Board of Directors and Staff

2017-18  Board of Directors

Sacha Deelstra – Chair

  • Sacha joined the WECAN board in 2015. Having worked as a human services worker in the inner-city of Edmonton for the past 7 years, her work experience includes facilitating community food programs and an emergency food program. Sacha is passionate about food security and community development. In 2016, she completed a MA in Community Development.

Paige Nelson – Vice Chair

  • Born and raised in Edmonton, Paige retired from her position of Executive Assistant with a major road construction company in 2009. After retirement, she became involved with WECAN both as a depot volunteer and as a member of the board. An avid cook who is always ready to try a new food or recipe, she is always willing to lend her knowledge and expertise to any project when asked to do so. “I believe that food security for all is a right, not a privilege, and it is our responsibility to promote this ideal, and to work towards it as individuals and as a community.”

Darrell Penner – Treasurer

  • Darrell has been a small business owner/accountant for 25 years. He has been treasurer for churches, youth and sport groups, as well as serving on municipal boards. Darrell enjoys travel, biking, skiing and hiking.

Dawn Arnold – Secretary

  • Dawn is a retired teacher and school administrator who worked within with Battle River School Division for 30 years.  She has attained an Alberta Journeyman Certificate as a Partsman, a Bachelor of Education degree in Industrial Arts, minoring in Mathematics from the University of Alberta, and a Masters of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from San Diego State University.
  • Dawn served as secretary and president of the Battle River Local of the Alberta Teachers’ Association, and served on several ATA and Alberta Education committees over the years.  Additionally, she was the secretary of the Battle River – Crowfoot Riding of the Federal Liberal Party and served as treasurer for the Tofield-Ryley & Area Food Bank Society (TRAFBS).  Presently Dawn is serving her second year as president of the TRAFBS and also volunteers her time as a certified Advocate with Beaver County Victim Services.  Whenever needed, she volunteers with the Canadian Mental Health Association – Edmonton, and serves as a Casino-Angel to assist charities that are unable to obtain enough volunteers to run their casinos.  On a personal note, she is a fanatical life-long learner and a dedicated mom to 3 rescue dogs.
  • Dawn joined WECAN when she and another Food Bank volunteer realized their Food Bank was serving very few seniors in a town highly populated with elderly citizens.  The Tofield Depot was formed in October of 2016 with a vision of serving at least 15-20 seniors in the area and giving them an opportunity to obtain fresh food at the end of the month when their financial resources have been depleted, all the while maintaining their personal pride.  With much advertising and a terrific article in the local newspaper, this vision was immediately surpassed.  The Tofield Depot presently has 66 people signed up for hampers, 51 of those are members in good standing, and 42 are seniors.

Keith Kasha – Director at Large

  • Keith joined the board in 2009 at the suggestion of his friend.   Keith also volunteers as a member of both the 9th Street Players and SEESA’s Accidental Drama Club. Keith is a volunteer Character Interpreter at Fort Edmonton Park, playing Johnny J. Jones on the 1920’s Midway. He has a background in computers and food services and has been employed at the Winspear Center since 2010 as a Guest Services Representative. Keith loves to cook and bake and collects recipes as a hobby.

Connie Philips – Director at Large

  • Connie is trained in Food Science, certified nutritionist, facilitation, coaching, engagement and change management. She is about to retire from Alberta Agriculture and now looking to fill her time with community projects.  Her community involvement includes:  Chair Devon Parks Program, Rec and Culture Board, Edmonton Shoebox Project for Women, many other volunteer projects and events.  Connie believes in WECAN and wants to contribute to the community outreach with accessible, healthy, secure food.

Jen Sherburne – Director at Large

  • Jen is an Environmental Scientist and now Quality Manager at Worley Parsons.  As part of her role there, she works with United Way as a volunteer and campaign chair for Worley Parsons – ran a group of 30 core volunteers plus over 100 canvassers.  She helped raise the largest amount ever seen in the history of the WP campaign.  She is married with 2 young boys, who keeps her hands full.  WECAN has peaked her interest and as she liked the idea of making a difference in the community by helping expand and making WECAN better in the years to come.

Leslie Petryshen – Director at Large

  •  Leslie is very committed to supporting our community! It has always been her goal to educate people about what is happening in our community and how they can contribute to making things better for everyone. She has participated in many United Way campaigns, two of which won awards through her successful leadership; the first for increasing the scope and amount of contributions received in one year and the second for educating and engaging employees in the work of the United Way.   Leslie has also created strong ties with the Edmonton Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity and many other groups and programs. She currently leads an Outreach Committee and gives presentations to individuals and groups about how to recognize and deal with signs of potential elder abuse.  Leslie has a background in Human Resources and Adult Education and has worked with senior leaders to help support and encourage employee development.  Leslie has been a supporter of WECAN for many years and is a new member of the 2017 Board.  She believes that everyone should have access to healthy, affordable food and is looking forward to working with the team as well as using her skills to enhance and expand the WECAN opportunity to as many people as possible.

Meryle Michetti – Director at Large

  • Meryle is a retired administrative assistant. who enjoys sewing, baking and spending time with her grand daughter.  Meryle also provides a rescue home for foster dogs.  Meryle is a firm believer that everyone should be able to access healthy and affordable food.  She is also on the fundraising committee.

Staff

Suzanne Rigsby – Program Manager

Merlyn McKay-Barbeau – Office & Program Support  Coordinator