Board of Directors

According to EPIC Policy and Procedure Directives, the Board shall be made up of collaborative, dedicated, and open-minded individuals with a commitment to achieving the broadest community benefit and who each effectively represent the needs of marginalized learners from a unique perspective. The EPIC Board operates on the principle of consensus.

The Board currently consists of an Executive Board of five officers who serve as volunteers for automatically renewable terms.

Chair/ Programs Director

Barb Donovan

headshot-barbBarb served EPIC as Director of the Youth Peer Program from its inception 1997 to 2009 and Co-Director from 2009-2011. After retiring from this position, she became the founding facilitator of Breakthrough. While no longer officially holding a position with this group, she continues to be involved with the participants, some of whom she welcomed into Youth Peer in the early days. She is a long-time volunteer with Island Community Justice. She was welcomed onto the Board in the fall of 2016.

Vice Chair / Planning Director

Janet Robinson

headshots-janetJanet has served as a Workplace Facilitator with Women for Economic Equality, at the Nova Scotia Community College in Sydney, Nova Scotia, assisting women to find jobs in trades and technology. She was formerly a long-time Counsellor at the Ann Terry Project and has served on the Board of New Dawn Enterprises. She has a wealth of community-based career and volunteer experience, including valued assistance with Celtic Colours International Festival. She was welcomed onto the EPIC board in the summer of 2005.

Vice Chair / Values and Ethics Director

Reverand Dana Feltmate

headshot-danaDana is the Minister of the United Protestant Church in Sydney River, a church which has grown rapidly in congregation and community service under his leadership. Dana and his wife Delores, a former Director of Youth Peer and Facilitator with Breakthrough, have been instrumental in enhancing provincial services to children in care. They have also been foster parents to eleven children including a daughter they adopted. He has worked tirelessly for the Children and Youth in Crisis working group of the United Church of Canada and the Cape Breton Child Welfare Board. Dana was welcomed to the Board in the fall of 2016.

Treasurer / Finance Director

Barry Waldman

Barry Waldman 2013 Barry is the visionary and founder of EPIC and also serves as Supervisor of its programs. He holds a Bachelor of Education degree and a Masters in Educational Administration. In 2012, he retired from his position as Educational Consultant to the Eskasoni First Nations School Board. In 2008 he was chosen as the recipient of the Harvey Webber Memorial Award for Volunteerism. In 2013, he received the Tom Miller Human Rights Award. He was made a member of the Executive in the spring of 2007.

Secretary / Communications Director

Nancy Waldman

Nancy Waldman 2013Nancy is a writer and retired RN with a Masters in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing. She has served on the board of the Cape Breton Mental Health Association and is one of the founders of Third Person Press which nurtures, publishes and promotes local writers of speculative fiction. She has been a volunteer with EPIC since 2000 and takes responsibility–the good, the bad and the frequently outdated–for the EPIC website. She became a member of the Board in the spring of 2007.

Previous Board Members

Senator Dan Christmas

1996 – 2014 (Founding Board Member)

Long-time Senior Advisor to Membertou First Nation, Dan was sworn in as an Independent Senator for Nova Scotia in December 2016. Senator Christmas is the first Mi’kmaw senator to be appointed to the Senate of Canada.

Patriarch Vincent Waterman

1996 – 2016 (Founding Board Member

Archbishop of the African Orthodox Church, Father Waterman served as leader of the St.Philips African Orthodox Church in Whitney Pier, NS from 1983 to 2016. Retired, he now lives in Dartmouth with his wife, Isabel.

Ruth Arsenault

1996 – 2005 (Founding Board Member)

Teacher and Principal, Cape Breton Regional School District, retired

Newell Johnson


Newell is the Principal at Allison Bernard Memorial High School of the Eskasoni First Nation, having served several years as math teacher and vice-principal. Newell is widely known for spearheading and promoting innovative programs, and for serving in a lead role as a volunteer in most community activities involving youth.

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