The Community Foundation of Nova Scotia is governed by a volunteer board of directors comprised of community leaders from across the province and is administered by professional staff. These men and women bring a wealth of skills and expertise to their work for the Foundation.
If you would like to get involved with the Foundation’s activities our Board committees are always looking for additional help. Contact us today to find out what opportunities might be available.
Robert Orr, Chair
Barbara B. Pike, Vice Chair
Dennice Leahey, CM, Past Chair
Margaret Casey, CM, Secretary
Monita Taylor, CPA, CA, Treasurer
Glenn Stewardson, CFP
Michel P. Samson, BA, LLB, ECNS
Chair – HRM
Robert expertly managed the startup, financing and growth of Ocean Nutrition Canada in 1997, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Clearwater. His over 20 years of senior management experience in the Natural Product, Marine Biotech, Food Retailing, Wholesaling and Advertising industries helped make Ocean Nutrition Canada’s fastest-growing marine biotechnology and natural product ingredients company. His experience includes the creation and management of several startup companies, and responsibility for large multinational corporate division operations. It has also allowed Robert to assemble a sizeable, extremely accomplished, multidisciplinary team which became the cornerstone of Ocean Nutrition’s business strategy, and a major contributing factor to its revenue growth. Robert is currently the President and CEO of Slanmhor Inc. in Halifax.
Chief Executive Officer - HRM
Barbara took over as the Chief Executive Officer of The Maritimes Energy Association in January of 2011. Since then she has rebranded the industry association from one focused on offshore oil and gas (under the name OTANS), to a regional association representing companies that provide goods and services to the energy industry – onshore & offshore, renewable & non-renewable.
Before joining The Maritimes Energy Association, Barbara spent six years with the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS), first as the institute’s Director of Communications and later as Vice President. Before that, she was the Public Information and Environmental Coordinator with the Canada – Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board for five years.
Barbara has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist in newspapers, radio and television, primarily with the CBC and The Canadian Press. She moved to the field of public relations in 1997, first as a consultant, then with the Nova Scotia government as a communications officer.
Barbara is an active volunteer in the community. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Sport Nova Scotia and is the Vice President – Finance. Barbara is a past member of numerous Boards including the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada. Mount Saint Vincent University, the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron and Sail Canada.
Born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Barbara lives in Halifax and has one daughter.
CM, Past Chair – Northern NS
Dennice Leahey received the Order of Canada in 2006 for her many years of volunteer work. Her citation read, in part: “Leading by example, Dennice Leahey has shown how corporate leaders can positively impact the voluntary sector. Former senior vice-president and ombudsman of RBC Financial Group, she has lent her expertise, energy and enthusiasm to organizations such as Mount Saint Vincent University, the North Cumberland Hospital, Manitoba A.L.I.V.E. and the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art.” Dennice also was presented with an Eagle Feather for her work in the Aboriginal community. She has been active in many local not-for-profit organizations and is now vice-chair of the Symphony Nova Scotia Board of Directors and a Director of Atlantic Institute of Market Studies. She resides in Pugwash, NS with her husband Stephen.
CM, Secretary – HRM
A caring and compassionate physician, Margaret Casey has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to patient-centered health care. As Director of the North End Community Health Association Clinic, she was highly regarded for her listening skills, deep social conscience and dedication to her patients’ overall well-being. Former Director of Admissions for Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Medicine, she also volunteered at medical clinics in St. Lucia and Haiti. In addition, her leadership has benefited organizations such as the Children’s Aid Society of Nova Scotia and the Home of the Guardian Angel.
CPA, CA, Treasurer
Monita is a principal in the Dartmouth office of WBLI. She practices mainly in the audit and assurance area and serves a wide variety of clients including manufacturers, contractors, business in the service sector, medical professionals and non-profit organizations. Monita is also involved in the firm’s quality control initiatives and professional development initiatives. She is part of the firms scheduling team, which is charged with the responsibility of assigning client files.
Monita has been involved with ICANS as Professional Standards Reviewer and responsible for reviewing the client work of practicing members to ensure they meet the professional requirements of the Institute.
Mary graduated from St. Francis Xavier University with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in accounting. She has diplomas in Chartered Financial Planning, Elder Planning Counselling, and the Canadian Securities Course. Her community work began when she graduated from university and she has been a lifetime volunteer in many organizations in Yarmouth. A few of her involvements have been with Family and Children’s Services, the School Board, CNIB Board, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and many others.
Currently Mary is the Director of Finance for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Yarmouth and on the Diocesan Administrative Board; Treasurer and Financial Administrator of the Yarmouth County Museum and Archives; Treasurer of Sunset Terrace (a boarding home for elder ladies); Finance Chair of the Yarmouth Public Library and Museum; and Chair of a local committee focusing on developing a second heritage district in the Town of Yarmouth.
Director of Partnerships - Dartmouth North Community Food Centre
Anne-Marie McElrone has worked in the community sector for more than 20 years, supporting organizations and networks in their efforts to build stronger, more resilient and more connected communities.
Currently the Director of Partnerships for the new Dartmouth North Community Food Centre, Anne-Marie inadvertently joined the community foundation movement in 1999, while working at a corporate PR firm in Toronto. She discovered the power of community foundations while coordinating the launch of Our Millennium, the movement’s first national initiative, and soon left PR for consulting to work with the growing number of community foundations across Canada.
Anne-Marie spent 15 years working as a consultant and staff member for Community Foundations of Canada, becoming Vice President of Public Engagement in 2008 and playing a key role in the launch of programs such Vital Signs, Smart & Caring Communities and the 150Alliance as well as the movement’s first national awareness campaign.
She is an award-winning media trainer and a former print journalist who still loves newspapers. Anne-Marie lives in Dartmouth with her husband and two sons and is passionate about building a Nova Scotia where her family can live and work in its home province. She is an active volunteer in the community and co-founder of ASPEN (the Asperger’s Syndrome Parents Empowerment Network).
Glenn Stewardson is an author, speaker and a financial educator, specializing in lifestyle and charitable tax planning. Glenn’s first book was released in 2014, “Giving Transforms YOU!” 52 Ways Giving Transforms You, Your Family, Your Business and Your Community.
Glenn is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®). Through his expertise, he has developed strategies (revealed at his presentations) allowing entrepreneurs, professionals, and retirees to redirect to the philanthropic organizations, their “social capital”… also known as taxes. Since 1994, Glenn has advised individuals and families across Canada on how to plan for and live their Joyful Retirement.
Glenn is an executive member of the Halifax Estate Planning Council and serves on the board of the Dalhousie University Planned Giving Advisory Council.
He also “walks the talk” having raised funds for numerous charitable causes over the last two decades. He has passed his fundraising passion on to his children. His daughter, Paige, was recognized as the top fundraiser for the Terry Fox Run at Madeline Symonds Middle School for Three Years in a row. In 2012, the Stewardson family raised over 30% of the total school donations.
Glenn lives with his wife, Tracy, in Halifax, Nova Scotia and they enjoy time with their three teenage children, twin girls Grace and Paige, son Quinn and family dog, Tia.
Jane Wells is an energetic and passionate sales professional with extensive sales and business development experience. With over 25 years in the IT Sector, Jane has developed enduring business relationships and continually demonstrated her capabilities in both finding opportunities for growth and building business plans to drive results. Sought after within her workplace as a coach and mentor, Jane brings her skills, leadership, and a strong sense of social responsibility to any engagement.
Jane is currently co-chairing the Halifax Ovarian Cancer Walk of Hope. Jane and her husband, Mark Bursey have two children both in university.
Rural Economic Development - Lunenburg County
Lynn Hennigar’s position supports the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia’s focus on the mobilization of philanthropy across Nova Scotia, particularly in rural communities where the possibilities of philanthropy are not fully realized.
Throughout her career Lynn has been an effective community change maker. She has been active with the Lunenburg County Community Fund and a strategist with its committee NOW Lunenburg County for more than three years.
After more than 30 years in the newspaper industry, Lynn sold her family publishing company Lighthouse Publishing Limited to Advocate Printing and Publishing Limited in August of 2015. She continued as publisher of the award winning Lunenburg County community newspaper The Progress Bulletin until March 31, 2017.
BA, LLB, ECNS
A bilingual graduate of Dalhousie Law School, Michel P. Samson began his law practice in Port Hawkesbury before spending 19 years as a Member of the Nova Scotia Legislature for Cape Breton-Richmond.
Samson’s cabinet assignments included acting Minister of Justice, Attorney General & Deputy Premier, Minister of Energy, Trade & Acadian Affairs and Francophonie, Minister of Economic and Rural Development & Tourism, Minister of Environment and Government House Leader.
Samson currently serves as counsel in the Cox & Palmer Halifax office.