Our board of directors

The Board of Directors of The Lotus Centre is responsible for the governance of the The Lotus Centre and the management of the The Lotus Centre financial situation through the implementation of clear policy. The Board of Directors meets monthly.

Twila MacDonald



Twila has been a board member with The Lotus Center since 2018 and has recently accepted the nomination of Chairperson. She was born and raised in Truro and is proud of her community.

Twila is a proud mother of one and has worked with children and families for approximately eighteen years. She currently attends university, furthering her education in women and family studies and also works in a supportive role for women at a transition house.

Her passion is empowering women and giving back to her community. I’m really looking forward to my new role as chairperson; we have such a great group of supportive women who represent The Lotus Center

“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women” -Maya Angelou

Stephanie Patriquin


Vice Chair / Director

Born and raised in rural Nova Scotia, Stephanie attended the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and Atlantic Veterinary College before working in a small animal practice in Dartmouth. She and her husband started their family in Folly Mountain, where they lived for several years. In 2010, Stephanie and her children moved to Stewiacke, and then to Truro in 2011. “I would not have made it through the barriers and obstacles of the past several years as a single mom juggling childcare, housing issues, employment, and family life without the incredible support and guidance of the women in my family and community. It’s my privilege to give back.”

Stephanie left private veterinary practice and followed alternate paths of employment that have led to her current work in the Adult Education Division of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education. She has been involved in volunteer work for nearly 30 years, including La Leche League Canada, 4-H Nova Scotia, and the Nova Scotia Home Educators Association. She serves on the board of directors for Northern Healthy Connections Society, is a founding member of PFLAG Truro, and facilitates a group for Parents of Transgender Children. Stephanie endeavors to seize every opportunity to champion diversity and empower women. “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make” – Jane Goodall.

Kenda Harris

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Treasurer / Director

Kenda began working for Colchester-East Hants District School Board in 1989 as an Administrative Assistant in Education Programs. When Cumberland, Colchester and Pictou Boards amalgamated into Chignecto Central Regional School Board I landed in Human Resources. She made the move to TJHS in 1998 where she has been ever since.

Truro Junior High moved into a new building in 2004 leaving their home on Victoria Street and moving to a new location at the top of Young Street. “This was an exciting time for staff and students as we enjoyed the benefits of the new building while feeling nostalgic about the building we were leaving that had been there since 1938.”

Proud mom of two adult children, Kirk & Robyn, very proud Nana of Charlotte and grand dog, Abbie.  “I love doing all and every kind of activity (or nothing at all) with all of them. I enjoy classes at the gym, yoga, hiking, gardening, beaching, updating around home and of course, who doesn’t like to travel!?"

“I have been wanting to become involved with community work so am very excited about being involved with The Lotus Centre.”

Josie Lake


Secretary / Director

Josie’s passion for helping others is what drives her. She has had vast experiences sharing her love and zest for life with people she meets throughout this journey of life, both professionally and through various volunteer positions.

She is no stranger to being “on the board” and enjoys helping to finding ways to grow and develop organizations our communities need. She is mother of four (three daughters and a son) and grandmother, and knows the value of a strong next generation is priceless.

“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” – Julia Child

Rebekah Loughead

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Rebekah (or Becky as most know her) grew up in Truro where she became a versatile athlete throughout her youth, playing both hockey and softball. She moved to Massachusetts where she attained an English degree from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) and founded the Native American Student Association. It was also in Massachusetts, that Becky became an avid Boxer while completing her degree.

After she completed her degree, she moved to Las Vegas, NV where she worked primarily as a substitute teacher before returning to her roots here in Nova Scotia. Rebekah worked as a CCA in both home care and long-term care for 7+ years before choosing to become a Product Advisor at Truro Toyota.

As a single mother of two incredible daughters, Rebekah finds passion in women’s rights as well as helping to empower young women in all aspects of life. She is dedicated to helping the women in our community.

Carolyn Irving



“I believe that The Lotus Centre is one of the most useful resources available to women in our community. Whether someone is experiencing extreme changes in her life and is in need of an unbiased and supportive voice or someone has a desire to learn new skills that will foster a sense of person development and achievement; I want to be a part of building awareness of this incredibly important resource.”

Carolyn has worked within our health system for over 15 years and has participated in community initiatives in various capacities: Nova Scotia Hospice Palliative Care Society, Truro and Area Minor Lacrosse Association, Cedarstone, many other rallies and women’s wellness events.

When she’s not at work you can find Carolyn spending time with her friends and family out on the trails!

Justine Maloney



Justine Maloney, daughter of Stephen and Linda Maloney, “My father a previous long-time employee for Aliant and my mother a long-time business owner in downtown Truro area.  I am a mother of three wonderful girls; plus as a bonus, one granddaughter.

For the past five years I have worked for the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association as the Employment and Economic Development Coordinator and currently enrolled at Dalhousie University in the Career Development Practitioner program.  My position allows me to assist my Indigenous Sisters throughout the province with various skills, education/training opportunities, funding, self-employment benefits and partnerships in many areas of employment.  I am passionate about my job and love the work our organization stands for. 


I am excited to be a part of The Lotus Centre board of directors and look forward to working with my sisters to build something beautiful.”

Kolee Baker



Kolee Bakker is a PEI native, but lived most of her life in Truro. Kolee was a truck driver for 27 yrs but sustained a workplace injury in June 2016 which forced her to be off work.

“I have taken this time to work on myself, get mentally healthy and start living as my true self. I began the transition process in March 2018. It’s been the best decision of my life and a huge eye opener to become so much more open minded. I have a lot to learn in this new role of womanhood and the support has been fantastic. I’m very open, caring and want to give back to my community that has supported and accepted me so much.”

Stephanie Watson



A graduate of Success College with a diploma in Human Services and addiction counselling, she has worked in various roles in the community field including Metro Community Living, The Sunset Community, and Tearmann House and current role of Navigator/Coordinator for Truro Homeless Outreach Society since November 2019 .

"I love to advocate for people who feel they don’t have a voice and help to break stigmas and judgements surrounding marginalized populations. When I am not rallying to help fight homelessness I like to spend a lot of time with my family, friends and my fur babies! I love Kayaking, reading, bon fires, and music."

Alana Weatherbee


Alana Weatherbee is a graduate of the Jane Norman College, she completed her youth worker diploma and has worked in group homes such as Colchester Residential Services Society and Bartimaeus. She is currently employed at Northern Healthy Connections Society as the Support Coordinator and the Outreach Lead for the Northern Health Zone since October 2018.

"I am from Truro Nova Scotia but left in 2008 to find myself and gain some life experience. I spent a few years hitchhiking and driving across Canada with my dog. I have experienced homelessness and my own struggle with substances. This is where my passion for helping marginalized people and harm reduction advocacy comes from. Experiencing first-hand the lack of supports has driven me to want to do my best to be the support someone needs. If I cannot provide this support, I want to help people navigate the resources required to receive the support needed. This is why I am so excited to be a part of the Lotus Centre Team. I can see the passion and real support they are providing for women in our community. I am a dog and art enthusiast. I love to play music, go on adventures and garden/attempt to keep my house plants alive. "

Tanya Conrad


"I was born and raised (more or less) right here in Truro. Like many young people from small towns, in my teenage years I could not wait to grow up and move out of Truro. However, that is not what life had in store for me. Thank goodness for small miracles! I love this town and everything that it has to offer, and I am privileged to raise a family here, surrounded by family, life-long friends, and community.

My chosen career path has been in customer service for over 15 years and I love the opportunity it provides me for chatting and getting to know people from here and all over. I have lived and worked right here in Truro most of my adult life, so I may be a familiar face to some who shop, play, and live in Downtown Truro. Working in the downtown area has given me a real appreciation for supporting and enjoying local when available.

I am very honored and excited to have a seat on the board of directors at The Lotus Centre at this time, and look forward to playing my part in the difference the centre makes in the lives of the women in this community."