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Leadership Team

Executive Leadership

Denise Christopherson, Chief Executive Officer

Denise Christopherson is a skilled and respected advocate whose passion for social justice, equity for women, and diversity have greatly contributed to the goal of equality for women and girls. Denise’s commitment to marginalized and vulnerable women and their families is evidenced by all she does. As CEO of YWCA Hamilton, Denise is a dynamic leader who builds relationships within the non-profit sector and broader community while always making the time and effort to mentor women and young women. Denise is an active volunteer in the Hamilton community, and has been the recipient of a number of accolades in recognition for her tireless work to advocate for women’s issues.

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext.101

Medora Uppal, Director of Operations

Medora Uppal has 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector supporting women and families through a feminist, intersectional, human rights based framework. Her history of work focuses on building quality programs, strengthening organizational capacity, creating meaningful community engagement, and addressing social justice issues. Medora has a history of advancing housing solutions for women, children and families by providing leadership in the development, implementation and oversight of new and innovative service models. Medora has been a leader in the community in working to end violence against women and children. She plays an active leadership role at community planning tables across a variety of sectors including housing, violence against women, early years planning and health.

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext.128

Sarah Ernest, Director of Philanthropy & Communications

Sarah Ernest is a highly skilled and enthusiastic fundraising professional specialized in raising funds and awareness within the YWCA movement. Sarah brings over 10 years’ experience in development and communications and has exceeded all annual and capital campaign goals within her portfolio. Sarah joins YWCA Hamilton from her previous role as Director of Philanthropy at YWCA Silicon Valley in San Jose, California where she led a $3M campaign in a competitive Bay Area market. Prior to working in the United States, Sarah provided leadership to a $9M capital campaign for the YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth and the annual campaign for YWCA Halifax in Nova Scotia. She is known for her creativity and focused efforts in curating a culture of philanthropy.

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 107

Sandra Parker, Director of Child & Youth Services

Sandra Parker has been working in Hamilton since 2014.  Prior to joining YWCA Hamilton as the Director of Child & Youth Services, Sandra devoted her career to supporting the inclusion of children with special needs in Hamilton’s early year’s system.  Sandra is a strong believer in creating inclusive and equitable opportunities for children and youth in our diverse community and works hard to strengthen YWCA’s portfolio on youth engagement and service provision.

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 163

Maisie Raymond-Brown, Director of Employment and Training Services

Maisie Raymond-Brown has been part of the YWCA movement for over 17 years, first in Toronto and then in Hamilton. Maisie began her journey as a YWCA Business Administrator, then taking on the position of Manager in 2002, and becoming the Director of Employment and Training Services in 2015. Maisie is passionate about advancing women’s economic security and has a MBA degree in Business Administration and Management from Nova Southeastern University, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree from The University of the West Indies, Mona.

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 151

Senior Leadership

Ala Mohamed, Manager, Children’s Services

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 129


Amy Deschamps, Manager, Transitional Housing

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 112


Carol Fraser, Community Supports Manager, Developmental Services

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 119


Carol Martin, Manager, Employment and Training Services – Skilled Trades

Contact: (905) 522-9922


Daniella Bozur, Manager, Family Access Services

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 167


Deborah Schwientek, Manager, Employment and Training Services

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 144


Diana Chavez, Marketing Officer, Communications

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 174


Lori Dawson, Manager, Building Operations

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 182


Malgosia Sienkiewicz, Campaign & Donor Relations Officer

Contact: (905)-522-9922 x 181


Neanette Atanas, Senior Analyst, Programs & Training

Contact: (905) 522-9922 x 120


Rachelle Ingrao, Manager, Health and Wellness Programs

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 327


Sandra Litster, Finance Officer

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 115


Sarah Borde, Manager, Capital Projects

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 187


Shannon Cummings, Manager, Women’s Enterprise Centre

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 176


Tehreem Zafar, Manager, Immigrant and Settlement Services

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 335


Tracey Helwig, Manager, Developmental Services

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 153


Violetta Nikolskaya, Senior Program Analyst

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 320

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