Board of Directors

Linda Hickey – President

Linda Hickey is the President and a founding member of Collective Interchange Cooperative. Linda has been “awakening the potential” of communities for over 15 years. She has also taken a leadership role on several volunteer boards on Social Engagement, Organizational Capacity Building, Fund Development, Leadership Building, Social Innovation, and other issues of importance to the nonprofit sector. Her expertise includes Finance / Budgeting & Fiscal Record-Keeping, Grassroots Organizing, Event Planning, Proposal Development/Project Management, Administrative Management, Governance Compliance, Facilitation, and Partnership Brokering. Linda’s main priority is to see the growth of cooperative members and to see the cooperative evolve in projects with newcomers. Business ideas can be ideal, but they need to be realistic and achievable. Understanding the cooperative model and how the model benefits your business is key to being part of the cooperative. 

Valerie Carruthers – Director

Valerie has 20+ years of experience designing and delivering national, provincial, and regional projects, specializing in equipping diverse populations through capacity-building activities, current information, and other resources so they can make informed choices and reach their social and economic goals. Valerie also serves as a manager with the Multicultural Women’s Organization of Newfoundland and Labrador, director and corporate secretary with the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Co-operatives, and co-manager with the Women’s Economic Council.   Valerie is a connector of people, a realist, and a problem-solver who enjoys helping people address things that matter to them most.  She is most happy in her garden, getting her hands dirty, experiencing nature and listening to the birds.

Fern Mitchelmore – Director/Treasurer

Fern is a CPA/CGA and takes a leadership role in the development, maintenance, and monitoring of internal controls and financial systems seriously.  She ensures that the projects are undertaken and any services provided are in compliance with the co-op’s policies and procedures as well as government legislation.  As a co-founder of Collective Interchange, Fern has been a solid and grounded leader and contributor helping forge a new kind of organization in an ever-changing province with significant challenges yet many opportunities to explore.

Elayne Greeley – Director/Secretary

Elayne is a classic example of the slash career pathway. A community educator and developer at her core. Her foundation career (15 years) was in the arts and culture sector as a visual artist and art educator. She brings creative thinking and social justice principles to her mid-career (15 years now) in building collaborative community structures and is energized by ideas and actions that will transform systems to serve individuals better. She has been brokering partnerships in the career and employment sector for a dozen years and is keen on community-based research. She is a career development enthusiast who can not help adding career development thoughts and theories to any conversation – career development is lifelong and life-wide.

Sophia Solomon – Director

Sophia completed her BSc degree in Psychology with a minor in Business at Memorial University in 2018. She served as the first female international student elected to the MUN Students’ Union Executive. She was the recipient of the International Undergraduate Student Leadership Award 2017 and the Student of the Year Award 2016. She was a speaker at the first Women’s March NL and facilitator for FemFest NL 2.0. She is deeply passionate about international students’ issues and an advocate for human rights, social justice, equity for marginalized identities, and fighting systems of oppression, especially towards women and people of color. She loves volunteering and doing what she can to make the world a better place!

Amparo Montoya – Director

Amparo Montoya Montoya trained as a Bacteriologist in Bogota Colombia. In 2002 she created Dinámica Corporativa, a training and consulting company on quality control and food safety. She has developed training workshops for workers in the food industry on topics such as Food Handling, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Food Safety, and Hazard Analysis Systems among others. In 2013 she began her life in St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, where she worked as a volunteer in an organization to help immigrants. Then she became an administrative manager where she renewed her passion to help people and the community. In 2020 Amparo started to think about creating a new company in Canada and created Corporate Dynamics, which offers Culture Connections service. Amparo began entrepreneurship training with the Board of Trade and NLOWE and was part of the Her Own Boss Project (HOB). After participating in the HOB project and understanding the incredible work done, she met the group of women who are part of the Collective Interchange, she was accepted as Director of the Collective Interchange in December 2020.


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