Meet The Team
Valerie Howe is our Director and an experienced leader skilled in strategic planning, business development, strategic marketing, team building. She is committed to excellence in professional development teaching and learning and focused on meeting the needs of employees and employers across throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
Prior to joining Gardiner Centre, Valerie worked in business development and account management for an IT company and as an industrial benefits specialist and economic policy advisor with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Valerie is a Memorial University alumna and started her career at the university’s P.J. Gardiner Institute. She returned to Team Memorial after 24 years in the public and private sector. She is an avid community volunteer and a current and past board member of a number of not for profit organizations.
Custom Training and Partnerships Lead
Susan Arscott is our Custom Training and Partnerships Lead and an experienced advisor on professional development, upskilling, and management and leadership development. She manages our relationships with employers and partners and is committed to supporting growth and excellence within these organizations.
Susan works with employers and associations from all industries to develop training programs and courses for groups who have similar training needs. Susan is skilled at working with employers to identify training needs and propose solutions to advance the skill set of the group.
Prior to joining Gardiner Centre, she worked as an Investment Advisor for 5 years. Susan enjoys exploring Newfoundland and Labrador in the company of family and friends.
Wei Xin Chin is our Training Assistant and a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Business Administration program at Memorial University. She is committed to excellence for our client’s Gardiner Centre experience for everything from course materials to parking and catering preferences.
Wei Xin is from Malaysia and speaks three different languages and 2 dialects - Mandarin, English, Malay, Hakka and Cantonese. She is a certified Taekwondo 1st Dan Black Belt holder. In fact, her whole family is black belt holders as well.
Alison Highsted is our Training Coordinator, bringing many years of experience in the post-secondary education sector. She leads training delivery and works closely with our instructor team to ensure quality curriculum and learning experiences for our clients.
Prior to joining Gardiner Centre, Alison worked in student recruitment and co-operative education at Memorial University’s St. John’s and Marine Institute campuses. Previously, she spent 6.5 years in Qatar working with the College of the North Atlantic. There she worked on the College’s Marketing and Public Relations team, and instructed in the Business Administration – Marketing program.
Alison is a Memorial University alumna and enjoys travelling, knitting and spending time on the East Coast Trail.
Professional Development Advisor
Melissa Kelly is our Professional Development Advisor bringing many years of experience in sales, project management, operations, and marketing. She is committed to building and maintaining relationships with new and existing clients by providing informed, timely, and expert advice to support their professional development and career planning. Melissa is well-versed in the content and benefits of all of our courses and programs and committed to keeping pace with workforce training needs.
Melissa began her career at Gardiner Centre and has significant experience in all areas of the centre’s business.
Melissa is a Memorial University alumna and enjoys travelling, hiking on the East Coast Trail, and spending time with her two dachshunds.
Robert McNeily is our Accounting Clerk bringing decades of experience in accounts payable, accounts receivable, and financial reporting. He is committed to excellence in customer service and ensuring timely and accurate transactions.
Prior to joining Gardiner Centre, Robert provided accounting services in the private sector and is a dedicated community volunteer.
Robert is a Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic alumna. He resides in the downtown area near Signal Hill Campus and his great grandfather was a tower keeper at Cabot Tower before Newfoundland joined Canada. He enjoys woodworking and repairing and replicating antiques.
Manager of Finance and Administration
Sheila Nash is our Manager, Finance and Administration, bringing decades of experience in planning and administration. She leads the centre's financial, operational, and human resource management.
Prior to joining Gardiner Centre, Sheila worked in finance and administration with Memorial’s Faculty of Nursing. Previously, Sheila spent 6 years as Assistant Comptroller with an engineering company in Virginia, USA.
Sheila is a Memorial University alumna and enjoys spending with her family. She particularly appreciates time to take in the salt air at the landwash in Branch, Newfoundland.
Ashley Wright is our Marketing Advisor bringing years of experience in branding, social media and website management, content development, and marketing planning. Ashley is dedicated in presenting Gardiner Centre offerings to our market in a clear and meaningful way. She skilfully presents information on courses, programs, and events to assist learners in matching training to their professional development needs.
Prior to joining Gardiner Centre, Ashley worked as Marketing Advisor for Memorial University’s Botanical Garden and Johnson Geo Centre. She also taught at an elementary school level for 2 years.
Ashley has been involved in Girl Guides for 3 decades and is a Deputy Provincial Commissioner with Girl Guides of Canada, NL Council. She volunteered on the Board of Directors for the Newfoundland and Labrador Cheerleading Athletics for 17 years. Ashley is a trained ballroom and Latin dancer, a Disney enthusiast and mom to 4 cats.