Focus for Ethnic Women is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.
L-R: Katherine Laycock, Secretary; Sylvia Terzian, Vice President; Tammy Cressman, Treasurer; Anne Cameron, President, Rita Khan, Alka Seoni, Jackie Gerlach, Past President, Renu Bhandari, Executive Director. Absent: Lauramae Lindo.
Anne Cameron – President
Retired Teacher Anne Cameron was born in Toronto. Both sides of her family (Boisvert and Goguen) emigrated here from France in the 1600 and 1700 hundreds. She is very proud of her French-Canadian heritage. Anne earned her B.A. and B.Ed. from York and the University of Toronto and then her M.Ed. from OISE/UT. She was an elementary teacher with the Waterloo Region District School Board for 35 years where she taught French and English as a Second Language. Since retiring in 2012, Anne volunteers as a facilitator with an English Conversation Circle; and as a YMCA Citizenship Course instructor. Anne also fund raises for the Teacher’s Salary Project of Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan.
Sylvia Terzian – Vice President
Sessional Lecturer in the Department of English & Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University Sylvia completed her PhD in the Department of English & Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her primary research interests are in Postcolonial and Diaspora Studies, with a focus on Arab North-American migrant literature. Sylvia is currently a Sessional Lecturer in the Department of English & Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, and the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo.
Tammy Cressman – Treasurer
Owner of TC Accounting Solutions, Tammy Cressman is a CPA, CGA. She is a graduate of Laurentian University with a degree in Honours Bachelor of Commerce. She has nine years experience in public accounting with experience in not-for-profit reporting and accounting. Tammy is an advisory board member at Smile for a Lifetime and audit and finance committee member for Mennonite Central Committee Ontario. She enjoys being on the board of FEW to help new Canadian Women grow and succeed.
Current PhD Candidate in the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo, Katherine also holds the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship and an IDRC Doctoral Award for her research to identify systemic barriers in expert communication as they interpret and disseminate climate change action in complex urban environments in Metro Manila, the Philippines. She earned her MSc degree in Capacity Development & Extension and in International Development Studies from the University of Guelph where she investigated community cohesion, vulnerability, and capacity building following natural disaster and completed an Honours BA in Political Science and Global Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University. Katherine has worked in Metro Manila, the Philippines and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Katherine currently also volunteers with the Red Cross Disaster Management Team; is helping to establish a faculty-wide mentoring program through the Student Teaching Excellence committee at the University of Waterloo, and is a member of the Global Studies Alumni Board at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Alka Seoni, M.Sc. – Director
Alka was born and raised in India where she completed her undergraduate studies and went on to earn a master’s degree in Biochemistry. After moving to Canada in 1988, she earned her second master’s degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Waterloo. After teaching lab courses at Waterloo for one year, she made the decision to focus on her young family and raising her two children. During that time, she worked part-time as a practice manager in her husband’s dental office in St. Jacobs. Now that her children have grown up and her work commitments have decreased, Alka would like to devote her time and energy to making a difference in the lives of immigrant women by serving on the FEW Board.
Jackie Gerlach – Director
Executive Director, CAAPN-ACIIPA Nurse Practitioner, Region of Waterloo Sexual Health. Jackie immigrated to Canada from the United States in 1973 and became a Canadian citizen in 1974. She settled with her husband in Saskatoon, where she studied nursing. With two fellow students, and a fellow immigrant, Jackie was involved in starting a settlement services program for new Canadians settling in the Saskatoon area. For a brief time, Jackie and her husband also lived in Denmark. Since that time, life with her husband and two children has taken Jackie to Kingston, Ontario, where she completed her MSc at Queen’s University and started a career in health systems research and in health care administration. Ten years ago, Jackie and her family relocated to Waterloo Region, a community she and her husband carefully selected for its many positive characteristics. Both Jackie and her husband have volunteered with the Community Justice Initiative, where Jackie worked with incarcerated women as a Stride volunteer. Jackie was keen to return to clinical practice and has done so, completing her Nurse Practitioner graduate diploma at McMaster University. She now enjoys a clinical career as a nurse practitioner as well as continuing administrative work as the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Advanced Practice Nurses (CAAPN)/Association Canadienne des Infirmières et Infirmiers en Pratique Avancée (ACIIPA). The privilege of serving on the FEW Board has brought Jackie full circle to her interest in the challenges that women face as new Canadians.
Rita Khan, M.D. – Director
Rita is a family physician who has been practicing in Canada for about 40 years. After closing her practice and moving into a part-time role, she would like to lend her experience and knowledge by serving as a Board member at FEW. As an immigrant to Canada, Rita has previously contributed to FEW having served as a FEW Board member and President of the Board (two terms). She also served on the personnel committee after completing her term on the Board. In addition to her past work with FEW, she has extensive experience working with other non-profit organizations and community agencies, including the Multicultural Association of New Brunswick and YWCA. Over the last six years, Rita has been the Director of the Performance Arts Group that stages Hindi plays and Dance Dramas to raise funds for the local communities.
Board of Directors can be reached by emailing BOD@few.on.ca
BOARD OF DIRECTORS meeting MINUTES