The People of SWOVA

Janine Fernandes-Hayden – Executive Director

We are delighted to announce SWOVA’s new Executive Director, Janine Fernandes-Hayden, s of May 2019. Janine holds a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology and a BC Teaching Certificate. She has experience in strategic planning and organizational development, program management, grant writing and reviewing, among other areas. 

Janine started her career with the Ministry of Education where she worked for more than eight years.  Since coming to Salt Spring Island, Janine has taught in classrooms, served as the Chair of the SSI Foundation’s Grants Advisory Committee for several years, and coordinated communications and projects for Volunteer and Community Resources (VCR) on behalf of the island’s 200+ not-for-profit organizations.

Janine has lived on Salt Spring Island since 2004 with her husband, Richard.  Now as not only an educator but also a mother with 4 children, the work that SWOVA does is incredibly important not only for the benefit of her children and the children of her community, but for all of our children.

David Norget, R+R Adult Facilitator, Pass It On Boys Project Coordinator
davidnorget bcacc photo

This is David’s second year working with SWOVA. David is an impassioned educator of kids, youth and adults who has worked in the Human Services Field for over 20 years. He has a Masters in Applied Behavioural Science – Human Systems from the Leadership Institute of Seattle (2002) and an economics degree from McGill University (1988).

He has a broad range of experience. He’s worked in daycare in Sweden and, back in Canada, in special education, counselling, business, coaching business and non-profit individuals, human resources management, and organizational consulting within private business. He’s also furthered his education with studies related to counselling and coaching.

He loves learning, spending time with friends and family (his partner and he are the parents of two school-aged kids), being outdoors, writing, reading, travel, good food, and new experiences. He feels inspired by people who are actively engaged in what they love to do and inherently curious about those conditions and practices that help them, as individuals and groups of individuals, thrive and create what they want of life.

He’s been on Salt Spring Island since 1989. Being part of — and of service to— his community is important to him. He is an active volunteer with the Salt Spring Foundation, the Salt Spring Health Advancement Coalition and the Health & Wellness Group of School District #64 amongst other things.

Kate Nash, Pass It On Project Coordinator/Facilitator and Facilitator for The Respect Project

Kate Nash 2016

After being at home with three babes in a row, Kate felt re-inspired to work with youth again when she discovered the Pass It On project. She really feels pulled to work and connect with youth, especially young women, communicating and facilitating all the inspiring ideas they have.

Kate believes that there is a need for young women to connect with each other because with this connection among the various ages in the project comes more understanding, confidence, and ability that will positively affect all of our futures.  The youth in School District #64 are excited to be involved, especially after all of Pass It On’s past success. They are anxious to be mentors but, more importantly, to have a place to share, learn, and grow with other young women.

Sharyn Carroll, Project Coordinator Consent Project

Sharyn began working with youth as a teenager while teaching dance in the suburbs of Toronto. After relocating to Vancouver, Sharyn volunteered as a transcriber for a feminist newsletter and started working as an Educational Assistant. In 2003 she returned to the school system after taking time away from paid work to parent her daughter.

Sharyn holds a BA in Sociology and Woman’s Studies and is a trained midwife. She is the coordinator for Salt Spring’s FireFly Lantern Festival, which is now going into its eighth year.

Sharyn’s passions are closely tied to her strong belief in the power of community.

Daniel Squizzato

Bio coming soon!


Erin Lee, Bookkeeper

Bio coming soon!

Coreen Boucher, Communications and Event Coordinator

Coreen is a professional writer, editor, and communications specialist. She is motivated to make communications as clear and effective as possible for nonprofits and is fascinated by what it takes to reach an organization’s publics in a constantly changing and saturated media landscape. She brings 25+ years of nonprofit experience, as a volunteer, board member, and staff member. Her strengths are in public relations, social media strategy, communications planning, marketing, and campaigns.

SWOVA Board of Directors


Sarah Koelling Belknap, MSSW, MDiv, Board Chair
Sarah BelknapSarah brings to her role as a member of SWOVA’s Board decades of experience in working with young people and leading organizations.  Early in her career, Sarah served as a psychiatric social worker in a variety of settings.  This included working with adolescent girls in the foster care system–preparing them for ‘independence’ from the system.  She trained with Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, practicing her method for accompanying people through the process of grieving life’s losses.  In 1989, Sarah was ordained a Priest of the Episcopal Church, USA (member of the worldwide Anglican Communion).  Over the next decades, she served as Chaplain at the University of Southern California, Irvine, and led several congregations in the Diocese of Los Angeles.  More recently, Sarah has served an Anglican congregation in Victoria.
Eric Dempster

eric-dempsterEric is married and has two sons. Last year, he retired and he and his wife moved from Edmonton back to the BC coast after a 12-year absence.

Before Edmonton, they lived in Vancouver for many years. They’ve owned property on Salt Spring since 2011 but now live on the island pretty much full time.

Eric is a Chartered Accountant with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from UBC.  He has worked in a few different industries during his career. His last role was as Chief Financial Officer of a fairly large private company with operations across Canada and overseas in Mongolia. He’s glad to be retired but does miss the people with whom he used to work. Having said that, Eric and his wife have met so many terrific people on Salt Spring. They consider themselves very fortunate to be here, and Eric really appreciates the opportunity to join SWOVA’s Board of Directors..

James Cowan

James grew up on Vancouver Island and moved to Salt Spring with his wife and daughter in 2008. For 20 years James has worked producing concerts and festivals in and around Western Canada (mostly). More recently James has started doing project management for residential construction and community initiatives on Salt Spring. He has also worked as a paramedic with BC Ambulance for over 15 years.

James is active in the community and has produced dozens of fundraising concerts and events over the years, as well as managing the Salt Spring Film Festival. He has been a board member of Salt Spring Gymnastics since 2011 and helps coach and organize the Tsunami Circus program at the Middle School.

James is outside a lot. You can often find him kayaking, surfing, mountain biking, hiking or playing music.

James has been involved with the Sparkfest events since its inception. He’s passionate about SWOVA’s work and goals, and joined the board to support the organization reaching their goals.

Andrea Little

Andrea moved to Salt Spring from Bowen Island in 2018. Having retired in 2016, she and her husband decided to move to Salt Spring to be near family. Salt Spring has been a wonderful new adventure.

Much of Andrea’s professional work was in the area of community development and project development and management. She has worked for the Vancouver School Board as a community school coordinator and community liaison in the superintendent’s office. As a consultant, she has worked with school boards in Vancouver and the lower mainland as well as with nonprofits. She has worked extensively in the areas of youth engagement and leadership, as well as marginalized and sexually exploited youth. Some projects she has helped to develop are a youth clinic, school-based daycare for teen parents, youth councils, youth programs and supports in community centres and neighbourhood houses, youth volunteer and leadership programs, adult education program for out-of-school youth, pop-up health services, mentoring programs, and supports for sexually exploited youth working in or at risk of working in the sex trade. She is thrilled to serve on the SWOVA Board..

Bill Stedwill, MEd

Bill is currently Vice President of GloverStedwill & Associates, a consulting firm for not-for-profit associations, along with his partner, Wayne Glover, CAE.  Previously Bill was employed by AssociationsFirst Ltd. as an Education Specialist.  AssociationsFirst provided a range of services to not-for-profits ranging from membership database management to running conferences to strategic planning for boards of directors.

In particular, Bill provided education consulting advice to those associations offering certification programs for their members, working with education committees and course instructors in improving instruction and evaluation.

Prior to work with not-for-profit associations, Bill served as an Education Consultant for several boards of Education in Ontario.  This involved curriculum review, development, and implementation with school principals and teachers.  He was also a Team Leader for a family of schools which included curriculum specialists, behaviour counsellors, speech therapists, and social workers.  Related to SWOVA’s work, he was responsible several years ago for implementing the Ontario Ministry’s first resource guide for principals and teachers in identifying students experiencing family violence and the school’s responsibilities in reporting to appropriate authorities.