Our People

We are a movement of people - the vast majority of whom are unpaid volunteers - who simply won't accept that a child should go hungry in this world of plenty.

Meet the Mary's Meals Canada Team

Sheri McConnell (Executive Director)

How long have you been with Mary’s Meals? Since March 2, 2020

Why did you choose to work with Mary’s Meals? My personal WHY - I live my life for creating local and global transformative change, which brings hope, love, peace and sustainable life to the world’s most vulnerable.

Pablo Picasso said that – “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away”.

Why Mary’s Meals – It is a community and mission which calls me back to my roots of pioneering and building a world class movement every day, with some of the finest, compassionate and gifted leaders. Our hearts are to serve some of the world’s most vulnerable, the hungry child in their place of learning who will in turn discover hope, meaning and purpose in their life because of our faithfulness and the generosity of all who join the Mary’s Meals community.

What is a fun fact about yourself? I am a proud owner of the original 1970 Wonder Woman TV series and adopted the cutest 7-pound puppy, named Oliver off the streets of Mexico in 2021.

​Keli Marshall (Director, Operations & Engagement)

How long have you been with Mary's Meals? Since February 2021

Why did you choose to work with Mary's Meals? The desires of my heart are to make an impact in the lives of those around me, here in Canada and around the world.

I am honoured to join the Mary’s Meals Canada team and excited to invest in the building of the organization across Canada. I look forward to applying the skills I have learned in both for-profit and non-profit so that more children will have the food that they need while attending school – together we will make a difference! 

What is a fun fact about yourself? I can be found either on her dirt bike at the cottage in Muskoka, surfing at a beach in Mexico, or out for a hike with my Hungarian Vizsla, Rogan.

Jennifer Starr (Director of Philanthropy)

How long have you been with Mary's Meals? Since June 2024

Why did you choose to work with Mary's Meals? After spending the majority of my career in the corporate sector, I realized my personal why was to use the skills I had to try to “do good” and make a difference. Having personally been able to travel to many of the countries Mary's Meals supports, I was able to see firsthand the need. While providing a meal may sound simple it is so important to help support not only them but also the broader communities they live in.

Fun Fact? I am a mom, owner of a four year old rescue dog and have been a competitive equestrian rider in the past.

Adrienne Harrop (Director, Marketing & Communications)

How long have you been with Mary’s Meals? Since March 2024

Why did you choose to work with Mary’s Meals? After completing my degree in Human Geography, I found myself torn between pursuing a traditional career path or following my passion for making a tangible impact on the world. I chose the former and became a marketing professional. After 20 years in the for-profit sector, I came across Mary’s Meals and fell in love with its values and mission. My paths in life have now come together. Mary's Meals is not just a career choice but a deeply personal commitment to being a catalyst for positive change in the world.

What is a fun fact about yourself? I love the water, whether boating, sailing, snorkelling, clamming, or fishing. Anything on the water, and I’m happy.

Andy Wilson (Head of Finance; Board Secretary/Treasurer)

How long have you been with Mary's Meals? Since March 2022

Why did you choose to work with Mary's Meals? In considering joining the team at Mary’s Meals, I reflected deeply upon Jesus words in The Lord’s Prayer “Give us our Daily Bread”. The word “Our” describes humanity’s cry to feed us all. The fantastically simple and singular focus to feed children in some of the most abject settings globally is deeply compelling for me to serve. I feel honored and humbled to be able to join the Mary’s Meals Canada team and am ready to help build the Canadian organization from strength to strength.

Fun Fact? I used to be in a punk band and had dreadlocks!

​Jill Mowser (Administrator, Donor Relations and Operations)

How long have you been with Mary's Meals? Since 2012

Why did you choose to work with Mary's Meals? I strongly believe in the mission, vision and values of Mary's Meals and want to be part of the global movement.

What is a fun fact about yourself? I lived in New Zealand for 4 and a half years, in the sunny Bay of Plenty.

Meet the Canadian Board of Directors

Ciaran McGeown (President)

Ciaran McGeown is a Senior Manager, Corporate Donor Relations at United Way Greater Toronto. Ciaran made the move to the not for profit world in 2017, after 20 years in financial roles in the corporate sector and hasn’t looked back.

He has a passion for fighting poverty, whether locally or internationally and has served on the Board of other international development charity before joining Mary’s Meals. 

He first became aware of Mary’s Meals through a good friend in Ireland and was taken with the simplicity of the approach and the huge impact of Mary’s Meals work.

Maria Dal Cin (Vice President)

Maria has over 30 years of P&C insurance business and information technology experience with over 10 years at the executive level. She has a demonstrated record of planning, managing and delivering high quality solutions to meet strategic objectives. 

While on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, Bosnia & Herzegovina in the fall of 2019, Maria attended a presentation by Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow who told the story of Mary’s Meals.  After reading Magnus’ book “The Shed That Fed A Million Children”, she was inspired to become more actively involved and her upcoming retirement in April 2022 has provided that opportunity. Maria cites Mary’s Meals values, which align so closely to her own, as a key element in drawing her to the organization and she is honoured to assist in any manner to fulfil the vision and mission of Mary’s Meals. 

Maria and her husband Tony live in Richmond Hill, Ontario. They have four grown children and love spending time with their extended family of seven.

Leah Swindon (Director)

Leah Swindon has a passion for serving others and for tackling the root causes of poverty. She joined Mary’s Meals USA as the Executive Director in the fall of 2018.

Prior to MMUSA, Leah worked at World Vision USA for 8 years in various roles, including leading the 30 Hour Famine which reached 250,000 young people through 12,000 churches.

Leah, a former member of the US Military, worked as a civilian for the US Navy and Marine Corps as the Director of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Department. She served in this role for 12 years in Japan.

Her vocation is focused on helping people find their individual missional path and caring for the world’s most vulnerable children.

Clay Imoo (Director)

Clay has worked for 21 years for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver, predominantly in youth ministry, young adult ministry, children’s ministry, and Communications. He currently serves as an Associate Director of the archdiocesan Ministries and Outreach Office and a Content Creator for the archdiocesan Communications Office.

Clay graduated from the UBC Sauder School of Business in 1996 (major in accounting) and is currently working towards a Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology from the Augustine Institute in Denver, Colorado. Prior to the Archdiocese of Vancouver, he worked for six years in audit and human resources for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Clay is a skilled and gifted communicator. He has spoken at many national and international youth rallies and conferences and he has a YouTube channel with over 10,000 subscribers. His hobbies include speaking, vlogging, writing, playing music, and bowling.

Since being introduced to Mary’s Meals in 2022, Clay has been a huge supporter of the movement and he looks forward to helping the movement grow. Clay was born and raised in Vancouver, BC, and together with wife Gail they have three young adult children. They are parishioners of St. Paul’s Parish in Richmond, BC.

David Ward (Director)

Founder / Chief Executive – Keats William Management Ltd.

Over the past 30 years, David has led his consulting firm that provides services focused on leadership development and organizational strength. He has helped a wide range of businesses, charities and non-governmental organizations navigate change and adapt the structure of their operations towards delivering their products and services more effectively.

David has served on business and charitable boards for many years. He currently sits as the board chair of two Canadian charities and advises a charitable foundation on its strategic giving.

David and his wife, Nola, have four children and live in Vancouver, BC., Canada.