Who manages
Habitat for Humanity
Nova Scotia?

The Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia Board of Directors ensures that the affiliate meets national standards and determines provincial policies.  Board members are dedicated volunteers who are deeply concerned about the need for safe, decent and affordable home ownership opportunities throughout the Province.

The Executive Director reports to the BOD and directs affiliate staff and volunteer teams. Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia upholds the highest standards of accountability and transparency. Our reputation is our most important asset, and maintaining strong and open relations with our supporters is a top priority. For this reason, Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia is one of Imagine Canada’s Ethical Code Program participants, meaning that we commit to the guidelines set in Imagine Canada’s Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code.

Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia’s audited financial statements are available for review upon request.

Click here to see reports and other special documentations.

board members

  • Angela Simmonds

    Chair

    Angela is a lawyer whose 20-year career spans various fields of socio-economic development, education, entrepreneurship, policy and cultural competency. Previously, she was a member of the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly where she was elected to Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, making Simmonds the first African Nova Scotian speaker in the province’s history.

    Angela is the creator and owner of A Team Coaching, which specializes in partnering with organizations to create equity. She’s also a part of the McInnes Cooper team as a Senior Advisor, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. She lives in North Preston with her husband and they have three children and two beautiful grandchildren.


  • Rodney Small

    Vice Chair

    Rodney is a change maker, community builder, mentor, coach, and entrepreneur. Raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Rodney is a seventh-generation African Nova Scotian who has established a passion for its people and communities, working hard to help ensure those individuals and communities thrive. A graduate of Dalhousie’s Bachelor of Management program focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship, Rodney is well-known for his forward-thinking and innovative ways of dealing with issues that have affected marginalized communities. Through his work at One North End Community Economic Development Society as their Executive Director and as a community volunteer for over 25 years with the local Community Y.

    Rodney is a positive influence in his community through his actions, which speak louder than his words. He is a founding partner of Ascension Grooming, a barbershop located on the Dalhousie University campus that focuses on hiring marginalized youth looking to accommodate their academic schedules. He also continues to advocate for social justice through his experience as RDS (Rodney Darren Small), a young offender accused of numerous allegations that led to several charges at the age of 15. The case went to the Supreme Court of Canada with the support of the Late Great Burnley “Rocky” Jones, helping to set precedence in our Canadian legal system as the leading case when it comes to discussing racism in our criminal justice system; aka the “apprehensions of bias.”


  • Kayla Smith

    Secretary

    Kayla Smith is an aspiring Human Resource professional. During her post-secondary endeavors, she obtained a Diploma in Business Management from Nova Scotia Community College. From there she went on to Saint Mary’s University to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce with a Major in Human Resources and Industrial Relations.

    Kayla is currently employed with The One North End Community Economic Society as the human resource lead where she has helped to develop policies and procedures to ensure the organization can flow professionally. She has also created processes in terms of onboarding, performance evaluation, and offboarding.

    Kayla especially enjoys her work with One North End because of the rewarding work her team does within the African Nova Scotian Community.


  • Caroline Blair-Smith

    Member

    Caroline Blair-Smith was appointed Vice President of Human Resources at Nova Scotia Power in February 2023. Previously she spent 17 years with the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) where she worked in various roles for the city. In 2021, following her role as the Executive Director of People, Communications and IT, Caroline became the Deputy Chief Administration Officer providing oversight and leadership to HRM’s Human Resources, Legal, Finance, Asset Management, Communications, IT and Customer Services teams. Prior to her work with the City Caroline was the Employee Relations Manager for Coca-Cola Bottling in the Atlantic Region. She has gained a reputation as a respected and effective leader with a corporate vision and the ability to move projects and initiatives forward.

    Caroline’s scope of responsibility includes, Human Resources and Change Management.

    Caroline is a passionate leader with more than 20 years of experience and brings with her a wealth of knowledge in her respective field. Caroline holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dalhousie University, she is also a Certified Human Resources Professional with additional certificates in Labour Relations, Workforce Planning and Strategic Leadership Development.

    She is a long-time volunteer with ISANS (Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia). She also volunteers with Dalhousie Alumni and is a newly appointed member to the Habitat for Humanity Board.


  • Headshot of a smiling man in a suit

    Deepak Prasad

    Member

    Deepak (M.O.M., AdeC, BA Hons) is a Police Sergeant with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and a doctoral student at London Metropolitan University. Deepak was the first Divisional Wellness Coordinator for the RCMP Nova Scotia Division and authored the first Divisional Integrated Wellness Strategy.

    Prior to joining the RCMP, Deepak worked with the Canada Border Services Agency as a Border Services Officer and a Police Dispatcher. Deepak has attended various post-secondary institutions focusing his studies in the area of leadership and first responder wellness; these institutes include the Justice Institute of British Columbia, Dalhousie University, Laurier University, and the University of Toronto. In addition to his studies, he holds six international professional designations in first responder wellness.

    Deepak is a former Vice-Chairperson and Commissioner with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, and he sits on a number of non-profit boards including St. John Ambulance NS/PEI, Canadian Mental Health Association – Nova Scotia Division, and Family Services of Eastern Nova Scotia. Deepak is originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, but now lives in Halifax with his wife, Tara, and daughter, Hannah.


  • Headshot of John Wills

    John Wills

    Member

    John Wills is president & owner of Spyder Design Build Inc., a design, development, and construction management company with projects throughout Atlantic Canada. With over 30 years experience working on a vast number of projects across Canada, John has a wealth of knowledge in land development, planning, design and construction. John has been the driving force behind capital projects for developers including Sobeys Inc. and Jimmy Pattison Group in Vancouver.

    Widely regarded for his commitment to the community, John has led support for numerous events and charity organizations. Most recently, John was the chair for three years for The Great Big Dig, a yearly fundraising event for the IWK.

    John and his wife Tricia live in Halifax and have three daughters.


  • Headshot of Ben Hagon

    Ben Hagon

    Member

    Ben Hagon is an award-winning communications professional and entrepreneur. Ben founded and has led his company, Intent for 15 years, growing the company to be Canada’s premier full-service creative communications agency for non-profit and public sector organizations.

    With over 20 years of communications and marketing experience, Ben is an accomplished speaker, writer, consultant and leader who has won awards all over North America for his work and is regularly asked to speak at industry events and academic institutions.

    He is the winner of every recognized creative award/publication in North America, including two golds at Canada’s top award show, the Advertising and Design Club of Canada annual awards. Other recognitions include from Graphic Designers Canada, Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario, Marketing Magazine, Communication Arts, Applied Arts, SocialGood Awards, International Association of Business Communicators, Economic Developers Association of Canada, and many others.

    Ben currently is the sitting Chair of the Program Advisory Council for Graphic Design at St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ontario, and was previously a member of the Program Advisory Council for Graphic Design at Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario.

    Outside of work, Ben is a devoted husband and proud father of four incredible children who inspire him to continuously improve himself. He is a lover of nature and the outdoors and is a dedicated Brazilian JiuJitsu practitioner, currently ranked as a purple belt under Halifax BJJ.


  • Melissa Berry

    Member

    Melissa was born and raised in Halifax and currently resides in Bedford, overlooking the ocean. Having been a Realtor for thirteen years, she holds an associate brokers license and is on the Provincial Municipal Affairs Committee with the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors. Melissa has extensive experience in new home construction, and development of entire communities. Her real passion lies in sharing the excitement with individuals and families to help them find their new home. A natural connector and someone with a polished reputation in the industry, Melissa is someone with a wealth of experience who will lead her clients on an enjoyable experience in selling or purchasing a home.

    Aside from work, Melissa often supports worthwhile causes like Alice House, and the Nova Scotia Mental Health Association, having been a recent performer for A Different Stage of Mind fundraising Gala to help raise over $50,000.00 for this important cause. She is drawn to helping those in need, and regularly gives her time and her heart to have a positive impact on those around her.


  • Matthew MacEachern

    Member

    Matthew graduated from UNB in 2019 with his Civil Engineering degree. After graduation he worked at WSP for 3 years as a Project Engineer before taking on his current role with Halifax Regional Municipality.

    Matthew is currently working as a Project Manager on the Cogswell District Project. Matthew enjoys sports, outdoor activities, and is looking forward to his upcoming wedding taking place in the fall.


  • Donna Williamson

    Chief Executive Officer (Ex-Officio)

    Donna Williamson has over twenty years of proven experience leading not-for-profits and creating community impact through successful fund development, program delivery and collaborative relationships. Before joining Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia in 2021, Williamson served as the Regional Manager of Atlantic Canada for March of Dimes Canada, where she was responsible for strategic development, implementation and expansion of the After Stroke Program and community-based programs in Atlantic Canada. Donna’s leadership and passion for giving back to the community are well-known, and she has been volunteering since she was a teenager. Williamson is the past Chair of the Board for Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia and has served on numerous boards including the Cobequid Community Health Board, Canadian Progress Club (CPC) Halifax Cornwallis, CPC East Regional Board as well as the CPC National Board.

    Donna strongly believes in leading an active/healthy lifestyle. She and her family love hiking, biking and walking their Golden Retriever, Nelly. Donna Williamson is originally from Pictou, Nova Scotia, and now lives in Fall River with her family.

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