stephanie connolly, executive director
A former journalist, Stephanie has worked in the non-profit fundraising sector since 2011. Driven to address the root causes of society’s biggest challenges, Stephanie has always aligned herself with organizations that build community. She believes that societal change starts with personal change, which happens most easily in an environment of positive relationships. She is an avid student of early childhood development and the psychology of personal growth. Ask her about either of these topics and you will have made a friend for life.
kirsten sikora, program coordinator
Working with Mom2Mom since October 2016, Kirsten brings a diverse history in social justice organizing, arts and most recently childcare environments. She has experience in community organizing, activism, and various artistic disciplines. Beginning with iHuman Youth Society in Edmonton, a group that works with high-risk youth using creative expression as a means to give youth a voice, Kirsten has always gravitated to supportive communities that bring new ideas to complex issues, which is why she is so passionate to be working with Mom2Mom and contributing the skills and talents she has honed over her years in organizing and program development, and also the opportunity be a part of something that makes real tangible change in the lives of families. As a mom herself, Kirsten has experienced social isolation and how it made the stress of parenting feel at times unbearable. She also was privileged enough to be able to access support and know how that improved her own capacity to handle the struggles and insecurities that came with early parenthood. Kirsten feels strongly that being connected to a supportive community is key for families to thrive, having seen the power of these connections and the strength that is nurtured.
jessica crompton, program coordinator
As a student of Anthropology and Human Geography, Jessica has studied how the urban environment and culture can negatively affect health outcomes and the power of community to provide positive interventions. Jessica has been working with families in East Vancouver since 2012 through Community School programs at an East Vancouver inner city school. Jessica loves working with children and knows the importance of supporting moms to help create healthy and happy families. Jessica has been inspired by the strength and resilience of the single moms she has worked with on her own recent journey to motherhood. She feels privileged to work among such a dedicated and diverse community. Jessica is committed to reconciliation and hopes to find opportunities to put this into practice through her work with Mom2Mom.
Kim gale-gotowiec, program coordinator
As a longtime resident of East Vancouver, Kim enjoys working in the community that she has raised her children and called home for many years. As a step and birth parent, Kim has been fortunate to be surrounded by a positive caring support system of other mothers, who have mentored her along the way and she truly understands and appreciates the value of the Mom2Mom philosophy. Kim has a long history of working with women, children, and their families in a variety of settings. Kim has training in pre- and postnatal care, child development, and parent education. When Kim is not working, she is pursing her passion as an aromatherapist as well as puttering in her little garden.
Board of Directors
Doug Morison, Teasurer
Doug is a Chartered Accountant and Treasurer for Mom2Mom who has worked in a variety of corporate and not-for-profit endeavours over the years. Enjoyable experiences and challenges as a father, multi-sport coach, Big Brother, and Chair of Sentinel Secondary Parent Advisory Council have given him exposure to a number of parent/child issues, and will provide a basis for supporting the Board of Mom2Mom during his mandate. In addition, Doug has been involved on the side-lines with Mom2Mom through supporting his wife Sara, who has been a Mentor in the Program since 2012.
Nicola Ingram, director
Nicola has been working with children and their families living in poverty in Vancouver for almost 20 years. She has witnessed over and over the power of relationship to change lives. Currently, Nicola is a counsellor with the Vancouver School Board at an inner city elementary school and has a private counselling practice. She received her Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University and her Masters in Counselling from LIOS (Leadership Institute of Seattle). She is the mother of a wonderful and lively boy.
Sarah Gustin, Director
Sarah finished a Bachelor of Medical Sciences and English at the University of Western Ontario. After postponing medical school, she spent two years travelling and working in Latin America where she became passionate about global health and social justice issues. Sarah moved to Vancouver in 2009 to start her Master’s in Public Health at SFU. She has worked in various areas of health promotion and disease prevention (e.g., cancer, dengue, West Nile Virus) for government, research, and non-profit organizations across Canada and internationally. She is currently the Knowledge Translation & Communications Manager for the Population & Public Health Program at the Provincial Health Services Authority. Her team works to improve the conditions for health where people live, learn, work and play in BC and Sarah’s role is to increase the use of evidence in health policy and practice. Sarah has been a Kidstart mentor since 2013 and volunteers with a variety of community organizations and events including LOVE BC, Positive Living BC, DOXA, among others.
Melinda markey, director
Melinda is a dedicated community activist and social change leader committed to equity and inclusion, having recently worked as Director of Human and Social Development at the Elizabeth Fry Society of Vancouver and before that as Program Manager at the Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education at UBC. She brings extensive knowledge in service delivery enhancement through her experience of building organizational effectiveness by creating socially inclusive structures. Melinda holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from Simon Fraser University where her graduate work focused on the importance of community inclusion for people experiencing homelessness and mental illness. Melinda strongly believes that collaboration, innovation and collective impact can make our communities better places to live – where all people thrive, not just some. Melinda currently works as the Provincial Secretariat Director at Community Action Initiative as is pleased to have the honour of having been Mom2Mom’s inaugural Executive Director.
Melanie Kurrein, MA, RD, Director
Melanie is a Registered Dietitian with 20 years experience working in public health. She has provided support to pregnant women and children, worked with schools, and contributed to the development of provincial programs, policy and practice. Melanie has witnessed the positive impact of peer support groups for moms and believes strongly in the Mom2Mom model. She is a passionate advocate for equity in health, especially as it relates to household food insecurity. She brings this passion to her role as the Provincial Manager of Food Security with the Population and Public Health Team at Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) and to her work as a Board Member for Mom2Mom. Melanie lives in Vancouver with her husband and young daughter. They love to spend time outdoors in nature and enjoy cooking and eating together.