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Our Team

Wear 2 Start is a non-profit society and registered federal charity. We are a volunteer-driven organization that operates through the generosity of volunteers, community partners and private donations.

View Annual Report and Financial Statement

Our People

Board Directors

Alessandra Ringstad, President

A professional facilitator/coach with 20+ years’ local and overseas experience, Alessandra holds a BA in German and French as well as adult education, business coaching, and other certifications. Her volunteer work includes YMCA Board of Endowment Trustees, Mosaic, Royal Victoria Yacht Club, mentoring youth entrepreneurs and human resources for BCCPHR.

Leelah Dawson, Vice-President

Leelah has served as dean of the School of Business and Media at BCIT, associate dean of the business school at Camosun and dean of Social Sciences and Management at Langara College. She has been a volunteer director at the Burnaby Board of Trade and served on the Board of Examiners for CPA Canada.

Alison Rhynas, Secretary

A family and civil litigation lawyer, Alison completed her law degree at UVic and her BA at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, NS, her hometown. She is a lawyer supervisor for Pro Bono Students Canada and sits on the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch, Young Lawyers Section executive for Victoria.

Heather Catte, Treasurer

Heather has her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with an Accounting major and is in the final stages of completing her Chartered Professional Accounting designation. She works as a Manager with Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services and has experience supervising, coaching and mentoring diverse teams through her professional life and through volunteering.

Tara Keeping

Tara is a WestJet flight attendant who also runs her own event planning business, Tiger Lily Events. She served as a program host for several programs on Shaw TV and volunteered with a number of other organizations, including Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Mental Health Association and Canadian Parents for French.

Susan Mills

Susan, who first joined W2S as a boutique consultant in 2021, has more than 25 years of analytical and investigative experience. She spent 10 years working with the Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP and previously served as a senior policy analyst with the Office of the Correctional Investigator, both in Ottawa.

Silke Pleus

Silke is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources with a long history of passionate talent engagement, development and training. She is the Director of People and Culture at Beacon Community Services, one of W2S’s community partners. Previously, Silke served in HR leadership roles over more than 16 years at the BC Pension Corporation.

Lucinda Venn

Lucinda is a copywriter with more than 20 years’ experience in marketing and communications. She holds an Associate of Arts Degree from Camosun College and completing her Bachelor of English at Athabasca University. Lucinda has taught English to youth from around the world and volunteers as an emergency foster for the BC SPCA.

Angela Mangiacasale,

Angela has been a journalist in Ontario and BC, holds an undergraduate journalism degree (Ryerson) and master’s in political behaviour (University of Essex, England, on a Rotary Foundation scholarship). She has volunteered with Royal Jubilee Hospital, Music by the Sea, Times Colonist book sale and Raise a Reader literacy campaigns.

Staff Members

Tracy Lubick, Program Manager

Tracy joined W2S in October 2018 as our first paid part-time program manager. She previously spent more than 16 years helping self-identified women in need as the former community programs manager and development director of Victoria Women’s Transition House and former resource development manager of the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre.

Caroline Herbert, Volunteer Program Coordinator

Caroline, a previous board member at W2S, returned as staff in 2021 to help rebuild our volunteer base during COVID and restructure our clothing donation program. She previously served as a professional volunteer manager at Saanich Volunteer Services Society and the Alzheimer Society of BC, and is a member of Volunteer Management Professionals of Canada.

Boutique Consultants

The Globe and mail once called our service “a wardrobe fairy godmother,” but it’s really a team of fairy godmothers. They work in our Johnson Street boutique where the magic happens – sorting and culling the constant stream of donations we are fortunate enough to receive from individuals, groups and retailers and meeting with clients to help them select a mix-and-match wardrobe that will help them polish their appearance so they can take the next step toward a successful future with greater confidence. Our boutique consultants come from a variety of backgrounds, including fashion design and retailing. They all have a great sense of style and love helping our clients put together a wardrobe. We know what a great job they do from the many, many notes and cards of thanks we receive.

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