Arlene MacDonald-Executive Director
Arlene brings to the position her experience as executive director of the Pictou County Women’s Centre. Arlene is an active community leader, volunteer and advocate for the non-profit/voluntary sector.
Nicole Cammaert-Director of Learning & Operations
Nicole Cammaert has over 20 years experience working with communities at the grass roots level. She also contributes years of experience working in diverse fields such as marketing and outdoor adventure tourism. Nicole brings a balanced, holistic and entrepreneurial ethos to her work as a community organizer, embracing complexity through systems change and social innovation. She has served in various community development capacities including most recently as Director of Community Engagement and Education for New Dawn Enterprises, as well as co-founder and manager of the North River Centre for the Performing Arts, Co-Chair for the St. Ann’s Bay Development Association, and Coordinator of the St. Ann’s Bay Community Health Centre, and Director of Marketing and Product Development for Tourism Cape Breton. Nicole is a recent graduate of the Coady International Institute’s program, Canadian Women’s Foundation Leadership Institute.
Alexandra Theroux-Operations Coordinator
Alexandra has worked in healthcare, non-profit, and post-secondary education. With over 8 years’ experience in administration, human resources, and project management as well as years of volunteer work – including acting as Chair for the Springhill, Oxford, Amherst, and Region (SOAR) Community Health Board from 2011-2015 – she is passionate about community engagement and seeing businesses succeed. Alexandra recently achieved a Bachelor of Business Administration from Mount Saint Vincent University in Marketing and Management and is enthusiastic about applying that education and her experience to help community organizations thrive.
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Brenda Lavandier-Cape Breton Region
Brenda has over ten years experience in curriculum delivery and training, primarily for non-profit, community organizations. Currently, she is the facilitator for the Practitioner Training Program with Literacy Nova Scotia. LNS exists to provide a wide range of supports that will help Nova Scotians meet today’s literacy and essential skills demands. She is an adult learning instructor, currently employed with the Adult Learning Association of Cape Breton County. ALACBC provides a variety of literacy and training opportunities for learners within CBRM. Brenda is keenly interested in helping people acquire the tools they need to help themselves and has volunteered her time as an EAL tutor in her community. She is a council member with the Cape Breton Local Immigration Partnership, which strives to support integration of newcomers to the island. As a community-minded individual, she strongly believes in inclusion, diversity, and strengthening supporting relationships and partnerships. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from St. Francis Xavier University and a Bachelor of Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Dana Perry-Central Region
Dana Perry is the Regional Hub Convenor for the Nova Scotia Community Sector Council, specifically administering the Central Region. Dana’s background includes a 20+ year career in the film industry, a lengthy musical career, and most recently as a Regional Coordinator for the Nova Scotia Community Access Program.   His work related experiences in addition to his educational background in Science and History makes for a diversified approach to the Community Sector Council.
Philip Girvan-Highland Region
Philip Girvan brings over a decade of adult education experience, and extensive training in network development to his role as Highland Region Hub Convenor. His professional projects and interests include citizen journalism, documentary film production, public health, community health, event production, publishing and IT. His volunteer experience includes serving as the Chair of Antigonish Town and County Community Health Board, as co-editor of the All-of-Us Society For Art Presentation Zine, and as a member of the Sustainable Antigonish Leadership Team.
Brandi MacCuish-Northern Region
My name is Brandi MacCuish, I am 24 years old from Pictou County and a recent graduate of Cape Breton University with a Bachelor of Arts and Community Studies. I am a new intern for the Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia and will be closely working with the other convenors to expand my knowledge in the Community Sector. I am excited to be given the opportunity to work with the sector and keep my roots in my beautiful province of Nova Scotia.
Helen J. Abel-Valley Region
Helen is an enthusiastic and engaging facilitator who lives vicariously through others succeeding. Helen has previous experience as a Business Counsellor, a Career Advisor and has worked with and for several community organizations located in the Annapolis Valley. Helen brings with her an entrepreneurial mindset and relishes exploring opportunities where she can maximize her skillset and transform something strong into something superb. Helen’s strengths lie in her positivity, ability to make connections with people and her tenacity to get the job done. An avid life-long learner, Helen has a BA in Business, a Master’s in Entrepreneurship and a Certificate in Adult Education. She has also started learning to play the piano!

These regional convenors play a vital role in giving a collective voice to the sector and enhancing the Community Sector Council’s capacity to address labour force and human resource issues across the province.