Natalie Reisman –
Natalie is a commercial real estate lawyer by training. After a dozen years of practice she shifted to a role with a developer focussing on building more affordable housing in the GTAA. Outside of work and family, involvement in community is a core value of hers. She spent six years serving on the board of Sojourn House, a refugee resettlement and emergency/transitional shelter organization in Toronto. The last three years with the organization she served as Chair of the Board, helping the organization grow to serve more people in need. She volunteered with Helping Hands, which provides shelter, food and programming in the Squamish community.
Natalie is the mother of three young children and, especially after choosing to leave her marriage, lives the importance of being a strong woman every day. In joining Courage in Action as Chair of the Board, Natalie looks forward to creating a community of powerful women supporting each other.”
Rebekka Schultz – Vice Chair
Rebekka currently works on the Rural Connectivity & Local Governments team at TELUS as Strategy Manager supporting the team’s Rural Engagement program. Drawing from her broad background in public policy and communications, Rebekka works with rural communities to strengthen partnerships and cultivate economic development & partnership opportunities.
Prior to this, Rebekka worked at Earnscliffe Strategies, a national public relations firm, where she worked as a consultant in the British Columbia office. As an experienced advocacy, communications and public policy professional, Rebekka has developed expertise working across jurisdictions with federal, provincial and municipal stakeholders to lead and manage projects on both a national and local scale.
In doing so she has honed in on storytelling opportunities as a method to socialize and align human-to-human impact with corporate narratives.
Heather Terrence – Secretary
Heather Terrence is a Certified Association Executive, a non-profit governance expert and President of Pinpoint Governance Group. She has over 20 years of experience working in the non-profit sector, most recently as Executive Director for a national trade association.
Heather recently sat on the Board of Directors of the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto and served as Secretary and Treasurer. She now serves on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) and is Chair the Governance Committee.
Vanessa Blumer – Treasurer
Vanessa is a professional with a background in Finance and Engineering who is passionate about working with people. She believes that there is nothing more enjoyable or rewarding than having a positive impact on others. While raising her two children, Vanessa volunteered at work and in her community, with a focus on overall health and safety.
She is very excited to be joining Courage in Action and looks forward to building new relationships and getting the opportunity to work alongside such strong and remarkable women. Together we have a wonderful opportunity to continue to drive real change in women’s lives and feels privileged to be part of the Board.
Shruthi ShivaKumar – Director
Shruthi is an HR Manager by the day. Passionate about content creation, training and development, fundraising, mentoring, digital marketing and branding.
A person can achieve extraordinary things when given the right help and guidance. Having raised and surrounded by strong women, I understand the need of having the resources to be the best version of oneself. Courage in action is the perfect platform to help as many lives as possible.
It is an honour to be part of a team of extremely talented and confident women who believe and are working towards the cause of women’s upliftment and sisterhood.
“There is nothing stronger than a woman who has rebuilt herself.” – Hannah Gadsby
Sophia Jacob – Director
Sophia Jacob is an award winning experienced event planner, marketing strategist & community organizer with specialties in fundraising for non-profit organizations & brand promotion for small businesses. Sophia is the President of Sophia J Events which is a boutique event planning & marketing firm, she founded the Canadian Women of Colour Leadership Network. In the last 9 years Sophia has successfully founded two business networks, the Ottawa Opportunities Network & Black Ottawa Business Network. In October 2021 at the Registered Professional Accounts of Canada small business month event Sophia received the Women’s Entrepreneurship Award for her accomplishments in business and for her dedicated community work.
Sophia joined Courage in Action organization as it is a place where you feel inspired and empowered. The work to close the gap and break down barriers that women face everyday is happening with this organization and I’m glad to be part of it
Barb Zaldin – Director
Barb is one of the founding committee members and is passionate about helping women move powerfully through their lives. She helps people build their wealth and have their dreams come true. She is a Real Estate Agent who supports and helps sellers, buyers and investors make an educated decision. Barb helps people get from where they are to where they want to be.
Tricia Blake – Director
Tricia Blake Tricia is a Change Practitioner and XR Enthusiast who has developed her professional experience in the private and public sector. She has held senior management roles across operations, client services, project and change management. Tricia draws on over 15+ years of in the trenches experience to facilitate conversations that enable organizations to elevate their change experience by [transforming] conversations about the people side of change.
In addition, Tricia spearheads her own international give-back project, S.M.I.L.E. Butterfly that focuses on accessible education for children worldwide.
Why Courage In Action? I love the positive impact that they are making in women’s lives and there is nothing more beautiful than seeing someone thrive and overcome by becoming the best version of themselves.
Favourite quote: The question is not how to survive but how to thrive with.
Denise Goldstein- Director
Denise is a long-time resident of the Markham community. She is dedicated business professional with a focus on delivering mutually beneficial success through results-oriented strategic alliances. Strong belief in building customer and partner engagement as a means to sustainable, meaningful development. Recognized public speaker and presenter. Lifetime learner with a strong belief in leading by example and collaboration. Denise & her husband recently sold their 21 year old business in 2021, she currently sits on various boards and enjoys golfing and hockey.
Denise joined Courage in action as she is a supporter of “When women support each other, incredible things happen.”
Shirley Gaudon – Director
Human Resources Professional and Leadership Coach who’s committed to making a difference in people’s lives. As someone who has risen above adversity and is continuing to grow and heal, I am aware of the power of women supporting and nurturing each other. Recognizing and applauding our power, I’m proud to be a part of an amazing team of women that are committed to doing just that .
To quote a meme that resonated with me “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass it’s about learning to dance in the rain”
Cindy Stradling – Executive Director
Facilitator, entrepreneur and resilience coach. I truly believe each and everyone one of us has untapped potential!
I am passionate about working with a team of powerful women on the Courage in Action Board and Committees to support the women we serve to move forward confidently in their lives.
Honoured to provide the women we serve access to resources that can provide them with the inspiration, tools and build the skills to live THEIR best life.