Board Members

Avalon is Recruiting New Board Members

We are recruiting new members who identify as women to join the Board of Directors. We are seeking individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience in Law, Finance, Management, Human Resources, and/or Communications. By serving on the Avalon board you will have an opportunity to make a difference. You’ll use your skills and expertise meaningfully, while also learning, growing your talents, and making new friends and connections. Most importantly you’ll be demonstrating your support for those who have experienced sexualized violence, and providing direction to an amazing organization that effects real systemic change and helps survivors heal.

Board Chair

Lee-Ann Conrod 
Lee-Ann joined the board in Spring, 2015. She has a Bachelor of Laws from UNB Law and works as a Crown Attorney for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. Lee-Ann has always been interested in supporting and empowering women. She volunteers on Avalon Sexual Assault Centre’s board to be involved in women’s issues in the region and to contribute to her community in a powerful way.

Secretary

Jennifer Taylor 
Jennifer Taylor is a lawyer at Stewart McKelvey in Halifax. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees from Dalhousie University, and a Master of Law from the University of Cambridge. Jennifer looks forward to serving on the Avalon Board as part of her commitment to feminist advocacy. Among other community activities, Jennifer also serves as Chair of the Halifax Dance Board of Directors, and Chair of the Young Lawyers Section of the Canadian Bar Association – Nova Scotia.

Treasurer

Sharon Merwin
Sharon joined the board of directors in September 2016. She is a Certified Public Accountant and has a Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University. Sharon worked in public accounting practice with a Big 4 firm for four years gathering expertise in not-for-profit entities, and worked with many high profile consumer products/services entities in Nova Scotia and internationally. She currently works with the internal audit team at Emera Inc. Sharon is able to bring her business analysis skills to Avalon in order to analyze and improve operational processes, financial processes, and accuracy in financial reporting. Her interest in not-for-profits and social justice allows her to understand the unique risks and opportunities that Avalon faces and the importance of transparency in financial reporting.

Communications Committee

Carole Rankin
Carole joined the board in September 2017. She has a Bachelor of Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University and currently works as Marketing and Communications Coordinator at the Halifax International Airport Authority. Carole is also the local coordinator for the Halifax Shoebox Project, a non-profit that collects and distributes gifts to women in shelters across Nova Scotia. Carole is a feminist and is passionate about community engagement particularly on social justice issues.

Nicole Doria (Chair)
Nicole joined the board in 2014. She has a BA in political science from the University of Guelph, a BSc (Hons) in Health Promotion from Dalhousie University, and a Masters of Health Promotion from Dalhousie University. She works as a research assistant for the Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit and is engaged in several community initiatives. In her role on the board, Nicole is passionate about raising funds and awareness for Avalon’s cause. She values the opportunity to have a direct impact on ensuring people receive the support and services they need to heal.

Governance Committee

Lee-Ann Conrod (Chair) 
Lee-Ann joined the board in Spring, 2015. She has a Bachelor of Laws from UNB Law and works as a Crown Attorney for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. Lee-Ann has always been interested in supporting and empowering women. She volunteers on Avalon Sexual Assault Centre’s board to be involved in women’s issues in the region and to contribute to her community in a powerful way.

Ann-Barbara Graff
Ann-Barbara joined the board in May 2018. She has a BA, MA and PhD in Victorian Literature from the University of Toronto, in her doctoral thesis she explored the emergent representation of female sexualities through the lens of Darwinian evolutionary discourse.  She is the Vice-President (Academic & Research) at NSCAD University.

Diane Crocker
Diane Crocker is a Professor in the Department of Criminology at Saint Mary’s University. Her work explores the use of law to address social problems, particularly those that disproportionately affect women. Dr. Crocker is currently working on a five-year evaluation for Circles of Support and Accountability, a community-based restorative justice initiative to help re-integrate those convicted of sex offences into the community. A second project explores sexual violence and “rape culture” on university campuses. She is currently a member of the Canadian Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative and regularly advises government and community agencies on projects related the gender-based violence.

HR/Personnel Committee

Michelle Hyson
Michelle Hyson joined the board of Directors in September 2018. She has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Dalhousie University with a major in Management. She has spent over 12 years in Human Resources roles and is currently the Office Manager / Human Resources Partner for Prosaris Consulting Ltd. Michelle has joined Avalon as she is a mother of 2 young children and she wants to support building a safe and equal opportunity community for her kids and others to grow up in.

Lauren O’Neil
Lauren O’Neil joined the board in September 2018. She has a BA with a major in Psychology and a certificate in Human Resources from Saint Mary’s University. After graduating, she spent the last four years working as a Human Resources Advisor in property management and hospitality industries. Lauren is passionate about giving back to her community and particularly is interested in female advancement and helping women feel empowered in their personal lives, as well as in the workplace. She volunteers on the board with Avalon Sexual Assault Centre to utilize her educational background to empower others to speak up and help raise awareness.

Sharon Robinson
Sharon is a graduate of Dalhousie University and a Chartered Professional in Human Resources. Sharon has held leadership roles at the IWK Health Centre and is currently the Director of Human Resources for the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia. She joined the Board in September 2018 to share her knowledge and experience in people practices with an organization providing needed services to those affected by sexualized violence. She believes in empowering women to achieve gender equality.

Finance Committee

Deanna Grant
Deanna Grant has been a resident of Nova Scotia her entire life. She loves the maritime culture, people, and its natural beauty. Promoting education, awareness, and support for Avalon Sexual Assault Centre is one way of giving back to her community by helping people enjoy life without fear. Deanna is currently the Controller for Granby FRP Tanks Inc. and has over 15 years experience in finance. With this experience, she brings operational and budgeting skills to the Avalon board. Deanna is a CPA, CMA and holds a BBA degree from Mount Saint Vincent University.

Sharon Merwin (Chair)
Sharon joined the board of directors in September 2016. She is a Certified Public Accountant and has a Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University. Sharon worked in public accounting practice with a Big 4 firm for four years gathering expertise in not-for-profit entities, and worked with many high profile consumer products/services entities in Nova Scotia and internationally. She currently works with the internal audit team at Emera Inc. Sharon is able to bring her business analysis skills to Avalon in order to analyze and improve operational processes, financial processes, and accuracy in financial reporting. Her interest in not-for-profits and social justice allows her to understand the unique risks and opportunities that Avalon faces and the importance of transparency in financial reporting.