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Board of Directors

Being a Board Member for the Association of Women in Finance is a rewarding opportunity for any woman in finance wishing to obtain Board experience. The Association's Board positions are dynamic in nature and require the ability to work on several projects simultaneously, including assisting other Board members when called upon. These positions require energy and a positive attitude, as well as a time commitment. And what do volunteer Board members get in return? Involvement in a high caliber organization, an opportunity to develop professionally by taking on projects outside one's normal scope of work, lifelong friendships and valuable business networks. This is also a chance to give back to your community!

If you would like further information about the AWF, please contact us by email. Please include your name, telephone number and e-mail address to enable us to connect with you.

The AWF's Board of Directors is currently comprised of seventeen volunteer directors. They are:

Candice Hartwell, Partner, VEER Business Advisors

Board Member/Candice-Hartwell.jpgCandice is an award winning accountant and Partner of VEER Business Advisors.  Her focus at VEER is on exit planning and sell-side advisory for small- to medium-sized business owners, and facilitating employee ownership transitions.  Alongside her team, she helps business owners identify and manage the unique strategic, financial, emotional and structural implications of business transitions in a wide array of industries, working with business owners to ensure an amazing exit from their business. Previously, Candice worked as a commercial lender at the Business Development Bank of Canada. She also has experience working in Government, operations, and marketing-related roles.

Candice holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree (Honours) from the Sauder School of Business and is a Chartered Professional Accountant, earning the Certified Management Accountant’s Silver Medal for British Columbia in 2015.

Previously, Candice held the position of Director, Golf for Good (2019-2022) and Vice-President (2022-2023) 

Sheena Cebrero, Vice President - Associate Group Lead, Scotiabank Commercial Banking
Vice President 

Board Member/Sheena_Cebrero_Headshot.jpgSheena is an Associate Group Lead for the Metro-Vancouver Commercial Banking team at Scotiabank where she leads a team of Credit Analysts and Customer Service Specialists supporting a portfolio of business clients in the mid-market segment. Prior to this role, Sheena worked in Scotiabank’s National Accounts Team where she was recognized as a Scotiabank Best of Best Top Individual Performance Award Recipient in 2021 and a winner of the Global Banking & Markets Partner Award in 2022.

Sheena holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from York University/Schulich School of Business (with Distinction) and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia/Sauder School of Business (With Honours).

Sheena previously served as the PEAK Chair, PEAK Vice-Chair, and PEAK Marketing Director on the AWF Board of Directors.

Clare Gaster, Partner, Audit, KPMG Private Enterprise

Clara_Gaster_EDITED.jpgClare is a Senior Manager with KPMG and works in the Enterprise Audit department.  Clare manages a portfolio of audit clients and delivers audit services to private companies across a range of industries from start-up technology companies through to large industrial manufacturing clients. Clare joined KPMG in 2000 and transferred from the UK to Canada in 2017.

Clare is a Chartered Accountant and holds a First Class Honors degree in Accounting and Financial Management. 

Clare has held this position on the AWF Board since 2018.

Sam Varing, Legal Counsel, First West Credit Union

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Sam Varing is Legal Counsel for First West Credit Union. In her role, she provides legal advice and guidance to various business units within First West, drafts and negotiates commercial contracts and agreements, and helps to ensure compliance with regulatory standards and obligations.

Sam is passionate about creating opportunities for others to grow and prosper within the Fraser Valley and beyond. She currently serves on the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce board of directors; she is the founding Chair of Abbotsford’s Company of Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs (CYPE) program, and she sits on the Development Committee of Junior Achievement of British Columbia (JABC).

Prior to joining the AWF board, Sam was a member of AWF’s 2022-2023 Fraser Valley Events Committee.

Courtney Steeksma, Senior Manager, The Scotiabank Women Initiative
Golf for Good

Board Member/Courtney Steeksma Headshot jpeg.jpgCourtney is the Senior Manager of the Scotiabank Women Initiative for BC & Yukon. With over 10 years of experience in the finance industry holding various roles in Retail, Agriculture and Commercial banking. Courtney is passionate about working with women to pursue their best professional and financial futures.
She is committed to being engaged with her community through volunteer work & fundraising. Courtney is an active board member of the Risk Management Association Fraser Valley Chapter and Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation Gala committee

This is Courtney's second year on the AWF Board. 

Naomi Buell,  Partnerships Manager for Growth Partnerships, Vancity Credit Union
Strategy and Communication

Board Member/Naomi_Buell_HeadshotCropped.jpgNaomi is the Marketing Manager for Growth Partnerships at Vancity Credit Union. She builds long term, strategic, values-aligned partnerships that support member growth. She is known for her blue-sky thinking and innovative solutions. Naomi has a background in content and media through her time at various agencies across Canada and Australia. Her clients have included Greater Bank (Australia), PC Financial, Uber, Reebok, Adidas, Uber Eats, Hotels.com and more.

Naomi holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Victoria where she ran a profitable venture in her final semester while volunteering with Hillel and the Commerce Grad committee. She practices mindful marketing meaning that she supports organizations that aim to make the world a better place. Her name means kindness and she embodies this through her empathetic and supportive leadership style that is driven by her expertise and logic. Outside of work Naomi is an avid traveler, loves to cook, write, host events and above all bring more laughter to the world.

While Naomi has volunteered for many organizations, this is her first time on a board and her first year on the AWF Board. She is excited to work with such an amazing group of women.

Haleh (Holly) Alexander, MBA, FEA, PFP, Regional Vice President, National Bank of Canada
Scholarships & Bursaries 

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Haleh (Holly) Alexander brings more than 30 years financial services experience to her role as Regional Vice President, Private Banking 1859 at National Bank of Canada.  Haleh proudly leads a team of Senior Private Bankers & Senior Private Wealth Advisors to provide discrete financial counsel to high net worth clients through British Columbia.   Haleh’s professional, yet approachable demeanor serves her well in her relationships.  Haleh and her team work with a multi-disciplinary team of experts to deliver high net worth credit strategies, investments, domestic and international trust products, succession planning and a full range of services for business owners including family enterprise planning. 

Haleh holds a Master of Business Administration, Family Enterprise Advisor & Personal Financial Planner Designations.

Fluent in Farsi, Haleh has volunteered endless hours in organizations like West Vancouver Football Club, West Vancouver Police Board, West Vancouver Chamber of Commerce amongst several others.    Haleh and her husband live on the North Shore and have two sons and a daughter and are very active in the community

This is Holly's second year on the AWF Board. 

Supriya Devgan, Regional Director, British Columbia, Export Development Canada
Alumni and Strategic Engagements   

Board Member/Supriya_Picture.jpgSupriya heads the Business Development team for BC at Export Development Canada (EDC) where they help BC companies expand beyond Canada’s borders. Prior to her role at EDC, Supriya has held progressively senior roles in commercial/corporate banking in both Canada and the U.S. An entrepreneur in a previous life, she founded and successfully exited an import and distribution business.

Supriya holds an MBA from Queen’s University and a master’s degree in microbiology. In the spirit of giving back, Supriya volunteers as a business advisor at WeBC mentoring entrepreneurs and also enjoys mentoring young professionals at work

This is her second year on the AWF Board. 

Deborah Macdonald, President, Innovative Business Consulting Ltd.

Board Member/20231106_153840.jpgDeborah is the President of Innovative Business Consulting, Ltd. specializing in corporate reporting, financial planning and analysis, and internal controls. She is a CPA, CGA and has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honors) degree and Bachelor of Arts (with Distinction) degree in Political Science from University of Saskatchewan.  She began her professional career by auditing at Price Waterhouse in Vancouver.  She has been a Global Controller and held other senior finance roles responsible for regulatory reporting, business valuations, tax, and treasury at Accenture, BC Hydro, ICBC, WorleyParsons, and TeckCominco before starting her own successful business consulting company. She has also led major transformation initiatives including mergers and acquisitions, ERP system conversions, and starting up new shared services organization overseas to create synergies.

Deborah is passionate about giving back to her community and she has volunteered and/or been a member of Dress for Success, CPABC’s Mentor program, Women’s Executive Network, and Westcoast Legal Education Fund. She is an avid golf player with Chix with Stix at UBC, enjoys swimming and traveling as well as the fine arts. She recently obtained an interior decorating certificate for fun.

This is her first year on the AWF Board. 


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Prianka Glossop, CA (SA), Audit, EY LLP
PEAK Chair

Prianka is Board Member/ey-prianka_pillay_Portrait.jpga manager in audit at EY. She is involved with leading annual audit engagements in the public and private sector.

Prianka has recently moved from EY Johannesburg (South Africa) to EY Vancouver. She holds a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Witwatersrand as well as a chartered accountant qualification from South Africa.

Previously, Prianka held the position of PEAK Vice-Chair (2022-2023) and PEAK Marketing (2020-2022) 

Li Yuan Ma, Regional Manager Commercial Banking Advisors, British Columbia Region, RBC Royal Bank
PEAK Vice-Chair  

Board Member/Li_Yuan.jpegLi Yuan Ma is the Regional Manager Commercial Banking Advisors at RBC.  Li Yuan leads a team of Manager of Commercial Banking Advisors and Commercial Banking Advisor to support commercial clients through British Columbia. Prior to this role, Li Yuan has held progressively complex roles in both Personal Financial Services and Business Financial Services. While she has developed experience in a wide range of industry sectors, she is particularly proud of her extensive expertise with newcomers to Canada and her experience in educating the community on diversity, inclusion and engagement.

Committed to her community, in 2017, Li Yuan was awarded “Canada’s Volunteer Award” in the Community Leader category from the Government of Canada. The same year, she was nominated as one of Canada’s Top 25 Immigrants. Li Yuan was also awarded the Royal Performance Convention, Global Citizen Award, Diversity Award, Community Leader Award, the Atlantic Performance Excellence Award.

Li Yuan holds a MBA and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Prince Edward Island, McGill University and Concordia University. 

This is Li Yuan's first year on the AWF Board.


Olivia Hornby, Managing Partner, Spring Impact Capital
PEAK Nominations

Board Member/Olivia-Hornby.jpgOlivia Hornby is a freelance investor relations and asset management advisor. She
has over a decade of investment management experience focused on portfolio
management, client relations and business development for retail and institutional
investors across equities, bonds and alternative assets. She has a keen interest in
socially responsible investing, from ESG to venture capital, and has spent time
advising and investing in early stage private companies.

Prior to this, Olivia was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs Asset Management in
their Client Portfolio Solutions group as part of the alternative investments team.
She has also held roles in investor relations, portfolio management and client
management at RBC Dominon Securities, a London-based hedge fund, as well as
Vancity. She holds the Canadian Investment Management designation and a BCom
from McGill University.

This is Olivia's second year on the AWF Board.


Oana Constantin, Manager, Business Centre, BDC
PEAK Marketing

Board Member/oana1.pngOana leads a team of dynamic commercial and mid-market relationship managers serving the Vancouver market through financing and advisory services. Since joining BDC in 2006, she has been a proud member of the team empowering a nation of dreamers and doers to build a better tomorrow for all, by working directly with hundreds of Lower Mainland businesses in a wide variety of sectors and at various stages of growth. 

In addition to the AWF Board, she has also been serving as a Director on the Board of the Vancouver Chapter of the Risk Management Association since 2020.

Oana holds a First Class Honors BBA degree in Finance and Management Science from Simon Fraser University and a BCom degree in International Business from Romania.

This is Oana’s first year on the AWF Board.

Katie Yu, Vice-President, Senior Commercial Markets, British Columbia Region, RBC Royal Bank
Events Director, Major Events

Board Member/Katie_Yu_HeadshotCropped.pngIn her role as Vice President, Senior Commercial Markets, British Columbia at Roya Bank of Canada, Katie leads a team that supports the largest commercial clients in the Province. With the scope that covers British Columbia, Katie leads with collaboration and growth mindset to execute a growing market strategy. Katie is known for her authentic, dynamic leadership style and a proven track record in business development, change management and championing for Diversity, Inclusion and talents.

Prior to this, Katie’s also held a number of leadership as well as individual contributor roles progressively in Commercial Banking working with both domestic and international clients.

Katie holds a Master of Business Administration from UBC’s Sauder School of Business, and a Bachelor of Arts from Simon Fraser University. In addition to her Directorship at AWF, she serves as Treasurer on the Board and Governance Committee for Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce since 2020.

This is Katie’s first year on the AWF Board.

Maria Moisseeva, Senior Relationship Manager, Bank of America
Events Director, Fireside Chats 

Board Member/Maria_Crop.jpgMaria Moisseeva is a Senior Relationship Manager with Bank of America’s Global Commercial Banking Group focused on helping public and private companies achieve their growth and financial objectives. She advises on a suite of comprehensive financial solutions and partners with clients to assist with international expansion plans, improving operational efficiency and mitigating risk exposure.

Prior to joining Bank of America, Maria spent 10 years working in Commercial Real Estate field in Greater Vancouver covering areas of investment sales, financial analysis and underwriting, as well as origination and structuring of complex mortgage investments.

Maria is an active volunteer in the community and is passionate about helping other women succeed in the field of finance. She previously served on the Board of CREW Vancouver (Commercial Real Estate Women) and is currently volunteering with Catalyst Community Development Society, a not-for-profit developer building affordable communities in BC. 

This is Maria's third year on the AWF Board.

Jennifer Watts, Area Vice President BC, The Mortgage Group
Events Director, Fraser Valley

Board Member/Jennifer-Watts.jpg

Jennifer has been in the mortgage and finance industry for the last 20 years working with both major banks and local credit unions. Jennifer has a background as a Broker, Senior Sales Manager with a major bank and as a Director with one of BC's local credit unions. Her past roles in business banking and sales management have given her a unique perspective on the industry.

Jennifer is very passionate about contributing to the growth, engagement and success of women in the industry and is excited to represent the Fraser Valley Event Chair.  In her spare time she volunteers as a Youth Soccer Coach with Surrey United Soccer Club, along with the BC SPCA Surrey Resource Centre and she serves as a Volunteer Admissions reader with her Alma Mater, UBC.  Jennifer has also worked with Junior Achievement in the past delivering financial programs to students across the lower mainland, and she has volunteered with the Surrey Board of Trade as a mentor for Women in Business.

This is Jennifer's second year on the AWF Board.