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Board of Directors

Meet YWCA Hamilton’s Board of Directors 2023-2024

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.

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.’

Shaarujaa Nadarajah, Secretary

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.

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.

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.

Colleen Ryan, Member

Colleen is the Associate Director of Marketing, Communications and Customer Experience at John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. 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.

Anandi Naipaul, Member

Anandi is a lawyer, partner, and Firm Chair at Ross & McBride in Hamilton. As a personal injury lawyer, her focus lies in advocating for injured individuals and their families. With a deep-rooted passion for challenging the status quo, she actively promotes diversity, inclusion, and equity within the workplace. Anandi finds great pride in her role as a member of the YWCA Hamilton Board, and she actively encourages and empowers young girls and women to pursue leadership roles within their communities. Her dedication to making a positive impact serves as an inspiration to those around her.

Carla Velastegui, Member

Carla is a healthcare technologist with a background spanning the private and public sectors, as well as early-stage companies focused on advancing accessible and equitable technology solutions for all Canadians. A proud alumna of McMaster University, she maintains deep connections to Hamilton. Carla actively engages in advisory committees, speaking engagements, and raises awareness about the multifaceted experiences that caregivers encounter in their communities, workplaces, healthcare settings, and beyond. Closely aligned with the mission, vision, and values of YWCA Hamilton, she is committed to advancing gender equity and social justice for women and girls to thrive in their communities.

Sabih Ottawa, Member

Sabih is very proud to have grown up in downtown Hamilton and feels a deep commitment to the community. As a passionate advocate Sabih centers her volunteer work around poverty alleviation, gender equity, and youth advocacy. She holds a finance degree from Toronto Metropolitan University and is a lawyer at McCarthy Tétrault LLP, where she represents clients in complex litigation disputes.

Melanie Skrlac, Member

Born and raised in Hamilton, Melanie continues to feel a strong connection to the greater community. A professional with many years of experience in the financial services industry – most recently as a Commercial Banker – she brings a comprehensive understanding of finance to the boardroom. She is appreciative of the opportunity and is looking forward working collaboratively with the Board to support the YWCA’s mission and values.

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