Search Ambassadors

Jordan Guildford

JORDAN GUILDFORD

CEO & Founder

“I have seen countless examples of women pulling each other down because they felt another woman’s success made theirs less. This is not only entirely unnecessary but so incredibly damaging as well. I am motivated and passionate to make this change both for the sake of my children, and ‘woman kind’.
One woman is capable of so much… Imagine all of us together! Wow…
Gems for Gems is a terrific movement to create that change and I’m so excited/ grateful to have the team we do! The sky is truly the limit!”

BRIAN FOSTER

Chairman

With a career ranging from retail to manufacturing, to distribution to marketing and sales, to career transition to executive search in oil & gas, to human resources and now international development and global fundraising, Brian Foster has a varied and highly interesting career.

Currently the executive director of Operation Eyesight Universal, Brian previously served as vice president of Advancement and IT, overseeing all aspects of global fundraising and communications. Under his leadership, the Advancement team’s focus raised significant funds for individual donars, foundation, corporations and service clubs for the fight against avoidable blindness.

Before joing Operation Eyesight’s leadership team, Brian serves as chair of the board and was also a director and then chair of the Operation Eyesight Foundation. During that time, the board was instrumental in moving from an oeprational board to a governance one, which coincided with Operation Eyesight’s transition from an aid organization to one of development.

As a certified human resources professional, Brian has also served as a director on human resources board locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. His was in both the buiness and non-for-profit sectors has allowed him the opportunity to travel extensively throughout North America, India and Africa.

MICHELLE EDGE

Vice Chairman

An adopted Calgarian, Michelle moved to Canada from the UK after completing her Joint honors MA in Law and Philosophy.   From working in the Oil Sands to Co-Founding the Energy Disruptors Initiative, Michelle’s background has a solid foundation in Energy but her passion lies in all things creative.   Michelle is happiest when reading and writing, and is inspired by strong, authentic and determined women like J. K. Rowling and Emma Watson, who use their talents to make a difference in our world.   “When I first met Jordan I was blown away by her drive and passion.  Honestly, I would follow Jordan into any initiative she believed in, but it just so happens the cause she has put her heart into is completely aligned with my values, morals and spoke to me at my very core.  Gems for Gems is a unique organization with an amazing purpose and a visionary leader at its helm”.

KURT ROPCHAN

Treasurer

 Kurt Ropchan is a Chartered Professional Accountant by trade. His educational background includes a bilingual diploma (2002), a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry and Math (2007) and a CPA designation (2015). He has been in public practice since 2009 and is currently in talks to become a partner at the firm he is working at. 

Through his experience with NPO’s and Charities, it is believed that he can be a trusted resource for Gems for Gems when it comes to compliance, budgeting, financial statement preparation and day to day record keeping among other things. He is looking forward to using his skillset to help Gems for Gems as we provide our programs for women in need.

Sarah Hawco Gems for Gems

SARAH HAWCO

Sarah is knowledgeable in the area of due diligence, business reviews and viability assessments, restructuring, and alternative dispute resolution.

Sarah is a Chartered Accountant with a specialization in tax, a Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional, and holds a Masters in Law in Banking and Finance from Osgoode Hall in Toronto. She is a member of CPA Alberta, the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, and the ADR Institute of Alberta.

Gems for Gems holds a special place for Sarah as she herself was able to not only overcome her own experience with domestic violence but relied upon the generosity and services of various social resources in rebuilding her future and securing a safe environment for her daughters. She believes strongly in the Gems for Gems model of creating opportunity for all and is thrilled to be part of the community.

Sarah believes that whatever your situation may be, she can help you understand your options and your best course of action. Sarah will present on financial success planning and point out some of the pitfalls that people fall into and how to overcome them.

LISA HOLDEN ROVERS, LSc, CPHR, PCC

Lisa Holden Rovers is Founder of Workplace Matters, a consulting firm that helps organizations and individuals grow their leadership skills and build high-performing, cohesive teams.  She does this through coaching, training and team facilitation. 

Lisa is an award-winning Chartered Professional in Human Resources, a Professional Certified Coach, and certified in several leadership programs including Everything DiSC®the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, and the John Maxwell Team.  

Lisa’s leadership experience within the non-profit communitybegan early in her career, where she led the student Volunteer Centre of Mount Royal College.  Lisa worked in partnership with Volunteer Calgary (now Propelus) and the University of Calgary’s Student Union Volunteer Centre. Together, they conducted the first ever student volunteer survey, and published a Handbook of Student Volunteerism through the Points of Light Organization.  

Her experience with the Volunteer Centre inspired her to actively volunteer her time and talent, as she advanced her career.  For over 20 years, Lisa has held Board and committee roles with CPHR Alberta, Volunteer Calgary, the Human Resources Association of Calgary, the Association of Directors of Volunteer Resourcesthe Calgary Winter Festival, and the YWCA.  She currently serves on the Mentorship Committee for CPHR Alberta.  Several years ago, Lisa co-founded an informal women’s networking group called Dining Divas, where they often host events to support causes that help women.

In her business, Lisa continues to support the non-profit community through coaching, training and team facilitation.  She works with small and mid-sized organizations – both for-profit and not-for-profit – as they each face similar challenges in doing more with less, and growing and evolving their organizations.  

We are excited to have Lisa join the Gems for Gems Board of directors as she has expressed a great desire to help and use her extensive skills set to benefit both our organization and those we serve.

BRE TALLON

Co-Lead of Ambassadors Program

“I am so honoured to have the opportunity to be part of such an amazing organization and work with this network of wonderful women.

Every woman has their story, whether yours is a fairy tail or a scary movie. Who we surround ourselves by will always be our strength to get through the good and the bad.

Gems for Gems creates a positive and encouraging environment for women to feel empowered to get through anything. To fulfill their dreams and looks forward  to their future.

I look forward to helping women all over Canada and even the world by being part of this beautiful movement.”

“And one day she discovered that she was fierce and strong, and full of fire, and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears”. 

-Marc Anthony

VANESSA FERREIRA

Co-Lead of Ambassadors Program

I had the pleasure to meet Jordan Guildford at Fashion Forward and learn more about this extraordinary organization. I was extremely impressed by Jordan’s, and the organization’s, commitment to helping victims of domestic abuse. Gems for Gems’ strategy to address domestic abuse by focusing on the empowerment of victims is remarkable; through its unique approach and innovative programs, this organization has immense potential to continue creating lasting change and making real strides to end the cycle.

I have witnessed and experienced domestic abuse first-hand and firmly believe empowerment – through motivation and education – is key in tackling this pressing, extensive and under-addressed issue. I have been fortunate to the necessary resources to overcome my struggles related to domestic abuse. Many women, however, are not as privileged and I feel compelled to help change that. I am very passionate about this cause but like many, have not actively done as much as I can to help address it. It’s time to change that!
As a communications professional with extensive experience in events, community engagement and program development, I am excited to add value to Gems for Gems while supporting this cause which is very important to me.