Meet the Management Team
Mallory joined First Steps as Executive Director at First Steps in April 2021. Mallory has been involved with not for profits for the last 3 years and has more than 10 year experience in management. Mallory has a passion to help others and provide guidance to those who need it most. All of her interactions will demonstrate compassion, warmth, encouragement, empathy and willingness to listen.
Mallory is a dedicated lifelong learner.Following University she continued her education and training related to mental health and Crisis Intervention and most recently undertaking Canada’s premier leadership development program,LMI.
She has extensive experience in leadership, strategy, public relations, team building and communications. Mallory also serves on the board of the Saint John Suicide Prevention Committee, F.A.C.E Family and Child Education, and spends her time volunteering as much as possible in the community. Her experience working with mental health, young expectant mothers, and vulnerable clients makes her a great leader for First Steps.
Mallory will help us continue First Steps legacy as a respectful, high-integrity, caring, accepting, inclusive, and stable environment that creates a warm and safe home for the residents.
Denise graduated with honours from NBCC Human Services in 2005. She spent several years working with adults living with severe mental illness before joining the team at First Steps in 2009.
Denise started with First Steps in the role of Residential Support Staff. She has held several different positions over the years and has been the Residential Director since 2019.
Denise is dedicated and passionate about supporting the women and children in our community. She has a strong grasp of the needs of the vulnerable population we serve and she is committed to breaking the cycles of homelessness, poverty, childhood trauma, and intimate partner violence.
Finance & Marketing Manager
Jessica is an experienced professional who brings 10 years executive administration experience to First Steps. She joined the First Steps management team in February 2021 as Administrative Coordinator, and advanced to Administration and Finance Manager in 2022.
She manages and oversees the office administration, and assists with fundraising projects and events. Jessica maintains donation collection, creates web and marketing content , as well as social media management. She is also responsible for our accounts payable, receivables and monthly billing.
Jessica has a passion for helping people in her community and is proud to be a part of the First Steps team. She enjoys bonding with the mothers and babies of First Steps and helping them reach their goals for a better future.
Development and Events Manager
Karen Beshara Vickers
Karen joined our team in April 2019 as a Residential Support Staff (RSS). Always up for a challenge, Karen has eagerly taken on a new role within the organization as the Development and Events Manager.
Karen's diploma in Business-Accounting combined with her experience as an Administrative Assistant, Personal Support Worker and Competitive Sports Organizer,
makes First Steps lucky to have her as part of our team.
Born and raised in Saint John, Karen proudly calls our community home. Her passion for our beautiful Port City has been evident in both her personal and professional endeavors.
Karen looks forward to collaborating with our community partners.
Amanda is Daycare Coordinator for First Steps Housing Project. She graduated from The University of New Brunswick in 2002 with a major in psychology. Following graduation, she
worked at Family Plus.
She joined the first steps team in January of 2010. She is honored and grateful to be part of such a worthy and vital organization. She has held different positions within the organization but her true passion is caring for and teaching children. She is very dedicated to working with children as well
She values collaboration and forming relationships based on respect and the wellbeing of children. She is currently enrolled in the Early Childhood Education Program at The New Brunswick Community College. Outside of work, some of her passions include: family, lifelong learning, and refinishing antique furniture.
Melissa has been apart of First Steps team for 3 years, she started as a Residential Support Staff and recently has accepted the management position of Outreach Coordinator.
Her focus has been on keeping up to date with programs and services, helping clients obtain proper identification. She builds and maintains relationships with First Steps residents and Second Steps clients.
Melissa is passionate about helping moms and babies to make a difference. Before coming to First Steps, Melissa worked in a residential home for almost 10 years.
In Melissa' is a mom of 4 children and is very passionate about her family life.
Child Development Coordinator
Suzette joined First Steps as the Child Dev. Coordinator in May 2023. Working with parents and children is not new to her, as she has extensive experience in the Early Childhood and Educational field. She holds a Level 4 Child Dev. Services Associate certificate from the Nova Scotia Teachers College. There she was a graduate of distinction, upon completing a two year thesis on infant and child development. In addition to this, she also has a BEd. degree from U.N.B.S.J. as well as teaching certification 5 and various other accolades.
Suzette's commitment to young children began at a Head Start Program at Somerset Community Centre, here in the city's North End. Soon after that she was employed with Anglophone South School District where she enjoyed an extensive career in teaching children from all walks of life. She was one of the first public Kindergarten teachers in the province of N.B. Although she taught grades K-5 and served as Vice Chair for the Prof. Dev. Committee, she left the province for N.L. when family commitments warranted.
It was in N.L. that Suzette really found a niche working at a facility similar to First Steps called, Daybreak Parent Child Centre. It is this knowledge base that she brings to First Steps, along with a lifetime of experiences. Suzette is a young at heart retiree who very much enjoys infants and children, as well as the joy of helping young moms gain skills and knowledge to rear the next generation.
Meet the Board
Brian started his Government career of over 25 years with the Department of Social Development back in 1996. From there he has increased his skills and abilities by moving into his present Department of Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour as an employment counsellor then into programs where he is presently a Senior Workforce Consultant for the Province. Brian works with people and businesses within the Province assisting them in HR Management and program assistance. Brian joined the First Steps board in October of 2020 and is very proud to be an active member.
Mary Ann Ketchum
Born in Moncton, NB and raised in Saint John, NB, Mary Ann’s (BN, MEd) involvement in the community throughout her personal and professional life has contributed in a positive manner to the city as a whole and is an asset to First Steps as she serves as the organization’s President of the Board for 2022 . Still a nurse at heart, but now a long time REALTOR, much of Mary Ann’s volunteer time is spent giving back to those in our community who benefit from additional care and services provided through the organizations to which she gives her time. During her professional career Mary Ann has worked with such organizations as the New Brunswick Kidney Foundation, Canadian Red Cross, New Brunswick Heart and Stroke, St Vincent's Alumnae Association, UNB Nursing Society, Saint John Real Estate Board, the New Brunswick Real Estate Association and the UNB Saint John Capital Fundraising Steering Committee.
Mary Ann and her husband Don have five adult children. In their spare time, they enjoy spending time with their family, getting out on the water in the summer months, and being with their seven grandchildren.
Natalie was raised and has been working her whole life in the Maritimes. She has spent most of her adult life living in the Saint John, New Brunswick area and has now worked for J.D. Irving, Limited for over 25 years.
she has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Saint Mary’s University and a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation as well as an MBA from Western University.
Natalie has been the Treasurer on First Steps board since the fall of 2022.
Ross Galbraith is an International Representative for the International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Prior to starting this role in 2021, he had been the Business Manager of IBEW Local 37 for 15 years, representing a diverse group of 2,500 energy workers in many different trades, technical and professional disciplines throughout New Brunswick. He also served as the Canadian member of the IBEW International Executive Council for eight years,
where he provided governance oversight and acted as a trustee on the union’s Pension Benefit Fund. Throughout his career he’s been a champion of equality, diversity, and inclusion
for all people, as well as an advocate for a robust and reliable electrical system in the province of New Brunswick. He has often commented on energy and labour issues in the media and has been a frequent guest lecturer about unions, human resources topics, and labour relations at university level courses.
Ross has been very active in his community and has served on many volunteer boards and committees at the municipal, provincial, national, and international levels. He is currently the Vice-Chair of the New Brunswick Public Service Pension Plan, the Vice Chair of the Canadian Nuclear Worker’s Council, and until recently he served on the board of the Canadian Nuclear Association, and he
previously served for many years on the Board of Saint John Energy. A graduate of the Chemical Technology program of the New Brunswick Community College, Ross lives in Saint John, New Brunswick with his family.
J. D. Irving, Limited
A corporate commercial lawyer practicing primarily in banking and finance, with experience in real property and bankruptcy and insolvency.
Dr. Natalie Graves
Dr. Natalie Graves has been a board member of First Steps since March of 2020. She practices Family Medicine in the Saint John region with an interest in women's health and obstetrics. She holds faculty positions at Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick as well as Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Jocelyn Parker - Whalley
For the past 20 years, Jocelyn has been a local leader in the leasing business. She attributes her success to her ability to build strong relationships, have a creative vision and most of all, enjoy a good laugh. Outside of work, she is blessed to raise 4 fantastic kiddos and to be married to the person that makes her laugh the most! Jocelyn feels that giving back to other women and their children is a perfect match for what she feels passionate about and is fortunate to be on this board.
Sydney is a lawyer practicing primarily in family law and alternative dispute resolution. She earned her law degree at the Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations at Mount Allison University. She has practiced law in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. She has been a long-time supporter of First Steps and a proud board member since 2023.