Chief Executive Officer
Maya is a diversity specialist with 20 years of experience in a variety of sectors in public policy development, public health, adult education and social work. She has extensive experience working in marginalized and disadvantaged communities, and is skilled in human resources, financial management, grant writing and project planning as well as in strategic communications and marketing.
Maya is fluent in English, French and Bengali. Her work has taken her to Thailand, Brazil, India and the UK where she worked with NGOs to support human rights and violence prevention. Her essays have been published in Going Beyond the Journey (2013) by Insomniac Press, and she is the winner of the 2013 CASSA Gender Advocate Award and the Toronto Community Foundation's Vital People award in 2014. She has a Bachelor of Social Work from the Ryerson School of Social Work, and has a Masters in Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy
Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, Ann Decter leads national campaigns, issue advocacy, research and policy development for YWCA Canada. A feminist and equity advocate, Ann initiated the Homes for Women Campaign to end the homelessness of women and girls in Canada and wrote Educated, Employed and Equal: The Economic Prosperity Case for National Child Care as well as When There’s No Place Like Home: A Snapshot of Women’s Homelessness in Canada. Previous advocacy roles include anti-poverty work at Sistering, an award-winning women’s agency, and Campaign 2000, Canada’s national coalition to end child and family poverty. The author of Lost in the Shuffle: The Impact of Homelessness on Children’s Education, Ann spent many years in feminist publishing, developing ground-breaking titles and representing Canada internationally. The author of four books, she is a member of The Writers Union of Canada.
Director of Member Services & Development
Raine Liliefeldt is a communications professional and relationship builder with over 12 years in the nonprofit sector built on a solid background of event planning and sales in the corporate sector. A creative organizer, educator, project manager and event planner, she has extensive experience in program planning, organizing grassroots initiatives, youth conferences, producing concerts and cultural festivals.
As the Director of Member Services and Development at YWCA Canada, Raine is responsible for a number of mission impact projects including a Knowledge Exchange Project On Ending Cyberviolence against Young Women And Girls, Think Big.Start Small, a civic engagement and leadership program for young women and Think Big.Lead Now a national young women’s leadership summit and mentorship program. She also coordinates national organizational meetings, capacity building and training events.
Manager, Communications & Marketing
Laura Tilley is the Manager of Communications and Marketing at YWCA Canada, where she is responsible for all YWCA Canada communications, media, web and marketing projects. Laura has over a decade of experience as a communications professional and manages all content for ywcacanada.ca, notokay.ca, rosecampaign.ca, thinkbig-startsmall.ca; and directs all social media content representing YWCA Canada including Facebook and Twitter. Laura was a part of the development team for the award-winning YWCA Safety Siren app. Prior to joining the National Office, Laura worked in Marketing and Communications for Hasbro Canada and Canada NewsWire/CNW Group. She holds an Honours degree in Political Science and is passionate about mental health advocacy and intersectional feminism.
Member Services Coordinator
Priscila Kallfelz is an organizational communications and event planning professional fluent in English and Portuguese. Priscila has over a decade of experience in both internal and external communications, from research to planning and implementing communication strategies in the for-profit and non-profit sectors in Canada and in Brazil. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Communications with emphasis on Journalism and on Publicity & Advertising, as well as two certificates in Corporate Communications & Public Relations and in International Business Management.
At the National Office, Priscila coordinates young women-led initiatives such as the Young Women's Engagement Task Force 2014-2015 and the Young Women's Leadership and Engagement Committee, and supports membership development committees and the planning and execution of national meetings and projects. She also produces The Wave, the newsletter that goes to member associations. Priscila is passionate about young women’s meaningful participation in decision-making processes and immigration issues affecting women and girls.
Administration and Finance Coordinator
Tamara Akopcan supports the Finance and Fundraising departments. Before joining the YWCA, she worked with Tourism Québec/Destination Québec, as Director of Media Relations and office manager for six years. She holds a BA in English philology, a diploma in psychology/social work, a certificate in mediation, and was trained with ACFO-Toronto in leadership for volunteer work in French communities in Ontario. Tamara has a keen interest in issues related to children and mental health, and has volunteer experience in mentoring newcomer women in transition to economic and emotional independence.
Project Manager, Executive Office
Andrea Dannecker is the Project Manager, Executive Office. She coordinates the Executive Office and supports the Board of Directors, Board committees as well as membership committees and is part of the organizing committee of the Annual Membership Meeting. Andrea also coordinates YWCA Canada’s delegations to UN CSW and YWCA World Council.
Prior to joining the National Office in November 2014, Andrea worked for non-profit organizations in Europe, including the German Olympic Sports Confederation, and for the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario. Andrea holds a Master’s degree in education. She has volunteered for organizations supporting children and women with disabilities and is passionate about furthering gender equality and the successful integration of immigrant women into a diverse society.