Board Members

Board members are an integral part of Neighbour 2 Neighbour Centre. Their support, guidance and drive help staff make informed decisions and plan future programs and events at Neighbour 2 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 2 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 2 Neighbour board, and help lead the Hamilton Mountain community to an improved quality of life!

Stephanie Johnston

Vice President

Steph is a Certified Health & Life Coach, host of the podcast Stepping to the Edge, Wellness Advocate, and retail leader with over 25 years of leadership experience.  Steph is a champion for individuals who are ready to say yes to more health, happiness and joy in their life.

As a Coach with a passion for essential oils and natural solutions, Steph works with her clients sharing impactful strategies to create healthy and sustainable habits that support living a life they love.  Steph lives into and teaches the 5 pillars of Joy: Gratitude, Generosity, Connection, Health, and Faith.  Values in action have been a guiding principle for Steph throughout her life.  Raised by parents who were actively engaged in giving back to their community, Steph was exposed to acts of generosity and service early in life, and she continues to live into their legacy.

Steph lives in Dundas with her husband and two sons.  They love to hike the trails of the Conservation Area near their home, and spend much of their time at the baseball diamond cheering on their son and his team.

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 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 feels privileged to be a part of the N2N board. She values the incredible work being done at N2N which fuels her spirit with a deeper connection to the community by giving back.

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 2 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 2 Neighbour.

Steve Kartonchik

Past President

Steve Kartonchik is the Vice President of Sales and 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.

Alicia Au


Alicia is a McMaster University student working towards an Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences with Interdisciplinary minors in Sustainability and Community Engagement.  Her journey has been shaped by her dedication to causes, such as gender equity, reproductive health, and the celebration of cultural diversity.

Beyond her academic and advocacy pursuits, Alicia has a deep love for exploring local Farmers Markets and experimenting with recipes from her extensive collection of cookbooks. Currently, Alicia is immersed in a project close to her heart—a community cookbook that celebrates the rich cultural diversity of the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area.

Alicia is thrilled to join Neighbour 2 Neighbour’s Board of Directors and bring her unique perspective to the vital services this organization provides.

Andrew Brown


After being born and raised in Northwestern Ontario, Andrew is a resident of Flamborough where he lives with his spouse and three children.  Andrew and his spouse, Karen, operate a legal services business in Waterdown that focusses on helping folks use the law and other social tools to be kind to themselves, their family and community.

Andrew brings lived experience as an entrepreneur and a practicing lawyer to the Board. Mostly though, he is curious about all lives in our shared communities and is eager to contribute to improving the experience of all living creatures. 

Andrew enjoys wilderness canoeing, silence, card games with the kids and buddies, cooking and golf. 

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 2 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.

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 organizations. Joan is familiar with 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 2 Neighbour Centre as a Board Member to improve quality of life through preventative measures and strategies to alleviate the consequences of living with poverty in Hamilton. 

Kristina Santone


Kristina is the Executive Director of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario (FWIO), and also volunteers with several community-based organizations.

Coming from a small town, Kristina has a deep appreciation for close-knit communities. Her parents were both teachers and instilled in her the values of compassion, empathy, and service. From a young age, she recognized the importance of giving back and helping out where and when you can.

Kristina graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in English and Sociology. While studying, Kristina also worked with the Big Sisters program, mentoring young girls in her Toronto neighbourhood.

Outside of her professional endeavours, Kristina remains deeply rooted in her community and believes in the importance of grassroots efforts. She frequently contributes her time and skills to a small neighbourhood paper in Hamilton’s North End, while also volunteering with Festitalia, a volunteer driven organization that promotes and celebrates Italian culture and heritage in Hamilton.

Kristina lives in Hamilton with her husband and two kids. She loves talking about what she’s eating, cooking, or growing in her garden. Kristina is honoured to be a board member for N2N and hopes to positively contribute to the amazing work they do.

Natalie Shearer


Natalie Shearer is the Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Mohawk College, where she works with the Centre for Community Partnerships and Experiential Learning on a wide range of projects and programs focused on engaging Mohawk College with the Hamilton community. She has served the College in several roles related to community engagement, project management and research since 2015.

Natalie has also worked in the post-secondary sector in British Columbia with Simon Fraser University and the British Columbia Association for Cooperative Education & Work Integrated Learning. She holds a Master’s degree in Adult Education & Community Development from the University of Toronto, and degrees in Education and English Language & Literature from Queen’s University.

Natalie is thrilled to bring her expertise in public-private partnerships, research and evaluation, education, and community engagement to Neighbour to Neighbour Centre. In her spare time, Natalie enjoys hiking, reading and spending time with her husband, one-year-old son, and yellow lab.

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 2 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 2 Neighbour.