We're looking for new board members for September 2017. Contribute your knowledge, skills and time (3-6 hours/month) to enhancing the quality of life for families in the NWT! Contact us at giving@ywcanwt.ca telling us why you want to be involved in leading the future of the YWCA!

YWCA NWT Board members:

 Janet Toner, President (joined the board in 2011)

Janet joined the YWCA Yellowknife because she believes it is important to get involved in the community, and help support women and families in the North. She was elected president in February 2015, and currently chairs the board’s fund development committee. Janet is a chartered accountant; she is assistant superintendent (business) for Yellowknife Catholic Schools. Janet is an active volunteer with her professional association. She is also on the organizing committee for the Ovarian Walk of Hope. Janet, her husband Sheldon and their two boys, have called Yellowknife home since 2007.

Caroline Wawzonek, vice-president (joined the board in 2011)

Caroline came North in 2007 after completing her legal training at the University of Toronto. She practices both criminal and civil law as an associate with Dragon Toner in Yellowknife. She lived in several different countries while working on international relations and the rights of those who are arbitrarily arrested and tortured. Caroline has been an active volunteer within her profession, as well as with YWCA Yellowknife. She chairs the YWCA Yellowknife advocacy committee. Caroline believes volunteer work is both important and rewarding. She volunteers with the YWCA because it represents the values and goals she wants to see reflected in her community. Caroline is married, and has two children.

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.

Cherish Winsor (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.

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.

Chantal Taylor (joined the board in 2017)

Chantal is originally from Rankin Inlet, where she was an active volunteer for Girl Guides, Rankin Inlet DEA, the Coalition of the DEA of Nunavut and hockey fundraising and other activities. She has two adult children and enjoys curling. She believes the YWCA is an important organization and hopes her role on the board will help make a difference in the lives of women and families in the NWT.


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.  

Janette Morris, 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)