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Board of Directors


Chair: Linda Barber
Linda Barber is a retired federal public service executive who also served as a senior director in the Ottawa not-for-profit sector for seven years. She graduated from Queen’s with a B.A. in 1975 and is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Carleton University and is due to graduate in 2017. During a long public service career, Linda served in many capacities. As the first Executive Director of Health Canada’s Office of Pediatric Initiatives, she focused on health and food product safety for children and pregnant and nursing mothers. Prior to retirement from the public service, she served as Director General of Human Resources and Transition Management, helping staff fulfill commitments to survivors under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. From 2009 to 2016, Linda served as a Senior Director at United Way Ottawa, where she was responsible for the government’s annual workplace charitable campaign that sees federal employees and retirees generously donate more than $30 million every year to improve lives in their communities. Linda is also a dedicated volunteer, striving to improve animal protection and welfare. She served on the Board of the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) for seven years and chaired the OHS Board from 2012-2014. She now teaches humane education classes for OHS in elementary schools. Linda became CFHS Board Chair in May of 2015 and proudly represents OHS on the Board of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS). Linda has been a devoted mom to five shelter dogs. Gully, Willow, and most recently, tiny terror Jax, continue to animate and enrich her and her husband’s lives.

Interim Vice-Chair: Craig Naherniak (BC SPCA)
Craig Naherniak is the BC SPCA’s General Manager of Humane Education and oversees the BC SPCA’s farm animal welfare programs. He has been with the SPCA creating education materials for nearly 20 years. Prior to the BC SPCA Craig has worked on several farms including being the operational manager of a commercial hog farm on Vancouver Island. He has experience working with layers, broilers, ducks, goats, pigs, horses, sheep and cattle. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from UVIC and a Masters degree in Environmental Studies from York University. Craig’s academic work focused on human/animal relationships, an analysis of cultural and historical perspectives toward nature and animals, and environmental education. As well as youth based humane education programming, Craig oversees the development of companion animal care and behaviour materials and edits the Society’s two magazines – Bark! and AnimalSense.

Secretary: Lynn Cadigan
Lynn is the Animal Welfare Consultant with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, working under the direction of the province’s Chief Veterinary Officer in the Department of Natural Resources. She is primarily responsible for managing the enforcement of the provincial Animal Health and Protection Act. Prior to taking this position in 2012, Lynn spent 12 years with the SPCA Newfoundland and Labrador, in various positions, including executive board member, financial director, president and executive director. She also served on a number of provincial and national animal welfare committees. Lynn began her career in accounting and finance. She has a Bachelor of Commerce from Memorial University and worked in business management for eleven years before directing her attention to the animal welfare movement. The animal welfare journey has been a very rewarding one that continues to be a significant part of her life.

Treasurer: Nadine Atkinson, CA
Nadine is a Chartered Accountant and an Assurance and Advisory Manager at BDO Canada LLP in Ottawa. She has seven years of experience in public accounting and specializes in audit and compliance engagements for non-profit organizations. In her role at BDO, Nadine works closely with several national associations to analyze and improve internal controls and to develop efficient financial processes. Her role in public accounting has led to industry experience in a breadth of areas including professional firms, retail and manufacturing companies, mortgage and insurance brokerages and investment corporations. Nadine graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Accounting and Financial Management and a Master of Accounting with a specialization in tax. She officially obtained her Chartered Accounting designation in 2012. Nadine has always taken an active role in her community including environmental conservation, grant application reviews for a local Foundation and contributing to tax publications. She is currently organizing an office-wide community contribution endeavor to share her fondness of volunteering with others.


Tara Hellewell (Director-at-large, Red Deer & District SPCA)
Tara was appointed the role of Executive Director for the Red Deer and District SPCA since August 2011. This position saw her come full circle after a volunteer position on the Red Deer SPCA Board of Directors in 2001 led to a subsequent career in Fund Development. Tara could see that her sales and marketing background combined with her outspoken passion would be a benefit to the charitable sector, and would offer a very rewarding career choice. For over 14 years Tara has contributed to the fundraising success of three charities in her community. Tara continues to provide focused leadership to the RDSPCA as it grows into its new $4 million, 12,000sq ft. facility completed in 2010. An aggressive strategy to enhance the profile of the shelter, along with the introduction of community outreach programs such as the K9 Companion Pet Therapy Program which supports volunteer therapeutic visits to hospitals, long term care and seniors homes, have truly established a new connection to the community. This type of people focused programming has opened opportunities for increased funding and given the Red Deer SPCA an enviable reputation as a leader in both human and animal services. Tara hopes that her support of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies at a board level will help to bring the voice of Albertans to the table and equally bring awareness of important issues to the communities in that Province, in particular the issues of farm animal and companion animal welfare. Tara lives in Sylvan Lake, Alberta with Jaret and her two dogs, Harlee and Bandit. She enjoys spending any spare time constructing their off grid log cabin on the shores of Kootenay Lake outside of Nelson, BC where they can enjoy the freedom of nature and enjoy the wildlife that frequently visit the property.

Denys Pelletier (Director-at-large, SPA de Québec)
Denys has been the Executive Director of the SPA de Quebec SPA since 2008. Prior to working for the SPA he worked in the financial sector for 18 years and at accounting firms for 5. Denys is a Chartered Accountant and has a Bachelor of Accounting from Laval University.

Anne Sutherland (Director-at-large)
Anne Sutherland is a strategist, team facilitator and thinking skills instructor. She started her career in advertising where she discovered her passion for human behavior. Her 30 years in research and strategy were driven by her curiosity to uncover insights and make them actionable for companies like Bell Canada, lavalife, Unilever, Hudson’s Bay Companies, and Volkswagen. Anne taught Creative Problem Solving, Strategy and Innovation for 13 years at OCAD University. In 2014, she founded the independent school Thinking U – the critical thinking and creative problem solving studio where you learn to put best practices into practice. Whether through her consulting on new thinking or her volunteer work, Anne’s life passion is to help people and organizations imagine and then work towards a better world. She co-founded a movement called Citizen Capitalism that inspires individuals to do their part to change the world by living their values and acting on them everyday. She supports Evergreen’s goal of creating a sustainable world by enabling flourishing cities. Her love of animals led to becoming a Board Member with the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies in 2015. Anne lives in Toronto with her three best friends: husband Andy, son Garrett, and golden retriever Finn.

Dr. Alice Crook (Director-at-large)
Following graduation in 1982 from the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), University of Guelph, Dr. Alice Crook worked in small animal practice and then as an anesthetist at OVC, followed by the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC), University of Prince Edward Island. Since 1995, Dr. Crook’s main focus has been animal welfare through her position as Coordinator of the Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Centre at AVC. She is the immediate past-president of the board of the Animal Welfare Foundation of Canada. She has been affiliated with the Animal Welfare Committee of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) since the mid-nineties, including three years as Chair of the Committee. Her particular interests are pain management in companion and farm animals, animal cruelty legislation, feral cat welfare and effective veterinary response to animal abuse. Dr. Crook wrote a bi-monthly column for many years on issues of animal health and welfare in the Canadian magazine Chatelaine. She has won several awards for her work to improve the welfare of animals, including the 2002 CVMA Humane Award, a Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003, the 2004 McGrand Award from the CFHS, the 2009 CVMA President’s Award, and the 2013 PEIVMA Leadership Award.

Jacques Messier (Director-at-large, Toronto Humane Society)
Dr. Jacques Messier, DVM, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Humane Society and was the 2014 recipient of the Canadian Animal Health Institute’s Industry Leadership Award. Jacques has expertise in a number of areas and has left a beneficial mark in all the positions he engaged in. He got his feet wet in mixed animal practice, he influenced animal health policy within Health Canada, and he helped expand markets of Canadian livestock genetics, leading to improved animal production around the world. In his short time at the University of Saskatchewan’s Veterinary Medical Center, he oversaw the construction of new hospital facilities, which enables the treatment of more than 18,000 patients a year. His current role as CEO of the Toronto Humane Society brings his career full circle, by promoting humane care and protection and prevention of cruelty and suffering of animals.

Miranda Jordan-Smith (Director-at-large, Edmonton Humane Society)
As CEO of the Edmonton Humane Society, Miranda provides leadership to approximately 130 employees and 2000 volunteers. She advances animal welfare in the Edmonton region through animal sheltering, programs and services, and community engagement. With more than 15 years of leadership experience, she has a demonstrated track record of enhancing complex organizational systems, leading efficient departments, and fostering positive relationships with stakeholders. She has led teams in newspaper production, event planning, market research, and communications; and she has vast experience in business operations management. Miranda holds a BA from the University of Alberta, a public relations diploma from MacEwan University, and an MBA from the University of Liverpool. She is currently pursuing a post-graduate Non-Profit management certificate through Harvard University.

Cindy Soules (Director-at-Large)
Cindy has a strong background and knowledge of animal welfare as a long-term volunteer with the BC SPCA. As past president and board member of the BC SPCA, Cindy has a proven track record in board leadership and governance. She chaired the Governance Review Committee and the Advocacy Committee and is particularly proud of that group’s successful End Animal Cruelty campaign, which ultimately saw increased protection for abused and neglected animals through new cruelty legislation enacted by the BC government. Cindy’s background also includes leadership roles in corporate and non-profit settings with strength in implementing strategic plans and programs and building collaborative relationships with various stakeholder groups. She currently works with the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, where she manages provincial research initiatives aimed at improving health and the health system. Cindy is a dedicated champion for homeless cats, recognizing that there is still much work to do in educating society about the value of the cat as an animal companion.

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