Board of Directors
President: Kathleen Elhatton-Lake
Kathleen Elhatton-Lake is a Partner with Shores Jardine LLP. She is actively engaged in the legal community and co-chairs the Canadian Bar Association Municipal Law North section and has previously co-chaired Law Day as well as organizing the Law Day High School Mock Trials. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta and a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto. She clerked at the Alberta Court of Appeal and articled at a large national firm in downtown Toronto. She is passionate about advocating for women and girls and looks forward to contributing to the community.
Vice President: Francesca Ghossein
Vice President: 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.
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
Past President: Kimberley Pejs
Kim is an HR Professional committed to helping others succeed. She brings 17 years of HR experience, holds a Bachelors of Commerce Degree, is a Chartered HR Professional and Certified Talent Management Practitioner. While at Shaw Communications, she led strategic HR projects, new process initiatives and coached leaders to be the best they can be. Currently, Kim is a HR Manager for Hubbell Utility Solutions where she has supported acquisition and integration initiatives and partners with global stakeholders to develop people and grow the enterprise. Kim is also an active Girl Guide Leader for both her daughters’ units. 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. During her 5 years on this Board, Kim has served as President, Vice-President, Secretary and Chair of the HR & Nominating Committee.
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’”.
Sasha is an Indigenous woman from Alexander First nation (Treaty 6). She is currently pursuing a psychology degree from Athabasca University; her previous education includes an addictions counseling diploma and community addiction training. Sasha has a significant desire to work in the mental health sector and conduct research on trauma and addiction.
In addition to working full time, current educational pursuits and being a mother of 2, Sasha is also developing a project that will raise awareness for homelessness. She is a strong of an advocate for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and hopes to continue to raise awareness for this issue. Sasha has overcome a lot of similar experiences faced by many in the community, and this resilience brings a unique perspective to the work she does. Sasha intends to make a difference through a community development perspective in her role on the YWCA Board, as well as grow professionally. She wants to be able to utilize her voice while giving back to the community.
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.
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.
Sandra Muchekeza is passionate leader with a commitment to serving marginalized communities in Edmonton. Born and raised in Kenya before moving to Australia for her Bachelor studies in Psychology, Sandra moved Toronto, Canada where she started a career in International Development. Over time, Sandra’s professional life evolved to managing programs, projects, systems and processes for organizations in the social profit sector.
In her current role as the Senior Manager of Program Development and Accountability at Africa Centre, the largest Black serving organization in Western Canada, Sandra initiates and leads new initiatives to support the strategic direction of the organization. She also oversees the implementation of several programs at Africa Centre, including the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative (SBCCI) program funded by the Government of Canada. This groundbreaking program aims to increase the capacity of grassroots not-for-profit organizations serving Black communities in Canada.
Prior to her role at Africa Centre, Sandra was the Executive Director at the Council of Canadians of African and Caribbean Heritage (CCACH), an organization which supports activities that enhance the social, economic and educational life of the Black community in Edmonton. Her priority was to expand CCACH’s programs, increase its fundraising capacity and establish its community presence.
A strong believer in women’s empowerment, Sandra is passionate about the rights of women in every aspect of their lives. While the issues facing women are many, the right to equal economic opportunities and ending gender-based violence are two areas which Sandra feels particularly strongly about.
In 2018, Sandra and her sister founded a children’s books publishing company called Asili Kids. The company produces and distributes books which have content and characters that children of African heritage can identify with and also introduces children from all over the world to African stories.
Michelle Okere is CEO of Compassion House Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to easing the distress of the cancer journey. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) with over a decade of experience leading the growth of national, provincial and local non-profit organizations.
Michelle is recognized for her expertise in fund development; public relations; national, provincial, and municipal advocacy; strategic and operations planning; and human resources, with a focus on equity, diversity and inclusion. Since 2016, Michelle has been working with non-profits, Foundations, and social enterprises across western Canada to support transformational growth through her consulting company – Okere & Associates.
Passionate about community engagement, Michelle has been featured in PINK Magazine for her work in rural communities, received the Deputy Minister’s Award for Innovation in Saskatchewan for a cross-sector fundraising and awareness campaign, and was recently named to Edify’s top 40 under 40.
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, E.I.T., CCIP
Meghana (she/her) is a civil and transportation Engineer-In-Training with ISL Engineering and Land Services. She is also a diversity, equity and inclusivity educator and speaker, holding a CCIP™ (Canadian Certified Inclusion Professional) designation from the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI), whose mission is help organizations be inclusive, free of prejudice and discrimination, and to generate awareness, dialogue and action for people to recognize diversity as an asset and not an obstacle. She has been engaged in social advocacy work for over 13 years and believes strongly in the power of dialogue and education, co-creating Diversity in Engineering, or DivE, during her undergrad at the U of A, to support traditionally underrepresented groups in Engineering. She is a founding member and the former Vice-Chair of the Women’s Advocacy Voice Committee of Edmonton, and the former Chair of the Women in Engineering Summit 2020. Last but not least, she works part-time as a children’s entertainer, portraying characters like Princess Jasmine and Moana for fundraisers, birthday parties, and corporate events.