27 Million Voices' board members bring together an abundance of different skills and backgrounds. The board members' unique experiences and knowledge are valuable assets to the day-to-day operations and goals of the organization.
Christos Vardacostas, Chair
Christos Vardacostas (B.A. Economics, B.Comm., M.A.Development Economics Candidate) has been on the Board of Directors of 27 Million Voices from its inception in 2009 and has been the Board Chair since April 2010. He became involved with 27 Million Voices when Allison Fedorkiw, its founder, was first looking to put a Board together in 2009. Christos has more than a dozen years experience working in northern BC in healthcare administration and finance, social science research and most recently in economic development planning and management consulting for First Nations. In healthcare, he held specific roles as contract manager, recruiter, and capital accountant. He has also conducted research as an economist for the Canadian Forest Service. Christos has studied the social impacts of development activities on various developing country economies in his recent MA studies.Combined with his economic, business and social role background, he brings a diverse set of skills, knowledge and leadership to 27 Million Voices.
Kate Russell, Vice Chair
Kate Russell (B.A. International Studies & Political Science) became involved with 27 Million Voices as a volunteer shortly after the organization's inception. In the summer of 2011, Kate was able to acquire external funding to allow her to hold an internship position with 27MV. She was engaged in organizational development and other capacity building measures. Following her placement she was elected onto the board, and initially served as Secretary General.
Kate has worked and volunteered with international organizations in Nepal, Mexico, and Ghana. In these countries, as well as within Canada, she has had the opportunity to be involved in many different philanthropic opportunities – mostly targeting children, youth, and vulnerable peoples. Kate’s interactions with various communities and peoples, during her work and travels, have shown her the benefits of volunteerism and building a community's capacity to affect change.
Laurel Collins, Secretary
Laurel Collins (M.A. First Nations Studies). Laurel joined the Board of Directors in April 2012. She has many years of experience working in the non-profit sector especially concerning youth at risk. She is passionate about the health and wellness of youth and encouraging cultural identity. The preservation of tradition knowledge is of paramount interest to her.
Her interest in working with 27 MV is to be a part of the decolonization process and work on alleviating the atrocities caused by human trafficking.
Jamie Burak, Treasurer
Jamie Burak (B.A. History & Psychology). Jamie has a general passion for understanding the overall development of the human experience and conditions in which they permeate. Lately her particular interest and focus has been on the inequalities within the workforce and labour movement; with particular attention to labour laws and policies.
Joining 27 Million Voices allows her to broaden her knowledge and understanding of labour inequalities and movements in the perspective of human trafficking and its impact with in society in a local and international context. With the ultimate hope of being able to contribute and help foster partnerships that will aide and support victims of human trafficking through funding and education, whether it be locally or internationally.
Allison Fedorkiw, General Director
Allison Fedorkiw (BSc. Human Ecology, M.A. International Studies) started her international career in the Ivory Coast, where she was engaged in HIV/AIDS awareness. It didn’t take long before she returned to travel much of West Africa, where she conducted research on both post-conflict reconciliation and child trafficking. Recognizing the overwhelming need to assist trafficked children, particularly those trafficked into rural agricultural labour, she started an initiative which was to become 27 Million Voices.
In Canada, Allison has had the opportunity to deliver anti-racism education from coast to coast, and she has worked with various marginalized populations including incarcerated youth, homeless, and immigrants and refugees. Previously, Allison worked as the Director of the Humanity Exchange, a social enterprise connecting talented volunteers with communities in need in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, and supervised the Community Relations Department during the construction of Endeavour’s Agbahou Gold Mine in Cote d’Ivoire.
Tiara Dhenin, General Director
Tiara Dhenin (B.A International Studies & Development and Sustainability) joined 27 Million Voices to support communities affected by human trafficking and to continue her career in international development. Her ambition to learn about global diversity has led her from her home base in Canada to destinations such as West and West-Central Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. She currently works as the program advisor for a social enterprise called The Humanity Exchange where she organizes international volunteer placements in West Africa and Colombia. Locally, she has volunteered with organizations that advocate for human rights and sustainable community development, and enjoys getting involved in events around her community.
Tonianne Mynen, General Director
Tonianne Mynen (BSc. Environmental Planning, MA International Development) was inspired to become involved with 27 Million Voices as a way to contribute to international humanitarian action while working and living in Northern British Columbia. Tonianne became interested in international issues during her undergrad, but spent time working in Fort St. John before returning to university in Halifax to complete a master’s in International Development. She worked closely with a non-profit organization in Bolivia to conduct her thesis on youth perspectives on community, identity and indigenous autonomy. Tonianne returned to Prince George to be closer to family and is currently managing a youth leadership program to give girls and young women a voice in their community. Tonianne is passionate about helping youth find their voice and make changes in their lives and for their community.
Nicole King-Smith, General Director