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 artisans and farmers, 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 fifteen 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.

Jordana Armstrong leads the social enterprise program for the intellectual property management team at Innovate Calgary, providing strategic direction for university-based projects that aim to move beyond research to create direct impact in the community. She co-developed the RBC Social Enterprise Accelerator program at Innovate Calgary – a program that accelerates the growth of high potential social enterprises in Calgary – and plays an on-going role developing curriculum related to creating sustainable impact. She enjoys facilitation, and teaches workshops on social entrepreneurship in the community, including at the Calgary Public Library. Jordana has experience working and living in Montreal, New York, Italy, Hong Kong and her hometown of Edmonton, and aims to keep the number of new countries visited on par with her age. She is passionate about sustainability and social inclusion, reflected in her extensive work with social enterprise. She holds a BA (joint honours) from McGill University.

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.

Delia So joined Artistri Sud to work with an inspiring organization that helps those who are among the most in need through training and entrepreneurship: a more lasting and sustainable philosophy towards giving. Delia has an MBA and two B.Sc. degrees from McGill University. She has experience in the public sector healthcare as a physical therapist, as well as in the private sector as a marketing and business development professional with pharmaceutical, diagnostic and medical imaging corporations.  As the Director of Donor Relations for Artistri Sud, Delia spends her time building donor engagement and support. Delia has many interests that keep her busy, but in particular she enjoys downhill skiing, doubles tennis, yoga and being a soccer-mom.
Tara Mandjee is a lawyer with experience in corporate and governance matters and a longstanding commitment to women’s empowerment, previously acting as an ambassador to the Law needs feminism campaign and as a member of the FASE program (Femmes d’action Stikeman Elliott) promoting women’s retention and leadership. Tara developed a passion for communications when she was VP Public Relations and Sponsorship for McGill Law Student Association and in the past three years as VP External Relations for the Aga Khan Council for Quebec. With a diverse background and a love for traveling and discovering new cultures, Tara believes that it is our responsibility to become more aware of the realities in other parts of the world and to equip local populations with the means to have a sustainable livelihood, which is at the core of Artistri Sud’s mission. 

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 jennifer@artistri.ca

Ambassadors

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 info@artistrisud.org

Milla Craig is a leading expert in the field of sustainability and sustainable investing.  Milla is the Principal and Founder of an independent consulting firm, Millani Perspectives. In addition to her consulting, Milla has over 15 years in institutional equity sales and has held roles with BZW Canada, the Royal Bank of Canada’s RBC Dominion Securities and Scotia Bank.  She has also been Leader – Sustainability, Quebec Region at Deloitte. Milla is the Co-Founder, Vice-President and Past President of the Finance and Sustainability Initiative (FSI). Milla is also a member of the Montreal chapter’s Executive Committee of the International Women’s Forum (IWF) and also chairs it’s Water Initiative. Milla has been a member of the Shared-Value Committee of the Women Investing for Impact (WIFI), as well as a member of the Advancement & Advisory Council at McGill University’s Social Economy Initiative.  Milla has been a faculty member of McGill University’s CSR Executive Education Program and a guest lecturer at McGill University’s Continuing Education Sustainable Investing Program and Concordia University’s Corporate Social Responsibility MBA Program. Milla currently sits on the advisory boards of EcoFixe Technologies and Concordia University’s DOCSE/SAMCON Sustainable Real Estate Advisory Board.
 Grace Yang believes that everyone should have the opportunity to lead as fulfilling a life as possible. She is the Chief Trouble Maker at TEDxMontrealWomen, curating and encouraging speakers to step outside of their comfort zones to deliver their most compelling TEDx talk. As well, she leads a dynamic team of dedicated volunteers and attempts to foster a creative culture where everyone has the opportunity to grow and learn from each other. When she is not thinking, working or dreaming about TEDxMontrealWomen, Grace can be found on the yoga mat trying not to fall on her face doing side crow. Grace holds a CFA, an MBA from Ivey and a B.Math in Computer Science from UWaterloo, although she still can’t figure out how to save a file on her computer. She lives in Montreal and leads a crazy and wonderful life alongside her husband and two daughters, who help her out with her computer woes. Grace cares about helping people reach their potential and giving them all the opportunities possible, so Artistri Sud is a great fit!

Advisory Board

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.

Volunteers and Committees

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.