Board Members

Board members are an integral part of Neighbour to Neighbour Centre. Their support, guidance and drive help staff make informed decisions and plan future programs and events at Neighbour to Neighbour.

Dan Holstein


Dan is an entrepreneur with over 25 years of business experience, and currently owns Kaizen Performance Improvement Corp. Dan and his team help business owners scale up and improve the value of their businesses.

Despite being an electronics technologist by training, Dan’s passion is for serving people. He is a long-time fund raiser and rider in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, and has served on the Neighbour to Neighbour Centre board since 2015.

Dan lives in Beamsville with his wife and two children. He is also an aviation geek and pilot. Dan is super excited for the opportunity to serve on the Neighbour to Neighbour board, and help lead the Hamilton Mountain community to an improved quality of life!

Steve Kartonchik

Past President

Steve Kartonchik is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for ADFLOW Networks and has been a N2N Board member for the past 4 years.
A graduate of the co-operative program from the University of Waterloo, Steve has a Bachelor of Mathematics with minors in Computer Science and Marketing. Over the course of his career in the software industry, Steve and his teams have consistently outperformed expectations by working as problem solvers for end users who need access to better information…on their terms.

A Hamilton native who grew up in a “working poor” family, a combination of support and guidance from others plus his education has helped Steve break free from constraints that otherwise might have limited the achievement of his goals in life. As a strong believer in both the power of education and that every individual should have the opportunity to succeed and prosper, Steve began financial support for N2N over 20 years ago and was humbled by the opportunity to join the Board of Directors.

Steve was introduced to N2N by a past Board President who has remained a strong and committed N2N supporter; similarly, Steve views his commitment to N2N as one that will continue long after his Board term comes to an end.

Nick Davies 


Nick Davies is a recent graduate from McMaster University’s DeGroote school of Business. He has an MBA with a Process Management focus and Bachelor of Commerce (summa cum laude) with a minor in Economics.

Dedicated to raising awareness about the issues of poverty and food security in Hamilton, Nick conceptualized and brought to fruition his first Stuff the Bus food drive in support of Neighbour to Neighbour’s Emergency Food program more than nine years ago, while he was a student at Westmount Secondary School. Since then Stuff the Bus has become a monthly event for Nick and his volunteer team, collecting more than half a million dollars worth of food donations to date.

Nick is excited about his first year on the N2N Board and looks forward to bringing a fresh, young perspective to the leadership of Neighbour to Neighbour.

Denise Provencher


Denise has been involved with Neighbour to Neighbour for 5 years, serving as Treasurer since 2015. 

She grew up in Northern Ontario and moved to Hamilton to study business at McMaster University.  Denise is Chartered Professional Accountant, CA. She joined the international accounting firm KPMG upon graduation, where she is currently an audit Senior Manager. 

Denise lives in the Hamilton area with her husband and two children.


Marlene M. Atlas


Marlene Atlas has been involved with Neighbour to Neighbour for over 10 years, serving as Director (2006-2007), Vice President (2007-2008), and President (2008-2011) in her first term and commenced a second term in 2017.  She has worked on many projects for the agency, including the start up of the Hamilton Community Food Centre, the Board Manual, drafted policies, and is currently involved in governance matters related to the Board’s role.

Since coming to Hamilton in 2000, Marlene has been active in Parent Council, Home and School, and has been on the Education Committee at Temple Anshe Sholom which she chaired from 2006 to 2009.

Marlene’s background is in securities law; she was at the Toronto Stock Exchange (1981-1988), where she became Director of Regulatory Policy. She worked on the start up of futures trading, development of options and futures products, and a variety of policy and regulatory issues including soft dollar deals and disclosure requirements. She then joined the international law firm Baker & McKenzie as head of the Toronto Securities Department (1988-99) where she was involved in listings, mergers and acquisitions, take over bids, options and futures, regulatory matters and governance issues.  She subsequently started her own securities practice acting on transactions as well as governance and policy issues, and consulted for the Investment Industry Regulatory Association of Canada.

A member of the Law Society of Ontario, Marlene is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School (LLB) where she spent summers and a semester at Parkdale Community Legal Services.  She graduated from McGill University (BA,Canadian Studies, summa cum laude), and is a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (silver medal).

Ann Higgins


Ann is a Senior Consultant in the Adult Regional Care program at Hamilton Health Sciences and an Associate Professor at McMaster University. She has held a variety of roles in advanced nursing practice and healthcare leadership with a focus on strategic planning, quality improvement, clinical and operational best practices, and research.

A strategic goal of the leadership at Hamilton General Hospital, Hamilton Health Sciences is to become a recognized anchor organization in the local community they serve. Part of Ann’s portfolio is to support this goal by identifying opportunities and developing community partnerships aimed at addressing the social determinants of health.

Ann brings this experience and her passion to N2N, as well as solid Board experience, having served on the Board of Directors for several non-profit agencies both in BC and Ontario.

Lorraine A. Hoult


Lorraine retired in January 2020, after a varied career in research at McMaster University and clinical practice at Hamilton Health Sciences. She spent her first 26 years in the Faculty of Health Sciences collaborating on both local and international research projects in Neonatology, Pediatrics, Child Psychiatry (Autism), Family Medicine (Palliative Care), Obstetrics, and Policy and Health Economics (Health Related Quality of Life).

In June 2006, she joined the Clinical Staff at Hamilton Health Sciences as a Clinical Psychometrist in McMaster Children’s Hospital Autism Program supporting families and children as a member of the psychology team.

Currently, she remains part of the McMaster Autism Research Team where her interests are Clinical Practice, Epidemiology and Statistical Modeling, Knowledge Translation & Exchange, and Social Science Research. She continues to volunteer in the children’s programs at Wellwood Resource Centre of Hamilton. She coordinates The Kyle Hoult Memorial Food Drive each year to benefit Neighbour to Neighbour.

Lorraine looks forward to supporting the incredible work being done at Neighbour to Neighbour as a Board Member.

George Kalacherry


George retired from GE water and Process Tech where he worked as a Project Engineer for 18 years in various engineering positions. Prior to his immigration to Canada, he headed the Quality Assurance department of a private Telecom company in India. George is a veteran who served the Indian Navy for more than two decades.

George is an electrical engineer with a postgraduate degree in System Engineering and a post graduate diploma in Operations Management. He is passionate about community service and spear headed fundraising events for the United Way as well as Sunnyshines Foundation, an organization where he is the founding Chair.

George is excited to be nominated to the N2N board and hopes to bring diversity with his years of experience in several demographics.

Fareen Samji


Fareen “Far” Samji is the 5 time Canadian Women’s Long drive champion and former golf touring professional. Her personal best in competition is 334 yards. Just to put this in perspective that is equivalent to three and a third football fields.!

Far was born and raised in Mombasa, Kenya and she came to Canada at the age of 14 to further her education. She graduated from McMaster University with degrees in Psychology and Kinesiology. She is an entrepreneur and works in the field of event management, orthotics, orthopedic footwear, compression therapy and bracing. She is also the founder and creator of Pythons’ Pit, a not for profit entrepreneurial pitch contest for high school students.

After winning 5 straight Canadian long drive championships, Far now focuses her efforts as the Tour Commissioner and coach for ALD Canada Long Drive and works actively to recruit and develop long drivers to represent Canada at international events. 

Fareen is passionate about mentoring business women and girls and her book Smashing the Grass Ceiling was published in 2017. It aims to empower, motivate and inspire professional women to make meaningful connections. Through the Smashing program she runs workshops and clinics to help professionals increase confidence and learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Joti Vallabh


Joti Vallabh is an Award Winning Entrepreneur, International Speaker and Leading Expert in Paperless Bookkeeping, Accounting and Tax. Joti is the founder of Positive Accounting. She calls herself an “Accountant WITH a Personality”, so that business owners see her as a person too, since her strength lies in building and fostering these relationships.

Joti’s mission is to bring the knowledge and expertise of the “big” accounting firms to you. This allows her to help you and your business achieve your goals without having to stress over the numbers that are crucial to your success.

Joti brings with her 20 plus years of international business experience. 11 of those years she was with the biggest of the big 4 accounting firms, PriceWaterhouseCoopers. At PwC she completed her articles and received her Certified Public Accountants License, South Africa. She also holds the Certified Professional Bookkeeper (CPB) designation from IPBC and is an affirmed member of the Association of Tax & Accounting Professionals (ATAP).

Joti’s patience and determination ensure that every business owner is confident in entrusting her with their financial needs.

During all this, Joti still regularly practices her South African accent! She gets her creative outlet through water colour painting. You can learn more about Joti and Positive Accounting by reaching out at

Chris White


Chris White has spent his career as a manufacturer and employer in the Hamilton area for most of his life. Chris has been in the equipment manufacturing industry for many years and currently owns and operates Fruitland Manufacturing in Stoney Creek. He continues to be an advocate for the development of technical trades at his company and is working with various groups to create opportunities for employment through educational programs in the Hamilton area.

Chris has served on boards for The Hamilton All Star Jazz Band, Hillfield Strathallan College, as well as advisor and fundraiser for The Good Shepherd Centre and Neighbour to Neighbour Centre. He is also an aviator and musician and can be found performing at various venues in the area.

Chris hopes to bring his business acumen and analytical skills to assist in the development of key goals and objectives for Neighbour to Neighbour.

Joan Nelson


Joan retired in 2018 with over forty years of experience in health and human service provision and as a consultant to not-for-profit organisations. Joan is familiar and experienced in not-for-profit governance, policies and procedures, fund development, and program and service management.

Joan graduated from McMaster University with a Master’s degree in Social Welfare Policy that supported her passion for not-for-profit service provision. Joan lives in the Hamilton area with her husband, and has two adult children.

Joan is looking forward to contributing her skills to Neighbour to Neighbour Centre as a Board Member to improved quality of life though preventative measures and strategies to alleviate the consequences of living with poverty in Hamilton. 

Josh Maurin


Josh holds an M.A. in Philosophy from McMaster University, where he worked primarily on the philosophy of art, philosophical logic, and Ancient Greek philosophy.

Education has always been an important focus for Josh. Since graduating, he has taught at McMaster University, the University of Guelph, and Mohawk College. He also works in student accessibility for MacMaster and Mohawk, helping to meet the needs of all students who require their services.

Outside of work, Josh spends his time on a variety of creative endeavours. He is an avid photographer and videographer, and writes whenever he can find the time

Josh has always had a strong affinity for volunteer work. Throughout high school and his undergraduate education, he helped out in the library at St. Joseph’s Mountain Healthcare, assisting patients with learning basic computer skills and checking out library materials. Since May of 2022, he has been a volunteer with N2N’s Bookstore, and is eager to help as a member of the Board of Directors.