President, Caroline Hogwood

Caroline HogwoodCaroline is a recently retired executive with over 25 years’ experience leading and managing various functions such as HR, IT, Finance and Operations for large Canadian organizations – most recently, Canadian Tire Corporation.   Caroline holds a B.Sc. from McMaster University and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

Born, raised and currently residing in Oakville, Caroline values the opportunity to contribute directly to her community and holds dear the fundamental right for safe living conditions for women and their children.  Historically, Caroline has committed her time to various women’s and girls’ initiatives, including serving as a Big Sister in Oakville, and working with the YWCA Toronto to launch retraining efforts for women re-entering the workforce. Caroline looks forward to supporting and contributing to the ongoing work of the committed team at Halton Women’s Place.  Caroline also currently serves on the Board of Governors and St. Mildred’s Lightbourn School.

Heather Colquhoun, Vice President

Heather Colquhoun

Heather Colquhoun is the Managing Director of KaleidoscopicTraining, Consulting & Facilitation Services Inc. She has a background in social work and organizational diversity, and has worked in consulting for the past 15 years.

Heather joined the Board because she was looking for an organization and a cause she believed in where she could use her skills and passion to contribute to the community. She is proud to serve Halton Women’s Place and is dedicated to the vision of a life free from violence for the women and children of this community.  Heather has lived in Halton Region for 12 years and currently resides in Milton.

Corporate Secretary, Janet Pickell  

Janet is a Senior Sales and Marketing professional and throughout her career she managed multiple NationalBusiness divisions and Teams with multi-million dollar budgets.

After a career in the corporate sector Janet has turned her focus to the Not for Profit sector and joined the YMCA of Oakville.  At the Y her responsibilities are focused on the CEO and Board.   Outside of corporate achievements Janet has been an active volunteer within the Oakville community serving several Charitable organizations.

Treasurer, Ann Prawl

Ann Prawl

Ann worked at SMLS for 12 years as an Accountant. She is currently at Oakville Christian School as Finance Manager.

She has over 20 years experience thefinance field. She shares a special bond with women who are abused and displaced and has pledged her time to do what it takes to help get the word out that there is help for those women.

“It’s truly an honour to serve on this Board along with my colleagues, and to work with the staff of HWP who are vastly educated, experienced, willing and able. HWP is blessed to have this great group of leaders direct its path”.

She also volunteers as Treasurer of her church and is a firm believer in giving back to her community. She lives with her husband and daughter in Burlington.

Director, Jerry Dias


Jerry Dias was elected at the Unifor Founding Convention on August 31, 2013 as the first National President.

He is an experienced and trusted negotiator and organizer, taking on corporate giants from General Motors to Boeing to Coca-Cola. Jerry is a committed trade unionist, focused on the needs of local union leaders and rank-and-file members. His dedication has earned him the trust of members and shop floor bargaining committees right across the country.

Jerry served as an assistant to the CAW National President, a post that he held under two presidents since 2007. Jerry began his work life in 1978 at then de Havilland Aircraft (now Bombardier Aerospace) in Toronto. He was elected shop steward later that year in what would become a lifelong dedication to the labour movement. As plant chair in 1985, Jerry led the work stoppage that resulted in the current day national Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) – which includes the right to know about dangerous materials. He also fought against the sell-off of de Havilland, which would have resulted in a plant closure. Jerry was also elected local union president at CAW Local 112, before being appointed to the union’s national staff as the aerospace sector co-ordinator in 1993.

Over the last three years, Jerry has taken on the issue of violence against women through his participation, along with his son Jordan, in the Hope in High Heels walk for Halton Women’s Plae. Jerry is the  walk’s top fundraiser – raising more than $300,000 in six years!

Jerry is a progressive CAW leader, with talents that will help guide Unifor in the transition from a bold idea into a powerful union for all.

Director, Julie Wedzinga

Julie Wedzinga

Julie Wedzinga is an Environmental Engineer with US Steel.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree inEngineering Management from McMaster University.

On her first tour through the shelter, she remembers being surprised by the atmosphere.  Julie was overwhelmed by the awesome sense of positive energy.  It reaffirmed for her that Halton Women’s Place provides vital services for women and their children trying to make their lives better.  As a board member, she is honoured to play a small part in improving all those lives.

Julie is a Chapter Executive of the Hamilton Burlington Chapter of the Professional Engineers of Ontario.

Director, Shelley Juliano

Shelley Juliano

Shelley has 10 years experience as a National Account Manager in the appliances industry, currently working at BSH Home Appliances, working with national retail chains across Canada in partnership to manage their appliance business. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Guelph.

She has had the privilege of being involved in various volunteer networks in the Halton area over the past 20 years. Volunteering for her is a passion and she has devoted much of her time to campaigns directed at improving the quality of life for women and children in need. She is continuously inspired by the compassion and willingness of her community to join together and support these issues. She sees the work that Halton Women’s Place does in our community as a truly valuable resource supporting women and children during critical times in their lives. Shelley has been involved in a variety of volunteer experiences including but not limited to:  Make-A-Wish Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, GE Elfun Volunteer Board of Directors, Kids Help Phone, Angel Tree Christmas gift program, Day of Caring, Food Drives, Mississauga International Children’s Festival, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, National Volunteer Week, Santa’s Angels program, GE United Way Marketing Chairperson, GE Junior Achievement Teacher, GE Women’s Network Marketing Committee ,Volunteer Youth Counselor & Club Treasurer 2001-2004: Club for preteen girls meeting weekly

Director, Marta Pirie Gimon

Marta is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) who has her own accounting and tax practice located in downtown Burlington. She has a mix of clients from personal tax, start-up/small business to large public companies.  Her background in public accounting at Ernst & Young as well as in industry has allowed her to work with various business and service organizations.  She is a graduate of McMaster University DeGroote School of Business.

As a new member of the board, she is looking forward to contributing to an important community organization that helps so many people in positive ways.

Director, Megan Cheema


Megan Cheema is a lawyer in the Corporate and Commercial practice group at O’Connor MacLeod Hanna LLP, a full-service law firm in Oakville. Megan’s practice is focused on corporate and commercial matters, as well as non-profit law.

Megan graduated from the University of Western Ontario with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and completed her law degree at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, following which, she was called to the Bar of Ontario in June 2015.

During law school, Megan was an active volunteer and spent her time as a Public Legal Education Volunteer for the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children and a Student Caseworker for the Downtown Legal Services community clinic. She also acted as a Peer Mentor at her law school and was involved with Pro Bono Students Canada.

Having grown up in Halton, Megan is honoured to join the Board of an organization that plays a vital role in the community and is committed to advocating for women’s and children’s rights.

Director, Allison Zavitz

Allison Zavitz currently works in Government Relations withHoffmann-La Roche Limited, the world’s largest oncology pharmaceutical company with a focus on health policy and system transformation. Previously, Allison has held sales and marketing management roles in the pharmaceutical industry over the last 17 years. Allison has a B.Sc. Biology and B. Physical and Health Education  from Queen’s University as well as an M.B.A from McMaster University DeGroote School of Business.

Allison has been volunteering with Halton Women’s Place through  employer-driven philanthropy projects over the last decade and has seen first hand the important role that Halton Women’s Place plays in supporting women and children who are victims of violence regaining their independence. She looks forward to continuing to support the organization through her work on the Board of Directors.