Paula Sheppard, President/CEO, St. John’s. Paula Sheppard is a diligent supporter and a fierce advocate for women. She has worked closely with colleagues and all levels of government to support women with the unique barriers they face. As CEO of the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs, she gained first-hand knowledge and understanding of the critical importance women have to the social and economic success of our province.
Paula is the vice-chair and founding member of the Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada and a member of Gender Equity Network Canada, a Status of Women Canada project. She was also the co-chair of Atlantic Canada Women in Exporting working group from 2011-2012. Paula holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Co-op), Human Resources and Labour Relations from Memorial University.
Val Barter was born and raised in Petty Harbour, NL. Over the past twenty years Val has worked in the non-profit sector of Newfoundland and Labrador. Val is a strong feminist, intimate partner violence survivor (IPV), and long-time advocate and supporter for abused women and children & IPV survivors of all genders. Val is dedicated to anti-violence organizations and is currently the Executive Director of Violence Prevention Avalon East, supporting all individuals in our province who have experienced violence and/or are looking for support and guidance in violence prevention.
Val has worked in women’s shelters in St. Johns and Labrador, including a 3.5 year term as Executive Director of the Nain Transition House In Nain, Labrador, previous Executive Director of Planned Parenthood NL and 6 years with the St. Johns Status of Women Council as a staff member where she served in a variety of supportive, trauma informed, education and advocacy roles, including a year as the Women’s Centre coordinator.
“Ever since I can remember I’ve been very passionate about the rights of all women. When it came to choosing what I wanted to do for the rest of my life I wanted to dedicate my life to assisting other people in recreating theirs full potential in a violence free society”.
Vanessa McCarthy, Vice-President, is a lawyer in private practice with Rebecca Redmond MacLean Law Office PLC Inc. in Gander. She completed her Bachelor of Arts and LLB degrees with the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, where she was involved in numerous organizations committed to equality and women’s rights.
Vanessa worked and volunteered for many years with the Fredericton Sexual Assault Crisis Centre and later the Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre. She is actively involved with the Gander Women’s Centre and the Rotary Club of Gander. Vanessa is originally from Grand Falls-Windsor, and has lived in Gander since 2010.
Angie Wilmott is a registered psychologist with 25 years of experience as a school psychologist and counsellor within the K-12 education system. She is a committed advocate for a system that enables all students to reach their unique potential, thereby supporting a future of thriving individuals and communities. She demonstrated a strong voice and leadership for the province’s school counsellors and psychologists during her term as President of the NL Counsellors’ and Psychologists’ Association.
Angie advocates for improved mental health & addictions services, highlighting the critical role of proactive prevention and timely intervention. She has served for five years on the Provincial Mental Health & Addictions Advisory Council and is a member of the Towards Recovery: System Redesign Working Group for Children, Youth and Emerging Adults.
Angie believes women’s issues are family and community issues. Ensuring gender-balanced input is critical in effective decision-making, not only in meeting the needs of a community, but for our ‘community’ to truly thrive. Angie holds a BA (Hons) in Psychology, a B.Ed. and a M.Ed. (School Psychology / School Counselling) from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She is proud to accept this appointment as a member of the Provincial Council on the Status of Women and looks forward to real change that enables our province to fully benefit from gender balanced systems and decision-making.
Raelene Vickers. Without human connection and a strong foundation of empathy, understanding and love change cannot occur. Raelene’s passion for human connection led her to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Social Work in 2014 from Memorial University and a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Toronto in 2018.
Raelene describes herself as a fierce feminist who challenges society’s expectations, and a passionate advocate for gender and sexual diverse populations. Practicing as a front-line social worker for four years, Raelene has experience working with children in care, foster parents, and women experiencing intimate partner violence.
After completing a placement in Patient and Family Engagement at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) Raelene has been exploring the use of social work in administrative and policy roles. Recently, Raelene entered the role of Executive Director of Mokami Status of Women Council where she is incorporating strengths based and trauma informed theories into her everyday work.
Born and raised in St. John’s, Michelle Greene is a registered social worker who completed her Bachelors and Masters degrees in social work at Memorial University. Michelle is passionate about helping others attain good mental health. She teaches nationally and internationally with the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and was a member of the Canadian Forces National Speaker’s Bureau from 2009 to 2015.
Michelle has spent her 33 year career working with people in the not-for-profit sector empowering those who have experienced trauma, loss and vulnerabilities. She currently works as the Executive Director of Iris Kirby House Inc.