Board members

 

Tom Walters

With Master’s degrees in Social Work and in Healthcare Administration, Tom enjoyed a storied career in community services and in mental health care and planning in Manitoba and in Ontario, before being named CEO of the George Jeffrey Children’s Centre in Thunder Bay. Tom has been recognized for his many professional contributions with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, the Elizabeth Manson Award for Community Service in Mental Health, and the Thunder Bay City Council’s Citizen of Exceptional Achievement Award. While he is moving on from his professional career, Tom continues to contribute as an active and dedicated volunteer with regional, provincial and national organizations.

 
Lois A. Ouellette 

Lois A. Ouellette, CPA, CA

Lois is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a recently retired audit partner at KPMG LLP, after 39 years. She is a life-long resident of St. Catharines, a mom, and grandmother to a handsome grandson who lives with cerebral palsy and is a client of Niagara Children’s Centre.

Through her day job Lois worked with not-for-profit organizations and is familiar with their unique needs and challenges. Lois assisted her clients with developing good governance policies and processes to provide oversight to the organization’s employees. She has served on a number of boards including Alzheimer Society Niagara, and Niagara Children’s Centre. Lois is currently Treasurer and a board member at Lifepointe Bible Church, and also provides volunteer bookkeeping services to Living Waters Life Centre.

 
Paul Cantin 

Paul Cantin

Paul is a communications and marketing professional with experience in the not- for-profit, fundraising, health care, education, and government sectors. He currently leads all marketing and communications activities for Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management, Canada’s largest English-language business school. An award-winning and internationally published journalist, Paul is also the author of a critically acclaimed biography of Canadian singer, songwriter, record producer and actress Alanis Morisette.

 
Sara Pot 

Sara Pot

Sara is a writer, speaker, volunteer, and the parent of four daughters. Sara says that while she and her husband celebrate all four girls’ unique gifts and abilities, they are particularly consumed by the care for their two youngest who are medically fragile children with complex care needs. She has been involved in the child development and rehabilitation sector through Niagara Children’s Centre, as a client family and support parent, as well as a volunteer with the association, representing interests of parents of children with special needs. Sara is committed to the vision of cultivating communities of belonging, with families, care providers and support organizations collaborating to provide, affirm and encourage best practice and sustainable plans that help children and families thrive.

 
 Susan Nall

Susan Nall, DSW, RN, B.Sc.N, MBA

As the Director, Performance and Network Integration at Children’s Treatment Network Simcoe-York, Sue provides leadership for quality and performance initiatives, health records and privacy. She is also responsible for leading workplace and service modernization in addition to the pandemic response. Sue previously served as the Clinical Manager, Developmental Pediatrics and Rehabilitation at McMaster Children’s Hospital, Hamilton Health Sciences, where she was responsible for the operational excellence of the Children’s Treatment Centre.

Sue is passionate about systems transformation and led the first Indigenous health partnership between MCH and de dwa da dehs nye Aboriginal Health Centres in Hamilton, Brant and Niagara, delivering on her commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sue led the specialized vaccine clinic for youth ages 12-18 aimed at ensuring accessibility for children with communication, functional or behavioural needs. An active community partner, Sue also serves on the board of Alternatives for Youth.


 
 

Zoran Piljevic

As Director of Information and Instructional Technology Services at the University of Toronto Scarborough, Zoran is responsible for IT infrastructure, services and information security for the campus with over 13,000 students and more than 650 staff and faculty.

Zoran holds an M.A. and M.I.St. from the University of Toronto and has over 15 years of experience in various IT roles. Recently, he has been focusing on the implementation of continual service improvement methodology and has been pursuing ITIL and LEAN Six Sigma certifications. During his career he has received UofT’s Excellence through Innovation Award in 2011 and in 2016.

Zoran is an avid basketball supporter—both of Toronto’s Raptors and of players who enjoy the sport just for fun. He has been involved with his community basketball organization for 15 years, including as a board director and 10 years as a head coach. In 2008, he was recognized by the Toronto Raptors as a BMO Community Hero of the Game for his contributions as a volunteer basketball coach.

Christina (Tina) Langlois

Tina’s legal practice includes providing advice and contract services in the areas of professional regulation, committee and board liaison training and facilitation, program and project management, and policy development and implementation. She manages the enforcement processes at two regulatory health colleges, and has assisted clients in the development and implementation of privacy policies and record management. Tina was first introduced to the child development and rehabilitation sector when her son was diagnosed at Children’s Treatment Network of Simcoe-York. She later served as a Board director for CTN for six years, including three years as Board Chair.

 

Warren Kennedy

Warren has devoted his career to Ontario’s kids, beginning his career as an elementary teacher in the Lambton Kent District School Board and moving into school and later school district administration. Throughout his career, Warren welcomed challenges as opportunities and is known for creating effective teams and developing partnerships with all stakeholders, meeting the needs of kids and families. Warren brings extensive experience as a board director with not-for-profit organizations that serve youth—including Pathways Health Centre for Children—to the Empowered Kids Ontario Board.

 

Carole Moore

Carole Moore

Carole Moore is a senior health care administrator dedicated to improving outcomes and to ensuring an exceptional patient and staff experience. She is a speaker at on this subject at national and international conferences. Carole is also a dedicated volunteer who has served on boards, including Children’s Treatment Network of Simcoe-York and DeafBlind Ontario Services. As a parent, Carole considers herself “a long-time customer” of Ontario’s child development sector and its services.

 
Susan Vanagas-Cote

Susan Vanagas-Cote

Susan Vanagas-Cote is passionate about empowering children and youth with disabilities and their families. Susan dedicated her career as a Speech- Language pathologist to treating individuals with communicative disorders— early on working with adults before moving to administration, clinical supervision, and treatment for kids with language, speech and feeding issues. As Executive Director for THRIVE Child Development Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Susan made significant contributions to building the agency’s governance and operational structures in order to deliver of high quality, consumer- oriented services.

 
Dr. Mohammad Zubairi

Dr. Mohammad Zubairi

Dr. Mohammad Zubairi is a physician, researcher, teacher and advocate. A developmental pediatrician and medical director at Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre in Hamilton and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
at McMaster University, he is also Vice-Chair for the Physicians of Ontario NeuroDevelopmental Advocacy Network, a board member of the SAAAC Autism Centre, and serves nationally as an executive member in the Canadian Pediatrics Society’s Section on Developmental Pediatrics. Dr. Zubairi received the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Spotlight Award on three occasions; he has also received the University of Toronto Faculty Teaching Award, and the Hamilton Health Sciences Outstanding Resident Award. He is a frequent presenter at conferences, and his work has been presented in journals, editorials, and webinars.

 
 

 Andra Duff-Woskosky

A senior healthcare executive, Andra brings lived experience as the mother of a child with disabilities and a pediatric physiotherapist. She worked at Grandview Children’s Centre before transitioning into a leadership role on the Board of Directors. Through her life and work experience, she knows very well what it is like to treat children with disabilities and their caregivers, both the triumphs and the challenges. Her advanced education and professional skills have enabled Andra to quickly influence positive change as she led portfolios in acute care, community care and tertiary care. Patient and family engagement is near to her heart, and she has a record of successfully embedding lived experience into quality councils, team meetings and hiring panels to radically push the quality of services offered.

 
 

Kevin J. Collins

Kevin is President and CEO of Easter Seals Ontario. Born with cerebral palsy and having served as a Provincial Easter Seals Ambassador in 1976, Kevin has the ability to relate to the children Easter Seals serves and often acts as a mentor, empowering others to reach their full potential. As President and CEO, Kevin works diligently to ensure the children, teens and families Easter Seals Ontario serves experience greater independence, freedom and dignity through funding for essential mobility and accessibility equipment, fully accessible summer camp and online camp programs, public awareness and post secondary scholarships. Along with serving for over 18 years as Executive Director at We Care, Kevin has many years of experience in the hospitality sector and has been an active community member with a strong background in strategic planning and Board governance.

 
 

Nagham Azzam

Nagham is a Social Worker in Developmental Pediatrics and Rehabilitation at McMaster Children’s Hospital, a position that brings an understanding of the complex psychosocial needs of children and their families.

As an Arabic speaking and visibly Muslim clinician, Nagham connects with many non- English speakers in their first language and is passionate about meeting the needs of newcomer children and their families. She is committed to ensuring that vulnerable children and families have their voices and needs represented at decision-making tables. Nagham has non-profit board experience and is the founding president of Mishka Social Services, a social service organization that aims to provide culturally relevant services for Muslim and Muslim-adjacent peoples and cultures. Nagham is committed to bringing an intersectional approach to the work of the board to create equitable and inclusive pathways for those experiencing marginalization and systemic barriers to accessing care. She brings this focus on equity, diversity and inclusion, together with corporate experience in EDI, to Empowered Kids Ontario.

 
Jennifer Churchill

Jennifer Churchill

As CEO of Empowered Kids Ontario-Enfants Avenir Ontario (EKO), Jennifer Churchill leads the association through a significant period of growth and change, as the province continues to innovate in its approaches to the delivery of community-based health care in child development and rehabilitation. She is respected as a collaborative partner by colleagues in a sector for which Ontario is known across Canada and around the world as a leader in both child disability research and care. During her tenure at EKO the association has modernized its governance, expanded its membership, and developed relationships that ensure EKO’s voice represents a broad range of stakeholders.

 Jennifer joined EKO after more than 25 years in the health and government sectors.

Jennifer has a degree in Social Work, a Master’s Certificate in Municipal Management and Executive Leadership Certification.