Board of Directors

Cynthia Hernandez

Cynthia Hernandez is the Director of Finance at the Western Development Museum. Cynthia has a combination of international accounting practice with user experience, visual impact, and process expertise. She is internationally educated, holding Bachelor’s degrees in both Accounting and Arts.

Born and raised in Mexico, Cynthia has lived in three countries in the past 20 years and speaks English and Spanish fluently.

Cynthia and her husband came to Canada in 2008. As a newcomer, she realized how important community support is. The resources available to her through different organizations in the city helped her feel welcomed and created a sense of belonging. Over the years, she has volunteered with different organizations in the city, and enjoys interacting with people from diverse backgrounds.

Cynthia enjoys the outdoors, and you can often find her biking or cross-country skiing at the Meewasin trails or paddleboarding in the river during the Summer months.

Olivia Mensah
Vice President

Born in Ghana, Olivia grew up in Saskatoon and has called Canada home for over 40 years. Professionally, as a Chartered Professional in Human Resources and Vice President of the Board of Directors at IWS, she uses her experience in human resources and strategic planning to support IWS to set and achieve long-term objectives. As a mother and daughter, she is a strong advocate for equality and women’s empowerment.  She is proud to be affiliated with an organization supporting immigrant women and families as they settle in and make Saskatchewan their new home.  

Patricia Bautista

Patricia Bautista holds three major issues close to her heart: poverty alleviation, anti-racism and education. She moved to Canada with her family in 2012 as a teenager and settled in Nipawin, Saskatchewan, where she lived for two years before moving to Saskatoon for university. Having moved to Canada as a teenage immigrant, she understands the challenges of moving to a new country, so she wants to help our city’s international community as a way of paying it forward. Passionate about community involvement, she is an active volunteer in the Saskatoon community – having volunteered at the Saskatoon Open Door Society and the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre Garden Patch since 2014. She also loves fundraising among friends to support causes in the Philippines, her home country.

Patricia graduated from the Edwards School of Business, University of Saskatchewan with an undergraduate degree in Accounting in 2019 and a Master of Professional Accounting (MPAcc) degree in 2021. She works as an auditor for PwC and is currently pursuing her CPA designation. She is honoured to be part of the International Women of Saskatoon board of director’s team and share her knowledge in financial reporting and board governance.

Shiney Choudhary

As an alumnus of the University of Saskatchewan, Shiney Choudhary has been a part of the USask campus for many years. She came to Saskatoon as an international student and is now a settler on Treaty 6. She was born in New Delhi, India, and is very connected with her roots. She considers Saskatoon her second home and, while she left her family behind in India, she has created herself a chosen family in Saskatoon. When she first came to Saskatoon in the Winter of 2014, she knew the winters would be tough. But, the warmth of the people of Saskatoon has kept her here and made her feel welcome. With a keen interest in people and human behavior, she chose to study Psychology and graduated with a BA in Psychology and a Certificate in Criminology & Addictions in 2018. Throughout her degree, she worked part-time in different departments at the University and she also volunteered her time on campus and in the community with newcomers and international students in Saskatoon making new friends and connections along the way. She is now a student at the University of Calgary in the Masters of Social Work – International & Community Development program.

Davida Bentham
Member at Large

Davida was born and raised in Saskatchewan. She is a Staff Lawyer and Outreach Director with Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan in Regina. She specialized in immigration and refugee law before moving to Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan, where she now assists in various areas of law faced by low-income people. Davida’s Mennonite roots are important to her and give her empathy and understanding of the joys and challenges faced by newcomers. She is active in the newcomer community.

Kristen McEwen
Member at Large

Kristen McEwen is a Communications Officer at the College of Arts and Science, University of Saskatchewan. Kristen has 10 years of extensive writing experience, including writing for weekly and daily newspapers. She also has experience managing social media, monitoring trends, and analyzing metrics. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Regina in 2014.

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Kristen has lived and worked in various parts of the province. Through education and her experience in journalism, her passion for women’s rights and social determinants of health continues to grow.

Kristen enjoys photography, creative writing, and spending time with her dog, Molly.

Apeksha Heendeniya
Member at Large

Apeksha was born in Sri Lanka and moved to Saskatoon in 2005. She is an active volunteer in Saskatchewan and is passionate about equity, anti-racism, and social determinants of health. She has a Masters in Geography and Planning from the University of Saskatchewan with a focus on health equity and First Nations. She continues to work with First Nation communities and participates in research with the university. Throughout her education, she volunteered with various organizations including health centers in Northern Communities and community associations. She has worked at non-profit organizations in Saskatchewan with a continued focus on health equity and education. She currently works at the Government of Saskatchewan as an International Engagement Specialist. Apeksha’s Sri Lankan roots are important to her which provide an understanding of the immigrant experience in the prairies. As an immigrant, she values the support communities provide and is honored to be a part of the International Women of Saskatoon board of directors. 

Feronika Harrisunker
Member at Large

Feronika is a South African lawyer, born and raised in the beautiful coastal city of Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal.  She qualified with a B-Proc degree from the University of Durban-Westville and relocated to Pretoria where she practiced law briefly.  Having found a passion for corporate governance, she served for twelve years on various boards in South African state-owned entities as a Corporate Secretary.  In continuing her development, she obtained an International Diploma in Governance Risk and Compliance, with distinction, from the International Compliance Institute in London, UK. 

Her interest in assisting with humanitarian work began early in her years whilst at university and continues.  Feronika relocated to Canada in 2021 and now calls Saskatoon her second home.  She is the Managing Director of her company, Ashcor Inc. which provides solutions related to board governance, leadership, risk management, and compliance. 

In re-energizing her focus on the work done by humanitarian organizations, she offers diverse perspectives on international best practices related to strategy and policy.  As a member of the Board of Directors, Feronika brings a wealth of knowledge and is committed to assisting the Board and management in achieving the strategic goals that IWS sets itself. 

In her spare time, Feronika enjoys travel, and photography and is an ardent foodie.

International Women of Saskatoon is looking for Board Members!

If you're interested in getting involved and helping us lead this great organization, please email [email protected] for more information. We are especially looking for directors with experience in finance, fundraising, law, and/or human resources.

The Board of Directors holds their meetings at 6:30pm (CST) on the first Monday of every month. If you are a member of IWS, you may join the meeting if you express your interest at least 7 business days in advance by e-mailing us at [email protected]