Women leading on the national stage

For Immediate Release
October 16, 2020

St. John’s, NL – Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador is celebrating an important first – all three of our provincial representatives on the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Board of Directors are women.

Trina Appleby, Deputy Mayor of Torbay and Isabelle Fry, councillor with the City of Mount Pearl were elected to the 75-member board yesterday at FCM’s first virtual AGM. They join MNL President Mayor Sheila Fitzgerald, who already holds a seat.

Board members serve for a one-year term. Provincial-territorial association president are ratified annually.

“The timing couldn’t be better for three strong female leaders to represent our province at the national municipal table. I am excited for these women to join me on the FCM board, especially now when so much important work is happening in our sector and in our province,” said President Fitzgerald.

MNL will hold its annual conference virtually from November 5 to 7 with keynote speakers and interactive sessions with a focus on recovery, resilience and leadership. More information can be found here. Registration is open to municipalities and those interested in the municipal sector.


Read FCM’s release here.


Isabelle Fry is a proud resident of Mount Pearl and has served on council since 2017. While in this role, she’s served on the Infrastructure and Public Works Committee; the Community Development and Planning Committee; the Corporate Services Committee; the Regional Water and Wastewater Committee and the Regional Fire Services Committee. For the past 22 years, she’s worked for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency in Community Development. She’s a community-minded person and is committed to the empowerment of women. She was the founder and executive director for the Miss Teen Newfoundland & Labrador Pageant. Championing merit-based achievements, volunteerism, and community advocacy, she is proud to have operated a program that helped instill confidence and self-esteem into hundreds of young women across the province. In her spare time, she’s an avid baker, cat lover, coin collector, and proud member of the Mount Pearl Kinettes Club.

Trina Appleby grew up in Burin and has been around municipal politics all her life. She was elected as Deputy Mayor of Torbay in 2017. Appleby is currently Chair of the Economic Development Committee of Council and is a member of the Finance and Administration Committee. Appleby is a proud parent and volunteer with a strong background in strategic planning and economic development. She has worked with local and international businesses, the community sector, and with all three levels of government. She also has experience in business start-ups, information technology, research, oil and gas, agrifoods, trade and export. Appleby is currently the Chair of the Jack Byrne Regional Sports and Entertainment Centre and Chair of the North East United Soccer Club in Torbay. She served 10 years with the Rural Secretariat and two-years on the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industry Association (NOIA) Board of Directors. Appleby was also a member of the first Time in Torbay organizing committee and has volunteered with the school breakfast program. She is currently the Avalon Director with Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador.

Sheila Fitzgerald was first elected in a by-election to the position of councilor on the Roddickton-Bide Arm Town Council in 2012 and then later elected Mayor in 2013 and 2017. She is the first female ever to be elected mayor. Born and raised in Labrador City, Sheila was first introduced to Roddickton- Bide Arm in 1992. She became a permanent resident of the small town located on the northeast side of the Northern Peninsula in 1997 upon completion of her Baccalaureate of Social Work Degree from St. Thomas University in Fredericton, NB. Sheila later also graduated with a Masters of Social Work degree in 2000 from Memorial University in NL. She has worked in the area of children services- strengthening families and building community capacity for past 23 years. Sheila is vice-chair of the FCM Green Municipal Fund council and chair of Great Northern Peninsula Joint Council. She has been President of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador since 2019.