YWCA NWT Board members:

Cherish Winsor, Board President (joined the board in 2015)

Cherish took part in research that aimed to better understand the living situations of Canadian low income women. Her involvement in this community-level work helped to spearhead change by engaging key stakeholders and bringing to light barriers experienced. Cherish has held positions in fund development and social engagement and is a passionate supporter of projects and philosophies where women help women. Along with her husband and five children, she now lives in Yellowknife where she works in corporate communications.

Rassi Nashalik (joined the board in 2012)

Rassi recently retired as host CBC North’s Inuktitut supper-hour program, Igalaaq. She was a welcome guest in northern living rooms for almost 20 years, covering all the important stories, particularly the evolution of Nunavut. Rassi moved to CBC from the territorial government where she was manager of the language bureau. During her career, she has been a champion for issues and events surrounding Inuit culture, and has maintained close contact with her home community, Pangnirtung. Rassi wanted to volunteer on the YWCA board because she likes to make a difference for women who need help. She and her husband have two adult children.

Brianne Timpson (joined the board in 2013)

Brianne has enjoyed living in Yellowknife for eight years. While in the NWT, she has shifted her career focus toward education, and the successful completion of her master’s degree in Nursing.  As a nurse, Brianne has been able to gain unique insight into the health and wellness of the people of Yellowknife, and the communities of the NWT.  She has used her professional knowledge base in a variety of ways including through an ongoing research project examining the quality of life of senior citizens, in collaboration with NWT Seniors’ Society.

Miriam Gordon (joined the board in 2017)

Miriam moved to Yellowknife 13 years ago and fell in love with the North and the community of Yellowknife. She currently works in human resources. As someone who believes in the importance of giving back, she is an active volunteer and in addition to the YWCA, she leads a running group throughout the summer and is the volunteer coordinator for Habitat for Humanity. As a single mother, Miriam is a strong believer of supporting women and children in the North.

Keelen Simpson

Katrina Nokleby

Katrina has lived in the north for more than a decade and works as a consulting engineer, primarily in the environmental field. A former resident of BC, Katrina was taught from a young age the importance of giving back to her community and has done so as a Girl Guides volunteer and as an advocate for increasing the amount of women in engineering and other non-traditional professions. She believes that girls can have a powerful voice from a very young age and can be the change they want to see. As a board member, Katrina is passionate about equal rights for women and their families and is devoted to lending her voice to the important work of the YWCA.

Anne Kokko

Anne recently moved to Yellowknife from Inuvik, where she worked in community and economic development. As a dedicated community volunteer, Anne enjoys spending her time working with youth and other community groups and she is a previous girls Ringette Coach, led the Inuvik Community Choir, and developed a choral group at the John Wayne Kiktorak Centre (Inuvik Warming Shelter). An avid believer in food security, Anne also worked with the Inuvik Community Greenhouse. Currently, Anne mentors young women interested in tourism careers, and she works in tourism research and planning. Anne believes in the importance of providing families with homes and lessening the barriers women – especially single mothers – have to participating fully in the workforce.  

Sarah Arngna'Naaq


Lyda Fuller, Executive Director

Lyda has been the Executive Director of YWCA Yellowknife since February 1997.  Lyda first came to the Yellowknife YWCA during the summer of 1996, on loan from the YWCA Regina, where she was also the Executive Director.   She moved to Regina in 1991 from the YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin where she was the director of community development.  Lyda notes there are many similarities among YWCAs in Canada; all those she worked for had women’s shelters, women’s housing, licensed child care services, programming for girls, and some type of pre-employment and upgrading for women.  Lyda moved to Canada in 1983 from Baltimore, Maryland, where she worked for the Maryland State Medicaid Program as the director of special initiatives.  She became a Canadian citizen in 1986.  Lyda has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland, and a Master’s of Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins University.  She has several recognition awards, including being named a Wise Woman for the NWT, a recipient of the Cleta Herman award from YWCA Canada, the Woman of the Year at the YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin, and a semi-finalist for Maryland State government’s Women Manager of the Year.  

Hawa Dumbuya-Sesay, Director of Child and Youth Services

Debby Rybchinski, Supervisor, Alison McAteer House

Kate Wilson, Director of Housing

Charlotte Henschel, Director of Finance

April Davies, Supervisor, Sutherland House (Fort Smith)