Board of Directors

  • Lynn Jerchel

    President/Chair of Board & Chair of Planned Giving Committee

    Lynn is a firm believer in supporting victimized children through volunteering efforts. Lynn is retired from the provincial government of Alberta as Executive Director of the Early Childhood Development Branch. Lynn worked for the Alberta government for 24 years and has a background as a specialist in child care and working with children with special needs. This work included policy and program development for all legislation governing child care, supporting the service delivery of licensing, family day homes, child care subsidy and inclusive child care for children that have disabilities or special needs.

  • Cathy Cousins

    Treasurer

    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.

  • Deb Elliot

    Vice President of Board & Chair of Personnel Committee

    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.

  • Andrea Jack

    Secretary & Chair of Program Committee

    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 Sturgeon

    Member

    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 Contnenza

    Member

    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.

  • Doug Joyner

    Member

    Mayor Joyner is currently serving his second term as Mayor of the Township of West Lincoln and his second term on Niagara Regional Council. He has recently been elected as Co-Chair for the Public Health and Social Services Committee, aligned to the Community Services portfolio. He was elected Alderman of Ward 3 for the Township of West Lincoln for the 2006 – 2010 term and served as Chair of the Administration, Finance, and Fire Services Committee. He also served as Council Liaison to the West Lincoln Community care, West Lincoln community Improvement Project (CIP), and the Commercial Industrial Development Board (CIDB) as well serving the businesses of West Lincoln. Giving back to the community is not new for Mayor Joyner who has been the pioneer for a number of fundraising events including the 2013 Event Honorary Chair for Evan’s Ride & Family Fun Day for Autism Niagara. Douglas is married to Barbara (RN) (nee Crawford of North Pelham) and they have three children, Rebecca, Alexander, and Dante.

  • Elaine Cybula

    Member

    Elaine holds a Bachelor degree in Nursing, is a RN qualified to practice in the Province of Ontario, as well as New York State. Her nursing experience relevant to the Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre Niagara includes approximately four years with what was then referred to as the Niagara Region Public Health Family Planning Program. In the mid-nineties, she put her career on hold and became a stay-at-home mom. In 2003, she resumed her nursing career with the Niagara Health System: Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Program first as an on-call nurse, then a qualified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE). In 2008, her role expanded to that of program coordinator until March 2015 when she relinquished the position. During her tenure at the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Program, Elaine was involved in the initial planning for the Child Advocacy Centre here in St. Catharines.

  • Frank Parkhouse

    Member, 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.

  • Mark Doyle

    Member, Spotlight Gala Chair

    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.