Women Leading the Way

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Women Leading the Way in Windsor-Essex County is comprised of a committed group of women leaders working together to engage other women in our community. Women have a unique approach to giving and a desire to create true, lasting change. This initiative combines the benefits of a small giving circle with a trusted organization – United Way.  United Way’s research provides us with the knowledge and confidence that our efforts will enhance innovative programs and have the impact we desire.

Women Leading the Way initially will meet regularly to identify/develop a strategy, plan and organize funding. As the giving circle is developed, the meeting schedule will evolve to approximately four times per year. These meetings will not include engagement opportunities. As the Women Leading the Way giving circle evolves, there will be a wide variety of opportunities for the participants to engage in, such as workshops, agency tours, charity events, career mentoring and committees to name a few.

Our mission is to mobilize the caring power of women to advance the common good in our communities.

  • Participation begins with a multi-year commitment of no less than 3 years and $1,500 minimum contribution per year to the UnitedWay/Centraide Windsor-Essex County.

  • Women Leading the Way will be provided with the opportunity to identify the need/issue they wish to address and design a strategy that will have a positive impact.

  • Education will be provided about issues affecting our community under United Way’s three focus areas.


Sold out event aids Children's literacy 

Vanessa Shields, local author and poet, gave an inspirational keynote address at the Women Leading the Way luncheon event, held at Fogolar Furlan Club on May 10, 2017.



Women Leading the Way Members

 TEMP BOARD PHOTO.png   Amy Szewczuk

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   Brigitte Ala

Brigitte Ala is a Windsor native. She is a radiologist at Windsor Regional Hospital and WRA X-Ray Clinics. She has two teenagers.

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Barb Bjarneson

Barb Bjarneson has been involved in the community in various areas throughout her life.  She believes in giving back and helping to build the community you want to live in.  She is presently a Board Member of the Erie-St. Clair LHIN (Local Health Integration Network), Chair, a member of the Planning, Heritage and Economic Development Standing Committee for the City of Windsor, Chair of the Major Gifts Cabinet for the United Way, and a Global Village Team Leader for Habitat for Humanity.  When she is not doing these activities she enjoys spending time with her 2 grandchildren.  She is married with 2 grown sons; one living in Windsor, the other in New York City.



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  Cynthia Swift
Danielle Moldovan Picture.jpg   Danielle Moldovan

Danielle Moldovan is a Relationship Manager / New Business and Major Giving with United Way Windsor-Essex County.  She has been working in the not-for-profit sector for 15 years. In her role at United Way, Danielle recruits new workplace and individuals to support United Way’s work.  She’s a native of Windsor and lives in Amherstburg with her husband and two small children.

Young-5139.jpg   Dana Young

Dana Young is a lawyer with Willis Business Law. She has two teenagers and is originally from British Columbia. She enjoys art, design and running.

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Diletta Bello

Diletta is a wife to Jeff Casey and also the mother of two young children. Originally from Torino, Italy, then resided in Manitoba and eventually settled in Windsor. She received her undergrad in Business Administration at the University of Windsor and her MBA at Wayne State University. She is self-employed and an entrepreneur in the Windsor community

 ElaineGenyn1994.jpg   Elaine Genyn

Elaine Genyn is the Windsor Community Manager and Main Branch Manager for Scotiabank. Elaine was born and raised in Essex County and holds an Honours B. Comm from the University of Windsor. Elaine has two daughters and enjoys gardening, bicycling and exploring Canada.

 TEMP BOARD PHOTO.png   Heather Hausmann
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Ilona Schentag

Ilona Schentag is former VP, Donor Relations & Development at United Way. She is very proud of her children Rachel and Ryan Trella, Jacqueline and Mark Ianni, as well as her son Dylan. She and her husband Paul are thrilled with their triplet granddaughters, Ava, Hailey and Olivia, that keep them very busy as well. Ilona is focused on helping those in need in our community.

Janice.jpg   Janice Smith

Janice Smith is a Wellness Workshop Facilitator and Certified Laughter Yoga Instructor. Through her business, Health Connection Laughter, Janice offers wellness workshops using laughter yoga techniques that help reduce stress and improve mental and physical health. Workshops are hosted at businesses, hospitals, schools and in the community. Janice is an avid photographer, loves to cook, travel and spend time with her family.

 Kathleen Cropped.jpg   Kathleen Sturba

Kathleen is happily married, the proud mother of 2 very successful sons and thrilled to have a beautiful granddaughter. Kathleen’s interests include travel, boating, golf, fitness, yoga and spending time with family and friends. Kathleen is a sales representative and team leader of Team Sturba at Royal LePage Binder Real Estate Brokerage.

 L Goddard.jpg   Lorraine Goddard

Lorraine Goddard is the CEO of United Way Windsor Essex County.  She has more than 20 years’ experience as a leader in the not-for-profit sector.  She has three children, four grandchildren and lives in Kingsville with her husband.  She enjoys cooking, the performing arts and keeping physically active.

 lori.jpg   Lori Shaloub

Lori Shalhoub is Vice President, General Counsel / External Affairs with FCA Canada Inc. and is licensed to practice in Ontario and Michigan.  Lori is a Windsor native.

Lynda Pizzolitto crop web.jpg   Lynda Pizzolitto


Mandy Furtado

I have been with TD for 18 years and currently work as a Regional Manager for TD Direct Investing. I have been a United way donor throughout my career at TD through the employer donor campaign and have always been impressed on how United Way ensures funding is used to support specific community concerns such as poverty. I was a graduate of Leadership Windsor Essex which invoked my further interest in learning more about the needs of our community. I was introduced to Women Leading the Way through my work on the Battle of the Growers event that sponsored On Track to Success which to me is a vital program and confirmed my need to be a part of this group of women who work hard to help the most vulnerable in our community!

 Melanie Gardin - website.jpg    Melanie Gardin

Melanie Gardin is a partner at Velocity Injury Law. Born, raised and educated in Essex County, Melanie is a lifelong community volunteer. She served 9 years on the board of the Brain Injury Association and is currently on the board of Beyond Disability Rehabilitation Network. Melanie lives in Windsor with her husband, two teenage step-daughters, an active toddler and two standard poodles.

 TEMP BOARD PHOTO.png   Mila Huhtala
P France.jpg   Patti France

Ms. Patti France has over 25 years’ experience in the post-secondary education sector. Most recently, Patti was appointed the sixth President of St. Clair College, commencing September 1, 2015. In addition to leading a vibrant, caring and quality institution, Patti is active in a numerous College and community activities including Connecting Windsor-Essex, Windsor Regional Hospital, Industry-Education Pathways to Success and the Colleges Committee of President’s, to name a few.

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Rachelle Booth

Rachelle Booth is President of Thrive Benefits Group Inc. that works with local businesses on their benefit plan needs. She was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario and has a passion for helping businesses, non-profit organizations and the community as a whole. Rachelle is also a current board member of Assisted Living of Southwestern Ontario and Vice-President of the local Advocis board of directors. In her spare time, she enjoys being active with her kids, cooking and travelling.

FullSizeRender.jpg   Sherrilynn Colley-Vegh

Sherrilynn Colley-Vegh is the Director of Leadership Development & Training at United Way and writes the Leadership column for Biz X Magazine. She is an entrepreneur and retired Principal and Chief Communications Officer for the Catholic School Board with over 30 years’ experience as an Educator, Administrator, and Community Leader. Sherrilynn has developed and taught Leadership Programs and Administrator Qualification Programs for school boards, Universities and the International Baccalaureate Organization. An active volunteer in the community she has represented numerous Boards/Committees including United Way & Leadership Windsor Essex and speaks in the community on Developing Leadership Capacity.

vicky smith   Vicky Smith

Vicky is a Franchise operator of 3 busy Downtown Windsor Tim Horton Restaurants. Windsor born and raise, she is married and has 2 grown children. She likes to spend her time walking, golfing, and travelling.


Leslie Frattaroli

Leslie Frattaroli is the Vice President of Engagement & Donor Stewardship at United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County. She brings over 25 years' experience in the non-profit sector. She was born and raised in Windsor and has a passion for helping our community thrive. In her spare time she loves to be with family and friends, as well as travel and practice yoga. 



If you are interested in becoming a member contact:
Lauren Nantau
519-258-0000 x1218






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United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County
300 Giles Boulevard East, Unit A1
Windsor, Ontario N9A 4C4
t: 519-258-0000 | f: 519-258-2346
Charitable Registration #: 10816 0334 RR0001