Cheryl Martinez has been the Executive Director of Snowflake Place for Children and Youth since its official opening in January 2013. She has worked to develop Winnipeg’s first child advocacy centre into an important resource for service providers in the Winnipeg community, while also networking with other centres across Canada and the United States as the organization evolves.
Cheryl has a Master Degree in Social Work, with 28 years of experience in child and family services. Before becoming involved with Manitoba’s first children’s advocacy centre, she was the Manager of Training with the Child Protection Branch, Manitoba Family Services. As such, she was responsible for professional development of Manitoba’s child welfare workforce, and for the administration and operations of the Provincial Child and Family Services Competency Based Training Centre.
Cheryl was raised in Thompson and began her career in child protection, providing services in many rural and remote areas in northern Manitoba. She has considerable experience working with and coordinating multidisciplinary teams and child abuse investigations, working closely with government, child and family services agencies, police, medical professionals, victim services, community workers and other key stakeholders in the area of child maltreatment and sexual exploitation.
Cheryl enjoys curling and golf and is a proud mother of two adult sons.
Marni Carlson first joined Snowflake Place for Children and Youth in May of 2013 as the Executive Assistant. Having spent the majority of her career providing administrative support to Superintendents, Board of Directors and Administrators, in the River East/Transcona School Division in Winnipeg, Marni also worked in partnership with the Division’s educators to support their important role. Marni is greatly missed as a familiar face and “School Mom” to numerous children of elementary and middle school ages over her 25 years.
Her 25 years of experience in nurturing children is a great asset. Although she left in September 2014, Marni returned to Snowflake Place for Children and Youth in July of 2015. She considers the welcoming and comforting child victims and those who accompany them some of her most important responsibilities at Snowflake Place.