OUR TEAM

Operational Team

Cara Chisholm

Co-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!

Katie Mahoney

Co-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 the elderly 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!

Lauren Bowes

Wish Coordinator

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!

Wish Committee

Jen Drummond

Team Lead

Jennifer Drummond has over 20 years’ experience in various support positions, including doula, pharmacy technician, crisis responder, home care coordinator, employment counselor and family support worker. After earning a Fine Arts degree at NSCAD, she moved to Cheticamp on Cape Breton Island where she raised her two children and completed her degree in Psychology. In 2020, she moved to Halifax where she now works full time at ISANS. Her passion for working in a supportive role led her to WAY where she volunteers on the Wish Committee, which brings her joy to help give back to the seniors in our community.

Jennifer’s WAY wish is to be an extra in a film or tv show. She loves watching movies and would love the opportunity to be a fly on the wall of a film production and find a tiny role in a locally produced film or tv project.

Elbonita McNally

Member

Elbonita McNally is a graduate of Memorial University in Newfoundland, a dedicated registered nurse and a professional photographer. Her story begins in Kosovo, a small country in the Balkans in which her family had to flee during the war to Canada in the late 90s. Since then, having experienced what it was like to arrive in a place with very little and the need to rely on the community for support, she has continually made it her goal to give back. Elbonita has been an avid volunteer throughout her life with a number of different organizations including Newfound Friends (which she co-founded), Memorial University, the Association For New Canadians and now, most notably, We Are Young! Elbonita has always held a passion for the elderly through her work as a nurse and in the causes she supports.

Being an avid explorer, she has traveled to every continent aside from one. That is why her WAY wish would be to have the opportunity to go to her last remaining continent Antarctica.

Lisa MacPherson

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!

Lois Loewen

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

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.

Board of Directors

Ashley Harnish

Board 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.

Marie Boccabella

Secretary

Marie Boccabella is the General Manager of Jack Astor’s with 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 at their 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. She is looking forward to putting her life experiences in the hands of Katie and Cara and to be of service where it is needed the most.

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

Walter Robinson

Director

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.

Paul Etherington

Director

Paul has over 20 years of experience in the Life insurance industry after graduating with an honours degree from Queen’s University. Paul’s business focus is Corporate; family and individual life insurance planning; Family Business succession planning as well as Corporate Group Benefits. As with everyone at Etherington Generations, Paul prides himself on creating long term relationships and trusted advice to all of his clients.

Paul is happily married to Lauren and is the proud father of 3 daughters Skylar, Sloane and Win.

Paul is Co-Founder and volunteer Chairman of Motionball for Special Olympics, a registered not-for-profit whose mandate is to introduce the next generation of volunteers and donors to the Special Olympics movement through integrated social and sporting events while also providing meaningful leadership opportunities for Canadian University students and young professionals. Since inception Motionball has donated over $17,000,000 to the Special Olympics Canada Foundation. Annually, Motionball is running 50 events in 20 cities; and on 35 University campuses. Paul is also a Board member of the Special Olympics Canada Foundation and the Founder and Event Director of the Pink Party in support of the Canadian Cancer Foundation and Holland Bloorview Rehab Hospital for Children.

In 2010 Paul was awarded the Queens Alumni Humanitarian Award. In 2011, Paul was recognized with the June Callwood Award for work within the Disabled Community, and was the recipient at the Notable Awards of both the Community Impact award and Young Professional of the Year. In 2018 Paul was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General and inducted into the Special Olympics Ontario Hall of Fame for leadership and giving. In 2019 he was awarded a volunteer service award from The Government of Ontario and recognized with the Harry Red Foster Award in recognition of contributions to Special Olympics Canada.

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

Senior Advisors

Pauline Harper

Senior Advisor

Pauline Harper was born on beautiful Prince Edward Island and, after finishing her schooling in Halifax, became a stay at home mom for many years before working as an Office Manager at Fairview Villa Nursing Home where she worked for 20 years. Pauline became involved with WAY because she admires the WAY Team and their willingness to want to help her generation. She appreciates the time they invest despite the busy world we live in. Pauline acts as a Senior Advisor for WAY and inspires the WAY team to do its best work. She is kind, giving, and incredibly proud of her family and grandchildren.

Pauline’s WAY wish is to visit Paris.

Colin MacRae

Senior Advisor

Colin McCrae is not only known for the countless volunteering he is involved in within the community but also for having the biggest heart. We have been so lucky to have Colin volunteer with We Are Young over the last few years. Particularly, he has played a vital role in implementing and executing our Little Wish programs. He truly does a tremendous job in helping our charity support our seniors!