Download our annual reports and Strategic Plan below.
GP Board of Directors
Meet our 2021-2022 Board of Directors.
An independent financial planner since 2006, Jennifer Wallace works with individuals, small business owners, and their families to develop and implement a plan for their long-term and sustainable financial independence. In 2012 she introduced business consulting services to the micro and small business community throughout Niagara, helping businesses grow from a well-managed foundation. As founder and organizer of the Growing Women Entrepreneurs (GWEn) Conference, Jennifer is able to further support the success of entrepreneurs by presenting professional development through events. When not working with her clients, she is passionate about her community, dedicating her time to the Gillian’s Place Board of Directors, as well as volunteering in the arts & culture sector of Niagara as Chairperson of the City of St. Catharines' Arts & Culture Advisory Committee. In 2014 Jennifer received a Forty under 40 award.
Nicole Regehr has been a valued member of the Gillian’s Place Leadership Team for over 12 years, most recently in her role as Director of Development and Violence Prevention Programs. In late 2021, The Board of Directors appointed Nicole to the role of Executive Director. Nicole’s extensive experience in leadership, strategy, and communications within the gender-based violence sector have been integral in navigating organizational change at Gillian’s Place.
Nicole has spent the better part of her career in pursuit of creating opportunities to empower women and children, especially those facing gendered abuse. Her community advocacy and public education work has empowered and informed children and youth across Niagara with the goal of ending the cycle of violence and making Niagara a safer place for women, and non-binary individuals, with or without children. Nicole has been dedicated to fostering lasting community partnerships. Under her leadership, fundraising revenue at Gillian’s Place has more than doubled, and the signature Walk a Mile event has raised over one million dollars.
Nicole successfully led the rebrand of a new organizational identity for Gillian’s Place. At the core of this collaborative process was the objective to ensure Gillian’s Place is inclusive and welcoming of all women, genderqueer, Two-Spirit, trans, and non-binary people, with or without children, facing gender-based violence.
In her spare time, Nicole enjoys being a mom to four children, and shares a love of baseball with her husband Mike. Go Jays Go!
Franca Vavaroutsos is a Certified Public Accountant with over 25 years of progressive experience working in public accounting and in complex profit and not-for-profit businesses, the majority of which has been dedicated to the health care sector. Franca is currently the Chief Financial Officer of St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton.
Franca’s breadth of expertise covers a wide area of strategic responsibility. She has extensive experience identifying and implementing effective strategies and services related to financial management and reporting, budgeting and forecasting, cost management and controls, risk management, regulatory compliance, training and development, performance management, business solutions and change leadership. She has a proven track record of building strong internal and external relationships that have supported strategic planning development and implementation.
Franca lives in Grimsby where she enjoys staying active and spending time with her husband and two daughters.
Carolyn Mullins has had a very successful career working for the largest financial institution in Canada. She has held a variety of senior management roles in branch operations, procurement, strategic planning and credit risk assessment. She has been a Branch Manager, and held positions in Finance and Human Resources.
Carolyn was an Alderman in the Town of Grimsby for 8 years and was Chair of Finance from 2014 to 2018, playing a key role in developing the annual budget. Her goal was to keep tax increases low and justifiable. She has an HBA from Richard Ivey School of Business.
Carolyn has lived in Grimsby for more than 20 years, is actively involved in the community, sitting on the Grimsby Museum Board, Nelles Manor Board, Albright Manor Board, West Lincoln Hospital Board and Trinity United Church Board (Finance Chair). She has 4 children and 4 grandchildren, is an active curler and enjoys hiking and travelling.
Samah Marei comes to Gillian’s Place from a background in education. She earned her degree in History from UCLA and is currently completing post-grad work at Oxford. She has taught locally at the elementary level as well as at Niagara College and is a teacher of Arabic at the Qasid Institute. In addition to teaching history and sociology, Samah has spent the last 15 years presenting workshops on Diversity and Inclusion in both the workforce and the community. Samah’s work on Multiculturalism and Religious Pluralism has become part of a college textbook on diversity. Samah began volunteering with Gillian’s Place in 2016 and hopes to bring awareness of the shelter and its various programs and services to the broader Niagara Region.
Danielle Anders comes to Gillian’s Place from a background in engineering. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Guelph in 2002 in Water Resource Engineering and a Masters of Applied Science in Civil Engineering in 2005 from McMaster University. She is a partner at GM BluePlan Engineering Ltd, and is a licensed Professional Engineer (P.Eng) in Ontario. She has over 18 years of experience working within Niagara and the GTA both on the private and public side of engineering. Danielle has strong communication and facilitation skills. She has experience with public information centres, workshop facilitation and delivering training courses. Building strong client relationships and engaging stakeholders in a meaningful manner is one of Danielle’s strengths. Danielle is currently on the Board of the Water Environment Association of Ontario (WEAO) and further volunteers to Chair the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies (ACEC) Niagara Chapter. Danielle enjoys getting involved in her community and brings her local knowledge and leadership for the Niagara Region to Gillian’s Place.
Andrea Lombardi is a seasoned healthcare leader with an extensive resume of both clinical and administrative experiences.
She brings a unique vantage point, having practiced family medicine as a Canadian Certified Physician Assistant (CCPA), and participated in strategic planning at the clinic, community, hospital, and provincial levels of the Ontario healthcare system. Her career has also spanned a variety of healthcare niches including mental health, cancer care, primary care, and home and community care. Her most recent experiences include honing entrepreneurial skills in the private sector with innovative start-ups in the health coaching space.
Ms. Lombardi earned an Honours Bachelor of Arts from York University, and completed her Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Health Sciences (PA) at McMaster University. She earned her CCPA designation in 2012. She is a proud member of the Canadian Clinicians for Therapeutic Nutrition, a grass-roots movement of physicians and allied healthcare professionals who advocate for evidence-based dietary guidelines.
Jenny Vu has that natural ‘hustle’ mentality. As a Niagara-grown marketer, she has been able to adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape by understanding marketing trends and applying design theories in her work.
By jumping feet-first into the industry, Jenny has always proven that integrity and honesty drives success within her work! She is ecstatic about being part of an amazing team with Gillian’s Place and the opportunity it’s giving her to further connect with the Niagara community!
Vanessa Cheng (she/her)
Vanessa is the Manager of Community Relations at Brock University. With a strong background in building partnerships, communications and meaningful engagement, Vanessa's a multi-hyphenate who loves to do more than one thing.
She has spent the past eleven years working across the CPG, food & beverage, entertainment, lifestyle, fashion, tech, and transit industries in the Niagara region, Toronto, the UK and Hong Kong. With a Master of Science and Honours Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and History received at the London School of Economics and Political Science and University of Toronto's Trinity College respectively, she holds extensive experience in the public, private and non-profit spaces including Metrolinx, Bench Brewing, Chatham House, The Mint Agency, and the Department of National Defence.
In her spare time, she supports her partner on urban farming initiatives, teaches yoga, and explores all the trails in and around the Niagara region with her rescue dog.