Board Members

Meet Our Volunteer Board of Directors

Ron Giofu - President
Journalist

  • Ron joined the Board of Directors in 2012
  • He has held positions on the Executive Committee since 2013.
  • 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.

Jennifer Fraser - 1st Vice President
Semi-Retired Social Worker

  • Jennifer joined the Board of Directors in 2011
  • She has held several positions on the Executive Committee.
  • The majority of Jennifer’s career was devoted to the Windsor Essex Children’s Aid Society.  This provided her great insight into the developmental service sector in Ontario.  She is well versed in many areas including counseling, supervision, social service administration and has an excellent knowledge of legislative requirements, policies and procedures and a real passion for the well being of children and youth.
  • Born and raised in New Zealand, Jennifer  relocated to Southern Ontario to begin her post secondary education.  Jennifer has her Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Windsor. 
  • Jennifer is a long standing member/paddler on the Windsor Essex Wonder Broads. 
Robert Tomek

Robert Tomek - 2nd Vice President
Lawyer

  • Robert joined the Board in 2013.
  • Born and raised in Kingsville, Robert remains a resident of Kingsville.
  • 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. 
Erika Banwell

Erika Davidson - Treasurer
Chartered Professional Accountant

  • Erika was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2015.
  • She is the Treasurer and sits on the Executive Committee.
  • Erika was born and raised in Essex County and is a resident of Essex.
  • She is a Chartered Accountant, with her own business, and has worked full time in the public sector since 2003.
  • She is currently the Treasurer for another non-profit organization.  Annually, Erika performs approximately 35 review/audit engagements each year on non-profit entities;
  • After working at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Erika assumed her father’s business in January, 2012, renaming it to Erika Banwell C.A. Professional Corporation.

Diane Bourbeau - Past President
Parent | Retired Educator

  • Diane joined the Board of Directors in 1999
  • She has held numerous positions on the Executive Committee.
  • 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.
Sue Desjarlais

Sue Desjarlais - Director
Elected Councilor, LaSalle

  • Sue joined the Board of Directors in 2014.
  • Sue is a resident of LaSalle and is currently 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.
  • In addition to her volunteer work at Community Living Essex County, numerous other agencies and fundraising events benefit from Sue’s energy, enthusiasm and expertise.
Diane Powers

Diane Powers - Director
Parent | Legal Secretary

  • Diane joined the Board of Directors in 2014.
  • Diane resides in Tecumseh with her family.
  • As the parent of a child who has multiple physical and intellectual disabilities, Diane was determined to become the strong advocate she would need to be on his behalf. She has educated herself a great deal about her son’s disabilities and also how to navigate the health and education sectors to secure access to the supports, therapies and various equipment her son would need for his personal growth and development
  • Diane is a member of the Ensemble Advisory Committee, a parent-directed resource for families caring for a child with a disability.
  • Diane’s professional life includes full time employment as a Legal Assistant at Rohaly Law Professional Corporation, located in Windsor. She also owns and operates a bookkeeping company on a part time basis.

 

Mike Siblani

Mike Siblani - Director
Business Owner

  • Mike joined the Board of Directors 2014.
  • Born and raised in Lebanon, Mike and his family moved to Tecumseh in 1992. 
  • He is the franchise owner of Little Caesars in Essex, Leamington, Amherstburg, Tilbury, LaSalle and Kingsville. 
  • Mike employs several people who have an intellectual disability and he is an enthusiastic promoter of employment opportunities for all people who want to work.
Chad Sutherland

Chad Sutherland - Director
Applied Learning Coordinator, University of Windsor

  • Chad joined the Board of Directors in 2014.
  • Chad and his family live in Belle River.
  • As an Applied Learning Coordinator at the University of Windsor’s Department of Kinesiology Chad was first connected to Community Living Essex County through research projects.   The initial project focused on health promotion priorities for people who have an intellectual disability.  Chad has participated at numerous conferences highlighting this project – and has increased his involvement by co-chairing the Research Day at the OADD Conference in April, 2015.
  • He is a strong, enthusiastic advocate and volunteer.

Eva Penner Banman- Director
Advocate

  • Eva was elected to the Board of Directors in June, 2015 to the position of Director. 
  • She a working group member of the advocate group New Day, Leaders of Today and is also an active member on the agency’s Speaker’s Bureau.  In this role Eva speaks to the public about her experiences to raise awareness and break down barriers.  She shares news about her achievements and the possibilities for people who have an intellectual disability.  In addition, Eva also helps train all new employees as part of KARE (Keeping a Respectful Environment). 
  • Her experience and knowledge includes many areas of support including a great deal of committee.  She has taken part on various committees such as FOCUS Accreditation and the Speaking Out Planning Committee among others.
  • Eva is a very dedicated and frequent volunteer at local functions particularly within the Amherstburg and LaSalle areas.
  • Eva is a graduate of Western Secondary School and a resident of Amherstburg.  Currently, she is employed part time at Emrose Pharmacy.

Scott Pratt - Director
Family Member, Assistant Crown Attorney

  • Scott is a new nomination to the Board of Directors.
  • Scott is a resident of LaSalle
  • He has a brother-in-law who receives supports from Community Living Essex County giving Scott a real understanding of the importance of supports for families.
  • Scott is a graduate of the University of Windsor:
    • Faculty of Law (Bachelor of Law program)
    • Faculty of Social Sciences (Honours Psychology, Thesis Program)
  • Scott has been employed by the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General for 15 years and has worked in eight jurisdictions. 
  • Active in his community, Scott has coaching and a variety of volunteer experiences
Nancy Wallace-Gero

Nancy Wallace-Gero - Secretary to the Board