Wendy Kuiper, President
Wendy Kuiper joined the YWCA Board of Directors in 2012 and after serving two years as Vice President – Governance, she is our new 2016/17 President. Wendy currently works at the Town of Banff as a Peace Officer. Wendy believes that women are leaders in shaping social and cultural directions to achieve equality for all women. In her spare time Wendy plays slow pitch baseball, and can be found biking and hiking on our mountain trails.
Natali Schindler, Vice President – Operations
Natali has called Banff home for the past 11 years. Having lived in various mountain communities prior to Banff, including Golden and Jasper, the opportunity to establish her own dental practice, in such amazing surroundings, is what brought her and her husband to Banff in 2003. Natali was born and raised in Ottawa and did her Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology and Immunology and her Doctorate of Dental Surgery at McGill University in Montreal.
Natali loves living in Banff because of the opportunities to be outside in the beautiful surroundings hiking, skiing, biking or just walking. She also loves the strong sense of community in Banff and possibilities to be involved in the community as a volunteer. This is her second time being on the board of the YWCA and she is passionate about making a difference in the lives of girls and women in the Bow Valley. Natali is also a member of the Banff Mineral Springs Hospital Community Board and the Banff Mineral Springs Foundation.
Kerry Miller, Director
Kerry is a lawyer with Karras Rathbone in Banff, practicing in the areas of Real Estate, Wills and Estates, and Corporate Law. Before moving to Banff in September 2014, she practiced litigation with a Calgary law firm. Kerry obtained her law degree from the University of Calgary. During law school she volunteered with Student Legal Assistance and she was President of Canadian Lawyers Abroad University of Calgary Student Chapter.
Kerry has always had an interest in other countries, customs and cultures. This interest led her to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations at the University of Calgary. During her undergraduate degree she studied abroad at the University of Economics in Prague. Over the years she has travelled throughout Western and Central Europe, Croatia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, and Turkey. In her spare time Kerry enjoys snowboarding, biking and hiking. As a young female professional, promoting the empowerment of women and girls is of particular importance to Kerry.
Audrey Denholm, Treasurer
Audrey is a Chartered Professional Accountant currently working with Collins Barrow Bow Valley LLP Chartered Accountants. Previously from Guelph, Ontario Audrey moved to Banff in 2012. While in Guelph, Audrey volunteered with the Guelph Distress Centre by organizing a fundraising gala to support their program which offered crisis intervention and support for women and children in domestic violence situations. She was also a member of the YWCA/YMCA of Guelph for 15 years. As a volunteer with them she developed and organized a swimming program that taught water safety skills for children in grades 4-6 who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to learn these skills. Being able to participate in community programs that support and empower women and girls is very important to Audrey and she joined our YWCA Board of Directors in June. As a past competitive alpine ski racer, ski instructor and ski coach, Audrey still enjoys skiing and snowboarding in her spare time, along with cycling, mountain biking, sailing and trail running.
Shannon Fountain, Secretary
Originally from Ontario but has been living in Banff since 2008, Shannon graduated from Loyalist College in 2006 with a Social Service Worker Diploma. In Ontario, she worked in a “Transition Home” helping teens develop life skills that would allow them to move on to living independently and working towards a better life. She also worked with people dealing with mental and physical disabilities.
Her social work in Banff included working with teens and children when running the “Fridge” program created by the Town of Banff, more recently the “ Get Out” program. She also worked part time for the Town of Banff with their Out of School program. Currently, Shannon is a Wedding Planner for Mountainscape Weddings which services Banff, Lake Louise, Canmore, Emerald Lake, Kananaskis and surrounding area. She has found her niche in planning weddings and events, and although it keeps her fairly busy, she loves every minute of it.
Shannon loves hiking, hot yoga, cross country skiing, and enjoying the beautiful nature of the Bow Valley. She also enjoys creative arts, painting, and attending musical and theatrical events at the Banff Centre. She loves Banff and has decided to make Banff her permanent home by buying a house 2 years ago in town with her husband. Shannon cherishes her role on the YWCA Board and feels privileged to be a part of something so special and integral to the Bow Valley Community.
Joylina Gonsalves, Director
Originally from India, Joylina moved to Canada in 2012. She has experience in marketing and website design along with public relations and she is proficient in five languages. Joylina has volunteered as a social worker for Balika Vrindawan (a residence for abandoned girls) in Mumbai, India and she also worked as an intern at the Kripa Foundation (a rehabilitation centre for alcohol and drug addiction) also in Mumbai, India.
Joylina has just completed her Occupational Skills Training course at Bow Valley College and finished her work practicum with the MD of Big Horn as Project Administrator. She is currently exploring new employment opportunities in the Bow Valley community. Joylina is an active volunteer for the Bow Valley Community Helpers program and a First Aid Responder with the Canadian Red Cross. Joylina is an advocate for the human rights of woman and girls and joined our Board of Directors in August 2015.
Melissa Cargill, Director
Melissa grew up in Innisfail, Alberta then moved to Perth, Australia to complete her pharmacy degree. She returned to Canada in 2013 and worked in Calgary until finding her dream job in Banff. She has managed the Banff IGA Pharmacy since 2015. Melissa loves meeting new people and gets satisfaction in knowing she has helped others. She has past experience volunteering with dementia patients and is looking forward to being a part of the YWCA so she can give back to the community she loves.
Melissa enjoys spending time with her immediate and extended family. She and Her husband enjoy traveling the world, hiking and snowboarding.
Andrea Stuart, Director
Originally from Vernon, B.C., Andrea moved to Banff in 2000 after completing a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Victoria. She then worked in the service industry while persuing the elusive 100-day ski season. After 5 years in Banff, Andrea moved to Vancouver to article with PricewaterhouseCoopers and obtain her Chartered Accountant designation. After completing articling she was eager to move back to Banff, and accepted the position of Finance Officer with the Town of Banff in 2011. In her spare time Andrea loves snowboarding, skiing, yoga and spending time in the mountains with her husband and son. She is proud to call Banff home and is excited to be on the YWCA Banff Board and be involved with the wonderful programs and services they offer the community.
Shelley Buchan, Director
Shelley has called Banff home for 3 ½ years. She is the Site Administrator at the Banff Mineral Springs Hospital and has a degree in nursing with experience in both urban and rural settings. Growing up in Saskatchewan, Shelley feels she has the best of both worlds enjoying both the mountains and their cabin in Northern Saskatchewan with her husband, two adult children and high school age son.
Shelley appreciates the collaboration of the community in times of need, and supports what the YWCA contributes towards making a difference to girls and women of the Bow Valley.
Salina Riemer, Vice President – Operations
A deep-rooted love of the mountains drew Salina to the Bow Valley from Australia where her heart has called Kananaskis Country home since 2015. Graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce, her corporate experience began in the field of audit and business services evolving into an extensive history in partnerships, marketing and events.
With a passion for social and environmental welfare, Salina has been involved in many charity events and volunteer associations, seeking to support positive change through action. She is grateful to be able to continue to contribute through her position at YWCA Banff and to help drive the initiatives that support and empower women, girls and the community.
Marrying a love of marketing and socially responsible businesses, Salina currently works in marketing at Rocky Mountain Soap Company’s headquarters in Canmore. Whether hiking, biking, snowboarding or camping, she is happiest finding adventures amongst the mountain landscape of the Canadian Rockies with her partner and friends.
Yvonne Machuk, Director
Yvonne has lived in Banff since 1976. She has been actively volunteering for many years, having served on most community boards in Banff including the Mineral Springs Hospital Board, the Whyte Museum Board and the board of the Banff Canmore Community Foundation. Yvonne holds a BA from the University of Winnipeg, a BEd from the University of Manitoba and an MEd from the University of Calgary. After a career in public education that spanned almost four decades, she returned to university and earned a doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Calgary. Her doctoral work focused on the challenges faced by internationally educated teachers as they transition to the Alberta context. Yvonne has wide-ranging leadership experience both professionally and in the volunteer sector and has facilitated strategic planning sessions and professional learning workshops locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. Her commitment to empowering women and girls was established through her more than 30 year membership in Soroptimist International, a women’s service organization that works to better the lives of women and girls where she served in several leadership capacities for the organization. Yvonne and her husband have found retirement an excellent opportunity to revisit favourite spots and explore new destinations.
Holly Holbrook, Director
Holly Holbrook has lived in Canmore for the last 15 years. Originally from Vermont, Holly has traveled the world extensively and lived in many places throughout Canada and United States. Holly graduated from University of Vermont with a BA in Psychology. She went on to earn her master’s degree in Macro Social Work at Boston College. Holly travelled to Nepal to work with non-profits aiding women and children affected by Asia’s sex trade. This work began Holly’s interest and commitment to women’s issues, advocacy and empowerment.
Currently, Holly works as an interior designer in Canmore. She enjoys spending time with her two boys and husband in this amazing community. She is very excited about becoming part of the YWCA team and helping advocate for women and girls throughout the world.