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.

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.
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. 

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.

Sébastien Cadorette is a Human Resources professional experienced in transformational and international projects, and specifically in mergers and acquisitions. He enjoys connecting inspired people and teams and developing high performing organizations. Through his multiple travels to South America, he has witnessed first-hand the barriers many women faced in accessing employment and basic income. Passionate about improving the wellbeing of disadvantaged communities, he was inspired to join Artistri Sud to contribute to the economic empowerment of women and building sustainable communities. Sébastien holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from HEC Montréal and supports Artistri Sud’s mission as Chair of the Human Resources Committee.

Miki Kanungo is a business improvement consultant specializing in process improvement, optimization of organizations as well as learning and development. Having experience in a variety of large multinational companies as well as his own business endeavors he is passionate about sharing his time and energy and is excited to help Artistri Sud in strengthening its impact on various individuals and countries. Acting as Ambassador and consultant on a variety of projects and organizations, he feels he can make a difference for women in developing countries through his contribution in the role of Director of Strategy and Planning. Miki has his executive MBA, he is certified Green Belt in Lean Methodology and holds the certified Human resources designation. 

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 an interest in fundraising 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!

Advisors

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.

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: Empathy expert and Academic Associate at McGill University, where Anita is responsible for the Integrated Management Fellows Program, which combines faculty-led projects and experiential learning about the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the form of Impact Initiatives.

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.

Fred Schick: MA. Trilingual international development professional with over 10 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: Director, Community and Impact Partnerships at UNHCR.  Paul believes in the power of partnerships, of collaboration and of innovative and intentional partnerships. In helping to create the foundation for those opportunities to exist, he works to connect people with people, programs or projects that can create positive and meaningful outcomes that will advance innovation and entrepreneurship.

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.