Our Board

Board of Directors

2020–present

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.
2023–present

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. 

2022–present

Vice President: 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.
2023–present

Treasurer: Leigh Mulholland

Leigh Mulholland assumed her position on the Board in April 2023 and currently serves as a member of the Finance and Audit Committee. Leigh held the role of Chief Compliance Officer with Capital Power Corporation from 2015 to 2023, where she oversaw and managed 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 that role, Leigh ensured that the company and employees complied with regulatory requirements and internal policies and interfaced with regulators on a regular basis. Prior roles include positions in Corporate Strategy, Business Planning, Commercial Services, and Finance. Prior to joining Capital Power, Leigh worked in the investment management industry. She has 20+ years of work experience in a variety of roles, including finance, accounting, client relations, management, marketing, and analytics and has volunteered in non-profit organizations focused on education, poverty alleviation, and women and children’s healthcare. Leigh holds a CPA (Canada) and CPA (US-IL) designation and degrees in Accounting, Risk Management, Cybersecurity, and Economics.

2024

Secretary: Doris Paquette

Doris Paquette, BA, PMP is the Director, Planning and Project Delivery at Civida where she has made a strong contribution to the affordable housing sector. In addition to her extensive knowledge in Capital and Strategic planning, Doris continues to change the narrative on women in leadership by empowering women of all ages. She is an active member of CREW Edmonton and Alberta’s Chapter of Women in Leadership.

Doris has been a recipient of The Edmonton’s Edify Magazine’s Top 40 under 40, Class of 2022, a recipient of the Healthy Community Award for Most Significant Change, 2022, and acknowledged as a Women of Influence, 2023, from The Planner’s Magazine.

Prior to joining Civida, Doris spent over 10 years in the Education sector where she executed many successful projects including the championing and innovation of safe, accessible and inclusive play spaces for children.

2024

Tanya Adams

Tanya serves as the Director of Public Relations for the Mikisew Cree First Nation and contributes to the YWCA Truth & Reconciliation Committee. Proud of her Dene/Cree heritage and a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN), she maintains deep connections to her community. Tanya has earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and ongoing studies toward a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Simon Fraser University. 

Over the span of 15 years, Tanya has gained diverse professional experience across multiple sectors, including marketing, communications, events, management, administration, indigenous relations, and community engagement. As an Indigenous woman, she brings a range of perspectives to her work and proudly advocates for diversity and inclusion within the YWCA and beyond

2023–present

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.

2023–present

Rachel Foley

Rachel Foley serves as an Executive Director within the Government of Alberta, specializing in strategy and social policy. With experience in social housing, education, and health, Rachel has actively supported meaningful change for communities. Outside of work, Rachel is further committed to supporting women and girls in her community, as evidenced through her long-standing volunteer work with organizations like Girls Guides of Canada. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys hiking and running and can often be found enjoying the trails in Edmonton’s beautiful river valley.

2021-present

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.

2022–present

Kemi Kufuor-Boakye

Kemi is currently an Executive Director of Budget Development and Systems for Treasury Board and Finance at the Government of Alberta. In this role, she provides strategic options, recommendations and advice to ministries in all areas of budgeting, forecasting, spending and business planning. Additionally, Kemi supports the development and implementation of ministry budgets, monitoring achievements through quarterly and annual reports. She leads and coaches a management team to enhance government budget and business planning processes through effective collaboration. 

She is a graduate of the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and holds the designation of Chartered Professional Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor.  Kemi is passionate about community service and is a current Edmonton Police Commissioner 

As a black woman, she brings diverse perspectives and lived experiences to the table, ensuring that the board reflects the diversity of the community it serves. This representation is essential for making inclusive and equitable decisions that consider the needs of all community members.

2022-present

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.

2022-present

Siahra Raeyr

Siahra Raeyr is a seasoned public policy professional who specializes in policies and initiatives for community-serving programs. She currently serves as a Manager of Legislation and Strategic Communications in the Ministry of Health, where she leads the development of health service delivery strategies to promote and protect the health of Albertans. Prior to this, she worked with the Government of British Columbia developing provincial policy and programs to provide a coordinated, trauma-informed, culturally safe response to violence against women, children and youth. 

Siahra is excited to make a meaningful impact within the YWCA Edmonton, contributing to its transformative services, programs, and advocacy efforts. With a deep commitment to fostering gender equity and social justice, she is eager to collaborate with the YWCA Edmonton in building a stronger, healthier, and more equitable community for all.

2023-present

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.

2019–present

Pamela Zrobek

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.

Finance & Audit

Governance

HR & Nominating

Truth & Reconciliation

Board Committees

Our Board is supported by multiple committees made up of board members and community members who offer their expertise and knowledge to ensure excellence of programming and services.