Annual Reports and Strategic Plan 

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GP Board of Directors

Meet our 2023-2024 Board of Directors

Jennifer Wallace (She/Her)


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 (She/Her)

Executive Director

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!

Kim Sweeney (She/Her)

Vice Chair

For the past 25 years, Kim Sweeney has supported organizations in the private, public and non-profit sectors with their strategic storytelling. 

Currently, she is the Senior Manager of Communications and Public Relations for the District School Board of Niagara. Her work enables her to engage with students, build partnerships with staff and community members, and transform school spaces, one of her many passions and the subject of her master's thesis.

Kim holds a Masters of Education Degree from Brock University, a Masters of Communication Management Degree from McMaster University and Syracuse University, and she is Accredited in Public Relations (APR). She is a firm believer of giving back to her profession, volunteering her time to support those new to PR as well as serving as a Board member for the Canadian Public Relations Society Hamilton/Southwestern Ontario chapter.

A belief that everyone has a role to play in improving the lives of animals and people in need, Kim is engaged with a variety of community causes to raise both awareness and necessary funding. 

She spends her personal time with her husband, son, and two rescue dogs, often enjoying hikes throughout beautiful Niagara.

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.

Franca Vavaroutsos (She/Her)



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.

Kristina Newman


Bio coming soon.

Andrea Lombardi (She/Her)

Vice President 

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.

Diana Simmons (She/Her)


Bio coming soon.

Jo-Ann Boyle-Jackson



Jo-Ann Boyle-Jackson, a lifelong learner with a broad sociological perspective, is deeply committed to social responsibility and community engagement. She is dedicated to supporting Gillian's Place in its mission to end the intimate partner violence epidemic in the Niagara Region, using her self-directed, reliable, and hardworking nature across academic, volunteer, and community roles. With extensive managerial experience in the financial sector and a solid educational foundation, including a Master of Arts in Critical Sociology, an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Canadian Politics, Jo-Ann is currently pursuing further growth through Brock University's Adult Education Certificate Program.

Her comprehensive training in suicide prevention, opioid harm reduction, and research ethics is complemented by her active involvement as a Board Member at the Rosalind Blauer Childcare Centre at Brock University and her recent service on Brock University's Social Science Research Ethics Board. Jo-Ann's volunteer experiences include being a crisis-line responder, rescue dog fosterer, member of Ridley College’s Family Guild, a co-op store volunteer, and a community homelessness outreach volunteer, while prioritizing her family above all else.

Lelia Costantini (She/Her)

Lelia Costantini is the Assistant General Counsel and Compliance Officer at ArcelorMittal Dofasco. Lelia has over 17 years  experience advising on a range of legal matters including, employment law, human rights, pensions, privacy, dispute resolution and commercial contracting. Lelia also routinely advises on compliance, ethics and governance related matters. 

Prior to joining ArcelorMittal Dofasco she practiced law at two large Canadian law firms. Lelia holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Brock University and a Bachelor of Laws from Western University.

Lelia lives in St. Catharines with her husband and twin sons.

Meganne Cameron 

Meganne Cameron is a lawyer and a member of both of the Law Societies of Ontario and British Columbia. Meganne practiced civil litigation in British Columbia before moving to the public sector where she worked for the Office of the Ombudsperson, investigating complaints about unfairness on the part of various provincial agencies. She has a broad range of experience in administrative law and an interest in human rights and procedural fairness. In 2018, Meganne returned to Ontario to be closer to her family and joined the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario as an Adjudicator.  

Meganne holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in History from Western University, a Master of Arts in History from the University of Windsor, and a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School.  She lives in Beamsville with her partner and son. She enjoys hiking, biking, and all of the other outdoor activities the Niagara region has to offer. 

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