Announcement: DCS names new Executive Directors

The Department of Community Services has just announced four new directors for their service programs. CCANS would like to congratulate the new executive directors, we are looking forward to working with you all to help serve the communities across Nova Scotia.

Please see this Video announcement from Deputy Minister, Lynn Hartwell

Please see below for the new appointees, their titles and their bios:

Joe Rudderham has accepted the position of Executive Director, Services to Persons with Disabilities. Joe has a BSc from St. F.X. and an MBA from St. Mary’s, and most recently was the Director of Apprenticeship at Labour and Advanced Education.  In addition to his strong leadership skill, Joe has a rich personal volunteer history with supporting persons with disabilities, including being a founding member of Abilympics (Canada Association) and a former member of the Disabled Persons Commission.  Joe brings a methodical and thoughtful approach to work, a strong client orientation, and significant experience in leading change. 



Sandy Graves has accepted the position of Executive Director, Employment Support and Income Assistance.  Sandy has an MPA from Dalhousie, and most recently, she has been Director of Employment Nova Scotia at Labour and Advanced Education.  Sandy’s prior experience includes more than 18 years with Community Services in Employment Support and Income Assistance, and she brings significant experience in leading change and transformation – and a great energy, sense of humour, and action orientation.

 Vanessa Chouinard has accepted the position of Executive Director, Policy and Information Management.  Vanessa has a Bachelor of Information Systems from St. F.X. and an MBA from Dalhousie, and most recently was Project Director for Access for Citizens with Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.  Prior to joining government, Vanessa was a management consultant with Barrington Consulting Group and with Deloitte.  Vanessa brings a strategic orientation, and a strong change management and project management approach to the department, has a results and outcomes orientation, and has great capacity for facilitating collaborative approaches to transformational change.


Vicki Wood has accepted the position of Executive Director, Family and Children Services.  Vicki has a BA from Acadia and an MSW from Dalhousie, and most recently held the position of Acting Executive Director (15 months) and Director of Child Welfare.  Vicki has great experience in the field of child welfare, has a research orientation, and effectively uses evidence to support decision making.  Vicki is a collaborative leader with staff, senior leaders, stakeholders, and partners and effectively manages complex and compelling subject matter.