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STRUCTURE

Board of Directors

The Hon. Muriel McQueen Fergusson, P.C., O.C., Q.C.
May 26, 1899 – April 11, 1997
Patron

Honourary Member - Hon. Margaret Norrie McCain

Honourary Member - C. Anne Crocker

President - Marilyn Abbott-Charters

Vice-President - David Parkinson

Secretary- Brigitte Maicher

Treasurer - Elaine Stairs

Past-President - Linda White

Jackie Cantin

Dr. Barry Craig

Beverley Bolton

Noreen Bonnell

Dave Dobson

Kathleen Duguay

Angela Francoeur

Dianne Kelly

Tim McCluskey

Pamela McKay

Melissa Morton

Courtney Pringle Carver

Clair Ripley

Lisa Thompson

The Hon. Muriel McQueen Fergusson
P.C., O.C., Q.C.
May 26, 1899 – April 11, 1997

Patron

Her Life Set the Standard for Women Everywhere

Following is part of the eulogy delivered by Lt-Gov Margaret Norrie McCain at the funeral service for Senator Muriel McQueen Fergusson who passed away on Friday, April 11, 1997.

Muriel McQueen Fergusson was many things. The public record shows that she was a lawyer long before women would be accepted into the profession. She was a city councilor in Fredericton, the first woman senator from the Atlantic region and the first woman to serve as Speaker of the Senate. She was the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees.

She was a tireless and uncompromising activist for the rights of women and the poor. No project undertaken by others to advance the cause of humanity was too small to gain her moral support. She spent her life setting the standard for New Brunswick women and women everywhere, whatever their ambitions for themselves and their society. That is the public side of Senator Fergusson--her remarkable achievements.

For those of us who were privileged to have known her on a personal level, she was many other things as well. She was good company--intelligent, entertaining and gracious. She was meticulously organized. She was creative; she loved to garden, cook and crochet. This was in the early years, before she became a busy activist for the poor, for women, and for any group needing a stalwart champion.

She was a devoted wife. When her husband, Aubrey, became too ill to continue his law practice in Grand Falls, Muriel stayed up half the night thinking about how to counsel his clients. The advice was so sound that some of the clients believed Muriel was simply passing on the information provided by her husband. She never corrected that belief.

She was outspoken, never reticent about expressing her opinions. Bishop Harold Nutter knew this better than most. He recalls that Muriel didn't always agree with the Bishop's statements from the pulpit--and she let him know.

She was kind. Says Noreen (Muriel McQueen Fergusson’s niece) : "I never, never, ever heard her say an unkind word about anyone. This didn't mean she didn't have an opinion, but she would never say anything that might hurt someone's feelings."

She was tenacious. We saw this often in her public life; but it was very much present in her personal affairs as well. When Muriel retired and moved to Fredericton, she deeply wanted to become a member of the St Andrew Society. This was no quick and easy task. The Society required extensive documentation to prove Scottish ancestry before admitting a new member. Muriel worked for days and weeks collecting and preparing the evidence, and she was thrilled when she received word she had been accepted into the Society.

This ability to research and document a subject has endeared the senator to historians. She did not have the advantage of staff researchers, electronic reference material, and secretaries to prepare her speeches. For this, she earned the respect and gratitude of historians who greatly value the Muriel McQueen Fergusson papers at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.

She was reflective, particularly in her later years. When Muriel was 96, Noreen took her for a vacation to Shediac where the senator had been born and raised. The cottage where they stayed was on Shediac Bay and Muriel spent long hours looking out of the water, pondering her youth. She told Noreen: "I wish I could go for a swim, just one more time."

She was barely five feet tall and soft spoken; but she exuded great strength, commitment, passion and determination. In her quiet manner, this diminutive woman commanded attention whenever she took on a cause.

It was once said that Muriel McQueen Fergusson had a "presence" that filled a room and influenced others to follow her. I know that her presence is all around us today as we collectively celebrate her life and the part she played in our lives as aunt, friend, colleague and role model.

Her life was well lived, and I am certain all of us would agree that she will continue to inspire and influence us for years to come. We will miss her greatly, but we will remember her well.

The Honourable Muriel McQueen Fergusson, P.C., O.C., Q.C.  Photo © Copyright Keith Minchin - Faces of Fredericton.
The Honourable Muriel McQueen Fergusson, P.C., O.C., Q.C.
Photo © Copyright Keith Minchin - Faces of Fredericton.

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Honourary Member
Hon. Margaret Norrie McCain

The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain was born October 1, 1934, in northern Quebec. Her father was a prominent mining engineer in the early days of the Quebec gold mining industry and her mother was Senator Margaret Norrie of Truro, N.S.

Mrs. McCain received her early education in public and private schools in Quebec, Nova Scotia and Ontario. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in History from Mount Allison University, Sackville, N.B., and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Toronto. She has been presented with Honourary Degrees from a number of prominent Canadian universities.

Throughout her career, Mrs. McCain has been active in organizations that promote education, music and the arts at the provincial and national levels. She was a member of the Mount Allison University Board of Regents from 1974-1994 and served as Chancellor of the University from 1986-1994. She is a founding member of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation in New Brunswick. Their mission is the elimination of family violence through public education and research. She chaired their capital campaign to endow a Family Violence Research Centre in partnership with the University of New Brunswick.

In 1955 she married entrepreneur G. Wallace F. McCain of Florenceville, N.B. They have four children and nine grandchildren.

On April 28, 1994, Margaret Norrie McCain was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of New Brunswick - the first female to hold this position. She served in that role until April, 1997. At that time she moved to Toronto to re-join her family.

Margaret McCain was a member of the Board of the National Ballet School for 18 years serving as Board Chair from 1998 to 2000. She then went on the Chair the Schools successful $100 million fund raising campaign. She is also Honourary Colonel of the Governor General’s Horseguards and serves on the Boards of the Council for Early Child Development, the Canadian Policy Research Network, The Canadian Women’s Foundation, The Learning Partnership and the Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development.

Hon. Margaret Norrie McCain

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Honourary Member
C. Anne Crocker – C.M., B.A., B.L.S., Cert. (UC Berkeley), Librarian Emerita (UNB)

Anne Crocker is a founding and lifetime member of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation's board of directors. Prior to her work with the board, she was also a founder of the Fredericton Transition House and was named honourary president of the Transition House Inc. board. She was appointed the first vice-chair of the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women (1978-1983). In 1997 Anne was named a member of the Order of Canada and in 2003 received the Queen's Jubilee Medal. She has been an active member of the MMFF board since 1985 and currently serves as a representative on the board of the Muriel McQueen Centre for Family Violence Research. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree along with a Bachelor of Library Science and is librarian emerita, University of New Brunswick.

C. Anne Crocker

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President
Marilyn Abbott Charters

Marilyn Abbott-Charters is Manager of the Administrative Support Division of the Fredericton Police Force. She graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Arts degree and completed graduate studies at Memorial University in Newfoundland. Marilyn’s career spans 35 years and has been focused on administrative governance. Marilyn served four years on the Executive of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation prior to her term as President of the Foundation.

President  Marilyn Abbott Charters

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David Parkinson
Vice President

David Parkinson is Vice President of the Maritime operations of AMEC Environment & Infrastructure, responsible for the overall performance of seven offices in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. David joined the MMFF Board in 2006 where he is currently Vice President. He graduated from the University of London, England with a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology and went on to obtain a Master’s degree from the Technology Policy Unit at the University of Aston in Birmingham, England. He moved to Canada from the UK in July 2000.

David Parkinson

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Brigitte Maicher

Brigitte Maicher is Principal of Net Results Associates. She has extensive experience in Program Evaluation. Through her published works, voluntary leadership roles, and evaluation and management projects she has become known in the field. She has worked in a number of areas including as a psychologist, counseling, and work in the government departments of Health and Education. In addition, Brigitte has been involved in the development of evaluation standards, which were published in three books, and she has lectured extensively, taught evaluation courses, and conducted research and surveys for the Canadian Evaluation Society. She was the lead in the development of the credentialing criteria for Canadian evaluators. She has served as President of various associations, including the Alberta Learning Disabilities Association, the New Brunswick Toastmasters Society and the New Brunswick chapter of the Canadian Evaluation Society.

Clair Ripley
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Treasurer
Elaine Stairs

Elaine Stairs, a partner in the public accounting firm EPR DAYE KELLY & Associates, has served on the Board of the Foundation as Treasurer for several years. Elaine received her CGA designation in 1983 in Alberta, while working at a medium security facility for Young Offenders under the then ‘new' Young Offenders Act. Elaine was honoured as a participant in the Millennium Time Capsule as the first in Canada to win a gender-based civil suit against a New Brunswick employer under the Canadian Human Rights Act. Elaine is a current member of the Women In Business network and has served on numerous charitable and not-for profit organizations over the years. In 2011, Elaine was awarded the Fellowship Designation (FCGA) by her Association, in recognition of her activities over her career, both for the Association and in charitable endeavors.

Elaine Stairs

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Past President
Linda White

Linda White, who retired from School District 2 in Moncton after 20 years of working in senior administrative positions in human resources and finance and administration, now runs her own business, Linda L. White Consulting. Now President of the MMFF, Linda has also volunteered for 20 years and is past board chair of Turning Points Youth Parent and Child Development Centre in Moncton. Linda was elected to serve as president of the Association of School Business Officials International following seven years of elected service on the board of directors. Linda was the first Canadian female in the association's then 86-year history to serve as president. Linda also currently serves as a commissioner on the Greater Moncton Planning District Commission.

Vice-President - Linda White
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Beverley Bolton

Beverley Bolton is Branch Manager, Sales & Service with Scotiabank Commercial Banking Center , Kings Place , Fredericton .   She is responsible for the overall success of the branch.  This includes meeting objectives in financial growth, customer service, human resource management and operational effectiveness.  Bev holds designations as a Personal Financial Planner, Business Banking , and Personal Trust.  Bev has been very involved in community events to help raise funds and awareness for a variety of groups including; Cancer Society, Big Brothers, Heart & Stroke, Juvenile Diabetes, NBACL, and CPA.  Bev was the President of the Oromocto & Area Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Business Retention Expansion Program, and is currently a member of the Fredericton Chamber, Women in Business, Chalmers Hospital Foundation, and a volunteer at the Fredericton Community Kitchen. 

Beverley Bolton
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Noreen Bonnell

Noreen Bonnell has been an educator for 37 years. Her career in education has spanned three decades, in three Atlantic Provinces. She received her undergraduate degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Masters of Education degree from Saint Mary’s University. Throughout her career, Noreen has been President of the New Brunswick Teachers' Association and Co-President of the New Brunswick Teachers' Federation, Director on the Board of the Canadian Teachers' Federation, a school administrator and a teacher. Noreen has participated on many committees within education and also in the community. In 2010-11 Noreen was a member of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation Committee on the Status of Women. She believes strongly in the power of the team, in the gifts of each individual, and in working with others to create and encourage circumstances of empowerment in learning and living. Noreen retired from her career in teaching in August 2011.

Clair Ripley
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Dave Dobson

Dave Dobson, Vice President of the Dobson Group of Companies, currently serves as General Manager of both RV World in Fredericton and Oakhill Homes in Fredericton and Saint John. Dave has been involved in a number of organizations in the RV industry, including the Atlantic Canadian RV Industry Association, National RV Industry, and Go RVing Canada. In addition, Dave has demonstrated a commitment to both volunteerism and his community through his involvement and support of the John T. McMillan Memorial Foundation, Childhood Cancer Foundation, Fredericton Food Bank and the N.B. Lung Association.

Clair Ripley
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Kathleen Duguay

Kathleen Duguay is the Manager of Public Affairs, NB Power Nuclear based at the Point Lepreau Generating Station (PLGS). With more than 20 years’ experience at NB Power, she has responsibilities in the areas of public relations, regulatory affairs, internal and external communications, and media relations for NB Power Nuclear. In addition, she was involved in the creation of and co-chairs the Community Relations Committee for PLGS and the Coleson Cove Generating Station. Kathleen is an active member of her community, contributing her time and energy to the Grand Bay–Westfield Emergency Measures Organization, the Inter-Utility Communications Group for the nuclear industry in Canada, the Saint John Board of Trade, the Canadian Nuclear Association and the Canadian Radiation Protection Association.

Clair Ripley
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Angela Francoeur

A graduate of the University of New Brunswick, Angela Francoeur has worked for many years in business planning, communications and branding across several industries, including roles with Fundy Communications, GCP Communications (now Bristol) and Fundy Computer Services. Now working with WorkSafeNB, she has served as chair of the Silent Auction Committee for the MMFF Gala Dinner and on the communications committee for the Saint John Board of Trade.

Angela Francoeur
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Dianne Kelly

The New Brunswick Director of Consumer Affairs with the Department of Justice and Consumer Affairs, Dianne Kelly previously held administrative support roles. She entered the University of New Brunswick as a mature student, earning her Bachelor of Administration in 1982. She has served as Director of Information Systems and Chief Firearms Officer and Chief Coroner. She received her Masters in Business Administration in 2003. She serves with a number of community organization boards including the Fredericton Community Kitchen and Fredericton Emergency Shelter.

Dianne Kelly
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Pamela McKay

Pamela McKay is the President and owner of Up Country Communications and partner co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of ConneXions Plus. Pamela has more than 17 years experience in strategic communications, crisis communications, media and community relations and corporate marketing. As Vice-President of Public Affairs and Government Relations for Couleur NB, Pamela developed and implemented strategic communication initiatives, provided media, crisis communications and presentation training for senior executives and organized and facilitated client events.

In her position as Director and Manager of Public Relations for NB Power, she was responsible for, among many other duties, developing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders and industry organizations, managing web site content, managing emergency planning of crisis communications and overseeing issues management. In similar managerial positions, she has worked with Fundy Communications and GCP Strategic Communications in Saint John, meeting the needs of varied and complex client bases. She began her professional career working as a legal assistant in litigation and family law, giving her a unique prospective on the intricacies and legalities of client communication.

Pamela McKay

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Melissa Morton

Melissa Morton is the Internal Client Relations Liaison in the Supply Chain Strategy and Management department at NB Power. Melissa has demonstrated a commitment to her community through her past volunteer roles with the Bright Beginnings Daycare Board of Directors, United Way, IWK, Junior Achievement, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 37. Melissa is also pursuing a degree in Human Rights and Political Science at St. Thomas University and recently represented the university at the Harvard National Model United Nations conference as a delegate on the Human Rights Council.

Clair Ripley
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Courtney Pringle Carver

Courtney Pringle Carver is a public relations professional, and is Atlantic Lottery’s Senior Public Affairs Counsel. Before joining Atlantic Lottery, Courtney worked with New Brunswick public relations firm, Couleur, where she provided counsel to such clients as Home Depot Canada, Enbridge Gas and the Province of New Brunswick. Courtney attended Concordia University in Montreal, where she studied Communications. In addition to her positions with Atlantic Lottery and Couleur, Courtney has also held roles with the United Way and Moncton Headstart. Actively involved with charitable organizations across the province, Courtney also serves on the Board of Directors for the Frye Literary Festival and the organizing committee for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Ball.

Courtney Pringle Carver

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Clair Ripley

Clair has worked for 18 years with AECL following a 34 year career as a high school science teacher and administrator. He has also served two terms as Mayor of Oromocto and 11 years on Town Council. During his term as Mayor he initiated and directed the Oromocto Energy Conservation Program which resulted in Oromocto being recognized as the most energy efficient town in Canada. A native of River Philip, Nova Scotia, he is a graduate of Mount Allison University in Geology and Education. Clair remains actively involved in his community and besides his work with the MMFF his work continues with the Rotary Clubs of New Brunswick and Maine.

Clair Ripley
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Jackie Cantin
- One of our newest board members. Biography and photo to follow.
Dr. Barry Craig
- One of our newest board members. Biography and photo to follow.
Tim McCluskey
- One of our newest board members. Biography and photo to follow.
Lisa Thompson
- One of our newest board members. Biography and photo to follow.
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