President/Chair of Board
Mark has been the Sales & Group Operations Manager at Fallsview Casino Resort/Casino Niagara since 2006. He manages a staff of 20 and works closely with numerous external operators to manage the motor coach program, which facilitates day and overnight trips to the Casinos. His experience involves managing budgets, setting strategic goals and monitoring progress. Through an enduring relationship with the French family, Mark became familiar with the Centre before it became operational in 2008. Mark is married to Karen (nee Bannister) and they have three children. Mark looks forward to having the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way while working with the community on the prevention and awareness of child abuse.
Cathy is currently the Director of Homelessness Services with the Niagara Region and has previous financial experience in a variety of roles with Corporate Services, including managing the community services budget. Cathy’s current work is focusing on creating a youth homelessness strategy in partnership with local key agencies. Her passion for supporting youth to ensure they the resources and supports necessary to be well-rounded members of the community will be an asset to the Centre’s work with teens who have been impacted by abuse. Cathy is a certified Public Accountant with a commerce degree from Queen’s University.
Vice President of Board
Chelsea has graduated with a BA in Psychology and a graduate certificate in Human Resources (CHRP). She is currently working at Manpower, in the Canadian Head Office as a Bilingual Recruiter. She has experience working in the customer service field, the food service industry, and the financial industry. She also has experience as a manager. She was a volunteer for the center since 2014 and she loves to volunteer with different organizations and be involved with the community.
Andrea recently retired from the District School Board of Niagara with 17 years as an administrator of St. Catharines, Niagara Falls and Grimsby elementary schools. She has dedicated more than 30 years of professional work in the regions of Niagara and Halton. Andrea was the President of the Council for exceptional Children Chapter 22 in Niagara for several years and worked with the executive to organize the “Yes I Can Awards” for Niagara exceptional students from JK to 12. As a Special Education Resource teacher for South Niagara she supported classroom teachers with strategies for instruction and behaviour. Andrea excelled in program and curriculum leadership with a focus on supporting children’s social and emotional development, along with academic growth.
Wendy is the Executive Director of the Niagara Chapter- Native Women Inc. She has spent the last 25 years working in the urban Aboriginal community in Niagara. She brings to our Board that community knowledge as well as provincial and national awareness and knowledge of aboriginal issues as they pertain to urban society. She was born in Toronto and raised in urban society but is linked to the Chippewa of the Thames and is of Anishnabe (Ojibway) and Welsh/English decent. Her current interest rests with Indigenous child welfare issues, having developed and secured funding for two ground breaking child welfare programs that have had provincial impact – the Aboriginal Child Advocate program and “Original Pathways” an Alternative Dispute Resolution program that makes efforts to keep children and families out of court. Her governance experience includes as treasurer of Ontario Native Women’s Association, founding member and on the executive of the Ontario Native Women’s Charitable Foundation and is a founding member of the Neto Native Arts Canada.
Diana is a lawyer with the law firm Sullivan Mahoney, LLP where she practices in the areas of family and personal injury law. We are proud to recognize Sullivan Mahoney LLP a long-time supporter of the Centre. To balance her legal career, Diana is mother to three young children. She brings to the organization a passion to help children and bring awareness to abuse.
Director, Chair of Building Committee
Frank is one of the founding members of the Child Advocacy Centre model here in Niagara and was the very first Chairperson during its inception which dates back to the year 2000. He is a retired Deputy Chief of the Niagara Regional Police Services. In 2012 Frank was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth 11 Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to his peers and community. The list of volunteer activities are too numerous to mention but noteworthy is his recent completion of a two nine-year term on the Board of Directors for FACS Niagara. 18 years – that is dedication! Anyone who knows Frank knows his passion for the safety of children and the importance he gives to the work of the multidisciplinary team here at the Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre Niagara.
Patrick is a Real Estate Broker with McGarr Realty Corp in St.Catharines. A licensed Realtor since 2003, he has maintained an active business and family life since settling back in Niagara in 2002. With a background in music and education as well, Patrick has enjoyed a diverse and varied career over the years. Following 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Niagara Association of Realtors, Patrick was thrilled to join this important organization.
Debbie has an Honours Business Administration degree, and brings more than 30 years of Human Resources experience from the municipal, hospital, and police sector to Centre. Recently retired from the Niagara Region as Director of HR, she has started her own consulting business on a part-time basis providing services in workforce planning, investigations, creative problem-solving, HR planning and organizational design.
Karen Vanscoy, RN, BScN
Mental Health Consultant
CMHA Certified Psychological Health and Safety Advisor
Karen is a registered nurse with expertise in mental health. As such Karen has provided treatment, counselling and recovery support to individuals experiencing a range of serious mental health issues in a variety of inpatient and community-based settings. Karen’s roles have included assessment, crisis support, outreach, treatment, case management, counselling, education, recovery support, research and program planning, implementation, and evaluation. Karen is also a CMHA certified psychological health and safety advisor to better support organizations to achieve their mental health objectives.