director for Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, Meghan leads a team of 200 staff who are passionate about supporting newcomers to thrive through settlement, language, employment, family wellness, and community development services and programs.

In her role as Assistant Dean, Advancement for the Faculty of Graduate Studies at University of Alberta, Meghan created a fund development strategy for the faculty as part of the university’s $1.5 billion Capital Campaign. As Associate Executive Director and VP, People and Culture for the Francis Winspear Centre for Music & Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, she oversaw organizational business planning, human resources, communications, and a $3+ million public funding portfolio.

Meghan earned a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree from Queen’s University at Kingston, with a focus in cultural studies. She holds professional designations as a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) and a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and is a Certified Coach Practitioner and Leadership Coach. Meghan speaks English, French, German, and beginner Spanish and is certified to teach English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). Meghan is Past President and a current serving Director with YWCA Edmonton’s Board of Directors, Co-Chair of the Red Tape Reduction Non-Profit Industry Panel, and volunteers as a Big Sister mentor. Previously, Meghan served on boards for Goodwill Industries of Alberta, Parkland Turning Points Society, and Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton and served on the Community Well-being Committee to develop the End Poverty Edmonton Strategy.

Meghan was recognized as one of Edmonton’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2017 and was acknowledged in the Alberta Legislature on Human Rights Day 2018 for her volunteerism. Meghan resides in Edmonton with her husband Jorey and daughter Anna.


Leigh Mulholland

Leigh Mulholland is currently the Chief Compliance Officer for Capital Power Corporation. Leigh Mulholland joined Capital Power in 2007 and was appointed Chief Compliance Officer in September 2015, where she oversees and manages the compliance function within Capital Power, including developing the annual compliance program and maintaining current knowledge of regulations and laws applicable to the electricity sector in the jurisdictions CPC operates. In this role, Leigh ensures that the company and employees comply with regulatory requirements and internal policies and procedures. She also interfaces with regulators on a regular basis. Prior to her current position, Leigh has held positions in Corporate Strategy, Planning, Commercial Services, and Finance.

Prior to joining Capital Power, Leigh worked in the investment management industry at The Northern Trust Company, PIMCO, and Capital Guardian Trust Company as well as for HA-International, a joint venture between Hüttenes Albertus and Borden Chemicals. She has 25+ years of work experience in a variety of roles, including finance, accounting, client relations, management, marketing, and analytics. Leigh holds a Certified Public Accountant designation and degrees in Accounting, Risk Management, Cybersecurity, and Economics. 


Michelle Okere

Michelle Okere is a Founder and Principal of Okere & Associates where she supports organizations in building their Reconciliation, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) capacity to successfully transform workplace culture, drive employee engagement, and build high-performing teams. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) with over a decade of experience in leadership within the nonprofit sector, an award winning speaker, and inclusion practitioner.

To create opportunities for racialized youth, Michelle co-founded the REET Institute in 2021. In recognition of her work with community, Michelle has been featured in Pink Magazine, named to Edify Edmonton’s Top 40 under 40, and recently received the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal.


Siahra Raeyr

Siahra Raeyr is a public policy professional who specializes in policies and initiatives for community-serving programs on issues such as improving access to services, modernizing policies, and strengthening funding models.  She is currently a Senior Policy Advisor in the Ministry of Health where she leads the development of health service delivery strategies and programs to promote and protect the health of Albertans. She has also worked in the Victim Services and Crime Prevention Division of the B.C. Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. During this time, she chaired the B.C. Provincial Network of Child and Youth Advocacy Centres, which provides leadership to support a coordinated, trauma-informed, culturally safe response to all forms of violence against children and youth. Siahra was awarded the 2018 BC Attorney General and Solicitor General Award for Excellence in Collaboration for her work with the network. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Alberta and attended Queen’s University in the Global Development Studies Master of Arts program. Siahra is a long-time supporter of the YWCA and is looking forward to contributing to this incredible organization and community.


Meghana Valupadas

Meghana (she/her/hers) graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in Civil Engineering and also holds a Canadian Certified Inclusion Professional (CCIP™) designation from the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI).

Meghana has been engaged in social advocacy work and volunteerism for over 13 years. She is a founding member and the former Vice-Chair of the Women’s Advocacy Voice of Edmonton Committee, the Chair of the 2020 Women in Engineering Summit, and a Co-Creator of Diversity in Engineering, a non-profit organization that supports marginalized identity groups in Engineering at the University of Alberta. 

As a Transportation Engineer-In-Training with the City of Edmonton, she serves a dual role of improving engineering processes to be more inclusive of the needs of diverse users and providing internal corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training through the lens of an equity specialist. Meghana also leads change through her own business, Kind World Consulting, where she facilitates discussion and provides education on DEI principles, with a focus on accountability and informed and active allyship. 

In 2022, Meghana was identified by Engineers Canada as a 30 by 30 EDI Leader. She is also the recipient of the 2019 University of Alberta Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award and the 2019 Ivan Finlay Leadership Award for her work improving EDI in engineering education and industry.


Laurie Wang

Laurie Wang, BA, MBA, is the Vice-President of People, Culture and Communications at Legal Aid Alberta. In addition to board governance and policy development, she oversees the Marketing & Communications and People & Culture teams. A member of Forbes Communications Council, Laurie has received several awards over her career, including a Gold Quill Award from the International Association of Business Communicators and Connector of the Year by the YEG Startup Community Awards. In 2022, she was named one of Edmonton’s Top 40 Under 40 by Edify Magazine. 

Laurie was born in a refugee camp in Thailand and came to Alberta when she was three years old. Her family’s journey is what drives her to serve communities and help level the playing field: mentoring young women, supporting financial literacy through Junior Achievement, raising awareness for Legal Aid, and contributing towards the YWCA mission. A pragmatic optimist, she believes in leading by example—with sass and joy.