Anna Pazdzierski is the retired executive director of Nova House, a women’s shelter where she was in leadership for 20 years.
The work of the xecutive director goes well beyond a typical business day. She is active on numerous boards and committees where she represents the interest of women and girls, whether it be advocating for services for mental health, victims of violence/sexual assault, or in business leadership.
Pazdzierski advocated for better working conditions for women working in the field of domestic violence, including fair and equal wages and benefits such as a pension plan. Her team admired and respected her.
Pazdzierski has been a mentor and support to all of the executive directors across the province, providing a listening ear, but also wisdom and guidance in how to advocate effectively. In her leadership role with the Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters, Pazdzierski instilled in each member the importance of their roles in the communities, the value of being the voice of the women and girls in matters of violence and equality; inequality allows violence to be perpetrated.
Pazdzierski has worked tirelessly with great compassion for decades to advance equality for women and girls in Canada. Her collaborative approach to recognizing that women’s issues are issues for everyone – if women thrive so will the community – resonated with every board she served.
Pazdzierski represented the voice of rural and Indigenous women at many committees and boards, explaining the issue of equality can be even more complicated for rural and Indigenous women, who often face a lack of access to resources. She used every opportunity to remind policy makers and leaders across the province of those additional barriers to women and girls, and that access is essential for there to be equality.
Pazdzierski, who now serves as mayor of Teulon, seizes on opportunity for collaboration and growth, and is a driving force for change. Her engaging and persistent personality helps bring people together to see a vison of what could be. She works hard with the team to make that a reality, as she did in 2017, with the opening of a new women’s shelter in Selkirk, drawing in community support and all levels of government to get it done.
Most recently, Pazdzierski has been a driving force with the Teulon United Church to open Madeline’s Closet, which invites marginalized women to select clothing items at no charge.
Pazdzierski is a motivator, a dreamer, an advocate, and compassionate in all things she does.