Shirley’s Bio

Name: Shirley McCoy

City: Ancaster, Ontario

Joined Soroptimist: July 1989

Reason For Joining: I  joined our local Soroptimist club to give back to our community and to make  a difference for women and girls in our local community and throughout the world.  I appreciate being with like-minded women who assist other women with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. I am proud to be a part of a global voice for women. There are many opportunities  for leadership development and professional growth.   I have been an active member of Soroptimist for 33 years, and have served as club president, Governor of Eastern Canada region and the SIA board of directors. 

Fun Fact: I love to travel, and as a Soroptimist member and SIA board member  there were many opportunities to attend conferences and international  conventions all around the world. I have been fortunate to meet many of our leaders and members  in  other countries. I enjoy meeting of with members and learning about their club activities and fundraising ideas. I have been so excited to  have traveled to Tiawan, Scotland, Honolulu, Vancouver, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Calgary, Montreal, Orlando, and Anaheim.

Janet’s Bio

Name: Janet Barnard

City: Mount Pleasant, Brant, Ontario

Joined Soroptimist: Feb 2009

Reason for joining:  I was invited to a meeting by a colleague, and was drawn into a group of welcoming women helping other women and girls.  Enjoyed new friendships and liked the fact that we were all working towards making a difference in other women’s lives, most particularly in our community. 

Fun Fact: I enjoy cooking, sewing, gardening, reading, traveling with our 5th wheel trailer.  Semi retired as a bookkeeper and often when we are traveling can continue from wherever we are. I can remember camping in Desert Hot Springs California, while working away I could look out one window to see palm trees and other window mountains, great memories.

Brooke’s Bio

Name: Brooke Gordon 

City: Waterdown, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec

Joined Soroptimist: January 2007

Reason for joining: One of my friends invited me to a meeting and I really enjoyed getting to know other women who were passionate about gender equality and making a change. I was honoured to attend the UN NY Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) with a Soroptimist delegation on Violence Against Women and Girls. I am glad to have a local venue to continue that advocacy work by raising awareness of violence and trafficking here in Hamilton. I also have a tremendous amount of fun and laughter at our conferences and conventions, and I receive so much joy from the opportunities to provide mentorship to young women in high school through our Dream It Be It program. 

Fun Fact: I host MoreThan Good Food, the podcast.

Barb’s Bio

Name: Barbara Mccoy

City: Hamilton Ontario

Joined Soroptimist: September 1991

Reason for joining:  I was looking for a volunteer service club, who supported women & girls in the community. What I found was a club comprised of  dynamic and caring women, who are passionate about helping women in girls, locally, nationally & globally.

Fun Fact: I survived a fall in a hot air balloon in the Swiss alps in the winter.

Sandy’s Bio

Sandra Gray has been a Soroptimsit since January 2004, currently sits on the Board of Directors as Treasurer of the club and is proud to call herself a DAF’er!

Sandy & husband Steve will be celebrating their 30th Anniversary in April 2009. They have 2 grown children, daughter Erin (25) who is just completing studies in interior decorating as well as planning her own wedding for next fall & son Brandon (23) who is co-owner of a busy Active Green & Ross store in Burlington.

Steve & Sandy have been co-owners of Weeks Home Hardware in Waterdown since 1987. The business itself dates back to 1823 as one of the original general mercantile stores in the area and amazingly in 185 years the business has only been in the hands of 4 different families! Having been known as ‘Weeks’ since 1925 it became part of the Home Hardware buying group in the late 1960’s. The Gray’s moved the business from its original location on Mill Street when they built the ‘new’ location in 1989 on Hamilton Street, a 25,000 sq ft store that employs over 65 people.

Sandy has sat on the Board of Directors of the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce for 5 years & was the president of that organization in 2006/07. SI DAF also happens to be an active member of the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce. She has been nominated for many awards recognizing community contributions including an Athena Award nomination & many Chamber of Commerce awards. Having won and been nominated for the FCC Community Service by an Individual Award so many times, that organization has since renamed that award in her honour.

Some of Sandy’s many past times include sharing the love motorcycles and old cars with husband Steve. They both ride their own Harley Davidson Motorcycles, she currently rides a 2008 FLHX. Sandy earned her motorcycle license way back in 1981 when seeing a women riding a motorcycle was a rare thing indeed! They also share the passion of restoring old cars having quite a collection of vehicles that they rebuilt together. Sandy is also one of the lone golfers in the SI DAF club, along with Blanca Pena. Incidentally Sandy accompanied Blanca to Cali Colombia in November of 2007 in efforts to start a Soroptimist club there!

So why did she choose Soroptimist International? Sandy is very passionate about helping others and has assisted many community organizations through her business, but she wanted to find something of her choosing that she could apply her energy to. Having always felt fortunate to never feel there were any barriers to achieving anything she wanted, she realizes that not all women have those same opportunities. To Sandy, Soroptimist International is ‘Women at their best, helping other women achieve their best’ and there is nothing better than realizing that you have truly made a positive difference in someone else’s life.