Meet Our Team

FUSION Saint John is run by volunteer Board of Directors, who are a group of hard-working and dedicated professionals from the uptown Saint John business community.

Each Director brings to the table unique and diverse experiences, insights and ideas and shares our vision of making Saint John the premier community to work, live, and play!

The board of directors sets the strategic direction to guide and direct the activities of the FUSION organization. The board of directors provides the leadership to ensure that the organization delivers results which reflect the vision, mission, and values of FUSION. 

2023 Board of Directors

Dustin Leclerc, Co-Chair

Dustin works at Brunswick Credit Union. Both his professional and volunteer experience has been dedicated to the charitable sector, more importantly, enriching the lives of Saint John residents. As a newcomer to Saint John, Dustin moves through his professional/volunteer roles infatuated with our region’s history, culture, and potential. For this reason, Dustin calls uptown home with his partner Robin, and bulldog Todd.

Nicole Vair, Co-Chair

Nicole is a marketing and communications professional who currently works as the Manager of Marketing & Communications for Envision Saint John: The Regional Growth Agency. She is passionate about growth in the Saint John region and lives on the West Side with her partner Geoff and dog Frankie. She loves exploring hiking trails and craft breweries, and can be found teaching Group Ride at the YMCA or taking in a dance class in her spare time.

Shannon Penny-Rocca, Vice-Chair

Shannon moved to Saint John in 2019 and couldn’t be happier to call this charming city her home. In that time, she has gotten actively involved in her community. Shannon has over a decade of experience working in events, marketing and volunteering. She is passionate about traveling, spending time with family and friends, trying new local beers and exploring the great outdoors.

Caleb Hunter, Secretary

Caleb is an Associate in Cox & Palmer’s Saint John office, with a general corporate practice. Caleb has a keen interest in corporate and commercial law, mergers and acquisitions, finance, and real estate development. Beyond his legal practice, Caleb is an avid sports fan and keeps active by playing basketball, golfing, and skiing. He also enjoys exploring the local food and art scene. As a member of Fusion Saint John’s board of directors, Caleb is excited to contribute to the growth of the Greater Saint John Region.

Lindsay Palmer, Treasurer

Lindsay is an Investment Associate with the McKenna Group of Scotia Wealth Management. In her work life, she is focused on comprehensive Financial Planning and Wealth Management. On the weekends, you’ll find her and her partner John on the local hiking and biking trails. She is passionate about creating a sense of community and connection among young professionals, especially those new to the area.

Laura Oland, Director of Cultural Engagement

Laura is a Ph.D. Art History Student, a Public Art Program Consultant for the Government of New Brunswick, and a Sales Associate at the Urban Shoe Myth. After moving back to the Saint John area in 2018, she has dedicated her research and work to improving the awareness of the history, culture, and art of Saint John.  She is passionate about living in uptown Saint John and is excited to see the port city continue to grow!

Kate Nairn-Duffy, Director of Social Media

With a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a major in marketing from UNBSJ, Kate has developed a passion for marketing and has a strong love for the community. In the past, Kate has worked in analytics at Irving oil and has since made the career jump to work within her field at The Ginger Agency doing what she loves most- marketing and connecting with others. You can also find her serving at local uptown restaurants, something she has done for almost 10 years and absolutely loves.

Kathryn Melvin, Director of Social Inclusion

Born and raised in the Saint John region, Kathryn Melvin is the General Manager for Newcomer and Community Connections at the YMCA of Greater Saint John. She also co-chairs the Saint John Local Immigration Partnership and sits on the board for the Atlantic Region Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies. She has been working with newcomers for the past six years and loves meeting people from many backgrounds and walks of life. She believes that newcomers are essential to building a welcoming and inclusive community. Kathryn completed a Masters in Science before joining the Y family. In her down time you can find her getting creative in the kitchen or curled up with a good book.

Rebecca McNeil, Director of Human Resources

In her day job, Rebecca works as a a Senior Human Resources Consultant with her Chartered Professional Designation in HR. She currently works at an uptown boutique HR Consulting firm. She moved to Saint John in 2018 and since then has made uptown her home. She is passionate about building bridges and breaking down barriers to create more equity and empowerment through work and community. She’s also pretty passionate about a good charcuterie!

Rachel Vander Vennen (she/her), Director

As Executive Director of L’Arche Saint John, an organization building community and support around adults with intellectual disabilities, she is no stranger to nonprofits dedicated to serving the community in meaningful and inclusive ways. Rachel moved to Saint John with her partner in 2020 for a position with L’Arche, despite never having visited the city or knowing anyone. Three years later, they couldn’t be more thrilled to be building a life here – the friendliness of locals, access to outdoors and professional opportunities in Saint John have far exceeded any expectation. Rachel is honoured to be a part of Fusion and looks forward to building a more vibrant and inclusive Saint John for all.

Emilie Bourque, Director

Emilie is an Economic Policy Analyst in the Strategy and Innovation Policy sector at ISED. She holds a Master of Public Administration from Dalhousie University along with a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Political Science and Psychology from Mount Allison University. Community involvement and extracurricular activities have always been central to Emilie’s life. After moving back to the Saint John area in 2020, Emilie joined the Board of Directors at the Saint John Free Public Library and Sophia Recovery Centre, where she also serves as Chair of the Mission Advisory Committee.

Her passion for travel and new cultural experiences keeps Emilie motivated to foster inclusive environments. She also loves getting outdoors and will rarely say no to an invitation for appetizers in the city.