Get to know your YWCA Hamilton leadership team
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 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
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
Tricia Thomson, Director of Building Services
With over 20 years of Facilities Management experience, Tricia Thomson brings a wealth of knowledge from both the private and public sectors, including pharmaceutical, manufacturing and construction. Tricia’s brings to the YWCA her extensive technical knowledge, management principals, property lease negotiations, equipment and building life cycle program implementations, capital budget forecasting, HVAC/electrical/fire/EH&S code compliance and contract negotiations allows me to effectively manage the fast pace of the Building Services Department. Tricia is a fair and equitable leader, who builds strong, cohesive teams who are empowered and motivated to succeed. One of her many strengths is implementing strategic initiatives and Tricia is committed to maintaining a high level of service integrity within the departments she leads.
Neanette Atanas, Senior Analyst, Programs & Training
Contact: 905-522-9922 x 120
Heather Barkley, Campaign Officer
Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 156
Sarah Borde, Project Officer, Building Services
Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 187
Daniella Bozur, Manager, Family Access Services
Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 167
Shannon Cummings, Manager, Women’s Enterprise Centre
Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 176
Lori Dawson, Manager of Building Services
Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 182
Amy Deschamps, Manager, Transitional Housing
Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 112
Carol Fraser, Community Supports Manager, Developmental Services
Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 119
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
Violetta Nikolskaya, Senior Program Analyst
Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 320
Ala Mohamed, Manager, Children’s Services
Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 129
Deborah Schwientek, Manager, Employment and Training Services
Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 144
Marnie Warman, Manager, Health and Wellness Programs
Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 327
Tehreem Zafar, Manager, Immigrant and Settlement Services
Contact: (905) 522-9922 ext. 335