Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region Team

Inspired by the parents who founded Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region, we believe it is important to put the person first.

Our experienced team work in a thoughtful and professional way, to serve the people we support and our community. Our innovative perspective and commitment to the work we do is at the centre of our organization.

Meet our staff, send a friendly hello, and find out more about Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region.

Board Members

Tomasina Channer

Chairperson

Tomasina joined Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region’s Board of Directors in 2018. Living in the region for the past 20 years with her husband and three children, Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region was there when her family received the autism diagnosis of her daughter providing assistance when there seemed to be more questions than answers.

Tomasina brings over 15 years of management experience from the Contact Centre Industry as well as Director level positions with both Sun Life and Manulife. Tomasina wanted to leverage both her personal and professional experience in support of EAFWR, an organization that helps so many as it strives to bring inclusion and awareness to the community.

Daisy Martin

Vice-Chair

Daisy joined Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region’s Board of Directors in 2018. She wanted to contribute to a community that has embraced her family by giving back to an organization she feels embodies the values she is passionate about – community, inclusion and dignity for all.

Daisy has her Bachelors of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and has her Project Management Professional (PMP) accreditation.  She has been active in the community through various roles, including champion United Way within her work place, Co-chair to the Hope Spring Dinner event, events Chair for the local PMP chapter and Global Women’s Alliance Professional Development Chair at work.

She and her family have been a part of the KW community over the past 21 years and is proud to call KW home.

Caitlin Garcia

Treasurer

Caitlin, a dynamic and highly qualified professional with a well-rounded knowledge of accounting practices and principles, joined the Board of Directors in 2018.

Her strong work ethic and collaborative approach, along with her passion for learning, has been an asset to EAFWR. She has been a welcomed addition to our team, and her knowledge and passion for the organization and the people we serve has been indispensable.

Caitlin has a Bachelor’s Degree of Business Administration and is a Chartered Professional Accountant. In her full-time role, she is a Senior Tax Manager at BDO Canada LLP. Caitlin became our Board Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee in 2020.

Devon Fernandes

Secretary

Since the first day he started working alongside Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region to co-found the KW Library of Things, Devon has develop a strong appreciation for how community-based organizations can address complex social issues. Devon has served on the Board of the Laurier Students’ Public Interest Research Group, and continues to find ways demonstrate his commitment to inclusion, community, dignity and belonging.

Devon earned his Master’s in Community Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University and is currently working as Humber College’s Sustainability Specialist.

Chris Letizi

Director

A community builder for over ten years in the Stanley Park Community, Chris has gained experience in community leadership, bringing people together, empowering others and working with individuals from various backgrounds. Chris has lived experience working with individuals with disabilities, through his work with Carizon Family and Community Services, Extend-A-Family and Child and Family Services, as well as supporting his daughter who has Muscular Dystrophy and Scoliosis.

Chris has over 10 years of experience serving on Board of Directors, and through volunteer and paid experience has a knowledge of fundraising, program planning and administrative tasks. Chris is also experienced with supporting and developing policy and strategies, most notably the development of the City of Kitchener’s Neighbourhood Strategy.

Chris has his professional designation in Volunteer Administration and has completed the Volunteer Management Course at Conestoga College. Chris obtained his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Development from the University of Waterloo and specializations in Legal Studies and Criminology, as well as a diploma in Social Work Studies from Renison College.

Ryan Voisin

Director

Personally and professional, Ryan is a strong and passionate community-builder who believes in celebrating every individual’s unique contributions and achievements. Committed to community-building, Ryan works every day to create safe and inclusive spaces for productive and transformational dialogue. With strong facilitation and strategic thinking as a foundation, Ryan uses humour, creativity, and insight to help individuals and groups move forward collaboratively.

Ryan supports a father who lost the ability to walk unaided over ten years ago, and a mother diagnosed with amnesia three years ago as a result of an acquired brain injury. Ryan believes that it is “one’s environment and not abilities that create a disability”.

Ryan is the Director of Overlap’s Innovation Programs, whose proficiencies include human-centered design competencies rooted in empathy, applying foresight/futures methodologies for long-term planning, transforming organizational culture and design, including executive coaching, group facilitation and mediation, IT, strategic advocacy planning and relationship management.

Sigrid Janus

Director

Sigrid joined the Board in 2021, after having lived several years in Brazil with her family. While abroad, she became engaged in advocating for families with children living with disabilities following the lead of her daughter’s diagnosis. She later was elected a parents’ representative with the Board of the Public Institution that her daughter was attending.

Upon returning to the Region 4 years ago, she was introduced to Extend-A-Family and identified immediately with its people, values and ideals.

Sigrid profoundly believes that we all have something to contribute to building a welcoming and strong community. Advocating with different communities and families to ensure that we are all able to recognize ourselves in our community, is a very important step in this process.

Melissa Quarrie

Director

Melissa joined the Board in 2021 with enthusiasm and experience in advocacy, fundraising, policy development, and risk management. Melissa has a daughter with a developmental disability, and seeks to break down the barriers throughout all aspects of society that have impacted her family and others ability to fully belong and participate in the community.

Melissa is a member of the Waterloo Regional Police Service’s (WRPS) Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Unit. Her team focuses on engagement and consultation with diverse community groups and individuals across the Region, to ensure that all citizens feel safe, valued, and welcomed. In this role, Melissa champions inclusion on a daily basis, including through revision of policy and procedure, provision of education (such as implicit bias and anti-racism training) to membership and relationship building with the wider community.

Adnan Ali

Director

Adnan joined the Board in 2021, with a desire to participate resulting from his experience with EAFWR and our collective mission and vision of community development and greater inclusion. As the African proverb goes, “it takes a village to raise a child” and Adnan believes that it is the ideational understanding of what constitutes a village (society) that is central and where everyone has to play a part based on her/his capabilities.

Adnan holds a master’s degree in Global Governance and is currently a Data Analyst for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). Besides working at the United Nations, Adnan’s other works have been very closely tied with state policies and securities, especially concerning the foreign policy doctrines of the United States and China. Adnan’s skills and experiences include governance, strategic planning, public policy, data analysis, advocacy and leadership.

Adnan has also been part of developing survey methodologies and collecting primary data. In his professional career, Adnan learned that advocacy becomes that much more potent if you have the right data, and that having policies and strategies that build strong governance and advocacy models enhance stakeholder confidence.

As a hobby, Adnan is involved in home renovations and follows real estate developments closely. Given Canada’s current housing crisis, Adnan believes that cities should be empowered at the individual level to develop sustainable community housing – instead of taking cues from the provincial or central government.

Malika Ismaili

Director

Malika joined the Board in June 2022 with a passion to volunteer and give back to the community. As a parent of a child with a disability, Malika has first-hand experience, understanding something of the journey many of our families are on. She has been involved with EAFWR for several years. Malika works part time as an occasional supply teacher, and is currently working towards her teaching career. She brings with her prior Board experience, and has volunteered with many organizations, including KidsAbility in Waterloo.

Elizabeth Houston

Director

Elizabeth has been a police officer since 1999 and currently holds the role of Inspector of the Community Engagement and Wellbeing Branch, a newly created branch within the Waterloo Regional Police Service. Elizabeth is passionate about respect, inclusion and belonging and became a director with EAFWR in June 2022. Within WRPS, Elizabeth’s team focuses and leads work being done in creating and fostering relationships with community partners. These relationships provide the opportunity for important collaboration to tackle complex social issues facing our community, including mental health, addiction and homelessness. Elizabeth has volunteered with many organizations, including the United Way and Ontario Special Olympics.

Marisa Tabong

Director

Marisa joined the Board in June 2022, but has volunteered with EAFWR as a member of the Human Resources Committee since June 2021. Marisa is a Risk Director with Manulife, and her experience includes risk management, project planning and execution and leadership. When Marisa was considering joining EAFWR, she indicated that it was our values and vision that resonated with her, and believes that, “Everyone has their own view on things – everyone’s experience is important.”

Leadership

Al Mills

ext. 222
allan.mills@eafwr.on.ca
Executive Director

Ron Trajano

ext. 225
ron.trajano@eafwr.on.ca
Director of Services

Courtney Horowitz

ext. 263
courtney.horowitz@eafwr.on.ca
Director of Operations

Kevin Guay

ext. 240
kevin.guay@eafwr.on.ca
Director of Human Resources

Administration Team and Finance

Bea Binka

ext. 287
bea.binka@eafwr.on.ca
Program Specialist

Heather Dowling

ext. 223
heather.dowling@eafwr.on.ca
Executive Assistant

Chris Brown

ext. 239
maria.gligor@eafwr.on.ca
Financial Coordinator

Maria Gligor

ext. 210
maria.gligor@eafwr.on.ca
Financial Coordinator

Christina Koenig

ext. 0
reception@eafwr.on.ca
Community Ambassador

Ken Lemon

ext. 231
ken.lemon@eafwr.on.ca
IT Manager

Community Engagement Team

Laura Brown

ext. 213
laura.brown@eafwr.on.ca
Marketing & Communications Specialist

Kerry Cressman

ext. 291
kerry.cressman@eafwr.on.ca
Community Engagement and Event Specialist

Coordinators

Daniel Allen

ext. 232
daniel.allen@eafwr.on.ca
Support Coordinator

Trena Barnes

ext. 216
trena.barnes@eafwr.on.ca
Community Participation Supports and Resource Coordinator

Sanjay Bhaskar

ext. 351
sanjay.bhaskar@eafwr.on.ca
Support Coordinator

Samara de Boer

ext. 227
samara.deboer@eafwr.on.ca
Support Coordinator

Jessica Cave

ext. 237
jessica.cave@eafwr.on.ca
Support Coordinator

Tanya Feeney

ext. 218
tanya.feeney@eafwr.on.ca
Support Coordinator

Rebecca Fowlie

ext. 246
rebecca.fowlie@eafwr.on.ca
Support Coordinator

Katie Hagedorn

ext. 248
katie.hagedorn@eafwr.on.ca
FamilyHome Coordinator

Zahra Jama

ext. 219
zahra.jama@eafwr.on.ca
Support Coordinator

Chantelle Mann

ext. 270
chantelle.mann@eafwr.on.ca
Support Coordinator

Terral McBay

ext. 235
terral.mcbay@eafwr.on.ca
FamilyHome Coordinator

Kelly McMillan

ext. 230
kelly.mcmillan@eafwr.on.ca
Support Coordinator

Danielle Paquette

ext. 245
danielle.paquette@eafwr.on.ca
Support Coordinator

Alexis Pite

ext. 264
alexis.pite@eafwr.on.ca
Support Coordinator

Amal Shire

ext. 242
amal.shire@eafwr.on.ca
Support Coordinator

Christine Strong

ext. 244
christine.strong@eafwr.on.ca
Support Coordinator

Neha Mariam Sunil

ext. 241
mariam.sunil@eafwr.on.ca
Support Coordinator

Tharangi Uthayakumar

ext. 217
tharangi.uthayakumar@eafwr.on.ca
Support Coordinator

Mikaela Vander Loo

ext. 299
mikaela.vanderloo@eafwr.on.ca
Support Coordinator

Program Managers

Michelle Boismier

ext. 249
michelle.boismier@eafwr.on.ca
Program Manager, FamilyHome

Denise Dietrich-Lelievre

ext. 228
denise.dietrich-lelievre@eafwr.on.ca
Program Manager, Special Services at Home & Intake

Kimberly Little

ext. 234
kimberly.little@eafwr.on.ca
Program Manager, Medically Fragile, Technologically Dependent (MFTD) & Home and Community Care Support Services (HCCSS)

Andrew Owen

ext. 303
andrew.owen@eafwr.on.ca
Program Manager, Working Adults Learning Empowering Skills (WALES)

Ben Sauder

ext. 290
ben.sauder@eafwr.on.ca
Manager, Community Programs

Kim Sproul

ext. 247
kim.sproul@eafwr.on.ca
Program Manager, Community Development

Jill Swanton

ext. 301
jill.swanton@eafwr.on.ca
Program Manager, Passport

Recruitment and Training

Cheryl Fuller

ext. 238
cheryl.fuller@eafwr.on.ca
Training & Organizational Development Coordinator

Noor Othman

ext. 221
noor.othman@eafwr.on.ca
Human Resources Generalist

Michelle Scala

ext. 253
michelle.scala@eafwr.on.ca
Recruitment and Volunteer Coordinator

W.A.L.E.S.

Brianna Gaebel

ext. 305
brianna.gaebel@eafwr.on.ca
Community Facilitator

Desiree Hinsperger

ext. 309
desiree.hinsperger@eafwr.on.ca
Community Participation Team Lead

Julie Mainland

ext. 302
julie.mainland@eafwr.on.ca
Community Facilitator

Jayme Pembleton

ext. 307
jayme.pembleton@eafwr.on.ca
Community Facilitator

Gryphon Sibbald

ext. 307
gryphon.sibbald@eafwr.on.ca
Community Facilitator

Beth Weisberg

ext. 317
beth.weisberg@eafwr.on.ca
Community Facilitator