P 8 Shelley RowanShelley Rowan was one of the first members of the Threads of Life board of directors. After nearly ten years of service Shelley has decided it’s time to retire from the board. Shelley’s contributions will be missed, but she will always be a part of the Threads of Life family.

Shelley’s first contact with Threads of Life happened with the LifeQuilt. Threads of Life hadn’t even been incorporated when the LifeQuilt was unveiled back in 2003. Shelley accompanied a couple of Nova Scotia families to the unveiling of the quilt. At that time she was introduced to the organization and knew she had to be involved. As an employee of the Nova Scotia Worker’s Compensation Board, she knew workers and families involved in a workplace tragedy needed more support than a WCB could provide. She saw Threads of Life as the answer.

Now the Vice-President of People and Strategy for Nova Scotia’s WCB, Shelley has been an integral part of Threads of Life’s growth over the years. She has enjoyed watching the charity grow from a small group of people into a national organization. Shelley does not take credit for the growth but takes great pride in the support she has been able to provide to the staff and families over the years. She says, “It’s been amazing to watch the growth happen and see families’ needs met. It’s also been sad to see how many families need the support Threads of Life gives.”

Shelley recalls stories of people who came to a family forum and couldn’t even get out of their car right away. Once in the forum, just trying to muster up the courage to speak about their personal tragedy can be difficult for many. But then watching these people be welcomed by existing families and find a place they belong is very gratifying to Shelley. As time goes on these people sometimes become advocates for workplace safety as they travel down the road of healing. Watching people effect change in industry and make the workplace a safer environment; watching their health improve and having their own life grow larger, are all very satisfying to Shelley.

Shelley knows that she leaves Threads of Life as a board member in very good hands. With Shirley Hickman’s vision and guidance, she says, Threads of Life will continue to grow and help more and more Canadians.

“It has been a privilege to be on the board and working with Shirley and the staff and a privilege working with people that have faith the world can be a better place.”

Shelley Rowan may be leaving as a member of the board of directors, but she will always be family in our eyes.