Lisa McGeady (Executive Director)
Lisa moved to Nelson in 2007 from Southern California in search of a community-centred place to raise her young family. She has a degree in sociology with an emphasis on women’s studies. For many years she worked with adults with concurrent Mental Health and Addictions issues. Lisa was an active board member at the Women’s Centre from 2009 to 2011. Since that time she has worked with Nelson CARES as a campaign coordinator, raising funds for the renovation of Ward Street Place, in addition to working in her family business, Kokanee Camera. Lisa believes that women are under-represented in positions of power and influence and is passionate about empowering women through education, employment and leadership. She believes that as women we draw from deep wells of wisdom, and is committed to helping women identify and access their own personal strengths.
Shannon Dikkema (Volunteer Coordinator)
Shannon Dikkema has a passion for teaching and learning. She is passionate about creating support and community with and for women and supporting others to reach their fullest potential. Shannon has long been invested in being a part of creating cultures of change and justice. She is the mother of a lovely and spirited five year old daughter and loves spending time in the wild nature and in the garden. She also currently teaches about chronic pain, embodied mindfulness and accessing the body’s healing potential using mindfulness tools. She looks forward to bringing that skill set into the interactions that she has with all those she encounters. Shannon is very excited to be coming into the Women’s Centre as the Volunteer Co-ordinator and hopes to nurture and build healthy and conscious community.
Sarah Blaire (Drop In Coordinator)
Sarah moved to the Kootenays seven years ago in hopes of finding community and a place to call home. Moving into the next phase of her life, Sarah is working toward her BSW, with hopes of eventually attaining a Masters in Counselling. With a passion for learning, Sarah has spent the majority of her twenties trying to educate herself, learning how to best serve the community as an ally for change. Feminism has played a significant role in Sarah’s life; influenced by feminist literary theories and perspectives, she has spent a great deal of her academic career examining and challenging material through a feminist lens.
Sarah began volunteering with the Women’s Centre in early fall, and felt an instant connection to the space. Moving forward Sarah is looking forward to building healthy relationships with all of the wonderful folks who utilize the Centre, finding ways to work with the community in a thoughtful and compassionate way.
Nichola (Nickie) Cornell (TRACES Drop-in Coordinator)
Access to a home library that included books like “Our Bodies, Ourselves” had a foundational impact on the teenage years of Nichola (Nickie) Cornell. Since that time they have identified strongly with feminism and social justice movements and have been informed by further independent study, involvement in interfaith, multi cultural and activist communties, in cooperative housing and in media, “digital arts and communications” studies. Since 2005 Nickie has been active in varied aspects of the textile industry, including: upholstery, sailmaking, soft goods/accessories and apparel manufacturing. Through their more recent work at ANKORS in Nelson, Nickie has performed as a master multi-tasker in office support, harm reduction, volunteer coordination and transgender/non binary support/advocacy roles. Nichola is parent to a dynamic eleven year old daughter who posesses unique knowledge of Harry Potter & Minecraft trivia. As a member of the Maa land cooperative community, located on unceded traditional Sinixt territory in the West Kootenays, Nichola is actively engaged in home making, hand weaving, raising rabbits and other explorations in rural living.
Jennifer Gawne (Food Security Coordinator)
Jennifer is a Chinese Medicine Herbalist, gardener and cook who has called the Kootenays home for the last twenty years. She grew up among the orchards of the Okanagan and inherited her love of food from Sunday night dinners in her own Grandma’s kitchen. She enjoys organizing fun events and sharing food with friends and, therefore, thinks the My Grandmother’s Kitchen project is the best thing ever. Jennifer also nourishes people through the creation of preserves and bone broths over at Wild Peach Preserves.
Raina Gardner (GEM Coordinator)
Raina Gardner is a mentor, educator, and doula who is passionate about encouraging women and girls to believe in themselves and their own inner wisdom. She creates and facilitates experiential educational programs as well as supports women and girls one-on-one through life’s transitions.