About our Board

Jacquelyn Stevenson

Board Chair

An empty-nester, summer rower, winter curler, highland hiker, mountain biker, world traveler and wanna-be runner.

Born into a military family in Canada’s Ocean Playground, Nova Scotia, Jacquelyn is a proud mother of a single serving army reservist. Having a child serve in Afghanistan deployed to a forward operating base (FOB), a brother serving on several overseas deployments with the army and a father who was actively engaged in his career (during her life as a dependent, she moved nine times in twenty years), Jacquelyn has much insight into understanding the challenges of living in a military family. Her life-story incorporates the experience of a parent, sister and child of a serving military member.

Jacquelyn volunteers on the MFRC Board Executive as Board Chair. She is employed with the Federal Public Service and has been involved with several boards and committees including The Blue Nose Marathon and as a departmental campaign executive with the Government of Canada Charitable Workplace Campaign (GCWCC).

Barbara Corbett

Board Chair Advisor

Barbara joined the Navy in 1976 and enjoyed a successful career spanning 34.5 years, retiring in 2011. Her husband is also retired from the navy and their son is currently at CFNES. Having endured long separations, Imposed Restrictions, two OutCan postings, numerous Temporary Duties and three years as a career manager, Barbara understands the unique demands of serving and raising a family. She has spent over 15 years as an active board member for three different Military Family Resource Centres. Barbara is a strong advocate for military families and believes that the Canadian Forces has a moral and ethical obligation to support families. Since her retirement, Barbara works part-time for H&R Block and enjoys reading, quilting, walking, biking, kayaking on the Mira River and is an active volunteer in her community.

Amy Braye

Vice Chair

I grew up in an Air Force family, living in New Brunswick, Germany, Saskatchewan, and Labrador. I then completed my undergraduate at the University of Victoria, my Master of Arts at the University of Toronto, and began working at Queen’s University in Kingston when my husband joined the Air Force. We were then posted to Shearwater, and have been here since 2007.

The MFRC was an important part of my transition to Nova Scotia. I will always be grateful for the support provided to me by employment services, career development workshops and social opportunities. With the MFRC’s help, I was able to establish my career in the province, and I continue to rely on them for their childcare program. I completed my Master of Public Administration 2015, where much of the course and project work I completed will be put to use in service of the MFRC.

I work as the Exchange Advisor for Dalhousie University, where I am lucky enough to help students pursue international education experiences as they map out their dreams and aspirations. My experience as a military child and spouse has made me extremely adaptable, versatile and interculturally competent. Much of my work is focused on helping students develop those same skills as they prepare for their careers.

The fun stuff? I love exploring nature with my two young children, running with my rescued Amstaff and swimming. My weaknesses include: a nice glass of wine (esp. French or Italian), a cup of rich dark coffee (esp. Turkish), anything containing chocolate (esp. Swiss) and richly written literature (esp. Canadian). I jump at the chance for French conversation and hope to dust off my German in the near future.

Erica Parrill

Secretary

Originally from western Newfoundland, Erica holds a degree in public relations from MSVU, a certificate in Photography from NSCAD, and is completing a certificate in Digital Strategy and Communications Management from the University of Toronto. She currently works in membership and development with the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC).

Erica’s husband is a regular force member of the Navy. For well over a decade, Erica has supported and experienced the unique challenges that come with being a military family. She has utilized many of the MFRC services and appreciates the importance of this support for the military community and their families.

Carolyn Mercer

Treasurer

Having both her spouse and her brother serving in the Canadian Forces, Carolyn has been living and experiencing the challenging lifestyle of a military family for 15 years, including the intricacies that come along with it, from postings to deployments to work-related separations.

Carolyn has served in her communities by volunteering for various fundraisers and organizations including the Janeway Telethon, the IWK Children’s Telethon, the IWK & QEII Weekend to End Breast Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis Supercities walk and the YMCA Strong Kids Bluenose Marathon.

She is a mother of two children, who keep her busy and entertained in her personal life, and she is also avid in the outdoors and enjoys a number of activities, including running, cycling and camping. Carolyn has her Chartered Accountant designation and is a manager in assurance services with Grant Thornton LLP.

Meghan Maher

Board Member

Meghan is the proud partner of a military member and is grateful to have the opportunity to assist military families as a volunteer on the MFRC Board. Having many years’ experience living as a military spouse, Meghan understands the complexities of raising a child, working full time and living a healthy life balance all while enduring long separations, erratic schedules, last minute departures and missed holidays and special occasions.

Meghan has volunteered many hours for local organizations including Easter Seals, YMCA Strong Kids, St. John Ambulance Therapy Pet Program, Halifax Junior Bengal Lancers and the Halifax Area Leisure and Therapeutic Riding Program. She also has experience volunteering with the MFRC in Petawawa, ON and is excited to contribute to the Halifax & Region MFRC branch.

Meghan has her Chartered Insurance Professional designation and is employed full time with Wynward Insurance Group. During the evenings and weekends you can find her sharing a very active life with her wonderful partner and daughter and their two bouncing boxers. When not at home she can be tracked down at the barn riding horses or out boating on the lake – taking full advantage of the beautiful province we call home!

Colleen Mitchell

Board Member

Colleen is a Navy wife and mother of 3 young girls. She has Bachelor of Science from Memorial University of Newfoundland and has previously worked as a Lab Manager at Dalhousie University. For now she is enjoying chasing her girls. Colleen has taken advantage of many of the services the MFRC has to offer military families, and is looking forward to learning from and helping the military community. Originally from Marystown, Newfoundland, she loves reading, cooking, and as many adventures with her family as she can squeeze in.

Tracey McDonald, CPHR

Board Member

Tracey has a Bachelor of Arts (Honors Psychology) & Certificate in Human Resource Management, and holds the Chartered Professional in Human Resources designation. She works for ADESA Canada as the HR Manager for Atlantic Canada. Tracey recently joined the MFRC Board of Directors & accepted the role of Recruitment Chair as a way to get involved and support an organization that impacts her family, friends, & community.

Tracey’s spouse is a regular force member of the Navy, and formerly was a reservist of the Army. During their relationship, they have experienced a variety of challenges unique to military families, including workups, deployments, re-mustering trades, & more. Her father-in-law also serves as a regular force member of the Navy. They live in Dartmouth with their two young children & the family cat.

She has also served as a board member in a variety of roles for a local sport & social organization for most of the past decade. During the summer you are most likely to find Tracey at the rugby field, coaching a mini program, or camping with friends & family.

Major Martin Constantine C.D, B.ED., M.ED.

Board Member

Born on the eastern most shore of the greatest country in the world, Martin is a working husband who is married to a Logistics Officer posted to 12 Wing, Shearwater. Together they have two smart, independent young girls who have both been students at the MFRC’s Children’s Centre (Pre-School/After School), and through this association now consider the MFRC to be an extension of the family. As his children get older and his spare time increases, ever so slowly, he now fancies himself an online gamer and a player of hockey.

Martin brings his educational background the MFRC board, along with his extensive knowledge of the reserve world after 35 years of full and part time service. He appreciates the challenges and advantages of being a reservist and looks forward to making this a part of the conversation.

His professional interests are in fields of educational program development, design, delivery and evaluation. It is his hope that he can leverage his background to assist with the challenges the MFRC faces in helping military members and their families. He looks forward to giving back to an organization that has been so supportive of his family over the years.

Mora Giovannetti

Board Member

Mora was born, raised, educated and employed on Cape Breton Island until a few short years ago when she met Kevin, her spouse and regular force member of the Navy, and was introduced to the life of the military. She has over a decade of experience in post secondary student recruitment and holds a degree in Business Administration and an MBA in Change Leadership.

In the last three years, Mora experienced three military relocations and all the opportunities they bring. She and Kevin are now happy to be residing in Halifax, the city they call home.

Mora is eager to learn more and contribute to her new MFRC community. In her spare time she enjoys reading a good book often with a glass of her favourite red wine, binge watching tv and spending quality time with family and friends.

Kathy Willis

Board Member

Kathy was born, raised and educated in Antigonish, NS. She earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education degree at St Francis Xavier University. She works for the Government of Canada as a Human Resources Advisor. Kathy is a proud mom of three active boys. She also supports her spouse in raising his son. Kathy’s spouse has served as a regular force member with the Navy for over a decade. New to the military lifestyle, Kathy experienced her first deployment in 2016 which allowed her to partake in the many services and supports availed through the MFRC. She is now excited to be able to give back some time and service to an organization which was instrumental in making the deployment experience a positive one!

Kathy has previous volunteer experience serving as Chair of her children’s School Advisory committee, GCWCC Campaign Coordinator and Parents of Multiple Births Organization. In her free time, Kathy enjoys spending her time with her family and friends. Gardening, outdoor activities, exercise and wine making are a few activities that keep life interesting and fun.

Non-voting Board Members

Wayne DiPersio

Ex Officio

Commander DiPersio was born in Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia, and joined the Canadian Forces (CF) in 1983. He graduated from Collège Militaire Royal de Saint-Jean with a degree in Business Administration in 1989, and subsequently proceeded to the Naval Officer Training Centre Venture in Esquimalt, B.C..

Cdr DiPersio was posted to HMCS Ottawa in August 1990 where he served as a Bridge Watchkeeper and Ship’s Diving Officer. In August 1991 he reported to the Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic) (FDU(A)) and began the Clearance Diving Officer (CLDO) course. Upon completion, he was appointed as Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of Yard Diving Tender (YDT) 6. His first tour at FDU(A) was followed by postings to National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ) as a Diving/Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Staff Officer, and a three-year exchange with the United States Navy (USN) as an EOD Project Manager at the Naval EOD Technology Center in Indian Head, Maryland.

In 1998 Cdr DiPersio was appointed as Executive Officer of FDU(A) in Shearwater, Nova Scotia. During his tenure as he was deployed as OIC of YDT Sechelt to conduct diving operations in support of Operation PERSISTENCE, recovery efforts following the crash of Swiss Air Flight 111, and attended the Commanding Officer Mine Countermeasure Vessels course at the NATO Naval Mine Warfare School in Oostende, Belgium. In the summer of 2001 he attended the year-long French course at the Language Training Centre in Shearwater. In 2002 Cdr DiPersio was posted to the Canadian Forces Maritime Warfare Centre in Halifax where he assumed the duties of Mine Warfare Coordinator. As Mine Warfare Coordinator, he sailed as a member of Sea Training staff providing mine warfare training to ships deploying to the Persian Gulf. In June 2003 he assumed command of FDU(A). Highlights of his command tour included: OP UNISON, deployed support to the Gulf Coast of the United States in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and OP RALEIGH, recovery of unexploded ordnance from a sunken British cruiser off the coast of Labrador.

After a successful command at FDU(A), Cdr DiPersio was posted to several challenging staff positions including: Senior Staff Officer Diving and EOD at NDHQ, Deputy Commandant CF Naval Operations School, Chief of Staff Canadian Fleet Atlantic Headquarters, and Formation Military Personnel Training and Management Officer at Maritime Forces Atlantic. In November 2010 he became the first Commanding Officer of the Personnel Coordination Centre (Atlantic). He was appointed Commanding Officer of the Regional Cadet Support Unit (Atlantic) in June 2012 and assumed command as Base Chief of Staff in June 2014.

Cdr DiPersio is married to the former Tammy Hamilton. They currently reside in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia with their three children.

CPO1 Dan Mercier

Ex Officio

Born and raised in Campbellton, New Brunswick; Chief Petty Officer First Class Daniel Mercier enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces as a Marine Electrician in May 1989. CPO1 Mercier’s Sea going postings consist of HMCS NIPIGON, HMCS VILLE DE QUEBEC (X2), Fleet Augmentation Atlantic, HMCS CHARLOTTETOWN, HMCS MONTREAL (Snr ET), HMCS ATHABASKAN (Chief ET) and Sea Training Atlantic (Chief ET). He subsequently served as Coxswain in HMCS HALIFAX and Sea Training Atlantic.

In between sea-postings, CPO1 Mercier served in a couple of positions ashore, these have included the Canadian Forces Naval Engineering School (X2) and in Ottawa working in Personnel Policy and as RCN Honours and Recognitions CPO1 for D NAV PERS / DGNP.

CPO1 Mercier was appointed Fleet Chief Petty Officer, Canadian Fleet Atlantic in May 2016 and was invested into the Order of Military Merit that same year. Dan completed the Executive Leadership Program in Toronto at the Canadian Forces College and is also a graduate of KEYSTONE from the National Defense University in Washington DC.

His hobbies include hunting, woodworking and hiking. He resides in Hammonds Plains, Nova-Scotia with his wife Wanda and their two boys Jake and Hunter.

CWO Dave Hepditch

Ex Officio

CWO Hepditch began his military career in 1991 for recruit training and then on to the Naval Ops School in Esquimalt B.C. Upon completion of his Naval Combat Information Operator (NCI Op) QL3 course his first real posting was back across the country to CFB Halifax. After five years in the Navy and countless trips across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, he remustered to the Engineers, as a 612 Structures technician, which became 648 Construction technician, which became 00306.

Upon finishing his QL3 course in Chilliwack B.C, he and his wife were posted to CFB Cold Lake as a member of the Construction Engineer (CE) section. During the eight year tenure they spent in Cold Lake, Cpl Hepditch was deployed to the Balkans as part of 41 AEF in 1999, completed his QL5 construction technician course in 2000, deployed to CFS Alert in 2001, completed his QL 6A’s in 2003 and deployed again to the Golan Heights in 2004 as a Sgt. Upon return from Overseas they were posted to 1 Combat Engineer Regiment in Edmonton, where they spent 2 years.

During his time at 1 CER, he was employed as the Ops and Training Sgt, and then Troop WO. Promoted to Warrant Officer in 2007 they were posted to CFB Moncton as part of the Engineer Support Unit. Posted into the position of Regimental Ops WO. He completed his QL 6B construction superintendent course in April 2008 and then deployed in September 2008 with the Construction Management Organisation (CMO) in Afghanistan, as CMO Ops WO.

He returned from Afghanistan in May 2009 and was employed as the Drafting and Surveying Supervisor, and appointed to Senior Trade Advisor for the D&S trade. January 2010 he deployed to Haiti, where he was employed with the DART Engineers. June 2010, MWO Hepditch and his family were on the move again, this time to 5 Wing Goose Bay in Labrador, where he was appointed as 5 Wing MWO. After 3 years in Labrador, MWO Hepditch was offered a yearlong French course prepositioned in Nova Scotia with the hopes of a posting to BCE in Halifax. Finishing the course 5 months early CWO Hepditch was posted into the Unit CWO position at Base Construction Engineering. He was invested into the Order of Military Merit in October of 2015. He deployed again from May 2016 to March 2017 as the Joint Task Force Iraq CWO, and has been selected as the next 12 Wing CWO.

CWO Hepditch has been married to his wife Tammy for over twenty years and together they have an 18 year old daughter who is attending Dalhousie University.