Meet our new Board Members

Meet our new Board Members







Deborah Harri, holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) degree from the University of Manitoba. She has been a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) and the Canadian Society of Corporate Secretaries. She has completed the ICD’s Directors Education Program and attended numerous courses and programs on corporate governance.

Deborah is a former member of the Executive of the Canadian Wheat Board. She has over 15 years of practical experience in the corporate governance field, including 10 years as Corporate Secretary of the CWB as well as involvement in community boards and associations. She has further background in strategic planning, communications, government and industry relations, project management, director elections, executive search, and access to information and privacy.

Deborah has had extensive involvement in a not-for-profit board of directors, serving for several years on the board of Bumper Crop Day Care, Inc., a company she co-founded. She has also served on the executive of the parent associations of two local schools.

Alona Mercado

Alona Mercado, obtained her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from the University of Manitoba in 1994 and her Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Ottawa in 1998.  She was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1999.  Alona practiced law in Winnipeg for a couple of years before returning to Ottawa in 2001.  She served for several years as Policy Advisor to the Senior Federal Cabinet Minister for Manitoba before joining Monk Goodwin LLP in January 2005.

Over the years, Alona has served on numerous community boards and committees.  She was a Founding and Executive Board member of the Maples Youth Justice Committee, a member of the Board of Directors for Hospice and Palliative Care Manitoba, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Seven Oaks Education Foundation.  Alona is also the past Chair of the Legal Committee of the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba (PCCM).

Alona writes a regular column entitled “Legal 411″ in The Pilipino Express, a local Filipino Canadian news-magazine and is an annual lecturer for Will Week:  Estate Planning for Your Future (sponsored by The Winnipeg Foundation, the Manitoba Public Trustee and the Manitoba Bar Association).


Alan Fernandes

Alan Fernandes, obtained a Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting Major from the University of Manitoba and CMA Designation, Manitoba Society of Management Accountants. Presently he is the Access Programs/Aboriginal Focus Programs,University of Manitoba Finance Aid Administrator. Alan provides administrative support to the Area Director for area projects, programs, committees, and matters on both an ad hoc and ongoing basis.

As Finance Aid Administrator, Alan prepares program and area budget and forecasts attending budget, reviews monthly operational reports, and ensures all financial year-end deadlines are adhered to. Alan also prepares budget proposals and he is responsible for keeping current with policies and procedures of Student Financial Assistance, as determined by the Provincial Government.

Dr. Namita Bhatnagar

Dr. Namita Bhatnagar, is primarily interested in exploring issues in consumer processing and dissemination of health messages as well as the cross-section of entertainment consumption and persuasion. She is also interested in the impact of managerial resource allocation decisions on customer acquisition and retention. Dr. Bhatnagar has received her Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and earned a Master of Science (Honours) in Economics and a Master of Management Studies from the Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, Pilani, India.

Dr. Bhatnagar has served as ad-hoc reviewer for the Journal of Consumer Psychology and the Journal of Product and Brand Management, in addition to the annual conferences of the North American Association for Consumer Research, the European Association for Consumer Research, the Society for Consumer Psychology, and the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada. Her research has been presented at the Association of Consumer Research, the Society for Consumer Psychology, the Academy for Marketing Sciences, the Advertising and Consumer Psychology, and the Marketing and Public Policy conferences.

Dr. Bhatnagar has taught at the doctoral, MBA and undergraduate levels. Her teaching experience includes topics in Branding, Introductory Marketing, and Consumer Behaviour and she is actively involved in advising and mentoring doctoral students within the marketing program.


Joan Pullen

Joan Pullen, has over 25 years immigration program experience, working in several areas including Refugees, Settlement and Integration, Admission and Port of Entry. Joan engaged in the administration and delivery of various settlement programs including coordinating and organizing the work of the unit, providing oral and written advice.

Joan developed, organized and leaded Regional learning workshops to provide an exchange of information, to discuss and clarify program guidelines/policy, address emerging initiatives/issues and identify promising or best practices.

Joan provided regional representation at meetings, workshops and conferences with Federal, Provincial, Municipal NGO community. Also Joan assisted with special projects to the Director General and Regional Directors particularly in the area of Federal/Provincial/Municipal relations and agreements.






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