Board of Directors

Change for Children is currently seeking board members to join the Board for the 2024/2025 term beginning following the AGM in early September 2024 (Date TBA).

If you are interested in serving Change for Children through a Board position, please submit a  Declaration of Interest Form by August 15, 2024.

Director Role Description 

Board executive

Justin Rutley

President

Justin’s journey with Change for Children started as a member of Project HOPE at MacEwan University while completing a school build in the BOSOWAS in 2011. Justin is a seasoned professional with extensive expertise in technology solutions, hailing from top organizations in Edmonton, San Francisco, and Delhi. Justin has held positions with Kiva.org and d.light Design in the USA and India to provide innovative ways to include the excluded using technology globally. Currently serving as the VP of Business Development at Catalis, a leader in government technology and payment processing, Justin brings a wealth of knowledge and a strong commitment to driving positive change. His vision aligns with CFCA’s vision of leveraging technology for meaningful impact.

Andrea Kopylech

Vice President

Andrea started her career specializing in business development and advertising sales, growing into roles as a communications professional, 10 years as a writer and editor in the magazine publishing industry, and finally, combining her work skills, volunteer experience and passions, she transitioned into fundraising. Now, with almost a decade of professional fundraising experience, she continues to support organizations locally, nationally and internationally as a fundraising coach. She has specifically honed her skills in Major Gift fundraising, has worked in healthcare philanthropy, and her current full time role is as Associate Director of Advancement with the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta. She is a graduate of the University of Alberta (BA), a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and holds CFRE certification.

Andrea is also an active volunteer in the community. She spent 9 years working with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress National in various roles including her last role as 1st Vice President. She helped develop the Ukrainian Canadian Arts Network committee, served a term on the UCC Saskatoon Branch as Secretary, as well as a two year term on the UCC Saskatchewan Provincial Council’s Nation Builders Selection committee. She was president of the Alberta council for the Ukrainian Arts, a Director of Vesna Festival in Saskatoon, board member with Nuit Blanche Edmonton, and member of the Contemporary Ukrainian Studies Program Advisory Council with the Canadian Institute for Ukrainian Studies at the UofA. Currently she sits on the Ukrainian Bilingual Parent Advisory Society board as Vice President, is a Director with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Edmonton and area chapter, Co-Chair of National Philanthropy Day and is a coach for U17 girls’ community soccer.

Andrea lives in Edmonton with her husband and 3 children who inspire her to keep learning and to keep trying to make our communities a little bit better each day.

Terry Anderson

Treasurer

Terry is a Professor Emeritus and former Canada Research Chair in the Centre for Distance Education and the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Centre at Athabasca University. He has held Acadmic and administrative positions at University of Alberta, Athabasca, Confederation and Northen Lakes Colleges. Terry has published widely in the area of distance education and educational technology and has co-authored or edited 10 books and over 100 peer reviewed papers.

Terry is a regular on the “keynote” circuit at major distance education conferences and has visited many of the Open Universities around the world. He has served on the Boards of NorQuest College, Edmonton Social Planning Council, Alberta Distance Education and Training Association, Riverdale Community League and Westwood Unitarian Congregation.

Sarah Brackett

Secretary

Sarah is currently studying a masters of Agricultural and Resource Economics, where her research is evaluating the impact of community-based programming on dimensions of women’s empowerment in several rural Tanzanian villages.  She is also working as a research assistant on other aspects of this project evaluation, including the program’s influence on substance abuse and livelihood activities in the communities. Volunteering locally and internationally has ingrained in her a passion for equity, and an optimism in the strength of empowered communities and individuals, and their capacities to bring about change

Directors-at-Large

Omar Ortiz

Omar has supported Change for Children for the past 5 years through attending and hosting fundraisers, translation, and working on projects in Nicaragua and Guatemala. He is familiar with the indigenous communities in the south of Mexico and has travelled through protected areas to gain a greater understanding of the environmental challenges facing these communities. After completing his Mechanical Engineering degree, he participated in service programs for lower income communities, designing and installing water systems. He later received training as a teacher and taught courses at Universidad Tecnologica de México and Universidad del Valle de México. In BOSAWAS, Nicaragua, he used this experience to support capacity building of teachers, as well as meet functional needs in the communities. Omar also has a degree in Industrial Administration and a Masters in Business, adding strong analytical capacity to the board. His vision for development is a focus on equal partnerships where both parties share and learn, gaining knowledge and skills to support their own communities.

Maria DiCastri

Maria is a returning Board member with Change for Children. She holds a Bachelor of Theology Degree from the University of Ottawa, Education Degree from the University of Calgary and a Masters of Education from the University of Alberta. Maria spent her career as a teacher and now, in retirement is excited to return and continue applying her personal commitment to social justice to support the efforts of Change for Children. Maria has served two previous terms with CFCA. Her experience planning curriculum and liaising with schools has been a valuable asset to the organization’s education initiatives, along with her volunteer support during the last few Fall Fundraisers. Maria enjoys family, reading, travel, arts and culture, as well as nature and active living.

Board and council experience includes several terms in each of the following organizations: Edmonton Companions in Mission, Alberta Teachers’ Association, Friends of the Arden Theatre, St. Albert Children’s Theatre, Edmonton Suzuki Piano School, various local school parent councils.

Yemurai Bgwoni

Yemurai has worked in the actuarial consulting field specializing in pensions for 5 years. She has experience with project and risk management of multi-employer pension plans where she contributes to data driven decision making and strategic planning. Yemurai has strong leadership, analytical and stakeholder management skills. She also has an extensive volunteer background from mentoring and training orphans and vulnerable children in Zimbabwe to securing funding from Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) for the Centre for the Development of Women and Children (CDWC) through proposal writing. Yemurai is passionate about contributing to the well-being of women and children in marginalized communities and the skills and experience she has acquired to date will enable her to contribute meaningfully to the efforts of Change for Children Association in its mandate to build civil society capacity in Canada and the global south to promote health, human rights and create solutions to poverty through sustainable development.

Steve Mazerolle

Originally from Québec, Steve is a Principal who has been in the world of education for more than 30 years and taught in 4 different provinces. With a Master’s degree specializing in teaching mathematics, he is passionate about the psychology of learning and the use of technology in the classroom. In his spare time, he likes to travel, spend time outdoors and is learning Spanish. He has volunteered for numerous organizations from the finance committee to football to an international adoption society. He considers himself very fortunate to have been a part of the first ATA teaching tour to Guatemala in partnership with Change for Children.

Don Hanke

Change for Children has always had a special place in my heart ever since my first visit to Nicaragua in 2013 with CFCA and seeing first-hand how the organization makes a difference in people’s lives.

I have been traveling to almost all corners of Central America for the last 30 years always absorbing the culture and meeting the people. Retired from the University of Saskatchewan after 26 years of service. Volunteering is one thing that gives me great joy, so if there is a community event or a festival I’m usually involved. The people of  Guatemala and the BOSAWAS bioreserve of Nicaragua have always held a special place in my heart, and I look forward to many more visits to both regions.

Kimberly Ho

Kimberly has been an active volunteer and donor from her early days as an elementary student. Whereby, she has a drive to support causes that focus on poverty alleviation through increasing access to food security, education opportunities, social action, and vocational training. Currently, she is an HR Management Consultant helping employers set up for success through the thoughtful design and implementation of people management frameworks. It’s a way to create wonderful workplaces where people can live a full life and reach their aspirations. Wherein, Change for Children is one of their main organizations over the last 15+ years supported through the Honiva Giving Program to uplift more people.