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Board of Directors

Meet YWCA Hamilton’s Board of Directors 2022-2023

Terri Johns, President

Terri is president of T. Johns Consulting Group Ltd. Although Terri was born in Owen Sound and spent many of her early years in Welland, she has happily called Hamilton home for almost 40 years.  As an urban planner, Terri has seen Hamilton reinvent itself; transforming a lunch bucket community into a vibrant cultural hub.  Terri feels the support of women in strong leadership roles is key to keeping Hamilton moving forward to its full potential.  She sees her role as a board member as a way to, not only give back to the community she loves but also promote and encourage girls and women to think outside the box when it comes to their future.

Charaya Thach, Past President

Charaya and her family immigrated to Canada in 1991, originally settling in Edmonton before calling Hamilton home. She spent her formative years in Hamilton, attended McMaster University, and has built her career in the city. She brings to the Board her expertise in the commercial banking sector and experiences fundraising for a variety of charitable organizations in the community. Charaya is thrilled  to give back to the women and young girls of the city she knows and is proud to call home.

Anna D’Angela, Vice President

Anna is a Canadian Certified Physician Assistant in Respirology. Prior to transitioning into clinical practice, she completed her MBA in Health Services Management in 2017, and spent time in various quality improvement and healthcare project management roles. As a feminist, Anna firmly believes in the mission, vision, and values of the YWCA Hamilton. When women and girls are empowered to succeed, we can do remarkable things. The YWCA Hamilton plays a critical role in our community and Anna looks forward to supporting and helping it continue to achieve its goals.’

Cindy Neale, Treasurer

Originally from Burlington, Cindy Neale has lived and worked in Hamilton for 30 years and holds the position as Executive Vice President of Finance at Virox Technologies Inc. In her previous position as Executive Director and a CPA.CA, CBV at KPMG LLP Cindy provided clients with divestitures, mergers and acquisitions and capital advisory services and also contributed both within and outside KPMG to advancing women’s issues through her involvement in various initiatives. Cindy is excited to join the YWCA Board and is committed to helping the YWCA achieve its mission of advocating for women, helping women break down barriers and become leaders in the Hamilton community.

Ange Bitwayiki, Member

Ange is a Communications Coordinator at Public Health Ontario and currently holds a BA from McMaster University in Political Science. She is dedicated to addressing issues of anti-Black racism and islamophobia in her community, and works diligently to raise awareness on sexual and gender-based violence. As a proud feminist, she is committed to uplifting the voices of racialized women and girls to remove systemic barriers and create an equitable community. Ange believes YWCA Hamilton shares this mission and is thrilled to be a part of the Board of Directors to further empower women and girls.

Bianca Caramento, Member

A proud McMaster University alumni, Bianca holds a master’s degree from the London School of Economics in Environmental Policy and a first degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Bianca has worked in government, both federally and provincially. She served as Manager at Mohawk College’s Centre for Climate Change Management and currently leads the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s work in climate policy. Bianca is committed to the well-being and prosperity of all self-identifying women and girls.

Jesse Elders, Member

Jesse is a lawyer and advocate for her clients in the areas of employment, human rights, and administrative law. Jesse, a Hamilton resident, is grateful for the opportunity to work with and support other women and girls in her community. As a board member committed to YWCA’s mission and values, Jesse will work hard to improve the freedom, status and experience of women and girls.

Alison Horton, Member

Alison Horton is the Vice Provost, Academic Resources and Planning at Sheridan College. Alison is thrilled to be joining the Board of the YWCA in order to actively contribute to the empowerment of women and girls within this community. Her interest in feminism and diversity began during her post-secondary career, and has continued through both her roles as an educator and college administrator. Alison sees the YWCA as a critical influencer of the exciting changes occurring in the City of Hamilton.

Lydia Kapiriri, Member

Lydia Kapiriri is an associate professor at McMaster University. Since relocating to Hamilton, she was impressed by and wanted to contribute to the YWCA Hamilton’s mission dedicated to improving the lives of the women and girls in Hamilton. Lydia’s education as a medical doctor paired with her passion and research focused on health systems, priority setting and fair and equitable resource allocation adds to her interest in contributing to the understanding of – and alleviating – the inequities and injustices that are prevalent in our community. Her hope is to work in collaboration with fellow YWCA Hamilton board members who hold the same vision; to advocate for and support marginalized women and girls to ensure that they thrive and succeed.

Dr. Carys Massarella, Member

Carys Massarella is an emergency physician at St. Joseph’s Healthcare and is the lead physician for the Transgender Care Program at Quest Community Health Centre in St. Catharines. Dr. Massarella sees and treats transgender identified clients and is a leading expert in transgender care. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Degroote School of Medicine and also lectures widely on transgender health care. Recent appearances include a TEDx, “The Depathologization of Trans Identity,” TEDx Hamilton “The False Narrative of Deception” and the CBC Doc Zone documentary, “Transforming Gender.” She was the first transgender person to be a president of a hospital medical staff anywhere in the world and was named one of the World’s 50 Transgender Icons by Huffington Post.

Shaarujaa Nadarajah, Member

Shaarujaa is a strategy consultant that has experience working with non-profits locally and internationally within the areas of fundraising development, strategic planning, and business operations. A proud graduate of McMaster University, she spent 6 years in Hamilton before leaving the city to pursue her graduate studies at the Smith School of Business. Shaarujaa is committed to supporting the YWCA Hamilton in their mission to strengthen the voices of women and girls in order to promote and build equitable communities. She is most passionate about supporting the growth of women’s entrepreneurship programs as she firmly believes communities can be transformed by more women entrepreneurs.

Jetaasi Verma, Member

Jetaasi immigrated to Canada in 2016 and has since called Hamilton her home. Jetaasi is a Certified Human Resources Professional and is currently working as a Manager, Talent Data & Analytics in the Financial Services industry and holds a Human Resources Post Graduate Certificate from Sheridan College. She has been an active volunteer at YWCA Hamilton and is excited to continue supporting its mission and contribute as a Board Member to ensure that women and girls have the rights, resources, and opportunities to embrace their strength, follow their passion, and succeed in their lives.

Collen Ryan, Member

Colleen is vice president of strategic communications with Sussex Strategy Group, a public affairs firm in Ontario. Originally from Newfoundland and Labrador, Colleen chose Hamilton as her new hometown in 2018. She has seen how the City has evolved in just the past four years and is eager to support its continued growth and building an even stronger, more vibrant community. Colleen attributes her own career success and opportunities to the many female leaders and mentors who supported and lifted her up along their own journeys and firmly believes in mentoring and holding space for other women and girls to excel. She sees her role on the Board as an opportunity to create such opportunities for the women and girls the YWCA serves.

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