The Board of Directors is Girl Guides of Canada’s governing body. Board members serve three-year terms and are elected annually by the voting electorate as per GGC’s By-Laws. The voting electorate consists of current members of the Board Directors, Provincial Commissioners and the National Youth Council.

In addition to setting GGC’s strategic direction and providing oversight on complex legal, governance, risk management and financial matters, Board members are committed to the organization’s Mission and Vision of creating a better world, by girls. They carefully consider what’s in the best interests of girls, volunteers and GGC as a whole to ensure our organization is relevant, growing and sustainable. They champion the voices of girls and women and are committed to ensuring that Girl Guides continues to be a place where every girl can say ‘I belong’.

If you have any questions regarding GGC’s Board of Directors, please direct your inquiries to the Executive Office at

Board of Directors and CEO

Sarah Govan-Sisk
Chair of the Board

First joining the Board in 2009, Sarah has held pivotal leadership roles within the organization, including Director and International Commissioner, and currently serves as the Chair of the Board. Sarah finds it humbling to be entrusted with ensuring the voice of girl members is at the centre of all that GGC does, and finds deep meaning in GGC’s commitment to advocating for the interests, needs and rights of girls in Canada. Professionally, Sarah brings her expertise in governance to her role, demonstrating strategic leadership in policy development, corporate governance and Parliamentary/Cabinet Affairs. Beyond her professional role, Sarah is involved with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, is a dedicated Unit Guider in Ottawa and is a competitive Highland dancer and instructor.

Pam Laycock
Vice Chair

Pam’s involvement in Girl Guides spans across Nova Scotia, Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. In her role as Vice Chair of the Board, and previously as part of the Board’s Strategy Committee, Pam brings her experience as a digital transformation and business strategy leader, collaborating with CEOs to translate strategy into action. She also draws inspiration from her mother and grandmother's leadership roles in Guiding, and credits her own participation in the organization as formative in the achievements she has pursued and excelled in. Along with the impact she makes in Guiding, Pam finds joy in travel and capturing the world through the lens of her camera.

Helen Cashman
Director – Guiding Experience, Guiding Ambassador

Helen began Guiding at the age of seven and since then, she has held various roles in the organization including Unit Guider and National Link Adviser. She has held a position on the Board of Directors since 2021 and draws on her experience working in strategy, consulting and within the non-profit sector. Inspired by her connections with girls and women in Guiding, Helen is committed to ensuring GGC empowers a new generation of girls to achieve their goals. Helen is currently working towards completing a concurrent Masters in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Beyond her professional pursuits, she enjoys camping, hiking, canoeing and star gazing.

Andrea Chakma
Director – Chair, National Youth Council

Andrea has served on the Board since June 2022. Having benefitted from her experiences as a girl member, she finds it incredibly rewarding to give back and help to shape the next generation of leaders to be bold, engaged and confident. Currently pursuing a Master's degree in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Andrea brings a unique perspective to the Board. She also enjoys morning walks or hikes, reading non-fiction books and travelling.

Melinda Gibson

Melinda joined the Board in June 2022 as the Director – Governance. She brings to the role her experience in executive governance from the Ontario Government and the Ontario Medical Association and is focused on driving member engagement, trust and transparency. As a former girl member in Embers and Guides, and now a Guider for these branches, Melinda understands the sense of community and support that Girl Guides offers youth as they grow, develop and dream. In her personal time, Melinda is either in her backyard gardening or travelling.

Sheliza Ismail
Director-International Commissioner

Sheliza Ismail has been on the Board since June 2021. The GGC Mission holds deep significance for her, driven by a commitment to providing accessible and stimulating programming for girls nationwide, fostering skills in art, STEAM, camping and beyond. Professionally, she works as a Project Manager with Service Canada in the Transformation Management Branch. In her personal time, Sheliza enjoys snowboarding and ice skating, traveling and of course, going on adventures with her Guides unit!

Evan Swance-Smith

As a youth member, Evan learned life lessons and skills that they have carried with them throughout their professional life. For the past two years, Evan has brought these skills to the Board with a desire to support Girl Guides of Canada in continuing to offer an incredible, dynamic program to youth across Canada. Evan is an ordained minister with the United Church of Canada and is interested in LGBT advocacy work as well as camping and hunting.

Lisa Trostenko
Director – Treasurer

Lisa served on Girl Guides of Canada’s National Audit and Finance Committee for six years before joining the Board as Director – Treasurer in 2021. Lisa brings her expertise in thought leadership and her professional qualifications as a CPA to focus on forward-thinking solutions. As a Spark Guider in Guelph, Ontario Lisa gets to connect with other volunteers and see first-hand the impact Guiding has on girls and how the opportunity to share new experiences and lean into their interests helps them to build their confidence.

Janette Yuen

As a former girl member of the Hong Kong Girl Guides Association, Janette decided to rejoin the Guiding movement since immigrating to Canada. She has been serving on the GGC Board since June 2022. Janette has more than 15 years of experience, bringing her management consulting expertise in leading business transformations, building and executing on human capital strategy land more to both nonprofit and for-profit clients. Janette’s interests include travel, photography and music.

Shannon Benner
Chief Executive Officer

Shannon joined Girl Guides as CEO in September 2023. As a former girl member, she recalls being impacted most by the opportunities to serve others and that led her to pursue a career in the youth-serving sector. Shannon’s experience includes roles with The Princeton Blairstown Center at Princeton University, the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation, and as CEO of 4-H Canada. To complement her work at the grassroots level, she was the inaugural Chair of the Global 4-H Network Board of Directors and has supported the advancement of youth policy at the United Nations. She was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 50 Leaders in 2021 for her decades of work with youth. Shannon is an avid sports fan and loves to hike and travel with her family.

Annie Houle, Director (more info coming soon)

Dina Kamal, Director (more info coming soon)

Heather McFadyen, Director (more info coming soon)

Board of Directors Charter

Learn more about the Board's commitments and practices, roles and responsibilities Charter

Click here

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