Pamela Rice, Chief Commissioner

Pamela Rice

Pamela was installed as Chief Commissioner of Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada at the Annual General Meeting in June 2015 in Holyrood, Newfoundland. She has been active in Guiding since she was a girl and has held many positions as an adult member. Her roles in Guiding have included: Unit Guider for Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers; District Commissioner; various Adviser positions; Safe Guide Assessor; member of Quebec Council, including Chair of the Finance Advisory Committee; elected member of the Board of Directors (2007-2010); and most recently as the Provincial Commissioner for the Quebec Council (2011- 2014).

In her professional life, Pamela worked for VIA Rail Canada for more than 23 years, holding the position of Marketing Director prior to her retirement. She has lived and worked in Quebec, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Ontario, and has travelled extensively throughout Canada. Pamela is a graduate of Concordia University and has a broad range of work experience in the fields of strategic planning, marketing, advertising, customer service, and railway operations.

Pamela is a passionate advocate for the positive impact Girl Guides of Canada can have on the lives of girls. Her Guide leader, Jean Youngson, afforded her excellent leadership opportunities, taught her about resourcefulness, gave her the confidence to challenge the status quo for girls and women and to give back to her community. Pamela firmly believes that Girl Guides of Canada's Mission to help girls become confident, resourceful, courageous and to take action for a better world encapsulates the world of possibilities that Guiding offers girls and young women. 

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Sharron Callahan, International Commissioner

Sharron Callahan

Sharron was elected as International Chief Commissioner at our AGM in June 2014 in Vancouver, B.C. Sharron previously served three-year terms as Chief Commissioner and Deputy Chief Commissioner – Member Services.

Sharron joined the Guiding movement as a Brownie. She continued with Guiding as a girl Member, earning her Gold Cord. As an adult Member of Girl Guides, Sharron has been a Sparks, Brownie, Guide and Pathfinder Guider. She has held many positions at the District, Division and Area level, and twice served on the former National Council. From May, 2002 to April, 2007, she served as the Provincial Commissioner, Newfoundland and Labrador Council and from 2007-2010 served as Deputy Chief Commissioner-Member Services. She continues as a Unit Guider and a Trefoil Guild Member. She has an extensive background in social work and youth justice.

Sharron is committed to ensuring that Girl Guides of Canada is focused upon girl empowerment and the development of girl leadership and to ensuring that GGC mentors and coaches women to support and encourage girls to be the future strong and confident leaders of our world organizations.

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Brenda Abrams, Director-Governance

Brenda Abrams

Brenda was elected as a Director of the Board in June 2016. She joined GGC as an adult member, collaborating to establish a Guiding unit to ensure her daughter's Brownie unit could continue their Guiding experience. The opportunity to share the positive impact of Guiding with her daughter informed and enriched a life time commitment to service in the public and volunteer sectors.

As General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for a large public sector organization, Brenda provided advice and guidance on strategic, legal, regulatory, compliance and governance matters. Over the past ten years, Brenda has held a variety of volunteer roles and currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Children's Wish Foundation of Canada and Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Toronto North Support Services.

​Throughout her career in the public service, and her extensive volunteer sector work, Brenda has been a strong believer in supporting groups that build community. She is an avid supporter of good governance in the volunteer and not for profit sectors and offers her experience and expertise to help GGC grow and thrive.

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Madeleine Deschenes, Director-Chair, Youth Council

Madeleine Deschenes

Madeleine was elected as a Director of the Board in June 2016. She has been a member of GGC since she was a Spark and is currently a Spark Guider. Guiding has played a very important role in her life, providing her with the opportunity to explore and develop leadership and confidence. In 2010, she attended the Our Cabana International Friendship Camp in Mexico where she developed many friendships and discovered new ways to communicate in order to bridge language barriers.

Madeleine is very passionate about girl empowerment and ensuring that all girls are confident enough to pursue their dreams. She believes strongly that active living, sports and a connection with the outdoors are very important components to girls growing into strong, healthy and compassionate women. 

Madeleine is pursuing a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Kinesiology at Queen's University. She is dedicated to developing a welcoming community at her school. In her role as Logistics Coordinator for the 2016 Orientation Week she is ensuring that all incoming students feel included and at home at Queen's University. She also volunteers for Revved Up, a physiotherapy clinic at Queen's, where she supports individuals with mobility impairments in building and maintaining their health and wellness in a fun and social environment.

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Karen Bozynski Wilson

Karen Bozynski

Karen was elected to the Board as a Director in June 2014.  As a Director, Karen is a steward of GGC and is accountable for the viability of our organization.

Karen brings diverse expertise and a passion for learning through hands-on experiences and adventures. She was part of the founding Board of Directors for Youth Engineering and Science Camps of Canada, now Actua.ca, which brings life-changing experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to youth across Canada. Karen has been a member of the National Club of Canada for over 10 years, in Toronto's financial core, and has served on its Board of Directors. She also serves on the Advisory Committee for Chirp Magazine (part of OwlKids). In her youth, Karen was a Girl Guide in Northern Ontario, and is now thrilled to be a parent of a young Spark, and giving back to the next generation.

As a professional engineer and business leader, Karen has been honoured to work with great people to create breakthrough change in organizational culture, operating performance, and financial results. She has led transformation teams internationally, from site-level kaizen blitzes to global process redesign and multinational M&A integration. She has launched and led multi-million dollar businesses, engaging hundreds of talented people. She values the power of teamwork throughout an organization, to create and communicate a vision that is inspiring and motivating, with compelling connections to what matters in the world. . Karen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and an Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Materials & Metallurgical Engineering from Queen's University, and a MBA from INSEAD (France and Singapore).

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Candice Lys

Candice Lys

Candice Lys was elected as a Director in January 2016.  As a Director, Candice is a steward of GGC and is accountable for the viability of our organization.

Candice was a girl member of Girl Guides and has been volunteering as a Guider since 2011 for the 3rd Yellowknife Girl Guides unit.  Candice was also fortunate to lead an international trip to the Sea of Cortez in 2014.  She holds a Masters in Health Promotion and is currently completing her PhD in Public Health Science.  Candice is also the co-founder and Executive Director of the sexual health and leadership organization FOXY (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth).

Candice is passionate about providing young women with spaces to develop self-confidence, empowerment, and leadership.  She believes in the sisterhood of Guiding and its ability to strengthen individuals and communities.

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Janet Mann

Janet Mann

Jan Mann was elected as a Director of the Board in June 2014.

Jan has been active in Guiding for more than 30 years, joining as a Brownie and continuing as a girl member, earning her Gold Cord and Queen's Guide (in England). As an adult member of Guiding, Jan has served in the roles of Guide Guider, Music Advisor, Treasurer, Provincial co-Commissioner, Newsletter Editor, Assistant Camp Director, Canadian Mosaic '99 – Yukon and Chair, Camp Property Management Committee. At the national level, Jan has participated in Committees/task forces dealing with Governance, Strategic Planning, Member Involvement, and Bylaws. Jan enjoys travel and has visited all four World Centres at least once and is a Friend of the Four World Centres.

Jan recently retired from a career with the Government of Yukon where she filled numerous senior leadership roles in the fields of Education, Highways and Public Works, Economic Development, Health, and Governance. She holds a Master of Business Administration from Queen's University.

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Melissa Martin

Melissa_Martin

Melissa was elected as a Director of the Board in June 2016. She has been an active member of Guiding since she was a Spark and has held a number of positions as an adult member. Her roles in Guiding have included Unit Guider and Treasurer for Brownies and Rangers, Program Lead for Ontario Rally Day, Administrative Community Leader, and member of the National Governance Committee.

Melissa is a Senior Policy Advisor with the Ontario government's Ministry of Government and Consumer Services where she develops consumer protection and business law policy. Melissa holds a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School, a Master of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business, and a Master of Public Administration from Queen's University.

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Sunita Mathur, Director-Chair, Council of Provincial Commissioners

Sunita-Mathur

Sunita was elected as a Director of the Board in June 2015.

Sunita has been a Guiding member since she was Brownie. She has held various positions as a Unit Guider for Guides and Trex, has served on her area council, and as Camp Director for area and provincial camps. She recently completed her term as a member of the National Scholarship Committee. Sunita also spent two years as a member of Girl Scouts USA in Florida as a troop leader and leadership trainer. She is currently a Guider for a multi-branch unit in Toronto, as well as a Trainer.

Sunita believes that Guiding instills confidence, leadership skills, collaboration and positive social interactions among girls and women. She is passionate about promoting camping among Guiding members and using outdoor education to promote a sense of independence, well-being and environmental awareness.

Professionally, Sunita is a physical therapist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto.  She earned her PhD in exercise physiology from the University of British Columbia.

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Robyn McDonald, Director-Treasurer

Robyn McDonald

Robyn was elected as a Director of the Board in June 2015. As a Director, Robyn is a steward of GGC and is accountable for the viability of our organization.

Robyn began her Guiding journey as Brownie and Guide, and is currently a Ranger Guider in Surrey, British Columbia. She has been a Unit Guider for 14 years, joining with her daughters as a Sparks Guider, continuing through each branch to Rangers. She particularly enjoys working with the Pathfinder and Ranger branches: acquiring and teaching skills, empowering girls, fostering youth leadership, undertaking service in the community, and demonstrating to girls in younger branches what they have to look forward to in their senior years of the program.

Obtaining her Certified General Accountant designation in 1995, Robyn has used her accounting and financial background in various positions on District council – as  secretary, treasurer, and Deputy Co-Commissioner. She has been a volunteer treasurer of many community societies, as well as controller and finance/accounting administrator for non-governmental organizations. Outside of Guiding and her accounting practice, Robyn is a concert and jazz musician, and enjoys travel.

Robyn is passionate about offering dynamic experiences to girls, recruiting and retaining members at the senior level, and promoting the Link experience to foster the next generation of Guiders.

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Alexandra Russell, Director-Risk Oversight

Alexandra Russell

Alexandra was elected as a Director of the Board in June 2016.  She was a Brownie, a Guide, and a Spark Girl Assistant while growing up in Ontario. Since joining as an adult member in 2013 she has been a Brownie and Ranger Guider in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, a Link member, and a member of the Nova Scotia Camping Advisory Committee.

Alexandra joins the Board with experience and training in governance, strategic planning, advocacy, and women's issues. Following the completion of her undergraduate degree she served as Director and Vice President of the Federation of Students at the University of Waterloo, and on the Board of the Business and Professional Women of Greater Moncton, chairing the Resolutions, Bylaws, and Public Affairs Committee.

Alexandra holds a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and is obtaining her professional designation as an Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA), working with quantifying and modeling various types of organizational risks. She is currently working in group benefits consulting at a national human resources consulting firm.

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Jill Zelmanovits, Chief Executive Officer

Jill Zelmanovits

As a longtime GGC member, Jill is committed to the Mission of the organization. She has previous GGC experience as a past Board Director and has chaired several national committees including Audit and Finance, and Governance. Jill brings international Guiding experience to her role as CEO, having served as Trustee on the World Board of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), and held positions of Chair, Membership Growth Work Group, and Chair, Advocacy Task Group. Additionally, Jill has been a member of the Membership Services Working Group, the Global Engagement Group, and the Technology Work Group.  

A bilingual lawyer, Jill was a commercial litigator at a Bay Street law firm before working for Legal Aid Ontario at a number of Community Legal Clinics. Most recently, she was head of the Housing Department and a Staff Lawyer at West Scarborough Community Legal Services.

Working alongside volunteers and staff, Jill is inspired by the passionate commitment of Guiding’s members. She is a firm believer that Guiding is what girls need to be the best they can be and is full of optimism in the strength of the organization.

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