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A charitable organization that delivers enriching sports and fitness, arts, research and education, and life skills opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.

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Board of Directors

The Abilities Centre Board of Directors is committed to our mission and vision, and to a sustainable Abilities Centre.

Christine Elliott – Director

Christine resides in Whitby with her sons John, Galen and Quinn. Prior to entering politics, Christine was a founding member and partner of Flaherty Dow Elliott & McCarthy, a law firm with offices in Whitby, Toronto and Ottawa, where she practiced real estate, corporate and estate law. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Christine was called to the Ontario Bar in 1980. She is currently the Patient Ombudsman Designate for Ontario. She was the Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition and Critic for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Citizenship and Immigration, and Mental Health Reform. Christine is also a past Director and Chair of Grandview Children's Centre, a past Director of the Lakeridge Health Whitby Foundation, a past Director and Board President of Durham Mental Health Services (DMHS), and has been a Director of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Douglas Allingham – Director

Douglas Allingham is the Executive Vice President of AECOM, Canada East Region, and is functionally responsible for all corporate activities within this region. He has more than 35 years of extensive expertise in the public and private sector, and has served on a number of boards and organizations relating directly to his professional work. Douglas' extensive involvement in community work has led to a recent appointment to the Abilities Centre Foundation Board. In 2012, Douglas was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to the community.

Susan McGovern – Vice-Chair

Susan McGovern is Vice-President, External Relations and Advancement, for the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, Ontario. She has held many senior level positions over the last 30 years in both the federal and provincial governments, and in the private and not-for-profit sectors. Susan forged important relationships and maintained key linkages within the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and with community, business and association leaders across the GTA and Ontario. Her expertise includes corporate development, government and stakeholder relations, advancement, corporate governance, public and media relations, strategic communications and issues management. Susan is also a Board Member for Pacific and Western Bank of Canada, and lives in Gormley with her husband, John, and their three sons.

Wayne Gingrich – Treasurer

Wayne Gingrich is the Chief Financial Officer for MMM Group Limited, which is an engineering consulting firm with offices across Canada. Wayne has also held a number of senior financial positions with AECOM, including Executive VP of Finance for AECOM North America. Wayne joined AECOM through Tyco International's sale of Earth Tech in 2008, where Wayne was the VP of Finance for its Global Water Projects and Products division, which was an international portfolio of Design Build (DB), Design Build Finance Operate (DBFO), and manufacturing businesses across the globe. Before joining Earth Tech in 2003 he worked for General Electric in both the GE Capital and industrial business units, including Large Motors, Power Management, Retailer Financial Services and IT Solutions. A chartered Professional Accountant, Wayne is a graduate from Wilfred Laurier University where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a specialty in finance and minor in economics.

Mark Wafer – Director

Mark Wafer is the owner of six Tim Hortons locations in Toronto. Over the past 20 years Mark and his wife Valarie have hired 107 people with disabilities and currently employ 46 people with disabilities from a workforce of 250. Mark believes there is a clear business case for inclusive employment. Mark is a member of the federal governments panel on labour market opportunities, co-founder of Canada's national strategy Canadian business SenseAbility, a member on Ontario's Lieutenant Governors Accessibility team, Ontario's Economic Development Partnership Council and an inaugural member of Ontario's champions league. Mark is also a motorsports enthusiast, race car driver and former amateur sports car champion. Mark was recently inducted into the disability hall of fame.

Nancy Thomas – Director

Nancy is Director, Customer Marketing for TELUS Communications. Prior to joining the TELUS team, Nancy was a member of the Koodo Mobile leadership team where she played a key role in developing a culture of strong team member engagement, creative problem solving and business ownership. Nancy recently developed and launched a Social Enterprise Competition that ignited entrepreneurship and innovation across the TELUS organization. Team members were invited to submit ideas on how to improve the lives and well-being of Canadians, with the winning team bringing their idea to market in 2015. Over the past 15 years, Nancy has held a variety of sales and marketing positions with a focus on telecommunications, sales and distribution, and customer communications. Nancy graduated from the University of Guelph with an Honors degree in Marketing Management. Nancy is an active volunteer and member of her community. She is a regular Habitat for Humanity builder, participates as a judge in the annual Enactus Financial Literacy Challenge for Canadian Universities, and joined the Abilities Centre Foundation Board in April 2015.

 

Kevin Empey – Director

Kevin Empey is President and Chief Executive Officer of Lakeridge Health, a position he has held since July 2008. Kevin is a Chartered Accountant and a graduate of the Rotman School of Management's Directors Education Program and Harvard's Advanced Management Program. Kevin has worked in the Hospital sector since 1990. His prior experience includes senior roles at University Health Network and St. Michael's Hospital. Kevin has been heavily involved in transforming hospital services through the creation of shared services, private public partnerships and companies such as Plexxus. He is engaged on a number of MOHLTC provincial committees. He is a Board Member of the Ontario Hospital Association and HIROC. In 2012 we was appointed an Adjunct Professor at UOIT and is also a guest lecturer at U of T and York University. He received the ICD.D designation in January 2015.

 

Todd Nicholson – Director

Todd Nicholson’s significant accomplishments have been both on and off the fields of play. As an elite athlete and for over a quarter of a century, Todd represented Canada on the international stage as a member of Canada’s National Paralympic Sledge Hockey Team and a number of other summer sports throughout his career.  During his years on the national sledge hockey team, Todd competed in five Winter Paralympic Games and brought home bronze, silver and gold medals.  He is currently the chairperson for all Paralympic Athletes, for every nation and for every sport.  He is regularly called upon to help motivate and to strive for excellence regardless of hurdles in the path to success. Todd is a valued and respected employee of the CBSA which now benefits from his experiences. Todd was awarded in 2015 the Presidential Citation for Meritorious Service, an award that is nominated by the President only.


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