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Leadership Team

Get to know your YWCA Hamilton 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

Janet Arsenault, Director of Finance

Janet Arsenault is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) with over 10 years of experience in financial management and boasts a strong background in the private sector with a major manufacturer. As the Director of Finance, Janet is responsible for overseeing the budget planning, financial reporting and risk management of YWCA Hamilton. Janet is financially prudent, exceptional at funder reporting and has led YWCA Hamilton through many successful audits. Janet holds an MBA from the University of Windsor and a BACS from the University of Western Ontario.

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 124

Sarah Ernest, Director of Development

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

Winnie Linker, Director of Human Resources

Winnie Linker has 20 years of working with organizations, leaders and teams to strengthen performance and productivity and to develop sustainable change, always focused on people. In her practice she integrates strategic planning, with all areas of human resources development and systems efficiencies to facilitate deep levels of employee engagement and results. Winnie is passionate about encouraging and coaching people, especially women to recognize their value, develop their strengths, and move forward to realizing and living the life and careers of their dreams.

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 188

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

Heather Barkley, Campaign Officer

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 156


Chris Beltrano, Head Chef, At the Table

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 146


Sarah Borde, Project Officer, Building Services

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 187


Daniella Bozur, Manager, Family Access Services

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 167


Carol Fraser, Community Supports Manager, Developmental Services

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 119


Joanne Siamro, Manager of Building Operations

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 182


Tracey Helwig, Manager, Developmental Services

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 153


Sandra Litster, Finance Officer

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 115


Sheryl Nadler, Manager, Media and Communications 

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 162


Amy Deschamps, Manager, Transitional Housing

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 112


Jennifer Noel, Manager, Children’s Services

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 129


Deborah Schwientek, Manager, Employment and Immigration Services

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 144


Marnie Warman, Manager, Health and Wellness Programs

Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 327


News and Events

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