YMCA Board of Directors and
As a leading charity, the YMCA is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. This group of community volunteers provides vision, strategic leadership and stewardship for the Association. The YMCA Board of Directors meets regularly with an Annual General Meeting held every spring.
Meet our Directors
Sonya Fraser is the Managing Partner with EY, where she works with both public and private entities to provide integrated professional services.
Sonya has been a long-term supporter of the YMCA of Greater Halifax. She has worn many hats at the Y including Board Member and Chair of the Audit Committee, Governance Committee Member and Philanthropy Work-group Member. She is also involved in the YWCA’s Women’s Leadership Collaborative and is dedicated to supporting the advancement of women in business, acting as a connector and mentor.
Sonya is both direct and compassionate and has the unique ability to balance both the financial and personal side of the Y. Her ability to focus on key financial questions gives non-financial board members peace of mind.
Jennifer Berry is an Industrial Technology Advisor at the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program.
Jennifer holds a BSc in Food Science from the University of Guelph. Throughout her career, as an active member of the food industry, Jennifer has enjoyed speaking on food and nutrition in Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia to varied audiences. Her work in human resources and coaching leaders has become a great asset.
Jennifer believes that community contribution is a crucial ingredient for personal happiness and prosperity. She currently volunteers on the Board of the Nova Scotia Food Alliance, as the Chair of FUSION Halifax, and a Volunteer Facilitator for the Canadian Centre for Diversity.
Jennifer recognizes the value of the YMCA’s varying services and programs which nurture people’s potential, and that everyone has a place at the Y.
Stephen MacDonald is the President and Chief Executive Officer at EfficiencyOne and is a relentless champion for the development and growth of the energy efficiency industry in Nova Scotia,
and the more than 2,500 people working in this field across the province.
Stephen is a Chartered Professional Accountant (1994) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree (1991) from Saint Mary’s University.
Stephen previously has served as EfficiencyOne’s Chief Operating Officer. He has been recognized as one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEOs for 2019 and 2020 and is a recipient of Canada’s Clean50 Award; both acknowledging his industry-leading efforts promoting energy efficiency and reducing C02 emissions.
The YMCA’s promise of building healthy communities by creating spaces and programs that help people belong aligns with Stephen’s vision of Nova Scotia becoming a more diverse and inclusive province.
Michelle Bussey is the Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Community College Foundation and Alumni Relations.
Michelle holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Mount Saint Vincent University, a Masters of Public Administration from Dalhousie University, and has professional certification as a Change Management Practitioner.
She believes strongly in lifelong learning. In keeping with this philosophy, she gives back as an artsVest mentor, volunteers for Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and is a board member for Junior Achievement Nova Scotia.
Inspired by the YMCA’s values of removing barriers and increasing access to learning and services, Michelle is excited to bring forward her expertise and give back at the community level to those in need.
Patty Faith is a seasoned strategic communications and marketing professional with national level experience working with both publicly traded and not-for-profit
A graduate of the MBA program at Dalhousie University, she is the Chief Brand and Reputation Officer at Medavie. She is also currently Board Chair, Philanthropic Foundations Canada. Patty is passionate about the Y’s role as an inclusive community hub and has been a member and volunteer at several YMCA locations across the country
Kimberley Gannon is the Regional Director of Finance with the Federal Government of Canada, Atlantic Regional Office in Halifax, N.S.
Her highly specialized finance skills include management advisory services, client training and support, planning and resource management, cost recovery, procurement, contracting, and material management.
Kimberley holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S.
In addition to her finance background, Kimberley brings strong leadership skills and significant and personal history with the Y. She grew up in the YMCA, and still maintains her Y friendships formed many years ago.
Kimberley is passionate about the YMCA’s ability to empower youth from marginalized communities, and knows, firsthand, how a sense of belonging at the Y gives youth an opportunity to re-imagine themselves.
Dr. Krista Jangaard is the IWK Health Centre’s President & CEO. She first joined the IWK in 1996 in the division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine and
Krista completed her medical training at Dalhousie University and holds a Master’s of Health Administration. She was awarded the Glenn Moore Memorial Award and the Nova Scotia Association of Health Organizations Award for Academic Excellence.
Krista is an associate professor at Dalhousie University in the department of pediatrics and the department of obstetrics and gynecology. Krista brings her expertise to the board in support of YMCA health and wellness strategic initiatives with a focus in particular on children and youth.
Lora MacEachern is a Senior Government Executive and Lawyer, with extensive experience in leadership, law, human resources, public policy, advocacy
She holds a Bachelor of Law from Dalhousie University in Halifax and has been recognized for her exceptional merit and outstanding contributions to the legal community with a Queens Counsel appointment.
As former Associate Deputy Minister of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, Lora brings an awareness of the important work the YMCA does with inclusive learning and employment programming.
With previous board experience, including the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia, Lora brings her legal, justice system and youth expertise, and a diverse network to the Y.
Ayo Makanjuola is Chief Financial Officer at Millbrook First Nation.
Ayo holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Babcock University in Ikenne,
He has served on several boards including the Not-For-Profit Accounting Standards Board, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Nova Scotia and the Ecology Action Centre of Halifax.
Moving to Canada in 2015, Ayo was drawn to the YMCA’s holistic approach to settlement and immigration services and values how consistently the Y backs up their words with concrete actions. Ayo is Chair of the YMCA Finance Committee.
Ayo is excited to further the Y’s efforts to create paths to help newcomers settle into their new communities at any age. He values the fusion of the old and new at the YMCA, from the Community Y on Gottingen Street to the new John W. Lindsay YMCA on Sackville Street.
Dave Murray is a local Franchisee with McDonalds Restaurants in Halifax Regional Municipality.
Dave is a very active community leader and was a significant contributor to the John W. Lindsay YMCA Capital Campaign. He also led the development of the world class training facility, the Cheema Aquatic Club, in Waverly Nova Scotia. Most recently, Dave supported the expansion of Ronald McDonald House helping to raise $23 million to build a new 28 room facility for families with children in hospital care in Halifax.
Dave’s accomplishments and leadership in our province was recognized when he was inducted as a paddler into the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.
Dave’s message to our youth is something his Grandfather, who was a farmer in PEI, once told him as a 10-year-old…” if you want to be a success at whatever you do, you need to start with two things: One: Work hard. Two: Get along with people”. Simple advice that has been Dave’s guiding light for the last 55 years.
As Coordinator for the Integrated Marketing team at NATIONAL Public Relations, Mary Navas brings a fresh perspective
Mary holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax and was President and CEO of Saint Mary’s University Student’s Association. She has served on several boards and was Chair of Students Nova Scotia where she represented over 20,000 students while gaining experience in advocacy, generating creative content and crafting strategic messaging.
Mary recognizes the importance of being involved and giving back. She has volunteered for Habit for Humanity, taken part in Gen Z Research and has recently coordinated the Mosaic Multicultural festival on the Halifax waterfront.
As a newcomer and leader in the community, Mary values a sense of belonging. She brings a diverse and youthful perspective to the YMCA and is honoured to serve as a Y board member.
Mark Saldanha is the founder and CEO of Greater Love Canada, a national non-profit organization dedicated to empowering young adults across Canada
Greater Love aims to throw away the ‘throw-away’ culture by building lifelong friendships with those experiencing homelessness. Since its inception, Greater Love has grown to over eight locations across Canada and has transformed the way Canadians approach homelessness.
Mark completed his BSc in Neuroscience at Dalhousie, and most recently his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Queen’s University. He has worked as a strategy consultant with top executives and directors from both Sobeys and the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. He is currently completing an internship at RBC.
Mark is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Red Cross Young Humanitarian of the Year and the YMCA’s Peace Medal for his national leadership. He brings bold thinking, impact-driven problem-solving, and a passion for a better Canada as YMCA’s newest director. He looks forward to furthering the YMCA’s impact and mission throughout Halifax/Dartmouth.
Jacob Woods is a Research Associate at the Nova Scotia Community College. Jacob is skilled in energy system analysis
Jacob collaboratively engages with students and faculty annually at NSCC’s open house and tech showcase to highlight the work done by Applied Research. He enjoys working with the diverse population of NSCC students and watching them face challenges head-on while pursuing new opportunities.
Originally from New Glasgow, participating in swim lessons and playing basketball at the YMCA was an important part of his childhood. Jacob is passionate about the community and is a strong supporter of equity and inclusion. As a person with a physical disability, his commitment to para-sports continues to inform the lived experience he brings to the YMCA’s initiatives of promoting the benefits of sports and physical activity for physical and mental health.
Sian Wren is Vice President of Business Transformation at Emera. In this role, she led a large team of internal employees and external
Sian holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from St. Mary’s University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Human Resources from Dalhousie University. She has held various managerial roles with Nova Scotia Power, Casino Nova Scotia and the Pepsi Bottling Group. She is a member at Human Resources Association of Nova Scotia and a former board member of Dress for Success Halifax.
Sian understands how much the Y values connection and looks forward to giving back to the community.
Sarah is a Partner at McInnes Cooper, specializing in Immigration & Employment law.
Sarah holds a Juris Doctor degree from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University. She is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, and the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and is the past Chair of the CBA-NS Citizenship and Immigration Section.
Sarah is actively engaged in her community; she offers pro bono legal services to individuals through the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia and was a partner in implementing the Halifax chapter of the Refugee Sponsorship Support Program. Sarah is currently a member of the NSCAD Board of Governors.
It is of particular interest to Sarah to contribute to the YMCA because of the critical role it plays within the immigrant community in Nova Scotia. She is passionate about increasing our immigrant population in our Province, and to dedicating resources to ensure proper settlement supports are in place for our immigrants.
YMCA Honourary Trustees
The YMCA Honourary Trustees are former Directors who continue to support and provide strategic counsel to the YMCA.