Susan Kennard, President
Susan Kennard works for Parks Canada as the Heritage Programs Manager, Banff Field Unit and is leading program renewal for the Banff Park Museum, Cave and Basin and Rocky Mountain House National Historic Sites.
Prior to working with Parks Canada Susan was the director and executive producer of the Banff New Media Institute at The Banff Centre, leading the training, production, research, and development activity of the institute and the engagement of artists and researchers with new media aesthetics and digital culture. In the mid 90’s Kennard worked in television as an associate producer for the “International Hour”, “CBC Newsworld” Calgary, and “Dateline NBC” New York. In radio she was a writer/broadcaster for CBC Radio Calgary, fundraising coordinator for CKUT Montreal, station manager for CKIZ Community Radio Pincher Creek, and board member with the National Campus/Community Radio Association. Susan was a co-founder of radio90.fm, an early hybrid net/fm art/pirate/community radio station.
In 2005, Kennard concluded a master’s degree in communication for development from the University of Malmö, Sweden, on the relationship between contemporary art practice, social change, and civil society in post-war Sarajevo. She holds a B.A from the University of Regina, a Graduate degree in Communication Studies from Concordia University Montreal and is currently registered in the University of Victoria’s Diploma program in Cultural Resource Management.
Susan’s writing has been published in Global Times (2006) and Euphoria & Dystopia: The Banff New Media Institute Dialogues (2011). Susan participates on numerous juries and review committees in Canada and abroad.
Natali Schindler, Vice President
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.
Wendy Kuiper, Vice President
Wendy Kuiper joined the YWCA Board of Directors in 2012 and is now serving this term as a Vice 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.
Suzanne White, Secretary
Suzanne has lived in the Bow Valley for five years, splitting her work life between Canmore and Banff. This has allowed her to get to know the Bow Valley community and have great conversations with amazing people who call this place home.
Prior to her move to the valley, Suzanne was based in Calgary where she worked in Public Affairs for the Canadian Red Cross, for both Southern Alberta and Western Canada. It was at the Red Cross that she had the opportunity to work on programs that dealt with affordable and safe housing, bullying prevention, healthy relationships and disaster preparedness and management.
She’s excited about the opportunity to serve on the board of the Banff YWCA and to work towards providing a safe and happy future for Bow Valley residents.
Barbara Buchmann, Treasurer
Barbara came to Banff from Germany in the late ‘80s while travelling around the world and, as so many in the Bow Valley, ‘got stuck’ in Banff. Together with her husband they raised two daughters in Banff.
Barbara worked as a Kindergarten teacher in Germany before going back to school to become an Occupational Therapist. In Banff she has worked many years in the long-term care unit at Mineral Springs Hospital. A few years ago she changed carrier paths completely to become an administrative assistant for the Town of Canmore. Being co-owner of a guiding and consulting company she also had the experience of running a business and looking after the bookkeeping needs for over fifteen years. Over the years she had numerous part time or casual jobs such as working as a care giver for Banff seniors, doing part time secretary work for Rundle United Church, explaining natural history as a National Park employee.
Barbara loves living in the Bow Valley and enjoys hiking and x-country skiing. Her other passions are singing, playing games with family or friends, keeping up with politics and reading.
Shannon Fountain, Director
Originally from Ontario but has been living in Banff for the past 5 years, Shannon graduated from Loyalist College in 2006 with a Social Service Worker Diploma. In Ontario, she has worked with Youthab 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 has also worked with people dealing with mental and physical disabilities.
Her social work in Banff includes working with teens and children when running the “Fridge” program created by the Town of Banff, which continues now as “Get Out” program. Shannon is no longer involved full time but helps out when she can. She also works part time for the Town of Banff with their Out of School program. She currently works full time as a Special Events Manager at The Fairmont Banff Springs.
Shannon loves hiking, snowshoeing, and most outdoor physical activities. She also enjoys creative arts, painting learning the piano. She loves Banff and is very excited to be a part of the YWCA’s Board of Directors as she wants to become more involved in making Banff a great place to live for all, and admires how much work the YWCA does for Banff’s residents.
Lori McLain, Director
Lori is a born and raised Albertan and has called Banff home since 2002 where she is now starting a family. After spending many years in the service industry, Lori obtained a business degree in Nonprofit Management from Mount Royal. While studying at Mount Royal, Lori also completed a Social Work Certificate in International Development. She previously managed a small nonprofit in Banff for several years until she found her calling running the Volunteer Resources department for Alberta Health Services in Banff, Canmore and Cochrane.
Lori is passionate about people, and holds a special interest in care for the elderly and palliative care. She is enjoying this opportunity on the YWCA Board to support positive growth for women and girls in our community.
In her spare time, you will find Lori hiking Tunnel and other trails, at the yoga studio, or having laughs with friends and family.
Ghada Wirth, Director
Ghada is the General Manager of Castle Mountain Chalets. With 21 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, Ghada also volunteers on several Boards in our community including the Banff Lake Louise Hotel Motel Association and the Association of Mountain Parks Protection and Enjoyment (AMPPE). Ghada is also a Councillor for the ID9 Municipality and currently represents the ID9 on the Banff RCMP Community Committee, Bow Valley Parkway, Parks Canada Superintendents’ meetings, Banff Region Committee and Banff Lake Louise Tourism working group. Ghada is passionate about advancing the leadership of women and girls in our community.
Joylina Gonsalves, Director
Joylina currently works as the Administrative Assistant at the Lake Louise Inn. 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 is currently 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 this August.
Audrey Denholm, Director
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.
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.