Board Members

Meet Our Volunteer Board of Directors

Sue Desjarlais, President
Elected Councilor, LaSalle

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  • Sue joined the Board of Directors in 2014 and is currently the President. 
  • Sue is a resident of LaSalle and is currently in her fourth term as an elected Councilor for the Town of LaSalle. 
  • As a retired Bell Canada employee from the Sales and Client Care Department, Sue has outstanding customer service and communication skills. 
  • Sue is active on several committees at Community Living Essex County. 
  • In addition to her volunteer work at Community Living Essex County, Sue is a Rotarian and numerous other agencies and community fundraising events benefit from Sue’s energy, enthusiasm and expertise.
chad

Chad Sutherland, 1st Vice President
Director of Operations Centre for Human Performance & Health Department of Kinesiology, University of Windsor

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  • Chad joined the Board of Directors in 2014 and is currently the 1st Vice President. 
  • Chad along with his wife and two children live Lakeshore 
  • He first got connected with Community Living Essex County through a health and exercise research project entitled “A Balanced Approach”.  This led to the development of the Adapted Physical Exercise (APEX) research group, at the University, which then implemented the “Fit Together Program”.    
  • The APEX Research Group has a multitude of research projects on-going related to health and wellness, community inclusion, and employment and income security.  
  • APEX and CLEC have two funded projects currently running: 1) Including health and exercise training in job readiness programming and employment for youth (Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Foundation), and 2) Adapted exercise programming for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities: Informing safe and quality volunteer experiences amid the pandemic (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) 
  • Chad has presented at numerous national and international conferences related to the work with Community Living Essex County 
  • Chad has participated on many committees at Community Living Essex County including the OASIS 2018 organizing committee, First Choice Employment, and the Local Poverty Reduction Fund Steering Committee 
  • He is an enthusiastic advocate and volunteer 
Michelle

Michelle Mastellotto, 2nd Vice President
Parent/Retired Business Professional

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  • Michelle joined the Board of Directors in June, 2017 and was elected to a position on the Executive Committee in 2021.
  • She is a lifelong resident of Tecumseh and retired after over 27 years at Green Shield Canada as a Systems Engineer with a specialty in IT security, privacy and governance.
  • One of Michelle’s three children has an intellectual disability with a dual diagnosis and has been receiving supports and services from Community Living Essex County since 2009.
  • Michelle is an active fundraiser and volunteer and has supported many organizations, including Community Living Essex County.
  • She was on Board of Directors at the Windsor Essex Down Syndrome Association for over 20 years and is a current Board member for a local cycling organization.
  • Michelle has a wealth of valuable experience both professionally and personally that is a great asset to the agency.
Gillian

Gillian Heisz, Treasurer
Chartered Professional Accountant

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  • Gillian joined the Board of Directors in June 2019 and as Treasurer sits on the Executive Committee.
  • She is a resident of Amherstburg.
  • Gillian is a CPA, CA and holds an HBA from the Ivey Business School (Western University).
  • Gillian has over ten year’s experience in financial accounting, audit and financial reporting practices and has been employed at the University of Windsor since 2015.  She held the position of Controller from 2015 to 2018; Controller and Executive Director 2018 to 2020 and is currently the Associate Vice-President, Finance.
  • Gillian also has extensive experience providing assurance and financial consulting services to dozens of not-for-profit organizations in Ontario.  She also has exceptional insights in the financial challenges and risk management encountered by not-for-profit organizations.
  • Gillian is a life long learner, very active in her community and is a frequent volunteer.
Rob

Robert Tomek, Past President
Lawyer

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  • Robert joined the Board in 2013 and has been a member of the Executive Committee since 2015, serving as President from June 2018 – June 2021.
  • Born and raised in Kingsville, Robert remains a resident there.
  • At the University of Windsor he obtained his Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Law degrees.  He was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 2002 and is practicing with McTague Law Firm.  His emphasis is on Estate Administration, Wills, Trusts and Powers of Attorney.
  • Robert’s community involvement and volunteerism has always been an important part of his life.
Diane Bourbeau

Diane Bourbeau, Director
Parent/Retired Educator

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  • Diane joined the Board of Directors in 1999 and was a long standing member of the Executive Committee.   
  • Diane returned to the Board in the position of Director in 2018.
  • As the parent of an adult daughter with an intellectual disability, Diane is keenly aware of the challenges and joys that accompany being a primary caregiver.  
  • Diane is a retired educator and continues to advocate for changes and inclusion in the education system. 
  • Diane has been involved in many agency and community committees and projects including:  Rights Review Committee, Nominating Committee, Windsor Essex Developmental Services Reference Group, SEAC Support Group, Together One Dream Project and many more. 
  • Originally from Ottawa, Diane and her family have been residents of Tecumseh for many years. 
Ron

Ron Giofu, Director
Journalist

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  • Ron joined the Board of Directors in 2012.
  • He has held positions on the Executive Committee since 2013 and served as President for three years.
  • After stepping down as Past President Ron was elected to the Board as a Director in 2021.
  • As a local journalist, Ron’s involvement with Community Living Essex County predates his work on the Board given his long standing media coverage of local events.
  • Ron is a member of our Social Media Committee and has helped to cover many of our stories and events.
  • Born and raised in Essex County Ron has lived in Amherstburg since 1995.
Sharon O-Hagan-Wong

Sharon O-Hagan-Wong, Director
Retired Educator, WECDSB

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  • Sharon is pleased to stand for re-election to the Board of Directors. 
  • She is a resident of Windsor and proud parent of three adult children. 
  • Sharon has a Bachelor of Arts Degree and Masters of Education from the University of Windsor as well as a Supervisory Officer Qualifications.   
  • During Sharon’s 29 year career with the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board she held positions of teacher, Vice-Principal, Principal, Supervising Principal and Superintendent. 
  • Sharon also secured Specialist Qualifications in Special Education and early in her career served as President of our local Chapter of Autism Social Ontario.  
  • Her responsibilities have included Student Achievement, Safe Schools, First Nations, Metis and Inuit Portfolio, English as a Second Language Portfolio.  Sharon also represented the School Board on many community committees aligned with those initiatives as well as the Jumpstart Student Nutrition Committee. 
  • Sharon is a life long learner with a wealth of experience and expertise. She has been a valuable addition to the Board.  
Brianne Taggart

Brianne Taggart, Director
Self Advocate, Self Employed

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  • Brianne joined the Board of Directors in June 2021.
  • She is a resident of Kingsville, is self employed and owns Brianne’s Art Creations and Photography.
  • Brianne is active on social media and her artwork has appeared at many art shows.  She is a regular vendor and volunteer at local festivals.  She is also an art teacher having hosted many paint classes prior to COVID 19.
  • She is an active member of the Ruthven Apple Festival Committee and the Speaking Out Conference.
  • Brianne Joined New Day, Leaders of Today in 2017 and is currently the Chairperson of this self advocacy committee.  She is an excellent role model and works to enhance the lives of others and ensure peoples’ voices are heard.
  • Giving back to the community and advocating for people who have an intellectual disability are very meaningful to Brianne.
ray

Ray Renaud, Director
Self-Advocate

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  • Ray previously served two terms on the Board of Directors from 2017 to 2021.  After a year off Ray is pleased to put his name forth for consideration. 
  • He was born and raised in Tecumseh and currently lives in Essex with his wife, Beth. 
  • Ray joined New Day, Leaders of Today in 2009 and continues to work to enhance others’ lives and ensure peoples’ voices are heard.  Ray is currently New Day’s Vice President. 
  • Ray has represented New Day and Community Living Essex County at events and conferences and has been a voting delegate at Community Living Ontario’s Annual General Meeting.  Ray was part of the group presenting “Together One Dream” and has participated on committees for social media and FOCUS Accreditation.   
  • Ray is an active volunteer at the Knights of Columbus and also attends and volunteers at Holy Name church in Essex.   
  • As an active member of his community and volunteer Ray is looking forwarding to again playing a meaningful role on the Board of Directors. 

Ian G. Phillips, Director
Retired, GECDSB 

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  • Ian is a first time nominee to the Board of Directors. 
  • He is a resident of Amherstburg. 
  • Ian is a widower and proud dad to four sons.  
  • Prior to his retirement in 2005 Ian was the Principal of Sandwich Secondary School in LaSalle for five years. 
  • In this role Ian had a wealth of administrative responsibilities including providing leadership, direction, liaison, coordination and developing and implementing programs.   
  • Ian is an active community member and long time volunteer.   
  • For several years he has been a volunteer Director at the Board of Wesview Non Profit Seniors Housing Corporation in Amherstburg.   
  • He also volunteers at the River Town Times in Amherstburg and the United Church in Tecumseh. 
  • Ian has long admired the work of Community Living Essex County and the great impact of the agency’s work.  He is looking forward to making a meaningful contribution to the continued success of the agency as a Board member.  
  • Ian’s professional and personal experience will make him a valuable member of the Board.  

Karen Bolger, Secretary to the Board