Artistri Sud is a nonprofit organization founded in 2009 in Montreal, by Jennifer Lonergan, to support women’s empowerment around the world. By developing their capacity, we help women create sustainable livelihoods for themselves. Greater financial autonomy and the ability to generate their own income empowers them to exert a positive influence in their families and their communities. In partnership with local women, we evaluate their existing businesses (usually small cooperatives) and look for ways to help them generate increased revenues and improve their standard of living. Then we design and implement training programs to develop the skills they need to achieve sales and growth goals on a sustainable basis.
Board of Directors
Jennifer Lonergan, PhD, founder of Artistri Sud, has worked with artisans and artisan groups in a dozen developing world nations in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. As a buyer for fair trade and ethical wholesale and retail markets in North America—in particular, for the boutique she owned, Artistri—and in partnership with international development organizations in the US and Canada, she has helped support artisans’ efforts to generate revenue by capitalizing on their strengths to meet the needs of a fast-paced marketplace. Jennifer has a PhD in women’s history and twenty years’ experience in education and curriculum development, both critical tools in her efforts to build capacity among artisans to meet market needs while supporting cultural heritage preservation. For more about Jennifer, watch her video from TedxMontrealWomen.
Gillian Elias is a senior economist at Business Development Bank of Canada, providing advice to management and clients on the economic environment in which it operates. Gillian has worked for many prestigious institutions such as the Federal Government, General Motors, Finance Canada, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. Gillian mentors a young woman from Senegal who is studying for her Master’s in Public Finance through a bursary programme for African Leaders of the Future run by the Institute of Public Administration of Canada. Gillian’s diverse set of interests in the arts, economics, international development, empowerment, and her desire to help others, especially women, have culminated in her role serving on the Board of Artistri Sud.
Susan Maruya is a Chartered Professional Accountant who has experience working for a large international firm and is currently a principal leading the Assurance Standards Group at one of the top ten medium sized firms in Montreal. She has over twenty five years’ experience in accounting and auditing and founded the first Women’s Discussion Group on Accounting and Assurance, which brings together women from numerous leading accounting firms to share their knowledge and experience. Through her travels, particularly her trip to Nepal a couple of years ago, she was struck by the lack of resources and support for women in third world countries. She saw how hard the Nepalese women had to work day after day with no real relief or change in sight. This experience inspired her to join an organization like Artistri Sud. She felt she could make a difference for these women through her contribution in the role of Chair of the Finance and Accounting Committee of the Board. With the hope of empowering women in developing countries her wish is that their world becomes a much better place.
Arda Minassian is a tax lawyer specialized in global mobility services helping her clients with tax matters related to their mobile employees. Upon hearing about Artistri Sud’s mission, her desire to be involved grew. She finds volunteering with Artistri Sud to be highly rewarding, given her deep-rooted belief in supporting women’s empowerment in underdeveloped countries by giving them tools for greater financial autonomy and independence. Arda believes this type of mobilization helps lead women and their families to have a better life.
Join our team!
Artisti Sud is a growing organization and we are looking for volunteers and new board members to help achieve our goals. If you are determined to make a difference in the lives of thousands of women, and are willing to give your time and expertise to our organization, then consider joining our team!
In particular, we are seeking motivated individuals with expertise in accounting and finance to serve on the Board of Directors. For further information and/or to send your resume, please contact Jennifer Lonergan, President and Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artistri Sud Ambassadors are engaged individuals committed to making meaningful change in the world. They support Artistri Sud in our efforts to empower women artisans and entrepreneurs around the world to create sustainable livelihoods and transform their lives and those of their families and communities. Interested in becoming an Artistri Sud Ambassador? Send a short expression of interest and your CV to email@example.com
Artistri Sud benefits from the expertise and commitment of over a dozen experienced professionals who provide strategic advice and contribute actively to committee work, awareness-raising and fundraising objectives.
Pilar Albareda: International Development professional with fair trade expertise. She worked for nearly two decades in the development field all over Latin America, where she was an instrumental figure in the growth of the Fair Trade movement. She is Director of the International Fair Trade Association (IFAT) in Latin America.
Virginia Armeni: MA. Education committee chair. Educator for over 15 years, with expertise in gender equity issues. M.A. in Pedagogy. She also has experience working in community development, where she coordinated leadership programs for youth, conducted needs assessment evaluations for minority language groups and developed programs for seniors.
Véronique Geoffrion: Certified Corporate Etiquette and International Protocol Consultant and founder of Bottom-Line manners. She works with companies, charities and individuals giving seminars on important aspects to succeed in the business world and international arena, like how to Out-Class the Competition or how to Dine Like a Diplomat.
Clare Hallward: One of the founders of Project Chance, a program and an apartment building for single mothers committed to completing their education and their children. She was Vice President of the Lindbergh Foundation in the States and Chair of their Grant Selection Committee. In Montreal, she has been Chair of the Board of Directors of the Thomas More Institute and got her own degree there in her sixties.
Anita Nowak: PhD. Anita currently serves McGill’s Teaching & Learning Services team as Director of Operations for the Social Learning for Social Impact MOOC. In 2012-2013, she was the founding Integrating Director of McGill’s Social Economy Initiative (SEI). She joined McGill after many years in the private sector where she gained a wide range of experience in corporate communications and speechwriting, new business development, strategic marketing and event planning.
Lucille Panet-Raymond: Has spent 40 years in the non-profit world. She worked at the Montreal Women’s Y for ten years, 5 of which were as Assistant Executive Director where she was involved also in capital campaigns and special events. She also spent another 25 years at Panet-Raymond et Associés, consulting with over 20 clients. Her volunteer board experience includes La Fédération des femmes du Québec, the National YWCA of Canada, Auberge Transition, la Fondation Solstice, la Fondation Léa Roback and the IRB (Institutional Review Board) , Faculty of Medicine at McGill University.
Mary Picard: PhD. Evaluation and research consultant in international development with over 20 years’ experience. She has done extensive work with international and development NGOs engaged in poverty alleviation and social justice. She has field experience in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, primarily with CARE International.
Fred Schick: MA. Trilingual international development professional with over 8 years of practical field and office experience in the non-profit sector. As an Ecological Economist, he is specialized in training in small business development, environmental education, and food security. He has trained over 500 adults in microenterprise development in Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Bolivia the Caribbean and USA, and has also coordinated over 100 volunteers specialized in agro-ecology and rural development in Ecuador.
Paul Simard: Responsible for Creative Advancement for the ONE DROP Foundation, which was founded by Cirque du Soleil visionary Guy Laliberté. ONE DROP uses an innovative approach to solving water related issues in developing countries. He is an active speaker for the Association for Fundraising Professionals and CASE, as well as several other organizations both in Montreal , Toronto and elsewhere. He brings his passion for learning and teaching to every interaction, in particular in helping donors achieve their philanthropic objectives.
Louis Yang: B.Eng, MBA. Analyst at Claret Asset Management Co. and Co-founder of ZandBox, a web-based platform which aims to connect kids, families, and organizations in local communities. He has experience in sales, entrepreneurship, and strategic planning.
The work of the organization is carried out by a team of dedicated volunteers and interns working on a wide range of activities. The various committees of Artistri Sud include Finance, Program Development, Business Development (Fundraising, Events, Social Business), Communications, Partnerships and Research, and Volunteer Recruitment, among others.