We are committed to living our values every day.

Our board members bring a wonderful mix of skills, experience and ideas to LakeCity Works. We are continuously seeking to complement the group with new perspectives that challenge and expand our ability to advance our goals. We are committed to the vision of “Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives” and believe LakeCity Works has the people, heart and smarts to make it happen.
— Donna Rubenstein, Board Chair

Liam O’Rourke, Executive Director

Liam is the Executive Director of LakeCity Works. Since starting at LakeCity in September 2017, Liam has made quick work of building on the rich history and excellent reputation of the organization's flagship social enterprise LakeCity Woodworker by expanding their work into a number of innovative and exciting opportunities. A Nova Scotian who returned home to take this position, Liam brings with him a wealth of social enterprise experience from his work in Montreal in the establishment of an innovative production house which provided creative and employment opportunities to individuals on the autism spectrum. Liam’s likes are good food, Italian steel bikes and his family. His dislikes are waiting and red tape.

Donna Rubenstein, Chair

Donna brings 25 years Canadian and international leadership experience in various aspects of business and not for profit management. She has volunteered with several causes including Amistad Canada, Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way, Nova Scotia Health Authority, Futurpreneur, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and Friends of Banff. Donna believes we can achieve extraordinary outcomes by connecting people and passion with strategic focus – all of which LakeCity Works has tons of. She sees tremendous opportunity for LakeCity Works to make an impactful difference in our Nova Scotia community. With our clients and staff- empowering people to be themselves and thrive. With the not for profit and private sector – forming creative partnerships to achieve high impact results.

Jennifer Ashton, Vice-Chair

Jennifer Ashton is Vice-Chair of the LakeCity Works Board of Directors.  Jennifer, a communications professional, is a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University and University of Toronto, Saint Michael's College Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility Program.  She currently works with the Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health (TeenMentalHealth.org) and consults with non-profits to help them reach their full potential by effectively communicating their mission and the communities they support. Jennifer also works with private sector clients to enhance their communication and social responsibility efforts, helping them align corporate values with community investment strategies. A dedicated volunteer, Jennifer is also a Board Member of the YWCA of Halifax and has served as President of the Junior League of Halifax, an organization of women committed to voluntarism and improving the lives of women and children. Jennifer loves spending time at LakeCity Works, interacting with staff and clients and hearing about their great work.  

Agneta Mwende, Treasurer

Agneta is well versed in various aspects of investment finance and accounting having played key leadership roles in the financial services industry. Her work experience encompasses audit work and due diligence for investors in hedge funds and private equity industry. She has worked with firms in Kenya, Cayman Islands and Canada. Agneta is a CFA charter holder and a Certified Public Accountant.

Cristina Firmini, Secretary

Cristina joined the LakeCity Works Board in 2018, and currently practices law as in-house legal counsel with Halifax-based I.M.P. Group Limited. She also acts as I.M.P.’s chief privacy officer. As a native of Bedford, Cristina received her undergraduate degree from Saint Mary’s University, and law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. Cristina has previously worked with local tutoring and sport team programs, and currently volunteers with the Canadian Bar Society’s local Corporate Counsel Association. Cristina is excited to be a part of LakeCity Works, and to contribute to the positive impact the organization continuously has on our local community.   

Lori Smith, Member at Large

Lori Smith leads the team of professionals responsible for RBC’s community marketing, internal and external communications and corporate citizenship across the four Atlantic Provinces.  A strong believer in community, Lori has given her time and expertise to a number of local charities and causes, including Canadian Red Cross, Ski NS, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Halifax.  She currently sits on the boards of LakeCity Works and Children’s Wish.

Tim Olive, Member at Large

Tim is a retired senior manager and administrator with experience in the public sector as an elected member in the Executive Council of Nova Scotia and Caucus Chair following fifteen years in the provincial government. Subsequent to his time in government he retired from the position of Executive Director, Dartmouth Business Commission. Tim brings a wealth of knowledge in policy and strategic planning development, marketing, networking and organizational finances. His participation on the Boards of Halifax Harbour Bridges, Dartmouth Housing, Halifax Dartmouth YMCA, Clean Nova Scotia , LakeCity Works and the Dartmouth Museum support his belief in volunteering and working to improve the lives of everyone in our community.

Jean Llewellyn, Member at Large

Jean, teacher/administrator, retired from the school system in 2003. She worked as a consultant for Curriculum Services Canada and as a supervisor for Halifax Regional School Board following her retirement. Jean grew up in Dartmouth therefore it's not surprising she was a supporter of the Dartmouth Heritage Museum and chaired that board for many years, in addition to serving as a director. Jean joined the LakeCity Works Board in 2015 hoping her committee experiences and background can be an asset to the organization.

Katelyn Whittaker, Member at Large

A board member since 2017, Katelyn is passionate about giving back to the community and supporting those affected by mental illness. Aside from her work with LakeCity, Katelyn holds a degree in Nutrition, is a certified yoga teacher and most importantly a mom to two young boys. 

Amy MacKay, Member at Large

Amy is the Project and Relationship Manager with the Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health, the research chair at Dalhousie University behind TeenMentalHealth.org. She is passionate about seeing better outcomes for youth in our communities, particularly in the area of mental health and mental illness. With a Masters in Public Administration and a BA in Political Science she believes change comes from community engagement and thinking outside of the box. She has been an avid volunteer since starting at the age of 14 as a candy striper at the Dartmouth General Hospital. Amy is a second-generation board member, her mother Jane was a long serving member.

Lori Rogers, Member at Large

Lori earned a Philosophy Degree from Dalhousie University, and more than a decade later graduated from NSCC Carpentry. She spent 4 years working on staff at LakeCity Woodworkers before moving on to the Construction Association of Nova Scotia, where she is Program Lead for Building Futures for Youth. Now she focuses on connecting youth across the province with opportunities to explore careers in the trades. She also volunteers heavily with Techsploration, an organization that empowers young women to explore “non-traditional” careers. The exciting growth that has been happening at LakeCity Works was something in which she still wanted to be involved; Lori joined the board at LakeCity Works in 2018, less than a year after resigning from her staff position.