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, Community 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.

Andy Wilson (Head of Finance & Operations)

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.



Lorrie Lancaster (Head of Marketing & Communications)

How long have you been with Mary's Meals? Since May 2, 2022

Why did you choose to work with Mary's Meals? The more I learned about the work, the people, the stories and the heart behind the mission of Mary’s Meals the more compelled I was to become a part of the experience. I am at the point in my life that I am no longer interested in career-building, instead I am purpose-building – looking ways to distribute kindness and value to those around me. I am excited about the opportunity to be a part of the team knowing my small contribution will help make a big difference in the lives of children and families around the world.

What is a fun fact about yourself? I love musical theatre, have an encyclopedic knowledge of 80’s songs/artists and can recite the dialogue from the original Star Wars trilogy practically line by line.

Meet the Canadian Board of Directors

Maria Dal Cin (Director)

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.

Sherri Griffin (Director)

For over two decades, Sherri Griffin has been working on the cutting edge of Human Performance, helping companies tap into the unique strengths of employees through innovative Training and Development programs and technologies.  Sherri believes if there’s breath in our body there is purpose in our steps and that access to education is a basic human right. 

A frontline warrior in the food scarcity battle compels Sherri to teach people how to raise and forage for their own food, and personally advocate against food waste. A top performer in her Sales Profession and a deeply passionate Citizen Scientist, Sherri has joined the MMC board to support the fulfilment of our mission.  

Magnus McFarlane-Barrow (Director)

Magnus has lived in Argyll, Scotland, since the age of nine and began his career as a fish farmer. However, when the Bosnian conflict was making headlines in the early 1990s, Magnus and his brother Fergus were moved to help.

He was named one of 2010's ‘Top 10 Heroes’ by broadcaster CNN and received an OBE in the 2011 New Year’s Honours list. Magnus has also been awarded Honorary Degrees by the University of Stirling, Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Hull.

Before Mary’s Meals, Magnus played shinty for Glenorchy Camanachd Club and was capped four times by Scotland at senior international level.

Magnus is married to Julie, a trained nurse from Inverness. She became his co-driver on some of the first deliveries of aid to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1993, and has been devoted to the charity ever since. They live in Dalmally with their seven children.

Ciaran McGeown (Vice President / Treasurer)

Ciaran McGeown is a Manager, Corporate Giving 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.

Robert McGrath (Director)

Robert is the founder and Managing Director of Optimize Capital Partners. He first came across Mary’s Meals when he read The Shed That Fed A Million Children. Struck by the simple but effective approach to hunger and education in the developing world, he was inspired to become involved. 

Beyond Mary’s Meals Canada, Robert serves on the boards of two private foundations with a focus on helping the poor internationally and a local retreat center, Manresa. He and his wife Jaime have five children and live in Toronto. Jaime also is involved with Mary’s Meals Canada as an active volunteer.

Leah Swindon (Secretary)

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.