VQC Board of Directors

Victoria’s Quilts Canada (VQC) is governed by a Board of Directors composed of volunteers from among our membership. The Board is appointed for a one-year, renewable term by our members at annual general meetings. New Board members can also be added at other times through a vote by the current Board members.

The Board holds regular meetings and is responsible for the overall management of the organization. It establishes the overall strategic direction, sets policy and monitors the operations of the Branches. It also oversees the operation of the local VQC Friends Groups and carries out fundraising activities in support of the National quilt-making program.

VQC Board of DirectorsCurrent Board members: (left to right, front row) Michelle Gagnon, Betty Giffin, Blanche Dunn, Martine Genest;
(left to right, back row) Shirley Gay, Judy Lancaster, Kathy Yach, Marlene Cox, Janet Peszat, Anne Rooke
Board of Directors

President
Blanche Dunn

Vice-President & Fundraising
Kathy Yach

Treasurer
Martine Genest

Directors
Marlene Cox
Michelle Gagnon
Shirley Gay
Betty Giffin
Judy Lancaster
Janet Peszat
Anne Rooke

Current Board members

Marlene Cox
Marlene joined VQC in fall 2012 after retiring from teaching. She first heard about VQC after receiving a quilt while undergoing treatment for breast cancer in 2010. This quilt, which had been requested by her United Church women’s group, encompassed all the support and caring she had received from friends, family, and community. Marlene joined the Board of Directors in May 2013 and is the National Friends Groups Coordinator.

Blanche Dunn
Blanche has been with VQC almost since the beginning. Her duties as the Coordinator of Friends Groups for National Office for so many years allowed her the opportunity to get to know many of our volunteers personally. She continues to be the “Keeper of the Stash” and never gets tired of seeing the variety of wonderful fabrics our quilters continue to donate. She has been a member of the Board of Directors since the start of VQC and helped Betty in a variety of capacities during her two years as Vice-President. Blanche became President in 2008.

Michelle Gagnon
Michelle joined VQC in April 2014 after retiring from a 30-year career as a National Research Council communications officer. One month later, she became a VQC Board member. She has extensive communications experience, but her first love has always been creating fiber art. Signing up with VQC was therefore the best of all possible outcomes, as she can now pursue her passion wholeheartedly (making quilts) and, as Communications Director, continue to use her work skills by promoting VQC’s mission.

Shirley Gay
Shirley joined VQC as a member of the Stittsville Friends Group in September 2012. She retired as Clinical Director at the Ottawa Hospital in March 2012, having worked 43 years as a Registered Nurse. She had first-hand experience in the value and comfort of a VQC quilt, as she was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2012. Her "blanket" went to every treatment with her, providing her with comfort and support. She was elected to the Board of Directors in May 2014 and is the Secretary to the Board of Directors.

Martine Genest
Martine began working with VQC in 2013 after retiring from a 35-year career in the federal public service in various administrative and procurement positions. Martine is the Donations Officer for VQC as well as Chair of VQC's Funding Applications Committee. She joined the Board of Directors in 2014 and is the National Treasurer.

Betty Giffin
Betty is the founder of VQC and stepped down from the Board of Directors several years ago to assure herself that the organization was well established and did not need her leadership to thrive and grow. She has certainly been proved right in this regard. In the spring of 2015, Betty took on the role of liaising with Heartwood House, the location of our National Office. In this role, it was necessary for her to be able to make decisions on behalf of VQC, so she returned to the Board to ensure she is always in possession of the most current information. As well as being the Branch Coordinator, she also holds the position of Membership Secretary, which helps her stay in contact with our volunteers.

Judy Lancaster
Judy began working with VQC in June 2012 after a 20-year career in teaching. She has always been active in the community with a variety of non-profit organizations and, with her husband, operated a pick-your-own strawberry farm for 25 years. She started as Treasurer in 2013 but stepped down in 2014 and is now the Bookkeeper for the organization.

Janet (Jan) Peszat
Jan joined VQC in 2012, having heard of the organization from a colleague while working at the Department of Finance Canada. On retiring from a 31-year career with the federal public service in 2014, she continued with VQC as a way to both contribute to its cause and hone her quilt-making skills. She joined the Board in late 2016 and is a member of VQC's Funding Applications Committee.

Anne Rooke
Anne joined VQC ‘s Board of Directors in November 2016 and will be assisting Martine and Jan in securing donations. She spent her 35-year career working for the federal public service with various rights-based organizations in senior managerial positions. This is her first time serving on a board  and is looking forward to working with such a dynamic and committed team. She is a member of VQC's Funding Applications Committee.

Kathy Yach
Kathy began working with VQC in 2005 following her retirement as Director of City View Centre for Child and Family Services. She has been involved in a number of non-profit organizations over the years and brings with her a wealth of knowledge. She was a Trustee with the Ottawa Board of Education for 13 years and Chair for 2 years. She is currently Vice-President and, as Fundraising Coordinator, successfully coordinates our fashion shows, manages our very successful quilt raffles, and provides valuable insight into the fundraising process.

Updated: November 29, 2016