Board of Directors:
Sera Mansueto – President
Sera is the founder and guiding force behind Walls of Hope.
In the early 80′s Sera started her career in Fashion Design and Merchandising, working in all areas of the business. Sera stayed home to raise her 2 girls for 13 years. As a stay at home mom she transferred her love of design to experimenting with paint and decorative finishes. She started to paint for family and friends which led to people wanting to hire her. When her marriage fell apart Sera was forced to go to work to provide for her girls. She started The Art of Paint, a residential home painting business that slowly grew. Eventually she was not only providing for herself but also had a team of all women working with her.It was this journey; her 2 careers, a failed marriage, losing everything and having to start from scratch that led to Walls of Hope and its first project in 2005.
Sera works closely with all areas of Walls of Hope and is frequently seen out in the community sharing/speaking about the Walls of Hope experience
Linda Graydon – Family Submissions & Selections and Interior Design
Linda has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and brings over 27 years of public health nursing experience. In addition, Linda graduated from Sheridan College in the Interior Decorating Program and is also a Canadian Certified Staging Professional.
She is owner/principal of Soulscape Interiors and is a member of the Canadian Decorators Association (CDECA) and the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA).
Linda brings her professional experience to Walls of Hope by providing advice and hands on involvement in the decor aspects of project makeovers.
Linda also manages Family Submissions & Selection for Walls of Hope. Her assessment skills and compassion are invaluable in the selection process for recipients. She believes homes need to be places for reflection and healing, and that everyone deserves a beautiful space regardless of their circumstances.
Allison Lane – Marketing Operations, Strategic Partnerships and Gala Chairwoman
Allison is Marketing and Sales professional, who has worked for/with many leading National Brands and Interactive Marketing & Technology agencies for over 15+ years.
Allison established a Marketing & Design Consultancy business (Lane & Associates) in 2000, which has operated as a full time or “after hours passion” over the last 12 years; offering her diverse experience and passion for: Integrated Marketing, Sales & Business solutions, Client Service Optimization, Event Planning and (recently) Home Design & Renovations.
Allison joined Walls of Hope in 2010, as a volunteer providing: drywall, tiling, painting assistance. She has become an active member of the leadership team overseeing all aspects of Marketing & Operations: creating, managing and executing growth plans and processes, leading fundraising events, creating and maintaining the new Walls of Hope website and also acts as our primary contact with Local and National partnerships.
Karen Buchanan – Accounting and Pre-Project Family Organization
Karen Buchanan is a professional organizer, registered with the Professional Organizers of Canada (POC) and operates her business, Solutions 2 Organize U.
She has a passion for helping families and individuals to improve their work or living spaces.
Karen works with Walls of Hope families to de-clutter their living spaces (and perhaps minds and souls) before a WOH renovation project; assisting our families in organizing their existing space and provides guidance/life tools to maintain their new living environment after the renovation has been completed.
In 2011, Karen’s skill-set in Accounting and Process Adherence has brought Walls of Hope to an even higher level in the
Finance, Accounting/Bookkeeping and Operational areas.
Karen is also amazing with ceramic tiling and almost all interior renovation tasks….She just does; because she can
Paula Germain – Volunteer Director, Social Media Co-ordinator and Board Secretary
Paula has been a member of the leadership team since 2009 and brings with her a wealth of knowledge in Sales, Marketing, and Business Management. In her past, she sat on the Board of Directors at the Boys & Girls Club of Niagara Falls and has participated and helped organize several fundraising events.
Paula’s main responsibilities for Walls of Hope are: Board of Director’s Secretary, Gala Leader, Volunteer and Social Media Coordinator.
Paula executes a plan for each project that includes: scheduling, organization, communication and delegation of new and existing volunteers. She is responsible for: creating and distributing monthly communications via Enewsletter and social media to our database. Paula is also an integral part of gala leadership team; managing all point of sale transactions, auction sales and post gala reconciliation/donor follow up.
Kevin Porter – Accounting/Financial Advisor
Kevin has been involved with Walls of Hope since 2009 and is responsible for the issuance of our annual financial statements.
With his own practice, as a publicly licensed Chartered Accountant, Kevin has built a clientele over the past 17 years by catering to the Owner/Managed, Entrepreneurial sector of the business community.
For the past 23 years, Kevin has been highly involved in the educational aspect of the CA profession by teaching numerous Professional Development courses to fellow CA’s and CA students.
Walls of Hope Dream Rooms Leaders:
Carla Leyer – Senior Director, Dream Rooms
Carla has been with Walls of Hope since the early days (joining in 2006) and has become known as the “One Half of the Mural Experts”, along with Wendi Speck, for all Walls of Hope projects.
Carla is the creator and directs Dream Rooms, the recent Q4 2011 extension of Walls of Hope, which creates amazing bedrooms for children with life challenging illnesses.
In 2012 she led the AV/technical team for the Walls of Hope second annual gala; also lending her creative/digital skills for event presentation and video initiatives.
Carla also lends her talents to other non-profit and charitable organizations such as: Habitat Humanity Restore and Burlington 715 Air Cadet Squadron and the Burlington Sound of Music Festival.
In 2008, she became the Director of Volunteers for the Sound of Music Festival and is currently responsible for co-ordination of more than 1600 volunteers and implementation of digital resource processes.
Wendi Speck – Director, Dream Rooms
Wendi is the owner of Costume Works, based out of Mississauga, a company that specializes in custom design and creation of costumes and for the theater and dance industry. She started with Walls of Hope as a volunteer in 2005; providing much needed help with drapery and soft furnishings.
Over the years, Wendi has become an intregal part of the Walls of Hope leadership team. She is the “Go-to-Girl” for “making something out of nothing” and putting that final special touch to the rooms she works on.
Wendi is a Director for “Dream Rooms”; designing and executing rooms for the special children. Many of our volunteers wish that they had bedrooms like this when they were kids!
Wendi is also behind the creation of all Angels outfits for our galas.
Anna Montalbano – Project Manager, Dream Rooms & Walls of Hope
Anna is a Commercial Property Manager, whose involvement with Walls of Hope began five years ago as a “handywoman” volunteer, working on various home makeover projects.
Over the years, Anna has become an integral part of the leadership team; lending her expertise and skill set in Project Management and “anything to help advance the positive growth” of Walls of Hope.
She is also the lead ambassador for Walls of Hope at each of our annual galas.
Anna’s passion and commitment has helped take Walls of Hope to the next level.
She is extremely excited to continue contributing her time and ideas as an active member of the leadership team.
Walls of Hope Honorary Ambassador:
Linda has over 20 years in the retail sector. As previously been Vice President of Store Operations for Danier Leather and currently VP at Graff Retail; Linda is a leading Management professional that also understands and acts upon the basis to “getting things done”.
As part of the Walls of Hope leadership team over the years, she has assumed multiple roles to advocate and execute the “things that have to happen” to ensure this organization continues to grow and prosper.
As we say…”Linda, just rocks!”
Walls of Hope 2011 Project Leaders:
- Dan Salerno – Resident “Do-All” Contractor (Christina Project & Dream Rooms) and
Lead of Gala Hard Hats and Halos team
- Brian Harvey – Professional Contractor (Christina Project & Dream Rooms)
- Helen Stailos – Professional Contractor & Designer (Christina Project)
- Rick Vernon – Professional Landscape Contractor & Designer (Christina Project)
- Mike Leyer - Professional Contractor (HTC Project)
- Lou Ward – Professional Interior Designer (HTC Project)
Walls of Hope Board Member and Project Team Leader Photo Gallery: