Jerushia Allin Program Manager

efab9785-39d3-4753-89db-686c689d2b9aJerushia has worked in social services with children, youth, adults and families in the community for 10+ years. As Program Manager she will be spearheading COH to meet its mission and goals, reporting to the Board of Directors, supervising our staff team, and building/ implementing life skills programs for participants. Jerushia is most looking forward to supporting participants to achieve the quality of life they desire!

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Sarah Steeves Program Facilitator

07485468-f3f9-4db8-a9e1-575bfbf2194dMeet Sarah Steeves, our new Program Facilitator at Community Of Hearts!! Sarah comes to us with a plethora of experience supporting individuals of all abilities to access services in Guelph. We love her magnetic energy and are so excited she’s joined the COH team! Sarah is looking forward to getting to know all of the different personalities of participants at COH and their families.

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Shera Mekhail
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Meet Shera, our new Development and Outreach Coordinator at Community Of Hearts! Shera is excited to bring her passion for community building together with her design and outreach background  to let Guelph know about the AMAZING things happening at COH. She’ll also support our fundraising committee to increase donorship. We are thrilled to have her expertise on board!

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Matthew Chate Chair, Board of Directors

Matt and his wife Suzanne moved to Guelph with their 3 kids in 2013. This move was prompted by an opportunity for Matt to take on a Branch Management role with RBC. He Matt Chateand his family have truly enjoyed getting to know the people, the area, and the organizations that make Guelph an incredible place to call home!  One organization in particular was of specific interest to Matt and that was Community of Hearts. With a brother who has Down syndrome, he has the benefit of knowing first-hand the difference people can make by lending a helping hand in the continued learning for those with developmental challenges. Matt takes great pride in doing what he can to help foster that work in the Guelph Community, and he is amazed to continue seeing the difference that Community of Hearts is making with so many of the families that live in the region.

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Susan Wahlroth Vice Chair, Board of Directors
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Matt Nero Treasurer, Board of Directors

Matt was born in Toronto, but moved to Guelph at an early age where he attended both elementary school and high school. After attending Wilfrid Laurier University where he graduated with a BBA in 2011, Matt moved back to Guelph and began a career in public accounting. Matt joined the RLB team in 2014 and has enjoyed working with clients in a variety of industries including not-for-profit and charitable organizations. Matt has always enjoyed getting involved in the community and was very enthusiastic about the prospect of providing his skills and public accounting knowledge to Community of Hearts. Matt has an uncle with a developmental disability and is excited to be a part of an organization that works to foster independence and continued learning for its participants.

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Mary Anne Allain Director, Board of Directors

Mary Anne grew up in Guelph and attended the University of Guelph where she received her Child Studies degree with a major in Exceptional Children. After receiving her Bachelor of Education, she taught with the Peterborough CatholicMary Anne Allain Board of Education as a Special Education Resource Teacher working with students with learning disabilities, autism and behavioral challenges. Mary Anne has recently retired and moved back to Guelph where she volunteers at the Clothing Closet and with Child and Family Services. With her new experience of co-parenting her partner’s adult son with special needs, Mary Anne has come to appreciate the great need for further learning opportunities past high school, to reinforce skills needed for independence. She looks forward to the new challenge of being a Board Member of Community of Hearts.

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Garth Bigelow Director, Board of Directors

Garth was born and raised inGarth Bigelow Prince Edward Island along with his 3 brothers and his sister. He has
been involved in the flooring business for over 15 years. First, starting out as a young flooring installer and then transitioned into opening a full-service flooring store with his brother, Craig, 10 years ago. Garth has always valued having a connection to his community and to find ways to give back. “It has been a pleasure to be a part of COH and to realize what an impact just one of Guelph’s committees can have on our community as a whole.”

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Paul Dyck Director, Board of Directors
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Kevin Gregg Director, Board of Directors

Kevin Gregg has worked with developmentally disabled individuals from his early twenties, where he helped design and implement day programming for the City of London’s Recreation program. He also Kevin Greggworked as a support worker at Forward House of London for over 16 years where he provided personal, social, and employment support to individuals with behavioural and developmental disabilities.
Kevin is the father of two boys, Christopher and Kyle, and has been an elementary school teacher with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board for the past eleven years. Although his interest in supporting the potential of people with developmental disabilities started early, it was when Kyle was born with Down syndrome in 1993 that he really began investigating through education and personal research the opportunities that were available to people with challenges. “I believe that every individual has a gift and it is my mission to encourage them to share their gifts. I believe that Community of Hearts provides a venue for all participants to develop and grow to their potential. That is why I support this agency.”

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Nancy Linton Secretary, Board of Directors

Nancy was born in Ottawa, but moved to Guelph nearly 20 yars ago with her husband and 3 children. She has been an elementary teacher for the past 20 years and has taught in Kingston, South Africa, Toronto and Guelph. She has a diverse range of teaching experience which includes working with children with special needs. Nancy has been actively involved with the Community of Hearts organization since it opened in 2012 and has been a member of the Board for the past 4 years.

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Mark McDonald Director, Board of Directors

Mark McDonaldMark has spent most of his life in Guelph and is a successful business owner. As the father of a young man with Down syndrome, he is thrilled to be a committed member of the Community of Hearts Board of Directors.  His business acumen will help ensure that Community of Hearts remains a healthy, viable organization serving the special needs population in Guelph for years to come.

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2016-2017 Board of Directors

Susan Wahlroth

Mark McDonald

Nancy Linton

Kevin Gregg

Paul Dyck

Matthew Chate

Garth Bigelow

Mary Anne Allain