Youth Financial Literacy Advisory Council

The following community members make up the council who are assisting in the development of the youth financial literacy program and creation of a youth financial literacy society.


Andreas Simic
Founder, MERISTIC Financial Literacy Center
“With a thirty plus year career that has spanned Accounting and Finance, Taxation, Banking, Financial Planning, as well as business ownership it is my goal to continue to engage financial literacy as a part of my life. From humble beginnings, knowing how money is made, spent wisely, saved and invested has allowed me to live through an incredible life journey, one which allows me to share those experiences with our youth and our community.


Karen Hope
Executive Director, Dawson Heights Housing Ltd.
“I believe that if we hold a space for the best in people that is what they will become…some with a little more help and guidance than others. I have spent forty years working in social services, mostly with families and people with disabilities. Twenty years have been in the not-for-profit sector, with the last thirteen years as executive director in the field of affordable housing. I am all too familiar with the impact of low income and poor financial management on both  body and soul.”


Scot Merrylees
IT Asset Management
Scot has been employed for many years in the IT departments of various companies as well as the Brantford District School Board in positions such as Business Analyst, Network Administrator and Desktop Support. Since his 20’s he has been interested in investing having read multiple books on the topic as well as attending many seminars to expand his ever growing thirst for knowledge in this area.

Debi LaHaiseimage05
A single mother Debi has raised four daughters who have become beautiful women. Her experience in financial planning, tax, and finance allowed her, while in the employ of the Victoria Native friendship center, to help develop and deliver a financial literacy program with a First Nations focus.


Warren G. Nickerson
Retired College Lecturer
“As a grandfather and after years of working in the public sector (education, at high school and college level) I have come to realize that my preparation for retirement was something that I deferred to “the system”. It is one thing to have discipline around spending but another to understand and learn about investing wisely.” I have seen a great deal of evidence during my lifetime to suggest that financial literacy is something lacking for a significant percentage of the population which I wish to change for my grandchildren.


Shannon Nichols, Project Manager
Shannon has managed numerous projects for the public and private sectors over her thirty year career. As a Certified Project Manager she has led teams of up to 70 people and managed multi-million dollar budgets.She believes that a sound financial understanding is an essential part of a satisfying and rewarding life for all Canadians.