Board and Staff

The Foundation is a group of committed leaders who come together with a common mission – to prevent and eliminate family violence.

Board of Directors

Honourary Member

Hon. Margaret Norrie McCain, C.C., O.N.B.

The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain was born October 1, 1934, in northern Quebec. Her father was a prominent mining engineer in the early days of the Quebec gold mining industry and her mother was Senator Margaret Norrie of Truro, N.S. Mrs. McCain received her early education in public and private schools in Quebec, Nova Scotia and Ontario. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors in History from Mount Allison University, Sackville, N.B., and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Toronto. She has been presented with Honorary Degrees from a number of prominent Canadian universities. (see below).

Photo Credit: Steve MacGillivay

Throughout her career, Mrs. McCain has been active in organizations that promote education, music and the arts at the provincial and national levels. She was a member of the Mount Allison University Board of Regents from 1974-1994 and served as Chancellor of the University from 1986-1994. She is a founding member of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation in New Brunswick which is devoted to the elimination of family violence through public education and research. Mrs McCain chaired its capital campaign to endow a Family Violence Research Centre in partnership with the University of New Brunswick.

In 1955 she married entrepreneur G. Wallace F. McCain of Florenceville, N.B. who died in 2011. They have four children and nine grandchildren. 

On April 28, 1994, Margaret Norrie McCain was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of New Brunswick – the first female to hold this position. She served in that role until April 1997. At that time she moved to Toronto to re-join her family.

Margaret McCain was a member of the Board of the National Ballet School for 18 years serving as Board Chair from 1998 to 2000. She then went on the Chair the School’s successful $100 million fundraising campaign. She is currently Chair of the Margaret & Wallace McCain Family Foundation. The mission of this Foundation is to champion effective early childhood programmes across Canada; programmes that provide equal opportunities for all children, align with the school system and operate within a provincial or territorial framework.

In April 1998 Mrs. McCain was appointed by the Secretariat for Children, Province of Ontario, co-chair of the “Early Years Study.” In 2002 she co-chaired a Commission on Early Learning and Child Development for the City of Toronto. She has participated in numerous early child development policy and programme initiatives in Canada and is frequently asked to speak at conferences, seminars and meetings across the country. 

Honours & Awards

  • Honorary Doctorate in Education – Université de Moncton –
  • Honorary Doctorate Humane Letters –Mount St. Vincent University
  • Honorary LLD – University of New Brunswick
  • Honorary LLD – University of Toronto
  • Honorary LLD – Ryerson University
  • Honorary LLD – York University
  • Honorary Doctorate in Education – Nipissing University
  • Honorary Fellow of Renison College, University of Waterloo
  • Honorary LLD –St. Thomas University
  • Honorary LLD –Mount Allison University
  • Honorary LLD –Trent University
  • Honorary LLD – Dalhousie University
  • Honorary D. Litt.S. – Wycliffe College, University of Toronto
  • Honorary Diploma – Sheridan College
  • Honorary Diploma – Loyalist College
  • Officer of the Order of Canada – 1998
  • Companion of the Order of Canada -2014
  • The Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation Award
  • The Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian Award
  • The Ontario Child Care Federation Award
  • The Learning Partnership Award
  • Yorktown Family Service Partnership Award
  • Centre For Excellence for Early Child Development Award
  • 100 Most Powerful Canadian Women Award
  • Fraser Mustard Award –Toronto Foundation for Student Success
  • Toronto YWCA 2005 Women of Distinction Award
  • Association of Fund Raising Professionals –Outstanding Philanthropist Award
  • Public Policy Forum Award
  • St. George’s Society Award of Merit
  • Family Resource Association Award

Honourary Member  

Anne Crocker C. Anne Crocker – C.M., B.A., B.L.S., Cert. (UC Berkeley), Librarian Emerita (UNB)

Anne Crocker is a founding and lifetime member of the Fergusson Foundation’s board of directors. Prior to her work with the board, she was also a founder of the Fredericton Transition House and was named honourary president of the Transition House Inc. board. She was appointed the first vice-chair of the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women (1978-1983). In 1997 Anne was named a member of the Order of Canada and in 2003 received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. She has been an active member of the MMFF board since 1985 and currently serves as a representative on the board of the Muriel McQueen Centre for Family Violence Research. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree along with a Bachelor of Library Science and is librarian emerita, University of New Brunswick



Sonja Perley, President
Meranda McLaughlin, Past President
Noreen Bonnell, Secretary
Elaine Stairs, Treasurer


Jennifer Bennett

Danika Carleton

Carol Deschenes

Norma Dubé

Angela Francoeur

Dr. Gregory S Kealey, C.M.

Miguel LeBlanc

Brigitte Maicher

Jessica Melanson

David Parkinson

Clair Ripley


Rebecca FrancisExecutive Director

Rebecca works to bring the Fergusson Foundation’s mission – to prevent and eliminate family violence through funding research, programs and education – to life. Rebecca joined the Fergusson Foundation in 2009 and has been Executive Director since 2016. She has more than 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector and believes strongly in the value of non-profits to support our most vulnerable and promote change. Originally from Port aux Basques, NL, Rebecca and her husband, Terry,  live in Fredericton, NB, with their two children.



Morgan Richard,  Special Project Coordinator

Morgan (she/her) is a doctoral student in Experimental Psychology at UNB. Her research interests include sexual violence, adolescent development, and romantic relationships. She began working for the Fergusson Foundation in 2016. Morgan is passionate about community involvement, volunteerism, and preventing gender-based violence. Morgan  coordinates the Fergusson Foundation Community Grants program. If you have questions about the Fergusson Foundation Grants program, please contact Morgan.




Danielle LaPointe, Administrative Coordinator

Danielle joined the Fergusson Foundation in 2024 as an administrative coordinator. With nearly a decade of administrative experience and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Yorkville University, Danielle aims to help the Fergusson Foundation in their mission by improving operations and efficiency.
Originally from Belleisle Bay, NB, Danielle has lived in Fredericton for the past 12 years and spends her free time with her partner, Kevin, and their two dogs.