WISH Board of Directors 2016
Emma Watkinson – Chair
Emma is a development officer who has many years of experience working and volunteering in non-profit organizations. She believes in supporting women to make their own decisions, to have a voice that is heard, and to challenge the thinking, actions and systems that contribute to the oppression of women. Emma brings a keen eye for governance, strategy and non-profit operations, as well as a belief in contributing to the community. She was previously a board member of WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre and the Elizabeth Fry Society of Edmonton.
Stacey Freeman – Vice Chair
Stacey Freeman currently works as the Regional Autism Manager for the Pacific Autism Family Centre. She began her career working with the Canadian Red Cross, Oxfam Canada, and as a policy researcher for indigenous legal rights. It was at this time that she began working with disability claimants in Ontario. After moving to British Columbia to complete her Master’s Degree she continued her working with individuals with disabilities through her work with Access and Diversity as well as BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital. In these roles she worked with stakeholders to develop business relations, revenue programs and outreach programs.
Sarah Ciarrocchi – Treasurer
Sarah is a lawyer at Mandell Pinder LLP. Her firm provides legal advice to Aboriginal groups and Aboriginal individuals and Sarah specializes in the area of economic development. She has always been interested in advocating for women, and marginalized women in particular, and is concerned with social justice issues. In the past Sarah has volunteered with Vancouver Rape Relief, Victim Services, and PIVOT (assisting with a report on legalizing prostitution).
Sarah Orr – Secretary
Sarah is an Industrial Relations Officer at the BC Employment Standards Branch, where she mediates and adjudicates employment disputes. Prior to this she practiced civil litigation at two different law firms in Vancouver. She volunteers at Access Pro Bono’s summary legal advice clinics, and she has volunteered as a mentor for the YWCA’s High School Mentorship program. Sarah believes that WISH plays a vital role for survival sex workers in the community, and she is committed to helping WISH continue its excellent work.
Jenn has a passion for non-profit organizations and also has a solid understanding and steadfast commitment to the sustainability of the sector. She has spent most of her career either working or volunteering in the sector. Her non-profit employment has included WISH’s close partners, PACE Society and the Surrey Women’s Centre as their Director of Development. In a voluntary capacity, she served as President of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Mental Health Association for 7 years, where she oversaw a successful merger with two smaller branches of the CMHA. She also played an active role in fundraising for the organization. Jenn has also served in a leadership capacity on other Boards in the past, notably, as Chair of the Board for Britannia Community Services Society and as President of the Federal Riding Association for Vancouver East, and Vice-Chair of Little Mountain Neighbourhood House. Her community engagement also includes her role as a former NDP MLA for Vancouver-Fairview. Jenn is currently an Account Manager of Community Business, where she manages a diverse book of accounts for non-profit organizations and social enterprises, primarily in the Vancouver area.
Jess Chant is a redheaded Scorpio who’s worked for not-for-profits in Vancouver for the last 15+ years. She’s worked in youth engagement and children’s rights, health promotion and now supports mothers and children who live in poverty through her work as Executive Director at the Mom2Mom Child Poverty Initiative. She has held senior executive and leadership positions at the Kiwassa Community Services Association, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies, BC Recreation and Parks Association, the Society for Children and Youth of BC (SCY), and the Environmental Youth Alliance and has managed portfolios of more than $4million. She loves reading, going to the beach with her dog and kid and smashing the patriarchy.
Before joining the WISH Board in the fall of 2016, Michaela spent a decade working with NGOs ranging from tiny community-led organizations, the United Nations, and everything in between. Her Master’s training in public health, sociology, and journalism, combined with her time leading communications and fundraising campaigns across legal, academic, and public health settings, positions her uniquely to support WISH’s work promoting the health and safety of Vancouver’s most vulnerable women.
Michaela earned the Canadian Institute for Health Research Award for Health Communications Research in 2011, a Master’s of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2014, and the Bud Osborne Award for Excellence in Knowledge Translation in 2014. Since 2010, she has worked with, volunteered for, or served as a consultant to organizations like Pivot Legal Society, the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy, Harm Reduction International, and the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition. Currently, Michaela works as a communications consultant based in Vancouver, B.C. with organizations and individuals championing social and environmental justice.