Board of Directors

The GEO Nova Scotia Board of Directors is dedicated to Digital Inclusion for all Nova Scotians, achieved through partnership and cooperation across sectors and across the province.

We are currently looking for additional perspectives to join the Board of Directors and the GEO Nova Scotia Insight Team. For more information, contact Executive Director Matt Spurway

Sandra McKenzie (Chair)

Sandra McKenzie has extensive government experience in the fields of workforce development, adult education, economic development, policy development and strategic planning. She served the Province of Nova Scotia as Deputy Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Deputy Minister of Labour and Advanced Education, and Acting Deputy Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. 

Sandra lives in Waverley with her husband and many pets.  She is visited regularly by her three children who are out making the world a better place.

Karn Nichols (Vice Chair)

As Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association of Nova Scotia, Karn Nichols has a deep compassion for those facing mental health and addiction issues, and over 25 years of leadership experience in both the ‘for profit’ and ‘for impact’ sectors.  A committed professional, who combines a broad range of leadership expertise and experience in human resources and operations disciplines, Karn is also a deeply committed volunteer.  

Karn is the proud mother of Saya (New Zealand) and Ming (Halifax) and lives with her husband George in Hubley. When she is not working, she is running, hiking and travelling the world.

Tim Sullivan (Treasurer/ Secretary)

Tim Sullivan is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a tax and business advisory Manager at MNP, specializing in tax compliance and planning for private businesses and personal clients.

Tim lives in Hubbards and also sits on the board of LakeCity Works and the Halifax Estate Planning Council.

Shanisha Grant

Shanisha Grant is a Staff Lawyer with Nova Scotia Legal Aid working with African Nova Scotian residents from five designated land title clarification areas to assist them in obtaining clear title to their land as part of the Land Titles Initiative.  She is a graduate of Mount Saint Vincent University and the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie and was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar in 2015.  

She has also worked with the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society examining access to justice issues and was later able to draw upon this work as a Legal Intern with SAJCEA (Supporting Access to Justice for Children and Youth in East Africa); where she was actively involved in an international access to justice initiative representing the Canadian Bar Association.

Lynne McCarron

Lynne McCarron has been the Executive Director of United Way Cape Breton since 2011. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a background in the non-profit community, she brings extensive experience of working with vulnerable populations.

Lynne is a wife of a teacher and mother of four sons. She has volunteered extensively within her community and is a strong proponent of the saying “It takes a village to raise a child”.

Robert Patzelt

Robert Patzelt, Q.C., ICD.D is an executive and former business lawyer with over 35 years of experience in organizational leadership, operations, mergers and acquisitions and business development. A consultant assisting businesses navigate through challenging transitions as well as assisting organizations with their governance, Robert is also a board director for multiple organizations and an award-winning business leader with degrees in business, economics and law.

Jodene Dunleavy

Jodene Dunleavy, B.Ed, M.A., is a former Senior Strategic Policy Advisor with the Office of Priorities and Planning (Provincial Government). In her career she has worked in the public and not-for-profit sectors promoting evidence-based policy and program design, championing sector partnerships, and working toward shared system change. Achieving a more just and inclusive world is at the heart of the values she brings to her professional and volunteer roles. 

Jodene lives in Halifax with her two black labs. Together they share a love of long hikes, camping and road trips.