Meet the Team

Operational Team

Katie Mahoney
Katie MahoneyCo-Founder
Katie Mahoney is a Dalhousie graduate with a degree in Marine Biology and Sustainability. Although being a Marine Biologist was a childhood dream, her love and passion for seniors led her down her current path as the Co-Founder of We Are Young. Through life experiences, Katie has learned how valuable and inspiring our oldest generation is. WAY has given her the opportunity to showcase this within her community and has allowed her to give back to our seniors. For her, the positive impact of this organization is indescribable and truly rewarding.

Katie’s WAY wish, for many years, has been to travel to Antarctica and spend several days playing in its’ ocean. She is hopeful that the leopard seals and orcas will accept her as their friends and not their next meal!

Cara Chisholm
Cara ChisholmCo-Founder
Cara Chisholm, or “mom” to her two beautiful children, is the Co-Founder of We Are Young and grew up on beautiful Cape Breton Island where she met her husband, Lyndon. With a desire to help people and a thirst for knowledge, she graduated from Saint Francis Xavier University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition before moving to Halifax. With her drive to help others, and passion to work with seniors, she continued her studies at Mount Saint Vincent University in Gerontology. She loves that she gets to follow her passions every day in a city that has welcomed her with open arms and has given her the motivation to follow her dreams.

Cara has always loved the thrill of a good adventure and her WAY wish is to drive an exotic car around a race track as fast as she can go!

Marie Boccabella
Marie BoccabellaWish Director
Marie Boccabella has over 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry after having graduated from the Family Studies Program at Ryerson University. She is most proud to be the mother of two wonderful daughters, and even more proud to be ‘Grandma’ to her first grandchild, Cora. Marie first became involved with We Are Young while volunteering WAY’s annual golf tournament. It was then when she knew that it was something she wanted to be involved with on a greater level. Marie has volunteered with seniors and families in other projects within the community and believes that there is so much to learn from the senior population.

Marie’s WAY wish is to climb Machu Picchu (first she needs to overcome her fear of heights)!

Chase Fitzgerald
Chase FitzgeraldCreative Lead
Chase Fitzgerald is a journalism graduate of the University of King’s College. Her talents lie in digital marketing and writing so it was only fitting that she joined our team as our Creative Lead. As a storyteller at heart, Chase supports WAY’s mission by sharing Wish stories across platforms with the organization’s community. With her desire to give back to the community, Chase is thrilled to support WAY’s mission and volunteer any way she can.

Chase’s WAY wish is to travel to Cathedral Cove in New Zealand and plant herself where the Penvensie children stood in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. She believes if magic exists anywhere on earth, that’s probably a good place to start looking.

Wish Committee

Lauren Bowes
Lauren Bowes Wish Coordinator / Wish Committee Team Lead
Lauren Bowes wears many hats, but her favourites are mom, wife, and WAY Wish Coordinator. She is a Southern belle who has embraced the Northern life for more than a decade, and her heart is made of Kentucky thoroughbreds, cornbread, maple syrup, and moose. Lauren graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Public Relations from Kentucky Wesleyan College, and while she worked in the corporate world of Marketing for a while, her true passion is helping others and giving back to her community. She has been supporting philanthropic endeavours her entire adult life and stumbled upon WAY through the 100+ Women of Halifax. She loves the mission of WAY and is proud to join the team doing great work for the senior community across Nova Scotia. Lauren has the soul of a wanderer and has had the great fortune to travel all over the world, but there is still so much world left to see! Seven years ago she spent 36 glorious hours in Iceland and hasn’t stopped thinking about the beautiful country since.

Lauren’s WAY wish is to travel back to the land of ice and fire with her family to introduce her little princess to the rainbows and ponies and blue lagoons that make the island so magical!

Lois Loewen
Lois LoewenCommittee Member
Lois Loewen is a retired librarian, having worked at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography for over 20 years. She’s originally from Manitoba and has lived in Nova Scotia for more than half her life. She loves the golden fields of sunflowers on the prairies and the crashing waves of the Atlantic ocean. She has volunteered with seniors at Northwood and Victoria Hall where she enjoyed listening to the life stories of the people she met. She and her partner Andrea, have co-sponsored refugees and continue to provide assistance to newcomers adapting to life in Halifax. Her interests include travelling, body surfing, lake swimming, Indigenous art, mosaic making, and belonging to the same book club for almost 20 years.

Lois’s WAY wish is to see the northern lights in the Yukon, in the winter, from an airplane.

Laura MacKinnon
Laura MacKinnonCommittee Member
Laura Graves is the Corporate Strategy and Responsibility Coordinator for the NSLC. She has held many support positions throughout her career and is an experienced event planner, budget coordinator, and project manager. This is illustrated through her passion project – planning weddings! Laura grew up in Pictou County and attended StFX University where she also began her career after graduation. Having roots in rural Nova Scotia has given Laura an inspired perspective on the value of being an active community member and the importance of giving back.

Laura’s WAY wish would be to go to Dollywood and meet Dolly Parton.

Segun Odebode
Segun OdebodeCommittee Member
Segun was born in the beautiful city of Abuja, Nigeria, where he enjoyed the care and wisdom of his now-late grandparents. He graduated with Honors in Medicine from the University of Debrecen, Hungary, where he also obtained a master’s in public health. With over ten years of experience in general medical practice in Nigeria, he has become an advocate for senior health. During his time at his former place of work, Segun supported an initiative to provide healthcare to retired staff. He was at the forefront of rendering healthcare to this population as a generalist, and he considers himself a true friend of the older generations. In addition to his passion for healthcare, Segun loves the beautiful things in life, such as his wife and two adorable children. He also enjoys travelling, cooking, running, and dancing. Segun now lives in the lively city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, which he is most thankful for. While he is still working on getting licensed in Canada, he came across WAY, a lifeline to connecting with Seniors whom he passionately cares about. As a generalist at heart, he also volunteers at IWK, which allows him to connect with the care of women and children; Nova Scotia Brotherhood, which helps him reach the adult population, especially those of African ancestry; and ISANS, where he helps immigrant doctors prepare for their licensing exams. He now has the privilege of working as a casual staff at Dalhousie University.

Segun’s Way wish is to skydive in Asia or Australia, continents he is yet to visit, but he will not pass over the opportunity if it presents itself in Nova Scotia.

Paula Campbell
Paula CampbellCommittee Member
Paula is a natural connector and her focus on getting things done is matched only by her zest for life and enthusiasm. A proud Islander, from Cape Breton, Paula is often described as an old soul at heart with a laugh that warms any situation. She has a deep passion for people and building relationships. Her next greatest love is travel – exploring the world any chance she gets and closer to home she loves camping in her teardrop trailer with her partner David and their dog Bru, a 9-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback. Paula graduated from Saint Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting. In addition to her career as an Associate Investment Advisor with TD Wealth, Paula sits on the Executive Team for the Halifax Estate Planning Council. She’s a member of the TD Women in Leadership committee, and plays the role of “big couple” with David and their little brother Scott from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Halifax.

Paula’s wish and dream come true, would be to broadcast the news as an anchor for a local television station!

Lisa MacPherson
Lisa MacPhersonCommittee Member
Lisa MacPherson is a loyal and trusted friend to many who consistently gives back to the communities in which she lives and works. Many would describe her as someone who strives to make a positive difference in people’s lives and loves to invest her time and energy in the people and places that connect us all. Lisa has been married to her husband Blake for over 20 years and lives in the Hammonds Plains area where she has raised two children Ethan and Finlay. She is a Librarian at an elementary and middle school in the Halifax area. Lisa’s interest in becoming involved with WAY was sparked by her respect for the elderly and a passion to inspire our youth to connect with this generation who have paved the way for their future. WAY is one of many she has come to be involved with over the years as her volunteer efforts are far reaching. Feed Nova Scotia, SPCA, Ronald MacDonald House, Run for the Cure, Halifax Shoebox project and the Mobile Food Market are just a few of the many causes she has given back to over the years. She is a genuine philanthropist by nature. When you don’t find Lisa helping others, she is often traveling the globe, running marathons or found by a lake or on a trail hiking with family and friends simply enjoying the great outdoors.

Lisa has an adventurous soul, there’s not much she hasn’t tried but has always wished to solo skydive!

Karla Shalley
Karla ShalleyCommittee Member
Karla relocated to Atlantic Canada in 2018, immersing herself in the local culture and lifestyle of the Maritimes. Having pursued a diverse career, including law enforcement and owning a pet care business, one consistent aspect of her life has been her commitment to volunteering with organizations that support and advocate for seniors. In the past, she dedicated her time to visiting seniors in long-term care facilities and their homes, an experience she thoroughly enjoyed. More recently, her focus has shifted towards caring for her beloved senior canine companions. However, Karla now feels ready and enthusiastic to return to assisting the senior citizens she holds dear. She expresses gratitude for being able to utilize her passion and expertise to fulfill the wishes of the cherished local seniors in her community.

Karla’s WAY wish would be to go down to Texas and work with the shelters down there to save as many dogs as possible!

Board of Directors

Walter Robinson
Walter RobinsonChair
Walter Robinson is an accomplished and bilingual public affairs executive with over 25 years of experience in achieving public policy change at every level of government. He has spent two decades in leadership in the life sciences, served as the Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Ottawa, is a former Ottawa Business Journal Top Forty Under 40 and United Way Community Builder Award recipient. He is also a five-time undefeated White-Collar Boxer, serves as producer and MC of the Fight for the Cure cancer fundraiser in support of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, and a tireless advocate and fundraiser for cancer research.
Ashley Harnish
Ashley HarnishPast Chair
Ashley Harnish is the Manager of Primary Health Care for the Nova Scotia Health Authority and is the mom of two. Ashley became involved with WAY because she has always had such respect and admiration for our elders. Ashley serves as Vice President of the Board and provides policy development, strategic planning, and passion for providing exceptional customer service for those who WAY engages with. She has an undergraduate degree in Science, Psychology, and a masters in Occupational Therapy. She wanted to go to school for something that would provide her with the skills to be able to help seniors, specifically those with cognitive deficits like Dementia. While her career focus has changed in recent years, she is so thankful for the time she had working in geriatric rehabilitation, palliative care and in Dementia care. WAY allows her the space to be able to fulfil her passion for honoring our seniors and giving back. The WAY team continues to inspire her to want to give more and do more for her community.

Ashley’s WAY wish would be to ride in a hot air balloon.

Bryan Daniels
Bryan DanielsDirector
For the past 7 years, Bryan has worked at Halifax-based non-profit organizations, Pier Labs, and its sister organization, Davis Pier Consulting. He’s a neuroscientist with a focus on understanding brain communication and adaptation, which has been invaluable in his current work. Bryan collaborates with various partners across sectors to address some of society’s biggest challenges and opportunities, as related to health and wellbeing.

His projects primarily involve areas like Primary Health Care, Continuing Care, Disability and Behavioural Supports, Working after injury, and Employment Supports, spanning Canadian jurisdictions.

Bryan’s journey includes fatherhood; playing and coaching sports; creating music; analyzing data; yes, even selling running shoes. His academic background includes a BSc from SMU, an MSc and PhD from Dal, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at McGill; supporting organizations, businesses, departments, start-ups and others in advancing their value to meet societal need.

He lives with the mindset that improving his relationship with himself and with those around him, while encouraging the same in others, is probably a good thing.

Paul Etherington
Paul EtheringtonDirector
Paul has over 20 years of experience in the life insurance industry, with a focus on corporate, family and individual life insurance planning, family business succession planning, and corporate group benefits. He graduated with an honours degree from Queen’s University and takes pride in creating long-term relationships with his clients. Paul is happily married to Lauren and has three daughters.

In addition to his professional work, Paul is a Co-Founder and volunteer Chairman of Motionball for Special Olympics, a registered not-for-profit that introduces the next generation of volunteers and donors to the Special Olympics movement through integrated social and sporting events. He is also a Board member of the Special Olympics Canada Foundation and the Founder and Event Director of the Pink Party, which supports the Canadian Cancer Foundation and Holland Bloorview Rehab Hospital for Children.

Paul has been recognized for his humanitarian work with awards such as the Queens Alumni Humanitarian Award, the June Callwood Award, and the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General. He was also inducted into the Special Olympics Ontario Hall of Fame for leadership and giving.

Pauls WAY wish would be to play in just 1 World Series Poker Event!

Erica Armstrong
Erica ArmstrongDirector
Erica is an enthusiastic and results-driven Senior Consultant in executive recruitment with the boutique firm Royer Thompson. Working with a variety of clients across Atlantic Canada, Erica feels honoured to work with and place leaders at highly impactful organizations. Previous to her experience in executive recruitment Erica worked in higher education in student services at both Saint Mary’s University and NSCC.

Originally from Ontario, Erica holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and a Bachelor of Education from Lakehead University as well as a Masters of Education from Memorial University. Erica is passionate about giving back to her community. She was previously on the Halifax Regional Municipality Design Review Committee, as well as a Board Member with the Halifax & Region Military Family Resource Centre. During her down time, Erica can be found spending time with her husband and two daughters.

Erica is thrilled to be supporting WAY as a board member as she really believes in the mission of creating social awareness around the inequalities seniors face and encouraging inter-generational connection. Erica was extremely close with her grandparents visiting them daily and has created a close relationship with a grandparent figure here in Halifax.