KidsAbility Board of Directors

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Sandra Hanmer - Chair

Sandra has devoted her professional career to providing senior leadership in health service organizations in Canada and internationally. Her focus has been on supporting an organization’s commitment to providing accessible, smooth and effective community-based health and disability services that make a real difference to people’s lives. Sandra has and continues to serve on a number of boards at the local, provincial, national and international level. She holds a Masters of Health Science from the University of Toronto. Recognized as both a visionary leader and strategic thinker, Sandra has an impressive ability to move programs forward from conception to implementation. She is an accomplished community building and visionary governance leader who thrives on developing strong community leaders.

 

Peter Haney - Vice Chair

Peter Haney is a partner at the law firm of McCormick Haney Brimblecombe and Code LLP in Kitchener and has worked at the firm since completing his education in 1989.  Peter was born and raised in Waterloo and continues to reside there with his spouse. They have three grown children. Peter's mother worked for years at KidsAbility, or rather the Rotary Centre as it was then called. He was introduced to the Centre as a volunteer during high school where he first learned of the importance of the role played by the Centre to the community and to the children & families that it serves.

 

Sandy Delamere - Secretary

Sandy Delamere began her career at Sun Life Financial over 30 years ago. As VP of Agility on the Digital Health Solutions team, Sandy is leading the growth efforts for Lumino Health, the largest network of health care resources, available to all Canadians.  Sandy has been involved in community work over the years including serving on the boards of YWCA, KW Symphony, Centre in the Square, and Shaw Festival.  Sandy lives in Waterloo with her extended family nearby.


Hilary Coates - Treasurer

Hilary is a CPA CA (Chartered Accountant) and a Senior Manager in the International Tax Services practice at Ernst & Young (EY).  Hilary’s background is corporate and international tax and her specialty is international transfer pricing.  Her clients include both large and small Canadian and foreign multinational corporations with international transactions. Hilary is a founding and past board member of the Guelph Community Foundation and past board member of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce. Hilary holds a BBA degree from Wilfrid Laurier University.  Hilary and her husband are the proud parents of three daughters and two Labrador retrievers. They reside in Guelph.


Tim Adams, CPA, CA - Past Chair

Tim is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a Partner at the Waterloo office of MAC LLP. In this capacity, he provides accounting, assurance, tax, internal control and governance advice to corporate and non-for-profit organizations alike, and is also an advisor to not-for-profit Boards on financial, human resource and strategic considerations. In addition, Tim is active in the community by volunteering with a number of charities.

 

Directors

Janna Cameron

Janna is a passionate advocate of inclusive design. The inclusive design program that she established and led at Desire2Learn, was awarded the Nation Federation of the Blind’s highest honour: The Jacob Bolton Award. It was featured alongside Apple and Oracle’s programs in the book:  “Ensuring Digital Accessibility Through Process and Policy” by Jonathan Lazar, Daniel F. Goldstein, Anne Taylor. She has presented on inclusive design across North America, including at TedX UWaterloo,  A11YTO, ID24 and at the Fluxible conference. She is the Design Lead at the Sonova Innovation Lab.

 

Adrian DeCoo

Adrian is a founding partner in the training and organizational development firm of Great Lakes Learning Inc. For more than 30 years he has had extensive experience working with a variety of clients in leadership training, developing strategic direction, facilitation of management of change, team building and development of teams at all levels. He has been an active member of the Rotary Club of Kitchener since 1986 in a number of administrative and committee roles and a board member for the past 11 years. He has been a part of the District Training Committee for the past 15 years and has just completed his fifth year as the Director of Training for Rotary District 7080. He is currently the Chair of Rotary Leadership Institute, and Chair of the District 7080 Strategic Planning Committee. He is a multiple recipient of a Paul Harris Fellowship, one of Rotary’s highest honors.

 

Michael Duschenes – Chair, KidsAbility Foundation

Michael Duschenes has spent over 35 years as a senior executive and management consultant. As Managing Director and COO at the Perimeter Institute since 2004, he has worked alongside Directors Howard Burton, Neil Turok and Rob Myers overseeing a major period of growth, establishing the institute as one of the world’s leading centres for foundational theoretical physics. Prior to joining Perimeter Michael held a number of leadership positions, primarily in the not-for-profit sector. He has also worked as a management consultant specializing in strategic and business planning, revenue generation, and organizational development. Over the course of his career, Michael has been involved with organizations and projects in Canada, the United States, Europe, South America and Asia. He is a native of Montreal and a graduate of McGill University.  Michael lives in Waterloo and has two university age children.

 

Vikki Dupuis

 

Theresa Fischer

As a Chartered Professional Accountant and Senior Manager in Ernst & Young’s (EY’s) accounting and assurance practice, Theresa’s focus is on the private and mid-market companies in Southwestern Ontario. Theresa has over 20 years of public accounting experience—providing accounting, business advisory and auditing services to growing organizations, including early stage technology companies, manufacturing companies, service-based entities and not-for-profit organizations. Theresa is Past Chair of the Board of Governors of the Grand River Hospital Foundation and is currently a member of its Finance Committee. She holds a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Waterloo and currently lives in Waterloo with her family.

 

Sean Gomes

Sean is a partner practicing business and technology law in Gowlings' Waterloo Region office. His practice involves assisting clients in a wide variety of business and technology matters with a particular focus on early-stage technology companies. He is an active member of a number of community organizations in KW and Guelph. Sean resides in Guelph with his wife and three young children.


Ann Hovey

Ann graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor’s degree in Systems Design Engineering and a Master’s degree in Statistics. Ann’s professional experiences include the responsibility and leadership for process improvement, team facilitation and organizational coaching initiatives.  She believes in the power of teams to accomplish exceptional results. Ann joined the Family Advisory Council at London Children’s Hospital in 2007 to support the Hospital in its efforts to improve patient and family-centred care. As a council member, Ann presents to hospital staff and administration on the criticality of health-care providers partnering successfully with parents, to achieve optimal results. She lives in Waterloo with her two beautiful girls and is thankful for KidsAbility’s role in her older daughter’s recovery!

Lindsay Kalbfleisch 


Linda Kenny, Chief Executive Officer

Linda Kenny is the Chief Executive Officer of KidsAbility Centre for Child Development. Prior to her appointment to KidsAbility in April 2013, Linda was the Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Association of Children’s Rehabilitation Services (OACRS) the provincial umbrella group representing all 20 Children’s Treatment Centres.  Linda has over 25 years of experience in the field of disability, having held positions with SCI Ontario, March of Dimes Canada and the Simcoe County Association for the Physically Disabled.


Over her career, Linda has consistently demonstrated her leadership skills in service delivery, client affairs, government relations, community development and sector knowledge. Dedicated to the pursuit of an integrated and seamless system of supports and services for Ontario's families, Ms. Kenny brings extensive experience in strategic leadership, organizational development and stakeholder relations.

  

Mary Law

Mary has lived in Cambridge for the past 41 years. Mary is an occupational therapist by training and worked at KidsAbility (then the Rotary Children's Centre) from 1977-83. She then worked for many years as a Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University. Mary is co-founder of CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, a multidisciplinary research centre at McMaster University. She participated in many evaluation and outcome studies about children's rehabilitation until retiring in 2014. In Cambridge, Mary has been actively involved on the Board of several community organizations. In 2018, Mary was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

 

Rick Martin

Rick is the General Manager of Wallenstein Feed & Supply Ltd.  WFS serves Ontario agriculture by providing feed, premix, and nutritional services for about 25% of the farm animals (poultry, swine, cattle, etc.) in the province.  Rick and his wife Nancy (Accountant at WFS) live in Elmira. They have two daughters:  Shelley, who owns and operates Arts Abound, an inclusive arts center for kids in St. Jacobs, and Stephanie who works at the family business (WFS).  Rick has a B Math from University of Waterloo and an MBA from York University.  Rick serves on many boards and wants to make a difference in the local community.  His charitable interests include addiction, homelessness, affordable housing, income disparity, human trafficking, welcoming immigrants, health, education, and the arts.

 

Melissa Papaioannou

Melissa was born and raised in Milton, Ontario and moved to the Tri-City area in 2001. She sits on the Family Advisory Council for Empowered Kids Ontario (EKO), is the President of her son's Sledge Hockey Team (Woolwich Thrashers), and works part-time as a personal trainer. She and her husband, Peter, have a 15-year-old son that has been a client at KidsAbility for over 15 years, where he and their family have benefited tremendously from the support and services the program provides. Her passions include all different types of sports, spending time outdoors, reading, and most of all spending time with her family and their dog, Manchester.

Eileen Polson 


Elizabeth Witmer

Elizabeth is Chair of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and has a 35-year history of public service as a trustee and school board Chair, Kitchener-Waterloo MPP, Deputy Premier, Minister of Labour, Health & Long-Term Care, Environment and Education. As an MPP, she was a tireless community advocate and brought the Cancer Centre to Grand River Hospital and the Cardiac Centre to St. Mary’s Hospital.


She has received many awards such as the Paul Harris Fellowship Award from Rotary, the Social Work Doctors Award for her strong commitment to a just and caring society, the 2013 Kitchener-Waterloo Citizen of the Year Award and in 2014, was the first recipient of the Asthma Society of Canada Innovation in Public Policy Award for her role in beginning Ontario’s coal phase-out. Elizabeth is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Althouse College of Education and the ICD Rotman Program.

 

Mardi Witzel, Past Chair, KidsAbility Foundation Board

Mardi is a graduate of Queen's University with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political studies. After working in the advertising industry with J. Walter Thompson and Brighthouse Inc., she obtained an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University. Mardi spent ten years working with AT&T Payment Processing Solutions, leading their worldwide product management and marketing groups. She has previously been a regular contributor to the Waterloo Region Record. Mardi lives in Waterloo with her husband Terry and has four children. She previously served as a member of the KidsAbility Foundation Board (2000-2006).

 

Lisa Talbot, CFRE - Executive Director, KidsAbility Foundation

Lisa has been with KidsAbility since 2000.  She is a member of the Waterloo Region Fund Raising Executives and Association of Fundraising Professionals.  She is a graduate of the University of Guelph and Leadership Waterloo Region, a local executive development program. Lisa earned her CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) designation in 2013.  Her leadership has enabled KidsAbility Foundation to develop strong community support and KidsAbility to enhance its profile as an important, innovative and knowledge-sharing organization.