A Bold Vision is very pleased to have six exceptional women leaders from Prince Edward Island serving as Honorary Board members, supporting the project, the conference and championing the project vision.
Honourable Gail Shea
The first Prince Edward Island woman named to the federal cabinet, Gail Shea was first elected to the House of Commons in 2008 and re-elected in 2011. In July 2013 she was re-appointed Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, a portfolio she held in 2008. Prior to her re-appointment to Fisheries, she was named Minister of National Revenue in May 2011 and also Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) in February 2013. Ms. Shea is the first woman in Canada’s history to serve as Minister for the ACOA.
Prior to her election to the House of Commons, Ms. Shea was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island. She was first elected in April 2000 and was appointed to the provincial cabinet as Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs where she was responsible for the Status of Women, the Worker’s Compensation Board and the Island Waste Management Corporation. From 2002 to 2007, Ms. Shea served as Minister of Transportation and Public Works.
Prior to entering politics, Ms. Shea managed a small family business for 15 years.
Ms. Shea has long been active in her community. She served as vice-president and treasurer of Royal Canadian Legion Branch #6. She has also served as a school trustee and president of the local Home and School Association. Ms. Shea’s long record of volunteerism includes involvement in her local community festivals, sports teams and church. A passionate advocate for seniors, she has also run a tax preparation program for seniors.
Ms. Shea is married to Russell and has five children.
Senator Catherine Callbeck
Catherine Callbeck was the second woman ever elected to the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island in 1974. Until 1978, she served as the first woman Minister of Health & Social Services, Minister Responsible for the Disabled, and Minister Responsible for Non-Status Indians.
Ms. Callbeck was the first woman elected as the Member of Parliament for Malpeque in 1988, making her the second woman ever to be elected to the House of Commons from Prince Edward Island. She served as the official opposition critic for a number of portfolios, and was also vice-chair for the Caucus Committee on Sustainable Development.
Ms. Callbeck was elected Leader of the Liberal Party of Prince Edward Island on January 23, 1993 and was sworn in as Premier and President of the Executive Council on January 25, 1993. She was elected Premier in the general election of March 29, 1993, making her the first woman in Canada elected to lead a government.
On September 23, 1997, Ms. Callbeck was called to the Senate of Canada. She has served as a Member of various committees. Presently, she is a Member of the National Finance and the Agriculture and Forestry Committees. In November 2002, she was appointed by the Prime Minister as Vice-chair of the Task Force on Women Entrepreneurs. On June 28, 2005, Ms. Callbeck was elected as Vice-chair of the National Liberal Caucus for a term which ended in October 2007.
Ms. Callbeck has received many awards for her significant contributions to business and politics, including being named PEI Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year, one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network, inaugural inductee into the Canadian Women in Politics Hall of Fame, Equal Voice Trailblazer and a Nation Builder by Famous 5 Ottawa. She was also inducted into the PEI Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame. Ms. Callbeck has also had a long and active involvement with charitable and public service groups and organizations at all levels.
Honourable Valerie E. Docherty
Valerie E. Docherty was first elected on May 28, 2007 as the Liberal representative for District 17, Kelly’s Cross-Cumberland. She was re-elected on October 3, 2011.
Valerie was appointed by Premier Robert Ghiz as Prince Edward Island’s Minister of Tourism and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women on June 12, 2007. In January 2010, she joined Government Members’ Office as a Private Member. Following the 2011 election on October 18, she was appointed by Premier Ghiz as Minister of Community Services and Seniors and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women.
On June 12, 2007, Valerie was appointed as a Member of Treasury Board and was named Vice-Chair on October 18, 2012. She has also been a Member of the Standing Committees on Health, Social Development and Seniors; Agriculture, Environment, Energy and Forestry; and Legislative Management.
Prior to entering politics, Valerie was an employee with the Government of Prince Edward Island. Her career was predominantly in the Information Technology field for more than 20 years. She also taught at Holland College in the Business Information Technology program.
Valerie has always been a prominent community advocate and volunteer, and as an MLA, she continues to support all constituents within her district with a high level of passion and interest. Valerie holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Prince Edward Island. She lives in Elmwood with her husband Alex, who operates a seed potato farm, and they have two sons – Jordan is a Clearance Diver with the Royal Canadian Navy and Logan farms with his father.
Chief Matilda Ramjattan
Chief Matilda Ramjattan was elected Chief of the Lennox Island First Nation on June 1st, 2013.
Chief Ramjattan obtained a degree in Business Management, with an emphasis on Computers from Lexington, Nebraska, USA. Matilda has specialized training in the emergency management field, basic emergency management, ICS 100, 200, EOC), Emergency Public Information and Project Management Certificate from UPEI. Matilda has worked in health and different areas such as a Medical Transcriptionist for Medical Group in Nebraska; Community Health Link in Massachusetts, in Mental Health. Matilda is also currently on the executive Board of Directors of the Aboriginal Women’s Association.
Matilda volunteers for many events, like teaching songs in Mi’kmaq, and is a member of the Sunrise Singers women’s drum group. She is active in her church, the Summerside Community Church, as a House Group leader, which she holds on Lennox Island. Matilda is also an Aboriginal Entrepreneur. She and her husband, Allan Ramjattan, own and operate a computer sales and service business, Megadealsrus, in Summerside.
Matilda is a Band member of Lennox Island, where she resides with her husband. She is the mother of two, Carol and Gerry, and the proud grandmother of four, Amber and Aayliah, Abigail, and Autumn.
Irene Dawson was first elected in 1987 as a municipal councilor for the former North River. Following municipal amalgamation, Ms. Dawson continued to be re-elected as Councilor for the Town of Cornwall. Ms. Dawson chairs the Sewer and Water Utility and Public Works for Cornwall. She was recently appointed to the Environmental Advisory Council of Prince Edward Island.
Irene is a board member and past president of the Federation of PEI Municipalities. She has also served as a National board member for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Currently, Irene serves as a committee member for the Canadian Municipalities National Board.
In addition to her political work, Irene has been an active volunteer in the PEI community. Irene was the founding member of Crime Stoppers PEI. She was also the founding member and past president of Habitat for Humanity, Queens and saw the first ‘Habitat Home’ build. Irene was appointed Divisional Superintendent of St. John Ambulance Brigade: the first quadrilateral division in Canada. She continues to be involved with the Red Cross and Anglican Young People Association and several other organizations.
Irene is a graduate of the Prince of Wales College and has been involved in the hospitality industry for many years. She currently owns and operates a small business in PEI.
Jessie Inman is Chief Executive Officer for the Fathers of Confederation Memorial Buildings Trust, which operates under the name, Confederation Centre of the Arts. Jessie is the first woman at the helm of Canada’s living memorial to the Fathers of Confederation in Charlottetown, the birthplace of confederation. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014, the unique complex was opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on October 6, 1964, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference.
Born and raised in St. Catherines, Prince Edward Island, Ms. Inman began her career at Confederation Centre of the Arts in 1976 as an Administrative Assistant.
In 1979, Jessie traversed Canada, visiting 120 towns and cities, with Canada’s travelling history exhibit, the Discovery Train, before moving to Ottawa to work in project management, marketing and development at a number of federal government departments including External Affairs & International Trade and Industry Canada. During her time in these roles she travelled extensively to United States, Europe, Japan and Asia.
In 1994 Jessie moved to Southeast Asia and worked as Canadian Investment Advisor to Indonesia and later with KPMG Jakarta, followed by several years as President of PT Palliser Indonesia in Central Java. After leaving Indonesia in 2004 she moved to Australia to take up the role of CEO and Managing Director of Cool Energy Limited. Returning to Canada in 2009 she became President and CEO of CarbonPartners Limited in Calgary.
While living abroad she completed her MBA with distinction from the Maastricht School of Management in The Netherlands. She holds a certificate in Strategic Alliance Structuring from the Canadian Professional Institute of Management. Her undergraduate studies included Commerce at the University of Ottawa and leadership studies at various other institutions. Ms. Inman is a Member and Certified Director with the Institute of Company Directors (Canada), a past Board Member of the Calgary YWCA and previously spent 7 years as Vice-President of the Indonesia Canada Chamber of Commerce in Jakarta. She was also a Governor of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Australia for several years. She is currently on the Manning Awards Selection Committee, serves on the Boards of the Greater Area Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce and Discover Charlottetown Inc. and is a Member of the Hillsborough Rotary Club.