Record-breaking year for Junior Achievement of Nova Scotia

JA Nova Scotia reports on the success of 2017-2018 program year and announces new membership to the board of directors

Halifax, NS — JA Nova Scotia recently hosted an AGM and reported on program and financial results for the school year of 2017-2018.  At the meeting, the board also ratified a new board chair and three new directors at large.  Accepting the chair role from outgoing chair, Mark Parkhill of KPMG, is Jennifer Chiasson of NSCC. Also joining the board: Karen Gardener of McInnes Cooper, Kevin McCann of National PR and David Reid of Cox & Palmer.

 “Much of our success is dependent on the volunteer leadership and talent we have around the board table and we are very fortunate to have strong volunteer engagement to help us continue to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in the global economy”, said President & CEO, Kristin Williams.

At the AGM, JA shared record results program volume, student reach, volunteer engagement and fundraising. The charity delivered 847 programs to 18,013 students who committed 93,172 hours of learning across three educational pillars linked to success: financial literacy, workplace readiness and entrepreneurship. This represented a 41% increase in program volume and a 35% increase in student reach. JA also engaged 917 program volunteers to deliver their programs who committed 15,201 hours of volunteer service (a 23% increase). JA raised $1,337,058 through program sponsorship, the Nova Scotia Business Hall of Fame and the Legacy Project. For more details, see the annual report:

The full slate of board members for 2017-2018 is listed below:

Executive Committee

Jennifer Chiasson, NSCC, Chair
Bruce Young, RBC, 1st Vice Chair

Karn Nichols, Sobey School of Business, Secretary
Mark Sidebottom, NSP, Treasurer

Mark Parkhill, KPMG, Past Chair
Kristin Williams, President & CEO (ex officio/non-voting)


Tim Blais, Gateway Business Brokers

Michelle Bussey, NSCC Foundation

Jakki Brierley-Shorrok, Fastrak Global Inc.

Charl Du Plooy, Emera

Stephanie Fitzner, Student/JA Alumni

Michelle Fitzgerald, Knightsbridge Robertson Surette

Eric Fry, Sandler Training
Chris Guinan, CIBC Wood Gundy

Troy Harnish, Rogers

Lynn Hogan Gillespie, Province of Nova Scotia

Paul Janes, Deloitte
Lori-Anne Jones, Shift Strategies - Change Consulting

Roger King, Supplement King – Canada

Andrew MacKinnon, SBW

Jodi Posaved, Grassroots Human Resources Consulting

NEW – Karen Gardiner, McInnes Cooper
NEW – Kevin McCann, National PR

NEW – David A Reid, Cox & Palmer



Media Contact

Kristin Williams

902-454-4564 x 107


About JA Nova Scotia

Junior Achievement of Nova Scotia provides hands-on experiential learning in the classroom and through extra-curricular activities. Programs focus on three educational pillars: financial literacy, workplace readiness and entrepreneurship. JA recruits volunteers from the business community to collaborate on the delivery of programs, which exposes students to real world business perspectives and ideas.

From Here to There: Jessica McLellan, JA Alumni

I started (Company Program) in grade 10.  I had an interest in business and wanted to learn. I really didn’t know much and just picked up from here and there.

Most of my experience is when I was in grade 12. And I was the President of the company Doggo Delights.  I learned even more about how to be a leader in a small business and how to work together. I met new people and sometimes meeting new people and doing new things are scary. Having these skills are great for going into the real world.

Junior Achievement is a great place to learn about business when you’re in high school. You learn a lot of how to make a business, start it, how it functions.   

After high school I went right into school and studied more ways of being an entrepreneur and a leader in business.  I’m now part of Enactus, as the Financial Director of the team. Thanks to Junior Achievement I use a lot of my skills from it for Enactus.

I’m now also a volunteer with Junior Achievement, as an Advisor in Company Program in my second year. It is honestly one of my favourite volunteer jobs ever.

Jessica McLellan- Alumni.jpg
Having these skills are great for going into the real world.

From Here to There: Shannon MacLean, JA Alumni

Junior Achievement gave me a sense of confidence that as a youth shaped who I became as an adult. In high school I participated in the Company Program during my grade 11 and 12 year. These two years allowed me to understand and have a new appreciation for the work my grandparents put into being successful entrepreneurs and humans. Junior Achievement taught me the important lessons of the human connection in business. Many times, business can be buried in the essential numbers, what I learned was each of those numbers, every dollar is connected to people. It is about finding a product or service that people need, it is about talking to your customers and employees, finding out what motivates them. Business is about the people who you surround yourself with. At the end of the day the most successful businesses are built on passion. 

After high school that passion and sense of hard work paying off stayed with me throughout the years. 3 years ago I was sitting in my office when an email came out looking for volunteers for the Company Program here in Pictou County. I was excited and happy to take on the challenge. One of the best parts of becoming a volunteer Advisor has been watching the students growth and seeing them get part time jobs that they work hard to succeed at. And in a full circle moment, as JA helped me connect and appreciate my grandparents hard work, my daughter joined JA and it has helped us grow closer together. 

To anyone thinking business is not for them because it is boring, I challenge you to join JA Company Program. To anyone thinking volunteering is too much work, I challenge you to get involved. JA Company Program is what you make it, what it has been for me as a student and an Advisor is meeting new people, forming friendships beyond the JA doors, standing on the edge and taking chances, laughing so hard I couldn't breathe, having my heart swell with pride, and realizing the numbers are secondary to my passion and the people. 

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars, to change the world." ~HARRIET TUBMAN


Junior Achievement of Nova Scotia  |  201-1223 Lower Water Street
Halifax, NS | B3J 3S8
T. 902.454.4564  |  F. 902.454.4514  |