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

  • Lauren Sears

    Chair

    A relationship-builder by trade, Lauren has an educational background in psychology, business, and organizational behavior. She has a broad knowledge of the NS entrepreneurship ecosystem, with expertise in social enterprise and purpose-led business models. She’s spent her career in NS startups, including co-founding an employment strategy and recruitment firm in 2017 (P4G C.I.C.) and supporting the launch of 45 other social enterprises in the province. Her combination of experience has created a strong skillset in business and strategy development, sector and ecosystem building, government relations, human dynamics, and developing culture as an intentional asset. Lauren’s other change-making interests include affordable housing and alternative community models, placemaking, research and policy development.


  • Courtenay Fraitzl

    Vice Chair & Chair, Women Build Committee

    Courtenay loves challenging, difficult situations with a win-win resolution goal. She has extensive experience working in public and private sector in program development and delivery, operations management, real estate investing and project management. Originally from Vancouver, BC, Courtenay graduated from BCIT School of Business, Honours in Leadership and is a Certified Project Management Professional. Some of Courtenay’s past volunteer commitments have included Habitat for Humanity BC (Restore), Shore Line Clean Up, Toastmasters International – Board Member, Transition Bay – Board Member, BCSPCA, Look-Out Shelter and helping grow fresh food for the St. Margaret’s Bay Food Bank.


  • Josipa Christianson

    Treasurer and Chair, Finance Committee

    In 2010 Josipa graduated from Acadia University with a BBA, major in accounting and in 2011 she graduated from Chartered Professional Accountants Nova Scotia receiving her Chartered Accountant designation while working at PwC, an international accounting and assurance firm.

    During her time at PwC Josipa was an assurance team lead responsible for managing a wide portfolio of clients which were primarily public companies in retail, software and junior mining space. She completed a secondment in San Jose, California where she was responsible for leading a multi-functional team through a significant initial public offering in the life sciences space.

    Josipa joined High Liner Foods in 2017 as a Director of Financial Reporting where she is currently employed. She has extensive knowledge of financial reporting, technical accounting and business valuation.


  • Deeksha Bhaskar

    Member

    Born and raised in India, Deeksha moved to Halifax in 2015 at the age of 18 to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Certificate in Human Resource Management. During university, Deeksha held the position of Chairperson for the Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association Board of Directors and represented the student body at the Saint Mary’s Board of Governors and the Academic Senate. In October 2017, Deeksha, with her parents, started her own fine-dining Indian restaurant, RASA, which she expanded in 2019 to include a sister lounge, SURA. Presently, Deeksha is pursuing an education in law while managing her family business.


  • Rodney Small

    Member

    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.”


  • Elaine Brunn Shaw

    Member

    After retiring Elaine moved to the south shore area of Nova Scotia in 2021 and is continuing to volunteer in, and contribute to, her new community.

    Elaine’s lengthy career in community planning in Ontario helped to guide growth and change in small to medium-sized municipalities. This experience often provided her with opportunities to use her facilitation, negotiation, and critical thinking skills as part of teams working together to find solutions to issues and problems.

    During her final decade of working in senior level positions, being involved in initiatives that helped creating more affordable housing became an important focus for her. She believes that everyone should have an opportunity to have safe, decent, affordable housing if they wish.

    Elaine has served as a municipal advisor to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario – Affordable Housing Task Force about various provincial policies and initiatives about affordable housing and is a graduate of the Leadership Waterloo Region program, a social profit organization working to build vibrant, resilient, and inclusive communities.


  • Donna Williamson

    Executive Director (Ex-Officio)

    Donna has over twenty years of proven experience leading not for profits in generating community impact through fund development, program delivery and building collaborative relationships. In her most recent role as Regional Manager – Atlantic Canada with March of Dimes Canada, Donna was responsible for strategic development, implementation and expansion of the After Stroke Program as well as community-based programs in Atlantic Canada. Donna’s leadership and passion in giving back to the community is well known and she has been volunteering since she was a teenager. Currently, Ms. Williamson is the immediate past Chair of the Board for Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia and has served on numerous boards including 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 to hike, bike and walk their one-year-old Golden Retriever Nelly. Donna Williamson is originally from Pictou Nova Scotia and now lives in Fall River with her family.

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