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Management & Board

Hope Blooms is led by a dedicated management team and Board of Directors.

Hope BloomsAbout UsManagement & Board

Management Team

Jessie Jollymore

Executive Director

Veronica Gutierrez

Manager of Growth and Sustainability

Kolade Boboye

Manager of Social Business and Innovation

Sitayla Bruce

Program Coordinator

Natasha Jollymore

Chef & Manager of Food Programs

Raphaelle Maruchitch

Farm and Greenhouse Programs Manager

Hot Cocoa Boys


Board of Directors

David Noel

SVP, Atlantic Region- Scotiabank

David Noel is the SVP, Atlantic Region for Scotiabank. He assumed the position on January 1st, 2021 and he is responsible for Scotiabank’s branch network across Atlantic Canada. Prior to this role, he was the President & CEO of Scotiabank Jamaica and SVP & Head Caribbean North where he was responsible for Scotiabank’s operations in Jamaica, Bahamas, Cayman, and Turks & Caicos Islands. David has also served as the Managing Director for the Caribbean East region with responsibility for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

David is an experienced banker, attorney-at-law and CFA Charterholder. He completed his Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill) and was called to the bar in Jamaica in 1997. He started his career as an Attorney at Myer Fletcher & Gordon, the largest law firm in Jamaica, where he practiced mainly commercial litigation on behalf of financial institutions.

He joined Scotiabank Jamaica in 2001 as an Attorney in the Corporate & Legal department. He was appointed Senior Legal Counsel & Corporate Secretary in 2003 with responsibility for the Legal, Compliance and Corporate Secretarial Departments and was the principal legal adviser and head of compliance for the Scotiabank Jamaica Group. In June 2008, David moved to Toronto on a leadership development program and worked in Commercial Banking, Retail Banking, Global Risk Management and various International Banking departments.

David has previously worked in Atlantic Canada as District Vice President in East New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. While in Atlantic Canada, he was the Chairman of the United Way Campaign for South East New Brunswick and served on the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Ballet Theatre Company. He has also served as President of the Barbados Bankers Association, and the Jamaica Bankers Association, and has chaired or served on several Scotiabank subsidiary boards across the Caribbean.

David currently serves on the Board of Directors of the QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation, the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, Halifax Partnership, and Hope Blooms.

David is married to Francene and they are the proud parents of two children, Zachary and Eden.

Leslie McLean

Vice Chair
Senior Health Care Consultant

Leslie has worked for over 30 years in a variety of areas and roles in healthcare, both within Canada and abroad. Among her many roles, Leslie practiced in the area of hematology/oncology/bone marrow transplant, was a health care services and project manager, an adjunct professor in Dalhousie University's School of Nursing, a faculty member with the Inter-professional Psychosocial Oncology Distance Education (IPODE), a lecturer at Ryerson University and is currently a health care consultant. Leslie has a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Allison University, Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from McMaster University and her Masters of Science in Nursing (Ethics) from Dalhousie University.

Leslie is a passionate volunteer and involved in relief projects in Africa, Central America, and India, in addition to local contributions in Ontario and Atlantic Canada with emphasis on health and social justice issues. She has been recognized with a number of professional awards in recognition of her contributions with the most recent being Women’s Wall of Honour, Mount Saint Vincent University (2015).

Brent Dreger

Vice President - Finance
Emera Energy

Brent was appointed Vice President of Finance at Emera Energy in July 2017. He is responsible for accounting and financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting, internal controls, and risk management.

He joined Emera in 2006 and has held a number of senior financial roles in Emera and Emera Energy, most recently Emera Corporate Controller and Controller of Emera Energy. He has significant experience in corporate finance, external financial reporting, business development, domestic and international taxation, internal controls, and accounting policy.

Brent is a Chartered Professional Accountant with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the University of Manitoba.

Kelly Gallant

Associate Vice President - Communications, Marketing & Student Recruitment
Mount Saint Vincent University

Kelly Gallant is the Associate Vice President of Communications, Marketing and Student Recruitment for Mount Saint Vincent University, where she is responsible for the overall delivery and implementation of strategic marketing, advertising, media and communications plans that advance the University’s strategic plan and leading the student recruitment function in support of the university’s enrolment management plans.

Kelly, a Mount Bachelor of Public Relations grad, joined the University in 2009. She came to the Mount from Bell Aliant, one of North America’s leading telecommunications providers, where she held the role of Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. In addition to her studies at the Mount, she completed her Certificate in Marketing at Saint Mary’s University and a BSc from Dalhousie. She is passionate about building capacity, within teams, organizations and the broader community, and is a trusted coach, mentor and confidante.

Melisa Marsman


Melisa Marsman has been practicing law in Nova Scotia since 2006. After graduating from Schulich School of Law in 2005, Melisa completed her articles in 2006 at Stewart McKelvey, where she practiced for five years in the corporate/commercial group. In 2011, Melisa joined Dalhousie University as Associate Legal Counsel. She is currently the Assistant General Counsel at Dalhousie University where she practises a wide variety of areas of law, including intellectual property, commercial contracts, information technology and privacy, as well as general advisor on a variety of strategic planning and risk management issues. In addition to an LLB, Melisa obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from York University.

Melisa is actively involved in the legal and broader community and is passionate about equity, diversity and inclusivity in our economic, political, cultural and social systems. While in law school, Melisa was the President of the Dalhousie Black Law Students Association, and is currently a member of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers. Melisa proudly claims her African Nova Scotian heritage and has ancestral ties to the community of Upper Hammonds Plains, one of the 52 historical African Nova Scotian community. Melisa is equally passionate about supporting and investing in our youth. She mentors law students and junior lawyers, both formally and informally, as well as volunteers in the youth ministry at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Upper Hammonds Plains.

Kolade Kolawole-Boboye

Alumni Youth

Kolade is a founding member of Hope Blooms since 2008, when his family, originally from Nigeria, moved to Halifax. Kolade is now attending his 3rd year at St Francis Xavier University. His passions are social business, creating music, and creating positive change in the world. He has created, together with a group of friends, his own record label, LDN which also has a mentorship component to pay it forward in mentoring teens from his community who are interested in making music and creating positivity. Kolade is Lead Social Innovation Coordinator, with a team of 12 junior leaders and programming for 50 children in Hope Blooms

Chika Chiekwe


Chika grew up in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia and her family is originally from Nigeria. She holds an accounting degree from Acadia University and earned her law degree at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University.

Chika is lawyer in the Halifax office of Cox & Palmer and was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 2018. Her practice areas include corporate commercial, corporate finance, securities, commercial real property and wills and estates.

Chika sits on several boards and is very involved in the community. She is a strong believer of giving back to the community and mentoring the youth.

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