The Community Foundation of Nova Scotia is governed by a volunteer board of directors comprised of community leaders from across the province and is administered by professional staff. These community champions bring a wealth of skills and expertise to their work for the Foundation.
If you would like to get involved with the Foundation’s activities, our Board committees are always looking for additional help. Contact us today to find out what opportunities might be available.
Robert’s diverse executive leadership career spans over 35 years and includes experience in the private equity, ocean technology, marine biotechnology, nutritional ingredient, and food retailing industries. Currently, he is the Managing Director of Cuna del Mar LP; a USA based impact investment fund that is concerned with global food security, healthy oceans and investing in transformational technologies related to sustainably working in the ocean environment. In addition to his CFNS board responsibilities Robert sits on the boards of several early stage, high-growth companies. He is also the Chair of Natural Products Canada Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research; member of the Canadian Ocean Technology Supercluster Board of Directors; associate and mentor at Creative Destruction Lab, Ocean Stream; and serves on the Advisory Board of the Dalhousie University School of Management.
Alana Hirtle had a 30 year career in hotel and event management, during which time she focused her volunteer efforts as a founding member of the Green Meetings Industry Council Canadian Chapter; as a founding member and Past President of the Atlantic Chapter of Meeting Professionals International; and as a member of the Canadian Mirror Committee for the ratification of ISO 2012-1, a sustainable event standard created for the London 2012 Olympics.
She grew up in rural Lunenburg County, and has lived most of her life in a non-urban setting, moving to Truro for work in 2013. In 2016 she made a career change, moving to CBDC Northern Opportunities for Business Limited, where she helps start-ups and existing businesses with financing, training and counseling on all manner of topics.
Since moving to Truro, she has been an active member of the Truro Brand Leadership Committee; the Town’s Heritage Advisory Committee; the Events Truro Colchester committee; and as a Past President and current Executive Secretary of the Rotary Club of Truro. She chairs the Rotary Cares Committee for the club, which is overseeing the Portapique Community Build Up + Project. She has participated on other boards over the years such as the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve Association, and a few theatre organizations. In her spare time, she is a musical theatre enthusiast.
Angeline Gillis is a proud Mi’kmaw woman and member of Eskasoni First Nation. Growing up outside her community in East Bay Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Angie grew up surrounded by her family and her culture. She remains grateful as her unique upbringing gave her the strength and ingenuity to pursue her education. She is an alumni of Dalhousie University, and obtained her LL.B from Schulich School of Law and was called to the Nova Scotia Bar Society in June 2010. She began her career practicing in the area of wills and estates.
Angeline is a practicing lawyer and has worked with The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq (CMM) since October 2011. In 2013, she became the Director of Environment and Natural Resources after successfully establishing several environmental programs for CMM’s Member Communities.
In 2019, Angeline was appointed by The CMM Board to be the organization’s Associate Executive Director. Making her to be the first woman to hold this position in the organization’s history, and in the largest tribal council in the east. Within this role, she provides oversight and guidance to all CMM’s departments, over a hundred staff, numerous files, projects, and services offered to eight (8) Mi’kmaw communities in Mainland Nova Scotia.
Angeline’s career has been primarily focused on the inclusion of traditional knowledge and modern science. She is passionate and unrelenting in creating real, measurable progress in the priorities that matter most to her organization’s communities.
Angeline sits as an advisor for the Assembly of Nova Scotia Chiefs’, Dalhousie’s Board of Governors, Dalhousie’s Faculty of Management External Advisory Board, the National Indigenous Fisheries Institute Board of Directors, Natural Resource Canada’s Departmental Audit Committee, and the Indigenous Centre of Cumulative Effects Management Board of Directors.
Anne-Marie McElrone has worked in the community sector for more than 20 years, supporting organizations and networks in their efforts to build stronger, more resilient and more connected communities.
Currently the Director of Partnerships for the new Dartmouth North Community Food Centre, Anne-Marie inadvertently joined the community foundation movement in 1999, while working at a corporate PR firm in Toronto. She discovered the power of community foundations while coordinating the launch of Our Millennium, the movement’s first national initiative, and soon left PR for consulting to work with the growing number of community foundations across Canada.
Anne-Marie spent 15 years working as a consultant and staff member for Community Foundations of Canada, becoming Vice President of Public Engagement in 2008 and playing a key role in the launch of programs such Vital Signs, Smart & Caring Communities and the 150Alliance as well as the movement’s first national awareness campaign.
She is an award-winning media trainer and a former print journalist who still loves newspapers. Anne-Marie lives in Dartmouth with her husband and two sons and is passionate about building a Nova Scotia where her family can live and work in its home province. She is an active volunteer in the community and co-founder of ASPEN (the Asperger’s Syndrome Parents Empowerment Network).
Barbara B. Pike is the former CEO of The Maritimes Energy Association, an independent industry group representing companies that provide goods and services to the energy sector in eastern Canada – onshore & offshore, renewable & non-renewable. She is the former vice president of AIMS, a public policy think tank that was based in Atlantic Canada.
In 2017, Barbara was appointed by the Government of Canada to the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board, the joint federal-provincial regulatory agency for the offshore oil and gas industry.
She sits on the Board of Directors for three renewable energy companies. She is corporate secretary and director on the Board of Scotian Windfields Inc. and ScotianWEB.
Barbara has her ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors through the Rotman School of Business.
She is an active volunteer in the community having served on numerous Boards, including the Board of Governors of Mount Saint Vincent University, as President and Chair of Sail Nova Scotia, and as Chair of the Board of Sport Nova Scotia. Currently, in addition to sitting as Vice Chari of the CFNS, Barbara is a member of the Board of Sail Canada.
Dennice Leahey, from Edmonton, Alberta, has a BA from Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. She started in banking as a junior clerk rising through RBC’s Human Resources, Corporate Banking and Independent Business to be Regional President of Manitoba, Nunavut and North-western Ontario, retiring as Senior Vice President and Ombudsman for the organization’s employees and customers world-wide.
Volunteering throughout her career and in retirement, she sat on Hospital, University, College, Aboriginal, Government, Cultural Institution and Community Boards and is currently Past Chair of Community Foundation of Nova Scotia and a director of 5 other Non-profit organizations. As recognition of her community activities, she was awarded The Eagle Feather by the Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg, Woman of the Year by the Winnipeg YWCA and Honourary Citizen of Winnipeg. In June 2005 she was named a Member of the Order of Canada, in 2012 received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and in 2014 received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Mount Saint Vincent University.
Erika Shea is the President and CEO of New Dawn Enterprises and has been working in community development for over fifteen years.
After completing degrees at Carleton University and Saint Mary’s University and working cross Canada, she moved to Cape Breton and started with New Dawn in 2012 as the Director of Communication and External Relations.
Erika has led countless meaningful community projects in the last ten years with New Dawn; including the opening of an island immigration centre (Cape Breton Island Centre for Immigration), the development of the region’s first net-zero solar community (Pine Tree Park), and the purchase, renovation, and revisioning of the Holy Angels High School property (now the Eltuek Arts Centre and New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation), which together house four large arts organizations, meeting/presentation/event spaces, an open lounge/cafe and community kitchen, 40 independent artists and artist collectives, and over 40 small businesses.
The guiding ethos of Erika’s daily work is the building of communities that centre the dignity, worth, and well-being of all people.
In addition to her work with New Dawn, she has served on the boards of the Social Enterprise Network of Nova Scotia, ACAP Cape Breton, and is presently a director with the Highland Arts Theatre and Community Foundations of Nova Scotia.
- Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) with 35 years of experience in non-profit/charitable organization administration
- Ten years of volunteer board experience with national organizations representing the charitable sector
- College graduate with a Business – Public Relations diploma
- Resident of Nova Scotia since 2014
- Philanthropy Advisor, (Periodic Consulting) YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth (2020-2022)
- Director, Planned Giving Nova Scotia Community College Foundation (2019-2020)
- Executive Director, Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Foundation (2014-2019)
- Director, Alumni & Development, St. Lawrence College (SLC) Foundation (1990-2014)
Volunteer Board Experience
- NSCC Foundation Board of Directors (Ex-Officio) (2014-2019)
- Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) – Board of Directors (2006-2011) – Chair for 2.5 years
- Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) – Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada (2002-2005)
- Lead the NSCC Foundation team raising $33M to support student aid during their first provincial fundraising campaign
- Established SLC’s first alumni relations program and the SLC Foundation
- Lead three capital campaigns at SLC securing $10M to support capital projects and student aid
- Established NSCC Foundation’s Planned Giving Program
- Received CCAE’s Outstanding Achievement Award (2012)
Glenn wants to make an impact in his community. Glenn is an author, speaker, and nationally recognized financial educator, specializing in lifestyle and charitable tax planning. His second book is now in print. ” Retire Abundantly” The proven principles to create a more worry-free retirement with less stress!
Glenn is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) working with Assante Capital Management Ltd. in the Hydrostone office. Through his expertise, he has developed strategies (revealed in his presentations) allowing Entrepreneurs, Professionals, and Retirees to redirect to philanthropic organizations, their ‘social capital’ also known as taxes. Since 1994 Glenn has advised individuals and families across Canada on how to plan and live their Joyful Retirement.
Lana is a registered practicing clinical social worker with over 25 years of experience. She holds a BA in Community Studies from Cape Breton University, formerly UCCB, a Bachelor and Masters in Social Work SW from Dalhousie University. Lana has been working in the fields of addiction, mental health, and emergency medicine. She works across cultures and with various client populations. However, Lana has a spent the majority of her career working in the ABC communities.
Lana has presented at local, national and international conferences on the area of cultural competency in mental health, addictions , she has presented on issues of Race-Based psychological trauma and enhancing clinical cultural competency in the area trauma informed race-based models of health care. She has a small private practice where she works with military, child welfare and private pay clients. Lana has been hired as a consultant to several major Canadian corporations and organizations as an expert in the conflict resolution on issue of systemic and anti-Black racism in the workplace. Since 2016, Lana has been expanding her skills to work in forensics social work.
Recognized by the Nova Scotia College of Social Worker as, “one of the most important leaders in Nova Scotia, and increasingly across Canada, in developing models for the provision of social and culturally competent assessments of African Nova Scotian clients involved in the criminal justice system in particular and as well in the family court system.” In 2016, R.v. Gabriel heard before NS Supreme Court Lana was sworn in as an expert witness in the area of race and culture on matters of sentencing of African Nova Scotians.
Presently, Lana volunteers as a consultant with Mi’kmaq Right Initiative providing consultation on emerging best practices in the area of culturally responsive assessments for First Nations Families. She is an active member of the African Nova Scotian access to Justice Judicial committee and is the Chair of the African United Baptist Association – Social Justice Committee.
Louise Delisle is an award-winning activist, author, playwright, and African Nova Scotian community leader with over thirty years experience in the health care field.
The eldest of seven children, a mother and grandmother, Louise was born and has lived in Shelburne, Nova Scotia most of her life.
Louise’s work addressing environmental racism and impacts of climate change on the Black community of Shelburne began in 2014 and she founded the South End Environmental Injustice Society (SEED) in 2016. SEED is a direct grassroots response to the siting of the landfill near the African Nova Scotian and working-poor community in Shelburne.
SEED was awarded the Group Award at the 2018 Nova Scotia Human Rights Awards Celebration for their work addressing environmental concerns in the African Nova Scotian community in the south end of Shelburne.
In 2019 and 2020 SEED made international news with the release of “There’s Something in The Water” a documentary by director Elliot Page and Ian Daniel based on the book by Dr. Ingrid R.G. Waldron ‘There’s Something In The Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous & Black Communities’ published in 2018 by Fernwood Publishing.
In addition to Louise’s work as a member of SEED she was a board member Rural Water Watch and has been a member of the Advisory Council for the Shelburne Regional High School;
She worked as Community Liaison Officer with The Black Loyalist Heritage Society, and as a RCMP Black and Racially Visible Advisory Committee member, The Environmental Noxiousness and Racial Inequalities Community Health (ENRICH) Project facilitator; Community Facilitator Black Women’s Health project for McMaster University National Research Project and Dalhousie University, School of Nursing; and was a member of the Shelburne Community Health Board. Louise is also the co-chair of the African Nova Scotian Community Coalition.
Mary graduated from St. Francis Xavier University with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in accounting. She has diplomas in Chartered Financial Planning, Elder Planning Counselling, and the Canadian Securities Course. Her community work began when she graduated from university and she has been a lifetime volunteer in many organizations in Yarmouth and Halifax. She was presented the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers in 2012 by Governor General David Johnston, and was inducted into the Hall of Honour at St. Francis Xavier University in 2009.
A few of her involvements have been Director of Finance, Diocese of Yarmouth and is currently on the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth Finance Council. She has been Treasurer for many years with the Yarmouth County Museum and Archives and with Sunset Terrace—a boarding home for seniors. She is also Finance Chair with the Yarmouth Public Library and Museum.
Mary, with her husband Peter, established and are Co-chairs the Yarmouth Area Community Fund.
Isle Madame / Dartmouth
A bilingual graduate of Dalhousie Law School, Michel P. Samson spent 19 years as a Member of the Nova Scotia Legislature for the riding of Richmond and later Cape Breton-Richmond.
Samson’s cabinet assignments included acting Minister of Justice, Attorney General & Deputy Premier, Minister of Energy, Trade & Acadian Affairs and Francophonie, Minister of Economic and Rural Development & Tourism, Minister of Environment and Government House Leader.
Samson currently serves as counsel in the Cox & Palmer Halifax office where he leads a government relations practice as well as a law practice focused in the areas of fisheries, mining, energy, and natural resources.
Monita is a principal in the Dartmouth office of WBLI. She practices mainly in the audit and assurance area and serves a wide variety of clients including manufacturers, contractors, business in the service sector, medical professionals and non-profit organizations. Monita is also involved in the firm’s quality control initiatives and professional development initiatives. She is part of the firms scheduling team, which is charged with the responsibility of assigning client files.
Monita has been involved with ICANS as Professional Standards Reviewer and responsible for reviewing the client work of practicing members to ensure they meet the professional requirements of the Institute.
With over 27 years of management experience leading organizations from the hospitality industry, distributorship sales, beauty industry, media/broadcast, finance industry, national and international business consulting to her current role as Founder and CEO of The Blue Door Group, and Co-founder of 40 Cups of Coffee Ltd., and recent tenure as Interim CEO of CFNS, Stephanie Clark brings extensive expertise in the development of corporate cultures that generate growth, employee retention and customer service in organizations. With years of experience in coaching and mentoring business professionals, Stephanie has a focus on building organizations that are profitable while being people-centered and making a difference in their communities.