Lisa Edgar

We are so grateful to Lisa Edgar for lending her voice to The Wild Nellies event at  The Robert McLaughlin Gallery on April 8, 2018 .

Lisa grew up in her First Nation community, the Mississaugas of Scugog Island (MSIFN). She has been fortunate to witness a great deal of positive change and community growth and development since starting to work for MSIFN in 1993. She has served as MSIFN’s Self-Government Officer, Lands Officer, Economic Development Officer, and most recently, as the First Nation Manager.

Previously, she worked for seven years in Ontario Hydro’s Supply and Purchasing departments. She also spent 13 years working for the Great Blue Heron Charity Casino (also within MSIFN territory) in the roles of Players Club Manager, and Public Relations and Communications Manager. She was recently appointed interim Chairperson for the MSFIN Board of Directors for the newly formed Economic Development Corporation, Nozhoo Nokiiyan Limited Partnership.

 Lisa currently serves in a volunteer capacity as Vice-Chair of the MSIFN Donations Committee (formerly the Baagwating Community Association), a charitable arm of the MSIFN. She has also volunteered at many other organizations, including the John Howard Society, Community Living Durham North, Crime Stoppers (Durham Region) and United Way.

She has received the Native American Casino Leadership Award in 2001, and the General Motors Business Award from Durham College (DC) in 1987.

Ellen Stroud

The Wild Nellies are grateful to Ellen Stroud, the Director of Service Design and Delivery at the Oshawa Public Library, for joining The Wild Nellies event at  The Robert McLaughlin Gallery on April 8, 2018 . For over 30 years she’s enriched literary arts and literacy in her community through her service at the Oshawa Public Library, Richmond Hill Public Library and the CNIB Library for the Blind. Ellen has spearheaded projects with community partners, garnering recognition and awards for OPL, including the W.K. Lamb Award for Seniors from the Canadian Library Association, the OPLA Advocacy in Action Award, and the Durham Region Art in Transition Award. In her spare time, Ellen sings with the a capella barbershop chorus with North Metro Chorus, which has won 5 International Gold Medals.

Melanie Guy

The Wild Nellies are grateful to be collaborating with The Denise House Development and Volunteer Manager, Melanie Guy for collaborating with us for The Wild Nellies event at  The Robert McLaughlin Gallery on April 8, 2018 .  Born in Montreal, she’s lived in Oshawa for over 40 years. She began her involvement with The Denise House with a co-op placement in 1988, in the Children’s Program. Following this she volunteered and  was hired as the Secretary in 1989.  She worked in that role for 5 years, at which point she had her first of two daughters and chose to stay home to raise them.  During that time she did some volunteer work again with The Denise House, and took online courses in Volunteer Program Management. In 2003 she returned to employment at The Denise House and became the Development and Volunteer Manager.

Prior to returning to The Denise House to work in 2003, she did some supply work with the Durham Catholic School Board working in offices as various schools throughout Durham, and also worked for a short while at Frontenac Youth Services.

Melanie recruits, trains, and supervises all of the Volunteers who provide friendship and support to women and children residing at the shelter, looks after our donation centre, and assists with a multitude of other tasks from cleaning and cooking to events in the community.  She also does a lot of work with regards to donations, fundraising, community events, and assists with the overall management of The Denise House, and  looks after the website and social media as well.

Her daughters are 24 and 20, and she has two dogs, Shi Tzu’s, Sephira and Micah.  Although she doesn’t find the time often enough, Melanie loves horseback riding.  She enjoys reading, puzzles, playing euchre, scrabble, movies and live comedy–returning often to visit relatives in Montreal and attend the Just for Laughs Festival.

The highlight of her days at the shelter is when a child wanders into her office, and she stops her work and spends time chatting with him or her.  No two days are ever the same and while the work can be challenging and difficult at times, it can also be very heartwarming and encouraging!

You can support The Denise House by donating at Canada Helps.

Mona Blaker

Motto: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Mona is a peaceful, optimistic foodie who enjoys a good book, a good laugh, and folks who are real. And she refuses to watch the new.  Mona says, “Wanna focus on your goal? Create a vision board and make your own change.”

We are grateful to Mona for leading a vision board project that united women at The Denise House and attendees of The Wild Nellies event at Robert McLaughlin Gallery on April 8, 2018 .