2017 Workshop Facilitators

Photo of Abeer AlSalihi
Abeer AlSalihi

Abeer AlSalihi, New Canadians Centre
Abeer is originally from Syria and moved to Canada in 2014, coming from the United Arab Emirates. With a Diploma in Civil Engineering from Damascus University, and a teaching licence from UAE, Abeer has over nine years of experience as a teacher. As a newcomer herself, Abeer always tries to help the newcomers integrate in Canada and to feel a part of their new community. She also likes introducing her culture to Canadians. Abeer enjoys working at the New Canadians Centre and feels fulfilled and delighted to see people safe and happy.


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Adele Passmore

Adele Passmore, In Circle with Life
As a drum-making workshop and drumming circle facilitator for the past seven years, Adele combines aspects from her Métis heritage and various teachings received along her journey. Making her own drum played an important role in finding her authentic voice and she is honoured to help others do the same. Adele leads monthly drumming circles for women in the Kawarthas and GTA, and at the Gardens of Peterborough residences. She has also been invited to bring her drums, medicine, and songs into both primary and high school classrooms and professional conferences. 


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Andressa Lacerda

Andressa Lacerda, Noblegen Inc.
A native of Brazil, Dr. Andressa Lacerda first came to Trent as an undergraduate student in 2008. After graduating in 2011 with a BSc in Biology, and a specialization in Health Sciences, Andressa began work on her MSc at Trent University. Because of the advanced level of her research, she converted to the Ph.D. program, which she completed in 2015, at the age of 25. In 2013, during her time as a graduate student, Andressa co-founded a biotech company called Noblegen.


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Brianna Salmon

Brianna Salmon, Green-UP
Brianna is Executive Director of GreenUP.  She joined GreenUP in 2008, and over the past eight years she has worked across departments in a variety of exciting roles. Most recently, as Manager of Transportation and Urban Design Programs, she coordinated highly successful community, neighbourhood, workplace, and school-based transportation and urban planning projects. In 2014, Brianna designed and co-authored the Peterborough City & County Active Transportation and Health Indicators Report. Brianna has a Masters in Sustainability Studies from Trent University, and a second graduate degree in Philanthropy and Non-profit Leadership from Carleton University’s School of Public Administration. 


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Dawn Hennessey

Dawn Hennessey, Peterborough BDC Business Centre

Dawn Hennessey is the Peterborough Business Centre Manager of The Business Development Bank of Canada. Mrs. Hennessey brings almost 20 years of financial management experience, having held account and people management positions at the Business Development Bank of Canada and another financial institution.

Dawn was born and raised in Sarnia, Ontario and later attended McMaster University earning an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree. After a few years in junior management positions, she joined Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto and later held positions in Peterborough and Durham region. In 2004, she joined BDC and has been an active member of the business community ever since. Currently, she sits on the Board of the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and holds various volunteer roles with local charities & organizations.

Dawn and her family enjoy an active lifestyle including skiing, running, soccer & other outdoor activities.


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Debbie Vandenakker

Deb Vandenakker, Loving Warrior Women Coaching

Debbie is certified EFT practitioner and Emotional Success Coach, trained through the National EFT Training Institute. She spent years in the corporate world as a project manager who suffered from Imposter Syndrome – a painful phenomenon that robs women of their confidence and ability to “own their success.” She found a way through Imposter Syndrome and now coaches other women through the process, so, they too, can achieve authentic happiness and success. Debbie uses cutting-edge programs designed to empower high-achieving women to take back their authentic power, own their success, and create more of what they want in their lives. She is so excited to show you the endless success and possibilities awaiting you on the other side of Imposter Syndrome.


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Hattie Edwards

Hattie Edwards, Green Communities Canada
Hattie Edwards is Mohawk from the Akwesasne First Nation. She is part of a matriarchal society of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Hattie is a student of the teachings of the Great Law of Peace and the Good Mind learning for the majority of her life. She seeks to practice the teachings of the Good Mind in her daily life, understanding the importance of a positive impact on community, youth and the environment. She attended Trent University and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Indigenous Environmental Studies/Science Program. She currently works with Green Communities Canada and the Sacred Water Circle as the Program Coordinator for the Youth for Water Program empowering Indigenous youth with tools to find solutions to current water issues locally, nationally and globally. 


Photo of Kemi Akapo
Kemi Akapo

Kemi Akapo, New Canadians Centre
Kemi is a Nigerian-born, West African-raised woman. A self-proclaimed feminist since the age of eight, Kemi has often found herself interested in matters of social justice, particularly in respect to the advancement of girls and women locally and globally. She attended Trent University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and International Development Studies. She currently works at the New Canadians Centre as the Settlement Services Coordinator. In addition, she is vice-president of the YWCA Peterborough, Haliburton, and also sits on the board of the KWIC. Kemi is an avid cyclist and movie watcher.


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Leslie Bradford-Scott

Leslie Bradford-Scott is the co-founder and CEO of Walton Wood Farm, a lifestyle gift company based in Bailieboro, Ontario. Leslie began making bath salts in her kitchen mixer in June of 2014 with the goal of raising money to save her historical 1850s barn. Within two years, she was selling her home-spun products in all 50 U.S. states, and all Canadian provinces, including luxury retailers such as The Bellagio Hotel and Spa, and Nordstrom. Walton Wood Farm was the winner of the 2015 Bears’ Lair Entrepreneurial competition, and in October of 2016, Leslie successfully faced the fire on CBC’s Dragons’ Den.


Photo of Rosemary Ganley
Rosemary Ganley

Rosemary Ganley, Jamaica Self-Help
Rosemary is a long-time Peterborough feminist writer and activist. She and her spouse, John, founded the international development agency, Jamaican Self Help in 1980 and she has just published a book telling this story. Rosemary co-founded the Persons Day Breakfast in 1991, and attended the Fourth United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. She writes a widely read weekly column for the Peterborough Examiner.


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Shannon Fisher

Shannon Fisher, 5 Fish Leadership

At 26, Shannon was a registered massage therapist who worked varying hours and was exhausted and frustrated with her financial results. She would often dream about making a global impact by helping others reach their potential while finding harmony within their life. Shannon discovered the Network Marketing Industry and over the past 11 years, she has grown a very large team across Canada and the United States and has become a professional Lady Boss and CEO of 5 Fish Leadership, a Master Trainer, Speaker and Lifestyle Coach. Shannon is also a certified John C. Maxwell Leadership Coach. She believes that once you start the process of stepping into your potential there are no limits to what you can achieve.  


Photo of Suzanne Galloway
Suzanne Galloway

Suzanne Galloway, YES Shelter
Suzanne has worked in the non-profit sector for over 20 years including initiating social enterprises, leading youth employment programs, and working in public health. She has a particular passion for working with youth and her first job when she came to Peterborough in 2003 was at the YES Shelter. The organization’s mandate and passionate staff remained close to her heart after she left in 2005. In 2013, she was thrilled to return to YES as Executive Director.