|Name||Board Position||Community Involvement|
|Chuck Conlon||1st Vice-Chair & Chair of Governance||Principle, Chuck Conlon & Associates|
|Blair Henderson||Director||Portfolio Manager, Wilson, Blanchard Management Inc.|
|Daniele Ingleton||Director||President, LEAN Coach, The Ingleton Group|
|Zeshan Khan||Director||Senior Manager, Business Conduct|
|Steve Medcalf||Director||Co-Founder/President Awegraphy Inc./SALT XC|
|Ken Patterson||Director||National Director, Business Development & Professional Relations|
|Lauri A. Reesor||Chair||Partner, Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP|
|Robert Ridge||Officer, Finance & Risk Management||Gilead Sciences Inc.|
|Emily Rowe||Director||Community Affairs Specialist, Home Depot Canada Foundation|
|Kate Shehbaz||Director||Manager, Customer Experience, Canadian Tire Bank|
|Cassandra Weatherston||Director||Clinical Planning Specialist, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton|
|Patrica Wright||Officer, 2nd Vice Chair||Community Diversity Consultant and Trainer|
|Melissa Christiani Pollard||Ex officio||Executive Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Halton and Hamilton|
Lauri Reesor, Board Chair | Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP
Lauri is a partner in Hicks Morley’s Toronto office and is also the Chair of the firm’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. Lauri advises a wide variety of both public and private sector employers, including school boards, with respect to education law, labour relations and employment issues, with a particular focus on human rights litigation. She is a thought-leader in special education law. Lauri is also one of a few management side lawyers in Ontario with particular expertise in pay equity.
Lauri truly believes in giving back to the community in which she lives. She says, “There is no future without a strong investment in our children, the next generation. All they need is your time. Get involved, get engaged, whether it is as a mentor, a donor, a Board Member. It’s a relatively small investment that has a larger return than you’ll ever know – a life-changing one.”
Zeshan Khan, Director | Gilead Sciences Inc.
Zeshan holds a senior management position with Gilead Sciences, Inc. He graduated with a master’s in management and accounting from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, and a master’s in business, entrepreneurship and technology from the University of Waterloo. He brings a breadth of board experience from the non-profit sector and is passionate about helping Big Brothers Big Sisters drive its mission forward.
Ken Patterson, Director | Vision Group Canada
Ken is the National Business Development Director of Vision Group Canada. Ken’s 22 years in the Medical Device / Clinical Service space have led him to live in almost every Canadian Province. He has traveled extensively in the US and participated in International Medical Missions. He holds a BA (Economics) from the University of Manitoba and MBA (Athabasca University). Ken is also currently is a member of the Aequus (AQS) Pharmaceutical Advisory Board and has served on various Minor Sports Boards.
Big Brothers Big Sisters has and always will be a special organization for Ken. As a child, he participated in the Big Brother program, benefiting from the relationship and mentoring experience of a Big Brother. The guidance that his Big Brother provided carries on today in Ken’s work with youth. Away from work, Ken can be found coaching one of his son’s many sport teams, hockey being at the forefront.
Robert Ridge, Officer, Finance & Risk Management | Non-Profit Management Consultant
Robert has spent most of his thirty-year career helping non-profit organizations become more relevant, innovative and sustainable. He is currently leading a merger as Executive Director of Distress Centres of Greater Toronto, Canada’s largest distress centre. Previously, Robert was President and CEO of MedicAlert Canada. Robert holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business and is a Chartered Public Accountant.
A passionate volunteer, Robert is also a Board Member of Head Injury Rehabilitation Ontario, and is a lifelong Hamiltonian who enjoys contributing back to his community.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is important to Robert because he knows first-hand the impact of mentorship. As an In-School Mentoring Program volunteer for almost ten years, Robert says he enjoyed this experience immensely and knows he made a positive difference in the life of his mentee.
Emily Rowe, Director | Home Depot Canada Foundation
Emily is a Community Affairs Specialist with the Home Depot Canada Foundation. She is passionate about corporate social responsibility, philanthropy, communication and social justice. Emily holds a Master of Science focused in Global Cooperation and Security from University of Birmingham. She is dedicated to her community and interested in supporting social services.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is important to Emily because she knows how important it is for every youth to have a positive influence in their life growing up. “Big Brothers Big Sisters provides more than just a friendly person to talk to, they provide mentors for youth that are invested in their development and care about their future,” she says, adding, “I truly believe a strong mentor can make the world of a difference. That’s what BBBS does for the community.”
Kate Shehbaz, Director | Canadian Tire Bank
Kate is a Marketing and Customer Experience professional, who has experience with many top brands in Canada. She has a passion for learning, and inspiring others to reach their full potential.
Kate has been committed to Big Brothers Big Sisters for decades, serving as a volunteer with our waiting list program, a Big Sister for more than 6 years, and now as a Board member. She has seen first-hand the positive impact this organization has on the community and the individuals involved.
Cassandra Weatherston, Director | St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton
Cassandra, Clinical Planning Specialist at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH), is a dynamic healthcare professional with over 16 years working in the hospital and healthcare sphere. At SJHH, Cassandra has led key strategic clinical projects and initiatives including COVID-19 Assessment and Testing, COVID-19 Vaccine Administration, the development of a Patient and Family Partnership Framework and the SJHH and St. Joseph’s Health Systems Partner’s Accreditation Readiness. Cassandra recognizes the key role personal and professional mentors have played in her career advancement and strives to be a support and guide to others as they advance in their own career.
BBBS is important to Cassandra because she wants to ensure that the youth in our communities have strong role models to help these youth build confidence and achieve their goals.
Pat Wright, Officer | Educator
Pat, B.Sc., M.Ed., is a retired educator who has continued to work in the community with Big Brothers Big Sisters and other equity seeking non-profit organizations. She spent several years with Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion, where she was the Interim Executive Director, and the Manager of Training and Community Engagement. She was also an instructor for the Leadership and Community Engagement program for the McMaster University Centre for Continuing Education in Hamilton. She was also the AntiRacism Trainer and Facilitator for the HWDSB. Pat continues to develop curriculum and provide EDI training to local community organizations.