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.
Kerry Miller, Vice President – Governance
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.
Lori McLain, Vice President – Operations
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.
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.
Susan Kennard, Past 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.
Susan also serves on YWCA Canada’s National Board of Directors
Natali Schindler, Director
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.
Shannon Fountain, Director
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.
Vicki Smith, Director
Vicki ventured out west from Ontario in 1986 after graduating from the Ryerson Hospitality program. Her original plan was to stay for six months but the beauty of the area and the opportunities in the hospitality business kept her here.
Currently, she is the General Manager at the Fox Hotel and Suites. She also worked for Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts for more than eight years before moving to Banff Rocky Mountain Resort in 1994.
She first ventured into the volunteer world as a Director of the Banff Chamber of Commerce in 1990. This organization became Banff Lake Louise Tourism and Vicki was a founding member as well as being the treasurer for two years. She became a Director of the Banff Lake Louise Hotel Association in 2004 and served as President for 10 years ending in 2014. Vicki was also a founding member of Banff Heritage Tourism Corporation and served on the board for 5 years. Currently, she sits on the Board of Stoney Nakoda Economic Development and the Stoney Nakoda Resort and Casino.
Until recently, her son turned 18, Vicki was a hockey mom, football mom, baseball mom etc. who served as team manager and equipment manager for Canmore Minor Hockey. Now that her son is no longer involved in team sports Vicki has time for snow shoeing, hiking, biking and water colour painting.
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.