The Nelson and District Women’s Centre recently hired Lisa McGeady as a co-director, sharing the executive director position with Tasha Bassingthwaighte. McGeady takes over from Karoline Kemp, who recently relocated.
McGeady is rejoining the women’s centre, as she was an active board member from 2009 to 2011. Since that time McGeady has worked with Nelson CARES as a campaign co-ordinator, raising funds for the renovation of Ward Street Place in addition to working in her family business, Kokanee Camera. McGeady and her family have lived in Nelson for the past nine years.
McGeady says she is enthusiastic about the women’s centre’s long history of providing support for all women in the community as a safe place to seek information and support, to rebuild their lives and to build community with other women. The centre’s most well-known program is the drop-in, which has provided free clothing, food, Internet, peer counseling, and space for women and their children for more than 40 years. In addition to the drop-in, the women’s centre has in-depth volunteer training, a program for girls ages 10 to 13 a series of food-related workshops, and other events and workshops
“We are so happy to have Lisa on board with her strong experience with finances, community outreach, and working with women,” says Bassingthwaighte, the other co-director at the women’s centre. “Her passion for the work and her humour make her a wonderful person to work with.”
McGeady says she is looking forward to “developing more programing that reaches an even broader section of our community, including additional programing for young girls to help inspire early engagement and leadership.” She adds that “women are underrepresented in positions of power and influence. I’m passionate about helping women become empowered through education, employment and leadership. I believe that as women we draw from deep wells of wisdom, and I’m committed to helping women identify and access their own personal strengths.”
McGeady acknowledges there is lots to juggle on a small budget with only part-time staff and that much of the funding to run the centre comes from the community. Without this support, the centre would not be able to provide the comprehensive services that it currently offers. She reiterated that the centre is not solely for women in crisis but for all self-identified women and their children.