2022 – 2023 Board of Directors
Sandra McFadyen – Chair
Sandy McFadyen is a Professional Human Ecologist with a BSc in Family Studies as well as an MEd in the Administration of Postsecondary Education from the University of Alberta. She has certificates in Human Resources Management, University & College Administration, and Mastering Diplomacy & Protocol. She is an Assistant Chair in Engineering at the University and has been on campus for 29 years. More importantly, Sandy believes strongly in supporting personal well-being, food/housing stability and security, and working towards growth of self and others. She has volunteer experience as a board member for a number of non-profit organizations and actively looks for ways to give back to her community. She and her husband learn new things by travel and appreciating other cultures.
Christine McVea – Vice Chair
Christine brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to WECAN Food Basket having served as a board member, chair and then Program Manager and a volunteer at one of our WECAN depots over the past 10 plus years. Christine has a lifelong interest in food security. Christine holds a Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Social Work, and Masters in Social Work and is currently employed part time.
Dawn Arnold – Secretary
Dawn is presently the Secretary for WECAN Food Basket Society as well as Chair of the Board Governance Committee. She is a retired teacher and school administrator who worked for Battle River School Division for 30 years. She has served in various capacities with several different organizations. Presently she is serving her seventh year as Chair of the Tofield-Ryley & Area Food Bank Society and her first year as secretary of the Tofield and Area Health Services Foundation. On a personal note, she is a fanatical life-long learner and a dedicated mom to 2 rescue dogs. Dawn joined the WECAN family in 2016 when she and another Food Bank volunteer realized their Food Bank was serving very few seniors in a town highly populated with elderly citizens – Thus the Tofield Depot was formed. In 2018, Tofield Depot expanded its reach to include Ryley, Alberta.
Chelsea Yarmuch – Treasurer
Chelsea is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), who has had over ten years of progressive accounting experience. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Accounting in 2012, and Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management in 2019. As the Director of Finance at McKillican International Chelsea manages a number of departments including Accounting, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, and Payroll. Her experience also includes reviewing and managing all Canadian and American statutory and regulatory requirements, banking reporting requirements and day to day activities, operational agreements, and various accounting and operational reporting. Recently, she was a key leader in an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning System) conversion which included revamping processes and procedures to maximize operational efficiencies. Chelsea is looking forward to bringing her experience and knowledge to the WECAN board to help continue to provide food security and nutrition information to families and individuals at an affordable price.
Keith Kasha – Director
Keith has been volunteering with Wecan for over 10 years. He started when his best friend, Eryn Labelle, started the Bader depot in her building in 2009 and recruited all of her friends to help run it (I was “volun-told”!). After starting Keith caught the “bug”, so to speak, and have continued with it ever since. Eryn then joined the Wecan Board a year later and asked Keith to join (again, “volun-told”!) to help her with the other board members. So, he joined the Board and, again, caught the “bug”, so to speak, and has continued with it ever since. Keith volunteers as an actor in both the 9th Street Players and SEESA’s Accidental Drama Club. Keith has also volunteered as a Character Interpreter at Fort Edmonton Park, playing Johnny J. Jones on the 1920’s Midway, and plans to return there when the Summer Drop-in program resumes there next summer. He has a background in computers, food services, and customer service. Keith loves to cook and bake and collects recipes as a hobby.
Suraya Hudson – Director
Suraya is a food enthusiast who works as Leftovers’ Director of Operations. More recently, she has joined the WECAN Board of Directors in two capacities – she sits on the Governance Committee and will also be acting as the interim Chair of the Human Resources Commitee. With a background in Global Food Security and Sustainable Food Production, and more importantly, with an honest love and respect for both food and community, she brings her whole heart to her multiple roles.
Madison Corry – Director
Madi Corry is the Programs Manager at the Campus Food Bank, a non-profit organization located on the UofA campus. She has a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and is currently pursuing a Masters in Social Work. Madi has been the University Depot coordinator for WECAN since 2018. When she isn’t working or studying, Madi spends time with her cat, Moose or volunteering with the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers.
Mohamed Abu Steit – Director
Mohammad is a third-year Biological Sciences student at the University of Alberta. In his past term volunteering for WECAN Food Basket Society, Mohammad served on the Fundraising and Communications subcommittees. He plans to continue some of the initiatives he started including expanding social media presence to reach young families, completing the donor list, and outreach to underserved communities. Outside of WECAN, Mohammad is an AIHS summer student researching drug therapies for corneal diseases and is involved as a Junior Achievement business mentor where he trained the Vice Presidents of HR and Finance for a youth startup. When not working or researching, he can be found at the ravine or running outdoors with friends.
She arrived in Edmonton/Amiskwacîwâskahikan in the early 1980s, the toddler child of an international graduate student and his wife. With her parents, originally from the Philippines, she arrived at the international airport and while her parents were checking into their connecting flight, their luggage was stolen by a man in a suit, right from under her nose. With nothing but her father’s briefcase and a wallet with limited Canadian cash, her small family made its way to the apartment that they would call home for the duration of her father’s academic program. It was at this juncture that Lorajoy first experienced the welcome of Canadians. Her family arrived to a furnished apartment—outfitted by a group of professors who had heard of their misfortunes at the airport. Through the next three years, on an international student budget, her family would benefit from the generosity of Canadians, shared through extra discounts on eggs, extra milk cartons, and McGavin’s bread. In this way, a young Lorajoy became acquainted with the unique food needs of international students and recently arrived permanent residents, and with the myriad ways that Canadians welcome them to the new or temporary homes. These early memories inspire Lorajoy’s commitment to food security for all Edmontonians, particularly through local non-profit initiatives like WECAN.
Joshua Topliffe – Program Manager
Joshua joined WECAN Food as a member in 2008, and was volunteering in the warehouse on distribution days and as a depot coordinator for a few years before accepting the role of Program Manager. Joshua has been a blue and pink collar worker the majority of his life, and for over ten years supported community members with physical and intellectual disabilities as a Health Care Aid and Behavioural and Developmental Aid. Advocating for working class, underemployed and unemployed community members – especially those with multiple and complex barriers to subsistence needs – is a life-long passion. Joshua firmly believes that effective and enduring solutions to food insecurity are systemic and participatory. “Nothing about us without us is for us,” but by “building a healthy, just and sustainable food system together, we can resolve the crisis of food insecurity.”