Arlene has over 25 years of experience working in the non-profit sector, with over 15 years in an Executive Director role. Her experience as a volunteer in the sector began as a Girl Guide and has remained an important part of her life, she has volunteered for over 30 organizations and Boards at the national, provincial, and local level but being a Big Sister is the closest to her heart. Arlene brings a passion for community development to her role at the Community Sector Council. As a graduate of the Coady International Institutes’ and the Canadian Women’s Foundation’s, Women in Community Economic Development program, Arlene is proud to be working in an innovative and female-led sector. She believes collaboration is fundamental for social well-being and economic development in Nova Scotia and that women’s leadership can be the catalyst for collective success.
NICOLE CAMMAERT - Associate Director
DAREN OKAFO - Manager, Learning Programs
Daren has 23 years of experience with non-profits and believes in the importance of adult education, community voice and participation in social policy formation and provision. He is passionate about adult literacy and promoting creativity in adult and community learning.
Daren has worked at Irish National Adult Literacy Agency as the Manager of Research & Innovations, and at Coady International Institute as the Technology & Innovations Coordinator. He currently volunteers with Social Justice Radio at CFXU in Antigonish. Daren holds a Masters in Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University.
Daren’s personal motto is “Always look for ways to extend a helping hand, and always try to get better at it”.
Daren uses he/him pronouns.
CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org | 902-877-9783
Having worked in Healthcare for almost 10 years, Alexandra feels strongly about giving back to her community and supporting the work of community organizations in improving the overall health of Nova Scotians. She is passionate about human rights advocacy, gender & race equity, and environmental issues.
Alexandra has worked at Nova Scotia Community College and the Department of Health & Wellness in Administrative and Project Management positions. She is currently a Volunteer Board Member of the Halifax Community Health Board. Alexandra holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing & Management from Mount Saint Vincent University.
Alexandra is an avid reader who enjoys drawing and writing stories of her own.
Brenda believes there is a lot of important and rewarding work to be done strengthening the non-profit sector and supporting Nova Scotia communities. She is passionate about literacy, education, and settlement.
Brenda has 11 years of experience in in Adult Education and the Community Sector. She has worked for Literacy Nova Scotia and the Adult Learning Association of Cape Breton County. Brenda volunteers with the Cape Breton Local Immigration Partnership and the Adult Learning Association. Brenda holds a Bachelor of Education from Memorial University.
When she is not working, Brenda enjoys cooking, gardening, and running.
Brenda uses she/her pronouns.
DANA PERRY - Regional Convenor - Central
After working in a highly profit driven industry, Dana sought out the community sector as a way to make a meaningful positive impact on the environment and his community. He is passionate about the environment and veganism.
Dana bring 25 years of experience to his role, having worked at the Nova Scotia Community Access Program as a Regional Coordinator and as a Key Grip andProduction Manager in the film industry. Dana volunteers with Telecommunities Canada, the VON, and NARALO. Dana holds a Masters Degree in History from Dalhousie University and a Broadcasting Diploma from the NSCC. When he is not working, Dana enjoys writing and performing music as well as kayaking.
Dana uses he/him pronouns.
PHILIP GIRVAN - Regional Convenor - Highlands
After a decade plus working and volunteering in the community sector, Philip appreciates the passion and problem-solving skills of the people working in the sector.
In addition to his role with the CSCNS, Philip works as a Communications Officer with the St. Francis Xavier University Association of University Teachers and as an Administrative Clerk with Fisheries and Oceans. Philip currently serves as a director with the Antigonish Emergency Fuel Fund and is actively seeking new volunteer opportunities.
Adult Education principles underpin all of Philip's teaching & learning activities. He is a certified instructor with the Association of Workplace Educators in Nova Scotia, and also holds a Masters degree in English with a Specialization in Teaching English as a Foreign Language/Second Language from The University of Birmingham (UK).
Philip enjoys the outdoors and spends as much time as he can playing with his kids: Theo, Jonesy, and Thomas.
BRANDI MACCUISH - Regional Convenor - Northern
Having recently achieved a Bachelor of Arts and Community Studies from Cape Breton University, Brandi feels strongly about putting her education into practice in her home province. She is passionate about engaging youth across the province and fostering mentorship between generations in the workforce.
Brandi has worked as a Camp Leader for Trenton Recreational Day Camp and as an Educational Assistant at CCRSB. She volunteers with the New Glasgow branch of the Glass Slipper Organization, which she started with her sisters, to help students in financial need find their dream prom dress.
Brandi’s personal motto is “It costs $0.00 to be a decent person, be kind to everyone, you never know what kind of inner battles they are fighting.”
ANNE FOWNES - Regional Convenor - South Shore
Having worked in the Non-Profit sector for over 25 years, Anne believes strongly in making a meaningful contribution to her community. She is passionate about promoting diversity & social inclusion, preserving the natural environment, and helping animals in need.
Anne has worked at the Lunenburg Queens Regional Development Agency as an Economic Development Officer, and at the Lunenburg Queens Volunteer Partnership as a Volunteer Coordinator. She currently volunteers with the South Shore Multicultural Association in Lunenburg Queens. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Dalhousie and a Master's Degree in Nationalism & Ethnicity from The London School of Economics.
Anne is an avid reader who enjoys kayaking, biking, swimming, golf, and acrylic pour painting.
Anne uses she/her pronouns.
With nearly 15 years of experience, Helen believes in connecting with people to help support them as they achieve their goals. Helen also works as a Career Practitioner for PeopleWorx Society and has worked at the Acadia Centre for Social & Business Entrepreneurship as a Business Counsellor. Helen has previously volunteered for the Valley Women’s Business Network, Awesome Foundation, and the Town of Annapolis. Helen is now a Board Member with CBDC Annapolis Ventures.
Helen holds a Master’s of Science in Entrepreneurship, a Bachelor of Arts in Management & Business, a Certificate in Adult Education, and is a Certified Career Practitioner.
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.