Stella’s Circle Board of Directors, Stella’s Circle Foundation Board and Leadership Team.
A dedicated volunteer Board of Directors oversees the governance of the organization. Learn more about our board members HERE. The Board operates under a committee structure. Committees are: Executive Committee, Governance Committee, Risk Management Committee, Finance and Audit Committee and the United Church Liaison Committee. Terms of Reference have been developed for each of these committees. Board members serve a three-year term.
Executive: Jasbir Gill, Chair; Stephen Jewczyk, Past Chair; Jacqueline Kudla, Treasurer; Connie Duffett, Vice-Chair; Jim Carroll, Secretary
Members: Nena Abundo; Miriam Bowlby; Kevin Galway; Joe McKenna; Donna Stone; Michelle Hawco; Mica McCurdy; Suzanne Fitzgerald
Stella’s Circle is committed to the highest ethical standards. We do this by conducting our business with maximum integrity, treating all individuals with dignity and respect and by complying with Stella’s Circle policies and all applicable laws, rules and regulations. In line with this commitment we provide an avenue for employees (current and past), students, contractors, volunteers, and other stakeholders to raise concerns associated with disclosure around issues such as gross mismanagement, accounting fraud, misuse of funds, an offence under any legislation or an act or omission that creates a danger to life, health or safety. We assure that those who raise concerns in good faith will be protected from reprisal or retaliation. For more information, please see the organization’s Disclosure Policy – Nov. 25 2019.
Stella’s Circle Foundation Board of Directors
The Stella’s Circle Foundation raises funds for programs and services of Stella’s Circle.
Bob Carter, Chair, Mark MacLeod, Past-Chair; Andy Fisher, Vice-Chair; Jacqueline Kudla, Treasurer (Stella’s Circle Board of Directors Liaison); Maria Clift; Robert Decker; Susan Foran; Vanessa Newhook; Ted O’Keefe; Kristen Penney; Paul Griffin
Senior Management Team
Lisa Browne, Chief Executive Officer
Lisa is responsible for the overall operations of the organization. She was recognized as a Top 50 CEO in Atlantic Canada by the Atlantic Business Magazine in 2017 and 2018. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She is on the Board of Food First NL and the National Gallery of Canada.
Melanie Walker, Director of Corporate Services
Melanie joined the organization in February 2020 and is responsible for the provision of financial, human resources, information technology, health and safety, and administrative services to the organization. Melanie is also responsible for overseeing all contracts for service and advising the management team on all the contractual obligations of the organization. Melanie has a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from Memorial University and is a CPA. Melanie has worked in the Ottawa technology sector and many other sectors, including fishing, offshore industrial maintenance, commercial real estate, and beverage bottling.
Denise Hillier, Director of Clinical Services
Denise Hillier, MSW, RSW, has worked in the field of Social Work for over 20 years. In her role as Director of Clinical Services, she oversees the clinical and training direction for 40 staff in three programs: the Just Us Women’s Centre, which provides services and support both in the community and in the provincial prison to women with which a history of involvement in the criminal justice system; Emmanuel House, a 4-6 month residential treatment program; and the Community Support Program (CSP), which works with people with complex mental health issues. Denise is a trained facilitator in the area of compassion Fatigue and also has a Diploma of Journalism.
Rob McLennan, Director of Employment Services
Rob has overseen a variety of public and private programs and partnerships assisting people with career development and overcoming barriers to employment. In addition to employment and literacy programming, Rob is also responsible for social enterprise activities within Stella’s Circle including the popular Hungry Heart Café and Clean Start, a commercial cleaning business. As an original member of Stella’s Circle Inclusion Choir, Rob coordinates this non-audition community singing group. Rob has received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Social Work from Memorial University of Newfoundland and is completing a Master of Social Work. His current and past volunteer activities include field instruction with Memorial University’s School of Social Work. He is past Chair of the Professional Development Committee for the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC). He is currently a Mental Health First Aid Instructor.
Karen Noel, Director, Property and Development
Karen is responsible for the ongoing maintenance of 20 buildings and 79 units of affordable housing operated through Stella’s Circle. With more than 25 years of experience in this industry, she has overseen in excess of $15 million of capital projects and frequently shares her knowledge with other non-profit organizations embarking on their own capital projects. Additionally, Karen is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) and is working toward a Maintenance Management Certificate. Karen supervises the property maintenance staff, and as well oversees the Trades Helper and Cleaning Training Programs that directly help Stella’s Circle participants increase their skills and become more employable.
Gail Thornhill, Director of Housing Services
Gail has a Masters in Social Work and has worked in the housing and homelessness sector for 18 years. At Stella’s Circle, she oversees the supportive housing team. Part of Gail’s role includes community capacity building. She is co-managing an Intensive Case Management program on behalf of End Homelessness St. John’s, called Front Step. Gail is a trainer with the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness to deliver Housing First training across the country.